The heroic snail returns

I very much enjoyed my week with a Citroen Ami, but while it was a lot of fun, the Ami was not my 2CV. Clambering back aboard my 1986 2CV6 Dolly made me realise just how special it is, and how much it means to me.

That’s good, because a bill for nearly £500 worth of work severely tested my loyalty! I usually spend that sort of amount to buy a car, rather than spend on it. It’s worth considering how much I’ve spent on the car in the past three years though. The total is pretty much sod all. Some paint, some oil filters, some spark plugs and oil. The most expensive expenditure in that time has been £100 for a new ignition barrel. I should have spent some more money on anti-corrosion products it seems, as the front bulkhead had corroded very badly indeed.

Once Pete Sparrow started digging, he uncovered this mess.

2CV corrosion bulkhead

2CV bulkhead rod. Yuck!

The toeboard, lower bulkhead and the leading edge of the front floors needed cutting back to good metal, and then new metal welding in. At least it was a fairly simple area to repair, though even simple repairs eat up the hours. Including all tinkering, the bill stated 10 hours of work, which is a day and a half.

It all looks better now.


New sections

Pete’s work didn’t stop there though. Elly has been sounding quite sickly for a while, clearly feeling the effects of my amateur spanner monkeying! A really good specialist will transform how your car feels. That’s exactly what Pete did.

First of all, he sorted out the steering. I’ve had a wobbly kingpin on this car for some years now, causing all manner of clonks and causing two MOT testers to frown in that manner that suggests I’ll be lucky if I get an advisory. I was lucky twice, but clearly pushing things a bit. The arm was worn though, so that was replaced with one taken from a car used in the action movie RED2. I’m not looking forward to seeing the film as when you see a 2CV flying through the air, that’ll be using the suspension arm now on my car! A new kingpin means the clonk has gone, which immediately makes the car feel nicer to drive.

The next step was to check the ignition timing. Unsurprisingly, it was out. Surprisingly, it was quite badly retarded – I thought it was if anything towards being too advanced! Proves what I know – very little when it comes to ignition timing. As well as correcting that error, Pete rejetted the carburettor and cleared out muck from the float chamber. The result is a car which is utterly transformed, feeling much more responsive and sitting at 65mph without resorting to the secondary choke. This should allow increased fuel economy.

It’s been an expensive MOT pass, but it has one more proved that while DIY tinkering is ok, specialists know a great many tricks when it comes to making your car run as it should. I feel like a rank amateur, which is probably because I am. While I can now work on most aspects of the 2CV myself, it’s a reminder that sometimes it is worth paying someone who really knows what they are doing!

So thrilled was I on the journey back home and I pretty much forgot about the Ami. I think that fact suggests I’ll be sinking a whole lot more money into Elly the 2CV in the coming year. End of the road? No. after 191,000 miles, I don’t think I can let that happen yet.

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