I haven’t really got any excuses for neglecting the 2CV. I’ve been meaning to overhaul the front brakes for several months, but keep distracting myself with other cars.
I started the job yesterday. The bodywork came off first, then the driveshafts are disconnected, the pads removed, the caliper disconnected and the disc removed. I also popped out the handbrake pads, which left me with this mess.
The main brake pads were fairly worn, but not bad for what I estimate to be 40,000 miles or so of driving. The disc was in a shocking state though. Last year was a bumper year for corrosion on the 2CV, and the brakes did not escape damage. As far as I can remember, the discs have done about 70,000 miles and were probably last changed in 2006.
The handbrake pads were very badly worn.
This unusual wear is apparently because they weren’t fitted properly. Not me guv! Thankfully the other side were fine, but I replaced all four anyway. Hopefully I fitted them correctly – time will tell!
It was a truly joyous experience today, in constant drizzle. Here’s me enjoying myself.
Thankfully it did stop drizzling after a while – it’s amazing how wet light rain can make you. The blanket was because I’d discovered how wet a soggy tyre can make your clothes. Nice that 2CVs come with a built-in seat for when you are working on the engine though.
As jobs go, this one was pretty pleasurable. Access is astonishingly good, nothing broke and everything that should come apart did. The biggest headache was a sticky bleed nipple, but it didn’t put up much of a fight. The 2CV uses alloy pistons in its brake calipers, and this is brilliant. I’ve never, ever had a problem with a sticky caliper on a 2CV, yet the same can’t be said of many modern cars I’ve owned. Let’s see. Alfa Romeo 164, Saab 900, Ford Maverick, Range Rover, Mini City, Saab 9000, Audi 100 – I’ve had caliper issues with all of them. Why? Because the pistons are usually steel – often cheap steel. They corrode, then stick and then you’re into rebuilding the caliper. Fun on the Range Rover as it had four pistons for each corner!
I did have to buy a special tool to adjust the handbrake but to be honest, I should have bought one of these somewhat earlier in my 17-year 2CV ownership! On the plus side, the only tool you need to remove the main brake pads is a screwdriver. If only all cars were this joyous. It’s easy to forget what a beautifully engineered little car the 2CV is. I now need to spend more time driving it.