Project Dyane: Back on the road!

With all the excitement about Project 2CV, I’ve rather overlooked the poor Dyane. There’s good news. The Dyane is back on the road!

As you’ll recall, it has undergone a minor engine rebuild over the winter months. For a while, it felt I’d never get the job completed. Every time I fixed one problem, I discovered another. What really spurred things on was a visit to Sparrow Automotive, where the ever patience Pete took time to dig out a set of barrels and pistons and even honed the barrels and fitted the pistons ready to fit. You can do this on a 2CV as the gudgeon pin sticks out from the barrel just enough to fit it to the piston. Pete then also dug out a pair of driveshafts and even fitted new gaiters to them. He then produced an embarrassingly small invoice. Thanks Pete! The Dyane remains a project with no budget at all (and no, I won’t be using 2CV funds on it).

Look who's up and running again!

Look who’s up and running again!

I’d never dismantled an engine to this degree before, and I found it utterly fascinating to do. It’s actually very simple indeed once you know how to release various clips. I did allow the rings to slip out of the barrel on one side, and had to dash to the next village to borrow a ring compressor, but it all went well.

This was back in January. I ran the Dyane up the driveway to find a horrific oil leak, as related in my previous post. As it happens, recent work for Retro Japanese magazine saw me passing ECAS 2CV Parts, so I was able to pick up a new cupro-nickel oil feed pipe. Pleasingly, fitting this seemed to render the engine oil tight at long last! The Dyane was ready to return to the road.

Stupidly, I decided to wait until March before taxing her again, but then the Wye Knots 2CV group in Herefordshire announced a road run. Temptation proved too much, so the Dyane was taxed, and off we went!

Dyane poses next to BMW 2CV.

Dyane poses next to BMW 2CV. Hoping that isn’t my oil leak…

I was quite nervous, and took far more tools and parts than I normally would. I needn’t have worried though, as the Dyane ran very nicely indeed. I was having to take things easy, to allow the new engine parts to bed in. Mind you, it wasn’t long before I was just refusing to slow down for bends. Conserved momentum means less strain on the engine, surely? On the downside, I’m sure labouring up all the hills around here hasn’t been kind to the engine, and the cylinder heads still smell a bit leaky. I’m hoping a retorque will help. It’s due after 1000 miles, but having but a few heat cycles through that engine now, I think I’ll just do it anyway.

Sadly, I’ve had to postpone some much-needed welding work on the Dyane. It needs the lower windscreen panel replaced. Unfortunately, I blew the pot of money I was going to use for that on a Honda Prelude... If anyone would like to buy it for £545, I would be very grateful! And so would the Dyane. Incidentally, the XM is no longer for sale.

So, the Dyane is back on the road, but currently squirrelled away in a garage while the weather does horrible things. Longer term, I don’t think the Dyane will have a place on the fleet. I bought it only so I could get my A-Series Citroen kicks while the 2CV is awaiting salvation. Problem is, I’m really starting to like it…

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