Citroën Restoration Tips

© Copyright: J.Cats.


Here you can find some tips that could help you during restauration or maintenance of your Citroën.


Propulsion Arrière

Body/Chassis:

  • For a decent restoration, the body should be seperated from the chassis. But beware, the body itself is often not strong enough to support it's own weight. So either dismantle it piece by piece, or brace it before lifting it of.
Mechanical:
  • There is an original Citroën publication (reprint) available with all the tune up data needed.
  • Magnet from magneto ignition can be revitalized. This is often nesecary.
  • Be carefull. Turning the magneto by hand can produce high voltage.


Traction Avant

Body:

  • Most original sills don't stand thorough cleaning. Replacing is a difficult (specialist) job.
  • Be carefull with sand blasting a Traction. Doors and bonnet can't stand blasting with even the slightest bit of too much pressure. I've seen a lot of abused panels so be aware. General rule is to only have edges and corners sandblasted. Stay clear of large areas. And always clear off any sort coating before the sandblasting. Blasting this stuff of will result in holes. Proper companies will tell you to remove the coating or do it themselves, by hand!!!
  • There is only one way to eradicate rust in door tips or bottoms. Cut off outer door panel either below trim line or as far as the replacement reaches (full panel is best and easiest repair). Cut off the lower part of the remaining structure. Weld on the new section. Have the door sand blasted (carefully!!!). Weld on the outer panel. Use proper primer, and some sort of rust proofing wax (Tectyl for example) and they will last a life time. During the welding, keep test fitting the door in the car to ensure good panel fit.
  • Complete floors are available for most types. Problem is the edge on which the floor lies. This "inside sill" is not available as a repair panel. When the floor is gone, this part of the sill will have gone as well.
Mechanical:
  • Everything is available.
  • Original driveshafts will keep good when treated good.
  • A very large press is needed to get the silentblocks out of the front axle. Be carefull because the cradle can be easily damaged.
  • Clutch judder is usually easily solved by resetting the height of the clutch operating fingers. But be warned. Taking apart the clutch will undo all the balancing to the engine, which can result in vibrations.
  • The conrods have the bearings cast in. The conrods can be replaced by early DS/ID ones (also used in some H vans) which use seperate bearing shells.


2CV, Mehari, Dyane and Ami
platform chassis.

  • Click here for a chassis picture with the location of the holes needed for rustproofing.
  • The rear chassis legs are divided into two sections halfway down the legs. Drill a hole both on the inside and on the outside, for rustproofing.
  • Look at the spot welds on top of the chassis to make out de different sections inside the chassis. Drill holes and rustproof accordingly.
  • Clean all edges with a high speed rotating wire brush. If some rust is present, prise open the edge, clean, treat with rust proofer, let dry, then tap back into shape.
  • The front is ussually trouble free but check for accident damage.
Mechanical:
  • Valve noise can be cause by 2 things. Worn rocker arm carriers, or worn cam followers. The cam followers can be easily and cheaply replaced.
  • When restoring a complete car, replace the kingpins. For greasing, jack up the car to take the load of the front wheels. Grease regularly and they will stay good for a long time.
  • All mechanical parts for later types are available new.
  • It's imposible to find 375cc engine parts.
  • Most cars will need new rear brakecylinders. Rear brakes are often neglected on these cars.
  • Gearboxes only take EP80 oil, engine something like 15W50, 10W40 is too thin.
  • ALways replace breaker points together with capacitor.
  • Some modern non OEM points (non Valeo) have a weak cam follower and very bad capacitor (short life span).


2CV

  • Check the chassis section as well.
  • Thoroughly check the sills, replacement sills are available and not expensive.
  • The edges that secure the door rubbers easily rust and are hard to replace.
  • All panels, including repair sections are available new.
  • Clean the whole floor sections. Rust is invisible beneath the white sound deadening coating. This coating absorbs water and is used on the floors and ALL body seams!


Dyane

  • Check the chassis section as well.
  • Clean the whole floor sections. Rust is invisible beneath the white sound deadening coating. This coating absorbs water and is used on the floors and ALL body seams!
  • Panels are hard to get. Still plenty of good used ones around though.


Mehari

  • Check the chassis section as well.
  • All panels are available so damaged ones can easily be replaced.
  • When repairing the panels remember they are ABS, and use appropriate adhesives.
  • The frames need thorough cleaning but not all rust damage can be seen on the outside.
  • Use plenty of rustproofing on the frames and make sure all sections are treated inside and out.
  • The car is NOT waterproof.


Ami 6, 8, Super

  • Check the chassis section as well.
  • Rear wings are notorious, especially on the 8. Galavanising could be a solution. Plastic replacements are available.
  • Nose panel traps mud along with inner wings and all corners will start to rust.
  • Clean the whole floor sections. Rust is invisible beneath the white sound deadening coating. This coating absorbs water and is used on the floors and ALL body seams!
  • There are still plenty of new panels to be found.


General Hydraulics

  • Don't mix up the fluids. Using the wrong hydraulic fluid will destroy ALL rubber seals within the system!!!


SM


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