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1985 Citroen 2CV6 Spécial


Took this to a smallish Citroen event about 60 miles away last week, gave it it’s first proper good run of the year. It’s the same event I took the Sinclair to, hence it’s picture with the Xsara. Fortunately, the weather stayed good for most of the day.

How far we have (apparently) come. I know who was having more fun on these dirt tracks.


Right then, nearly that time of year again where a man pokes his tool around the 2CV (oo er) trying to find out how he can decide whether or not it should be on the road. This sort of spurred me on to start sorting some odd bits with it, as there’s only really one place I know it’s going to fail, which I will demonstrate at the end of the post.

First up, it’s about due a service. Don’t overlook your air filter kids. This was well due for changing.

Recently I’d noticed that while the linkage bushes looked OK, the gear selection was sometimes getting a bit iffy, especially reverse. For the massive sum of 5 quid, I changed the linkage to a spanking new one which has made a massive difference, lovely snicky gearchange now.

The other job I looked at doing is one I’d had the parts for for a while and expected to be a faff on, so had been putting it off. The keen eyed amongst you will notice the red rubber washers on the wipers from the top of Grolsch bottles. These went some way to stemming the flow of water you got into the car when the wipers were on, owing to the play in the wiper spindles.

This was the good side! The issue has been there for years as far as I can tell, with most of the inner mechanism frame fairly crusty.

Fortunately after a ton of wire brushing, rust converter and clean this came back up alright, with some new spindle units installed with no play.

The final bit, the obvious MOT failure, is something I can’t do myself as I can’t weld (yet). The drivers door is held onto the car by erm, well held is probably a strong word. Have a look at this video. Apologies for the portrait filiming but there ain’t much room down here in a 2CV.

That all really needs cleaning up properly, and I’m going to try and get a few other places done at the same time where there’s more filler than metal currently.


If I wasn’t on the other side of the pond I’d offer to help with welding that.


Well, news is news.

Haha, cheers, although theres so much bodge in it and the metal is so thin you’d possibly regret that statement. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good news - some welding was completed, I now have a new hinge panel and the door is actually attached to the car! A novelty after it being snapped for so long, actually closes properly now.

Bad news - noticed on a couple of fast runs I had what looked like petrol leaks onto the exhaust. Also odd hesitations and popping back at low RPM under load, pulling away or whatever. Well joy of joys, more carb problems.

Both needed the carb removing to check properly, the first one wasn’t a petrol leak (errant WD40 from attempts at unsticking the throttle previously) but the second, yeah, that was an actual issue.

These are the gaskets that sit around the carb spacer block where it mounts to the manifold. The keen readers amongst you will know that I’VE ALREADY SODDING DONE THIS JOB ONCE, sorry, I had already put new gaskets on here back when I got the car. Of course, not expecting the lower one to be blown out and burnt I haven’t got any. Absolute pain in the arse to get all the old gasket off, most of it was sort of baked to the manifold and took ages to clean, but it’s nice and shined up now waiting for the new gasket.

As I mentioned it also had a sticking throttle, crap low speed running under load and was starting to really get bad at hot starting due to the starter motor getting slower, and slower, and slower. Found the air filter box to carb rubber elbow has a massive split in it, again, not something I have to hand and was unexpected. Sticking throttle I’m hoping will be remedied by a damn good clean of the carb that took me ages (not like I had anything better to do as I can’t put it back together yet) and one of the little springs on the throttle spindle had snapped.

Fortunately in my carb graveyard I have a low mileage carb but with a slightly warped base that has a lot of good bits, one of those being that spring. Another being the vacuum choke pull off device, a rare thing these days is a working one. I’ve fitted that in place of my blanking plate just because I quite like to have things working as they were intended, even if they can kick up some issues as they age. I’ve always got the blanking plate to fall back on and it’s easily swapped over if it becomes an issue.

The carb in the lower right is the one I mean here, I intend to try to flatten the lower flange and keep it as a good spare as it appears immaculate inside.

The hot starting thing has been getting worse for a little while, as I said the Valeo 0.7kW starter was getting slower and slower, even with a fresh battery. This was easily remedied fortunately, I fitted a 1.4kW replacement starter (from some BMW I think) as recommended by the kit car guys that fit bigger bike engines. You can see it below in this picture with everything in the way handily removed, almost as if there was something wrong with the carb.

(Excuse the wiring. It’s not pretty but it’s all done relatively properly anyway :stuck_out_tongue:)

You can probably tell through this post I sound a bit sick of it - this is perhaps getting true, I’ve had odd thoughts of selling it, and then it does stupid things like snapping a connector off the headlight wiring when I was trying to move it out the way to remove the alternator to get at the carb nuts. It’s just trying my patience a bit, and I’ve still got the MOT (and something else to come) this week. Maybe the love will come back.

On the plus side, I fitted something totally pointless but that made me laugh. Headphone users be warned, people can hear me coming now at least.

So yeah, currently sat in bits waiting for those gaskets because nowhere seems to sell gasket paper anymore to make my own either, never mind.


Nice car! Here we have also a 2CV. Since a couple of months here also some start problems, but then when the engine is cold. Now I remember me that I definitely need to check it out. But here a lot of projects and fixings… Also we want to swap the original engine for a better one (comes from a previous one). That engine runs better than the current, it has 123 ignition fresh seals and carb settings. I could check it out tomorrow if you want what kind of jets there are in.

One thing that is imported about carbs, Specially for Solex, is they do not suck false air (leak). What is common with these carburetors. There are rebuild kits for these carbs. If you want to check for these leaks, you can spray WD40 or brake cleaner on the carb when the engine is running. If the engine stall or decrease in rpm, the carb suck much false air. This would result in a worse fuel/air mixture.

If the battery is fresh, than you can maybe check the carbon brushes inside the starter? What I have heard is that an 2CV often hard to start when it is hot. Normally the starter would be good enough for this longer starting. Maybe checking if there is some extra electricity consumption while starting. Like corrosion on the wiring etc, or even leak current at the battery.

Greetz Alex


Cheers, weirdly it’s always started like an absolute champion in the cold, even up in the Yorkshire moors well into negative temperatures after standing a few hours.

If, if I keep this, the engine will be coming out again. It runs well enough but the clutch is on it’s way out and it still leaks oil, so really I’d want to just change the lot and be done, possibly when winter gets around.

The wiring and that was corroded to hell when I got it, most noticeable was the regulator earth which was making it overcharge like hell. With regards to the starter I’ve been told the newer Valeo ones (like it had that was failing) are crap anyway and not worth rebuilding, but I’ll probably do so anyway just as a spare.

I’ve got it’s carb rebuilt now and ready to go back on when the base gaskets arrive, with a 107 primary and 90 secondary jet. As I say I refitted the vacuum pull off device, if anything is gonna cause an air leak I’m most worried about that. Unless the spindles wear the body again because you know, that’d be my sort of luck. :stuck_out_tongue:


Right, so, been a bit longer than I expected to update this because of course, nothing is simple.

First the happy bits - as it was that time of year again, I was doing the charity runs with it. One was at a local classic car show offering rides through the countryside, the other was again blasting round a racetrack. As I said last year, the charity rides round the track especially is one of the best car events I’ve taken part in. Once again, the 2CV was er, the odd one out shall we say.

While the day is obviously not a race and overtaking isn’t allowed, I tend to be the exception and shift out of people’s way - it’s still slightly terrifying having a beefed up Lamborghini Huracan come up behind you doing triple the speed you are. :sweat_smile: I did manage to get a couple of videos I did of warm up laps with no passengers in, so I will upload those when I get chance. I say warm-up laps, what I actually mean was I was totally on the limit desperately trying to keep up with the 911 Turbo infront of me.

Now for the cack bit. As I posted above, MOT was up on the 31st August. I’d had the welding done on that door hinge panel I knew it needed, and hoped that greasing the kingpins would sort out the play it’s had as an advisory the last couple of years.

Not this time.

The brake was the most pressing issue - it’s had a fair oil leak on that side of the engine since I got it that I’d never been able to find in any of the usual places, but I’d been feeling a slight pull to the left which was confirmed when this came up. Accidental lubing of brake discs is not ideal, as you might imagine.

At this point I was about ready to give up, I’d checked or replaced the common places for oil leaks over the time I’d had the car and it was still there, and everyone was telling me how much of a bugger changing a kingpin was, with multiple garages totally refusing to do the job and the closest 2CV specialist too busy to do it until mid September. The kingpin was awkward, but the oil on the brake dangerous. When I got it home, despite losing daylight, I got annoyed and pulled the wings off on the road outside my house and started trying to find this oil leak in the dark. Put new Rocker cover gaskets on - still a leak. Jiggled pushrod tube seals - still a leak. Nothing was improving so I went mental spraying carb cleaner on the oil caked engine trying to clean it up. This at least let me see it was running down from somewhere near the front, down the side and being blown back all over the place at speed.

The only thing I’d never looked at I’ve highlighted below:

This is the end cap that sits over the oil pressure relief valve. It was tight, but I was desperate, so I managed to get it round another quarter of a turn or so. Washed the brakes and took it out for a run, expecting nothing. Came back and got the torch out - no oil leaks. Ran it round again - no oil leaks. The whole time I’d had this car, the sodding oil leak had been this cap not being quite tight enough. No matter, the car was safe again, just the kingpin to do.

It took me a while to get the parts as there were a few 2CV events on close together, so the parts places were shut. I missed the boat of the 31st August to get the MOT done, and when I actually got down to the job ended up spending longer getting access to the kingpin than getting it out. Someone had done it previously and when they’d peened the top and bottom caps, they had really gone for it with the hammer and mashed them over. An afternoon was spent with the Dremel getting access to it, and once I got there I’d tried to build a little press as detailed in the Haynes manual for the car. Unfortunately I chose to use B&Q as the source of my threaded rod and nuts, and they may as well have been made from Dairy Milk and just chewed up. Fortunately, i was saved by a friend that lived locally who offered to lend me this set of lovely drifts that are machined specifcally for doing 2CV kingpin changes.

These made the job super easy, I had the old pin and bushes out in a few minutes, and the new ones fitted even quicker. It was easy to see which end of the kingpin was damaged.

By the looks of it, when the job was done in the past the top bush hadn’t been located properly in the swivel hub, this was allowing dirt to get in and when I took the bush out, it had worn into a funny shape on the inside and was very thin in places.

So, with the kingpin replaced, the oil leak fixed, the brakes washed down and some prayers made to the automotive gods, I took it back for MOT take 2.

Not even a single advisory, most modern stuff can’t manage that.

I’ve got one or two end of season shows I’m going to try and get it to over the coming weeks, and then I’ll make a decision as to whether it will be staying with me or not.


I would recommend at least replacing the front brake pads as they can get saturated with oil. Simply cleaning them off may not be enough. Glad you passed the MOT though.


I have got some spare just in-case but they seem to be all good for now, which is nice as they only have a couple of thousand miles on them. No pulling or anything and all balanced up and working well when they were on the rollers for the MOT. :+1:


That is good, I’ve had to deal with leaking wheel seals before and had to replace a set simply because the diff oil got all over one side.


I’m still in two minds about whether or not to try and sell this in a few months time when the weather starts to improve. I’ve done a lot with it but I think it might be time to move it on to someone else to enjoy. Saying that, that might be a bad decision. I’m not sure my head is in the right place for this sort of thing at the minute but we will see.

I’m going to try and pull some of the dashcam footage of when I had this on track back in August as I did a couple of laps without passengers so I should be able to use that OK. In the meantime, having this picture of me absolutely *blowing the doors off an Ariel Atom.

Also it’s nearly the time of year for the convoy run through the Yorkshire Dales to the highest pub in Britain again. Haven’t decided if I’ll take it this year as the wintery conditions don’t help the bodywork, but these things are meant to be driven, meant to be worked, so we will see.

*it was about to overtake, but you all knew that already, right?


Well I did go to Tan Hill, and the conditions were very wintery. Tons of salt and then some roads they hadn’t touched at all. There was a warning out not to use a particular road that hadn’t been treated at all. Shame then we only got the warning once we got up it.


There were a couple of mishaps early on of people getting stuck but after getting them free we had a system going for the convoy. Special mention to @Microwave for getting his 25 along that same, “4 wheel drive only” road at the rear of the convoy.

We had a forum mini-meet almost - me with the 2CV, @Microwave with his 25 and @TheElt with his Lupo.

On the way back the roads were even worse in parts - people often say “A 2CV can go where a Land Rover can’t” and having now had to get round a stuck one I can believe it. It would have been nice at times to have say, ABS or a heater but there’s something to be said about having old style manual controls where you can feel everything in crappy conditions.

In fairness those conditions were pretty cack:

That’s solid ice on the road as I came into it, complete with freezing fog. Fairly treacherous, especially as a lot of this has unmarked lanes, no real edging other than the marsh, steep gradients and hairpins. The fog did let me get my favourite photo of the day though.