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  #1  
Old 3 Feb 2010
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History buffs, 2CV fans, and Iran specialists, I seek your help.

A friend of mine is looking at repeating one of the Citroën 2CV Raids next year, the Paris-Persepolis-Paris:



as it will be the 40th anniversary of the original.

I thought I'd ask here if anyone might happen to have any information that could help. I know some 2CV lovers lurk about, or perhaps you like old maps and could help pinpoint possible roads, or maybe you've travelled that route, or just vaguely perhaps you know someone who knows someone who did the original raid.

Really any help would be appreciated at all, even if it's just a bit of encouraging laughter at the thought of fools in old French cars.
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Old 3 Feb 2010
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Sorry Alex,

can't be of help but thought you might like the picky
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History buffs, 2CV fans, and Iran specialists, I seek your help.-2cv-large-.jpg  

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Old 4 Feb 2010
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It would help if you'd ask specific questions.

I've had a few 2CVs and think its a very good car for travel, which the 2CVs also proved in the many asian rallies.

In 1970 my 2CV would do 22km/l (52mpg us) and even today hardly any cars can do that.

they are easily converted as most stuff, seats etc, can be removed without tools and its built on a frame.

One man can remove the engine for changing the clutch, its got single cylinders like a motorcycle, so change of piston and cylinder is very easy.

there is no distributor, it ignites in both cylinders at the same time.

the longitudinal springs are spanner adjustable

Th bottom is totally flat and has no differential so you don't get stuck in ruts

The common 2CV (not the 4 and 6s) will run on 84 octane

its aircooled, no water system to leak or any hotrunning.

Its light, one man can move it sideways and 4 people get it out almost anywhere

It can be started manually using the wheelchange spanner.

We have been sleeping 4 up in a 2CV and I transported 2 90kg pigs or 10 small pigs in it.
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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I have fond memories of the 2CV, perhaps not what you are looking for but I'll tell you anyway.

I was hitch-hiking (autostop??) in France around Easter 1970 on my way down to see the Concorde in Toulouse and I was given a lift in the van version of the 2CV. The driver, a young man of about my age, 23, really didn't like driving and so I drove for the next 2-300 miles. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had an accident, I don't suppose his insurance would have covered me.

It was huge fun. I remembered an article I had read recently about the 2CV in "Small Car" magazine, in fact I remember much of it still, it said that it had a first gear suitable for pulling ten ton lorries up one-in-four hills and a top gear suitable for pulling ten ton lorries down one-in-four hills. It said it rolled like bitch on heat in corners, and that changing gear felt like stirring a cowpat with a walking-stick. And it said that the bodywork was made from ex-US Army dustbins. I think that I started to fall in love with the 2CV when I read that article, and I got to love it even more during the two days I drove it.

I remember vividly how it leaned over on the bends, happily it never actually rolled over and I'm sure it lifted a wheel- whether front or back I can't remember by now. I think it had Michelin X's on.

It was very comfortable, the seats were a very basic tubular frame laced with elastic cords, two single seats in the front that could be taken out and used as picnic chairs and which left the floor flat and unobstructed which was ideal for sleeping in the van. The canvas roof could be rolled back.

And I'm still a little in love with it forty years later.
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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I crossed the Sahara on my bike with another traveller who had a 2CV.
I helped him fix a few things on there...as he wasn't mechanically inclined.

One thing that's worth doing is removing the side panels above the front wheelbase for improved air circulation/cooling...and to keep on top of the air filter...keeping it clean.

He did break his frame in Algeria...but we made sure to weld both the broken side...and the unbroken side with the same plates...so the tensile strength was the same at both points...
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Roberts View Post
.......... I think it had Michelin X's on...............
Yes 125x15. I would do 50.000km on the front tyres and change the back at around 80.000km, not because they were worn but they started to crack of age at the sides.

And you met such nice people. All 2CVs here in Denmark would greet each other, when passing on the road and would always stop and help if another 2CV was parked by the road, you had to be fast when taking a pee, before a 2CV stopped to ask if they could help

It was THEE hippie/francophile car in DK. 4 out of 5 drivers would wear a black beret and hair to the shoulders and a big beard. in winter a long afghan coat or a swedish military sheepskins coat. The car was "heated" only by the air passing the cylinder ribs, being constructed for the Provence rather than Denmark

Cars before 1970 had no speedometer on the dashboard, it sat to the left of the front window, only a big voltmeter (6V), a charge lamp and a gasmeter on the central dashboard.
The window vipers were pulled by the speedometer cable so would stop when stopped at a light, but would go beserk on a downhill in the alps.

The rally 2CVs were heavily modified. One had a whole engine and frontaxle installed in the boot, making it a 4WD with backup engine.

A few yars ago I saw an ultralight plane with a tuned 2CV engine. 2cyl horizontal boxer, 425cm3
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
..............One thing that's worth doing is removing the side panels above the front wheelbase for improved air circulation/cooling...and to keep on top of the air filter...keeping it clean.
If you need more cooling, you would normally open the cabin heaters (and open the vent running the full length of the front window, to prevent yourself overheating) but with serious use, you would remove all the cabin heater metal behind the cylinder and remove the side panels.

A bigger oilcooler and even an electrical fan has also been used.

Standard the oil is only cooled by the fixed mechanical fan.
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
If you need more cooling, you would normally open the cabin heaters (and open the vent running the full length of the front window, to prevent yourself overheating) but with serious use, you would remove all the cabin heater metal behind the cylinder and remove the side panels.

A bigger oilcooler and even an electrical fan has also been used.

Standard the oil is only cooled by the fixed mechanical fan.
Would a second oil cooler be an easier option than a bigger one?

Well...wouldn't opening the vents make the cabin hotter? I mean its one thing to deal with 105-110F temps...BUT to have hot air blow in...yikes!
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
.................Well...wouldn't opening the vents make the cabin hotter? I mean its one thing to deal with 105-110F temps...BUT to have hot air blow in...yikes!
Sure but anything to keep the engine running. But you could

Quote:
(and open the vent running the full length of the front window, to prevent yourself overheating)
Thats a fresh air vent
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Ah yes...the fresh air vent...

The pic below is from Assamaka...
assamaka.jpg

Since its a front wheel drive car...it doesn't help to carry a lot of weight in the trunk...as the motor isn't heavy enough to balance the load. A very important consideration in sand
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Sorry, I should have said, it's really information specific to the Paris-Persepolis trip. That said I'm really glad I didn't, it's great to have set everyone off reminiscing, keep it up.

The bloke who's thinking of doing this is no stranger to 2CV trips, having travelled all round Oz in a Barbour 4x4 and to Mongolia in a standard 4x2. I'm hoping to tag along and to have managed to get a 4x4 conversion registered in France ready for the trip (registering a non standard vehicle in France requires Russian levels of paperwork, but sadly without the opportunities to grease the palms)



And now for the fond memories, my first car being a 2CV. Sadly not the newest, nor the more reliable. I remember driving the 200+ miles home from Minehead with no brakes after they'd gone at the first roundabout. The 3 other people in the car never knew. Or the four MOTs it passed despite having a big hole in the passenger side footwell covered only in cardboard sprayed with underseal. Or the exhaust which by the end was made almost entirely of bean cans and jubilee clips. Or the time it caught fire on the A3 at the Milford service station as I was filling it wit petrol.

I'll stop now, leave it to someone else, and thanks all for the memories, keep em coming.
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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I take it your friend already knows of this site, and the people behind it?
biotrek.org
The site now seems to have loads of other stuff on it including stuff about bikes. I don't speak french, but the site was originally about citroens travelling through Africa, and certainly some of the stuff about this seems to be still there.

I met one of the guys who did that 2007 Africa trip last year in central asia. He was travelling with another car, a 2cv van. All I'll say about that van was it needed towing up all the steep high altitude passes in the Pamhirs. And on potholed and corrogated roads they were driving at speeds as low as 10mph due to fragile suspension.

Now I'm all for riding/driving classic vehicles, but I just don't understand why they didn't update and toughen the suspension so they could travel on the bad roads at a more normal speed. It came to the distance on bad roads I could travel in a couple of hours on my dirtbike, would take them a long hard day of driving to cover.
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Old 4 Feb 2010
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Thanks for that site, I remember seeing one of the Traqbar Traction Avants at a classic car show here, good to see they're still going strong. I'm surprised they didn't prepare the 2CV better though, there's plenty of good stuff out there to prep them. Back in the 50's the 2CV even held the altitude record at 17,782 feet.

And it's not like they're not tough little beasts.



Although I note we don't see it moving after.
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