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1919-21 Citroen "A" Ground up rebuild/restoration.


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Thinking some more about it, the average Frenchman would wonder why I have kept it for so long?

It has a two litre, petrol engine, a five speed manual gearbox and disc brakes on all four wheels.

It is "front wheel drive" that makes it less than ideal as a tow car. 

Once again "the Average Frenchman" may be forgiven for wondering just which car was I talking about. 

That description with the exception of the type of fuel, petrol or diesel, would fit both of our everyday cars.

1. Would be the 1998 Peugeot 405 Sri that is my own day to day drive although these days it tends only to go out on one day per week.

2. Would have to be Helen"s VW Jetta. it is a little newer than the Peug and it probably goes out three or four times per week.  Being a Diesel it is our car of choice for all our longer trips and as such it will take us into NSW so we can "look" at the Citroen (project). While it does not have a tow-bar it does have a very large "luggage trunk", so if necessary it can carry home all the smaller "loose bits, always on the understanding that I do actually buy the Citroen package from "Tilba".

 

Only time will tell?

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Back to the 1921 Citroen 10hp. IF this project is to proceed I really do need to find a MOTOR & a Gearbox along with a long list of other necessary parts!   These include a steering box complete with a steering wheel and a drag link. Preferably these will be somewhere in Australia. I know that a number of my fellow countrymen look in here, perhaps one of them will be able to assist?

 

Bj.

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I now have a clear idea of the body I would like to build on the Citroen but before I can start I need at the very least a radiator and a steering box and wheel. another two road (disc) wheels would certainly help. 

Please have a look in your sheds. 

Bernie j.

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While I am waiting, I am pressing on with some other work. Today's task has been to remove the remains of the four bolts that hold the front axle onto the two front springs. These had been cut off flush with the top of the axle and again where they exit the underside of the axle.

I would suggest that they have never been removed which would explain the need to cut then off. Now armed with a heavy hammer a suitably sized punch, a can of penetrating oil and finally my Oxy-acetylene torch I have managed to remove three out of the four and now I am doing this while I am waiting for the penetrating oil to start working.

I may go back and apply some more heat to either side of the axle beam where this final fixing bolt goes through it. This seems to have worked with the other three bolts. 

I will now also add another four hi-tensile bolts to my shopping list.

 

Bj.

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Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Finally I now have all four bolts out and the axle cleaned up some more in preparation for painting. The "kingpins" or perhaps you know them as Swivel pins seem to be in good condition (unworn) so I will leave then in place for now. However the wheel bearings will need to more cleaning and repacking with Wheel Bearing grease. I will also need to look at replacing the original grease nipples.

All this may seem excessive for a "car" that I still do not have an engine or gear box for!  

On the subject of additional parts, I am reminded that there is still a pile of "Stuff" at Tilba on the coast in New South Wales, about 800 kms away.

 

Bj. 799

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Meanwhile I have been wasting a little time looking for a Citroen engine and gearbox to suit the 1919/21 Citroen. I did think I had found exactly the parts I needed but with the current "lock down" I have abandoned all thought of driving some 800kms each way on the off chance that the "stuff" on offer was really what I needed. Perhaps it was just not meant to be........ Either way it is unlikely I will ever know. 

As mentioned in my last post, I do have my 1934 Lagonda Rapier which has been an excellent companion for quite a number of years and taken us on some unimaginable adventures both here in Australia and to many destinations in Europe. I already have one of the best sports cars ever so perhaps it is time that I was satisfied with that.

 

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Bj.

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While the Lagonda is NOT a French car I do have a tendency to buy Peugeots as my day to day drive.

AND I learnt to drive in my father's then new Citroen Light 15. but that was a very long time ago.

 

Bj.

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While I am waiting to see IF am engine and gearbox are going to appear; I am proceeding with the general clean up and today preparing the rear axle for painting. While doing this I have discovered another very minor things that go to show the attention to detail that Citroen did with even minor things such as this small screw down grease cap in the brake cross shaft for the rear wheels.

Now I am looking for another for the other side.

 

Bj.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie, I remember you had some trouble with parts from overseas and................

If this thing is crossing the ocean and coming from an unproven / unknown to you source, you might want to consider getting it FOB Destination. It really cuts down on the scammers.

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Thank you for your concern Digger 914, Meanwhile I am avoiding buying "stuff" on line. "back on the farm" work is progressing with the front axle now resting correctly on its springs while the rear axle  is inching closer and closer.

As can be seen by the chains that connect to my lifting gear, my age must be showing, as I find things such as rear axle assemblies seem to be becoming heavier to "man-handle".

 

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, oldcar said:

Thank you for your concern Digger 914, Meanwhile I am avoiding buying "stuff" on line. "back on the farm" work is progressing with the front axle now resting correctly on its springs while the rear axle  is inching closer and closer.

As can be seen by the chains that connect to my lifting gear, my age must be showing, as I find things such as rear axle assemblies seem to be becoming heavier to "man-handle".

 

Bj.

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Age, I'm not ready to accept  age as the reason for the increased gravitational pull caused by all this global warming crap, something I had noticed myself as I was setting railroad ties and sliding sheets of plywood up the trusses to build the roof so I could make a place to store all these loose shingles. All so I could put a car away for the winter.

 

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Unfortunately in the part of Australia where we live we do not have anything near the space around our house. My garage/workplace would almost fit underneath one of those shingles. Right now I am just about over all this "old car nonsense" and I am trying to sell my Citroen project on without loosing too much money. 

You may not have noticed but old habbits are hard to overcome. I still replace old rusty nuts and bolts with the correct metric size Hi-tensile, New, bolts nuts etc! I still refuse to scratch around in tins of rusty old and worn bolts nuts etc!

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Everything I know from down under came from pictures sent by extended family to my great aunts, one was an Aussie and the other a Kiwi from across the ditch. Suburban sprawl or a house on a small yard doesn't fit the images I grew up looking at.

I have old habits and one old habit that keeps me from having a can full of rusty nuts and bolts is the habit of cleaning nuts and bolts on the wire wheel. I do keep old bolts and will even keep a worn one if it is the only one I have in its size. Never know when that one old bolt will be the most important bolt in the bin.

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I used to save all the old (used) nuts and bolts. In the end I had several (4 gallon) Oil drums full of them. I gave them to someone who used them in "junk" sculptures. Now I just throw them into the rubbish bin. I do reuse things like cylinder head retaining nuts where you can come across some unusual thread profiles. For example the Lagonda uses "Cycle Engineers"* thread profile for certain things, there are only one or two sources of these. Many people mistakenly force UNF nuts onto BSF bolts. Also "prewar" French "Metric" is different to Post war. One uses mainly "odd numbers" while the other uses mainly "even numbers". As with other thread profiles there are Fine and Coarse metric nuts and bolts.

If you are not actually working on your cars yourself, you probably have no idea of what I an writing about! The same goes with "Spanners". I have three tool boxes, one each for Metric, Whitworth and BSF, another for UNF and SAE.

I know that some people just use a shifting spanner (adjustable wrench) for everything and wonder why they end up with a lot of "rounded"nuts.

The use of "Cycle Engineers" thread profile dates back to the time when they built Motor Bicycles and Tricycles pre WW1.(1914-18).  If you have no knowledge of the History of the Motor Industry, you are probably wasting your time reading any of this.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Don't underestimate the value of your knowledge. "If you have no knowledge of the History of the Motor Industry", this is the kind of thread a Yank needs to read if he is ever going to work on any old thing made in England.

 

If I ever need one again I have a left hand 5/8 BST screw because I couldn't find the darn thing when it was time to put the scythe mower back together and I had to right thread tap an 11/16 which was as close as I could get. Luckily I had a full set the very difficult to find bent ring spanners. maybe not quite so difficult if you can translate British English into American English because in my part of the world we call these things offset box end wrenches.

 

 

 

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Hello Again Digger 914.

I asume that you realise/know that the term "Digger" is/was historically used for an Australian Infantry Soldier from WW1, 1914-18.

At that time they were first sent to Gallipoli  and later in France & Belgium,  it was said that they spent most of their time digging trenches often up to their waist in mud. Many spent their later years in agony from arthritis as a result of the long hours spent in "the Trenches".

The nickname "Digger" was something most were fiercely proud of!

See:- https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/diggers-and-doughboys

 

Stay around, you may learn something new every minute!

 

Bj.

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Suddenly all my plans for the Citroen Chassis have flown out the window. Now instead of just buying a motor & gearbox, I am buying a total restoration project. This one is at the same remote location as the "motor & gearbox" .While it will require a "tilt tray" truck to transport it to our home. (some 700 kms) It is a very complete "car", the motor is said to be running but beyond that I really do not know. It comes with a second Motor, gearbox and radiator. Which at the same time solves the most of the problems with the "Chassis". In the short term I will have some "space" problems, but these things tend to solve themselves eventually. While not shown here the four doors do come with the "package". One thing is sure, I will not be "looking for something to do for quite some time into the future. My first task will be to get it all back to East Doncaster & home!

 

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Thank you Frank for your support, you may have to wait for a couple of weeks to see any future development on this latest (Citroen) project.

For the benefit of anyone wondering, why a Citroen? 

My association with Citroen's dates back to when I was still a school-boy, at that time my father bought his first Citroen a then new (1948) "Light 15". This was the car that I learnt to drive in. I have over a considerable number of years previously owned THREE, early 1920s Citroen 5CV

Regarding this new project, It is some 800 or more KM's away and I have to arrange to go and pack it up ready for transport back to our home in Suburban Melbourne (Victoria). Because of the dreaded "Virus" I will have to apply for a permit to firstly leave and then re-enter Victoria, our home state!

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Bj.

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Posted (edited)

Hello Dr Data

Remember that this Citroen is a day's drive away and I do have the start of another one already in my garage. While this one is more or less complete, as I have now discovered the headlamps almost certainly will have to  be replaced. What else?  This and I still have not actually seen it. If you are sufficiently interested you can look up where Tilba-tilba is on the map of Australia and where Melbourne is. Just remember this is just the start of another adventure. While it should not matter, remember that I will have my 85th Birthday a little later this year.

Remember also that this Citroen is already 100 years old and FRENCH.

 

Bj.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

For all those people who are blissfully ignorant about the range of VWs that have been sold here in Australia, the "Jetta" is very similar to a VW Golf 4 door sedan with the addition of a luggage "trunk" at the rear. There is an almost identical "Passat" model, also available for people with a slightly fatter bank balance! The Passat has slightly more Chrome trim and leather seats. 

I am being either very lazy or simply "laid back" in that I did not bother to go inside to pickup the keys so that I could back it out of the "carport, to take these photos. However I believe that most of you are  sufficiently intelligent to look at the front & rear photographs attached here and get the general idea. Some of you may even know this model VW quite well.

This one has a 2 Litre 4 cylinder Diesel engine coupled to an "all synchromesh" SIX Speed manual transmission. It is a super car for long distance journeys, such as the one we are contemplating making to Tilba and return.

Bj.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

a Yank needs to read if he is ever going to work on any old thing made in England". (Quoted from a comment posted on this thread from a few days back)

The range of thread profiles found on a 100 year old French car can be totally confusing not to mention the array of nut sizes!  

BUT, wouldn't it be boring if everything was the same? 

One of the "blessings" for an "old chap" working on even older motor cars is, that it keeps the mind and body "working"!

 

As it is, I was almost at the point of giving-up all thought on this entire project! BUT I have now been persuaded that this would not be a "good thing to do".

 

Bj.

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Posted (edited)

Hello Hello,

It seems that my old friend "Atwood Megan" is out and about again, if you are unlucky enough to receive an email from him offering to sell you "anything", consign it to your junk box immediately. He is a well known scam artist who may try and sell you anything that you may have placed a "Wanted" advert for. Don't go down that path, it will only end in tears!

 

 

Bj

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All I can say is to anyone involved in a discussion with him about almost anything, proceed with utmost caution.

The British Motorcycle community as mentioned by Dr Data can certainly tell you any number of tales of woe, experienced by their members.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now for the good news,

The Citroen has been sold and it's place has been filled with a 1932 Singer but not one of those little buzz-box 9 hp but an extremely rare 6 cylinder of approximately 1750cc. Of course there is always a hidden trap. With this one it is not so hidden, the front of the chassis has been "CUT OFF" this as a result of some accident damage some time ago. One problem is that this model was made in two handed numbers (i.e. perhaps as many as TEN or possibly even fewer in any one 12 month period.)

 

Bj.

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