Recently  Cor B  and I have been getting his car ready for summer, and especially for the big trip to Saratoga Springs for Rendezvous 2012.

Over the course of several visits, we have managed to accomplish many things:

  • oil change
  • spark plug cleaning and setting the gap
  • repairing the inner edges of the front fenders, which seem to have been bent to stop them vibrating
  • installing saddles for the inner edge of the front fenders, the absence of which caused the vibration (see above)
  • replacing two drive shaft boots
  • replacing a torn rear transmission mount
  • installing a fuel filter between the fuel pump and the carburetor

Some action shots:

(You can see a separate article about the drive shaft boots here)

Most things have gone very well, except for the rear transmission mount, which was a long struggle.  The mount lives way at the back of the engine bay, under the firewall, trapped between the gearbox and the steering rack.  When you look at it and see that there are just four bolts, you wonder “How hard can it be?”.  Well, let me tell you, it can be tough.

You need to find a way to support the back of the gearbox, because once you start unscrewing the old mount, the gearbox is no longer held by anything.  Whatever you use to support the gearbox needs to be able to be adjusted, since you will need to raise or lower it to get things to line up.  Cor and I used a creative selection of pry bars, levers, and wedge-shaped blocks of wood.

At some point, it becomes a near-endless game of patience as one team member gently pries the levers under the gearbox up or down, while the other person uses another bar to flex the new mount into alignment, and tries to get the bolts to start in the holes.  All this while both players are on their knees, bent at the waist, with their arms extended and elevated.  Oh, and there is practically no room to turn the wrenches once you get things lined up.

After a job like that, there is only one thing to do:  take a civilized break!

Since at least part of this activity was social, we spaced the work out over several visits while we ordered and waited for parts from Michel L.  During one of those waits, Cor ran into a problem, as the car suddenly lost power, and began to run very roughly.  Through pure persistence, he managed to get the car home, albeit verrrrry sloooowwwwwlly.

I dropped by to have a look at the patient, and to attempt a diagnosis.  As soon as we fired it up, I recognized the classic sound of a 2CV that is only running on one cylinder.  Since there were no other “bad noises” (clanking, knocking), I figured it might just be an ignition problem.  I started tracing the various connections, and sure enough, when I looked at the spark plug wires, I found this:

Those cracks were allowing the spark to leak to ground on the manifold.

Luckily, I had a new set of wires in my car, so we put those on, and the car ran smoothly again.   Cor and I both agreed that it was good this happened near home, and not in the middle of the Adirondack Park on the way to Saratoga!

Personally, I never get mad at a car that gets me home.

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