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1953 Citroen Traction
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



I have replaced the wheels that came with the car (which were a set of slightly wider than standard 15" wheels with some Toyos on them), for a set of real Slough wheels with Michelin X's.
I always felt that the slightly smaller ones as originally fitted, made the car look a bit like a Dinky toy.
The real thing, like most things Traction, is a slightly unusual size, just under 16" and takes a 165 x 400 Michelin X, still made by the company, albeit in Serbia rather than France.
The replacement wheels were second hand, and were cleaned up by grit blasting prior to being painted in a dark metallic grey to match the car. Tyres were by Longstone.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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clan chieftain



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 2041
Location: Motherwell

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Car SOS recently restored a Citroen Traction Avant in their new series. Done a fabulous job on it. Cool
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Polypedates



Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am most envious of you. I love the Traction but prices are too dear for me now so have to live vicariously through a friend who has a French built 50's Traction amongst his assortment of classics.

A fit of despondency over the prospect of another much loved car appreciating out of reach and the possible onset of a mid-life crisis resolved me to action so after the application of advanced man-maths I went out and bought a 1979 Citroen CX, sight unseen, to cheer myself up.

The words 'money-pit' spring to mind and naturally it broke down 3 miles into the journey home and hasn't moved at all since late June. After a sum total of about 15 miles nervous motoring it now makes a pleasingly Gallic driveway ornament.
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Clutch slip Reply with quote

After a recent quick run to blow away the cobwebs between low pressure fronts I suffered some alarming clutch slip on a nearby hill. Returning hastily to base, I adjusted the linkage and repeated the trip with no further slippage.

However, I have come almost to the end of the adjustment on the mechanism, and so that probably means that I am also at the end of the clutch itself. This is not a complete surprise, the biting point has always been higher than I am usually comfortable with and I have experienced slippage when I originally had the car transported at the end of 2014, and we attempted to drive up onto the lorry via ramps (his winch had just packed up).
I had already decided to carry out the modification to the engine mountings that replaces the standard coiled spring units with hefty metallastic types and removes the need for the large rubber block rear mount which sits inside a recess in the bulkhead and thumps and bumps alarmingly when the engine flexes on its mountings. This mod not only damps down excessive engine movement when pulling away or changing gears, but also allegedly reduces vibrations, since the block inevitably touches its recess at some point, even though Mr Citroen's engineers had intended it to be suspended in space and only come into contact in extreme situations. This then, will be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and maybe do another couple of smaller jobs that will be easier with engine out, plus a full oil change for both engine and gearbox.
The original clutch itself is a bit of a complex beast and requires careful adjustment of the release levers. The preferred option is to substitute a modern diaphragm type unit. Researching amongst fellow Traction Owners Club members shows that a Peugeot 505, or a Ford Pinto cover assembly will fit, utilising a special spacer plate, retaining the standard clutch plate and substituting a modern release bearing within the original housing. This latter will be a further boon, because the original one is also quite noisy.
I am currently acquiring parts from various sources, and rather than waiting for the whole thing to pack up, I will be making a start in about two weeks, when I have all the bits together, the aim being to get everything reliable before the summer motoring season starts.
I will keep you all posted.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having assembled loads of parts and taken lots of advice, I was looking at a fellow owners car when it occurred to me that he had a new clutch fitted, and that his adjustment too appeared to be at the limit. When I queried this he (as a veteran of several Traction overhauls) said, that this was a correct starting position.
This led me to wonder if I had in fact 'over adjusted' the clutch and created the opposite effect that the desired one. Workshop manual data on how the clutch is adjusted is suitably vague and so I wound it back the opposite way and then went for a drive!
The clutch appeared to be fine now, had a sensible biting point and so, I have left it for the moment. I have, however, carried out a full service, and fitted the alternative composite rubber engine mounts as a replacement for the volute springs, which has made the whole car feel a lot less sloppy in terms of the engine and transmission, which felt as if they were flopping about all over the place when in stop start traffic, and when on the overrun.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been out quite a bit in the Citroen in May and June, including a couple of car shows. I have had some problems with a sticky needle valve in the carburettor float chamber which simply sticks in the closed position after the car has been parked for a while, and needs a sharp tap on the float chamber body with a rubber handled screwdriver to jar it loose. This is not helped by the SU Fuel pump which of course stops pumping as soon as it senses a back pressure of any kind.
Dismantling the carb shows it to be as clean as a whistle, so I am unsure quite what to do. It doesn't happen every time and in fact when I started it last time, a couple of days ago, it behaved perfectly.
The fuel tank is filthy inside, but that is coped with by an online filter which is changed every few weeks when the car is in regular use. At some point it will have to come out and be cleaned, but for the moment I am just putting up with the filter change regime.
I am also contemplating taking the car off the road next winter for a gearbox rebuild to put in a higher ratio crownwheel and pinion, and to fix a couple of oil leaks which are, I think, from the FWD drive shafts. At the moment things start to get rather noisy after around 45 mph, and it seems that of the three or four final drive ratios that were available in the Traction range, mine is probably the lowest. This probably signifies that the car has had a gearbox fitted from another car at some point, possibly a Commerciale or Familiale version. It will mean a bit more gearchanging but should mean that a cruising speed in the 50-60 mph range will provide a bit less ear bashing.
Gearboxes and diffs are a bit outside my comfort zone, so I will be packing the car off to a specialist over the winter to have the work done.
However, as my posts in the events section show, we have been out at various shows, and will be attending Hoghton Tower, and probably a few others over the summer, before she is shipped off to the specialist.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shipping time is near, October 31st will hopefully see us loaded up onto a trailer and setting off on the pilgrimage south to the specialist at Citroen Classics in Staines, for a recon gearbox with the higher ratio final drive, a new clutch, and a new timing chain, the latter being done mainly to take advantage of the fact that the engine will be out.
I will post photographs of the event and hopefully the garage will help out by recording some of their activities as well.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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Ashley



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1430
Location: Near Stroud, Glos

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Higher axle ratios are always better for modern roads, so looking forward to hearing how you get on. Lots of photos too please.
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



On Monday I loaded up the Traction and began the 200 mile journey down to Citroen Classics in Staines. No particular problems, not even a traffic jam on the M25, but a particularly rough section of the M40 necessitated a halt to tighten the straps which were vibrating all over the place.

Work has started, and it has been noted that a couple of new driveshafts will also be needed, due to wear in the UJ's. I am also having a new timing chain and tensioner fitted whilst the engine is accessible. Work should be completed in a week or so. I will keep you posted.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the job is done, I now have a higher ratio final drive, plus a set of new drive shafts with modern CV joints to replace the old Hardy Spicer type. This, coupled with a new timing chain and a tensioner (not standard on original Citroen Traction engines) and a new diaphragm type clutch have somewhat changed the driving experience for the better, without detracting from the car's character.
The weather hasn't really been suitable for a long drive, lots of salt on the main roads, but I now have several smaller sorties under my belt and I am very pleased with the result.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next job is charging.
From time to time the charge light comes on, implying that either the dynamo or the regulator is playing up. This generally only goes on for a few miles and then it goes off again, the last time being New year's Day, on the way to a NYD meet.

Now I have my new final drive, I want to go further afield this summer and so a dodgy charging system is not really recommended, especially if I end up doing some driving after dark.
So, after some pondering, I have ordered an alternator conversion kit, which will swap the old unit for a modern alternator and bracket. This then opens up the possibility of headlamp upgrades and a few other electrical goodies like a radio and an auxiliary socket for phone charger, satnav, etc.

I have also acquired most of the components for a heating system. The traction's system when fitted, works on a ducted warm air flow from one side of the radiator, pushed by the motion of the car, into the front footwells. Not exactly volcanic, but a worthy improvement on a chilly day.

My car having lived in South Africa for most of its life has either lost or never had the heater, and replacement parts are quite expensive, so when a metalworking friend offered to copy a set as fitted to his own car, I jumped at the chance. The parts consist of a long metal duct, oval in section and a fishtail shoe that bolts onto the radiator mountings and I was presented with two metal parts fabricated by my friend, which quite frankly, are hard to differentiate from the genuine article. All I now need to do is buy the two rubber joiners and assemble the two items in place.....again, pictures to follow.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that it is quite some time since I posted on the Traction, even though it has been in use on and off ever since the last posting including the Traction Owner's Club national rally to Llangollen in 2018. However the pandemic has take its toll, and the car has not had much use since March of this year. At last now it is slowly coming back into use, after some detailed maintenance, involving new coolant hoses, electronic ignition and a thorough greasing and service.
Since my last post, the car has also acquired an alternator and several partially successful attempts to get the fuel gauge to register sensibly. I have also scraped and had repainted the front driver's wing! (Daughter's garage being used at the time was too narrow.) The heater assembly has also been fitted although it is currently removed for the summer.
Below is the image taken today for the car's agreed value insurance.


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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV


Last edited by norustplease on Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 327
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very nice example, the grey really suits it well.
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuel leak spotted today. I have an electric fuel pump which is connected into the tank and main fuel line via flexible fuel pipes. One of these has succumbed to E5 and was leaking prodigiously when the fuel pump ran. Fortunately I was only backing out of the garage when I spotted it. I replaced the leaky section but guess that the rest will not be far behind. I had a similar failure some weeks ago on a short length under the bonnet, again on the drive, so I had bought in some new E5 resistant hose. Just need to replace all of the old pipes before I dare drive anywhere.
Worth checking your fuel lines. At best you could get stranded, at worst, you could cause a fire.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 665
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spent a fun afternoon replacing the rest of the flxible fuel lines with E5/E10 resistant stuff.
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1953 Citroen Traction
1964 Volvo PV544
1961 Wolseley 1500
Boring Tucson SUV
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