Author Topic: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build  (Read 1987 times)

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Offline Paul K

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Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« on: April 11, 2020, 07:48:35 am »
I started this topic after a request to write up the rebuild of my Citroen Dyane three-wheeler.  The car was eventually sold on within the Club, somewhat reluctantly, but I realised that I preferred motorcycles so the three-wheeler would probably just end up sat in the drive slowly deteriorating.

I first saw the three-wheeler competing in one of the MCC trials and stopped to have a chat with the crew.  It looked a lot of fun.  Sometime later, the car was advertised in NOTW so I thought, ‘Worth a look’.

There were a number of reasons to consider buying it, one of which was the opportunity to take my late dad, 86-years old at that time, on an MCC trial.  For a number of years, he’d come along to the start at Popham to see the bikes, cars and me off.  Here was the ideal opportunity.


Point of purchase – an opportunity beckons.


Point of purchase – rear end scrapes

The three-wheeler was based on a Citroen Dyane, essentially a 2CV with a different body.  The 2CV has 602 cc horizontally-opposed, twin-cylinder air-cooled engine with oil cooler.  The front suspension is a long travel soft leading-link arrangement.  The rear suspension identical, but trailing link.  There’re 15 inch wheels; and the engine weight and clutch is well in front of the driven wheels.  Front discs are inboard so should avoid the worst of the mud and also reduces unsprung weight. The gearbox is a four speed, though, it’s really a three speed with a manual overdrive

All good stuff for a trials car.  And spares are readily available.

There was some damage to the underside that I was aware and that needed some welding; about £100 I reckoned.  So I purchased the car; to be collected later.


Horizontally opposed twin 602 cc and sealed beam headlamps.

My dad and me caught the train from Paddington to Cornwall, from where I drove the car to London to drop my dad off, then I carried on to Hertfordshire.  That was a bloody long day, though, lots of smiles from people.  We overtook one car, but only so they could pull alongside us immediately after for the passenger to take a photograph.

Once home, I got a quote for the welding work; I’d grossly under-estimated the expense.  It would cost about £490.  That’s when the restoration started.


Chassis damage – gouge and dent in the floor.  The two bolts secure one side of the rear axle.

The first step was to drive the car up to my son’s place.  I had no room for a rebuild and he had a large garden.


Car in my son’s garden.  Those seats looked heavy and weren’t adjustable fore and aft.

A look at the work involved in dismantling the car.


Front of engine compartment – original condition.  The single coil gives the ignition system a lost spark system if I remember correctly.


Front bulkhead – original condition.  All original Citroen electrics.


Steering intermediate shaft and gear change – original condition.


Battery and wiper motor – original condition.  The motor was a Lucas unit.


Pedals and steering column – original condition.  The passenger compartment was lined with plywood so that had to go as part of a weight-saving exercise.


Rear compartment with fuel tank – original condition.  The fuel filler with the chrome cap was no longer in use.

In theory, removing the bits from the chassis should be reasonably straightforward.  In theory, it is.  In practice, it is not (as anyone who has done this will tell you).  Bolts are rusted solid (get out the grinder), bolt heads rounded off (grind a socket flat and bash it on with a hammer), thin suspension nuts immoveable (hammer and chisel) and so the list goes on.  This is also when you find the bits that are unserviceable or worn sufficiently that you might as well replace them now as do the job again later. 

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2020, 03:04:17 pm »
That looks “fun” to put to rights and brings back certain memories.......of other people’s terrible “bodgeries”.

My first kit car was a Dutton Phaeton which I bought about thirty years ago when I was still in the RAF. It had successfully gone through eight previous MOTs. In retrospect, I have no idea how. I ran it for about a year before getting posted away to a “trouble spot” in the early 90s, so it had to be taken off the road for about eight months. When I returned I needed it to commute in but it had developed terrible electrical problems. I then discovered that who ever built it had wired it up before fitting the body and the latter was sitting on the main harness and it had finally expired. I realised the body had to come off.....

It resulted in a total rebuild, involving taking the very rusty chassis back to bare metal for a full repaint and some structural welding was needed. I reckon it took more time to fix it than to build a new one from scratch. I worked 18 hours a day for almost a month to get it back on the road and it almost cost me my marriage!

The car was far better when I’d finished it. However, I didn’t get the benefit because the RAF, in its wisdom, posted me shortly afterwards to another station where I didn’t need to commute.  ::) I couldn’t afford to keep it idle so I had to sell it. At least someone got the benefit but I lost a small fortune on it.

I found that building my Liege, years later, was a relative breeze.
PW.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 08:58:45 pm »
hey Paul, that looked rely good. I much prefer that aluminium look to the standard Lomax, think the Lomax can look a bit plastic'y. Yours looked very purposeful.

Thanks for putting some words down, I've enjoyed reading that. I find these 2cv's very interesting from a design and trails perspective. I've always been drawn to 3 wheelers for some reason (I might be a bit mad) and the 2cv seems to be an easy conversion.

Did you do any trials in it? how did it perform? how good are 3 wheels for LDT's

I've attached a link below to the Lomax build manual if anyone else feels a bit 'one wheel short of a trails car'.

https://www.sportsandleisurecars.co.uk/linked/223_build_manual_pdf.pdf

Anyone else with 3 wheel experiences please feel free to add some comments. thanks.

Also see below 2CV manual link.

http://asektionen.citroenklubben.com/www/Repair%20Manual%20No.%208161.pdf




Offline Paul K

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 08:02:48 am »
Yeah, I did a few MCC trials in it with a variety of navigators; the best one was my youngest daughter.

Three wheels is absolute fun ;D.  Performance on the sections was no worse and no better than the four wheels I've done the trials on.  I don’t remember running out of power in the sections and we always kept up with most of the cars on the road.  The suspension was brilliant; low unsprung weight, long travel and you could adjust the ride height.  The limiting factor on raising the ride height was that the kingpin inclination would get nearer 90 degrees so self-centring could be affected; not that I ever raised it to extremes.

We lacked grip at times, though, that could be driver technique and, in hindsight, I probably ran the front tyre pressures too high :(.  Overtakes weren’t a regular thing, which you look forward to and enjoy when you usually ride a motorcycle :D.

The driving experience was a laugh ;D.  There was no anti-roll bar so it would lean well over on the bends.  The crew had to lean towards the inside of a bend; a bit like a sidecar outfit.  The two front wheels would follow the ruts in the track the same as a car or sidecar outfit, but the rear wheel, being in the centre, didn’t know where to go.  Consequently, you were correcting the steering, especially on tracks and roads with grass in the middle ;).

By coincidence there was a TV show on rebuilding a 2CV last night called ‘Car SOS’ (episode10, series 7), which went into a lot of detail of the design.  It was on channel More4 so worth a watch if you can catch it again.  It featured 2CV City, which was the company I got most of my parts from; a good bunch of people.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 11:12:21 pm »
Ready for the strip down.  Bonnet removed.  The seats looked heavy and weren’t adjustable fore and aft so they had to be replaced if possible, but that was in the future.


Engine ready to be removed



Empty engine compartment


Gearbox with inboard disc brakes free.


Detaching the body.  The horizontal suspension cylinders can be seen on either side of the chassis.


Offline Andy Hutchings

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2020, 09:30:10 am »
I have distant memories of these cars being sold as a "Lomax" car in the 1990s, but my memory might be playing tricks. Apparently they were sold as 3-wheelers, but there was a disagreement with the D.V.L.A. as to what vehicle classification they should be, since all the chasses were originally Citroën 2CV ones, and were FOUR wheelers!
I don't know that you've done to me, sir, but you've done me a power of good!

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2020, 07:32:52 pm »
I'm really enjoying this post Paul. I did watch that car SOS program. Very good. Seems like if you can get those suspension units off without the grinder you're laughing.

Theres a chap on YouTube as well that's posted his Lomax renovation project.

Seen them come up on eBay every now and then but even scrappers fetch strong money.

If I was going to go down the car route again I would definitely be looking at one of these. We'll see what happens after I've moved into the new house.

Not given up on the bikes yet though.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 10:15:23 am »
Eventually the body was released from the chassis  :)


Body removed and a happy workforce (my son and my dad)


Chassis strip down starts.  Suspension and axles waiting to be removed

Those suspension nuts were rusted on tight.  They were soaked in WD40, but a hammer and chisel moved them in the end ;)


Rusted suspension cylinder nuts.  The horizontally-mounted damper unit has already been removed.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2020, 11:26:42 am »
I stumbled upon this photo of a Blackjack Avion three-wheeler, crewed by Roger and Tania Beaumont, having a go on the Exeter Trial in 2009 at Fingle.  I think it originally appeared in Triple.  Looks like they've run out of grip.




Offline Tim Kingham

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 09:11:51 pm »
Its the grass in the middle leading to sections that seem to catch the single back wheel guys stoney sections are not so bad
(Bit like me when I tried to use a Honda Transalp  I had to walk it to some sections and then once on the rocks it flew up!)

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 11:05:41 pm »
Someone used to trial a Morgan 3 wheeler. It’s rear wheel drive seemed to take advantage of the undisturbed centre part of some sections. Obviously with fwd the single rear wheel has to be dragged through the mud and long grass etc.
PW.

Offline Simon Woodall

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 03:08:44 pm »
Quote
Someone used to trial a Morgan 3 wheeler
Morgan Three wheelers have been associated with the MCC since before the First World War.
There have been a couple in Class O in recent years, but the true modern exponent of that type of machine has to be Tony Divey who trialed a Triking - Sort of Morgan-esque three wheeler powered by a Moto-Guzzi Vee Twin.
He seemed to do OK, but never really troubled the engraver.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2020, 09:30:51 am »
Here’s two shots of a Triking.  The top photo is Tony Divey driving.


This is on the Lands End

Offline Paul Wheatley

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2020, 03:30:30 pm »
All rear wheel drive.

Anything in the rules to prevent reversing up?  :D
PW.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Citroen Dyane (2CV) Three-wheeler Build
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2020, 09:01:58 am »
I'm guessing there's nothing in the rules stopping you from using a 4.00 - 18 trials tyre on the rear either.   :o  that is if I'm right in thinking you use the 18"  moto-guzzi rear wheel.

I saw one of these with a BMW r1200 engine up front once. It was in a custom show at the ally pally. Very nice. 8)

So for climbing up sections do we think this arrangement is better or worse than a 2cv front wheel drive three wheeler?