Further Restoration on the 1952 Traction Avant

Other Planned (and Unforeseen) Restoration works....

Once the interior was completed it was finally time to see if everything worked correctly..... The electrics for the indicators and front lights had to be sorted out as there were some strange issues.

Traction Avant Body ShellsLooking at the wiring it became apparent that due to age and vibration on the wiring loom (plus previous work on the car which removed all the rubber grommets leaving cables to rub on metal edges) it meant replacing the temperamental, decidedly French, 'clockwork' indicator switch and re-wiring the front end of the car, which involved repairs to the original harness where possible, the running of separate lines for the indicators and creating new looms from the engine bay junction boxes (which also required replacing) across to the front indicators and headlight units.

The opportunity was taken to start adding in a fuse box as the cars never had one. So far, only the indicators, lights and parking lights are now 'fused' but the intention is to run lines for the other components when time (and weather) allow.

The indicator and front light wiring work (due to access in the garage and the poor weather outside) was finally completed mid February 2013.

The brakes were found to be in need of attention as well, so a full overhaul was carried in April 2013 wih new seals, brake shoes all around and 1 re skimmed brake drum. The opportunity was also taken to fit a new drive shaft and bearings at the drivers side and new shock absorbers all around plus a newt set of Michelin Tyres and Tubes.

A lot of unseen 'bits' have also been changed like the ignition switch and the control screw etc. for the front scuttle air vent as well as the rubber seal for the gear change to stop fumes passing into the cabin. There are just to many bits to list individually.

A quick check showed we have covered some 1,650 miles in the car since April at the end of the 'regular' rally season 2013.

Those 1,650 miles have been covered without much incident, apart from 'loosing' a fair bit of oil which appears to be from the front crankshaft seal on the engine so this winter the engine and gearbox are coming out to investigate the 'leak'.

It was also always intended to fully convert the electrics to 12 volt, purely on safety grounds. Why? well the indicators and brake lights are not the brightest in the world and in today's traffic really need to be better, plus the front lights are no better than candles!

However having to regularly charge the separate 12 volt battery for the starter at home, meant you were limited to the number of stop-starts you could make.

Last Traction Off The Production LineSo a 12 volt alternator was fitted and all the bulbs changed with an increase in wattage, plus reflectors were created, for the indicators and rear lights, sidelight and headlight bulbs renewed, plus the final fuses were be added into the system.

The wiper motor is still 6 volt, so, a 15 amp 12 volt to 6 volt reducer was fitted to that, along a 10 amp 12 volt to 6 volt reducer added into the power line to the 2 horns and the wiring for those also updated.

Warning lights to show that (a) the alternator is charging (b) the lights are on and (c) when high beam is selected have also been added as they didn't exist previously. All have been situated to the left of the steering wheel, below speedo level so are unobtrusive.

Finally a 12v power socket was added in the glovebox, out of sight, to run a sat nav, power a mobile, if required for longer trips away.

After running the car all summer we found that we were using an awful lot of oil, so planned an engine rebuild over the winter of 2013/2014.

In September 2014 after the The Engine Overhaul we actually drove the car to the 80th Anniversary Rally at La Ferte Vidame in France and covered a total of 1,153 miles on the trip.

All went well apart from the 6 volt starter motor deciding it had had enough so we ended up changing it for a 12 volt one in the rally field!

Apart from that the car went well. However a plan was made to overhaul the suspension when funds permitted along with a few other items.

The first part Front Suspension Rebuild was carried out in June 2016. The Rear Suspension Rebuild was carried out in January 2017.

Other works have also been carried out over the years like Replacing the Petrol Tank as well as Fitting Front Seat Belts and Fitting a Brake Servo amongst lots of other things.

July 22nd 2018 and the last part of the car failed, the gearbox differential failed, 2 teeth coming off the pinion that drives the crown wheel. Fortunately the broken bits fell clear into the bottom of the bell housing so no damage happened to the actual gearbox casing.

Details are online: - Click Here -

February 2019 and it appeared that the last part of the car hadn't failed, the car lost compression on cylinder 3 so the cylinder head was removed to find a burnt out exhaust valve so a full head rebuild was carried out.

Full Details are online: - Click Here -

25th March 2019

For the past couple of years I had Festoon LED bulbs in the rear lights for rear marker and brakes along with a High Level LED brake lamp in the rear window.

I have now decided to go for a dedicated rear LED lamp unit from CAS which is brighter, an LED flasher unit and LED indicator lamps.

More to follow....

Last Update: 29th 2019.