Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all. I'd like to introduce my '82 604 TD.

I've know about this car for several years now since meeting a collector named Scott, who lives near Edmonton, AB. I'd seen it a few times while visiting his place, sat in it and made vroom noises, etc. AFAIK it's a California car that somehow made it up here where it was bought by Scott's friend Richard - a French car mechanic and former dealer of such fine cars as Peugeots and Ladas. Richard used it for a number of years as his holiday car due to its superior long-distance comfort and fuel economy (37 mph recorded on the trip out). It was generally garaged so didn't suffer the usual fate of old Pugs driven in rusty climates. It was eventually sidelined due to some clutch issue. Scott picked it up quite a few years ago as a someday project, and continued to store it inside until his new shop kicked it out a year or two ago. This is how it looked when Scott first picked it up, and it looked essentially the same whenever I saw it.

604_before1_zpskpunafog.jpg

I was at Scott's last Christmas and saw it again, so once my Traction Avant sold we made a deal that I'd pick it up provided he could get it sorted to the point where it could make the trip out, be reasonably assured of passing out-of-province, and in a perfect world, qualify for collectors plates. And oh yes, it should be out in time to run in a local vintage rally called the Spring Thaw.

So Scott got to work. It finally made it into the shop a couple of weeks ago.

IMG_0191_zpskssilyyu.jpeg

and things escalated quickly...

IMG_6483_zps88jzldaf.jpeg

This wasn't the original plan, but the car had been resprayed once, and when the side mouldings came off some of the old paint came with it. Combine fixing that with blending in the various spots that did need touching up, and Scott opted to do the sides and front. A bit of bodywork followed to correct some past weirdness, but it was quite straight and no signs of big hits or ugly rust.

IMG_2805_zpsvwfgr8nw.jpeg

Meanwhile, mechanical things happened too. The mystery clutch problem was identified as a failed master cylinder, so Scott rebuilt both master and slave. He also did the brakes, fuel lines, old rubber bits under the hood, etc. Biggest job was rebuilding the front struts. Hugh Logie noted that these are rebuildable, but the skillset generally isn't around so people throw in replacement cartridges which ruin the drive. You don't try to second guess French automotive engineers. Luckily Richard is one of those rare people with both the skills and surplus parts to do the rebuild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was back in Edmonton for Easter, and at that time the car was in primer. The interior was swapped from cloth back to the original leather, and general cleanup happened, along with a NOS windshield.

604_paint2-1_zpswhwvmcpe.jpg

Then painting happened. Scott opted to do the hood, deck lid, and grille too since they would have looked crappy next to the new paint. Only the roof and c-pillars still have the old paint.

IMG_4042_zpsyqfmmuv0.jpeg
IMG_0741_zpsqseamgup.jpeg

Wheels also got painted

wheel_zpsp9xmuygt.jpeg

Then it got put back together in an all-night extravaganza, and released to the wild, complete with a transit permit.

604_after_zpsqcssck1y.jpeg

604_after_2_zpsooajnjcp.jpeg

Plenty of time to spare before the trip out. Hours probably. Scott drove out with his buddy Kevin yesterday (Kevin is buying a VW Fox for the return drive, for novelty value since those went extinct in Alberta years ago).

B804C256-C0C7-4F43-8CC1-C09D3D0AC255_zps

Apparently the trip out was mostly uneventful. A few items turned out that need sorting ahead of the out-of-province and Thaw though. Biggest threat is a leak where the shift linkage enters the transmission. If it requires pulling the transmission and fabricating parts, and my mechanic isn't available, it may miss the rally but that isn't the end of the world. If anyone has any suggestions here feel free to throw them out.

Will add some more photos as time and weather allow, and at the least I'll do a quick spin around the hood to confuse people, who will wonder 'Why does that sinister spy car sounds like a garbage truck?'

Huge thanks to Scott and all the guys who made this happen. Never doubt that a small group of motivated and single car guys on a farm can complete crazy car projects, indeed, they're the only thing that ever has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice looking car the 6 series peugeots are renown for their comfort and reliability, only suggestions i can give you is to invest in rust protection and keep it in a garage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - That car is minty!  My personal preference would be some 15" alloys (either the flat 8 spoke or the "TRX" style wheels look great on the 604).  Some 205-65-15's and they'd fill those wheel wells and make the ride even better - not to mention a tad better highway RPM.

As for the tranny - I'm quite sure there's no seal on the shaft that goes into the transmission - if it were me I would run some Redline 75W-90NS gear oil and monitor from there after a good 2000KM.  Linkage is just on the side correct?  Shouldn't affect fluid level much at all once below that line and should still be plenty just for Spring Thaw.

Rabin

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys,

 

@Goce - not to worry, this will definitely be a fair-weather car and it will live under cover.

@Bean - I actually like the skinny tires and having enough wheel gap to look like I'm about to head out on the East African Safari at any time. The TD won't be overpowering the 185s anytime soon either. I would like to get some period appropriate Michelins or Vredesteins on there someday. Any ideas on the correct non-TRX tire from the period? 

Good info on the tranny too. Linkage is on the side as you say. I'll switch the oil, wash the underside, and monitor. 

Next couple of weeks will be focused on getting inspected and registered. Wish me luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't believe I'm just reading this now.  Wow, that thing looks fantastic!  Talk about a nice find!  Sounds like you are putting in the effort required to keep it pristine, and I'm very happy to see that.  These cars are so rare now...and this is a really nice one.  As we discussed, European/Canadian headlights and European bumpers might be nice upgrades in the future, and perhaps we can collaborate on that.  Once I get my California 604 imported I am going to look for one more to import from France, probably a nice STI or GTI.  Seems like an excellent opportunity to bring across some spare parts at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Hugh. If all goes according to plan it will pass inspection today and get plates in the next day or so. It's had all the minor items fixed, e.g. CABs, swaybar link bushings, vac lines, horn connected (very French-sounding and quite loud), and auxiliary belts. Also replaced the water pump as preventative maintenance.

Forecast is for a sunny weekend so I'm really hoping to be able to finally take it out and enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please bring this beauty to the Italian and French car show Fathers Day at Waterfront Park in N Van!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The car passed inspection so it will definitely be out for the French/Italian show Mike. That was one of my main schedule drivers to get the car registered - can't disappoint Johnny. I go every year. Hope to match a few new names to faces so will keep an eye out for you. What will you have there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have just me there.  My 404C won't be ready until 2019 I think.  See you there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweet little cars!  I was billetted out to a couple in Edmonton who had a sweet R5 with 4sp manual, euro lights, and the canvas roll back roof in the garage.  

They had parked it due to a running issue and were sick of trying to find someone to look at it for a reasonable fee.  Couldn't resist - and they were happy to let me take a look.

Spent a couple hours going through it and had it running beautifully for them before my week was up.  Got to test drive it a few times after it was sorted - leaned on its door handles around corners - but it stuck and felt great (I had a 504 at the time so I was totally used to the lean). :)

Needed a bit more poop to compete with VW GTI's - but I always thought they were cooler.

Rabin

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my second R5. The first ran well but had been in Kamloops its whole life so the paint and interior were cooked, and it had a bit of rust so I sold it on. Aside from sitting a while, this new one is in very good shape. Suddenly I'll have two cars for the French show.

Not really a fair comparison to put a GTL against a GTI though. A better comparison would have been a R5 Alpine or Alpine Turbo, but we never got those here. I think it would have compared pretty favourably to the more standard 1.5L and 1.6L Golfs we saw here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've driven and worked on couple of R5 even on a alpine turbo, in my opinion they are good cars for that time period, but very unreliable, i still have some spare parts like the turbo blow thru carburetor, ignition and others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine had a caged R5 as his daily in the early 90's - it had been cammed and ran Weber side draft carb (possibly dual?).  He used to ice race it against the early GTi's and had no problem giving them a run on ice - it also sounded WAY better then any VW.  :)

I've always been drawn to eclectic cars, so an eclectic race car was even better.  :)

Rabin

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite ice racer was Miss Piggy, a 404 Injection that John Coltman used to run up at Clinton from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing new besides taking it to the local French car show, but my friend and the former owner of the car has a YouTube channel, and he's putting together a little series on dragging the car out of hibernation and bringing it out to me. Warning, Scott and the boys play up the Alberta redneck angle to the max, so it that isn't your thing you might find this a little annoying. They are actually pretty normal guys.

Here's part 1: 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome!  I was hoping he detailed the work done... 

Really looking forward to the seeing the rest.

Rabin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of an update on issues i've been addressing over the summer. No surprise that a car that's been sitting for 10 years was going to have a few things come up. These were mine:

- Intermittent non-start, nothing. Never actually stranded me but not confidence inspiring.

- Charging light stayed on

- Worn shifter linkage meant the linkage would pop off where the shift lever came through. Easy to pop back on but messy and did nothing for the reputation of French cars when it happened at a busy intersection.

- Fan clutch wasn't working

- Coolant leak

- Diesel leak from injection pump

I didn't think these would take too long but of course, it always takes longer than you think when the car is French, and your mechanics take summer vacations. 

The starter wiring/bad solenoid, and shifter linkage were sorted back in July. That meant I could start the car and be reasonably assured of getting where I was going, but I lost my mechanics at the start of August. Didn't help that I was away for 3 out of 4 weeks in July. 

Driveability was still an issue since, without a fan, getting caught in traffic on a warm day was a risky proposition. Also, while the coolant leak was addressed, a fuel leak developed from the injector pump so I was leaving unsightly puddles. Luckily diesel isn't particularly flammable. I ended up taking the car to Marc's Import Auto, since why not use every mechanic in Vancouver willing to work on a French car?

The injection pump had to be sent off to a specialty shop, and they were backed up, and then some parts weren't available so they had to repair bits, but I finally got it back today. So far no leaks. The diesel guys clearly take their work seriously, I mean just look at this thing:

3OyNQs9h.jpg

It's beautiful!

That has to be better than the day it left the factory. On the other hand, they went totally overboard and did a full rebuild vs. just the re-seal I ordered. Sure it's probably good for another 300,000 km, but one look at the exploded diagram will tell you that I wasn't happy with the bill.

PicsPump.JPG

To limit the financial damage, I went with locking the fan clutch instead of fixing it for now. I'd like to sort it eventually, but at least it won't run hot, and the rebuild was still nowhere near TA transmission rebuild territory.

Let's see if the weather holds, and I can get in 6-8 weeks of quality fall driving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Double02 - Thanks for the update!

Any idea who your pump was sent out to?  It does look magnificent, but if I'm doing a pro-built Bosch VE it would HAVE to go to Giles at Performance Diesel in Ottawa...  He's known World wide for building the best Bosch VE pumps - he'll get mine once I get the wagon lifted and it's ready for doing trips.

Fan clutch:  I'd bet money that it just needs the ~$10 - $20 carbon brush replaced.  Simple test is to run +12v to the brass ring to see if it engages - if it does it's either the carbon brush or the temp switch in the rad.  Better yet however would be an electric fan conversion - but if you're wanting originality the magnetic set up is usually very robust.

I'll have to check Scott's channel for any more updates on the 604 - I was looking forward to the video of the trip out to BC!

Rabin

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah looks like a professional job, probably they use an ultrasonic cleaner, it doesn't look sandblasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×