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1966 404 Coupé Injection Restoration


Mike T
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Well, the pause has been very good! 

I've had a chance to look more closely than I did before at the preparation of the internal engine parts.

Basically, I need to pull the block out of the car again, put it on the stand, and whip put the pistons and rods....because I did not change the connecting rod bolts.  I had read in a Peugeot service Bulletin many years ago that they were no longer recommending systematic replacement of rod bolts at engine reassembly because the rod bolts were knurled and mounting them in the rod would ever so slightly affect the position of the rod cap and therefore the bearing positioning, which is BAD.  That is correct, but the bulletin was from 1973....and my car is from 1966.

In 1966 (and probably up to 1970+) the 404 rods did NOT have knurling in them, but rather tight smooth sleeves to fit them in the rod holes.  So that Bulletin does not apply to an earlier 404.  Further, the workshop manual for the 404 KF2 states that the bolts and washers have to be changed systematically after every dismantling.  In other words, they are stretch bolts.

The good news is that I have a set of eight of them, new old stock, with new washers and nuts.  The bad news is it means a fair bit of new work.  But: better now than later!

In 1987 when I did a basic rebuild on another KF2 engine, I did not change the rod bolts IIRC but that was as I say a rather basic rebuild and even though it was driven hard for 100,000 more km and never seemed to have a problem, I'd rather do this engine 100% properly.

The eight top bolts in the photo are from a 404, NOS, and the bottom one is one of six (!) knurled ones I have from a later Peugeot engine, possibly a 504.

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I took the advantage of the current pause in work to clean the old door seals.  The new replicas available these days are too thick and press too hard against the doors when shut and because the rubber of the originals seems to be in decent condition, I thought I'd spend a few hours cleaning one up to see if my plan to reuse them would pay off....

 

Before:

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Before (inside the seal where the metal clips are placed):

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After:

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After (inside the seal where the metal clips are placed):

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Thanks to Jérôme Roussel in France for giving me 1.5 metres of metal clip strips, to replace the 1.5 metres of my originals that rusted to FeO2 powder in the 5 years these seals from 1975 were on the car, and the car on the road.  These will all be de-rusted and electroplated in Cadmium and painted, then reinserted into the seals.

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As I noted, the seals were bought by the previous owner in 1975 at Jay's British and European Motors - I still have the invoice - and they were on this daily driven car for five years.  After that the car was in a garage and so the rubber is truly in excellent condition.  Three hours or maybe a bit more with Flitz polish turned them from a rusted, dirty mess into what appears to be nearly new and very soft and supple rubber!

 

After a good wash with a nail brush, the cleaned seal was treated with this Würth stuff and wow did it make a huge difference!

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The door-mounted striker plates are not as good looking as they should be so they too will be replated when the seal clips are done.

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It seems that the spare connecting rod bolts I have are a bit too short so I'll be ordering a couple of sets from Europe shortly.

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So the rusty bits you see in the photos above are at the plating shop in Victoria now and I should get them in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile I ordered some new Flitz polishing paste to rejuvenate the other door seal's rubber and remove the rust stains and white paint overspray.

I ordered 8 rod bolts (NOS) from Joern Haarmann and those should arrive in a couple of weeks.

The garage is full of old kids clothes right now and those need to be washed and donated before I'll have room enough to do anything much on the car!

I also need to buy a piston ring compressor sleeve to remount the pistons once the rod bolts are changed....

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/17/2021 at 9:43 PM, Mike T said:

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These are the wrong bolts; I got the correct ones today (below) from Joern Haarmann.  The precision-machined shank is  a lot longer on the correct ones than on the ones above.  This machining accurately locates the lower portion of the big end.  Some are advising me to not bother because none of these re-used rod bolts are known to have broken, but I will be changing them, so the engine is as close to new as possible.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today I got a rebuilt Hydrovac booster from Todd Langton, Le Club 404's USA representative.  I'm the Canadian representative of the club but Todd has more stuff!  He bought this apparently unused NOS unit, which nevertheless had surface rust, several years ago, and had it rebuilt by White Post Restorations in Virginia in 2018.

The unit in my car was NOS in 1993 when I bought it, probably made around 1970, never rebuilt, but mounted on the car with brake fluid and all for 20 years.  I was pretty silly to think it would work after all these years.

When the engine is out in October I will remove the unit I bought in 1993 and install this one, and (I hope) successfully bleed the system before reinstalling the engine.

Rebuilt Hydrovac.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Got one of the two door seals done!  Original part from 1975 (replaced then) and will be installed to replace the ill-fitting modern replacements shortly.

Now I have to do the other side - clean the rust residue from the rubber then insert the plated clip strips.

Passenger door seal assembled.jpeg

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Engine's out again, to replace the rod bolts and put the replaned head on again in comfort on the engine stand.  That's my son in the photos wearing the Peugeot overalls.

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I finally got around to whipping the first piston out to do a conrod bolt swap and when I took it apart, the new bearing was scored and after having a close look at the big end journal, the culprit was a significant gouge on the freshly reground crank.  Good grief!

So the work was suspended (though I did change that rod's bolts) and the crank has to come out for at least a machine shop polish or maybe a regrind to 0.5 mm.  I'm glad I decided to take it apart because a gouge like this would probably lead to a rod knock after a while. 

I once had a Renault 12 with a knock (car cost $50) and when we changed the rod bearings, the big end of the knocking cylinder had been punched when the car was new at the factory.

I think I'll look for another place to do this second regrind....ugh1442905129_scorednew0.3mmbearing.thumb.jpeg.a48ee702fa3fd293906c5c2343bafbc2.jpeg341306165_damgedcrank.thumb.jpeg.cba8c85090d173838a35dc19cebf3741.jpeg

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It's hard to say but this looks to me who ever assembled the engine, when they pushed down the pistons the sharp edge on the connecting rod come in contact with the crank. That sucks, also i don't see any chamfering on the oil hole on the crank maybe very little from the factory, but from experience i'm chamfering mine to get more oil on the outside edges of the bearing. Look for a more experienced shop.

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That's the plan.  I've found a good candidate shop already.

The entire reassembly operation will be done here at home.  When I've rebuilt a 404 engine in the past, the open conrod bolts have been wrapped in tape to prevent just the sort of journal damage you see in the photo...

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Hall-effect, or magnetic effect ignition is a must on any old car, makes them usable, manly because the points today are so low quality, also 2-40-year old distributors do wear out. Check your distributor for wear, electric ignitions are much more powerful in the spark department and have better control in the timing advance. I did convert my little niva to Hall-effect, in fact that kit is so cheap many people are taking them apart to convert the other 4 cylinder engines to electric ignition. I paid 55$ for that kit everything you see on the picture. Parts are cheap for the russian cars.

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