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Mike T

My 404 Coupé Injection

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I was sorting some photos today and came across a couple of my 1966 Peugeot 404 C looking reasonably OK....it is, after all, a restoration project car for sometime in the future and so it's not all that nice right now, especially in its partially stripped condition.

The Coupé and Cabriolet models were built on a 404 sedan floorpan shipped to Torino Italy from Sochaux France. There, Pininfarina fitted the body, assembled and painted the car, trimmed the interior and then shipped the cars back by train to Sochaux for fitting of the engines and suspensions. This assembly process was very expensive, and so was the car, as a result. In Canada, they cost close to $5000 in 1966, which would have got you into a very nice Mercedes at the time. Still, Peugeot did sell somewhere between 50 and 150 of these cars in Canada between 1966 and 1968. Worldwide, about 17,000 were sold.

Most of the cars sold in Canada had the optional Kugelfischer-injected engine, which is one of the sweetest engines I've ever experienced. It's a 1618 cc four, slanted at 45 degrees to the passenger side, largely oversquare and therefore smooth as butter. The engine was brought to a new level with the fuel injection. MOTOR magazine in Great Britain tested one in 1965 and found it would do 0-60 MPH in 12.2 seconds (that with the 400 pound test equipment!) and it lapped the banked circuit at MIRA at an average speed of 105.2 MPH. They said it performed like a 2 or 2.5 litre car, with the fuel economy of a 1.6. The Canadian 404 C models all had the optional NARDI floor-mounted shifter fitted as standard, which was only a dealer-fitted accessory in Europe.

The 404 sedan won the East African Safari Rally 4 times, in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1968, the latter three times with the same Kugelfischer fuel injected engine as my car has. The suspension of these Peugeot 404 cars was extremely tough and many 404s are still in service in Africa as bush taxis. The entire lower front suspension is made of forged steel, and the front crossmember is cast iron. The sedans were strong, but the Coupé was even stronger, due to them having the same lower body reinforcements of the Cabriolet, but with a welded roof as well. Most 404 fans think the Coupé is the best-looking 404. Fewer than 7000 Coupés were built, the rest of the 17,000 being Cabriolets. My 404 C VIN registry sucks but I do have 25 cars in it ;) *well that was a long time ago; now it doesn't suck and it has about 2000 of the 17000 cars that were made on it.

I owned one of these from February 1981 through July 1985. It was silver and rustier than this white one, but still looked good outwardly and went like a bat out of hell. I swear it was faster than the MOTOR test figures, and I managed to outrun the West Vancouver cops one hight on the Upper Levels highway in this car (well I was going at an indicated 110 MPH when I passed the stationary radar trap and so had a head start!). The car was beautiful to drive and Sandy T almost passed her drivers test in it. Got to work on that one......it was a difficult car for a learner to drive!

I have owned this white car - which cost me $500 - for nearly 20 years and it's been garaged all that time. It needs a fair bit of surgery to the body due to rust; the car has never been hit. To that end, I have been accumulating as many OEM body panels as I could find over the past 20 years. The ones common to the sedan aren't too hard to find if you scratch deeply for them, but the ones specific to the Coupé and Cabriolet are super-rare. Fortunately I have still managed to get:

  • NOS front hood from Sochaux
  • NOS front fenders, L and R, from a Peugeot collector in Cincinnati OH
  • NOS rear fenders, L and R, plus L rocker panel and under bumper shield from a Peugeot repairman in eastern Ontario
  • other NOS panels from a vendor in Germany
  • replacement trunk lid for the (rusty) white one in the photo from a friend in Victoria - the very trunk lid from the silver 404 Coupé Injection I owned from 1981-1985!
  • new floor panels and other undercarriage items from Peugeot Germany in 1989-90
The plan is to restore the car once we have stopped hemmoraging money form post-secondary educational expenses.....which should be in about 8 years.

In any case, here are the photos. The rear window's chrome trim is in my possession and just wasn't on the car for the photos.

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Edited by Mike T

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I must say I really like the shape of the 404. Not terribly partial to the white though.

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That's why it's going to be medium or dark blue when it's resotred!

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BTW this car was sold in Brampton Ontario in early 1967 to a BC Supreme Court Judge....I have been in contact with him over the years. He brought it back to BC after visiting Expo 67.....

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I love the clean lines on it.What condition do you think the engine is in? Will you be able to get all the necessary engine parts to get her purring again?

Edited by deezle

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The engine only has 85,000 miles on it, but it needs a minor rebuild due to being stored and driven very infrequently since 1979 (the second owner stored it for a decade before I bought it).I have a new piston and liner kit for it (which it may not need), engine bearings, new cylinder head (which it probably won't need), spare injection pump, 4 spare serviceable injectors, engine gasket sets, basically nearly everything I would need to do a total rebuild. I even have a spare engine block. And most other mechanical systems are OK but I have spares for all of that too.Of course deezle, you have seen Tim's car around Victoria, which will give you a preview of what mine would look like after it's restored!

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I scored some rare goodies for this car today: a complete set of Peugeot service bulletins, 5 brand new Kugelfischer OE fuel injectors (the 404 only needs 4 of course - these things go for silly money on eBay as they are identical to those in the BMW 2002 tii and Peugeot 504 Injection/Coupé/Cabriolet and a few other things too. Nice and cheap.

The last time I saw a new set of NOS injectors on eBay they sold for 892 Euros for the 4 of them. Gulp!

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White cars always look SO much better in photos when you overexpose the shot! ;)B :sun:

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Haha, it's true.... plus that photo was taken before I replaced the white hood and trunk lid with non-rusty grey ones, it was in 2000 or 2001. I've done a little exploratory surgery since then too!

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Soooo,

After I sold the Cibié Biodes for $900 US (net $600 CAD profit), I decided that it was only fair to re-invest the money in the 404 C. So I bought more spare parts:

  • new headlight ring (a second spare)
  • two front brake cylinder rebuild kits (I already have 4)
  • 4 Kugelfischer fuel injection pump drive belts (the car uses one; I will have three spares after selling two in France to Club 404 members at my cost)
  • rear wheel cylinder repair kits (2)
  • right turn signal lens (second spare)
  • front brake spring set
  • another brake spring
  • 6 fuel injectors
and a few other knicknacks, well that's what, $600 is what this will cost me (net of the two extra resold KF pump drive belts)? They're all New Old Stock and super-rare. the injection pump drivebelts have been unobtainable in Europe for over a year from anyone...last time they were available they were selling at about 120 Euros a pop, well I got a set of 4 in Australia for less than half of that.....the two guys in France who are buying them at about 60 Euros are super-happy.....these belts usually last 250,000 km or 40 years....

All the other parts are unobtainable at most places too, especially the headlight rings and brake springs.

Combined with the injectors mentioned below (actually I scored a sixth one on eBay for $42 US), it's been a good month for this old and beloved car.

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Hi Mike T,Thanks to your post, I discovered this thread, which I guess I didn't see when you first posted it. Your 404 is a beautiful car. I remember Peugeots when they were in Canada in the 60's, but don't ever remember seeing one like this. It's gorgeous, and I hope you post some more photos as your restoration progresses. I'm a big fan of white cars (my 240SX is pearl white) so of course I'm partial to the paint on yours...Lyle

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Thanks for your interest! The 404 Coupé and Cabriolet were quite rare and cost close to $4700 in 1966/67....VERY expensive cars in their day, so that's partly why they were rare. 17223 were made (both types) and I have about 1400 VINs of remaining cars, working on getting more....I don't like this white colour (Blanc Arosa) very much, so the car will be blue after it's restored. Unfortunately Day 1 of the restoration will probably not take place until 2015..... But yeah I'll be puttering with it before then so watch for the occasional update.

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Well the British guy messed up the shipment a bit by selling me two headlight rings instead of one (that's OK) and a sedan turn signal instead of a Coupé turn signal lens (that's not OK). International commerce is so fun! Oh and he was out of the one brake spring I wanted so he sent me a second hydraulic cylinder repair kit as a substitute (?!?). Anyway, that was a bonus too because it was more expensive than the spring.And my sixth fuel injector arrived from CA USA today, looks perfect. All six NOS injectors are coming with Sandy T and I to Vancouver for testing at Fred Holmes Fuel Injection on Friday. On the European eBay market, these 6 injectors would have cost me over 1000 Euros!! One new injector from the only supplier in the world, Koller & Schwemmer GmbH in Nürnberg, costs 399 Euros. So make that 2394 Euros for six! Even 6 "exchange" (reconditioned) units for K&S are 199 Euros each, so there is 1194 Euros....I guess my car with its 4 injector engine is set for the next 100 years, with the four on the engine that work, the four other used ones that work and now six new ones.....Still waiting for the injection pump drive belts. Should be here in a bit over a week.....

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I don't like this white colour (Blanc Arosa) very much, so the car will be blue after it's restored. Unfortunately Day 1 of the restoration will probably not take place until 2015..... But yeah I'll be puttering with it before then so watch for the occasional update.

Awww... Does the serial number on the vehicle identify the colour code? Most car's serial numbers do. If you're planning a technically correct restoration, it'll have to stay white!! I know it's pure self-interest, but there, I've said it! :P Seriously, Mike T, it looks and sounds like a great project and a worthwhile choice of vehicle.Best of luck!Lyle

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The serial number is 7 numbers and only tells what year the car is (indirectly), the engine type (injection) and what number the car was in that year's series. No paint code! But I have an Attestation de date pour Véhicule de Collection from Peugeot and they know it was Blanc Arosa originally. I guess the Pebble Beachers would be horrified if it's not white. LOL

The 6 NOS injectors were tested.....aside from one which has a bad spray pattern, they are all OK and fire at >35 bar as they should, being new. I will take them back to Fred Holmes in the summer next year and have them ultrasonically cleaned to make the spray patterns perfect. Even the one with the squirt gun spray pattern should come back after the cleaning, I was told. $25 each for this cleaning....

It's great to have places like Fred Holmes around still, they have 6 flow benches for mechanical injection pumps, all the tools and manuals and they tested my injectors and let me mess around in their shop + manuals, all for free.

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No, unfortunately. They are located in Richmond at Verdun Place, which is across the Bridgeport Road overpass over the Knight Street Bridge, about a ten minute walk from Richmond IKEA. Of course they do an awful lot of diesel work.Fred Holmes Fuel Injection#100-13571 Verdun PlaceRichmond BC V6V 1W51-800-320-8166Raj Gidda is the shop foreman and a really nice guy as well. He knows injection systems like the rest of us know how to breathe.

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Here is a shot of my first 404 Coupé, a car I bought when I was only 20. That's me in the background, age 23.

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You bet! I was a hellraiser back then..... ;)

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It could have been worse ---- you didn't park it on the plants.Mike, that car doesn't look very old for a twenty-year-old guy to own. Maybe it had just been well-maintained. Where were you living at that point in your life?

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The photo was taken in North Vancouver in 1983. It was 14 years old with 110,000 miles on it when I took it over. The car was actually quite rusty if you knew where to look. Plus it had that nasty "door protectant" stripping on it that was drilled in! When I sold it in 1985 it had over 150,000 miles. The (super sweet) engine from that car lives on in a blue Coupé in Victoria, probably well over 200,000 miles by now (call it 350K km).My friend in Victoria (Tim B, you met him) bought it eventually (early 1990s) and scrapped the shell around 1996, which is how I got the VIN plate and trunk lid back eventually....and how his blue Coupé ended up with this engine!

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Still likin' this picture B) Very groovy...

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Yeah I have that one framed in my office @ work.

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