I am looking for a rear torsion bar for a 2000 Peugeot 306 2.0 petrol;

rego is ZG6001

Lawrence Woodhouse, ph 03 548 2619 or nelbrakes AT DOT nz


President’s Ramble – September 2018

Like last August, I am going to make this brief. We have had the AGM and nothing changed except that Don and Wynne have both given notice that this will be their last year on the committee.  Nobody has yet volunteered to replace them, so you have a year to get yourself ready for nomination.  As a committee we have to be appointed by the members at the AGM, but there is however nothing stopping the committee appointing you as an acting committee member, if you want to come along and see what we do and get a taste of it prior to the next AGM.  If you think you would or could, your club needs you.  Please contact the secretary to find out when and where the next committee meeting is. being held. We would love to see you.

Coming up soon (October7th) is the annual Pride of Ownership; check the magazine for more details.  We would love some different people to turn up and show their Pride and Joys. It would be good to get another name or two on the trophies rather than the traditional few we already have, and remember should you have an ‘05, you normally only have to turn up to beat me to the trophy. My car was a working car.

The 4th of November sees a rescheduled Navigation Trial on the 1st Sunday of November – not the date previously advertised.  Remember this is the first part of our annual contest with Citroen and counts for point towards the Tricoleur Trophy, please turn up and compete. (You don’t need to drive a Peugeot on it.)  Hopefully we can keep our hands on the Trophy for a 3rd consecutive year.

I look forward to seeing more of you at these events,


President’s Ramble – August 2018

We are about to have our AGM, and with that in mind I would like to ask for volunteers to step up and take on roles in the committee.  In particular we are in need of a new secretary for next year. Wynne has decided it is time for her to step down after 24 years in the role – can anyone remember who had the job before her? Certainly not me. I have only been a member for 19 years now. Anyway please consider yourself for this role. This will be Wynne s last AGM as secretary, but we will need someone else to take over next year.  The role I believe is not too arduous, mostly taking and distributing the not quite monthly committee meeting minutes.  Please step up and volunteer for this role.

I myself have been rambling (in the USA) and missed the last committee meeting, I would also not be surprised if Don will be standing again for the last time as a committee member. He has been threatening to not stand for at least the last three AGMs.  Therefore as per usual some fresh blood amongst the committee is also more than welcome. We have been lucky to have Xerxes join us this last year and his contributions have not been unnoticed.  Others are also welcome. Being a committee member is also relatively easy; occasionally you may get a small organising job to do, usually by volunteering to do it, but other than that it often involves no more than expressing your ideas at the meetings and helping stuff the envelopes with the magazines.

Other club matters to keep in mind are the upcoming events we have in October and November.  In October is our annual Pride of Ownership, no date announced as yet, but keep it in mind, come have your car judged.  It doesn’t have to be the shiniest car there, in fact I have won the “05” category before by simply turning up and being the only one in it. I have my name on the Trophy to prove it, and probably still came last overall!  As it hasn’t been discussed I can’t even give you a venue, however I would not be surprised if it is in Cornwall Park again.

The other event to keep in mind is the first stage of the Navigation Trial. It is our year to organise it.  If anyone wishes to have a go at setting one this November please get in touch with a committee member.  A number of us have set them in the past as well as competed in many.

My rambling to and within the USA has seen me mastering driving on the wrong side of the road again, mastering sitting on the wrong side of the vehicle and trying to remember which way traffic should be coming from.  To achieve this I largely discipline myself  so that as the driver I need to be sitting in the middle of the road, not by the kerb.  I do find that every intersection takes more concentration to check I turn to the correct side of the road. It didn’t become habit despite driving close to every day there for 16 days.  I am glad to say however no mishaps or even anything remotely like a close call except on the freeway in Los Angeles where I found the 12 seater Ford Transit van I was driving still managed to have a bit of a blind spot on the passenger side, all this despite having the best wing mirrors I have ever driven with! Even then it wasn’t so much a ‘close call’ situation as a ‘be aware’ one.

We spent the majority of our time away in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota, especially exploring National Parks, National Forests and State Parks.  The most beautiful was probably the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming which seemed to combine mountains, forests, meadows and lakes in the most picturesque combinations.  Yellowstone (the world’s first National Park) on the other hand is beyond compare with its diversity of geography and wildlife, and its sheer size.  The geysers, springs and mud pools make those at Rotorua almost a non-event, and yet those at Rotorua are quite something.  To see a bison up close and personal is really quite something, then to see a large herd is something else again, and in the Lamar Valley in particular we saw many herds.  We were also very fortunate to see 6 brown bears whilst there, we met some who had been more than once and never seen any, we managed 6 in 4 days, so very pleasing.  In South Dakota we visited Mount Rushmore National Monument. Although I have seen many images of the four presidents etched in stone before, seeing is really comprehending, especially if you are lucky or organised enough to get one of the ranger talks about the making of the faces.  The drives through some of the other South Dakota parks were also quite something, in particular The Needles Highway comes highly recommended, and we went underground at Wind Cave National Park.  Wind Cave has something like 90% of the world’s known box lattice work; the rest apparently is spread scattered across the globe in small amounts here and there, even other large cave systems that are located very close by do not have it.

In Montana we visited the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn, the location of “Custers Last Stand”. This is a truly well laid out experience with great interpretive panels, and again with a superb Ranger’s talk.  My favourite spot was the Big Horn Mountains in the Big Horn National Forest.  Here the views are just phenomenal and the roads at times unbelievably steep, but well made.  A small fortune must have been spent to build them.  Despite the challenging gradients some big rigs still use it as a route to traverse Wyoming. On the downhill runs on the western side were a number of emergency run offs. I would not have fancied using them in a kart let alone a multi ton rig. The views are remarkable, farmers have leases and we observed both cattle and sheep (the only spot we saw a sizable flock) being rounded up in high mountain meadows. Elsewhere we observed moose grazing amongst willows and elk grazing on the forest edge.  Yellow Bellied Marmots were found amongst the peaks near the “medicine wheel” archaeological site and I was very fortunate to see a rather rare pika – a type of small and rare alpine rodent.  I talked to the rangers and they informed us that as well as elk and moose, bighorn sheep can be found (though only rarely now due to a disease outbreak) and with them predators such a wolves, cougars, coyotes and foxes.  Eagles and other birds of prey abound and can occasionally be found diving on the pika and marmots, which keep a constant and shrill chatter going amongst the mountain tops, talking to each other about what predators may abound.

From a motoring point of view, I was initially apprehensive about the size of the Transit Vans I was to be driving. They are over 6m long, though once you are driving them I found them not to be overly large compared to the many large pickups. This part of the country is full of large vehicles and this is reflected in the size of the car parks, not the same as in NZ.  Much to my surprise it also has a very responsive power steering system and was much easier to manoeuvre than my smaller Mitsubishi Ute back home.  The Transit van is an American morph of what was a European design. I suspect they make them larger and unlike the Europeans they are not diesels; instead Ford USA has a 3.5 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine in them.  Although at times I felt it lacked power, I suspect it was more an issue of the gear ratios, I did get the big bulky creature up to 80mph, which was the limit on some of the interstates.  Most of the time 55 to 65 was the limit.  In South Dakota many of the highways were concrete (at least in the Black hills – Rapid City area) and they whined.  It was inescapable, it was almost as if we were travelling in a jet aircraft such was the constant  background noise.  I never figured out exactly what they did to those roads to create the sounds; interestingly enough one section there were visible patterns in the road and this was one of the few silent ones, whereas visually it looked like it should have been the loudest!

I am going to run my ramble down now to its conclusion with one last story. Whilst in the Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota we were caught in the most magnificent hail storm any of us had experienced. Some of the hail stones were larger than golf balls, most not much smaller, though interestingly they were more ovoid than round. All traffic stopped and tried to hide beneath pine trees; at least two cars slid off the road not getting enough grip on the instant ice. We have some incredible photos of the road and landscape looking like summer snow-fall, but it wasn’t!  The sound of the hail on the roof was incredible, sounded like we were in a tin drum and we had expectations that the glass might break. It didn’t and casual observations revealed no dents though we didn’t climb on the roof to check. I didn’t time it, but can confidently say that the hail would have fallen intensely for more than 15 minutes and less than 30. Torrential rain followed for a similar amount of time afterwards followed by brilliant sunshine. Three days later we were flying out from Rapid City regional airport.  Whilst in the rental car park area we observed a Ford Mustang Convertible. Every panel was pock marked, the rear window smashed through and the front windscreen had a number of impact marks as well as cracks of some length throughout it.  We observed that like us they had the obligatory Custer State Park fee paid sticker in the window. Clearly the hail was somewhat larger than that we had experienced – or alternatively the metal on the Mustang is somewhat thinner than on other vehicles; I suspect the former.

See you at the AGM at Armstrongs dealership in Greenlane; remember to volunteer to be our new secretary or to join the committee,

Catch you soon,


My experiences with the 403 by John Grant

The Peugeot 403

 This is one of the most under rated cars of all time. The 203 looks sufficiently different to have already become a collector’s item, but the 403s seem to be just fading away, unappreciated.  This seems odd when you consider that over 1000 were assembled here in NZ by 1962 at the Volkswagen plant in Otahuhu. They were sold in large numbers to farmers and vets.

This is not just my own opinion. In ‘Drive; the definitive history of motoring’, it is concisely described in these words –

The Peugeot 403 was ideal for austerity Europe – a large solid car with simple mechanics and a no-nonsense approach. It was the preferred car for much of middle-class France.”

My own first encounter came in 1966 when I wanted to upgrade my 203. This had done over 270,000 miles (yes MILES), most of it towing a light racecar or trialling over both islands.  I saw one advertised from a deceased estate. It was a French assembled 1957 car, dark blue in colour and with only just over 70,000 miles on the clock.  I bought it at Easter and initially was very disappointed with its performance.  It had been “babied”. It was in immaculate condition but had always been driven with consideration, even when shipped over to Australia for touring.

I paid about £450. I could have beaten the widow down, but it was in such excellent condition I was prepared to pay top dollar. I took possession of it and gave it a full service and tuneup before driving down to Wellington. I was planning to compete in a ten-hour Trial starting on Easter Saturday.

We drove down on Good Friday when the traffic was quiet. At first it would only cruise at about 50mph, so I ran it in again on the trip. I would ease the speed up and run it faster for short bursts of half a mile or so. Bit by bit, the engine readjusted and settled in to the higher speed without breaking any rings which had been a real risk. If a lip has developed in the bores, a change of driver bringing a drastic change of speed can pound the rings against the lip and break them. By the time we reached Wellington, it was purring along faster and smoother than it had probably ever done before.

We cruised back up to Auckland in about eight hours – not bad for the roads in those days. I managed to get a set of Michelins for it and over the next nine months put on 35,000 more miles. I then sold it as I was going overseas – to the UK where I picked up my brand new fuel injected 404 at the wharf. A couple of months later I also found a secondhand 403 in London for my uncle, Frank Peake. He had bought a caravan which we had been towing around Europe behind my 404 and in June we took it over to Dublin with the 403 which I drove around Ireland towing the caravan with four adults and a child on board.

On arriving on Irish soil, I noticed the oilpressure warning light was coming on when the motor was hot. “Oh yes” said Frank,. “It always does that”. Not fancying the thought of an engine seizing while towing, I checked and found that it was a sludging problem, and short of stripping the engine down, there was nothing to be done right then. We carried on towing.

Jeanette has one vivid memory of that car. We had got to our campsite early one day and Frank decided that we should drive around the Ring of Kerry in the evening and he would drive so I could “play being a tourist”. At one point we were going down a straight road and could see a right angled bend coming up – but Frank was not slowing down! “Frank! There’s a bend!” cried Aunt Minnie. He braked abruptly and we made it safely around the corner. When she asked what he had been thinking about, he admitted he had “been watching that fellow cutting the hedge back there” – in the rear vision mirror. In all his years of driving, he never had an accident, but he gave his wife grey hair and high blood pressure.


That car and caravan went round Ireland three times that summer taking various relatives visiting each other and then across to Scotland. Coming south, it finally scuffed a piston going over “Shap” which is a very long steady drag.  My uncle carried on.  Just north of Liverpool, it scuffed another. By this time it was belching out lots of smoke – so much that it was not allowed to go through the Mersey Tunnel and they had to drive around through Warrington, the equivalent of going round the head of the Waitemata through Riverhead.

Believe it or not, car and caravan made it safely home on two cylinders to Bebington. An engine job was now essential and this was automatically considered to be my job. The question was where to do it. There was no garage and the local service stations had no hoisting facilities available. We eventually bought a little Haltrac hoist, and lifted the engine out on the road side with the aid of a convenient tree branch and a passing postman who provided the essential extra hand to guide it straight.

Parts were available from the agents – in Croydon.  Finding our way there however was not the end of the problem, as they could not make sense of the Peugeot parts books. Eventually I managed to get it sorted out, we picked up the parts – a new set of sleeves and pistons -, went back by train and put the engine together. Even after all that time with low pressure, the crankshaft was as good as new. The postman came to the rescue again with the offer of his own garage which had a strong roof beam. We therefore put the overhauled engine in the boot of the 403 and towed it around a couple of blocks to his garage where it all went satisfactorily back together again.

After we returned to NZ in December 1967, that car continued in regular use towing the caravan around Europe as well as the UK. Judging by the wear in the engine and on the rubber of the pedals, it had been round the clock several times before we bought it and went around several times more before the rust caused by the salt on the roads, finally made it unsafe. Frank then went out and replaced it with another 403 which served him well until he died in 1981.

A fix for that dreaded antipollution fault? by Merrick Hilton

This article appeared in the Australian August 2017 issue of TORQUE and appeared to be relevant to us as well.

My 2002 406HDi manual wagon has generally been free of any major faults during its life of 500,000 kms. Although the vehicle has had regular and attentive maintenance every 10,000kms it was not unexpected, given its age, that at some stage it would experience some complex problems.
In the past 15 months the vehicle has been plagued by a persistent anti-pollution fault (APF). The APF initiated “limp mode” operation. Whilst in limp mode the vehicle was still driveable. Limp mode prevented the engine spinning past 3000rpm so a deal of short shifting was required to get it on the move. Cruise control was also disabled.
The fault, initially intermittent, became a permanent feature in the Latter part of 2016. An increase in fuel consumption was evident and the engine was also “running on” for several seconds after the ignition was turned off.
The vehicle was diagnosed as having a P1138 fault code. The code indicated there was a fault generated somewhere in the fuel/air delivery system. The difficulty was in pinning down the actual component and related sensor which was causing the alert.
I became an avid reader of posts in Peugeot forums which described the issue. It appeared that there are several components and sensors which could prompt an APF. The conponents are a small fuel regulator motor which is attached to the high pressure fuel pump, a sensor on the common rail and the mass airflow (MAF) sensor located immediately behind an air intake filter box.
Forums mentioned the need to check all electrical connections and related wiring connected to the above mentioned components. This was done and everything appeared to be in good repair. Some forum posts indicated a variety of fairly complex engine management problems which could be associated with the P1138 code. I tried to keep things simple by focussing on the major parts involved.
Commencing my search for replacement parts I initially concentrated on the fuel regulator motor and MAF sensor. Australian dealer prices for each were incredible – $1200 for a regulator motor and around $300 for the MAF sensor. Armed with the correct OEM part numbers I started searching for these parts on the Internet. A genuine regulator motor was soured from the UK for less than $200 landed in Australia and a non-genuine MAF sensor from China for around $40.

The MAF sensor was fitted and appeared to solve the problem for several months. The replacement fuel regulator was also fitted. However, I felt the latter was emitting a strange whine whist operating and I was not happy with the noise. The APF problem was not solved and persisted for a few more months. During that time I noted a forum post by a person who appeared to have an intimate knowledge about APFs. The quote was “that in my experience such faults always seem to be related to the operation of the fuel regulator.”
I noticed that there was a fuel regulator repair kit available from the UK. It consisted of a new metal gasket, an “O” ring and split spacer which replaced parts on the shaft of the regulator motor. Reasonably priced, I ordered several kits. After fitting the repair kit to my old regulator motor and reinstalling it on the high pressure fuel pump I tentatively started the engine. The change was immediate – the APF was not registered on the dash and the engine was operating normally again.

A lengthy test run indicated that the motor was running like new – the power and the torque of the HDi engine had returned along with much improved fuel economy. Fuel consumption over the past 2 months has now returned to 5.2 litres/100km on the M1 from Morwell to Melbourne.
Looking back at the problem it became obvious that the small “O” ring had worn and allowed excess fuel to enter the common rail, trigger the SPF and cause the engine to run on. It was also probable that the MAF sensor required replacement
Although the problem took some time to sort out, it seemed to be a fairly simple solution to the APF in the end.