When he defined the specifications of the 2CV in 1938, Pierre-Jules Boulanger, who was then the Chairman of Citroën, asked his engineers to study a vehicle that can carry “two farmers with clogs, fifty kg of potatoes or a keg at a maximum speed of 60 km/h while consuming three litres of fuel per 100 km. In addition, this vehicle should be able to move on poorly built roads and should be light enough to be handled without problems by a female beginner driver. It must be extremely comfortable as the eggs carried in the baskets at the back must arrive intact”. The last request would require the designers of the legendary Citroën and especially Alphonse Forceau, the engineer who was in charge of its suspension, to work relentlessly. Its suspension system would remain a distinguishing feature of the vehicle throughout its history: there are hardly any drivers or passengers of the 2CV who have not been left impressed by the specificity of its road performance thanks to its especially flexible shock absorption with great clearance.
The suspension device of the 2CV comprises four suspension arms (a front left, a front right, a rear left and a rear right) each connected to a horizontal spring by means of a lever. This spring is housed in a cylinder lying along the chassis, called “suspension pot ”. The 2cv like all its future derivatives includes two suspension pots, one on each side of the platform frame, which each house two independent springs. These pots are not attached to the frame and are assembled on two springs, which allows them to move horizontally, from front to the back and the other way around depending on the work of the suspension arms.
Like on all the vehicles, the 2CV also uses shock absorbers that connect the frame to the suspension arm. The shock absorbers meet a dual objective: constrain the elasticity of the suspension spring and, therefore, limit the pendular movements of the car (comfort); on the other hand, limit the bounce of the wheels on the obstacles and keep them on the road (safety). Subtler than the suspension spring, the shock absorber must support it to take the strong impacts. The 2CV were first fitted with friction shock absorbers, a less expensive system invented by the engineer Hartford that involves rubbing of the two disks to ensure the shock absorption, a screw to adjust the level of friction between the disks and thus the hardness of the shock absorbers.
These friction shock absorbers would be replaced in several stages by hydraulic shock absorbers from 1965. The 2CV was thus equipped with a mixed suspension, friction shock absorbers in the front and hydraulic shock absorbers at the back for 10 years. In the month of September 1975, the front friction elements would be replaced, and the hydraulic shock absorbers were being gradually required in the entire automobile industry thanks to the increased weight and space that they provided as well as thanks to their ease of assembly.
Our website offers different models of shock absorbers for all types of 2CV: 2CV friction shock absorber, 2CV hydraulic shock absorber of the Monroe or MCC brand, the latter model claimed to have the best price-quality ratio in the market. Finally, you can also buy high-performance 2CV shock absorbers. These high-end models of the 602 brand are especially recommended for use in automobile sports or for demanding owners. These 2CV shock absorbers have been optimised for a horizontal functioning and avail of a hydrogas bi-tube technology enabling to avoid any risk of unpriming. Some, among the different products of this section, are specifically designed for the 2CV light vans and are moreover specifically indicated. You can also find our technical sheets or our video tutorials to assemble the front or rear shock absorbers on our technical site.