Peugeot 304 and 304S Cabriolet / 1970s French Classic Car / Record of UK models.
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SOURCING SPARE PARTS
If you need patience in waiting to buy your perfect 304, you'll need a bucket load more in finding spare parts - it really is tricky! But then, the chase is all part of the fun - finally getting that new wiper arm after a two year search is much more satisfying than nipping down to Halfords! Of course, if your car is off road due to a part ailure, waiting is much less fun.
It is almost impossible now to find original spare parts for service consumables like oil filter and air filter, and if your alternator fails there's very little prospect of getting an original spec replacement unless your surname is Holmes. Very few new parts are available now. But that doesn't mean your car has to be laid up - what you need is a really good, old school mechanic who has the time and inclination to care about your old car. They will be able to recommend compatible alternatives to keep your Pug on the road.
Rear light lenses are unique to the cabriolet, therefore they are like hens teeth and sell for a premium. If yours is cracked you must live with it or be prepared to part with in excess of £100 if you're lucky enough to find a good replacement. Front indicator lenses are more common and can usually be found new (even in England occasionally via ebay). There are two types - matt silvered edging or glossy chrome edging.
Headlights are frequently advertised on ebay.fr but be aware that there are two different makers (Cibie and SEV Marshall) and two different types (single bulb and double bulb). Check which one is right for your car. And if you do remove/replace a headlight, take enormous care with the two small plastic lugs beneth each light unit. They are critical to holding your lights in place, but super easy to break as the plastic becomes brittle with age. You will probably not find replacements, so lube 'em up and take it easy!
A common part I'm asked for is a front grille - again these crop up fairly regularly on ebay.fr, and also on leboncoin.fr, but be aware there are 2 types; the silvered outlined lion and solid gold lion. Front grilles are fixed to the car with a couple of quite fragile plastic lugs on the top of the grille; these often break as a result of you or your mechanic leaning over the grille into the engine bay. Since most secondhand grilles will often also be in this condition, affecting a repair might be your best bet.
Also on Leboncoin in France is a very good supplier of new replica doorcards and seat covers - not original, but very good new copies.
Tyres are easy to source - luckily the 304 cab shares the same tyre size as the old Morris Minors, and thanks to them that size of tyre remains available in the UK.
Generally, I have found trying to source new parts in the UK - whether on ebay or any of the commercial sites - a total waste of time. Most often, new parts from dealers and garages on ebay are not correctly listed and don't fit the 304 cab. Salvage and car parts search sites are equally useless, promising much but delivering little. Try if you want to, but these resources are usually dead ends in my experience.
Frustratingly this is also the case for most french dealers as well. Even those 'specialist' dealers linked to from the french forum sites seem to have little in terms of genuine 304 cab parts, and unless you're lucky my guess would be that they will be of limited use.
Your time would be better spent searching french sites such as ebay.fr and leboncoin.fr for private sellers selling used parts. I picked up lots of good stuff this way. Finally, do join one of the French Owner Club Forums. In my experience they are usually enthusiatic, helpful and often willing to post in English to help you out.
Good luck, and don't let the travails of finding parts put you off. It's all part of the fun!
SORRY - ALL MY SPARE PARTS HAVE LONG SINCE BEEN SOLD SO I DON'T HAVE ANY SIGNIFICANT PARTS LEFT TO OFFER. ALL I HAVE IS SOME BATTERY TRAYS (FAIR TO POOR CONDITION) AND A PASSENGER SIDE DOOR TRIM (AGAIN FAIR TO POOR CONDITION).
James has bought a number of very sick 304s over the years, and as a result he has a small supply of useful parts he is willing to sell. He is happy to be emailed by owners with genuine parts enquiries:
Kind of a french gumtree - a very useful resource for private sales of 304 spares. In France so communication is not always easy, and be aware that not all sellers are happy to post parts to England.
French enthusiat sites that have really good 304 owner forums, so if you have a question introduce yourself and post it - you're likely to get very helpful advice.
Includes links to PDFs showing part numbers. Although slow to navigate through, the PDFs are really useful in helping you identify part numbers. They also sell a very limited number of 304 new parts, including the rubber door strips that often perish.
Club Peugeot UK
On the basis on the more options the better, it might be worth joining . . . there are other 304 owners, and you can contact the club for specific help. They may also be able to help with specialist tools.
There are 2 styles of steel wheel - circular holes for the 304 S, rectangular or lozenge shaped holes for the earlier non-S. Rough ones like the one shown can be professionally restored for around £75 - £100 each, and if you can afford this it will lift the look of your car. The tyres are the same spec as the morris minor. If your local supplier can't source them, Longstone Tyres usually has them in stock.
Tonneau covers crop up for sale from time to time, albeit very infrequently in the UK. If you haven't got one, and you find one - buy it! It really does finish off the 'hood down' look of the car. I restored mine with a really good degrease clean and hose rinse, followed by Cherry Blossom instant shoe shine black (the sponge applicator type) and finally a coat of poorboys natural look. Beautiful.
The original correct spec oil filter is the Purflux LS152B. These are no longer available new, but new old stock surface from time to time, so if you see one buy it! If you don't have one of these originals don't panic, your trusted mechanic will be able to recommend a suitable replacement.
These rare light lenses / covers were unique to the 304 cabriolet, and good ones are now uber rare. Despite this, they do come up for sale from time to time. Expect to pay up to £100 for new ones, less for used depending on condition. If you have access to a car body polisher, you can use it on these covers to remove any dulled surface finish a restore a bright glossy finish.
Much easier to find are the front indicator and side light covers. Given a good search you should find these brand new condition for around £20 or so. The silver surround can be either glossy chrome or matt silver, so either buy a matching pair or, if you're replacing just one, make certain it matches.
Headlights can be found reasonably easily. Used lights are frequently advertised, and 'new old stock' units come along albeit less frequently if you are patient. Be aware that there are single and double bulb ('biode') versions, and SEV Marshall / Cibie versions. Biode versions are easily indentifiable as they have two holes cut into the rear housing. Fitting is fairly simple, but take great care not to break your plastic retaining lugs.