The exterior lighting on 1970 USA cars was similar to that of the 1969 ½ USA cars except two more changes occurred:
First, the side reflectors became illuminated (amber in the front, red in the rear), thus driving more wiring changes as compared to Euro models. The side marker light housings were still metal for 1970 and the lamps were made by Seima. Note that US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #108 only required reflectors for 1969 cars but in 1970, the requirement was revised to require that the side reflectors be illuminated.
Second, the Lucas roof-mounted rear turn signals on USA sedans became amber in color instead of red and the lens changed shape to be a bit longer. Also, there was a more substantial reflector inside the lamp to improve light output.
Illuminated side marker light. For 1970, the housing is still stainless steel with a plastic chafe strip
Seima side marker lamp, amber for front, red for rear
Lucas roof-mounted turn signal lens - different shape and amber color for USA 1970-1972 sedans and from mid-1971 on Canadian cars
Lucas rear turn signal and mounting bracket as used on 1970-1972 USA cars and Canadian cars from mid-1971
DS21 with features found on a 1970 USA car: Sealed beam headlights in cast aluminum buckets, Scintex turn signals under the bumper, blanking plates covering the Euro turn signal locations, and illuminated side marker lights with a stainless steel frame
CANADIAN TAIL LIGHTS FOR 1970
To refresh your memory, Canadian DS's had full Euro exterior lighting in 1968 and 1969. But Canadian sedans may have taken a strange turn for exterior lighting in 1970. According to the parts books, 1970 Canadian DS sedans continued to have full Euro lighting in all locations, except for the tail lights.
The parks books show that Canadian sedans in 1970 received the round Lucas tail lamps with red lenses, no back-up lights, and no license plate light extender plates. But all other exterior lighting was Euro. UK cars were delivered in a similar configuration in 1970. There are a few photos and memories that support this configuration, such as this very original blue 1970 DS21. However we have found other 1970 Canadian DS sedans with Euro tail lamps. So the jury is still out on the tail lights on Canadian 1970's. By mid-1971, the picture for Canadian cars would become clear...
1970 Canadian sedans may have been equipped with Euro lighting in all locations except for the tail lamps.
DASHBOARD AND WIRING
Beginning in model year 1970, both Euro and North American cars had a major dashboard redesign. This new dashboard had three large dials (one containing warning lights, one for the speedometer, and one for the tachometer).
As was typical, there were some dashboard differences between Euro cars and USA cars, most notably the gages in English, speedometer in MPH, and different headlight and turn signal switches:
The USA headlight switch did not incorporate the function to turn on/off the inner headlights.
The USA turn signal switch did not incorporate the passing flasher function.
We believe that Canadian cars had the Euro switches until mid-1971, at which time the configuration of Canadian cars essentially became the same as USA cars.
For 1972, the US/Canadian wiper and headlight switches underwent more minor changes. See the 1972 section for details.
It seems that all USA and Canadian cars had engine temperature gauges (many Euro versions had blanking plates in the dash instead of a temperature gauge). We also believe that all USA and Canadian DS’s had clocks (with the exception of 1970 USA-bound D-Specials, which were unusually stripped-down cars).
Dashboards and wiring on Canadian cars were similar to USA cars in 1970, but not identical.
Canadian cars finally received USA-style hazard lights starting in 1970.
Headlight switch used on 1970 and 1971 USA cars (left), Euro headlight switch with extra function for inner lights (right)
All USA and Canadian cars seemed to be equipped with a temperature gage
ANNOYING DOOR BUZZER
A door buzzer was incorporated on 1970-1972 USA and Canadian cars. The buzzer module, made by AXO, was hooked into the door switches and the ignition switch. Most them were disconnected many years ago due to the irritating noise they made when a door was open. Here is the extra fun part; if you try to disconnect the annoying buzzer, your interior lights quit working!
The logic for the door buzzer was:
Either front door open + ignition key inserted = buzzer on
As part of this door buzzer system, the interior light switches in the door jam were changed on all USA / Canadian DS's between 1970-1972 to a plastic switch that required a bigger hole in the "A" pillar. This new switch was wired in such a way that interior light operation was no longer a simple grounding operation.
To make this buzzer system work when you simply insert the key into the ignition, the key switch itself was unique for USA/Canadian cars. (Ignition switch part numbers were 5412877 for BVH cars and 5412881 for BVM cars.) A photo below shows the unique part that senses when a key is inserted.
As you can imagine, this door buzzer system drove many more wiring changes between USA / Canadian models and Euro models.
Door switch used on 1970-1972 US and Canadian cars, P/N 5412813 (DX522263A)
AXO door buzzer module, mounted under the dash on driver’s side, P/N 5422812 (DX614113A)
Comparison of European and USA door switches 1970-1972
Unique ignition switch on 1970-1972 US and Canadian cars. The circled part on the USA switch senses when the key is inserted for the door buzzer logic.
The glove box was different on USA models starting in 1970. USA cars had a glove box door latched by a rotary knob, while the Euro cars initially had a rectangular grab pocket to open the glove box. It has been speculated that this change was due to a US safety requirement to have a positive latch on the glove box door so it could not pop open during an accident. This rotary knob drove a number of changes to the dash, including a different glove box door, glove box, latch mechanism, and related hardware.
While we can understand the different latch components, we do not know what is different about the glove box itself. But it is indeed different! The parts book show unique part numbers and we even discovered a glove box labelled with "USA." See photo below.
In mid-1971, Canadian cars would get the USA glove box door. Eventually the Euro cars would get a rotary glove box door knob, but lockable with a key.
Euro glove box with rectangular grab pocket
Glove box labelled for "USA"
USA glove box door with rotary knob to latch the door (1970-1972)
USA glove rotary knob detail (1970-1972)
Before and after 1970, ID19’s and D-Specials for the US market had always been well appointed with features not found on their French counterparts. Examples include carpets with foam backing, padded door panels, cloth headliners, padded vinyl in the trunk, a clock, etc.
In an unusual move, 1970 D-Specials sold in the USA and Canada had stripped-down interior appointments, similar to what would be found on French cars. They had simplified door panels, plastic head liners, floor mats with no foam backing, no trunk vinyl, and no clock.
The uncomfortable headrests used on some USA 1969 ½ cars disappeared by 1970 in favor of a flatter headrest that we are calling the "second generation" headrest. See the Headrest Summary page for more photos of the various headrests.
"Second Generation" headrests were used on 1970 models
Simplified door panels found on USA D-Special in 1970 only
EMISSION AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT
For 1970, not much changed with the emission control equipment as compared to 1969 models.
Starting in 1970 however, USA cars received certain data plates not found on Euro cars; one for exhaust emission control system data, one for safety data, and a third plate that had the car's serial number.
Taking one at a time:
1) The pollution system data plate was installed on the right side of the engine compartment near the wiper motor, starting with 1970 models. It looks like very early 1970 D-Specials (that were manufactured in late 1969) had yellow plates. D-Specials manufactured after January 01, 1970 (and all 1971 and 1972 D-Specials) had green plates, and DS21's (1970-1972) had black plates.
Very early 1970 D-Specials (cars that were manufactured in late 1969) had yellow data plates
1970 D-Specials manufactured after January 01, 1970, and all 1971 and 1972 D-Specials had green data data plates
1970-1972 DS21's had black data plates
2) The safety equipment data plate was in the left door jam. This data plate first showed up in 1969 1/2 (see the 1969 1/2 section for details). But for 1970, the plate slightly changed design and wording. 1970 DS's had two versions of this plate, one for 1970 cars that were manufactured in late 1969 and one for 1970 cars that were manufactured after January 01, 1970. Late 1972 cars received different color plates (see the 1972 section for more detail).
Yellow safety equipment data plate in the left door jam of 1970 DS's that were manufactured in late 1969
Yellow safety equipment data plate in the left door jam of 1970 DS's manufactured after January 01, 1970, 1971 and early 1972 sedans and wagons for USA
3) Finally, an aluminum plate with the car's serial number was pop-riveted to the left side of the steering pod on all USA cars. This type of plate first showed up on 1969 1/2 cars (refer to the 1969 1/2 section for details).
Between 1969 1/2 and 1972, all USA cars received a serial number plate that was riveted on the steering wheel pod.
None of these data plates were initially included on Canadian cars, but all three did appear, probably in mid-1971 when the configuration of Canadian cars essentially merged with their American counterparts.
North American models had some unusual configurations of the cooling systems. We think that these changes started for 1970 models and continued until the end of importation in 1972. None of this shows up correctly in the parts books.
Lets start with D-Specials (i.e. cars with the 1.9 liter engines). Between 1970 and 1972, D-Specials in the USA appear to have had the same radiator as their European counterparts. (i.e. the small, vertical-flow radiator, with 2 cooling rows).
It looks like most 1970, most 1971, and all 1972 DS21's in the USA (sedans and wagons with the 2.1 liter engine) had the large cross flow-radiator. This is the radiator with the electric fan and the external water tank mounted above the water pump. We said that "most 1970 and most 1971" DS's had the cross flow radiator since we found a few exceptions where these years had the smaller vertical flow radiator. We have heard that in 1970 and 1971, it was an option in the USA to have the larger radiator but we can find no evidence that it was a formal option. So for now, the radiator question on 1970 and 1971 DS21's remains a bit of a question mark.
Per the parts books, the larger cross-flow radiator was primarily used on European models with fuel injection.
CROSS FLOW RADIATOR WITH ELECTRIC FAN AND EXTERNAL WATER TANK USED ON 1970-1972 CITROEN DS21's IN NORTH AMERICAL
USA / EURO DIFFERENCES WITH THE CROSS-FLOW RADIATOR
At first glance, it looks like the cross-flow radiator system used on American DS21's was the same one that was used on the fuel-injected European cars. But some of the parts associated with the cross-flow radiator were in fact, different on USA cars.
Specifically, the external water tank and its hose was different. It seems that the belt driven air pump (for the smog system) would have caused an interference with the Euro water hose for this tank. This caused Citroën to have to move the water hose, which in turn caused the tank to be redesigned.
Below are photos of the Euro water tank and the USA tank. You can see that the spigot for the water hose has been relocated from the forward side of the tank, to the aft. The hose is of course different as well (the hose on the USA car runs behind the distributor and under the spark plug wires whereas the hose on the Euro version runs above the alternator).
USA VERSION (LEFT), EURO VERSION (RIGHT)
Since Canadian cars only got the smog pump system (secondary air-injection) in mid-1971, we believe that Canadian cars up until 4/71 were probably equipped as their European counterparts (with the standard vertical-flow radiator).
But after 4/71, Canadian cars would be equipped as USA cars; D-Specials would have the smaller vertical-flow radiator, and DS21's would (most likely) have the larger cross-flow radiator with the unique USA water tank and hose.
Between 1969 and 1972, all DS’s in the USA had 180-380 (180-15) Michelin XH tires. Euro equivalent cars would have had XAS tires, with most Euro models having narrower tires in the rear.
We believe that Canadian 1966 to 1972 sedans and wagons were delivered with 180-380 XAS tires.
Refer to the early 1969 section for more information and photos of XH tires.