2CV Gearbox Adventures
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Thread: 2CV Gearbox Adventures

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! pottsy's Avatar
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    Default 2CV Gearbox Adventures

    Some of the more observant of you may have noticed I've been very quiet of late. This is because I've been somewhat involved in sourcing and rebuilding a 2CV gearbox.

    Just yesterday I realised I've fallen for a rookie mistake, which, whilst annoying, frustrating, infuriating and maddening, is only to be expected when one is a rookie as far as 2CVs are concerned.

    First the background story. On the Cup Weekend shakedown trip we experienced just about every possible environment that we're realistically likely to encounter in NZ. (Except perhaps fending off wild Kea attack or hordes of enraged Maori warriors. )

    Whilst Gaston behaved pretty much impeccably, I was a little concerned over the amount of "zizz" from the gearbox in the indirect ratios. Yes, I know top gear is also indirect but it doesn't put load on much of the rest of the intermediate gear train. Since this "zizz" is always associated, in my experience at least, with wear in layshaft bearings and the like, I figured that if I could obtain another gearbox and recondition it I could simply swap them over and all would be good.

    By the good offices of a couple of fellow Citroen Aficianados I obtained a second hand box of the disc brake persuasion. Inspection showed it may have ingested a bit of moisture at some stage but looked pretty good nonetheless.

    I was able to source many of the bearings and seals locally but the roller bearings are bespoke so they were imported, as was a new secondary shaft as the end of this where it runs in the roller bearing inside the end of the primary shaft is a bit chatty.

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    At the end of the acquisition phase the only bearings I've been unable to obtain so far are the front and rear pinion shaft bearings. One is out of stock in Europe and unavailable here as far as I can tell, and the other may still be on its way, but the originals check out OK and cleaned up perfectly.

    So far, so good.

    Last night I finished assembling and checking the box with all the new bits on board, selectors and diff clearances adjusted, spring that flew across the garage to who knows where replaced (!), covers sealed with silicone and oil circulated throughout.

    Step forward Murphy and call me a rookie! The bloody input shaft on this box is the short spline variety for the early clutch and flywheel and/or centrifugal jobby. I have the later, long spline requiring, diaphragm clutch on Gaston!

    Did I notice this before? Of course not!

    Did anyone hear the gale of profanity issuing from an Eltham garage last night?

    At this stage I'm planning on carefully removing the input shaft from Gaston's current gearbox and replacing it in the reconditioned box, after fitting it out with a new input bearing of course. At least I'm now familiar with the sequence of dismantling and mantling. The annoying part of this is that time is running out and I won't have a bolt in replacement on hand in case the rebuild isn't up to scratch. (Yeah, I'd like to think I'm doing a proper job but Murphy pops up now and then!)

    Ah well, I guess it's all part of the learning curve and this one has flattened out a bit but is still giving my brain a workout!

    Once it's all sorted, the swearing has stopped, and Gaston no longer Zizzing, I'll publish a few piccies and a definitive list of replacement parts available here in Melbourne.

    Until then, Cheers, Pottsy.
    GreenBlood and gerrypro like this.
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2006 307 Auto 5 Door ("Spike" Mrs P's)
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick")
    2006 C5 HDI Wagon Auto ("Mephistopheles")
    1957 Slough 2CV ("Alphonse") Waiting in the wings
    1982 ex UK 2CV6 ("Gaston") On the road! (Woohoo!)
    Half of a 1984 2CV6Special ("The Alleged Vehicle")
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  2. #2
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    That must have been the odd noise we heard from the east, over the Darling Range....

    Many readers will understand the feeling.

    Good luck with the timing of it all!

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Just make sure you put the diff in the right side as well. Yes it has been done with the result being lots of reverse gears. I always thought you had to have matching helical gears if you wanted a 'quiet' gearbox. it might be easier to replace the clutch plate with an older style one.

    Cheers, Ken

  4. #4
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    Pottsy,
    it might be worth counting the teeth on the input shaft pinions, just to be sure that the gearboxes you've got are both 2CV type.
    The odds may be long, but given how often gearboxes in these cars seem to have been transplanted over the years, a Dyane/Ami input shaft with 20 teeth on its pinion wouldn't work too well as a replacement for a 2CV's 19 teeth.

    Other than that, I've known short-spline gearboxes to work just fine for road use when mated to the later type of clutch.
    Granted that there's a reduction in the length of spline engagement, but all that seems to affect is a small increase in the chances of clutch judder occurring.

    As regards the strength, we used 2CV4/Dyane4 short spline gearboxes mated to light flywheel/diaphragm type clutches for many years in the 2CV racing series, without any failures that I heard of.
    If anything, the lining being ripped off a brand new clutch driven plate at Mallory Park during a particularly hard fought sprint session could be described as the ultimate test of the strength of that splined connection...

    p.s. Mantling? Reckon I've done a fair bit of that...

    2CV racing season incoming, so it's time to install some gearbox input shaft seals. by slcchassis, on Flickr
    Last edited by Ken H; 8th December 2017 at 06:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! pottsy's Avatar
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    Thanks blokes. I feel encouraged at least a bit.

    Ken H, I was hoping your voice of experienced reason would ring out.

    So the short spline can be used with the diaphragm clutch. That's good news indeed. Certainly the spline size is correct as confirmed by trying the old driven plate on there. I'm interested to see just how much of the short spline is encompassed by the plate when in situ. As you say, the test of strength seems to be proven.

    I was hoping to avoid any stripping of the original box until after the NZ adventure, so I'm encouraged to continue the project now as originally planned. Having the original complete and working, albeit slightly 'zizzy', as a plan B will ease my mind somewhat.

    I've had the top cover off the original to do the staking mod, but didn't count teeth at all. I take the point that lots of swapping and "upgrading" can happen with these cars and given the unknown history of the car before coming to Australia that's quite a possibility.

    Time to whip the noisy bits out and do some bench swapping I reckon. At the very least I'll whip the lid off and check the teeth on the original input shaft, just for fun. Down the track I'll do the same bearing replacements on the original as well, just not before we've galloped around New Zealand, hopefully reliably.

    Thanks for your knowledge, and the willingness to share it.

    Ken W, once I observed that the diff could go either way and realised I hadn't taken a photo of it in the original spot, I had a brief moment of panic until I read that the diff is positioned over the drain hole so I relaxed again. (Shades of the old jokes about Italian tanks perhaps? )

    If these cars weren't so scarce over here I'd be keen to start up a 2CV racing series. From videos on the goggle box it looks like a heap of fun. I'll just have to keep getting my "need for speed" fix by throwing my Mini around whenever the opportunity arises!

    Oh, and while re-mantling would be perhaps more correct it doesn't seem to be an exact opposite. English is supposed to be a Living Language so if we can't play with it now and then 'twould be a poor show! (Liz at 90 odd is hardly likely to yell at me for tampering with Her English anyway! )

    Cheers, Pottsy.
    Last edited by pottsy; 8th December 2017 at 05:53 PM. Reason: typo
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2006 307 Auto 5 Door ("Spike" Mrs P's)
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick")
    2006 C5 HDI Wagon Auto ("Mephistopheles")
    1957 Slough 2CV ("Alphonse") Waiting in the wings
    1982 ex UK 2CV6 ("Gaston") On the road! (Woohoo!)
    Half of a 1984 2CV6Special ("The Alleged Vehicle")
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

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