c-matic maintenance...
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Thread: c-matic maintenance...

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default c-matic maintenance...

    hey froggers...

    my 79 CX2400 has a c-matic transmission, and as a newbie to citroen cars and cars in general, i'm wondering what sort of preventative maintenance to undertake on the gearbox. are there filters etc i need to think about changing periodically ? ATF fluid - what's a safe replacement for the original total fluide-t ? and is there supposed to be a dipstick on the gearbox ? mine doesn't appear to have one...

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    my apologies for my lack of know-how in this area... but the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

    thanks!

    max.

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! blahblah's Avatar
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    Default c-matic maintenance...

    Had a couple myself and theyíre a great car!

    Whilst some may say a c-matic combines the worst features of a manual gearbox with the worst features of an auto box, Iíd disagree :-) A well sorted one is good fun!

    There is a filter and a Fluide T substitute trans oil (not sure which one) From memory the dip stick for the c-matic is
    out of obvious sight near a crossmember - recommend a Haynes manual to assist with this (section 9):



    TBH if itís working ok and the fluid level/color is ok Iíd leave it alone and enjoy!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Having owned one of blahblah's ex-C-matics for 11-12 years now, I'd concur with his comments. Lovely wafty cars. Mine was overhauled by him and his father and hasn't given a moment's trouble in the transmission department.

    My good friend in Paris said, some years ago, "You have a C-matic? Does it work? Yes? Don't touch it!!"

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
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  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    the biggest problem you will likely have is voltage drop the the C-matic solenoid. do NOT put dexron in it. I seem to recall it should be the old Ford type F fluid ( as it is similar to total T). I'm guessing these details have been lost in the crash way back. Hopefully someone else remembers!

    seeya,
    shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  5. #5
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    There is a dipstick . It's bit hard to find. Have a iook from under the bonnet , down to the top of the gearbox. Pretty accessible once you locate it.
    As I recall the fluid Is ford spec.
    I used to use penrite fluid T untill they stopped making it. I rang Penrite but the tecnical guy was quite dismissive and unhelpful.
    I then used castrol transmax z.
    Expensive but excellent. If I still had a CX, I would be using a full synthetic atf. Probably Nulon. Any reputable brand with high spec would be fine. There is a filter too but I never changed it. I did enquire about getting one but the specialist citroen parts supplier didnt have any told me no need to change it.
    I would be changing the cmatic every 20000 km, same time as the modern synthetic engine oil I used.
    I am sure others will differ but thats what I used to do.

    Sent from my LG-K520 using aussiefrogs mobile app

  6. #6
    Tadpole
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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    i've heard castrol transmax type f works well for c-matics, being a replacement for the old castrol tqf. can anyone vouch for this ?

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Trans Max type F Fluid. Fit a check strap on the electro-valve solenoid to prevent the cap dropping. Can be made from thin sheet steel and must bolt on the studs that retain the electro-valve. It must pass over the plastic cap and not interfere with the wire connections on the cap! Dip stick is at the back of the diff housing. Filter is behind the large aluminium screw in plug on the front side of the gear case. Be careful when removing not to break the magnetic rod inside the filter housing. It is attached to the large aluminium plug. Filters are available from CX-Basis in Germany.
    BTW the cap dropping on the electro valve means that the windings for the solenoid have also dropped internally. This causes a state whereby the armature of the solenoid, which acts onto a spool valve in the casing does not throw to the required extent. Therefore the spool valve will not correctly switch pressure in the torque converter to operate the clutch. This inturn makes it difficult to engage gears.
    Last edited by gerrypro; 9th April 2018 at 10:24 PM.
    Jinandfonic likes this.
    Cheers Gerry

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    I just got "C-matic oil" ("Fluide-T" substitute) from CX-Basis, cost € 8,31 per litre (about 13,3 AU $). On the last bottles I got the OEM label was still there showing it was made by German company Kompressol and called "Fluid ATF 415 A". The label says it's intended to use in "certain half- and fully automatic gearboxes, torque converters and power stterings in lorries, buses, construction- and industrial machinery"; as well as in "older ZF, MB and GM automatic transmissions". If you are going to import it from Germany you might as well by it from CX-Basis I believe.
    "Fluide-T" that was originally reccommended is indeed an ATF - but there are an abundance of ways to make a semi-automatic or automatic transmission and they work in different ways. The C-matic is basically a 3 speed manual transmission with a torque converter replacing the clutch, a lot like Chrysler's "Presto-matic" aka. "Gyro-matic" semi-auto transmissions in the 1950's. (They had a fluid-coupling or a torque converter married to a manual gear-box).

    The only thing I have read "everywhere" is that one shold NOT use Dexron III. It has something to do with "friction modifiers" present in Dexron III that's doesn't go well with the C-matic. If the Dexron is to "slippery" or "grippy" I'm not sure about, I think the latter as the Hydramatioc gearbox has a lot of "friction bands" inside that probably are depending on - uhh - friction. If you source it locally I would have gone to a specialist in oils for heavy equipment like tractors etc. and asked them, explaining what the C-matic is. They should be able to help.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim_Jarre View Post
    I just got "C-matic oil" ("Fluide-T" substitute) from CX-Basis, cost € 8,31 per litre (about 13,3 AU $). On the last bottles I got the OEM label was still there showing it was made by German company Kompressol and called "Fluid ATF 415 A". The label says it's intended to use in "certain half- and fully automatic gearboxes, torque converters and power stterings in lorries, buses, construction- and industrial machinery"; as well as in "older ZF, MB and GM automatic transmissions". If you are going to import it from Germany you might as well by it from CX-Basis I believe.
    "Fluide-T" that was originally reccommended is indeed an ATF - but there are an abundance of ways to make a semi-automatic or automatic transmission and they work in different ways. The C-matic is basically a 3 speed manual transmission with a torque converter replacing the clutch, a lot like Chrysler's "Presto-matic" aka. "Gyro-matic" semi-auto transmissions in the 1950's. (They had a fluid-coupling or a torque converter married to a manual gear-box).

    The only thing I have read "everywhere" is that one shold NOT use Dexron III. It has something to do with "friction modifiers" present in Dexron III that's doesn't go well with the C-matic. If the Dexron is to "slippery" or "grippy" I'm not sure about, I think the latter as the Hydramatioc gearbox has a lot of "friction bands" inside that probably are depending on - uhh - friction. If you source it locally I would have gone to a specialist in oils for heavy equipment like tractors etc. and asked them, explaining what the C-matic is. They should be able to help.
    I'll say it again! Castrol Transmax Type F ------It is a direct replacement for the previous Castrol TQF. Both work very well in a C-Matic, Smooth synchro changes and excellent response from the clutch in the torque converter.
    If the trans has not been changed before it will need a series of several changes to remove built up detritus from around the clutch seal O ring in side the torque converter. Do not listen to anyone who tells you to leave it alone if it is working well. It will need regular fluid changes to keep it clean. The filter is there for a reason and so is the magnetic rod in the filter housing. These need to be CLEAN!
    Cheers Gerry

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    I remember my parents going on holiday in our new CX 2400 with a C-Matic box.
    An 'urgent' phone call sent me on a 200-mile round trip to rescue them...
    'No Dad, the side lights that won't switch off and you're worried about the battery going flat? I'ts just the SUNSHINE'
    I really miss him.
    JohnW likes this.

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