Gearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed
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Thread: Gearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Gearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed

    Having recently acquired my DS I am still finding my way around some of the basics. I have changed the engine oil but have not yet changed the gearbox oil and I might tackle this tomorrow. Can anyone recommend a suitable gear oil for a five speed DS please? I realise that the factory specified Total EP 80, but this is not always easy to find. With all the experience on this board, I'm sure a few people would be able to suggest easier to locate alternatives that work well in the 5 speed.

    I got under the car the other day for a look around and noted a bolt that is a fair bit smaller than the drain plug in the offside gearbox casing, that seemed to be in about the right location for the oil filler/level orifice. From what I could see the five speeds appear to have two drain plugs- including a separate one to dump the oil trapped in the front casing - but it appears that the whole box is still filled through the one filler and both casings share a common oil supply. Am I on the right track here guys?

    On another track I understand the injected Ds used Bosch distributor components rather than the more usual Ducellier or SEV. I'm already onto the correct off the shelf contact breaker part number for these - they fit some Holdens and VW - are other components such as the condenser, rotor and Distributor cap easily and affordably acquired?

    Thanks in advance,

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    From the Castrol Web Site....also add some of this.... IMHO

    Nulon Manual Gearbox and Diff Treatment with PTFE offers maximum lubrication and anti-wear protection to the gear and bearing surfaces of all types of gears (helical, spur and worm drive). Nulon G70 combines a balanced blend of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) with other extreme pressure and anti-corrosion compounds. Nulon G70 is suitable for use with all synchromesh rings and limited slip differentials.

    CITROEN
    DS23 (1973-1975)


    Crankcase

    CASTROL GTX2
    Advanced Engine Protection SAE 20W-50, API SL/CF * Recommended for most makes and models of popular vehicles. CASTROL MAGNATEC
    Protection from the moment you turn the key SAE 10W-40, API SL/CF ACEA A3/B3 * Recommended for petrol or diesel cars, 4WDs and light commercials.

    CASTROL GTX3
    Superior Engine Protection SAE 15W-40, API SL/CF * Recommended for modern vehicles with multivalve engines, including turbo models. CASTROL CRF MULTIGRADE

    Capacity 4.5 Litres




    Manual Transmission

    CASTROL VMX 80
    Mild extreme pressure gear oil with special viscosity stabilisers to overcome shift problems. Recommended for use in transaxles of most front wheel drive vehicles with a transverse engine and manual transmissions experiencing low temperature shift problems. SAE 75W/80, API GL4.

    Capacity 2.0, 2.2 Litres




    Automatic Transmission

    CASTROL TQF
    Automatic transmission fluid formulated to satisfy the frictional characteristics, and wear resistance of the Ford M2C-33G specification to ensure transmission durability. This fluid has higher clutch pack friction than Dexronģ type fluids. Also meets John Deere J-21A specification.

    Capacity 2.5 Litres




    Differential

    CASTROL VMX 80
    Mild extreme pressure gear oil with special viscosity stabilisers to overcome shift problems. Recommended for use in transaxles of most front wheel drive vehicles with a transverse engine and manual transmissions experiencing low temperature shift problems. SAE 75W/80, API GL4.

    Capacity 1.2 Litres (See Note 132)




    Notes
    132 Separate differential only with automatic transmission.
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    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Brett,

    From what I could see the five speeds appear to have two drain plugs- including a separate one to dump the oil trapped in the front casing

    No idea if the DS uses the same or a similar design 5speed box as the BX but BEWARE... what looks like a second drain plug is actually the retaining bolt for the reverse gear on the BX and many have come unstuck undoing it thinking it is a drain plug and having to open the box up to rectify the damage caused as it will simply let go!

    I would NOT undo it untill you double check ... Shane is the man to confirm as I know he has some DS 5speeds in his collection of spares...
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    Thanks for this advice. I had a look at the parts manual for the car to confirm the box has an extra drain plug and have got some Castrol VMX, so will change it in the next few days.

    Cheers,

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Z
    Brett,

    From what I could see the five speeds appear to have two drain plugs- including a separate one to dump the oil trapped in the front casing

    No idea if the DS uses the same or a similar design 5speed box as the BX but BEWARE... what looks like a second drain plug is actually the retaining bolt for the reverse gear on the BX and many have come unstuck undoing it thinking it is a drain plug and having to open the box up to rectify the damage caused as it will simply let go!

    I would NOT undo it untill you double check ... Shane is the man to confirm as I know he has some DS 5speeds in his collection of spares...
    Sounds familiar, I've never performed an oil change on the 5spd gearbox. 2 drain plugs would be right. The 5th gear is actually in a seperate/extended housing on the front of the gearbox. 5spd gearbox are *very* easy to pick by this.

    From memory you need to check the gearbox for a guide that splashed oil onto the 5th gear... This apparantly was only fitted to later gearbox and should be retro-fitted on gearboxs that don't have it.

    You will most likely find the filler plug hidden under the radiator/crossmember. To fill the gearbox you will need to fill it from the 'level' hole on the side of the gearbox. Basically park the car on flat ground and add oil until it flow out the hole.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Sounds familiar, I've never performed an oil change on the 5spd gearbox. 2 drain plugs would be right. The 5th gear is actually in a seperate/extended housing on the front of the gearbox. 5spd gearbox are *very* easy to pick by this.

    From memory you need to check the gearbox for a guide that splashed oil onto the 5th gear... This apparantly was only fitted to later gearbox and should be retro-fitted on gearboxs that don't have it.

    You will most likely find the filler plug hidden under the radiator/crossmember. To fill the gearbox you will need to fill it from the 'level' hole on the side of the gearbox. Basically park the car on flat ground and add oil until it flow out the hole.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Cheers for that Shane, I managed to get my hand onto the filler plug but getting oil in there would probably be another matter, so have conceded it may be easier to fill it through the level plug...and with the five speeds having that additional housing added to the front, it seemed logical that the extra plug would be a drain for this, but thanks for confirming that. As you have probably worked out by now, being in Tasmania and having acquired a five speed D, I'm the bloke who bought John Brennan's DS23ie. He took pretty good care of the car really and it drives well, so I am just going over the basics with it at present (and enjoying driving it!)
    Cheers,

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    Well I changed the gearbox oil in the DS23 this afternoon. By unfastening the screws holding the metal ducting shroud to the front of the radiator, I was able to get to the filler plug on the top gearbox cover, which is just ahead of and below the radiator. No need to take the ducting right out - just loosen the retaining screws at the front of the radiator and pull it forwards. A length of clear hose and a funnel were needed to reach the filler, but getting the ducting off and on was no big deal and actually filling the box with VMX80 only took about 10 minutes. No doubt if you had a plunger pump and a small bore hose simply filling via the level orifice would be even quicker, but I took the opportunity to reseal around the edges of the ducting whilst I had it off.

    I have also added some Nulon G70 and I have to say that it is changing gears better than ever now. I've only driven about 20 kilometres since changing lubricants but at this stage I'm impressed! Thanks Jack and Shane for your suggestions.

    Cheers,

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    Brett

    You've done all the right things. I change GB oil by taking the air duct off - saves a lot of spilt oil. I have also added Nulon to a couple of D gearboxes and it really makes a difference. Deb commented and asked what I had done to the gearbox? She was amazed at how much easier it was to change gears.

    The Nulon also helped program the VCR, reduce the national debt and find a cure for cancer...

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    You still have a VCR?

    Let me guess..... BETA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Z
    You still have a VCR?

    Let me guess..... BETA!
    Well actually we have two VCRs and both are VHS. After I get through converting an extensive vinyl collection to MP3s, I will then move to making a multimedia box. That box will probably require at least one tube on Nulon

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    I recently acquired a DS21 that was newly fitted with a 5-speed from a donor car. As I am going through the gearbox oil change routine I've stumbled upon the "two-drain plug one-filler hole" scenario which was discussed a mere 9 years ago in this thread.

    It is still a question from what I can tell? Is it best to use the one filler plug on the top to fill both compartments (with what I'm assuming is a carefully measured quantity in order to avoid overfilling which would usually be revealed through overflow as in the type of transmissions/differentials I've worked on in the past) or should I use the (what seems to be) "plug" on the forward facing part of the transmission extension to fill the 5th gear extension?

    I've attached a couple photos for reference in the event I'm too abstract here in describing my question. Undoubtedly one of these is a retainer bolt or something along those lines and the whole transmission needs to be pulled apart to repair once I remove it.

    *The first photo is what i'm assuming could be the fill plug on the main transmission body...except it sure seems so low in the transmission casing that I have my doubts.

    *The second photo show the forward facing bolt/plug on the 5th gear extension...i have my doubts about this one as well but given it's location it would seem to be the perfect location for filling the secondary compartment if indeed that is the way to restore the gear oil in that part of the transmission

    *The third photo is the obvious refill plug that sits on top of the main casing

    I'm all ears if anyone can help guide this ship here...appreciation in advance for your direction!
    Gearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed-photo-3%5B1%5D.jpgGearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed-photo-4%5B1%5D.jpgGearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed-photo-5%5B1%5D.jpg

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    The companion question for the forum is if there's any equivalent to Nulon G70 in the US market? Perhaps the product is available in the US under a different brand name? I would love to add it should there be a proven recommendation. Thanks in advance.

    I went ahead and used the top fill plug in answering my own question from yesterday. I'm assuming the oil will work it's way into the 5th gear chamber. I thought to augment that oil migration by driving down hill while applying the brakes aggressively in order to slosh some gear oil against the barrier between the chambers.

    I filled the 5-speed transmission with 2.25 liters of Brad Penn 80W-90 gear oil and about to put her all back together. I'll probably NOT go with an additive if there's nothing that can be recommended and that is also available in the US market.

    Since I've not properly introduced my DS I thought I'd include a photo of my DS21 returning back to LA from Pebble Beach Concours (shot along Hwy 1) from just a couple weeks ago.

    Gearbox oil recommendations Please- DS23 5 speed-naval-base.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by pynhead View Post
    Since I've not properly introduced my DS I thought I'd include a photo of my DS21 returning back to LA from Pebble Beach Concours (shot along Hwy 1) from just a couple weeks ago. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	naval base.jpg 
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    What a lovely photo!! Fancy seeing a DS on the Big Sur. We drove that road a few years ago (via the aquarium at Monterey as Pebble Beach events couldn't be changed to suit us ) and just loved the area. I might have been a bit over-excited if I'd seen a gorgeous grey DS en route. Thanks for posting!
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    Awesome photo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pynhead View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice Tombola.
    (North side) Sydney siders might find that a rather familiar landform.

    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by pynhead View Post
    The companion question for the forum is if there's any equivalent to Nulon G70 in the US market? Perhaps the product is available in the US under a different brand name? I would love to add it should there be a proven recommendation. Thanks in advance.

    I went ahead and used the top fill plug in answering my own question from yesterday. I'm assuming the oil will work it's way into the 5th gear chamber. I thought to augment that oil migration by driving down hill while applying the brakes aggressively in order to slosh some gear oil against the barrier between the chambers.

    I filled the 5-speed transmission with 2.25 liters of Brad Penn 80W-90 gear oil and about to put her all back together. I'll probably NOT go with an additive if there's nothing that can be recommended and that is also available in the US market.

    Since I've not properly introduced my DS I thought I'd include a photo of my DS21 returning back to LA from Pebble Beach Concours (shot along Hwy 1) from just a couple weeks ago.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	naval base.jpg 
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    Hi Pynhead! Welcome to the group.

    In answer to one of your questions, I don't think any Nulon products are available here. I haven't seen any, at least. Try a speed or racing shop- they might have G70, but since it's exotic (from the Land Down-Under, don'tcha know), expect to pay a premium.

    You could also try contacting either Daffy Duck (Wally) or Citroenfan (Steve), they might have some ideas. You can PM them from here.

    On your 5 speed, remember that you have two separate boxes: the 4 speed, and the 5th speed in it's own box at the nose of the transmission. Anything you put in the 4 speed section is not going to readily work it's way into the 5th gear. You have to drain and fill that separately. I don't think your method of refill- speed up then jam on the brakes- is listed in 814.

    You have a definite oddball- not a lot of 5 speeds over here.

    Edit: Just realized that you can also try Lon Price at Garage Longueville (Santa Cruz) and Miles Potter at Western Hemispheres in Victorville. There is also Rudy at Citroen Concours in San Diego. All very good parts sources.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrodelectric View Post
    Hi Pynhead! Welcome to the group.

    On your 5 speed, remember that you have two separate boxes: the 4 speed, and the 5th speed in it's own box at the nose of the transmission. Anything you put in the 4 speed section is not going to readily work it's way into the 5th gear. You have to drain and fill that separately.
    Thank you for your response hotrodelectric. I'm putting on my Sherlock Holmes hat here to solve this mystery. I've received conflicting reports on the oil's ability to migrate to the 5th gear chamber from the main transmission body.

    After filling the gearbox from the top filler hole with the prescribed amount of gear oil...I proceeded to drive the car around for 30 minutes. Upon returning I opened the drain plug on the side of the main body to see if anything would come out. My theory is that if the oil did not migrate it would essentially be overfilled because all 2.25l would be trapped in the main transmission body.

    Upon opening it...only perhaps a few ml of fluid dripped out of the drain which would lead me to wonder if perhaps the requisite amount of the transmission fluid would now be in both chambers? It would seem that if none of it made it's way into the 5th gear case then the main body of the transmission would overflow more aggressively.

    Adding to this theory i've not been able to discover a "fill" hole for the 5th gear chamber. What initially appeared to be the logical (and only) location is in fact a fastener holding the 5th gear unit in place.

    I can only assume my transmission has an oil distribution mechanism or a flow system between the chambers. This is in fact the assumption that Wally has offered. It's worth noting that Wally has never been wrong on diagnosing any of the maladies i've suffered so far so my confidence is high.

    I'm guessing the assumption it's oiling itself will be disconfirmed if my 5th gear starts to make some unfortunate noises.

  18. #18
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    If your concerned, you could just drop the reverse switch out the front and add a couple of hundred ml in there ...
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    mnm
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    There's no reference to a filler plug on the fifth gear housing on the parts diagram...



    Only the cover plate of the main housing..



    Matthew

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    Oh yeah! That's very helpful @mnm! I have volumes of reference material but that schematic seems to be the missing link for me. Thank you for posting.

    Removing the reverse switch @DoubleChevron...that one did not occur to me but that seems like a great backup plan. Thanks for that.

    I'm going to give it another whirl tomorrow and if I encounter any additional concerns I'll come back here.

    Here's my DS21's Tumblr blog just for fun:

    le dauphin

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    mnm
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    Quote Originally Posted by pynhead View Post
    Oh yeah! That's very helpful @mnm! I have volumes of reference material but that schematic seems to be the missing link for me. Thank you for posting.

    Removing the reverse switch @DoubleChevron...that one did not occur to me but that seems like a great backup plan. Thanks for that.

    I'm going to give it another whirl tomorrow and if I encounter any additional concerns I'll come back here.

    Here's my DS21's Tumblr blog just for fun:

    le dauphin
    A stunning collection of pictures of your car. Is the colour Marron Glace? Forgive the hijack, but I'm OCD with colour as others will attest on this forum...

    Matthew

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Hi Pynhead:

    I spoke with Wally a little earlier this evening, and now I sort of know who you are, as if that pic off of 101 from a couple of weeks ago wasn't enough clue. He tells me you were able to get your gauges, fan and regulator sorted- all very good!

    I went and looked back through the manuals I have (quite a few on line and downloaded), and Wally pointed out to me that it was the SM that had a separate fill plug for the 5 speed, where the D did not. Looking at the exploded view MNM provides, I have to guess the fill plug winds up being the speedo cable port. Now, looking at the speedo drive, you have the cable, and the gear shaft. Be careful when you pull the cable, the shaft is nylon and likely brittle by now. To get the cable out, you'll need to undo a bolt, that looks like #24 in the exploded view.

    Anyway, this looks all correct. I'm on a bit firmer ground when I describe ckt#9 and what all it contains!

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    Hotrodelectric....Ahhh putting 2 and 2 together here.

    Meant to call you after sorting my electrical issues to thank you for your help via Wally's referral. You were spot on in your analysis of my issue revolving around the gauges and system charging. All things electrical are working perfectly much to my (and le Dauphin's) delight.

    A quick update on the gearbox:

    I drove the car 50 miles this AM utilizing 5th gear extensively as it was almost all freeway miles. No noticeable change in tonality of the gearbox and I would even offer that it's a bit more smooth all around post-oil change.

    I'm considering the speedo-cable access oil adding solution but I'm gaining confidence that there is now fresh oil in that 5th gear chamber. Thinking it through...and i realize I'm dealing with not 100% logical design here...but:

    A. If there's no proper oil fill plug and there's...
    B. No indication in any manual i've seen that discusses the capacity of the 5th gear unit as a stand-alone chamber (only that the transmission overall capacity is 2.25l) then...
    CONCLUSION: It just seems to reason that it was designed to enable some sort of fluid migration between chambers.

    Admittedly dangerous territory to rely upon (that being the pure logic of the design team responsible for the 5-speed transmission) but so far so good. Plus if Wally says it's cool...then at least I know who can help fix the damn thing in the event I screw it up.

    I'll post any changes of heart or transmission condition here. Thanks all.

    @matthew...the color is a modern interpretation of ďGris Typhon AC147Ē which was not an original 1969 color as I'm sure you are more than aware. The previous owner kept le Dauphin in the paint shop for nearly a year in his effort to achieve the final color. I'm quite fond of it even though it's not original to the 1969 model year. There's probably a few additional notes worth pointing out which, given the OCD, you've most likely already noticed. She's a Pallas but has been stripped of trim and hubcaps in order to bring her to a more simplistic "ID" appearance which, IMHO, is a great look.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Hotrodelectric....Ahhh putting 2 and 2 together here.


    Careful when you do that. I usually wind up with 22.

    We need to see you at Woodley Park in November.



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    Quote Originally Posted by pynhead View Post
    Oh yeah! That's very helpful @mnm! I have volumes of reference material but that schematic seems to be the missing link for me. Thank you for posting.

    Removing the reverse switch @DoubleChevron...that one did not occur to me but that seems like a great backup plan. Thanks for that.

    I'm going to give it another whirl tomorrow and if I encounter any additional concerns I'll come back here.

    Here's my DS21's Tumblr blog just for fun:

    le dauphin
    Well, this is a blast from the past. I must have subscribed to this discussion way back when.

    Some lovely, well composed images on your blog. Clearly you give quite some thought to them, and take a lot of care in setting many of them up. I saw a few I liked a lot, and some of the portraits were very nice, too. As a camera gear head I'd like to know some equipment details, if you don't mind (I assume they're digital captures).

    I've been known to make the odd Citroen image myself over the years. You can see a few of them here if you like, (amongst a plethora of other car and bike makes).

    It's been some years since I last changed the oil in a five speed, but as I recall you do the filling through the main filler until the fluid seeps from the level hole. Filling the box this way should see oil flow into the front compartment, as the casing webs are lower than the level hole, and is no doubt assisted via the agitation of oil by the internals. On the other hand, there is always a small quantity of oil trapped inside the bottom of the front casing that cannot escape via the main drain hole in the gearbox proper. The second drain plug merely provides a means to evacuate this remnant oil that would otherwise be trapped in the bottom of the front casing. It's not very much. It's been years, but, from memory, about a half a pint, or a pint, will remove via the front casing drain plug? Matthew's post with the diagrams from the parts manual makes this clear. If you examine the shape of the front casing, what I have outlined above will be clear from the design of the mating surfaces between the casings.

    If you want peace of mind I suggest that after changing the oil and driving the car, let it sit on a level surface and check again at the level bolt. If oil fails to dribble from the hole a one litre (or whatever the small size is, that they will sell you in the USA) oil bottle with the flexible filler nozzle built into the cap can usually be employed to squeeze the balance of the oil required into the gearbox, to ensure it is properly full.
    Cheers
    Brett

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