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  1. #1
    Member XantiaHead's Avatar
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    Icon5 More CX questions...

    Hi Folks,

    More CX questions, if I may:

    - to what extent does the ride of a CX GTI differ to that of a CX Pallas?
    - most CX GTIs on the market seem to be autos. Are manuals preferable to the auto (in that you have 5 speeds versus - I think - 3 speeds), or is it really much of a muchness?
    - durability-wise is the 2.5 engine preferable to the 2.4?

    Thanks in advance for any replies...

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    Cheers,

    Andrew Matusiewicz
    1999 Xantia SX 16 valve 5 speed

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Stuart Dammery's Avatar
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    A classic 2400 has more class.

    More chrome = cooler

    Thus a smooooother ride
    1980 CX2400
    2000 Xantia Wagon

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    There early cars have squishier suspension. For starters the front suspension cylinders are smaller, the rollbars more spindly... A clean straight CX super (no pallas bling on the outside) I think looks really clean and nice. The last of the CX GTi's look very good with there stainless bumpers and blackout treatment to the exterier trim (look at Donats pictures for example, I seem to recall his having the blackout treatment).

    The least comfortable is of course the petrol turbos with the tree trunk sized rollbars, stiffer front spheres, low profile sticky rubber............................ However you'd still be very impressed even with one of these after any PSA era ( ** shudder ** ) car. Simply due to the fact it'll ride and handle as every car should.

    The slugomatic CX's use heaps of petrol.... more sedate for sure. The gearbox suites the character of the car though. The manual CX's have an "average" clutch action and gearchange. There nothing wrong with it, it's just "average" at best. Most have "old" clutches (clutches get heavier as they wear), broken overcenter springs, worn throwout lever bushes..... The clutch and gearbox action is then "below average". The C-matic is an interesting thing for a toy. I'd have one as a toy car, it would drive me bloody insane if it was a daily driver. I'd still get one with a proper gearbox every single time if it was possible. Oh yeah, the manual gearboxes use "heaps" of fuel too ..... Just less than the "heaps" slugomatics and C-matics use.

    There is an exceptional looking CX IE slugomatic for sale on carsales down in Tassie if you look. If I was looking for a decent CX I'd jump on a cheap flight and head to Tassie to look at it.

    Engine size isn't relevant to longetivety. There as close as you can come to indestructable. Driveshafts, gearboxes (even slugomatics), engines never really die. There early 4spd's eat synchros which are not available though. The early 2200 engines seem a lot "revier". Certainly I hammered the 2200 mercilessly whenever I drove it ..... It just loved to rev after the slightly bigger motors.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  4. #4
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Andrew,

    the main reason why the later CXes are automatic because

    a) it was an expensive car at the time, and i guess for the price at the time, you wouldn't want to be farting about changing gears in a RHD CX when there's little leg-room for the clutch in the footwell area.

    b) folklore has it that in 84/85 we got a shipment here by mistake, as they were bound for Saudi Arabia or thereabouts. NB there are no Australian complianced 1983 models, and very few of the previous year.

    Most of the CXes here are:

    2200 4-speed SUPER and PALLAS (76-77)
    2400 C-Matic and 5 speed PALLAS (78-81) (most of the 5 speeds seem to be complianced in '81)

    2500 Pallas IE and GTi 90% Auto. Have never seen/heard of a 25 Pallas 5 speed in Australia

    Not sure if the 2400 GTi 5 Speed was ever sold on a showroom floor; and same with the Prestige and Safari/Familiale.

    Happy to be corrected anywhere along the line...
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  5. #5
    JBN
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    Yes, Donat is correct. Any CX's that don't fall into his categories would have been private imports. Between the first 2200's and the last 25IE's, the Citroen distributors changed and lost interest in the marque. In between the official imports, most people picked up their CX in France, toured Europe and imported it themselves with the help of the mob that organised the order and pickup of the car.

    The 2400 engines revved a lot more than the 25IE. From memory, a 2400 C-matic would redline at 6000 giving 160kph. The 25IE auto would reach 160kph (100mph) at about 4,800. The latter cars had the wider front track and wider front mudguards. The 25IE (Pallas or GTi) probably look best in silver (Gris Perle) with their blacked out window frames, wider black rubbing strips along the side and black C pillar. The earlier 2400's with their chrome looked best (in my opinion) in the light blue (as the CX in the flood photo) or a light green or bronze (all metallic colours). The silver was more a grey, not in the same class as Gris Perle, and it didn't provide a contrast to the chrome (too much silver).

    The manuals suffered from ordinary clutches and lack of room for the 3 pedals.

    John

  6. #6
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    There was an excellent article in the CCCQ magazine on the history of the CX in Australia by Brian Wade. For copyright reasons I cannot (or can I?) publish the article here, but below is the summary I got from that.


    Citco - 400 import quota
    Mar 76: 2200 Super 4-spd (optional power-steering), 2200 Pallas 4-spd (optional leather interior), optional air-conditioning on both (font only)
    Mid 77 : Super discontinued
    Early 78 : 2200 Pallas discontinued
    Early 78 : 2400 Pallas C-Matic (optional leather interior)

    Bryson Industries - 400 import quota
    79: 2400 Pallas C-Matic (optional leather interior)
    May 80: 2400 Pallas C-Matic with rear air-con unit fitted as standard (designed by All Car Air Conditioning, Sydney)
    Early 81: Bryson ceased selling CX, remaining stock sold to other Citroen dealers

    Maxim Motors - 102 import quota
    Late 81 : 2400 Pallas C-Matic, 2400 Pallas 5-speed, both with rear air-con unit fitted as standard
    Early 84 : 2500 Pallas Automatic (optional leather interior), anti-pollution system designed for Swedish market
    Late 84: 2500 GTI Automatic, 2500 GTI 5-speed, originally built for Saudi-Arabian market, anti-pollution system designed for Swiss market
    All sold by mid 85 : No more CXs officially imported
    C5 Touring 2008, CX 2400ie Prestige '81 (with dead gerbox), CX 2400 Pallas C-Matic '80, CX2400 Super Familiale C-Matic '79 (to be scrapped very soon) , CX2400i Familiale 5-spd (to be scrapped), GS 1220 Wagon '78 (next project), ID19 '64
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    I would pick a C-matic or Auto.

    If you want to build your left leg muscles buy a manual but they are a different beast, a lot of effort to drive. I have a steep hill with a T junction at the top near home, doing a hill start here in a manual CX means every limb is occupied, the left side to the max as they control the clutch and the handbrake. Then you have the issue of the 4 speed manual with a huge gap between 2nd and 3rd. I wonder if Citroen cobbled the 4 speed so they could use the same gearbox for the C-matic? In the C-matic the wide spaced ratios work very well with the torque converter bridging the gaps. If you have to have a manual a 5 speed is the go but they are rare.

    In comparison, the C-matic or Auto glides along and the driver is relaxed as he/she should be. A C-matic is wonderful, you have to acquire a bit of skill to drive smoothly but with an expert at the wheel gear changes, where necessary are never felt. The auto has the advantage of higher gearing and a very strong auto box. The relaxed nature helps economy and the quiet progress suits the car.

    Theoretically an auto will use more fuel than a manual but around town, given you can generally drive the auto easier the difference would be small.
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  8. #8
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Greg is right on the money.

    You can get about town by just feathering the auto as you hover in the 2000rpm area with little to no effort. If you choose to open the taps on the highway, it's got a good kickdown that'll show you the chevrons at the end of the tacho drum and the car comes alive without the motor sounding laboured.

    The auto suits the CX well, especially on an IE car. I don't personally think the same way for a carby auto.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I think you'd guys love trying a decent 5spd injected CX. The safari here in town it brilliant..... such effortless performance. I don't think I've ever done a handbrake start in a CX (why on earth would anyone choose to do that). The clutch shouldn't be anything as bad as suggested. Rob T's car is only car that has a clutch change as good (if not better) than my old CX2400..... before the overcenter springs broke of course .

    C-matics are easy to drive smoothly.... My problem is there lack of performance off the line .... which is where you need performance the most to pull into fast flowing traffic. At the top of the hill here trying to pull out of a morning at 8:45am would be impossible. It's hard enough in the XM slugomatic.

    In the CX with a proper manual gearbox she just nails the @rse end to the bumpstops as you launch into a tiny gap in the traffic..... The tyres do scramble mightily for traction through 1st and 2nd gear.... But at least you don't sit there for bloody ever waiting. Biggest problem is you usually end up quickly nudging the rev limiter barely even after you have the clutch fully out in 1st..... Meaning you must change gears while the traffic is still rapidly bearing down on you.

    I like the old 4spd 2200's... I never noticed a big gap between 2nd and 3rd. Just wind her out to 5000rpm in 2nd gear gear, pop her into t3rd gear and snap the second choke on the carby back wide open and they just keep accelerating nicely.....

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Try an Injected C-matic Shane, just floor the throttle and don't worry about a gearchange until 80km/hr. Speed to speed acceleration would have the C-matic and Auto ahead of the manual because you don't need to change gear; just mash the throttle to the floor and listen to the motor spool up as the CX smoothly gathers speed surprisingly quickly.
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  11. #11
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    I can remember doing a "drag race" start from the lights, against a pug 306 GTi, in my CX turbo some years ago now...(it's been off the road since november 2006)
    Shall we say I convinced them I had the faster car.....

    This isn't me, but it's a good piece of film anyway!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0qmp98GcVc
    Last edited by smiffy1071; 24th March 2011 at 04:33 PM.
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  12. #12
    JBN
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    I agree with you, Greg. With the C-matic you could see 120kph in second. On the open road it had very good performance in the 100-130 range for overtaking, far better than the Commodore that may have beaten you at the lights for the first 100m.

    I also tended to "double clutch" the C-matic by pausing between gears and revving the engine to get a smoother downshift at higher shift points. The thing that killed the C-matic for for fast getaways (apart from weight of car and heavy flywheel) was the miserable two stage carby. Swap that for twin dual throats and Luminition and you got a more lively engine and one willing to rev to the redline.

    Second gear was very tractable. My wife ONLY used second (and reverse if she wanted to go backwards). For the times that the solenoid buggered up and you had to start it gear and leave it in that gear until the journey had finished, the second gear was fairly good. Not very good for fuel consumption though, and a bit noisy.

    Too bad the C-matic wasn't a four speed, it would have been ideal.

    John

  13. #13
    Member XantiaHead's Avatar
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    Icon5 The future for C-matics...

    Re C-matic CXs, is it the case that if the C-matic goes you're in essence done for as spare parts are not available (a reputable Citroen mechanic told me this - I don't believe I'm misquoting him).

    So, long-term, are C-matics best avoided?

    Bear in mind that if I was to acquire a CX it would not be a daily driver...

    Cheers,

    Andrew Matusiewicz
    1999 Xantia SX 16 valve 5 speed

  14. #14
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I think the ideal CX is any prestige (to get the long wheel base... decent usable back doors and usable space in the back).... I think a late Series II would be good so it's interior lasts more than a day in the sun (yes except for the dash itself .... sigh...).

    Tear it's drivetrain and chuck it away, then fit the petrol turbo engine & gearbox in there .... hydraulic clutch, heaps of insulation ..... turbo rollbars and spheres. Seal the ventilation system up good and proper, fit an athermic windscreen ... Make sure the duel air is working perfectly.... What a ripper, a nice long wheel base CX that can cools it's interior well, you don't get cooked under the windscreen. Plenty of space in the back, reasonable performance and a proper gearbox. Could it get any better?? Obviously you'd also fit the stage 1 Machonics performance conversion to the motor while your tinkering around wit it.

    Apparantely there was only 5 RHD CX GTi Turbo Prestiges ever made, so my best guess it you'll have to make your own if you want one

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  15. #15
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    I think there were a few more Left hand drive Prestige turbo cars around, (does Australia still have that stupid law prohibiting import of left hand drive cars?)

    I've only ever seen 1 prestige turbo, and that's the one featured on top gear...
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  16. #16
    JBN
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    I would go for a CX 25IE automatic. Better engine and I expect the automatic could be serviceable for a lot longer into the future than the quirky C-matic which was a Citroen only thing.

    Don't worry about turbos. The CX 25IE is able to trash a licence on the open road in no time at all. A CCC of NSW CX driver lost his licence in one trip from Sydney to Brisbane and back. If you want something to drag off traffic at the lights, you shouldn't be looking at a CX. They are a luxury grand tourer, par excellence.

    John

  17. #17
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I would go for a CX 25IE automatic. Better engine and I expect the automatic could be serviceable for a lot longer into the future than the quirky C-matic which was a Citroen only thing.

    Don't worry about turbos. The CX 25IE is able to trash a licence on the open road in no time at all. A CCC of NSW CX driver lost his licence in one trip from Sydney to Brisbane and back. If you want something to drag off traffic at the lights, you shouldn't be looking at a CX. They are a luxury grand tourer, par excellence.

    John
    It's not about performance.... it's about how effortless most stuff is to a turbo'd one. Heaps of torque from low revs. Eg: Climbing the pentlands from melbroune to ballarat, I don't even need to change out of 5th gear.... she just cruises up there plodding along at 2200rpm. There one torquey beast.

    It's like driving a modern car with a big torquey engine.... everything is effortless Luxury grand tourer ?? ... Yep, she doesn't mind if you want to cruise at 110km/h ...... or 220km/h

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! laurie_lewis's Avatar
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    I still use my C-Matic as my daily driver, but I am not driving in the city. It is all country town usage and highway usage. They are magnificent to just cruise along with. The only thing I have found is that it runs best, and most economically using 98 octane fuel.

    Having said that, I can remember the old 4 speeds in the 2200 and you had to really drive them hard - but they liked it. I have only driven a 5 GTI Turbo speed for 500 km (with a slipping clutch) and I have to admit they are much easier to get going, and as Shane said a bit rougher.

    If I had to buy one as a daily driver in traffic I think I would be going for the auto with fuel injection. That comes from laziness and knowing the room provided in the manual for the left foot.

    Either way they are just a magnificent car to drive.

    The major consideration if you are going to buy one is how hot they get for the occupants. If you drive at night that solves half the problems.

    Laurie

  19. #19
    Emo
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    Default More on C-Matics

    Hi Andrew, part of the charm of this forum is the tendency to meander.

    Not sure if you question was answered:

    "Re C-matic CXs, is it the case that if the C-matic goes you're in essence done for as spare parts are not available (a reputable Citroen mechanic told me this - I don't believe I'm misquoting him).

    So, long-term, are C-matics best avoided?"

    I suspect you/he was referring to the solenoid. They do fail (apparently)

    So what is the answer guys????
    Cheers ,
    Tim

    '98 Xantia Activa
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  20. #20
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emo View Post
    Hi Andrew, part of the charm of this forum is the tendency to meander.

    Not sure if you question was answered:

    "Re C-matic CXs, is it the case that if the C-matic goes you're in essence done for as spare parts are not available (a reputable Citroen mechanic told me this - I don't believe I'm misquoting him).

    So, long-term, are C-matics best avoided?"

    I suspect you/he was referring to the solenoid. They do fail (apparently)

    So what is the answer guys????
    Regarding the C-matic, electrovalves do fail. Eventually. I bought a new one last year and have two working S/H ones. I'm a relative newcomer (6 years trouble-free with the C-matic) but older and wiser folk aren't worried about running them, and they do suit the CX.

    I'd be surprised if you'd be stuck totally with a C-matic failure. Not too many people around who know what to do with them of course, but we do have this forum.
    JohnW

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  21. #21
    JBN
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    When I bought my CX 2400 C-Matic with around 150,000kms, the C-matic was stuffed. The torque convertors gave quite a bit of trouble. I had a torque convertor kit put in (cost about $1000 in 1984). That didn't work. I was "lucky" to get a new toque convertor for $2000, before the price went up. That was fitted by Tom Dolan when he worked at Schofield Bros in Glebe. So, after $3000 in parts on a car that cost $8500, I finally had something that was reliable. I think I replaced the solenoid about 3 times.

    Where the C-matic WAS good was in letting you know when the alternator belt had broken. As the battery lost its charge, the gear changes became more difficult, eventually not working at all. Real lot of fun when it happens in central Sydney with the family on board. They went off to the show that we had driven in to see. I caught the train back home to pick up a spare alternator belt and some tools and returned. The NRMA man was very good at handing me things as I managed to replaced the belt, working on a car that was at minimum height. Fortunately I had done this job many times and could do it by feel. The NRMA made a mental note to not answer calls involving CXs and broken belts.

    They are also fun when the engine mounts go as the contacts on the gear linkages that control the solenoid don't operate as designed when the engine starts to shift around. Enthusiastic cornering results in the car falling out of gear, so when you accelerate to get around the corner, there is just a howl from the engine but no power to the driving wheels.

    I would go the automatic any day. There are still a whole heap of others things that can go wrong and keep you amused. Happiness is keeping the list short.

    John

  22. #22
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    My dad had countless electrical problems with his C-Matic and mind you, it was a 4 yr old car then.... he also whined about the heat around the footwell, and how if you placed a brick over a front tyre, you couldn't drive the car over it because it was so gutless and all of these other niggly complaints.

    Of course, none of these things stopped him from owning three of them in his time and me myself having a C-Matic CX in adulthood...

    With the market the way it is at the moment, there's plenty of CX variants to pick from; it's just a matter of finding one that suits you. They've popped up out of the woodwork lately.

    And as far as Prestiges go, the rarest beast of them all is the series 2 CX Prestige Turbo 2. I think a friend of mine's putting his up on Ebay this Friday, so keep an eye out. He's also getting rid of his M35, 2CV Sahara and GS Birotor as well!
    1972 SM
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  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! ARCHRIVAL's Avatar
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    Had a '77 2400 C-matic pallas in the early '90s and it was a wonderful drive. So modern compared to a D. Only problem we really had was the gearbox solenoid.. and leaking rear quater windows which would blow out loose.
    Drove to Carnavan Gorge (QLD) from Wagga Wagga with the family and it was fantastic the AC even kept us cool.
    I sold it because, noone has mentioned yet , but the parking pawls on the c-matic gearboxes are notorious for breaking ( ours never worked). I understand cars in the'70s were not required to have a Park gear in Europe, so the OZ imports had a dodgy park gear installed. Who has a C-matic with a working park pawl?
    What this means is if you are parked on a steep hill, you only have the handbrake to rely on. Park selection no longer locks the gearbox ( park pawl broken). Point the front wheels into the gutter as a precaution I hear you say, well with the self-centreing steering the wheels would move to the straight ahead even with the engine stopped.
    We used to drop our kids off at day care which was on a steep hill, used to carry a wheel chock in the boot to use while unbuckling the kids from their booster seats in the back... praying that the CX wouldn't start to roll.
    So if you gete C-matic... carry a wheel chock or two and don't ever park facing up a hill, the handbrake is useless IMO.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by moulton2speed View Post
    Who has a C-matic with a working park pawl?
    Me, me
    A new park pawl was installed when the box was re-conditioned.
    As far as I know the torque converter was rebuilt somewhere in Sydney for a cost of $2000.
    C5 Touring 2008, CX 2400ie Prestige '81 (with dead gerbox), CX 2400 Pallas C-Matic '80, CX2400 Super Familiale C-Matic '79 (to be scrapped very soon) , CX2400i Familiale 5-spd (to be scrapped), GS 1220 Wagon '78 (next project), ID19 '64
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