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  1. #1
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Default GS Discussion Thread

    Hi all,

    Trawling through old posts isn't easy as there's a lot that's been lost in terms of preservation and maintenance regarding this little CitroŽn.

    I'm looking at doing a few routine things in which the Haynes manual doesn't care to address at a level I understand. For example, Haynes doesn't tell you how to get the gearbox out, but tells you how to overhaul it.

    Firstly, I'd like to know (if anyone here has done it, or can offer some suggestions) the processes involved in converting a manual GS to a Convertisseur - not that that's routine, but I'd like to do it.

    I have managed to acquire a c-matic gearbox from a 1015, but I know there's a lot more involved than that.

    Seeing that conversations on this car are as uncommon as the cars themselves, I thought I'd try to use this thread as a bit of a tech thread as I'm rolling up my sleeves and trying to address issues inside my own garage.

    Thanking all of you GS-savvy folk in advance,

    Donat

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    The GS is one of the easiest modern Citroens on which to work IMHO. The motor/transmission can be removed rellatively easy by one person using a trolleyjack to support it.
    I well remember starting out one afternoon to reassemble a 1220 trnsmission, put the whole lot back in the car , hooked everything up, only to find I had no reverse to drive out of the garage. I then pulled the whole lot out again, refitted the reverse idler correctly, reassembled the lot, put it all back in the car again, & drove out that night [well, early hours].
    It realy is only a matter of removing the front bumper/apron assembly, disconnecting all wires, cables, pipes, gear linkage, & exhaust pipes to the Y piece, & then with the motor supported on a trolley jack, undo the engine/gearbox mounts & wheel the lot out. Then with the gearbox supported separately it can be removed & worked on.
    Now after all this time I may have forgotten some details , but that is the basics of the deal.
    The GS is a great Citroen. Have fun.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! fnqvmuch's Avatar
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    there is a bronze bush that had to be hydraulically displaced when putting a motor from a cmatic into a
    manual, as far as i can remember, and fwiw.
    i always hated the exhaust manifolding

  4. #4
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    The GS Convertisseur is a gorgeous drive, effortless and relaxed, yet never boring like an auto..

    I can't undersand why so many were converted to manuals over the years.. To go against the tide so to speak and ditch the manual in favor of the out of favor Convertisseur is a great way to go for the underappreciated GS.

    While on the topic of Convertisseurs what I'd like to know is whether it's possible to alter the ratios and make the final drive a tad taller..

  5. #5
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    Like CX c-matics, the reasons for manual conversions would have been mostly to do with the clutch/converter unit failing.

  6. #6
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    I had a GS 1220 Convertisseur and loved it. I had a 74 model in about 1983/84.

    I had trouble with the converter clutch slipping - if you accelerated hard up a hill it would slip, otherwise if you accelerated gently it was OK. It even towed home a phase 1 Vanguard on a tandem trailer - yes, young and silly.

    I took it to Paris Motors back when they were in South Melbourne, they looked at the trans fluid and said it was probably the wrong fluid, they suspected it had been filled with ATF. But they said to leave it as is - the cost of doing up the converter/clutch was prohibitive. The mechanic who drive the car called it a "converted sewer" and said they were a crap trans, but couldn't say why.

    As said, I loved mine, it was fantastic to drive and didn't have as loud a transmission whine as my sister's GS manual.

    GS is one of my favourite cars of all time, my enthusiasm for it increases as the memories of all the trouble I had with mine slowly fade.
    Only a Citroen enthusiast could think they are easy to work on...

  7. #7
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    The only issue I ever had with my Convertisseur (and this is going back some years) was that it would sometimes not engage into gear after starting, and you'd need to rev it a fair bit before things would start functioning as it should. And when it did behave, it was heavenly - much like the hydraulique DS experience, and took a little extra fuel for its trouble.

    Those who know me realise that I've had a few of these cars, I'm up to my 9th GS and only one of those was a C-Matic, but it's funky sunroof got the better of me, so I then sold to Graham (a Convertisseur lover extraordinaire) and is probably a sewing machine in China now.

    Thankfully I'm blessed with good mechanics here in Brisbane and they're simpatico to the GS so I don't expect any serious issues post transplant.

    Though if I can source the necessary components, it's all systems go.
    1972 SM
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  8. #8
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    There was a very nice Convertisseur at the last Melbourne concours at Como in 2010 or 2009. A French blue one with IMC*** Victorian number plates. Very original, average condition.
    Not sure about the gearbox but love the badge on the back!

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Make mine a proper manual with injection please:

    http://www.eddinsmoto.com/id131.htm

    C-matic will be good as a hobby car in a CX.... I imagine driving a 1015 would be like driving a 2cv performance wise ............... Only the 2cv would be MUCH quicker off the line

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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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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  10. #10
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Make mine a proper manual with injection please:

    http://www.eddinsmoto.com/id131.htm

    C-matic will be good as a hobby car in a CX.... I imagine driving a 1015 would be like driving a 2cv performance wise ............... Only the 2cv would be MUCH quicker off the line

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    A low mileage 1015 sprints out of the lights and the 6,700rpm red-line helps proceedings quite well.

    Excellent reading, Shane. Pity I don't have the tools (nor the brains) to cook up an EFI unit, but its certainly inspiring stuff.
    1972 SM
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  11. #11
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    You drive a GS 1015 or 1220 treating the rev counter numbers with total disdain. A GS motor revs out past 8000 rpm smooth as a sewing machine & that is the way to drive them. Forget the way the D , or CX drives, the GS thrives on revs. As well as riding like a true Citroen, it will also out corner many sports cars of it's period. It comfortably accommodates 4 full size adults with useable luggage space rivaling the Fords & Holdens of the time.
    As for the convertiseur, it is more than the sum of it's parts. Smooth, driver friendly, with performance beyond expectations, & with economy reasonably close to the manuals.
    The GS is a fun, enjoyable, & practical Citroen to enjoy, even in todays modern times, but do drive it the way it was intended & ignore your preconceptions about useable revs. Treat the rev counter as a devise with numbers.

    Richard

  12. #12
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    Default Gs

    I did an almost complete restoration on a delta blue 74 model in late 90s. In Sydney, rego HFT189.

    A lovely car, but manual. A wagon too.

    The car came from a well known horse training place on Central coast, and was one owner. Glen worth Valley or something like that, signs on motor way indicating turn off for the place now.

    I was doing a lot of music playing around the place then, and really needed something more sensible and suited to late nights with more comfort. Put it in Sydney Morning Herald for five grand, which was a top price for one back then.

    The ad appeared first thing Saturday, then again on Sunday. By Sunday afternoon, I must have taken at least twenty or more calls, and by late Sunday it was sold to an enthusiast who claims to have chased the last car he wanted through the streets of Sydney, and finally caught up the the owner who refused to sell.

    I do miss that car.

    Chris M

  13. #13
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Chris, do you have any photos of the wagon you had? Certainly sounds interesting.

    The only time I see a GS around is when I see a reflection of mine in a shop window driving past.

    Now with parts being so terribly easy to source with grumpy workshops the world over getting into online selling, it makes life a little more pleasant.

    Richard, from memory the Convertisseur used maybe an extra litre and a bit per 100km but given the extra price for one new and the fact the GS was hideously expensive to begin with even as a manual, they're not as common in Australia.

    http://www.citroenclassic.org.au/~ed...ve%20V31_2.pdf

    ^ Brian Wade's article in here makes for interesting reading about the history of the GS in Australia and he suggests around 2,500 found owners here. Out of the given number, there's probably few more than 25 registered examples on the road today.

    http://citroenclubqld.org/index.php?...d=83&Itemid=82

    ^ If anyone here does have one, it would be great to see some details on here (Bruce H's GS register on the CCCQ site).
    1972 SM
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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger!
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    My last Gs was a '78 1220 4 speed manual wagon, dark blue, 4 headlights, antipollution gear, & air conditioning.
    We parted around '76 & I often wonder if it has survived.
    It never performed as well as my previous '74 1220 sedan, even with the antipollution gear disconnected, & I wonder if there were other less obvious mods .
    The air conditioning was only effective on mild days, but I think it would have worked better with LPG regas. Didn't know about that possibility then.
    Sitting in the back seat & reaching over the back, you could not touch the cargo floor. Try that in a Ford or Holden. And no need to remove everything for access to the spare tyre either.

    Richard

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat View Post
    A low mileage 1015 sprints out of the lights and the 6,700rpm red-line helps proceedings quite well.

    Excellent reading, Shane. Pity I don't have the tools (nor the brains) to cook up an EFI unit, but its certainly inspiring stuff.
    I always thought injection would transform a GS The GS C-matic I reckon would have the same problem as the XM with it's slugomatic gearbox. There's usable performance there..... But you just can't get to it when you need it. Just like the XM I could easily be stuck here at the top of the hill, unable to pull out into the traffic. You see with the GS motor you want to dial on about 4500rpm to get moving .... The C-matic will probably allow 1200rpm at standstill with the 2nd choke wide open and the car barely able to move off the hill into traffic. The XM needs about 2000rpm to bring the turbo upto speed.... You have maybe 1200rpm .... To try and get 1.5ton of car moving off the line into traffic.

    With manual gearboxs, there is no problem.... rev the motor to the revs where you have some torque and drop the clutch and your away... with torque converters there is big problems... you just can't get the bloody things moving Once your rolling your ok though

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  16. #16
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    ^ bollocks

  17. #17
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Shane,

    I'm not overly worried about a loss of power - I'm more of a cruiser than a boy racer these days. Leave slow and wind out, just like the three-bearing ID motor.

    My big concern is the world of internal and external gearbox leaks that would ensue. As long as I can source as many NOS and reconditioned bits, it'll happen.
    1972 SM
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  18. #18
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    Hi Shane

    I have very very very vague memories of it but I can dimly recall reading about the GS having a much different torque converter to a conventional auto. I forget if it was "tighter" (ie: less slippage) or had greater torque multiplication (3:1 instead of 2:1 rings half a bell) but I do remember reading a convincing explanation of why the GS Convertisseur torque converter was something special and not all soggy and wasteful like a conventional auto. Can anyone else shed any light? I think it was something like this - because the semi-auto disconnects the engine during gear changes, and the manual gear shifting takes a whisker longer, and you release the accelerator during changes,... you don't get the problem of the inertia the engine and flywheel has gained causing rough shifts. Imagine in a 3 speed auto and old tech non-Frog engine of the day revving up to valve bounce at 4000 rpm, if your transmission suddenly engages the next gear, the engine is still whizzing at 4000 rpm and has considerable inertia but your newly selected gear now wants the engine doing 1200 rpm in an instant, if the torque converter were locked or very tight, the change would be very rough and the car would tend to surge forward with each gear change up...... The Convertisseur trans doesn't have this issue so the converter can be made very "tight", ie: not so lossy.

    This particular explanation might be complete BS but there IS something special about the GS torque converter which means it goes much better than it should.

    When I had my GS I was about 20 and thoroughly enjoyed leaving hotted-up looking Kingswoods behind in the traffic light grand prix.... and that was with a dodgy converter clutch which would slip if it was having a bad day.

    When flooring a GS convertisseur from a standstill, there is a brief period where nothing much happens, then when the revs get close to 3000, the car shoots forward and the rev counter needle swings round past 4500 in a flash. Once past that initial slow spot the trick was to keep the revs over 3000. If the engine slows down the fun stops.

    I remember reading the owners manual about the recommended technique, which was to leave the car in second around town and change up to third on the highway, only engaging first for hill starts or when heavily loaded - this gave very lethargic performance and the idea was probably to reduce gear shifting and make it more "automatic", but if you started off in first it had plenty of get up and go.
    Last edited by simca1100; 24th January 2012 at 01:12 AM.

  19. #19
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I've driven plenty of C-matic CX's, so I know what the gearbox is like ... and have a GS (so I know what there like performance wise). My problem is each time I go out I drive to the top of a hill, stop on a steep pinch and do a hill start into fast flowing traffic where a 100km/h zone changes into 70 (so traffic could be doing anything from 70->100+km/h). A C-matic CX would be PITA.... the GS would just sit there .... finally it would start moving once into the traffic flow off the hill.... It'd be scarey though. With the manual GS, you could just pop the clutch with 3000rpm on board and pull out effortlessly If your gap was to tight, you could then pull off the road, and merge back in without the big hill start.

    No cars are a problem ............ except turbo diesel slugomatics off boost .... and weeny engine torqueless 4cylinders .... trying to spin a torque converter

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  20. #20
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    Mine was a delight...the best of both worlds. It just always leaked a small amount of Fluid T from the centre seal on the torque converter. A convertisseur offers both sloth and smoothness and economy of effort as well as a fair amount of get up and go....If I remember correctly the torque converter locks up at 2200 revs, and that didn't cause any of the drama Shane alludes to.....more enjoyable than a lock up torgue converter used on more recent stuff where the "direct drive" takes place at too low a speed and results high geared labouring at 60 km/h.

  21. #21
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    I'm starting to wonder whether the engine numbers for C-Matic GS's are different and perhaps mating the gearbox to what was manual motor might damage the crankshaft...?

    I did read the same thing in my owner's manual, suggesting to putter around in 2nd in a town environment, 3rd on the highway and 1st for hills.

    Launching from 2nd in a C-Matic doesn't mean you'll always see tail-lights as most Brisbane drivers tend to not care all that much when the traffic lights go green anyway. At least in the northside.
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  22. #22
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzelhund View Post
    Mine was a delight...the best of both worlds. It just always leaked a small amount of Fluid T from the centre seal on the torque converter. A convertisseur offers both sloth and smoothness and economy of effort as well as a fair amount of get up and go....If I remember correctly the torque converter locks up at 2200 revs, and that didn't cause any of the drama Shane alludes to.....more enjoyable than a lock up torgue converter used on more recent stuff where the "direct drive" takes place at too low a speed and results high geared labouring at 60 km/h.
    I beg to differ. This design is not a lock up torque converter. It is a clutch within a torque converter. For the torque converter to lock up there needs to be a system of ramps and rollers in the driving impellers.---- There isn't!
    Refer to the cross sectional drawing and you will see what I mean.
    This system relies solely on the tendency for the fluid to want to rotate as a body and hence causing drag on the output impeller until unitary rotation is achieved. It is this factor that allows the progressive ratio of input to drive to occur until the fluid mass and impellers match each other in speed of rotation.
    The clutch is there to do what any other clutch would do in a manual gearbox, and that is to disengage the drive so that gear changes can be made. The only difference is, that it is switched hydraulically by a solenoid controlled from the switch box linked to the gear lever. It is exactly the same principal as the CX C-Matic and consequently suffers from the same problems------namely dirty fluid infrequently or never change by slack owners, allowing detritus build up around the perifery of the moving friction plate within the clutch. This causes the friction plate to stick and not engage solidly when switched. Then the car will clutch slip on hills just like any other car with a worn clutch.
    Cheers Gerry
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GS Discussion Thread-gs-c-matic-torque-converter.jpg  

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    I converted a 1015 to a 1220 Convertiseur years ago. I regret that I sold it. The performance was more than adequate as I remember and the transmission very smooth, not something you could say of the GS manual box.

    If you read the road tests of the time, the convertiseur is faster than the manual at certain speeds, most of those in the midrange speed to speed acceleration which is where you really need it. This is because the torque converter does what its name suggests and multiplies torque. The cost is a minor increase in fuel consumption.

    I sold it because it had no aircon (I was dying in the Sydney heat). A problem that could be fixed now quite easily. While you were at it, fit EFI. Like Shane I think the GS motor would respond really well to having fuel injected right at the inlet valve. That is quite easy to do now as well.
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  24. #24
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    I have the best of both worlds: a 2CV with a 1012 GS engine and gearbox. Beat that!

  25. #25
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winkbul45 View Post
    I have the best of both worlds: a 2CV with a 1012 GS engine and gearbox. Beat that!
    Ahh but can yours go on three wheels?
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