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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default PSA and gearboxes

    Reuters are reporting that PSA are toying with a project to give over one of the surplus factories arising from the Opel acquisition to the manufacture of automatic gearboxes. They are hoping to persuade Aisin to provide the technology and perhaps operate a joint/venture. Aisin has been reluctant to manufacture in Europe, probably because of competition issues with its major relationship being with Toyota.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    They are hoping to persuade Aisin to provide the technology and perhaps operate a joint/venture.
    But PSA don't require the technology to produce transmissions with valve body and other problems, they perfected that years ago (AL4)
    Last edited by turnbull151; 18th May 2017 at 07:39 PM.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Most of the auto boxes they use come from Aisin and are made in Japan. With the logistics of supply in would make more sense to have some made in France close to the assembly factory either with their own design or with proven contemporary technology co-produced with their supplier. They have used German or Japanese boxes for three decades.
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    OK, who made the AL4 then. Did PSA made both the manual 5/6 speeds and also the AL4? It is used in Renault and PSA products through to, whenever, approx 2010. I assumed it was a french manufacturer or PSA manufacturer?

    How is this? It has been censored and certain reference blotted out! https://www.scribd.com/doc/185960921...t-AL4-Gear-Box

    Looks like Citroen made it?

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/6338026/AL4-Transmission
    Last edited by halfamill; 18th May 2017 at 08:50 PM.

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    It isn't actually blotted out - the yellow is an overlay easily removed with a user style sheet. Eg:
    With its AL4 gearbox, Peugeot....

    The electronic computer decides on the gear changes according to the vehicle's speed, the engine speed and the position of the selector lever. Using preset gear change rules, the computer chooses the gears which correspond to the behaviour of the driver and to external factors such as the oil temperature, the slope of the road or the vehicle load. It also transmits commands to the hydraulic circuit
    It was made in Valenciennes according to https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki
    Usine_PSA_de_Valenciennes


    PS A better reference https://site.groupe-psa.com/valenciennes/fr/a-propos/
    Last edited by seasink; 18th May 2017 at 09:04 PM.

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    The AL4 was designed by Siemens and configured for PSA and Renault. It was assembled in various factories according to their logistics management.
    I have an AL4 in my C5 and the Lexia identifies it as a Siemens computer. It also identifies the braking system as Japanese.
    It seems generally accepted that the Aisin is a better product. They manage their rebuilds in one factory only for all of Europe, based in Belgium.
    PSA control a number of component companies but a large proportion of their car content comes from companies that have developed specialised technology. Where possible they seek at least two OEM suppliers, one of whom may well be one that they control.
    One of their subsidiaries that makes most of their interiors also supplies Mercedes with theirs.
    Giving a national identity to a marque is now a bit of a farce, perpetuated by the marketing spin doctors.
    What they all do is to copy Toyota and persuade the component and sub assembly suppliers to set up satellite factories around their assembly plants. The suppliers are not always willing to do that alone because their plant profitability is placed in the hands of the assembler who dictates price, quality and quantity. To overcome this the assemblers do it with a j/v with the component makers. The "French" car plants in central Europe and Spain are like this.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 18th May 2017 at 09:30 PM.
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    This article (in Enlish) on the PSA - Opel merge has some comments on the new 6 speed and other transmissions. Wheels Within Wales ? PSA & Opel Vauxhall becoming powerful players, say analysts

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    Siemens put a label on the computer - is it possible that that is the extent of their work?

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    Don't know about the AL4 but the AD4 had a Siemens computer and on some internal parts of the transmission was the VW/Audi stamp.
    I used The VW workshop manual to fix the tranny of the R19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Siemens put a label on the computer - is it possible that that is the extent of their work?
    To put this to bed once and for all. Siemens patented the system and here is the US filing
    https://www.google.com/patents/US5390117
    They applied it and subsequent patents to boxes appearing in a variety of car brands - Landrover, BMW, PSA, VW, Volvo etc.
    The core technology is "fuzzy logic" to enable the changes of gear to be decided by weighting ambiguity from a variety of inputs.
    This has been applied to meet the requirements of their customers who, with them, designed the mechanicals to fit and assembled them where logistics dictated.
    The computer on my AL4 has Siemens cast in the housing and a label which displays the Siemens logo with their part number and the Peugeot Citroën logos with their common part no.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 19th May 2017 at 10:43 AM.
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    That patent reference is for the control system, not the actual converter, gears, clutches, bands etc. I'm still not sure that its a Renault-PSA design utilising Siemens' control system. (Elle a été développée en partenariat avec Renault, in PSA reference linked)

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    My understanding (from a Renault point of view who also used this appalling design) is that auto transmissions made up such a small proportion of their European customers they chose not to develop their own, preferring to buy in the Siemens box.

    They would have been well aware of the issues with that box but persisted with it, knowing that through their purchase of Nissan the jewel of JATCO would solve that problem once and for all.

    My Laguna has the 6 speed JATCO auto transmission and it is brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 404 View Post
    My understanding (from a Renault point of view who also used this appalling design) is that auto transmissions made up such a small proportion of their European customers they chose not to develop their own, preferring to buy in the Siemens box.
    They would have been well aware of the issues with that box but persisted with it, knowing that through their purchase of Nissan the jewel of JATCO would solve that problem once and for all.
    My Laguna has the 6 speed JATCO auto transmission and it is brilliant.
    Dave
    Hi
    You know statements like that "this appalling design" are really just rubbish. The design was OK and has been used in hundreds of thousands of cars as was the previous AD4 design. It should have been upgraded as faults became apparent but for reasons not immediately obvious to me, but alluded to above, the European manufacturers would not do upgrades. Other manufacturers, to wit, the Japanese, do upgrades regularly when faults become obvious. Thats why the Japanese became ascendant and the French descendant in the market. Bloody obvious I would have thought to anybody but the management over there !!

    I would also think that buying into Nissan would not have been any reason to get the 6 speed Jatco. There were lots of Japanese parts on the French cars over the years including that transmission when needed. That transmission is not perfect either I could point out. Ditto ZFs. All made to a budget. The manufacturers have a duty to select or design a suitable reliable transmission(and other stuff) which is fit for purpose and upgrade as necessary. The French and German manufacturers failed to do this for quite some years and have paid the price for that.
    Jaahn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    You know statements like that "this appalling design" are really just rubbish. The design was OK and has been used in hundreds of thousands of cars as was the previous AD4 design. It should have been upgraded as faults became apparent but for reasons not immediately obvious to me, but alluded to above, the European manufacturers would not do upgrades. Other manufacturers, to wit, the Japanese, do upgrades regularly when faults become obvious. Thats why the Japanese became ascendant and the French descendant in the market. Bloody obvious I would have thought to anybody but the management over there !!

    I would also think that buying into Nissan would not have been any reason to get the 6 speed Jatco. There were lots of Japanese parts on the French cars over the years including that transmission when needed. That transmission is not perfect either I could point out. Ditto ZFs. All made to a budget. The manufacturers have a duty to select or design a suitable reliable transmission(and other stuff) which is fit for purpose and upgrade as necessary. The French and German manufacturers failed to do this for quite some years and have paid the price for that.
    Jaahn
    The problem is that Nissan has "moved on" to a range of Crap CVT's in their petrol versions !
    IMHO the only redeeming feature of CVT and AL4 /DPO transmissions is better fuel economy over their predecessors.

    Allen

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    I have had a couple of ZFs in my 405 SRi S2s both behave(d) without any faults and the one with 350000 on it works exactly the same as the one with 180000 did.
    Needs5 speeds (4th gear is fine, just needs more in the middle) and a bit jerky occasionally, love the way it changes down as you slow down though. Economy is exactly the same as the manual, around 7 litres a hundred on the highway.


    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    You know statements like that "this appalling design" are really just rubbish. The design was OK and has been used in hundreds of thousands of cars as was the previous AD4 design. It should have been upgraded as faults became apparent but for reasons not immediately obvious to me, but alluded to above, the European manufacturers would not do upgrades. Other manufacturers, to wit, the Japanese, do upgrades regularly when faults become obvious. Thats why the Japanese became ascendant and the French descendant in the market. Bloody obvious I would have thought to anybody but the management over there !!

    I would also think that buying into Nissan would not have been any reason to get the 6 speed Jatco. There were lots of Japanese parts on the French cars over the years including that transmission when needed. That transmission is not perfect either I could point out. Ditto ZFs. All made to a budget. The manufacturers have a duty to select or design a suitable reliable transmission(and other stuff) which is fit for purpose and upgrade as necessary. The French and German manufacturers failed to do this for quite some years and have paid the price for that.
    Jaahn
    Last edited by GRAHAM WALLIS; 19th May 2017 at 07:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    You know statements like that "this appalling design" are really just rubbish. The design was OK and has been used in hundreds of thousands of cars as was the previous AD4 design. It should have been upgraded as faults became apparent but for reasons not immediately obvious to me, but alluded to above, the European manufacturers would not do upgrades. Other manufacturers, to wit, the Japanese, do upgrades regularly when faults become obvious. Thats why the Japanese became ascendant and the French descendant in the market. Bloody obvious I would have thought to anybody but the management over there !!

    I would also think that buying into Nissan would not have been any reason to get the 6 speed Jatco. There were lots of Japanese parts on the French cars over the years including that transmission when needed. That transmission is not perfect either I could point out. Ditto ZFs. All made to a budget. The manufacturers have a duty to select or design a suitable reliable transmission(and other stuff) which is fit for purpose and upgrade as necessary. The French and German manufacturers failed to do this for quite some years and have paid the price for that.
    Jaahn
    I would suggest continuing to inflict buyers over more than a decade with a transmission that is known to fail within 100,000km is both indicative of an arrogant car maker/s and an appalling design. With AL4/DPO everyone is waiting for it to fail. That is simply not good enough.

    Why would Renault buy transmissions from a competitor if it had access to the JATCO stuff?

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    The problem is that Nissan has "moved on" to a range of Crap CVT's in their petrol versions !
    IMHO the only redeeming feature of CVT and AL4 /DPO transmissions is better fuel economy over their predecessors.

    Allen
    I drove a work X Trail (2.5 litre petrol with CVT) for 100,000km and it was a great car. Had no issues with the driving or reliability of the CVT. Sad to hand that one back, actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 404 View Post
    I would suggest continuing to inflict buyers over more than a decade with a transmission that is known to fail within 100,000km is both indicative of an arrogant car maker/s and an appalling design. With AL4/DPO everyone is waiting for it to fail. That is simply not good enough.

    Why would Renault buy transmissions from a competitor if it had access to the JATCO stuff?

    Dave
    Look at the upside of this issue? As the AL4 seems to be the successor of the AD4 i assume it is very similar internally?
    The fact that they break by 100,000km gave me very cheap transport, bought them with a stuffed transmission (R19s). Just put in a modified 3/4 drum, brought the clutch plate clearances up to the lower end of the spec range, add an transmission fluid to air cooler and all is good. Very smooth gear changes and reliability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    That patent reference is for the control system, not the actual converter, gears, clutches, bands etc. I'm still not sure that its a Renault-PSA design utilising Siemens' control system. (Elle a été développée en partenariat avec Renault, in PSA reference linked)
    The PR says that the boxes were developed jointly by all 'three' entities, that is Pug, Cit and Siemens.
    This was done at the time when auto gearboxes were rare and unpopular in France and like the slow commitment to SUVs I suspect that they did not give it too high an investmernt priority at PSA and also Renault
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    A personal comment. Having been driving for twelve years in everyday urban traffic in France and now re-learning to drive surrounded by fellow Australian in SUV? I can appreciate a wide difference in expectations of automatic gearboxes. In France the urban traffic density is such gaps in line are rare and as the lights ahead are blocked there is little point in using acceleration to close the gap. I grew used to processions at 50kmh.
    Here we do have the strange situation that little Hobart gets grid locked twice a day. In spite of that there are gaps in the traffic and even overtaking opportunities. People use acceleration and auto gearchanges to take advantage. I know find myself doing exactly the same and working the car and gearbox much harder. Having had identical C5 2litre HDi with the AL4 box, it is obvious to me that they have a much harder life here. While in France their use was confined to little old ladies going to church etc the designs were adequate. Here where every hoon including me has a heavy right foot, the gearboxes have a much tougher time. The original AL4 had a design life of 160,000k under average French conditions. The computer count down that defined that limit before overhaul uses fuzzy logic that increases the count down according to the box usage style, mainly by reference to the fluid temperature. It is no surprise that here it reduces to 100,000kms. The mistake was not in the design of the box, but the marketing decision in which they thought they would open up new markets within which automatics were a given.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    A personal comment. Having been driving for twelve years in everyday urban traffic in France and now re-learning to drive surrounded by fellow Australian in SUV? I can appreciate a wide difference in expectations of automatic gearboxes. In France the urban traffic density is such gaps in line are rare and as the lights ahead are blocked there is little point in using acceleration to close the gap. I grew used to processions at 50kmh.
    Here we do have the strange situation that little Hobart gets grid locked twice a day. In spite of that there are gaps in the traffic and even overtaking opportunities. People use acceleration and auto gearchanges to take advantage. I know find myself doing exactly the same and working the car and gearbox much harder. Having had identical C5 2litre HDi with the AL4 box, it is obvious to me that they have a much harder life here. While in France their use was confined to little old ladies going to church etc the designs were adequate. Here where every hoon including me has a heavy right foot, the gearboxes have a much tougher time. The original AL4 had a design life of 160,000k under average French conditions. The computer count down that defined that limit before overhaul uses fuzzy logic that increases the count down according to the box usage style, mainly by reference to the fluid temperature. It is no surprise that here it reduces to 100,000kms. The mistake was not in the design of the box, but the marketing decision in which they thought they would open up new markets within which automatics were a given.
    MATE there is no place for an educated comment in an Internet forum. Now I demand you remove that and put some random product slamming comments down .




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    The friction plate size alone shows the AL4 was not intended for hard driving, almost only designed for inner city driving. I've rebuilt 2 stroke scooter engines with thicker friction plates to stop warping. I know there is no comparison for power to weight but add some old oil and heat and slippage will occur on both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    A personal comment. Having been driving for twelve years in everyday urban traffic in France and now re-learning to drive surrounded by fellow Australian in SUV? I can appreciate a wide difference in expectations of automatic gearboxes. In France the urban traffic density is such gaps in line are rare and as the lights ahead are blocked there is little point in using acceleration to close the gap. I grew used to processions at 50kmh.
    Here we do have the strange situation that little Hobart gets grid locked twice a day. In spite of that there are gaps in the traffic and even overtaking opportunities. People use acceleration and auto gearchanges to take advantage. I know find myself doing exactly the same and working the car and gearbox much harder. Having had identical C5 2litre HDi with the AL4 box, it is obvious to me that they have a much harder life here. While in France their use was confined to little old ladies going to church etc the designs were adequate. Here where every hoon including me has a heavy right foot, the gearboxes have a much tougher time. The original AL4 had a design life of 160,000k under average French conditions. The computer count down that defined that limit before overhaul uses fuzzy logic that increases the count down according to the box usage style, mainly by reference to the fluid temperature. It is no surprise that here it reduces to 100,000kms. The mistake was not in the design of the box, but the marketing decision in which they thought they would open up new markets within which automatics were a given.
    So do you think that applies to their current cars? Its just I know someone contemplating purchasing a Citroen and could suggest they look at a manual instead of automatic, especially if they want to drive it hard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    The original AL4 had a design life of 160,000k under average French conditions. The computer count down that defined that limit before overhaul uses fuzzy logic that increases the count down according to the box usage style, mainly by reference to the fluid temperature.
    Interesting! The R19 had a radiator pressure cap set at 14 psi (from memory), meaning that the water temp and oil temp was well over 100deg C.
    From what i gather the optimal trans fluid temp for longevity is under 100deg C. Could it be that the AL4 is similarly running too hot?
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    50 km/h procession? That would be heaven, here in Melbourne it is much slower than that and all day every day! It wouldn't be as bad but people drive so hesitatingly and simply won't go when the light goes green. This is the reason I got another auto. Both of my ZFs were/are country cars, so sat in the lock up 4th gear much of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    A personal comment. Having been driving for twelve years in everyday urban traffic in France and now re-learning to drive surrounded by fellow Australian in SUV? I can appreciate a wide difference in expectations of automatic gearboxes. In France the urban traffic density is such gaps in line are rare and as the lights ahead are blocked there is little point in using acceleration to close the gap. I grew used to processions at 50kmh.
    Here we do have the strange situation that little Hobart gets grid locked twice a day. In spite of that there are gaps in the traffic and even overtaking opportunities. People use acceleration and auto gearchanges to take advantage. I know find myself doing exactly the same and working the car and gearbox much harder. Having had identical C5 2litre HDi with the AL4 box, it is obvious to me that they have a much harder life here. While in France their use was confined to little old ladies going to church etc the designs were adequate. Here where every hoon including me has a heavy right foot, the gearboxes have a much tougher time. The original AL4 had a design life of 160,000k under average French conditions. The computer count down that defined that limit before overhaul uses fuzzy logic that increases the count down according to the box usage style, mainly by reference to the fluid temperature. It is no surprise that here it reduces to 100,000kms. The mistake was not in the design of the box, but the marketing decision in which they thought they would open up new markets within which automatics were a given.

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