Sudden crush on a 403
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Thread: Sudden crush on a 403

  1. #1
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    Default Sudden crush on a 403

    Hi fellas, I've suddenly developed some love for the Peugeot 403 but I think it's a lazy car, it looks heavier than a 404 and it only has a 1500 displacement. I plan on getting one in the future but I would need to put in a different engine to give it more power and I fancy a 504 two liter motor, as I like to keep things in the family. Do you think that would boost the power considerably? How about also replacing the C3 box with the BA7 box? The gear arrangement on a 403 seems odd for me, wouldn't you accidentally select reverse instead of second? Someone also told me that this car doesn't use a hydraulic clutch system, instead it uses a semi automatic clutch which is direct. Please tell me more about this type of clutch, I know nothing about it, how reliable are these clutches? How easy is it to get parts? Otherwise I'll just fit a BA7 with a complete hydraulic system

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  2. #2
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    Hey Edmund, interesting questions you raise and no doubt many here will be along and offer their opinions. In the meantime I'll offer mine..

    The 403 has lovely curves but its styling is trapped in the old-world. By contrast the 404's sharp lines was a giant leap forward and they look strikingly balanced and stylish. The 404 also has much better road manners from my experience.

    I'd steer clear of 2 litre conversions as they introduce extra noise and vibration into the cabin which can ruin the fine balance of the ride for which 404s are famous. A good 404 is one that is quiet and relaxed and feels like a breeze to drive. A nice lightweight 1600cc is all you need to give you satisfying torque through the rev range and keep the steering easy and light.

    A C3 is the ideal box for round town driving as downshifts are in the same plane and feel more natural and easier than downshifting across the gate in a BA7.

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    A 2 litre or 1600 conversion is very complicated and not satisfactory. A Datsun motor will fit easier but still a few problems to sort. Actually, a Holden six is the most straightforward conversion I've seen.
    All in all though if you drive in traffic forget the 403, perfectly adequate for country cruising though.
    Weight is only slightly higher than a 404.
    The semi auto clutch is very rare, normal 403 clutch is same style as pre 1968 404 but a little smaller.


    Quote Originally Posted by Edmund View Post
    Hi fellas, I've suddenly developed some love for the Peugeot 403 but I think it's a lazy car, it looks heavier than a 404 and it only has a 1500 displacement. I plan on getting one in the future but I would need to put in a different engine to give it more power and I fancy a 504 two liter motor, as I like to keep things in the family. Do you think that would boost the power considerably? How about also replacing the C3 box with the BA7 box? The gear arrangement on a 403 seems odd for me, wouldn't you accidentally select reverse instead of second? Someone also told me that this car doesn't use a hydraulic clutch system, instead it uses a semi automatic clutch which is direct. Please tell me more about this type of clutch, I know nothing about it, how reliable are these clutches? How easy is it to get parts? Otherwise I'll just fit a BA7 with a complete hydraulic system

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    Get a Judson or Constantin supercharger kit if you can find one, or the Nardi double 40 DCOE conversion (which must have included a new head)!

    OR just get a 404 KF2!
    Last edited by Mike Tippett; 25th January 2016 at 03:29 PM.
    1966 Peugeot 404 Coupé Injection post-restoration reassembly underway!
    Register your 404: https://recensement.leclub404.com/submit.php

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    I Agree with Graham . To install a 2l or 2.2l peugeot engine in 403, the front cross member is right where the oil pump is in the bigger motors , extensive and expensive mods required, the c3 box is just fine in 403 and early 404, as Mike suggests install a supercharger, or even a turbo by turning the exhaust manifold upside down as bloke in Syria has done on his 203.(google 203turbo)

    easier and quieter to get a nice 404 as suggested by Graham

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    404 suggested by Mike!
    Nothing really wrong with the performance of a 403, just the harshness produced while extracting it!
    Turbo would probably be OK as the torque would be increased but hotting up the motor with compression, carbs etc makes it even more harsh.
    The 203 while even slower, is in some ways more acceptable as the 1290 version of the motor is smoother.
    This motor series needed a 5 bearing crank I think.


    Quote Originally Posted by alpine View Post
    I Agree with Graham . To install a 2l or 2.2l peugeot engine in 403, the front cross member is right where the oil pump is in the bigger motors , extensive and expensive mods required, the c3 box is just fine in 403 and early 404, as Mike suggests install a supercharger, or even a turbo by turning the exhaust manifold upside down as bloke in Syria has done on his 203.(google 203turbo)

    easier and quieter to get a nice 404 as suggested by Graham

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    Same as the XN 1800 v the XN 2000.

    The former is far sweeter that the latter and FWIW 1600 sweeter again.

    Edit: If you do any mods to a 403 engine consider machining the center main cap and making a "strong back".

    Like the BMC tuners do.
    lozenge likes this.

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    Default 403 rocks & rolls

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmund View Post
    ... I've suddenly developed some love for the Peugeot 403 ....
    I had the pleasure of being in Jo'berg late last year for a conference (I was an invited speaker).

    Since I own a 403 sedan that is still 1500cc and doesn't hold up any traffic (except perhaps on take-off from the lights) I think you need to consider if this is the right car for you. I run at the legal speeds and keep up with most modern cars. I would go for the holden six if I was inclined to ego initiated changes but I'm really quite content with the legal pace, especially given the prevalence of speed cameras.

    If I want a bit more grunt my 404 bakkie (ute for the locals) imported from South Africa has an 1800cc motor (from stock, the export model) but the gearing runs out too early on the M1 to Brisbane. So the 403 makes for a better long haul run.

    I prefer a 203, but the 403 will do me just fine.

    Regards,

    friday403
    Mike Tippett likes this.

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    Hi Friday403, thanx for you input. What is this Holden 6 engine? We never had Holdens in South Africa. I think they were badged Chevrolet down here? Are you referring to a Chevrolet 6? If so, which generation? There's still a lot of them here, mostly from the 70s, used on the Chevrolet 4100, 3800 etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    All in all though if you drive in traffic forget the 403,
    Hi Graham, why do people keep saying that? Does it have heavy, uncomfortable pedals or is it that slow during take off?

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    Just harsh and noisy when extended really and the clutch once warm tends not disengage properly so it is clunky to put it into 1st gear.
    Also diff surge and back lash.
    I think some of the noise could be eliminated by reinforcing the floor around where the rear gearbox mount is bolted, tends to act like a drum.

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    Chev sixes were much bigger, the Holden motors started at around 2.2 litres, these were exported to South Africa in the FB model around 1960.
    Later ones were as big as 3.3 litres but still physically smaller than the Chev.



    Quote Originally Posted by Edmund View Post
    Hi Friday403, thanx for you input. What is this Holden 6 engine? We never had Holdens in South Africa. I think they were badged Chevrolet down here? Are you referring to a Chevrolet 6? If so, which generation? There's still a lot of them here, mostly from the 70s, used on the Chevrolet 4100, 3800 etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    A good 404 is one that is quiet and relaxed and feels like a breeze to drive. A nice lightweight 1600cc is all you need to give you satisfying torque through the rev range and keep the steering easy and light.

    .
    How about an XM7 instead or would also introduce extra noise/vibration?

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    Talking about noise and vibration re 403 not 404.

    1600 404 engine no lighter than the bigger ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Same as the XN 1800 v the XN 2000.

    The former is far sweeter that the latter and FWIW 1600 sweeter again.

    can you exlplain this? i'm thinking of converting from XM7 to XN1.

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    There would more differences in individual engines than between these types of engines. Don't worry about any harshness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2pac View Post
    can you exlplain this? i'm thinking of converting from XM7 to XN1.

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