GiSelle the GS Mechanical Refresh Mark 2

pottsy

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OK, it's been a while since I posted about this Lovely Lady. Having been on the road for a while now,. and covered a few kilometres together, we've come to know each other's idiosyncrasies. A few of them I can't live with in the long term so the jacketed lead projectile has been chomped! It may be unfeeling of me but her wishes are secondary, so it's up on the hoist for you my girl!

Main issues seem to be the following:

Excessive smoke on a cold start up. I accept that some is "normal" for a GS, but when the back fence is shrouded by a blue fug, it's a bit over the top. I know (hope) that it's not valve stem seals or valve guides as in refresh Mark 1 The heads were completely reconditioned with new guides, seals and valves. Sorta points at worn rings and/or bores I suppose.

Gearbox noisy and 3rd gear synchro out to lunch. The noise is constant whenever rolling along, and speed dependent. I suspect either output bearings or diff bearings as it doesn't seem to matter which gear we're in. Synchro on 1, 2 and 4 is strong, just that pesky 3rd gear, but given the amount of time spent in that gear I guess a repair is a good idea.

So since we're locked down again, and if I don't spend time in the shed Mrs P will get grumpy, I've decided that GiSelle is going to get the red carpet treatment, mechanically at least.

Engine wise, I've managed to source a set of new piston rings. Not, genuine Citroen ones, which are made from unobtainium, but a set of Australian made ones for a Renault 16! The bore (88mm), and ring sizes (1.75, 2 & 4mm) are the same! If the pistons and barrels are redeemable, then I'm hoping these will at least minimise the smoke issue. Ideally this is the only major change I need to make to the motor, as otherwise it all seems good. I've got another set of pistons and barrels on hand if there's issues with the incumbent ones.

Having now dismantled and reassembled a couple of gearboxes I feel confident that I can replace the 3rd gear synchro ring fairly easily. I have a synchro ring and gear from another box which has reasonable clearance between the faces so I'm planning on using that. Any bearings I need to disturb will also be carefully scrutinised (with an intense Scrute! ) and replaced as needed. I'd like to think the gearbox will live again.

The engine bay will get a much needed clean with degreaser, scraper and pressure washer. Any and all return lines will be sorted, replaced, or re-sealed as required. I've got a brake valve freshly reconditioned with new seals and "mushroom" so that may as well go in while I can actually see where it goes!
New caliper seals will go in, as will the freshly refurbished front suspension legs as well. (Yes, I've been busy in previous lockdowns!)

Anything else that leaps out at me will be addressed as a matter of course so I hope that at the end of this exercise I'll have a fully sorted GS for years to come.

Incidentally, in the process of removing the engine/gearbox assembly I've discovered that the pivot point of the whole lump appears to be exactly where the factory lifting bracket says it should be (Go Figure!) so a strap lifting off the rear of the exhaust manifold allows relatively easy management when lifting.

Here are a couple of piccies of the progress so far.

Cheers, Pottsy.
 

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DoubleChevron

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You can lift those motors out wiht just a mate on the other side ?? :D

Is this where you strap the small belt driven supercharger on :dance: :dance:
 

pottsy

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Hmm. Now you've got me thinking! Forced induction would be an interesting exercise for sure.

As far as lifting it out with a mate, two things come to mind. First is that in lockdown that's not kosher, second is Mrs P would be unco-operative.

In any case, the whole package including gearbox is bloody heavy!
 

Buttercup

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Hmm. Now you've got me thinking! Forced induction would be an interesting exercise for sure.

As far as lifting it out with a mate, two things come to mind. First is that in lockdown that's not kosher, second is Mrs P would be unco-operative.

In any case, the whole package including gearbox is bloody heavy!
Its a lot lighter than most cars!

If you have an overhead fixture that you can hang it off, a pair of Bunnings 25mm cheapo ratchet straps will do.

Or, if the overhead fixture is about 1m forward of the engine, you can rig up a lever arm. If the arm is 3m long, hung from the roof at 1m. The short end is attached to the engine about 120mm lower than the fulcrum. Then after everything has been disconnected, just pull down on the 2m arm.... and you can swing it away from the car..... and lower it onto a bench/ support/ stack of wheels, about the same height as the car was.
 

DoubleChevron

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These days we are lucky .......... As engine cranes are so cheap! My last struggle was lifting a gearbox and transfer case up from underneath a car ...... Not Fun!

I think pottsy has a hoist these days... talk about spoiled!!! He could just lift the car up, roll a workbench underneath, then lower the entire car down so the engine/gearbox is resting the bench ... and roll it out :dance:
 

pottsy

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Thanks blokes.

I like the way you think Bob. If I had to do it under a tree or similar that would be my approach. I use ratchet strap webbing for such jobs. Good for 500kg each length, but small enough to work around awkward bits and knot at the right length.

I am spoilt, however. I have the car up on blocks on a 4 post hoist. An engine crane for removal was a lot easier once I sussed out where the optimum lifting point was.

Whole shebang then lowered on to a wheely trolley for entry into the Shed, then positioned under the lifting beam and chain hoist for elevation up to the mobile work platform on which it now perches. Many moons ago the company I worked for had made a number of special electric lift tables for positioning large computer monitors at the right height and angle. That was in the '70s. Not long before I retired I found a couple of them covered in dust at the back of an old sub station, so I liberated them and they are just fantastic for working on motors and gearboxes, saving my aging back from too many twinges.

Calipers and discs off, regulat and gearbox removed. All set now for a careful dismantle and fettling.

And yes, it's still lighter than a lot of other power packages. Worst I've encountered was weaselling a 4.4 Leyland P76 motor and gearbox into No. 3 Son's classic Range Rover. That was a struggle even with the pair of us.

Makes the Mini and the 2CV look like Tonka toys! :)

Cheers, Pottsy.

PS. One of the work tables was used as Shane described and was perfect for removing and re-installing the rear sub frame when I did that!
 

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simca1100

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Hi Pottsy

I'd ask around about the smoke. From my memory they do produce a LOT of smoke on first start of the day. (I owned one in the early 1980s, it got a 2nd hand engine when the timing belts went, the first engine was knackered any way, I bought the car from a very dodgy dealer...)
Even the good second hand engine supplied and fitted by Citro Motors could create quite a cloud on first start up - embarrassingly so.

Car magazine tests of the time generally commented on the smoky starts, often brushing it aside with comments about how this bit of extra lube on start up helped explain the engine's longevity...

I mention this just because I don't want you to get frustrated trying to fix something that is a characteristic of the car. Can other GS owners chime in please?

Also the manual gearbox is characteristically noisy. I had a convertisseur, my sister liked my car so much she bought a manual GS and it was a much better car than mine. But her car sang a gearbox song that my convertisseur didn't. They are more or less the same gearbox, minus a cog and with the torque converter, so maybe the different oil changed the noise? Her car was serviced by Duttons so I doubt it was faulty.
 

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Hang on ... back up a bit .... I'm going off topic here .... But, but ... motor into a shitbox rangie. You have all the room in the world. I've lowered them in with the gearbox and transfer case attached without any problems. You just remove the bonnet closing panel :) The motors only weigh about 150kgs ..... (but damn, don't the transfer case and 'box weigh plenty)



shitbox.jpg
 
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KenW Jnr

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Interested in how you go with the gear box. My 2nd gear synchro is a bit baulky, and I've got some bearing noise in 4th; I've put some G90 in and will drive it for a while and see if it clears up
 

pottsy

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AxGT, or may I call you Ax for short ( :) ), I've run Castrol VMX-80 and Nulon G70 in the box since first turning the crank in anger. The noises have never really got any better.

Simca1100, I've had a lot of discussions about the smoke. Yes, the GS apparently is a martyr to the cold start cloud, but when the drive fills with so much smoke that the neighbour over the road was reaching for the fire extinguisher, it's possibly a tad extreme.

If new rings don't calm it down a bit then yes, I'll suck it up and live with it, happy that I've tried everything and it's all mechnically sound. However, I can't help feeling it's not quite right, and, to a petrol head like me, that's anathema.

And Shane, yes, the 4.4 motor is light, but the gear container weighs almost as much and, as you would know, it's enormous. Getting the thing in and then tilted was Not Fun!

Cheers, Pottsy
 

forumnoreason

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my G612 motor has a good belch on start up, new rings etc, Specifically if sitting for a period as I guess the oil sits on the pistons and that initial exhaust is sent back through the inlets too making it more schmoky. chauffage calms right down when it starts to idle. If it is turned over regularly not so. You can get pistons with non rotational rings which I think were made to resolve this.
 
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Buttercup

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my G612 motor has a good belch on start up, new rings etc, Specifically if sitting for a period as I guess the oil sits on the pistons and that initial exhaust is sent back through the inlets too making it more schmoky. chauffage calms right down when it starts to idle. If it is turned over regularly not so. You can get pistons with non rotational rings which I think were made to resolve this.
Mine seems to be worse if I have parked on a slope to one side.
If the car is quite level it is a lot less.

I guess it's because oil will settle in the cylinders of the downhill side, and creep past the rings into the head.
 

pottsy

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OK, update time.

Shrouds, heads and barrels are off.

No broken rings. Everything looks good.

Middle ring on 3 and top ring on 2 had their gaps at or near the bottom. They're the non-pinned type. May have rotated there or been installed that way. Who can tell.

I've removed one top ring and checked the gap a cm or so down the bore of the barrel. Looks to be a tad above spec. Will document all the gaps when I get motivated, then do some comparisons with the new set.
 

PeterMol

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mine puffed like the preverbial when I bought it. Then one day it just stopped. Does it once in a blue moon which I think is a function of long time since last use and slope the car was parked on. Its a mystery, other than I keep the oild change regular
 

wheelnut

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Hi Pottsy. I do recall your smoky first starts at Bendigo. When I did just the rings and a hone ( I used 16 TS rings also) on Gaston a few months ago, I ended up with quite bad piston slap (think early Land Rover diesel clatter) and smoky on every start-up, not just the first in the morning.
I bought a new barrel and piston set from Daniel in Germany, and installed those in the first week of our Sydney lock down. What a difference. Even after just five or 600 km (we are still in lockdown so I'm doing long circuits around the perimeter of our LGA) the mid-range power and hillclimbing ability is way above what the car could do previously. I would encourage you to measure your pistons and barrels really carefully, and perhaps go the expensive option to get the best results. Barrels and pistons weren't available when I did my first rebuild, so I had no option to try with the old stuff, but Daniel has them in stock now. About a A$1 grand delivered. But so worth it.
When looking at your synchro rings, you may be able to get some more life out of them by linishing the face at the wide end of the taper a few thou. That allows the synchro ring to push further on to the gear taper face and get a good bite. Don't take it too far, or it could become a bit sloppy at the selector hub end.
When you look at your ring gaps make sure you measure at the lower end of the bore as well as the top. The top is where the most wear is so if you set a 12 thou gap there it might bind at the bottom of the stroke. My 16 TS rings were supplied to new bore size so had no excess to file to fit - hopefully yours will have some excess to allow you to gap to a worn bore.
Keep us posted with your progress. Cheers. Ian.
 
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pottsy

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Thanks chaps.

Peter, how's your oil level? :)

Rest assured the micrometers and cylinder gauges will be getting a good work out. Did you measure the ring gaps of the new units in the new barrels before re-assembling? Curious to know how close to spec the new ones are. Did you aim for 12 thou as optimum gaps? Haynes quotes 0.3mm to 0.45mm to (11.8 thou to 17.7 thou). So far I haven't been able to find any listing of ring gaps in the factory manuals.

Ian, I was going to ask the brains trust about linishing the synchro cones. I've got a couple that have five eighths of bugger all clearance and thought of increasing that by slightly reducing the thickness of the cone. Nice to see that such a thing is feasible, if not an accepted practice.

Will do my usual coverage once I get the opportunity.

Cheers, Pottsy

PS. Hastings rings recommend 3.5 thou per inch of bore as a minimum gap. This puts a 77mm (3.032") bore needing a minimum ring gap of 10.6 thou (0.269mm) which would seem about right.
 
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wheelnut

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Pottsy, my engine building Mates recommended 4 thou per inch of bore, particularly for an air cooled engine, so I went with 12 thou. When I used the old pistons and barrels with the preset Renault 16 TS rings, I had around 24 thou clearance at the top and 16 to 18 thou clearance at the bottom of the bore. Clearly that amount of wear was a bit much. As mentioned above, the Renault rings were set to the 77 mm bore. The new rings I got with the barrel and pistons set were all extra length (so presumably generic replacement rings to allow for reringing used piston/bore sets) to allow for filing to suit the bore. I had to file them all to get the 12 thou gap, and I did check that that was uniform from the top to the bottom of the bore. It was.
 

DoubleChevron

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Pottsy, my engine building Mates recommended 4 thou per inch of bore, particularly for an air cooled engine, so I went with 12 thou. When I used the old pistons and barrels with the preset Renault 16 TS rings, I had around 24 thou clearance at the top and 16 to 18 thou clearance at the bottom of the bore. Clearly that amount of wear was a bit much. As mentioned above, the Renault rings were set to the 77 mm bore. The new rings I got with the barrel and pistons set were all extra length (so presumably generic replacement rings to allow for reringing used piston/bore sets) to allow for filing to suit the bore. I had to file them all to get the 12 thou gap, and I did check that that was uniform from the top to the bottom of the bore. It was.
Maybe he should open the rings gaps up just a bit ....... for the boost down the road :evil:
 

pottsy

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Shane, you're a bad influence!

Poor GiSelle would have conniptions if I started force feeding her with air/fuel. :) In any case, once I've gone through this rebuild I just want to drive her when the occasion arises, not blow the bum out of the motor only to have to go through it all again. In any case, 1222 cc seems to provide fairly spritely performance already, in comparison to the 2CV at least!

Ian, thanks for that. I have to finish putting a magazine together for a car club then I'll go and do a series of measurements.

Cheers, Pottsy
 

Buttercup

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Shane, you're a bad influence!

Poor GiSelle would have conniptions if I started force feeding her with air/fuel. :) In any case, once I've gone through this rebuild I just want to drive her when the occasion arises, not blow the bum out of the motor only to have to go through it all again. In any case, 1222 cc seems to provide fairly spritely performance already, in comparison to the 2CV at least!

Ian, thanks for that. I have to finish putting a magazine together for a car club then I'll go and do a series of measurements.

Cheers, Pottsy
Yes Shane, you are a bad influence!
 
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