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Underslung gear change

At an early stage in my Pembleton build, I decided that the standard 2CV gearchange protruding through the dashboard was going to rob me of potential space for dials and switches. The standard gearbox does not lend itself easily to the fabrication of a floor-mounted 'remote' gearstick (not for THIS amateur, DIY anyway!), so by default an 'underslung' arrangement was chosen.

As it happens, the Pembleton uses the entire 2CV gearchange, including the pressed metal bracket from the 2CV tin shelf. Turning that bracket upside down (so the change 'hangs' from, instead of sitting above, the bracket) allows it to be bolted to the standard mount, but below the dash. I've also added a packing piece to drop it further.

The next problem to be solved is the fulcrum/guide that the change rod needs to bear against to transfer the movement from the driver's hand to the upturned end and Citroen 'gimble' attached to the gearbox lever. In my car, I used the toeboard/bulkhead to mount a square of nylon block (blacksmiths use it as a sacrificial cutter protector), Because the gearchange has to travel up and down, a slot JUST slightly wider than the rod has to be cut - the chrome against nylon edges needs little clearance and no lubrication. So far so good.

Next comes the scary bit. To preserve the same gearchange geometry as standard, you need to measure how much lower the gearchange bracket is, than it would have been if used normally. That amount has to be cut out of the gearbox change lever. This involved some VERY careful measurement and some datum marks, so that after shortening, the yoke on the top of the lever is in the same plane as originally. The change lever is solid, so accepts welding nicely.

With the shortened lever, the actual movement across the gearchange gate is much reduced. I've used a 'ball-on-a-post' as a replacement for the standard black globe and am quite pleased that I haven't had to cut the chrome gearchange rod, to lengthen or alter the relative positions of the upright end and the gearknob.

Mike Meakin

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