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Author Topic: Transmission origin  (Read 367 times)
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mwredit
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« on: October 12, 2017, 01:55:21 AM »

Was the standard Beta 5 speed originally designed for the Beta?  I've read somewhere they were also designed to work in Citroens also.  Was this transmission of Italian origin or French or...?
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Mike R.

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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 07:00:05 AM »

The autobox was a British design specifically for the Beta. I'm not sure if the same company designed the 5 speed, but I'm sure that it was done for the Beta originally.
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WestonE
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 09:40:17 AM »

I have heard many time that the 5 speed was developed from a Citroen gearbox but nobody has ever told me which one!
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 07:20:50 PM »

Thanks.  I figured that since there are a couple of extra mounting holes around the bellhousing, that may indicate varied applications.
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Mike R.

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 10:06:20 PM »

Hi

Quick Google threw up this old autocar review

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/anything-goes-throwback-thursday/throwback-thursday-1973-lancia-beta-1800-road-test

Which was done in the early 70s on the first Berlinas and specifically mentions Citroen and the fact they were related to Fiat at the time.

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 02:42:48 AM »

Thanks, Peter.  That explains it all.
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Mike R.

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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 02:00:42 PM »

My understanding is that fiat had a part share in the ownership of Citroen in the late 60s (yes really!!). There were joint ventures in place including a medium sized car and the supply of hydropneumatic suspension for the Gamma. It would seem that parts of the Beta came from this aborted project and the FWD drive train in particular, certain Citroen drivetrains seem to be related but how closely and which models I'm not really sure.

Nicked from the internet QUOTE- 'Agreement with Fiat (forming a new holding company, PARDEVI owned 51% by Michelin and 49% by Fiat); CitroŽn dealers sold the Autobianchi range in France and Belgium and CitroŽns were sold via the Fiat network in Italy.'   
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 03:45:47 PM »

There was also the Maserati tie up which resulted in the SM.

A new 5 speed gearbox (originally it had a 4 speed) was introduced on the DS in 1970, so suspect that may be the origins, I would assume the outer casing was custom for the Beta, it was the internal mechanism design which was used. I think the DS has a North/South engine orientation.

Peter
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 04:22:37 PM »

legend has it that Citroen CX gear linkage bushes fit the Beta
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 10:38:22 AM »

Slightly on, slightly off topic but I think the beta gearbox or a version of it was also used in the Fiat Ducato van. I seem to remember some years ago when I rebuilt my Volumex gearbox, I used the input shaft bearing from the Ducato gearbox as it has an uprated version roller bearing in place of the beta's ball bearing race. No idea if fiat had any input into the design of the gearbox tho.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 01:44:13 PM »

The beta gearbox was also used in the 16V versions of the Fiat Coupe both Turbo and Non-Turbo.
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 07:40:44 PM »

Slightly on, slightly off topic but I think the beta gearbox or a version of it was also used in the Fiat Ducato van. I seem to remember some years ago when I rebuilt my Volumex gearbox, I used the input shaft bearing from the Ducato gearbox as it has an uprated version roller bearing in place of the beta's ball bearing race. No idea if fiat had any input into the design of the gearbox tho.
Again, veering off topic a little, but how difficult did you find the Beta gearbox refurb? I'd like to get my Beta gearbox refurbished but am unsure of my abilities (and how difficult a task it might be). And if I decide not to do it I'm wondering who could be trusted with the task.
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 08:12:11 PM »

Graham

A horrible job without specialist pullers and specialist no ear circlip pliers. Unfortunately I have never found anyone who knows how to do it selling their services.

I have built lots of gearboxes and I still hate the job.

Cheers

Eric
PS Parts supply is a serious issue these days.
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 09:45:52 PM »

Graham

A horrible job without specialist pullers and specialist no ear circlip pliers. Unfortunately I have never found anyone who knows how to do it selling their services.

I have built lots of gearboxes and I still hate the job.

Cheers

Eric
PS Parts supply is a serious issue these days.
Hi Eric,

I rather feared that might be the case. Thanks.

Graham
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2017, 08:29:45 AM »

Slightly on, slightly off topic but I think the beta gearbox or a version of it was also used in the Fiat Ducato van. I seem to remember some years ago when I rebuilt my Volumex gearbox, I used the input shaft bearing from the Ducato gearbox as it has an uprated version roller bearing in place of the beta's ball bearing race. No idea if fiat had any input into the design of the gearbox tho.
I seem to recall that the VX box has some uprated bearings compared to other beta boxes
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Gromit
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2017, 02:59:09 PM »

The wikipedia entry for Lancia Beta makes reference to a Citroen derived manual gearbox which was adapted for use in the Beta because of the commercial necessity for a very short model development time period.

The companyís new ownerís objective with the new Beta was to retain the quality image (and resulting price premium) of existing Lancias, while minimising development time and production costs by using in-house Fiat group technology and parts as far as possible.[2] The project adapted a well-regarded existing Fiat engine, fitted transversely and driving the front wheels in line with Fiatís investment in this configuration during the previous decade.[2] The gear box was a development of a transmission unit then being developed by Fiat-partner CitroŽn for a forthcoming model of their own.[2] Above all, and in contrast with the Fulvia, the Beta design was relatively inexpensive to produce in volumes significantly higher than those achieved by predecessor Lancia saloons.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancia_Beta

My father sourced gearbox linkage bushes from a local Citroen dealer in Australia and used them as a pattern to manufacture replacement bushes out of teflon rod. He sold dozens of these Beta gearbox linkage service kits to Italian car workshops and individual Beta owners throughout Australia and NZ in the 1990s.

There is another reference to the Beta manual gearbox being related to the Citroen CX box here although the implied provenance seems the wrong way round:

It's gearbox was all new, and ended up being used in modified form in the CitroŽn CX
.

https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/lancia/beta-berlina/

Then again perhaps not:

Since the Beta came to market two years before the CX, its end-on gearbox with the elegant intermediate shaft could be said to have been lent to the CitroŽn. Iím struggling to work out where it was made . One source suggests Verrone, a Lancia outpost in northen Piedmont from pre-Fiat days, now producing the C635 dual clutch transmission as part of FCA.

Yes, Verrone was the source, for both manuals and the licensed AP automatic.

https://driventowrite.com/2015/10/15/lancia-gamma-history-part-3/

Another reference here in the comments section in what is quite an interesting background story covering the evolution of the Lancia Gamma model and the politics and global economics at play during that era:

Going on memory, Fiat tried to expand their stake in Citroen in 1969, but the full extent of this was resisted by the French Government. De Gaulle was, of course, out of office by this point, but depending on how close you consider de Gaulle and Pompidou to have been both personally and philosophically, it can be argued that Charlieís preferences still loomed large at this time. The result was that Fiat were restricted to a 49 percent stake in PARDEVI, the holding company set up to control Citroen, although with an implied expectation on the Italian side that sooner or later this would result in direct control, since Michelin were known to be keen to get out. As we know, of course, that takeover did not occur, and Fiat sold its stake in 1973. This was not before the Beta received the CXís gearbox (modified to include a fifth gear), but various other projects Ė like a small Citroen based on the 127 Ė never materialised.

https://driventowrite.com/2015/10/15/lancia-gamma-history-part-3/

Some interesting off topic musings from the comments section of the same article:

As it happens, I have a Beta HPE (what is it about this site that draws Lancia and Citroen pervs?), and have spent a fair spread of time thinking about the circumstances of Lanciaís decline. It is a real shame because I think the Beta was an excellent piece of product planning, especially considering what a mess Lanciaís range was in the late 1960s, and the right car at the right time. It sold well, and catered to the increasingly-affluent middle class that later helped launch the compact executive class into orbit. My own feeling is that the point of no return was not the rust scandal or the Gammaís problems (although of course they hardly helped), but internal developments within the company throughout the 1980s. Lancia still had meaningful independence throughout the 1970s, with its own, clearly delineated, styling and engineering teams. In 1981, Lanciaís engineering activities were folded into Fiatís own; by 1989, any remaining separation was abolished. You can see this in the differentiation exhibited by the cars of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Beta and Mk1 Delta are both clearly more sophisticated in engineering terms than their Fiat counterparts. To some extent this remained true throughout the 1980s (Thema vs Croma, some of the technology on various specialist models), but by the time you hit the Tipo-derived models, the differentiation is superficial.

 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 04:09:47 PM by Gromit » Logged

Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2017, 03:25:42 AM »

Very interesting to see the history.  Thanks all for the info!
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Mike R.

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1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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