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The A series 'push me pull you' gearshift

2CV Index

As was so often the case, CitroŽn's engineering approach to the 2CV's gearshift was unorthodox and clearly based on that of the Traction.
The gearbox in the 2CV was mounted behind the engine but sufficiently far forward to require the use of a remote gearlever.
The solution was a horizontal tube through which the gearlever could be pushed forwards and pulled backwards while being rotated within the tube.
Twisting the lever anti-clockwise and pushing it forwards selected reverse; pulling it backwards selected first gear. Thus the two gears used for parking manoeuvres were directly opposite one another.
The lever was spring-loaded in the second/third plane so pushing the lever forwards selected second and pulling it back selected third. No rotation is required. Thus the two gears for use in town were located directly opposite each other.
From third gear, rotating the lever clockwise and pushing it selected fourth gear (or overdrive as the company initially called it).

Two gear change diagrams were used - early cars used the one above...
...and later cars the one above. The actual change was the same

Above - selection of reverse gear
Below - selection of first gear
Above - neutral
Below - selection of second gear
Below - selection of third gear Below - selection of overdrive/fourth gear

All the A series cars - 2CV, Dyane, Mťhari, Ami 6, Ami 8, Baby Brousse and the light commerical derivatives used this gear selection set up. The one exception was the Ami Super which had a floor-mounted shift since it used the engine and transmission from the GS.

© 2011 Julian Marsh/CitroŽnŽt