Careful packaging is always a feature of F1 cars, but converting the Peugeot gearbox to pneumatic shift required some especially clever engineering
There has been more good news on the engine front. The issue with the water jacket turned out to be minor and has been repaired perfectly. The water system has now been thoroughly tested and is able to withstand at least three times the pressure achieved when the Peugeot V10 is running.
We have now turned our attention back to the Jordan 195’s gearbox, which required a final assembly and test. This is the first time the transmission has been run since the end of the 1995 season, and although almost all the internals are new, it all needs to be very carefully put together and checked. Elite Racing Transmissions has done an incredible job and managed to retain the cluster as a cartridge so that it is easy to remove and rebuild.
We bench-tested the cluster to check that all of the gears engaged correctly and that there was the correct amount of barrel rotation for each engaged gear. Everything was perfect and the gearbox was put back together.
The only part of the original specification of the ’box to have changed is the shift actuator. The original actuator (which we have) was designed to work as part of a hydraulic system and we are using a pneumatic system. The main difference is that the diameter of the hosing for the pneumatics needs to be slightly larger to generate the same level of force on the actuator as the hydraulic system. The packaging was incredibly tight.
The way the actuator mounts to the gearbox is specific to the Jordan and doesn’t leave any room to accommodate the pneumatic system. To complicate things further, the gearbox ratchet return springs are carried on top of the actuator. It made for a real head-scratcher.
In the end the only solution was to redesign and produce a new centre-shift actuator with the correct piston sizes for the pneumatic system. This also carries the original ratchet return springs on the top section as per the original. For reliability, we used the proven Shiftec internals and the whole assembly screws into the gearbox mounting exactly like the period piece.
It’s dealing with seemingly innocuous yet critical issues such as this that make me very pleased to be working with Tour-de-Force Power Engineering for the restoration because they have years of F1 experienceand all the tools to design and machine parts like this in house.
The completion of the gearbox has allowed the rear suspension to be assembled, which is important because we still have a few measurements to take so that Quantum can complete the build of the rear dampers. Rear wishbones, pushrods, rockers and dummy dampers were refitted along with the driveshafts and uprights to complete the back end of the car.
The Jordan has also just been confirmed to appear at the 2018 Peugeot Sport Club UK’s annual meet at Prescott in July and has been granted permission to do a couple of runs up the first section of the course. It might just be the loudest vehicle to go up the hill at Prescott.