President's Report - October 2013

Greetings All,

This month’s club meeting is our Annual General Meeting and will be held at the Weston Club on Tuesday 22 October at 8pm, with dinner and drinks from 7pm. AGM’s can be boring affairs, but that is certainly not the case in our club, as past AGM’s have demonstrated. In fact the business part of the meeting is very short, and the rest of the evening is devoted to more pleasurable activities – including interesting reports on where members have been on recent travels, technical talk, looking at the latest magazines from other clubs etc. This year, we are offering a complimentary drink to every AGM attendee.

My son, Geoff, owns a very tidy 1985 (series 1) 505 GTi, with around 170,000km on the clock. Recently, when reversing out of the driveway he heard a ‘clunk’, and then spotted a pool of oil with an oil trail following him down the driveway. Crawling under the car, revealed a neat hole in the diff casing and a piece of metal on the ground – see photos.

Clearly a new diff was in order, so Geoff sourced one in Melbourne and decided to have it fitted by P504, well known Pug specialists in Sydney, where he lives. Sadly, Geoff lives in the far south of Sydney and P504 is way up north, so the question was – how to get the car across town?

Geoff began by plugging the hole with QuikSteel epoxy putty: According to Geoff, the putty worked a treat - you knead it in your hands until the two components mix and it becomes warm, then it bonds in around 4 minutes, and cures completely in an hour. I remember using something similar, many years ago, to plug a holed fuel tank in my 404, with the same result – it worked a treat.

Next step - put some gear oil in the diff, but Geoff discovered that he didn’t have any tools that would fit the square-socket on the filler plug. Neither did Bunnings or the local auto shop, or his neighbour. The guy at the auto shop said he had another Peugeot owner looking for the same thing once before, and couldn’t help him. So, since he couldn’t remove the filler plug to add oil, Geoff decided to drive it dry, and if it broke completely he would just get a tow. Luckily he made it all the way there (~50km) in peak hour traffic (about 2.5 hours) without any issues. Apparently it made quite a noise, and probably got quite hot, but it made it just fine.

Here is Bill McNamee’s take on what happened:

The problem was almost certainly a broken planetary gear and a fragment got caught on the crown wheel and knocked a hole in the housing. It will continue to work but there is always a chance a new hole will be formed. A rare occurrence, but I have seen it in all Peugeots RWD hypoid diffs and many of the FWD BE series transmissions. Peugeot do not seem to try very hard with planetary gears.

I have yet to hear how the diff transplant worked out, but will report the outcome in my next column.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad