Elf exchanged for hot meercat (Auto-Voyager followup)

I don’t miss the Elf with the ‘ammer, to be found lurking inside most Guzzi gearboxes; but I have replaced him with a very hot Meercat.

All automated Sergei
As expected, revs are a lot higher, particularly if you want to make reasonable progress; but it’s not like just keeping in a lower gear. The revs rise with the throttle, not with the road speed; then when you come off the throttle, the revs drop away, but the road speed remains. Rather a strange disconnection. Certainly not a set up for hustling around the country lanes. You have to lie back and relax.

Hot Wheels
I had omitted to connect up the earth on my ATF temperature sensor, but I did not think this would be too disastrous for a trip out for fuel. Wrong!. Just shows how much heat is generated / wasted by the torque convertor. I need to make some changes to my ATF radiator/ air flow, as it is just not effective enough where it is. I just hope I have not damaged the ATF or the seals in this burst of high temperature. Higher revs of course also increase engine heat.

I did say this was an experiment to satisfy my curiosity and was not going to be an improvement. It’s not; but it is different! Absence of Elf, and always being in the right gear for a corner, are nice; and there is obviously no thrashing about with the gears, either on the move, setting up for corners, or at junctions, which leaves more time for the other control inputs. Heat always was an issue on Voyager however and I have made that considerably worse. Power loss is also very noticeable. 2 aspects of Voyaging that did not need exacerbating.

Liquor, Love and Laughs
If I can sort out the ATF cooling and perhaps put the Convert bevel box on, it might be useable for the rest of the season, as long as I can get into ‘old man’ mode – should not be too hard.

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Well done Graham. Quite an

Well done Graham. Quite an achievement! I wouldn't miss the Guzzi gearbox, but I would mourn a loss of performance! Colin


Hi Graham Another well done from me, a lot of hard work. I only ever pushed your Voyager round at walking pace, but with an auto box, you may need 60 mph to bump start, get a bigger battery. Regards cooling, the naked pic shown, if you can discard the big ATF ? rubber hose and join both ends with a copper or ali tube, it cant make it worse, or increase the diameter at this point to keep more oil in circulation, and even solder on a few fins, and try and direct air over it, if nothing else even hot (is it FRONT RAD?) exhausted air is better than none, and linked to the electric fan, can help enormously in traffic before the next blast. Either way you have achieved a lot, and you now have plenty to tinker with. I know very little about auto boxes, but are there any alternative ATF fluids for hotter climates, this may help, or possibly one of the brake bands needs adjustment, one of the few times i would recommend a specialist. Good luck and keep us posted. yours Dave

Moto Guzzi - what are they like?

Graham's lockdown project has been educational all round. Like David I have very little direct experience of Auto's, although there were enough around in the seventies, some atttached to relatively fearsome Merkan 'Sportscars' for me to take some interest as a race transmission specialist. But Grahams tales of the intricacies of the Guzzi set up suggest that Guzzi didn't know much about the subject either. It's a two-speed Auto that doesn't change gear automatically - so no 'bands' to adjust. It's also got a torque converter And a friction clutch. No 'D','D2','P' or (more obviously)'R'

Difficult to avoid the conclusion that Guzzi cobbled something together out of bits from other Auto's, tractors and motorcycle bits they had lying around, then discvovered that most of it didn't work and disabled it, producing what appears to be a one-speed Auto with a very hard working torque converter. I could be wrong, but I suspect the whole plot would work better with a steel belt CVT from a Fiesta or maybe a Tmax... Graham's heroically got it working however and is now exploring the Voyager experience without engine braking or gear changing. In Voyager developnent no left turn is left unstoned!

Steel belt CVTs

It's the Suzuki Burgman 650 that comes with a steel belt CVT as standard. The Tmax, like the Silver Wing, and all the other auto maxiscoots that I'm aware of have the traditional 'rubber band' CVTs made of something like fan-belt material. Honda's DCT transmission is a completely different kettle of fish altogether, of course.

Hurrah for fact checkers!

It's great that we have pedants like this on site. Even things like spelling ang grammer get carefully corrected. Where would we be without this unremitting attention to irrelevent detail? Pretty much where we are now I guess. What would be even better would be people with similar enthusiasm for Physics, mewchanical engineering and aerodynamics. A connection to mainstreeam media would be good too.