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The preselector (Wilson) gearbox

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djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

The preselector (Wilson) gearbox

Post by djl » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:01 pm

Some years ago (around 20-21) when Discovery chanel still made nice tv programs there was a series of documentaries about old car brand, mostly British. I don't remember the name of the series (among the non-British brands I've remember they've talk about "Lancia"), but in one episode (I don't remember the brand) they mentioned the preselector gearbox. At the time I thought it was something cool, but soon forgot about it. :geek:
Untill about last year, when I started to have interest in old British cars and rediscovered the preselector gearbox. :)
And comparing to 1999-2000 I have more knownledge about auto and there is more stuff on the internet, so I could find a lot about it - not as much as I want, but still a lot.
Why do I have such much interest on it:
1) I'm not yet a driver, but from a beginer's pint of viewthat dosen't want an automatic gear changer the one that haves continuous moving of the gear lever is more easy to be manipulated then a classical manual. And also is harder to be damaged by an unexperienced driver. Useless to say I don't like new cars;
2) Most people don't even know about it and they are thinking that only manual and automatic gearboxes existed. So it's something intersting.

Why did I sayed that I couldn't find all that I wanted? Because I thought that "Daimler" was the 1st brand to use such a gearbox, but later I found out that "Armstrong-Siddeley" offered for the 1st time this option on automobiles in 1928 (2 years before "Daimler") and the 1st ones didn't had a fluid flywheel (introduced by "Daimler"), but some kind of clutch and they where only 3 speeds (thought that all had 4). Later "Armstrong-Siddeley" quited fluid flywheel and put again a kind of clutch. If about the general type used (there where some brands that used preselector gearboxes) and specific ones used on "Daimlers" I could find some info, about the early "Armstrong-Siddeley" and the later ones (after the quiting of fluid flywheel) are impossible to find.

I'm also curios to hear from people that are owning vehicles with this kind of gerabox how do cars with this kind of gearbox behave in today's traffic and how easy/hard is to drive such cars comparing to manual and automatic (or modern automatic with manual control options) is.
:mrgreen:
Last edited by djl on Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

Peter Grant
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:02 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by Peter Grant » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:37 pm

Dear Stefan-Daniel,
I have owned a number of Daimlers with the pre-select gearbox and fluid flywheel and can honestly say that they are very easy and good to drive in the modern traffic.
Of course, being older cars and quite heavy they are not as light to steer or easy to stop as a modern car but as long as you allow for that difference they are excellent to use in modern traffic conditions.
As the roads have become more congested here in Sydney i do not drive my cars as much, everyday transport being a bus and train but I have had no trouble with the pre-select gearbox at all.
There are other issues, vapour lock (when the fuel vapourises in the fuel line in heavy traffic) being one, but that is something that can be overcome.
Cheers and i hope that you keep up your interstate in the pre-select cars and buy and enjoy a Daimler soon.
Cheers
Peter G

djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by djl » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:56 pm

I wouldn't drive in Bucharest a car daily because traffic here is a nightmare. I don't like very much the buses (because of the models of vehicles), but luckly we have trams and trolleybues here (and subway).
And traffic is mad (dumb drivers too), so at rush hours is better not to use an classic car or elese you may hit it.
But if I find a garage (houses in my part of neiberghood tend to be demolished and replaced with larger buidlings - I live in apartament building) I can keep and get it out on ocasions.
I don't know if I'm able to start runing a classical manual, but from what I've studied, a prselector shouldn't be a problems, because it's easy to start moving the car.
At your car can you use the throttle lever as an accelration/decceleration control?
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

grahamemmett
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:12 pm
Location: Northwich, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by grahamemmett » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:05 pm

If you visit the website www.DB18.org you’ll find the gearbox manual and some articles about how easy it is to drive using a preselect gearbox.
Another excellent website is
https://www.vorwahlgetriebe.de/?L=1
Written by an expert in the gearbox. You will learn on there that the gearbox was used in many different cars.
Graham Emmett
Northwich, Cheshire
Joint DB18 Registrar (with Marcel Renshaw)
DB18 1949 LCV522 (Yes that one with the P100s)
https://www.db18.org

djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by djl » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:13 pm

I know about that German site. But that D.V.D. is pretty expensive for me at the time... it's about 80 Euros.
Found some sites where preselector gerabox driving is mention and I also found 2 "Daimler" instruction handbook on a site.
On the DB18 site I see only technical articles...
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

grahamemmett
Posts: 663
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:12 pm
Location: Northwich, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by grahamemmett » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:56 pm

Graham Emmett
Northwich, Cheshire
Joint DB18 Registrar (with Marcel Renshaw)
DB18 1949 LCV522 (Yes that one with the P100s)
https://www.db18.org

djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by djl » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:38 pm

I know about that site. I've read the manual some time ago. But still it isn't about the particular model used on "Armstrong-Siddeley".
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

Petelang
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by Petelang » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:02 pm

Hi Stefan.
I have a pre select Daimler Fifteen with fluid flywheel, and an Armstrong Siddeley Fifteen (1933) also with pre select transmission but no fluid flywheel. On the Armstrong Siddeley you have to employ the gear change pedal as a clutch on starting away in first or reverse much as in a manual. It is quite easy to drive and I use it as a wedding car on a regular basis around town and urban roads. I try not to slip the clutch any more than necessary in traffic as it will lead to brake band wear, however these gearboxes are incredibly tough and withstand an extraordinary amount of abuse.
A similar, but notably larger version was used in the London Routemaster bus (AEC) and in a past career I was involved in the overhauling of these for London Transport. A gearbox in a London bus makes millions of gearchanges every year with anything up to 30 (bus) stops to a mile, plus stop start traffic, and they were seldom well looked after, frequently with low oil levels or wrong oils employed, but they seldom "failed" until the band linings wore out or started to disintegrate.
They are built to self adjust in use with the mechanism that engages the brake band compensating for gradual wear.
Driving around town is challenging as you have to always think ahead but it makes you a better driver. The best advice is to adopt a different approach, always starting off in first, and then select the next gear on the lever in readiness for an upshift, when you need to make that change just operate the change gear pedal (full stroke, to the floor stop) and so on. Once in top gear, I leave the lever there unless approaching a roundabout when I'd select third for a downshift. Coming to a stop I select neutral and then place the lever back in first position ready to pull away, relying on brake to stop.
Occasionally, if you mess up a shift, the pedal comes back up at great force and you are presented with neutral but pressing the pedal again will restore gear engagement but the pedal will require considerable force to do so.
What you must not do is to use the pedal as a clutch, slipping the brake bands on anything other than starting gear (on the Armstrong) but on the Daimler it is perfectly permissable to engage gear at stand still as the flywheel permits this and it will happily idle in gear until the revs increase and you pull away. My passengers often think the engine has stalled in the Daimler as it idles almost silently in gear.
It is a very good system and I quite enjoy driving pre select. It makes you think about your driving in a whole new way and offers smooth shifts and a comfortable ride for passengers once you get used to it. A similar set up was also used in Riley cars and several other makes in the 30's.
Peter
Peter Langridge
Cloud Nine Classic Weddings, Nottingham.

djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by djl » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:11 pm

Thank you very much for your info. So at "Amrstrong-Siddeley" when I put in 1st or reverse I must keep the pedal pressed like at a clutch, but in 2nd, 3rd (and 4th) I select and then press the pedal?
Wilson preselectors are less complicated then the updated version of electropneumatic ones and far less then an automatic gerabox (gush, it's a whole plant isnide).
"Riley" had automatic clutch. But I don't know if convertor operated or vacuum operated.
But is hard to move the accelerating pedal on the center and the brake pedal on the right? 'cause I don't know, but for me the ideal arrangement is gear engaging pedal - acceleration - brake.
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

djl
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:24 pm
Location: Bucureşti (Bucharest), capital of România (Romania)

Re: The preselector (Wilson) gerabox

Post by djl » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:53 pm

But there is any chance that if you are in traffic, must come to a short stop (traffic light for eg) you can press the brake pedal and the car will not move after you rise the foot from the braking pedal?
Valves (electronic tubes) are for audio what preselector gearboxes are for cars.

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