Unusual ways to change gear, cont'd

Also, two stroke Tuesday.

Meet Johnny. Johnny’s driving his two stroke Foden S21 (actually not his, he’s delivering it to its owner after restoration). Yes, it’s noisy. Two stroke diesels are. It’s the supercharger.

You’ll note he’s performing odd gearchange activities. He has both a proper lever for his left hand and a long switch for his right. He uses these alternately to the accompaniment of pffft noises.

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Here’s what he’s playing with.

It’s a four speed with a three speed splitter so you have (in principle) low, direct and overdrive versions of each of those four speeds. In practice 4 Low isn’t of any use because of overlap. As he’s not carrying anything too heavy Johnny’s able to dispense with all the low gears and just start with 1 direct, from which point he flicks the little lever forward to overdrive with an impressive pfffft and then quickly dips the clutch. From there he puts the lever back to direct and engages second direct and so on. Note the technique needed with the clutch pedal as this isn’t a synchro box.

If you need to move something heavy things become rather more complex as you have low to play with as well so 1 to 3 in low, on to direct (pfffft) and back to 1 and so on as before.

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