Panhard musings

I collected another Panhard crankshaft the other day to true up and lock in place, as it’s definitely not running concentric. It looks like the crank has turned ever so slightly on the crank pins and has a rather eccentric wobble.

As I am doing another crankshaft repair for Brian, I thought I’d compare the two, and at least this new crank confirms the other is too long between the bearings. In the discussions I had with the owner, I was bemused that somebody can spend a lot of money on bodywork and then baulk at the price of an engine.

Any engine that is going to get reconditioned will cost far more than swapping out for another. Its inevitable that the economics of doing so are questionable, but when you are faced with an older engine that is flawed, you’d think that would push the argument towards reconditioning, instead of just making do with any lump to hand.

In the case of the Panhard flat twin, unless you mod the lubrication circuits and increase the oil capacity you will be forever into a rebuild cycle, as these engines have some basic design faults. Panhard never had the money to eradicate these deficiencies, and whereas the engine initially was well designed, its’ subsequent development (to combat service faults) by different Panhard employees was not up to scratch as they missed the basics.

Unfortunately, very few people can see this point of view, and they seem to think you have to look to Panhards’ homeland for the best solutions, but there are no boundaries to good engineering or design. The UK has been a hub of motorsport development ever since Panhard started on their slippery slope to closure, and during this period British companies have seen dominance in World Rally cars and Formula 1. All this activity spins down to the lowest forms of motorsport, such as karting and clubman racing, and is also reflected in specialist educational courses available at the universities.

Nobody is suggesting that Panhards need F1 technology, but the companies that make parts for this industry have a huge expertise in material technology and manufacturing that can be applied to our engines, but only if you are open minded.

I hope over the next few months to surprise at least one person with the things I am working on, drop me a line if you are interested too.