Peugeot 103 stock clutch and variator assembly

I've seen many times people posting to the repair forum about having trouble assembling their stock, Peugeot 103 clutch/variator components. The following is a step by step guide with pictures.


I like to start the process by laying out all the component parts somewhat in the order in which they are assembled onto the crank shaft.

variator assembly

Not a lot is done with the variable drive pulley assembly except to inspect that the primary starter clutch linings have lots of material left (above) and that the springs are in place. I sometimes slide the clutch arms off the pivot posts and wipe the post clean with Brakleen, then apply a very very tiny amount of antiseize lube to the pivot post before sliding the arms back in place. You have to be careful when lubricating clutch parts that spin at 9000 rpm. Any excess lube will thrown out and into the clutch run face where it will contaminate the lining material and the clutch will slip.

outer bearing race

Install the outer bearing race and plastic washer into the front face of the variator hub. Note that the raised shoulder of the plastic washer fits into the recessed area of the hub. Turn and stand the variator face down for the next steps.

Bearing race lenghts

A quick note about the bearing races (above) that go in the variator. Note that there are often two installed and that they are of separate lengths, a long 30.5mm and short 26.5mm. The reason for this I believe that since the single manual clutch was developed first and it use the single 30.5mm race. Later when the variated clutch was developed it needed a longer race for the longer crank shaft. to save money the company had the short race made to go with all the existing long races they had in stock. The later model versions of the variated clutch all have one piece races. Does that sound good?

check movement

Check the free movement the primary starter clutch arms and springs by pulling them outward and allowing them to snap back in place.

locking ring

Slide the locking ring down over the threaded pivot posts then install the two lock washers and nuts.

nuts and washer

Cinch these down moderately tight.

inner race

Now install the inner bearing race and plastic washer into the bearing hub. Note that the two raised notches in the plastic washer fit down into the matching recessed notches in the variator hub.

IMPORTANT!! If you do not get the plastic washers notches lined up and seated down in the notches of the hub, when you do your final tightening of the crankshaft nut, the variator will stack out on the crank shaft and you will not have the desired free spin of the variator inside of the clutch bell.

beveled washer

Next is the placing of the beveled washer. This is where many people get messed up, because they install this part upside down. The correct way is to place the washer in the center of the hub with the beveled, or cutout portion facing up so that it can fit over the "Double D" or "keyed" portion of the crankshaft (pictured below).

double "D"

thrust plate

Install the centrifugal clutch thrust plate and thrust balls down inside the locking ring so that the plate rests on the beveled washer. You can see that the thrust plate has a "Double D" or "keyed" hole in it. A good assembly rule is to line all the "keyed" components so that they sit in the same direction using the pivot posts as a reference, (pictured above right).

plate in place

It will now look like this.

pressure plate

Next lower the centrifugal clutch pressure plate around the thrust plate hub and onto the thrust balls. Once again, reference any two of the pressure plates opposing recesses with the pivot posts.

clutch lining disc

Next press the centrifugal clutch lining disc down into the locking ring. Some discs I've seen have a little notch on one of the outside tangs, some don't have the notch. I usually line the notch up with the pivot posts, but it doesn't matter and there is no top or bottom, or left or right. Force the disc into the grooves and the little flat springs around the edge of the ring will hold it all tight.

spring washer

After that you can stand the pressure plate spring washer in its four grooves on the pressure plate center. Note that the spring washer has the "Double D" hole, so line it up.

adjusting washer

Follow up the spring washer with the adjusting washer.

inner clutch cover/bell

Finish off the whole bundle by lining up the "Double D" hole of the inner clutch cover/bell and setting it down so it sits on the raised adjusting washer.

last washer

The last assembly piece is this "keyed" washer which you must slide onto the crankshaft before you attempt to install the clutch/variator as one unit.

washer in place

Take this opportunity to rotate the crank so that the flat surface of the "Double D" is pointing up. (above right)

install assembly

Installing the variator as one unit can be tricky and the best method is to grasp the whole unit as shown, with you thumbs on the drive face and the rest of your fingers behind the bell. Slide the unit over the shaft as straight as you can till the inner bell hole meets the "Double D" on the crankshaft. You have already positioned the crank with the flat surface pointing up, so now some light pressure and a few small twists back and fourth and the unit will bang home to the crank case. Don't worry if the outer race and plastic washer get pushed out in the process, they will slide back in easily later.

slides home

Next screw on the crankshaft variator nut hand tight. You will note that the nut has a slight shoulder machined onto it. You must install this shoulder side facing inwards toward the bearing race and plastic washer. Now hold the bell with one hand and check to see that the variator spins freely inside the bell. If the variator spins freely, use a socket or wrench and tighten the nut some more, always re-checking for the spin play. If you lose the spin play, and the variator locks up inside the bell before you get the nut completely tight, then the unit has been assembled incorrectly and you should disassemble the unit and start again.

stainless cover

Last item to install is the is the stainless dresser cover and three screws. Throw on the belt, and lastly pass a chicken bone back and fourth the length of the bike using a slight shaking motion with your wrist, and hey, you're good.