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Gearbox judder (options)?


esprit17

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Hi all, 

Had my car in to have some work done at a local independent. My gearbox was rebuilt 8years ago by a dealer with new input shaft and clutch the big ticket items. I was experiencing issues with quickly changing the gears 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 plus the gear lever would move half an inch when going on /off the power. So put the car in to a local independent to have some work done.

The clutch was fine e.g. no judder before the gearbox was worked on and now i have significant clutch judder which is just and I mean just about tolerable when moving off but when come back down the gears and using the gearbox I now also get judder which i've never had before? Does anyone else experience this or is it something else?

I was told that the garage had significant difficulty splitting the gearbox from the engine and was told that due to this the clutch splines may be damaged and I should consider a new clutch. @£1400, to late to stop the work

The clutch was replaced 8 years ago and has 6000 miles on it. Whilst the gearbox work appears good and the grating when quickly moving up the gears has gone I'm a further £2K down and have a less drivable car than I had before. So i'm a bit miffed

What's my options, without replacing the clutch or sending it off to PNM to recondition @£644 + VAT

thanks All

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Where did the replacement clutch come from and did you see it before it was installed?

Edited by mike_sekinger
  • Like 1

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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  • Gold FFM

I don't think the clutch has been replaced, Steve says that he has been recommended to replace it since the garage fear the splines might have been damaged, but that comes at further unwanted and unexpected cost.

I can't imagine how the clutch could be damaged getting the box out, but I can see opportunity when putting it back. If the plates were not aligned properly and the box arriving clumsily.

This is a tough one, is the judder when you put your foot on the clutch or releasing or both? It may be that the plates or drive surface has some contamination which might also lead to some judder. Can you feel any binding when operating the clutch with the engine off, I'm not sure you'd feel it regardless due to the forces involved but worth asking. If you can feel it then I'd suggest that points more to the splines. Without taking it all apart again I don't think you'll really know.

cheers

-Chris

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  • Gold FFM

Only way to even make any sense of it is to remove the gearbox and actually look at it. My guess - it’s knackered or someone being clumsy has knackered it not aligning it correctly. 

Only here once

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry all, back on the forum and starting to think about all things Esprit again 6 months on from my gearbox / clutch experience. It really P1sed me off. Anyway I'm off to try SJ after 4 years of using another SW England garage. Lets see what Steve thinks

to answer the questions above:

.pilot bearing in the back of the crankshaft? just stated they needed to fit a new spigot bearing and clean the clutch splines. 

Where did the replacement clutch come from and did you see it before it was installed? The Clutch is lotus sourced Ap racing and was fitted at 54K the car has 60K now.

This is a tough one, is the judder when you put your foot on the clutch or releasing or both? It may be that the plates or drive surface has some contamination which might also lead to some judder. Can you feel any binding when operating the clutch with the engine off, I'm not sure you'd feel it regardless due to the forces involved but worth asking. If you can feel it then I'd suggest that points more to the splines. Without taking it all apart again I don't think you'll really know. I'll check tomorrow when i get the car out but I'm sure that SJ will have a view.

Whilst i'm there i've got a list to sort

Both turbos need reconditioned - Mike S recommended Turbo technics - just go for a direct replacement or hybird?

Oil pipes need replacing as they will not last the removal

Engine out seems cost effective route as I need turbos, studs, head shields and belts all doing

 

 

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My recommendation for turbo recon work is Turbo Dynamics out of Christchurch.  They are excellent in terms of technical competence, honesty and price.

If you are running standard power, then you don't need the additional expense of going hybrid.  You may want to consider taking the 360deg thrust bearing and staggered gap oil seal option.

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All, The Engine is out and gear box split which has exposed flywheel hot spots. Below is the response from specialist which from my point of view gives a clear picture and options.

I'm interested on the collective thoughts of the forum on regrind and recondition clutch £1,134 vs new flywheel and ap clutch at £2,200 or combination of the two.

Your advice on this is really welcome

The cause of the juddering clutch is the "hot spots " on the flywheel. These are clearly visible in the photos attached.
 
We have two possible options. We could have your flywheel re-machined about £295 + vat  or we could go down the route of a new flywheel in stock £590 +vat. Your call. I prefer the new option given the state of your flywheel and how bad the hot spots are. There is a chance that the regrind will not last given the differing hardness in the surface created by the hotpots. But that is your call really.
 
As a matter of course we would advise you change the clutch. Either a recon unit  about £650 or a new AP racing unit around £1250. Either option should be fine. We are out of stock of the AP units but should have them before the box needs to go back on 
 
 We can refit the old clutch if you like but we will not warranty it in any way and if it also has hot spots on either of the pressure plates the judder will remain and accelerate damage to the flywheel as you will instinctively attempt to drive around the issue

IMG_20210330_152928.jpg

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You should be absolutely fine with a flywheel re-surface and recon clutch option. 

If you have your flywheel re-surfaced, you should get it blanchand ground as opposed to straight machined.  I've found that careful and progressive tightening of the clutch pack is also important to minimise binding.

DSCF2333.thumb.JPG.db7599a696f555783435c36581ced143.JPG

 

Edited by mike_sekinger
  • Like 1

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Or ditch the Lotus AP set up and fit the JAE system - supposedly much more progressive and easier to modulate....

I dont have personal experience, but all the reports on it are positive. This was from Joe when I enquired:

"AP has two solid hubs for pretty instantaneous engagement. When brand new, they drive rather well. Once they have bedded in  and have some miles on them, they tend to engage as you’re describing – abruptly and with limited variability at the pedal.

Ours has one solid hub, and one sprung hub. This helps to dampen the rotational engagement to the clutch shaft, making the whole assembly “flow” into movement better. Of course, we’re not talking night/day difference, but it is a noticeable improvement."

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Dave,

which option did you go for? How is the drive / clutch now, has it resolved all the issues.

Thanks

Tim

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Tim et all,

I collected the car on Friday.

I ended upgoing down the reconditioned clutch route with AP plates as JAE system was a 1/3 more expensive after shipping and taxes, logically a better product but no UK support/ reconditioning should I need it in the future.

In terms of the regrind price, as it was explained to me. They say they use a specialist who puts the flywheel on a larger diameter grinding stone to deal with the hard spots, they then mill the face step to the correct thickness. This is the only way that they have been successful in dealing with hot spots and thus are able to warranty the work.

Anyway, new lotus flywheel, reconditioned clutch, reconditioned turbos ( Turbo dynamics were unable to recondition due to the corrosion/ condition) so they were redirected to turbo technics @£600 each

All new turbo hoses, studs and  heat shields replaced, B service including belts and some other minor jobs all in an eye watering £7.5K, that's £10K in a year with gearbox work

As for the clutch judder, nothing at all, even when pulling away. This is a first of me and unexpected :)

That was all the good stuff, unfortunately I'm about to make the call for them to come and collect the car as it is not drivable.

At first, I had not problems with selecting the gears, it was more notchy than before 2nd to 3rd but I hoped that would just settle down on the drive home but then after an hour hit motorway traffic and started to have difficulty going down gears 4th, to 3rd and to second. After an further 2 hours of stop start traffic i arrived home. Selecting reverse gear required me to double declutch when previously it was ok.

Decided to leave the car went out for another drive yesterday. At first no problems as i drove for 30mins on the motorway heading for the Cotswolds, sadly it was short lived as off the motorway the problems started again once  with going down the gears in a similar way to the first day. 

As time when on but then I struggled going up the gears, even selecting first was becoming problematic. There were two points 1) i just could not select the gear as it was not there and I did not want to force it and 2) alternatively if I did then the syncros would grind. in our to nurse the car home i had to drop a few gears to drop the revs to get a gear. To prevent any possible damage or embarrassment i stopped for an hour to allow the engine/gearbox to cool. 

After which, with the engine down at 60'C i started again but could not get reverse, i had to stop the engine then select then start. So i aimed for motorway so lessen the use of the gears. I got home safety.

So the question is what is the diagnoses? noting a rebuild gearbox 300miles ago, new input shaft etc syncos, and some gears, new clutch and flywheel

Is this an adjustment issue and the fork is not pulling the clutch off, or a faulty clutch (release bearing) or the gearbox?

Your experience is and guidance is appreciated :)

 

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Sounds like an incorrectly adjusted clutch to me but the problem getting worse with temperature sounds like the old "red hose syndrome". Does it have the red plastic clutch hose or did all V8s have a metal pipe?

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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4 hours ago, jonwat said:

Sounds like an incorrectly adjusted clutch to me but the problem getting worse with temperature sounds like the old "red hose syndrome". Does it have the red plastic clutch hose or did all V8s have a metal pipe?

Its a 98 so no red hose, I spoke to the garage and they suggested I bleed the slave cylinder. I don't mind doing this as its straight forward and saves driving down the M5 and all that holiday traffic. That said I'm not confident that it's as simple as air in the system...fingers crossed

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  • Gold FFM

The slave is easiest bled if you remove it from the gearbox - at least on the 4 pots - can’t remember what it was like on my V8 - the ptsd from owning that blocks out a lot.

Only here once

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Hi Steve,

I do hope it is air in the system and that answers all the issues you have experienced. Did you have a new slave cylinder? I will be changing that in the near future..... 

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