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Gear Linkage - home tweaking


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Apologies if this is covered elsewhere - I couldn’t find anything.  🤔
 

Had my car 5+ years now (2014 Sports Racer S) and have always been pleased with the quality of the gearshift - only really conscious of it as I have read less glowing comments from other owners (particularly with early cars).

Recently however - last month or so - I noticed the shift was ever so slightly less sweet, whether going up or down the box. Ever so slightly hesitant slotting in. Double declutching didn’t make any difference. 

I figured the cable may have stretched minutely, so thought I would take a look. Any change I made should be easily reversible so why not?

 

Access

You need to lift the panel holding the heating controls. If you don’t already have one of these small plastic interior trim tool sets - get one. Around a tenner for a range of different shapes that really make this stuff easier. The panel is held on by 5 spring clips. One at the handbrake end. One each side approximately in line with the temperature knob, and one each side close to the dashboard. These WILL drop into the space underneath when you lift the panel, but are easily recovered and ready for re-use.

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With these out, you can reach behind and unplug the electrical connectors for each dial and the buttons. Of course each is slightly different (sigh) but you find the tang you need to squeeze and they slide off.

if you really want to you can remove the gear knob (one small allen grub-screw) and remove the gearshift gaitor at this point. I just left it on an rotated it to provide access.

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You will then want to remove the two tiny screws on the handbrake gaitor surround, lift it up at that end and slide it forward and also rotate it to give you room to swing a spanner - see below.


Adjustment

Now you can access the cable ends. I wasn’t concerned about side to side movement (the lower one) - only the fore & aft. The upper one.

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10mm spanner removes the locknut on the left. This is really just excess weight as the shaft on the ball and socket is threaded so you need to unscrew it. 8mm open ended spanner - only 2 flats though so you want to push the lever forward into 3rd and try to get full 180degree turns - hence getting the handbrake gaitor out of the way. Don’t drop the washer.

Before you screw it all the way out, 10mm spanner loosens the locknut on the adjustment mech (more excess weight!). 
 

I had planned to tighten this one full turn and see how it felt, but I was only able to rotate it clockwise about 80% of a full turn before it locked. The cable end clearly bottomed out in the socket. Damn, but let’s see how that feels.

Put it all back together (don’t drop that washer) and - tangible difference! I only moved it a tiny amount, but I guess the cable could, only have stretched a tiny amount. Feels “bob on” 😎

(If I ever need to tweak it again I will screw the ball joint off of the cable end fully and use the Dremel to remove a few mm of the cable end so it doesn’t bottom out - there is loads of adjustment thread left to allow this).

 

 

Edited by mik
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@BrussIs that easier? Genuine question.

I was aware there is adjustment potential at the gearbox end, but assumed it would be trickier to access? 

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It is as easy. It may need the airbox to be removed to make it easier but it is possible with the air box in place. The advantage of the rear adjustment is that both the cross gate and the longitudinal cables can be adjusted. The gear change mechanism is a complex little thing inside the gearbox with a machined slot and pin that has to align perfectly for a slick gear change. Those two adjusters on the rear allow for that fine adjustment.  There is nothing wrong with your adjustment but I think that end is more to adjust the lever movement than the cable stretch.

 

I will try and find the Lotus diag in the service notes that shows this.

 

 

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I did some adjustment at the rear end of the cables recently due to fitting the Aerie short shift kit.  It was surprising how only half a turn of the rob ends made big differences at the front & the amount of fine tuning that can be done.

At the front end, is there much that can be done to remove slack from the system?  I'm happy with the overall setup now, except there is a bit of play in the lever mechanism itself, particularly it feels like cross gate there is a few mm of gear lever movement before the cable starts to move.  It's not actually noticeable while driving, but thought I'd ask if there were any options here in the name of perfection (short of the £1k Inokinetic full gear shifter mechanism!).

Your helpful pics Mik mean I might be willing to open up the front end (I tend to avoid interior work) 👍

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For those interested in this, see also "Good Morning Good Night Lotus Shifter Adjustment" on YouTube. 

(I'd post the link, but I'm sadly lacking in this respect)

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