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Hard to get in and out of gear on 98 V8 - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Hard to get in and out of gear on 98 V8

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I've been having some problem getting in and out of gear, I heard it's normal. But just recently it's getting more and more annoying. Also every time I park my car in the garage I won't be able to pull the gear out of 1st. I need to let the car roll for a little bit & then I can pull out of gear. Sometimes I need to try many times before I can get out of first gear. Also sometimes it's hard to get in and out of reverse as well.

When I'm doing a three point turn it takes tremendous effort, I'm always struggling w/it.

Any suggestion? Anyone has the same problem? Will re-bleed the clutch fix this?

Alan

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don't know exactly if a re-bleed of hydraulic system will work only. As i have the same symptoms , but also a known as faulty clutch-spline and clutch. If repositioning of gearshift system and bleeding of clutch does not fix your problem the only way is to remove gearbox. Anyway -grease added to the spline in general or a complete spline rebuild , you need to remove the gearbox...


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It's better you fix it up early. I ended up with an complete "turn-around" of one of the friction plates. It stopped in the wrong way directly on the spline-toothing . So no movement under pressure release was possible. I have got used parts from an other owners car via "R&B" and improvised/reassembled the clutch system. But the spline is still worn out in one section... .


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Mine sometimes does the same thing (I think a lot of them do) so bleeding the clutch isn't a bad idea, it's just a pain to get all the air out.


Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

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I'd certainly pursue the idea that your not getting full clutch engagement (when you press the pedal your not getting the full response at the other end), first.

When I had to get my gear box rebuild at 36K miles and 9 years old my slave cylinder was rusted to fuck internally and a right off - why doesn't the service manual list Clutch fluid replacement at 2 years intervals like the brake I have to ask?). I did the gearbox out and reinstall myself (with help from my female spanner slave) and the clutch just didn't want to play afterwards - turned out all the disruption had been the last thing for an already severley corroded slave cylinder.

I'd make every effort to ensure the hydraulics that operate the clutch are working properly before pulling the gearbox to inspect the clutch and splines...

The symptoms suggest to me either: 1. Clutch pedal travel is providing insufficient clutch movement. or 2. Splines insufficient lubricated/damaged.....

Jeff H

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in the later versions is the clutch hydraulic feed a part of the brake reservoir system, that means that you have to change/bleed the liquids in the clutch system also, as it gets mixed up with the renewed brake. I think that is nothing to note for a mechanic. But if they have forgotten to note it in the first worksheets, than it is a problem -as those cars have a separate untouched system (right?!)


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Have had this problem for about 5 years ,thought it would improve with regular use,not so.I did bleed the system last year but it failed to cure the problem.I have heard it is always the same one of the two friction plate splines that chews up because the input shaft is to short ,I plan on pulling the box this summer to have a look at things.I will keep you posted with what I find.


Dave Hopwood

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I assume the master/slave cylinder on the V8 is the same as on the 4 pot..

Where the metal actuator rod connects to the clutch fork, there is a sort of hollow bolt with a lock nut that the rod goes inside.

As the clutch wears, you sometimes need to move the location of the hollow bolt to take up the slack as the clutch wears.

It could simply be this that needs adjusting.

Is the slave cylinder seal has gone, it will leak fluid, but will still operate ok as long as there is spare fluid in the resevoir. (Mine was doing this recently, and there were no symtoms until I got air in the system).

The other obvious one is that if you are still running with the original red plastic hose, it could be swelling in the heat. Most people have swapped them for the braided steel ones.

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as we are talking about plastics, Alan -your '98 does have the Kelsey-Haynes ABS with the Brake-Fluid Reservoir and the clutch feed as one of the reservoirs exits, right?! So you have not the red plastic pressure line -and instead of that an ordinary steel pipe? (brake pipe material) .

But look on your left exhaust pipe in the left rear wheelhouse -above of that is an rubber pipe/flexible pipe (what is not a good solution in order to the heat transferred in that area..). Those pipes can also get brittle, or can fail inside (as same as an brake rubber pipe on the calipers..)


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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as there is no real torsion (if the enine/gearbox moves sideways under axeleration) you can add a piece of steel-brake pipe (in a spiralic orientation) instead of the rubber pipe. An heatshield is also a good way to fight against the heat from exhaust and bubbles of air in the hydraulic system... .


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Marcus, as a professional car worker! Do you really mean it is a good way to ad a rubber! pipe across an exhaust ?!

The original hydraulic line is a (metal type)brake line from the left frame side. And the piece of pipe that goes into the slave is also the same material.

You often talk about improvements and upgrades, so what is so wrong to ad a brake pipe line (with a spirally orientation of course, to compensate the flexing/torsion ) instead of the not heat resistant piece of rubber ??


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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BTW, standard rubber brake lines are fairly heat resistant.

Cheers

Marcus

my experience tells a different story! It was leaking in the middle of the rubber arc directly over the exhaust. With a totally brittle structure it blows out the hydraulic fluid. As i tested the hydraulic lines by pressing the pedal and blocking it to find out why my clutch has those indifferent work points. The car was 6 years old that time. The regular brake line rubber tubes to the calipers are now 10years! old, and still in good shape... .

And don't say if i would have lube my rubber brake-tubes (for example this tube over the exhaust..) with silicone oils it would wear less and stand longer. It's simply unpractical , and i know no-one (except you and Kylie) who would do this under a car every month..


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Hi all. My father's V8 has developed the same hard to get out of gear problem. It seems intermitent, in that it's working really nicely until it unexpectedly gets stuck. Then it's a devil of a job to get it out of gear again. He has noticed that the clutch pedal seems lower when it gets stuck, and thinks that he freed it off by lifting the clutch pedal up with his foot. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Sean.

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Yup, that's exactly how mine acts. I usually let the cat roll a little by lifting the clutch pedal (not all the way of course) then clutch in all the way and you'll feel it releases and then you can move into neutral. Sometimes it requires multiple attempts. What I noticed though is that the weather is getting warm in socal and the problem doesn't seem to occur as often as in winter time.

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Hi all. I've been readinig up on the V8 clutch mechanism. Ours is the single plate clutch as it's pre Feb 97. Post that date it's a twin clutch effort. It appears that there's adjustment at the pedal end but not at the slave cylinder end. To de-clutch the diaphram spring is pulled by pressing on the clutch pedal, so, as the clutch wears, the clutch pedal should rise up higher. If there's still a few mm of free travel on the clutch pedal when it's resting, this won't be the cause of the problem. Our car has no downstop adjustment at the pedal, whereas twin plate ones do. At the slave cylinder end, on V8 cars, the travel of the slave cylinder pushrod is optimum by design (hoorah!), and there is no adjustment. As the clutch plate wears, the fork, which acts to pull on the thrust bearing, moves closer to the slave cylinder, bringing the slave piston nearer to the bottom of the bore. This should eventually result in the clutch not being fully released, so it'll slip. So, it's possible that the clutch is starting to slip a bit, and that this is somehow causing problems. Other than this, I would start looking at the gear linkage.

Sean.

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All the single plate clutches were replaced with double plate.


Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

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Jim, I think you're spot on with this diagnosis based on my research.

Sounds like the clutch is binding on the input shaft.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

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Hi all.

So, from the above, the clutch in the '96 V8 that we have is, in fact, a twin plate, as it will have been replaced since manufacture.

What's the solution to the clutch binding on the input shaft? I presume the clutch would have to be replaced. Is there an issue with the input shaft? Wouldn't there be some other symptoms, like, for example, not being able to de-clutch or the clutch slipping after a gear change, then being ok again after the next change?

Ok. I've just chatted to the old man again. Apparently the pedal stays on the floor sometimes - so that must be air in the circuit - and there's a leak from the back of the engine. So, what's probably happened is that when the engine was out 18 months ago, the hydraulic clutch circuit was split (as the master cylinder stayed in the car), and it's not been done up / bled properly or is just leaking now because it was disturbed.

He thinks the car had to be held on the brake. I reckon, that if it's the clutch binding, or anything to do with the clutch, then not being able to get the thing out of gear is 'cause you're holding the car stationary on the brake with the engine running, or 'cause the engine rpm doesn't match the speed of the gearbox when you're moving. So, next time it happens, when stationary, switching off the engine should take the torque out of the gear train and allow you to take it out of gear easily.

So hopefully it's easy to get in to the hydraulic circuit with an easybleed and get rid of the air.

All the best.

Sean.

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