free hit
counters
Won't shift in to 1st, or reverse with engine running - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Won't shift in to 1st, or reverse with engine running


broken08

Recommended Posts

Hello all. New here and in desperate need of some help with my 97 with 14000 miles. Original clutch and internals.

Over the past couple years shifting has gotten more and more difficult. This spring it got terrible/ impossible. I had to turn off the car to shift in to 1st or reverse. Even with a very well timed double clutch 1st is nearly impossible to hit with the engine on. I replaced the slave and master, bled and adjusted per the manual. The clutch feels fine and normal with the proper throw at the slave, but i still have the same problem. I also verfied the cable / arm adjustment.

Furthermore it is even very difficult to put it in to these gears while the engine is off and none of the other gears are great either. the cables more freely and I have looked at the trans where they more the shaft and everything moves pretty well, and even if i help try to put it in to 1st from under the car with someone in it moving the shifter, that doesn't seem to help.

From what i've read here most people want to blame the clutch, but i have confirmed the slave throw is sufficient. Since it doesn't even want to shift with the car off it isn't the clutch dragging that is causing it. It just feels like there is some resistance to it getting in to 1st. I am going to change the trans oil now, (once I can find it in the US, might get redline). I hope that helps, but i'm not holding my breath.

When in gear it hold well and there is no further clunking (no missing dogs). What on earth can I check next? I can barely afford the insurance on this car, much less another transmission that goes out after 10k, so I hope I can find something to make my garage rocket fly again.

Any thoughts are appreciated!!! Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 21
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Hi Sean, welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear of your problems.

I am personally not able to give any proper advice in this area, but I did want to let you know that there are excellent people on here with incredible technical know-how, so undoubtedly you will get some help here.

I thought I would try and clarify for the persons who might try to answer, though: when you say that your car has the "original clutch and internals" I assume that you mean not only has no work been done to the transmission, it has also has not been modified with the '98 onwards shifter/translator/twin plate clutch upgrades?

"At home, I have a King Sized bed. Now, I don't know any Kings, but I would imagine if one were to come over, he would be comfortable." -Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It clearly sounds like the clutch is not dis-engaging completly. If so, it's very hard on the synchro's. If I remember correctly the 97 Esprit came stock with the single disk clutch, which would not hold the horsepower and was troublesome. Which is why Lotus went to the twin disk clutch in 98.

Wayne

The Older I get the Faster I was

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if u made sure hydroulics r working properly

try not going all the way to the left with the lever when selecting 1st gear

or pull the reverse ring and move slightly more to the left when selecting

1st again,

if that works ur problem is adjusting the cables,

if not ur problem is in the clutch drag ,

pressure plates, or bearings,

the translator @ the box on the 97 I belive is same as s4 except the fixed rod

needs to be exactly 90* comparin to s4 4mm off if I remember corectly,

I had the same problem on the s4 twice,

both times ended up to be the preesure plate springs,

not sure on the v8 never seen a twin disk clutch in person,

Edited by Tony94S4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the same problem with my 4 pot, be warned I got shoot down for my solution, but it works. You need to do some hydraulic calculations, but in essence I installed a 3/4 id master cylinder, you need to make sure you are not putting too much pressure on things, ie distorting the clutch fork or overloading the the thrust bearing.

Don't just do it on my say so, check out the mechanics of it first. Oh it makes the clutch a little stiffer, but for me it's better because I don't need to stretch as far.

Roger :)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually...I wasn't clear here...sorry... the original single plate clutch was upgraded in the first thousand miles and a twin plate with flywheel, bellhousing, etc was fitted. I remember it well...it took two months off my first summer of driving the car.

The dealer was to have serviced the trans @ 5 years (in 2003) but I have pretty much figured out that he may have deferred some of the service items...Now I'm thinking the trans oil could be the culprit???

Maybe there is no oil in it anymore but without any new oil, I'm not going to to open the case plug and try to check...I know putting redline in an old MR2 we had rehabbed the gearbox so I figure the Lotus might be happy with it as well..

My slave was leaking profusely...I tried a new aluminum slave but I couldnt get it to fit. The line hits the frame. I couldnt bend the original line, it already has the 90 too close to the slave. I ended rebuilding the old slave and replaced the master. I don't expect the old slave to last forever since I didn't get 100% of the slave bore honed perfectly...

I have the manuals so I adjusted the downstop at the pedal to achieve 10 mm travel at the slave. I bled it out fine.

Since the car won't even shift well in the garage, not running... I assume the clutch is not a suspect. I would think that a clutch isn't necessary (?) for shifting with the engine off and my little rocket car parked.

About the only way to get it into first now is... the car has to be rolling. Then I go to second and get it to roll, double clutch down into first. (I used to have an AH Sprite that I shifted into first with no synchro so I can handle this). Just pushing in the clutch and putting it in first is a futile exercise in gear grinding.

It stopped going into reverse about 5 years ago. I always turn off the engine, start it in reverse, then hopefully make it into a spot without having to go back to first.

I would have tried the "lifting the reverse collar" trick but it was snowing a little today so I couldnt do that. Hopefully tommorow.

Thanks for the advice so far..I will try most everything. I'm not sure about trying a different slave yet since again, it won't even shift well with the engine off, in the garage...so to me, that eliminates the clutch as a problem...

Any more thoughts? Am I wrong? Could the clutch still keep the trans from shifting in a stationary vehicle w/o the engine running?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any more thoughts?

OK. Bit of effort here but I'd suggest you remove your trunk floor to make the following easier.

Disconnect all rodends and links on the translator.

Now manually manipulate the cross shaft. There should be 4 planes when moved sideways.

For the two middle planes rotate the shaft backwards and forwards. That'll be first to fourth being selected.

The end planes will either rotate forward or backwards, with either being reverse or fifth.

If you can select all the gears this way then the problem is your clutch setup or the cable setup. If not try again with the clutch depressed or the throwout fork locked or the rear wheels jacked off the floor.

If you can't select all gears suspect there's an issue with the box.

Edited by DanR

DanR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"it won't even shift well with the engine off, in the garage...so to me, that eliminates the clutch as a problem..."

When I put a wrong gear oil a while back, I can shift even when the car is not running but very notchy. If the engine is running, no way in hell I can shift into gears. I replaced it with Redline MT90 and renewed the shifting.

I think your problem is linkage adjustment. You should be able to shift even without oil in the box. Follow DanR's advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the car won't even shift well in the garage, not running... I assume the clutch is not a suspect. I would think that a clutch isn't necessary (?) for shifting with the engine off and my little rocket car parked.

About the only way to get it into first now is... the car has to be rolling. Then I go to second and get it to roll, double clutch down into first. (I used to have an AH Sprite that I shifted into first with no synchro so I can handle this). Just pushing in the clutch and putting it in first is a futile exercise in gear grinding.

It stopped going into reverse about 5 years ago. I always turn off the engine, start it in reverse, then hopefully make it into a spot without having to go back to first.

If the clutch is full on seized then this will still affect your ability to change gear with the engine off - sounds crazy but you could try lifting one of the rear wheels of the gorund to allow some slack in the system and see what it's like then, perhaps with someone gently rotating it. There needs to be some play in the box for the dog teeth to rotate and engage into position, if the engine/clutch is gripping the input shaft and the rear wheels gripping the output shaft then there's no room for it to manauver into place.

If the car stopped letting you put it in reverse 5 years ago, but would allow it with the engine off then I would suggest that the clutch has been dragging since that time. The reverse doesn't have a synchro like the other gears {although irc there is brake in the box to stop the shaft from as you engage reverse} if your clutch is dragging it's the reverse gear that is immediately noticeable. People seem to put up with poor gear selection on the Esprit because we're conditioned to think that way, but the reality is that the gear shift is not really any worse than any other conventional car.

For a Gunter style experiment, you could remove the slave cylinder from the bell housing. Then remove the cover that the slave mounts to {3 bolts} this will allow you to access the release fork and with a torch see your 2 clutch plates. Now the crazy bit, if you took a scissor jack and placed it between the fork and crossmember that runs above the box. By winding the jack up you will be able to manually disengage the clutch, be v.careful because you could go too far - look at the plunger in the slave and gestimate how much travel you have. And don't be tempted to press the cluth pedal with the slave out, it needs the release fork to push back in and is easily damaged if you do that! In theory you should find with the clutch disengaged and the car in neautral that the you can relatively easily rotate the cluctch plates. They're both joined together on the input shaft that goes into the box, when in neutral there's little stopping them from rotating other than some bearing and a very small amount of friction with the clutch/preasure plates.

Hey, can anyone smell fuel?????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks mcuh, great thoughts so far. What if i lift one rear wheel off the ground, put it in gear, have someone depress the clutch and try and spin the lifted wheel by hand? If the clutch was dragging I wouldn't be able to, or it would at least be difficult, right? Perhaps that would be an easier way to check? Feel free to correct my thought, I'm not sure if it might need to be some variation thereof due to LSD.

So lets say in the end I need a new clutch; who is the best (or at least the cheapest of good quality) supplier for the US? Are there good aftermarket options?

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the clutch was dragging I wouldn't be able to, or it would at least be difficult, right?

Technically, but i think you'll find that too subjective to get a difinitave idea. Sure, if it's the worst case and it's full on seized I think it'll be pretty clear but anything in between will be hard to judge.

Hey, can anyone smell fuel?????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the clutch was dragging I wouldn't be able to, or it would at least be difficult, right?

Technically, but i think you'll find that too subjective to get a difinitave idea. Sure, if it's the worst case and it's full on seized I think it'll be pretty clear but anything in between will be hard to judge.

I thought the 350 had an LSD as well?

But yeah, unless you've had an LSD fitted you will have a standard open diff in which case turn one wheel will go straight through the box, when in gear with the clutch depressed should be relatively free, only marginally worse than when in neutral. I think how an LSD will act is dependant on the type, in my Beamer it's like trying to hand turn the wheel with the handbrake still on.

Edited by Zhastaph

Hey, can anyone smell fuel?????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.


×
×
  • Create New...