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My Final Edition Esprit with a Tranny Problem - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


My Final Edition Esprit with a Tranny Problem


tedypedy

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I was driving home from work in stop and go traffic when I notice a strange sound and my rpms had jumped a little higher. I tried to find 1st gear but there was no gear to go to, I tried every direction and it wouldn't find any gear. I turned off the car, turned it back on and found 1st immediately and tried to "feel" or hear anything wrong. Got all the way home pulled in the garage and notice a trail of oil leading all the way to the beginning of my street. OH GREAT.

I look under the car and the guts of the entire trans or diff I'm not sure which is bleeding out on my garage floor. I start cleaning it up and trying to trace where it's coming from. The two rear wheels meet at the center and right above that it was just a steady stream of fluid. It didn't look like a hole or a crack or anything hit it, it just looked like where the two halves of the trans are put together are just not sealed. The oil had metallic particles in it, which worried me more, but other than being jerky it drove completely fine all the way home.

The only thing I noticed felt strange with the transmission is in 3rd gear when I'm decelerating it's normally a violent clunk between acceleration and deceleration, I'm not sure if this is a transmission problem or a differential problem or maybe both?

History on the car:

03.5MY, 5,500 miles bought it with 3,800. Clutch had been replaced by PO at lamborghini/lotus of calabassas for $6,500. Is this something that I should go after them about with faulty install? or is this a common problem? Before I bought the car, I called the mechanic repeatedly and he would dodge my phone calls and never return them. Really upset to say the least, but I've been very careful to treat this trans gently then this crap happens while I'm sitting in traffic.

Anyone have any info to help me out?

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what did you mean with 'bleeding out' -does it leak on the casing, or was it overfilled and after it heats up it started to drip out on various points !?

Can you take some pictures...

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

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Sounds very unusual. Wait until it's light and take some good pics, that would be a great help.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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really, sounds curious in my opinion.

The only time i saw an gearbox/final drive system blow out its oil was an commercial truck that was in contact with water in an deep hole on an mining.

The water even passed the higher ventilation pipe outlets, and as soon as the drivetrain heats up on the motorway the water steamed out and carries the oil & fumes with it... . It's not necessary to say that the bearings and gears where gone after that. without any oil and all that heat as result of higher friction :-/

But that should not be present on your car, as the Renault transmission do not have bigger ventilation (apart from one small hole on top/front of the case..)

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

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Was wondering if it was a drain plug of some sort that could've somehow popped off. (I hope to god that's it because it's the least expensive solution) anyone have any info on how to check if that's the case?

Also in case the doo doo hits the fan, I noticed some people that use the UN1 gearbox in other applications use this porsche unit. Anyone have any insight on that?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsche-par...sQ5fAccessories

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OUCH $6,500 for a clutch! If you're in the SoCal area, have it taken to Viking Motorsports in Costa Mesa http://www.vikingmotorsports.com - this place is the best Esprit shop in the US.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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The gearbox won't fit on your car unless you move your exhaust which is the least of your problems. Gearbox is much longer than the UN1 and you have to make it fit and work!

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I just cleaned up the garage and took a better look at where the oil was coming from. There is a hole in the back of the transmission which I'm assuming is where the drain plug is supposed to go, I can feel threads on the inside. I'm not sure how this happens or what I need to do to fix it, what do you suggest? I guess worse things can happen, at least it didn't break apart or what have you. But this is a stupid problem to have!

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Ooooohh well that will be your drain plug fallen out if its underneath, pics would be better. Go to lotusespritworld.com and identify with the filler and drain holes there if we are talkin the same lingo here.

If it is dont panic just dont drive the car !!! order a new renault plug, fit, fill with oil and go from there. You can take off the fill plug on the side which is identical and take in to a parts supplier to match up.

Good luck :0)

Edited by kyliesmith.com
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I believe it was the "filler plug" as it was not directly underneath the transmission, it was on the back face of the transmission. I just had the car towed to the shop, if it came off because the housing is cracked, how do I get a new back portion of the trans? Or would it be possible to weld a crack and re-thread the hole? Just thinking out loud

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The filler plug is on the lefthand side of the gearbox about halfway up. Its not on the back face of the box.

Are you sure the casing is cracked, or is this just a guess? Both of my plugs (filler and drain) had been wrapped in PTFE tape and were very easy to undo.

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Ooooohh well that will be your drain plug fallen out if its underneath, pics would be better. Go to lotusespritworld.com and identify with the filler and drain holes there if we are talkin the same lingo here.

If it is dont panic just dont drive the car !!! order a new renault plug, fit, fill with oil and go from there. You can take off the fill plug on the side which is identical and take in to a parts supplier to match up.

Good luck :0)

Do you have 5th gear?

Also, where are you located?

I'm thinking it might be just a bolt that came out because of the position. i'm leaving town tomorrow and wont be back till the end of the week, will update you on what the mechanic says.

Gmendoza, I'm in laguna hills, CA and I assume by having a 5th gear you mean the ability to use it? I drove home on the freeway using 5th, and everything seemed normal

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If the rear casing is cracked/has a hole in it then it seems likely the retaining nut has backed off either the primary or secondary shaft and augered its way through the case. There are no threaded plugs at the rear of the transaxle, though the fifth gear detent plug is on the left side of the rear housing.

Edited by sanj

Visit Sanj's Lotus Esprit Turbo SE pages

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Good call Sanj!!! Sounds most probable... as the transmission wasn't engaging.. and then it engaged again... that would indicate a movement of gears etc...

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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You do know that the Lambo/Lotus dealer in Calabasas has closed its doors? They have been gone for about 2-3 weeks. The place is empty. The owner was Vik Keuylian....he owns the Lambo dealer down in Orange county....so you might try calling there if you think warranty repairs might be needed.

When I talked to the mechanic there when they opened, he didn't seem at all knowledgeable about Esprits....he knew Elises and Lambos. He told me he didn't have many of the "Lotus" special tools and actually recommended that I go to Silver Star in Thousand Oaks, as the mechanic there was well versed with Esprits....even Harry from Viking said he was a good mechanic...just very busy.

Good Luck with your problem.... :cheers:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for your input. It was exactly what you suspected, the nut had backed off and drilled through the casing. I talked to Jeff at JAE and he was very helpful, he informed me that the gaskets and nuts I would need are in stock and as both my M5 an Esprit are sitting in the shop I'm driving around my old C class...or was until yesterday.

My mechanic called me to pick up the BMW and told me the Lotus is ready too...I was confused as I hadn't even told him what I thought the problem was yet and he's just an old Persian mechanic who normally works on domestics and Benzes.

Here are the pix of the repairs he did, I was taken aback as I didn't give him enough credit, I was searching for a Lotus specific shop to handle this issue and this guy got it done faster and cheaper than I could've ever expected.

PS Haven't picked up the car yet, he's waiting for me to buy the correct fluid for him to put in.

I was going to post more pics but I reached the limit :censored:

You guys get the picture, the old nut wasn't crimped in or "locked" into place, I'm assuming from the factory. Hopefully I won't have any more tranny issues for a while

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I'd be curious to find out where your mechanic got that nut from as it's not an oem one. If you could ask I would appreciate it.

Also, be sure he torqued it to the proper spec. which is 185 lb. ft.

Oh and good call Sanj! :censored:

Edited by lotus4s

1995 S4s

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Nice to see that the car is mostly back on the road Matt. Looks like the rear cover was epoxied; not too bad. My only fear would be weakend internals (primary shaft mostly) due to overheating if it was ran low on oil.

Speaking of oil, what do you plan on using. I prefer Redline MT90 and you can find it locally.

'03.5 Final Edition Esprit ~ 5.7lbs/hp

mildly modded - 430rwhp, 353rwtq

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