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Gear Translator refurb - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


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Well just joking Bibs, anyway after bieng given an express flying lesson in Bibs car at the Esprit Freescan event I was amazed as to how easy it was to change gear, (bibs had just had his refurbished) if my car changed gear like this it would make it even more of a pleasure to drive.

So I ordered my new bits, master clutch unit (

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Mine is changed both at the front and the rear. The points on the front mech where the cables attach are held in with large bushes which don't last that long and can introduce huge amounts of play. Get in there and take a peek, there refurb kits are cheap and easy to fit :blush:

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

Evora NA

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Gonna be controversial here - imo the governing issue is the gearbox.

When I had mine appart I found the thing that affected the charge the most was the gearbox change mechanisms inside the box itself - they are horrible and very clunky, way too stiff....this leads to the flex in the exyternal gearchange mechanism which in turn leads to the horrible gearchange feel.

The Gt3 is not so bad, the cables running drivers side of the gearbox are more steady, the early cars which cross over the box are very tricky to get right imo. If they were not why did lotus change the setup ?

More later.....

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Going to order front bits asap, hoping the gearbox is not a problem, I doubt that the front change assembly has ever been done, nearly 20 years !

Dave

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I was almost tearing my hair out with the adjustment after refurbishing the translator, and is why I ended up cutting the floor of the boot in 2! to give me imedite access for adjustment without crawling underneath it. But having got the adjustment right, and it took off and on 2 days, it remains the single biggest influence on my acceleration times, I can change up fast enough to not pop the wastegate.

If you find yours stiff, disconnect the 2 cables at the translator and see if the gearstick moves freely, if it doesn't it's either cables or the gearstick assembly. Having said that I also agree with Jonathan in as much as the springing in the gearbox selectors to bring it back to central as far too strong, something I might look at if there is good cause to remove the gearbox.

Cutting the floor in 2 is not as desperate as it sounds.

Good Luck Roger :blush:

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

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Hi Dave

I also changed both front, the translater bearings (it's very cheap bearings and I changed two/three time) with ST. rod ends but I feel not much better end before.

Maybe need more exact gearcables adjstmen..

I also refurbished gearbox a few years ago and I noticed the inter lock guide has wear than e.g synchro rings and it rather easy to replace.

Y.Hotta

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Dave, this is somthing I want to do also after shifting Bibs' gears.... Smoooth... Very little play...

Edited by fsrowsell
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Bibs, has yours been done officially ? Hmmm mines up at Lotus next month, perhaps they can mess about with it if they have time, it's pretty good but then again, how would I know !

I spent ages setting my GT3 up but never compared the two.

I'll post some info later - perhaps some pics if you lot behave.

Edited by Jonathan

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I had to replace my cables recently due to one having broken, and was amazed at the overall improvement in shift quality. I had previously rebuilt the translator and cleaned the shifter mechanism.

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Bibs's was done by - ahem - Watford Exotics. Wookie and me to be precise. Bottom line - we keep at it until we get it right, and on occasion we have had to relieve bits of metal. Lotus spec may be fine for a new car, but we've had to adjust way off spec to achieve best results on some cars. Master assembly can help a lot, though, Dave.

British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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You have got me thinking now and that's dangerous. Cannot recall how stiff the gear lever was. Will order front bushes tomorrow athen reset the whole thing. Not sure if it's worth replacing cables. Could be expensive.

Dave

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I have done the translator, but not the other end, does anyone know if it is worth refurbing the gear stick assembly

in the cabin. if so was it worth doing, how can I judge if I have set the translator correctly, how can you tell.

I had front and back done at the same time. Mine was the very first gearstick refurb kit from the factory.

I know that despite working on Esprits for 25 years, Steve said it was not dead easy and i still drove down

to his workshop one evening for some final fetting to get it just right. It was well worth it, and turned the

Esprit into a car that Vicki could drive, whereas before the change was rubbish.

I remember the reverse inhibitor plate caused some problem or other?

:blush:

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I did the back first, that made a great difference, but then did the front and the difference was like night and day. I'm sure the same would be true the other way round as well, so make sure both are renewed, you'll end up with a nice slick change and it will be a lot nicer to drive the car.

Andy

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HHMMMM, Mine has started to irritate me a little and now you have all shamed me in to looking in to a front section refurb. Sparky will be pleased :blush: .

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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Right, got paws on a keyboard larger than my hand now.

IMO the biggest issue with the gearchange on the pas side translator is the gearbox input shaft - it BENDS when you try and change gear which isn't ideal. The early cars had a support bearing, the later cars had a larger shaft but mine had neither ! Certainly worth checking the flex / play in that area.

I pressed a large lump of steel around it to stop that and I gained a lot of positivitiy from it.

Front end was near useless imo, I replaced all the wearing parts and it made little difference.

Inside the gearstick translator however the spring can get worn / broken as it did on mine which really screwed the thing up - this is the most important component in there really.

The back was also pretty bad on my car, all the joints were loose so there was a fair bit of slop.

My biggest issue though is the difference when driving vs static - when the car is not running they do seem fine but when running they can be trickier as the gear is actually trying to locate on a spinning gear.

Lastly on the gearbox I dont think you can overcome the clunkiness of it, I stripped mine down and paid a lot of attention to it and still found the gearchange (all be it very precise and crisp) was very clunky and rough - it requires a lot of force to get moving and then it jumps with a huge clunk - it's just not that smooth so that will translate into the change mechanism.

I think by far the biggest gains I made was re-inforcing the gearbox input shaft and the rod ends for the rear translator.

The worst gain was fron the front end, didn't notice much at all, and that was a 100,000 mile car.

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On LEW, a USA owner John Anderson reports thus:

After looking at the ends of the four shift rails, it was quite obvious that the relieved edges on the inside of the chanel that the selector arm passes through on each rail was cut leaving sharp edges. To aid the cross shaft selector arm in transitioning between the rails (shifting from second to third and fourth to fifth and back again) I rounded the sharp edges and polished them to a mirror finish. Once everything was back together I adjusted the cross shaft idle arm so that the selector arm is centered on each rail. Now shifting is far smoother than I ever expected from this gear box. The only thing I feel when moving between gears is the positive engagement of the ball detent for each gear. Absolutely fantastic. Shifting is much faster and seems effortless.

I haven't done enough transmission work (on any car) to fully understand this, but it seems to support the too-stiff suggestions offered by others in this thread. I plan to start with one of Malc's (espritism) shifter upgrade kits.

Perhaps one of you more experienced wrenches can enlighten us further on Mr. Anderson's recommendations?

Thanks,

Tom

'89 Turbo Non-SE

Edited by tje111

"If everything is under control, you're going too slow." - Mario Andretti

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I agree with what you've said Jonathan.

I've wondered if my set up was out of alignment regarding the gear lever or I did wonder if the clutch was having problems. I've checked tonight and I know the clutch has fluid, checked that the other day and the pedal action feels fine, also checked the thread adjustment on the selector fork and that is set correctly, so have dismissed any clutch problems, other than the obvious that it's worn up, but I don't think it is that.

I took the centre column to bits tonight to see if my inhibitor was over too far, not much, but just enough to make the gate a bit tight selecting first and second, in the process of adjusting the inhibitor what started out as a simple job turned into a major one, one of the inhibitor threads broke free from the tunnel body, they are only pressed in threads. So wondered what I was going to do as I didn't want to really strip the whole tunnel to bits, so I simply welded it back in, also added some weld onto the other one just in case it decided to do the same as I tightened it up. I think this is why the inhibitor moves over time, they are not really tightened up a lot from new, so on an older car they have moved with all the banging they get. The threads are very secure now so I was able to make the adjustment and tighten the inhibitor up nicely, no major stripping down required.

As I've recently repaired my translator with new bearings and stainless rose joints, this is why I agree with Jonathan's view, as far as I can see on my car everything is correct and not worn, so it has to be down to the gearbox not being the best around. I find sometimes it goes in gear well, other times it's a pain and you have to go into second before going in to first, these seem to be the gears that have the most problems, sometimes fifth gear to forth can be a problem.

Owen

Edited by OwenGT3
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As I mentioned, my gearbox hasn't been touched and the shift is as good as I believe it can get.

Before stripping your gearbox, change/upgrade/improve the mechanisms and you'll see a big difference in my experience with a much, much smaller financial outlay.

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

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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I understand what tje111 is on about.

When i had my box apart I did look at length at the selection and why it is so clunky, by rounding the selection grooves off you might well get a much smoother box but I do wonder how much it would affect it possibly popping out of gear afterwards :blush:

I would also look at the selector spring strength, if this could be backed off a little it would help releave the stress on the cables - if again I can conjour up some pictures that will explain a lot more.

You might be able to do this without removing the box altogether.....but thats no definate !

All I know is that the GT3 is good, definatly a 1 finger change jobby but the GT2 is not as good.

Anyone know if gating the front end gear stick helps at all ? Wondered about making a nylon/ptfe gate to mount underneath the gaiter and see what does for things.

Edited by Jonathan

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Thanks guys this is becoming a good topic of great interest. I hav e not pull the gear box apart, no intention at present, i have tried to get a kit from PNM but they only offer a refurb of the whole gear shift. Around 170 pounds. Coming back to the translator from a mechanical view point the 2 cables are not very well supported and could flex when changing gear, also the input shaft seems a bit sloppy I may change the bearing and try and give it some more support.

The one thing that we do not know is how good should it be, and how good could it be, all a bit subjective.

Need to drive other cars to see what is good etc

Dave

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Dave, I say zis only wunce :blush:

if the rear hasn't been done then do that 1st, it's quicker and easier to do than the rest and yeilds the best improvement on an aged system (these bits are exposed to rust etc unlike inside the car).

Get the ones from Espritism/Malc/Lotus bits - imo they are better parts.

Dont be shelling

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Good advise, I have done the rear and it has made it much better. I will strip the front out and if worn I'll replace, I could just order the rubber biys that wear and replace.

Looking forward to a slick changer

Dave

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