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1st and reverse gear selection problems - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
tricky12

1st and reverse gear selection problems

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Have a 96 V8 with 29000 miles on the clock and have problems selecting 1st and reverse gears.

 

Have checked gearbox oil level.

 

Have checked and lubricated the translator end and replaced some of the nylon bushes on the stick end and there was a noticable improvement but as the car gets warmer the selection is worse and often crunch the box when trying to select reverse, and embaressing when trying to get 1st at the  traffic lights.

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Is the clutch disengaging fully when you depress the pedal? 

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dont want to appear dumb but how do I check this ??????

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first DIY task:

with car standing, engine running 

 

..press the clutch and see if you have the same problem with the other gears   (-it is clear that you could not totally move up & accelerate from a standing start with the 4 or 5 gear, but just try to sellect the gear and engage it)  ..does this work without any resistance and without crunch  ?

 

..if the clutch does not work in general (does not open fully), there should be some problems with the other gears too as long as the car stands there  ..1-5 gear are all with syncro, so there is no different effect between the 1 gear and 4 or 5 in this case, and all should work without odd crunch (as far as I see it)

 

 

 

*..the opposite thing is if you notice smell on the clutch, and a slight hesitation on acceleration or so .. in this case you would select a gear, preferrable 2 or 3, put some rpm on the car [2500 or so], use the handbrake on full to lock the car in place and see if the engine stalls as soon as you try to drive up  ...if it not stalls there is slip on the plates, maybe as the plates are oily or worn and the factor of friction changed on the material surfaces.

Edited by Günter

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Check the translator and gear lever adjustments if you pass Gunter's tests.

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I had the same on my Turbo SE. First replaced the gearlinkage, which made a huge improvement overall, but when really up to temperature, first and reverse would still be difficult to select.

I then replaced the hydraulic hose from the master to the slave with a braided steel one from SJ. That solved it, no more crunches or difficulties. :thumbsup:

 

Greetz,

 

Filip

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Richard, you shouldn't have the hydraulic hose problem as V8s didn't use that type.

Also, as its a very early V8 do you know which type of clutch is fitted? 96 models had a single plate clutch although many were updated to twin plate clutches.

It does sound like clutch drag. Typical effect is that with cold transmission oil there's no problem as the oil is thicker and overcomes the drag. As the oil heats up the problem gets worse.

Bleed the clutch circuit to be sure there's no air. Check 1-5 all engage freely with the engine off. That would highlight any translator problems. Repeat as Gunter said above.

It could be the clutch is on the way out, or it could be build up of dirt on the input shaft splines especially if its had the twin plate update. Other thing could be the release bearing starting to pull apart.

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Thanks for your help will have to wait till Friday before I can play.

 

Not had the car for many months but

 

Think the clutch may be original single plate due to the low miles and also has the original cast iron bell housing.

 

What are opinions on the single plate as there are some for sale in the current lotus parts sale. Think I may be able to get my hands on a alloy bell housing so may change this if the clutch needs replacing

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Most cars were converted from the single to twin plate early on, only a few 96 cars were made with it anyway. Going back to a single plate clutch would be a bad move. 

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Yes if its got a twin plate I would stick with that but I think it may still have the single plate.

 

Were the single plates trouble some is is it just a case of the power / tourqe going through them

 

 

Would I need to change anything else to go to the twin plate eg bell housing, fork, bearing etc

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Lots of things it could be Richard and the guys have covered a few. I had the same symptoms as you, even had to turn the engine off at traffic lights sometimes if it wouldn't go into first (bit embarrassing!). Mine is a 96 model with a twin plate conversion. What I found is that the plates weren't floating freely in the cage and were not disengaging properly as one side was snagging quite badly. This caused uneven wear on the plates and had the same symptoms as what you describe. It got so bad that the car was creeping forward on the starter motor when in first with clutch depressed. I'd been through all the clutch bleeding etc so knew it wasn't that.

Not put it all back together yet, but I've had the cage 'fettled' so that everything floats freely as it should do. I suppose your first check is to see what type of clutch you have. If you remove the casting where the slave cylinder attaches you should be able to identify your set up. Stick a picture on here if you're unsure and I'm sure you will get many pieces of helpful advice. I've learned loads from these forums.

Cheers,

Steve

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Hi

 

Had similar problems with my 96/97 V8

 

Replaced rear heim/rose joints on the rear translator linkage, replaced clutch, rebuilt gearbox and still had problems with gear change. The trouble is the lever linkage (under the lever ! ) tends to wear on 40,000 mile + vehicles and due to the troubles with gear changes and the harsh treatment the linkage gets, ( when it doent go in gear) the whole linkage and cable assembly gets "sloppy".

 

So you go through the motions of changing just about everything and the bastard still fails to select correctly. Then you get into a car with less miles or where everything has been refurbished so its "back to new" and then you realise how it should be  - as it left the factory.

 

Replace the master unit under the tunnel and the gear change is swift, precise and as good as you get in any vehicle.  The Esprit/Renault gearboxes get a lot of bad press usualy because they are set up wrong. When they are adjusted up and everything is as it should be, it makes the car so much better to drive.

 

My advise is check out the gearchange on a newer car for comparrison or one where this stuff has been maintained/refurbished before chucking money at clutches, gearboxes etc etc as these cost a fair few quid to sort out.

 

The master unit with cables is not cheap but chances are it will also want working on sooner or later and it may even save you the cost of the clutch rebuild

 

Paul 

Edited by modifiedv8engines

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@Pete:

..as far as I see it, early V8 with the separate clutch reserviour on the master-cylinder, those had fitted the odd plastic pipe that expands under heat, the same way as used on the 4pot

 

..see the parts list, there even was a note about with partnumber B082P4405F

 

47_01bmedium.gif

 

@richard:  ..go an download the workshopbook , see the note there in 'clutch' about a 'factory kit' for single-plate to 'AP-twinplate' conversion ..this kit was offered in the early days, and packed up with all parts  ..not sure that it is still available ?!

 

..on the point of reasons, the workshopbook states that the customers had trouble with the pedal feeling, no wonder if you mention that the clutch had to be rated to match the power output of the 918 engine. If you have to transfer that sort of power with a single plate clutch the plate needs to be big enough, and the diaphragm spring needs to be matched to ..especially if you see the differences betwen 'pull and push' type clutches on 'force over release-way'  ..the 'inertia' factor of a huge plate is an other additional thing, especially if you mention how the car moves up and how the characteristic of the engine is designed

 

..the single-plate flywheels/clutches are still in stock, as the company could not use the remained backups anymore ..as for the production upgrade of the V8 Esprit and most conversions allredy done on the early cars -seem understandable, right ;)

 

*on the note/comment that Paul made:

 

..he is right, the *plastic* rubber things there, that form the bushings for the cables [item nb. 50 in picture] are a strange creation, and if you stay with this system, I would say that at least you could try to build your own plastic bushings, but done with some stronger material/hard plastic/nylon ..and insert a metal sleeve for the cable end, like it is done there originally [see item nb. 52] .  This should make it more precise an reliable, but will make it slightly more noisy, I would guess ..but the bad effect of vibration transfer should be minimal overall.

 

The newer version of the master unit (the gearlever unit with ball joints) is more robust, but there is also a tendency to wear out after some years .. more important is, the space that those balljoints need , if the overall gear shift is not setup perfect on those later cars the balljoints on the master can get in contact with each other, and get 'un-hooked'/fall off.. if it is the right sentence  ..

-positive thing on the later '98 on gearshift version with direct cable routing and ball joints all around is, you even don't need the rear translater and all that stuff anymore, so less things to allign and less things who can wear & tear  ..this was the typical way of Lotus improvements within the late production years -the gearshift on the '98 on cars is still not as precice as it would be for example with a stiff direct linkage on a front engine-rear wheel drive car, and conventional layout instead of being cable actuated to the back , but it works .



differences between pre & post '98 cars:

 

indirect routing, with translator and 'open end' cables hooked up to the shifter unit

47_05medium.gif

 

..simpler conception, without translator and with a more 'strait' routing to the revised rear gearbox cover

 

 

47_05amedium.gif

 

..

Edited by Günter

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Thanks again for your help. please keep it coming.

 

As mentioned at the start of this topic, translator is ok and have replaced bushes etc at the stick end. this feels good and changes ok when not running.

 

Having looked at the parts list pretty sure still have single clutch based on milage and according to parts list cast iron bell housing.

 

Have bled the clutch tonight and will try tomorrow in motion, though didnt seem to be any air in the system, but did flush fresh fluid through.

 

Have got red pipe, so may buy braided version and fit.

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Gear changes can be a right pain, even the movement in the cables route as they tense can be enough to stop a gear being selected so ideally have somebody helping to look at everything as you try the changes, you can sometimes locate the issue by sight or sound (if something clicks as it makes contact then it's generally a sign there's too much play).

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you don't need to generally fit a braided pipe from aftermarket (something that also consist of a rubber inner layer, that ages and flexes in a minimum amount), as you can do it simpler like it is done on the later cars (even with your single reserviour master cylinder)

-fit a ordinary steel (brake) pipe there -this should be available 'by the meter' in various dimensions in your local stores  ..so done in DIY, with the right connectors up the way to the back, route it under the body next to the central chassis, mount it with clamps there onto the rear frame and use a long spiralic shaped slope in the line on the end,  to make it in some terms 'flexible' on the gearbox end.

Even the factory has done it this way on the later cars (but with the add of a useles rubber hose section there *part 33, something that gets brittle over time as it is placed just on top of the LH exhaust pipe ..stupid !!)

 

 

#

you say you have replaced a lot, but what is with the alignment, the shifter does have a 'blockade' for the reverse gate, formed by this piece that is placed next to the 1/2 gate ..so if your gearstick does not run as it should you can have some trouble there as the position of the stick is not right and there is more room needed to move the cables ? 

 

the allighnment is the first thing to check, additionally with 'free play' measurement on the associated joints/bearing  .. only outside of course, as for wear & tear inspection of the selectors inside of the box you would to have to open the rear cover at least..

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Sorry to resurrect this thread, I've an exige SC S2 (yes I know, this is the Esprit section) but I'm having some of the gear selection issues:

- from cold R selects pretty much ok, but if a clunk

- when warm it crunches when trying to select R.

- 1st is a little stiff but gets there when warm. Easier when warm.

- all fwd gears select ok when driving.

- cables and trans oil replaced.

would this seem clutch or gearbox? There's no noticeable creep when gears selected and pedal pressed. Clutch slave replaced and bled.

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Best bet is to select first in order to stop the input shaft spinning because of clutch drag & then to whip it out & quickly back into reverse before it starts spinning again. :thumbup:

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Hi Jon, tried this, selecting different fwd gears then R, helps a little but still gets the crunch.

not sure if it's clutch dragging - pressure plate / springs or gearbox, there's no reverse synchro.

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Sounds like the clutch not fully releasing causing drag.

My Esprits only ever experienced "red hose syndrome" in hot weather so I guess the reason you don't get the problem until she warms up is because the cold & thick gearbox oil stopping the input shaft from spinning. 

Probably worth getting it looked at before it fails. :thumbdown: 

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Thanks Jon, my local dealer wanted around £1100 for the clutch only (and reckon its not the gearbox), wheras an Indi (Motorsport team) want around £650 - £750 depending how easy she comes to pieces. But they also reckoned the Gearbox Synchro is on its way out, and quoted rougly £1100 for Gbox + Clutch replacment - saying that its a 2nd hand Gbox from cars they test.

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