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rafphillips

Rear clam off pics and clutch change findings

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For those of you who saw my other thread ..  http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/56095-gearbox-sync-and-great-customer-services/

 

I picked the the car up earlier and thought I would share some pics and findings related to the clutch etc. Its a bit of a long one but the below may be of interest to some and I will try not to waffle too much!

 

Nick and Mike at Williams have kindly provided 42 high resres photos on a memory stick with the car at various stages of strip down and re-build (some very artistic ones so big up to Mike @ Williams for the camera work). I have chosen a select few and shrunk them down and will post them shortly.

 

Firstly top job done by Williams, as ever great customer service and attention to detail. I am a nightmare customer and the slightest mark is the end of the world (see end of post for a few minor snags).

 

Regards what was changed, in the clutch dept I paid for all the clutch parts

 

  • Clutch friction plate £130

  • Clutch Cover £109

  • Clutch release bearing £42

  • Adaptor £17

  • Flywheel assembly £111

 

Plus a few bolts etc, total inc VAT was just over £500

 

In the gearbox dept all Items associated with 1st to 4th gear (cogs, syncs etc) were replaced and new gear box oil fitted again (last lot only did 150 miles).

 

Lotus picked up all the labour costs for taking off the clam, doing gearbox work, clutch change etc. Which is bloody good really, no umm's and ah's from Andy French and warranty guys and gals just sorted, top draw! Don't get me wrong would much rather have not had the hassle of getting it done and train trips to collect etc but glad to have it done in warranty rather than in a few years at my cost.

 

The gear box now seems perfect (as perfect as as a Toyota Auris one will ever be anyway). Clutch is even better in comparison to before, not notchy, no vibrations and feels lighter / smoother. The observations by me pre clutch change and Tom during the re-build may be of interest to some.

 

Since I purchased the car @ 12 months old and with 10,000 miles on the clock I have have noticed the following that I now know were related to the clutch assembly as aren't there any more!;

 

  • Metallic rattle under acceleration, especially when labouring say 20 mph in 2nd and as you accelerate up through rev range. Not the slight diesel style gearbox noise you get a low revs in 1st etc, a metallic rattle. Now gone and almost certainly the clutch release bearing as suspected pre clutch change.

  • A vibration through the clutch when you rest your foot on it, only slight but noticed over time gradually getting more pronounced.

  • At times especially when hot a notch in the clutch pedal and not able to pull away 100% cleanly from lights etc with a slight hesitation in the clutch. I used to think it was me not wearing right shoes or being a spazz and not finding the bite point properly. Case solved though, Tom observed that the shaft the clutch release slides along was not greased properly, well the grease was more a glue now than a grease. It was greased from the factory but over time as the grease has heated it has become sticky and would cause it it grab as it was being released.

 

On to clutch wear.....

 

Noting my car has 13,900 miles and first 10,000 miles were Lotus management. Last 3,900 that I know exact driving style of as only I have driven the car bar the odd Andy French and mechanic test drive. 3000 miles were largely mix of town, cursing and fast road, with the odd very high speed blast but never launched or abused and about 900 motorway.

 

In my haste to take the car for a blast home I left the old clutch parts at Williams so will pick them up next time and take some close up pics but I did check over them with Tom and asked for his observations and we discussed how much life it had left in it etc...

 

  • Flywheel in good health a few small marks but to be expected. Probably fine to go back in for for the sake of £125 I / Tom thought it best to have all new parts fitted.

  • Lots or material left on clutch, although the standard clutch is not all that thick

  • Although most of the grip marks almost all in tact a few starting to fade and get down to nothing. No hot spots noted etc

  • Estimations were the clutch had 20 to 40k miles tops left in it dependant on town / fast road or motorway. Making that clutch good for a maximum of 50k ish

  • From that you can guesstimate cars that do allot of motorway miles could prob get 70 – 80k miles max.

  • Cars driven more mix of fast road and town probably more like 40 – 60 k max

     

 

Booked in for a few weeks after I have put a few 100 miles on it to take under tray off any check all is well.

 

Also to sort a few minor snags one I noticed whilst there …

 

  • The rear clam dimples behind the door that are mould related and you can notice in certain lights on all evoras is much more pronounced and now more of a light crease than a dimple (as I am really picky on body work can spot a mile off and first thing I noticed 10 paces from car). Tom agreed and suspected the posts sit it behind it just needs loosening off slightly or spacing out (hopefully).

 

After I got home noticed...

 

  • Rear diffuser and associated gubbins is slightly mis aligned by a few cm too far over to the left. Meaning the metal vented thingy is too far over / close to the exhaust on one side and is rubbing the top of the exhaust (slight mark already from drive home). Easy adjustment fix

  • Rear hatch needs adjusting as its ever so slightly mis aligned and rubbing on one of the plastic vents on one side meaning you can feel it shift across slightly when closing. Also the boot doesn't pop up and is a bit stiff to close. Easy adjustment fix.

  • May just be me not having car for 2 weeks but at high speeds (had a nice play with a DBS and took back roads home) car seems a bit less balanced at rear through the twisties, so will ask them to check the Geo also.

  • And to be uber picky a new slight mark on the leather in middle passenger seat, but that's me being anal no-one else would probably even notice unless I pointed it out so I wont even mention that.

 

I am often told I am the most anal person, picky anal not porn star anal :-) With that in mind other than the above perfect, no rattles that were there before, leaks, strange noises etc and given the size of the task and how mind numbing it must have been Tom has done an awesome job. Cant see any nicks to paint, scuffs etc (touch wood). I have heard nightmares on people having big engine jobs done to Ferraris, Lambos etc and long list of issues scratches, rattles etc but touch wood other that the above the rear end department is better than new!

 

I took him a select assortment of fine Ales and Beer for his troubles, I should have bought him a keg!

 

Cheers

Raf

 



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Raf, great post! A work of reference. Mel

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No probs Mel,

Interestingly the graunch was still there from dead cold yesterday morning and I had a play with the cable adjustment (which was my initial hunch).

Not that hard to do actually an i found if I adjust it one way it gets worse (even when car not cold), adjust the other way and it gets better / goes away (even when car is cold).

I have advised Williams to feed back to factory that I fear they had fitted new gears needlessly and it may be worth them checking the cable adjustment on other cars that report simailr just in case. Would hate Lotus to be spending all that time on labour needlessly!!

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The problem is that the gearbox was a poor choice for Lotus from the start. In comparison to most cars it is just dismal (even the rental Fiat 500 I have right now is better) and almost every owner has had issues of one kind or the other.

That and the fact the gearbox has a back-to-back guarantee from Toyota is the reason Lotus has started doing the big job. I had 2 shift cables and the car crawling in neutral before the clutch and gearbox were changed.

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Agreed with that, and thanks to your guide for the help adjusting the cables ;-)

It's actually not that bad I find. Driven a few ones that are difficult to locate gears and sloppier than a wizards sleve but also some really tight ones that whilst not great aren't bad at all.

Mine is very direct and tight and never feel like you will miss a gear etc. Its certainty on a par wife my wife's new C Max box.

Now I have adjusted the cables coupled with the new gears it seems almost perfect (for a Auris) TBH so perhaps it's a combination of both the magic Williams did with the gear box and the very minor cable tweak is the answer.

Having done under 3000 miles in a year I have now done over 250 miles just driving for fun miles in 3 days so def enjoying the improved clutch and gearbox combination.

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>In comparison to most cars it is just dismal (even the rental Fiat 500 I have right now is better) 

 

 

That's not objective, surely. I seem to recall Thomas has been very unlucky with his car, which would explain this statement.

 

The fact is that the gearbox itself is solid - I haven't seen any reports of breakages so far, despite some cars which have probably taken a lot of abuse. 

 

I would agree with Raf, the gearchange mechanism (not the gearbox) could be better, although it varies a lot depending on the use.

 

Mine has always been very good, in fact at 32,000 km now it's almost better than when new. I have always liked the mechanism, despite its long travel. It clicks into gear neatly, and I have never encountered gear crunch at any speed.

 

Clutch wear is very difficult to estimate. Remember that it depends A LOT on the driver. Most people slip the clutch too much. The same part can last between 5,000 and 100,000 miles depending on the driver... 

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As an owner of an Abarth 500 with padles shifting I really can compare with the IPS of the Evora. The Abarth has to be shifted with no throttle, so everytime you shift, the right foot has to be lifted a bit to avoid head nodding. This I dont have in the Evora. Anyhow, the paddles are also a bit different, Evora with an edge on the blanc metal, Abarth with ribspattern.  

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Ritchie, I suspect he's referring to the manual.

My wife used to have a dual-clutch automatic Alfa MiTo "TCT" which was actually smooth, seamless and quick. I wonder if the one on the 500 is different.

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Interesting that the span of opinion on the Evora gearbox is so wide. We all know that the gearbox is originally from a diesel, leaving one to guess that it was not really designed for performance and high RPM's. In fact, it ma well be that the gap between good and bad widens dramatically with RPM.

 

Nonetheless, almost all cars I have driven in the last years have a tight shift, but the Evora gearbox remains the one thing I would change tomorrow.

 

 

As an owner of an Abarth 500 with padles shifting I really can compare with the IPS of the Evora. The Abarth has to be shifted with no throttle, so everytime you shift, the right foot has to be lifted a bit to avoid head nodding. This I dont have in the Evora. Anyhow, the paddles are also a bit different, Evora with an edge on the blanc metal, Abarth with ribspattern.  

 

It was the manual, I had the car on vacation for a few days. But, even my wife's Mini (also manual) is tighter.

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Thomas, I think you're referring to the standard 'long ratio' gearbox. The short ratio one fitted as standard to the S and an option on the N/A is considerably modified by Lotus.

 

In terms of gear change mechanisms, mid-engined cars will never be as good as front-engined cars with rear wheel drive, where the engine is mounted longitudinally with the gearbox right behind. In these setups, the gear stick sits just above the gearbox, and requires no cables. The Mazda MX-5 and the Honda S2000 spring to mind.

 

The Cayman/Boxster is better than the Evora but still doesn't have the same 'joystick' feel of the two above.

 

Again I've always been happy with the Evora's gearchange, and I think the ratios of the close-ratio gearbox are just perfect for the N/A engine. Perhaps they could be a tad longer for the S, to take advantage of the extra torque (and reach a higher top speed, as we have seen that the IPS can achieve it).

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andy trust me you have it good. I had my exactly the same work on my car and while the repair was successful, the reassembly was not. In fact if any of you saw it you'd think it was a joke, but it was not. it was a nightmare.

-seatbacks scuffed to hell (backside)

-scrape in leather door sill

-weather seals poorly installed: seal jutting out where the glass seam lines meet the vent/sail panel, seal along the b-pillar not straight and kinked, seal along top of door opening jutting out.

-gas lid had a gap when closed

-headliner smudged with grease marks

-leather shift boot was loose (they had also fixed my brake handle because it was nearly impossible to disengage

- paint scratches on rear left fender

-damage on plastic finisher (the black panel between the diffuser and bumper)

-cracked ventilation panel

-misaligned rear spoiler (it was easily adjusted by me turning rubber stops)

-uneven body seams: door seam at b-pillar was 3/4 cm on driver side and 1/4 cm on the passenger side. seam between rear clam and bumper was 1/2cm on passenger side and touching on the driver side

-various bolts missing

-stripped bolt hole that secured the cargo net

-Damaged car battery (they let drain completely and just charged it up when they delivered the car. the car had trouble starting after just a week and a half from getting the car back. Turns out the battery voltage measured 11.6V. I had to charge it on a weekly basis thereafter for months until my next visit.

here are just some of the photos:

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I brought these things up and they were eventually fixed by the dealership, but it cost me another couple of days off work.

While the tech no longer works there, I don't blame him as he was under immense pressure to get the repair done. I witness this myself listening to the interactions between him and the service manager. The tech told me it was the first time he worked on an Evora so I figured he probably needed more time to do a good job. He did an awesome job on the clutch but everything else went to sh*t when emhe was rushed. The service manager never fully inspected the car. he just handed me the keys after parking it in front for me to pick up.

Edited by Squidward

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Thomas, I think you're referring to the standard 'long ratio' gearbox. The short ratio one fitted as standard to the S and an option on the N/A is considerably modified by Lotus.

 

In terms of gear change mechanisms, mid-engined cars will never be as good as front-engined cars with rear wheel drive, where the engine is mounted longitudinally with the gearbox right behind. In these setups, the gear stick sits just above the gearbox, and requires no cables. The Mazda MX-5 and the Honda S2000 spring to mind.

Since I have the Evora S, I'm of course talking about the CR-box.

I agree that it is more difficult for mid-engined cars, but that doesn't mean it has to be worse. When you look at the Evora's cabling you can just see that they spared the effort and only woke up in 2012 to improve it.

Edited by TBD

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The transmission on the Evora is my biggest worry about the car. Mine makes a different noise when in 5th and 6th or rather it makes no noise in those gears but does in others but I'm told mine is perfectly normal. Given how Lotus have to be fair done all warranty work without hesitation I'm happy ish to believe them. But I do worry about transmission costs once out of warranty.

I've seen a couple of cars in at JCT when the clutch has been done and in both cases the clutch was fine. It was the sleeve type part which was rattling that was the issue.

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