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PhilW

Reverse gear

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Can anyone advise?

I can get all gears very well and easy when the car is cold and after a few miles is still not a problem.  However after I have been on a run it becomes difficult to get reverse.  It will go but always have to go into first and then reverse. Don't need to do this when cold.  G/box has Castrol Tafx just beyond the correct level. Clutch fluid is fine and the red pipe to slave has been changed to a steel braided one.  Linkages are fine, although if it was linkages I would expect it to be bad hot or cold.

No noises or anything from G/box. 

 

Can any one give me any clues?  Many thanks

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Giorgio

5th is no problem.

 

Crossgate cable?  Don't know about this.  Where is this?  Will now get my service manual out.

 

Phil

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Just looked in the book.  Now I understand but if this is badly adjusted why would it be worse when its hot?

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It's a fairly critical adjustment...things expand and contract with heat. There are lots of wear points in the crossgate linkage, and lots written about it in these hallowed pages. I trust you are lifting the gear lever over the detent to get reverse? Some have found the linkage set so that this isn't needed...and then they give trouble. Red hose is a red herring. Reverse gear trouble is invariably a crossgate problem; usually fixed by adjustment, but the wear can get to the point where sterner measures are needed. Look at the Gearbox end of the linkage, the bellcrank and pivots and clevis pins and the cylindrical part which engages the gearbox crossgate shaft....all of this wears. New parts are available and everything can be fixed!!

 

If you still have problems, it may be worth taking the top off the gearbox and ensuring that the internal selectors line up...the cross-shaft has to be able to move the selector finger between the 5th speed and reverse selectors...if these do not line up accurately, then it can be obstructed. When I had my gearbox apart, I took a file to these and ensured that the DID align properly. Never had any trouble since. I don't necessarily advise this....(!) 

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Are you sure the clutch is operating to it's full extent once hot? I had a similar problem when I got my SE, at first it was mainly reverse, after a while on a hot day or after a spirited drive first became a problem as well. After some research on here I replaced the red clutch hose with a SS one and never had a problem since. It seems as the original hose gets old, it can expand under heat and pressure, reducing the movement of the clutch and preventing it from fully disengaging. Which is what you need when selecting first and especially reverse.

 

Filip

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If the gears are grinding when you try to engage reverse, then it's the clutch. Generally this isn't the case...it's just that the lever won't go into reverse. Then it's the crossgate, for sure. If the clutch has not released, then the gears will try to engage but grind together as they are rotating. If there is no grinding, then the clutch doesn't come into it.

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Sorry, missed the part about the red hose already being changed... :getmecoat:

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Hi Philw,

Same problem here, I checked the whole system, getting rid of any slack any where. It does shift like a brand new car, getting in fifth or in reverse when cold is no problem. As soon as it gets hot, I need to be very polite engaging reverse, it does go in a notch then I can feel the gears ...

Knowing that you installed the braided line and have the same problem, I won't go that route.

If it's the clutch adjustment, why doesn't it do it in first?

As an anecdote, I always had problems ingaging 5th (looking like a jerk on the highway!) until I decided to have a look at the spring pin at the bottom of the shifter ... the PO ha installed an aluminum cutter pin intead of the steel part ... it was in pretty bad shape. So finally got a fifth that shifts like a charm! Now let's fix the reverse!

Any more advices out there?

Luc

Edited by Mesprit87

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Crossgate adjustment is a compromise...first gear is all the way one way on the crossgate and reverse is all the way the other. Fifth gear is not quite so far over as reverse is... You have to play with the adjustment until you hit the point where you can get both first gear and reverse. It's a bit fiddly and one of those iterative processes where you can go round in circles. It doesn't take much for the crossgate inside the gearbox to baulk on the selectors and not engage the gears.... If you try to engage reverse using the gearlever and it won't go into gear, then get someone to try it whilst you grovel under the back and pull on the crossgate shaft...moving it out of the box....if the reverse gear then engages, it means that you have to adjust the crossgate cable so that it pushes the bellcrank a little bit further, thus moving the crossgate out a little bit. 

 

If you are getting the gears to select properly, but you get a grinding when going into reverse, then that is probably the clutch system. You won't get it going into first, as first gear has synchromesh whereas reverse is just a straight cut gear. The red hose thing....left hand drive cars may put more heat into the hose than right hand drive, I'm not sure, but it seems possible. I would suggest that you get someone to sit in the car and depress the clutch whilst you peer in the back and make up some gauge to determine how far out the clutch pushrod is moving....a small piece of wood and a pencil mark ought to do. Then do the same thing again once it's hot and not going into gear properly....if the pushrod isn't moving as far, then you have a good case to change the hose for a braided one.....or the clutch itself is on it's last legs, perhaps? 

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I'm across the continent from my car right now and the car is stored for winter so the hot/cold trouble shooting will have to wait. Correct me if I'm wrong but the crossgate adjustment is half a turn at a time, so much for fine tuning. I know that the red hose has been replaced by the PO, still I am tempted to change the dawn thing since it seems to have solved the problem for some of us. Will definitely take measurements before changing anything.

Merci pour l'aide John, j'ai pensé à toi ce printemps, j'ai passé 2 semaines à Paris...

Luc

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 I don't think the issue is 'red hose' or any other hose - (I still use red hose some 30 years later).   The hot/cold thing seems more likely cluch dragging - maybe the driven plate is dry on the input shaft, exacerbated by heat?  May also be worth checking the master cylinder has the correct bore for the application?

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This is a fantastic response from everyone. Thank you but please dont stop! Just got to find the time to start checking now

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Ref clutch i have posted this before i had a problem with the clutch and it turned out to be the peddle to master cyl in the wrong hole on the peddle i moved the clevis pin down a hole and adjusted the push rod to suite all is now fine inc red hose never any problems when hot and in traffic.

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I vote for something related to the clutch too Steeve, I know that the master and slave cylinders were replaced by the PO but it seems everything he had replaced was replaced by original stuff. Anything to lok for clutch adjustment wise? I will probably have to replace the slave cylinder, it is seeping a bit, thinking about having it re-sleeveed in stainless.

Luc

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I had this problem on my Europa. 

 

The problem was the reverse idler gear in the box. Is has points on one end of the teeth to help it engage (I assume the Citroen box is similar in this respect to the Renault). The points had worn off. I think the points on the teeth were graunched by someone repeatedly selecting reverse accidentally while going forward. This caused it not to engage until a few "tries" and de-clutch in between. Why worse when hot? Maybe because the gearbox oil is thinner.

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Well all adjusted new water pipe new antifreeze and a test drive.  Seems I have gone too far.  I have mistakenly thought 3rd is 1st. Cant get 1st or 2nd at all............reverse is lovely though. :)

 

back to the drawing board.  Problem is what with work and a trip abroad looming Brooklands is looking very doubtful.

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The crossgate adjustment is a very fine one. I've just found out after replacing the clutch. In the end it was more a quarter of a turn to get the balance between 1st/2nd and 5th/reverse.

 

Pete

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Thanks Pete.  Was even considering taking the cover off the g/box so I can see what I am doing when I adjust.  What do you think?

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No need to doing this if you can engage reverse and all the other gears from the gearbox lever at the crank.

If you have a problem selecting them on the gearbox itself than a look on the inside is a good thing...

Giorgio

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If you have a 2nd pair of hands to change gear whilst you adjust that would be ideal. I just adjusted then tried the gearstick and repeated until it was done.

 

Pete

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