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Reverse gear pops out, have to hold it in.


Rick

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'82 Turbo Esprit, day 3 of ownership.

 

The car goes into reverse without issue, but every couple of meters it just falls back into neutral.

 

It works it you hold the gear stick in place.

 

Ideas on possible causes for investigation?

 

Many thanks in advance!

'82 Turbo Esprit

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I would suggest cable and gear change mechanism adjustment as well.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I'd say (since the car is new to you) that the best first action is to check the condition of the bushes on the shift linkage. 

 

There are four on the Citroen cars. Starting from the rear...there is one on the right side of the 'box, and two on the bell-crank that is attached to the RH motor mount. Those three are easiest to access and replace. (If they are worn, you don't want to start mucking about with the linkage adjustments...)   They are not that expensive or difficult to replace.

 

The fourth bush is under the gearshift lever.  I'd leave that alone for now.

 

After that, you could start with the linkage adjustments.  If the car was sitting a long time, the reverse cable could be binding, several owners have replaced those.

 

 

 

 

PS:  If you DO find a reverse syncro, take a picture and post it next to those of the Unicorn. :P

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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16 minutes ago, CarBuff said:

PS:  If you DO find a reverse syncro, take a picture and post it next to those of the Unicorn. :P

I think you'll find it's identical to the one fitted to the four cylinder Steven's cars. ?

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Crossgate adjustment is a easy.  Its done where the inner end of the bowden cable attaches to the box.  Only requires removal of  clevis pin, then you screw it in or out the adjustable portion of the inner cable (10mm locknut) .  5 minute job, just dont go more than 1/2 turn at a time and remember the start position if it doesn't fix the problem.

I'd personally try the simple free stuff before spending money, but that's just me.

NB There is no 'reverse cable' only a single crossgate cable, which is the equivalent of moving your gear lever from left/right right/left in the neutral gate 

/

Edited by 910Esprit
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Guys!!!  Awesome!!  Massive thanks to everyone who's replied, some brilliant information there.

Sorry to keep referring back to MR2 ownership days, but on those, we replaces gear linkage bushes with sealed skate board bearings and it worked extremely well to tighten up slack warn rubber bushes.

Is that something guys do on there Esprit?

Or is there an aftermarket polybush option I can get hold of?

'82 Turbo Esprit

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I have rebuild two linkages, one on my brothers S2 where I replaced the bearings with plane control bearings (there is a link on this site to them) and on mine I went for the bushes as supplied by SJ. I would say the bushes supplied by SJ were just as good and a lot cheaper. Not sure how they will stand up after 30k miles but then I wont be doing that sort of mileage. I don't think there is enough room to fit rolling element bearings as used on skateboards, at least not the ones I had on my deck!

BTW if you end up changing the bearing right at the front it is very fiddly, mostly to get the linkage out of the chassis, always takes me a while to work it out. Having a suitable 12 year old with small hands to operate a spanner helps!

C43

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If you can select reverse without any issues, then the crossgate cable will be adjusted properly. Jumping out of gear is likely to be because the tubular linkage isn't moving the selectors far enough to properly engage reverse gear...which is straight cut. Other possibility is the detent spring...there are a number of springs and balls and rods with hemispherical ends  that shift about and hold the selector shafts in position once a gear have been engaged. Most probably it's the tubular linkage bushes worn, as you say....

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I know its counter intuitive, but from personal experience crossgate adjustment affected the ability of mine to stay in reverse.    Perhaps it contributes to binding of the fore/aft motion that's then exacerbated by worn bushes?

Anyway, If you have an enquiring mind and are not getting bogged down with jobs, its surprisingly straightforward to lift the top off the gearbox and look inside without disturbing anything, or even draining the oil.   Would also allow you to check all the selector forks etc. are where they should be, although hopefully it wont be an internal issue

 

 

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56 minutes ago, C43 said:

 if you end up changing the bearing right at the front it is very fiddly, mostly to get the linkage out of the chassis, always takes me a while to work it out. Having a suitable 12 year old with small hands to operate a spanner helps!

 

That's why I suggested leaving that bearing for last.

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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I think the popping out of reverse issue is the first problem that shows up when the linkage is shagged, as reverse does not have the natural detenting action of a syncro.

I am often amazed at how bad the linkage has to get on these cars before people look at it. Really the whole thing, rods and crossgate should be worked through from end to end. 

If I had to pick one particular area on the linkage which causes this issue it would be the pivot of the lever mounted on the RH engine mount leg. On the early Turbo the lever pivot simply goes through a hole in the leg rather than the chassis bracket on later cars and the whole thing wears and causes masses of play. I did a mod on mine which added a ball bearing on the pivot, there are pictures on one of the many gear linkage threads on here.  

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Ok. I'll bite. How does the reverse light switch cause an issue with the box not staying in reverse?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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And yes, that was the only thing I could think of, but did not think that it would cause enough resistance to the mechanical movement.

Most of these types of switches have a fair amount of movement after a contact is made, hence my thoughts.

I live to learn.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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