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suavek

Eclat Gearbox No First Gear

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Hi everyone!  I recently hired Active Engines in Canada to rebuild the engine for my Lotus Eclat S1 (5-speed Lotus gearbox) and I'm very pleased with the way the engine runs.

When I first reassembled everything, the first gear was a little tough to put the shifter into but I expected that because the first gear was like this since I bought the car 3.5 years ago.

After sitting for a couple of months, I took the car out yesterday and now the first gear won't engage at all.  The shifter won't physically allow me to move into the first gear.

When putting the engine back in the car 2 months, I also replaced the clutch with a 3-piece kit from SJ Sports Cars.  I remember that something with the clutch cable didn't look exactly the same with the new clutch in place (and thought I would address it later).  Please take a look at the attached picture.

Is it possible to adjust the clutch cable to correct my problem... or does it sound like I'm out of luck and I'll have to rebuild the gearbox?

Your help would be really appreciated :-)

Lotus Eclat Clutch Cable.jpg

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If you can change gear in all the other gears without issue, that sort of says it is not the clutch.

Are you able/Have you tried, putting the car into first without the engine running? Will it go in? If you have, have you tried to then start the engine? (disclaimer: Don't do this with anything close to the front of the car). This will tell you whether the clutch is dragging.

However, if it won't go into gear without the engine running, you may already have your answer. Have a rear wheel jacked up when you try to put it into gear so that you can make the gearbox internals move slightly so you can engage gear hopefully.

Best of luck.

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Thanks for the suggestions ramjet.

The shifter won't go into first gear without the engine running either.  I jacked up both rear tires and that doesn't change anything.

Anything other suggestions guys?

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Even moving a wheel forwards and backwards won't help it go in? Normally only jack up one so any movement makes the gearbox internals spin. If both are jacked up, turning one wheel generally makes the other wheel turn in preference to turning the gearbox internals.

If this is the case, I am pretty sure you are looking at a gearbox open job.

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Nothing to do with your gearbox trouble but.....the clutch cable is fitted the wrong way around.

The adjusting nut should be on the lever not the gearbox.

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13 hours ago, pbharcourt said:

Nothing to do with your gearbox trouble but.....the clutch cable is fitted the wrong way around.

The adjusting nut should be on the lever not the gearbox.

Cable looks OK to me. :) 

image.thumb.png.59106c29ac21173e044432a27842de39.png

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Ramjet - I jacked up just one rear wheel, moved it back and forth and 1st gear still won’t go in.

pbharcourt - can you please clarify what you mean?

TAR - the diagram you posted (thank you!) appears to match the way I’ve got the clutch cable connected.

any other ideas guys? I’m very grateful for your troubleshooting tips here :-)

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If that's the case, you have another issue which is not clutch related.

Your cable is the right way around from what I can tell.

I am thinking that your gearbox is going to have to come out, however, have you checked the shifter as to whether it may have any undue wear that could be causing an issue?

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Sorry my mistake, your cable is correct, one too many glasses of wine!

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Thanks for your input guys.

I'd still like to confirm that I fitted the clutch / clutch cable properly - so I took some additional pictures.  The areas marked in red in the pictures is what I'm questioning.  Should the clutch fork not slide onto these red areas?  Does this look correct to you guys?

 

Lotus Eclat clutch 01.jpg

Lotus Eclat clutch 02.jpg

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And one more thing... before the installation of the new clutch, my clutch cable used to be nice and tight (on the clutch side).  Now it feels pretty loose, I can wiggle the whole thing very easily with my finger (and both parts of the cable on both sides of the clutch fork move around).

The adjustment nut (on the left of the clutch fork) is tightened all the way... so I can't tighten the whole assembly any further.

Could this prevent me from pushing the shifter into the 1st gear?

Lotus Eclat clutch 03.jpg

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The clutch wouldn't make any difference to gear selection while the engine isn't running, you should be able to engage all gears.

The problem will be selector or gearbox itself. Did you remove the gear lever or linkages (I'm not familiar with the Eclat setup)? Have you Checked/changed the gearbox oil? The first signs of gearbox failiure through worn selector forks can be difficultly engaging 1st /2nd gears, if there is a linkage between the lever and gearbox it may just require some adjustment. 

Don't worry about the clutch yet, the problem lies elsewhere. 

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When I first acquired my Elite in 2001, the clutch cable and fork were like yours, loose even with the adjustment nut fully wound on to the cable.  Consequently, it couldn’t be driven (hadn’t been since 1988), but I can’t remember if it still engaged gear with the engine off.  

Turned out to be the pin/ball that the fork pivots on inside the bell housing had broken off (needed a new housing to rectify).  Might be worth checking that the fork is actually on the pivot pin and that the pin hasn’t broken off .

Edited by CJBP

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Hello dss

 

I read all and look at the pictures.

Now I don't not which clutch cable picture belonges to what.

 

Also I'm missing the info whether the synchro of the gearbox is making any noise while trying to put the first in.

 

If I had this problem I would jack up both rear wheels.

Very safe of course.

Let the motor run and try to put the 1. gear in (with or without clutch).

Have you checked whether your gear shifter has simply enough place to move to the position of the first ? Is the motor and gearbox unit in the same position as before ?

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Suave,

Something is going on here. The second lot of photos that you have posted is most certainly not of the same housing etc as the first photo you have posted. The first photo, the housing is clean, has a rubber boot around the clutch lever hole as well as the casting is completely different. Then the photos you have posted of the cable show the adjusting nut on with a small amount of thread coming out of it. The later photos show the nut wound all the way on.

Call me wrong, but from what I can see, we are looking at two different bell housings here. These are not from the same car I think.

It is very difficult for people to assist you correctly if the information we get given does not seem to coincide?

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Yep Michael. Noticed the same thing. Secondly. When the gearbox was removed was it put into 2nd or 4th gear prior to removal. If not it could well simply be the selector out of place. Gearbox removal required. Remove top plate from the gearbox and re position the selectors, fit the gear lever and select second or 4th. Remove lever again and refit gearbox.

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What happened to this owner? We make a comment about the photos being different and he never replies again to explain anything?

I must be missing something here. A thrust bearing pushes against the clutch fingers to disengage it. With this setup, as best as I can make out, pulling the cable end of the lever would only serve to move the thrust bearing away from the clutch fingers?

The only way I could see this working is if the clutch lever pivots on the opposite side of the transmission shaft to the clutch cable. The photos don't seem to support that?

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Maybe it was test.  Well spotted by the way.

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Ha ha, call your self a moderator @ramjet, aren't you supposed to encourage people to sign up? not catch them out and scare them off.

Well spotted, are there any detective jobs over there?:stuart:

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I'm quite prepared to try and assist. I just want to be able to make sense of what I am looking at.

I have to agree with Steve and John though. I am pretty certain you have a selector issue inside the box.

I would like to see how the clutch fork and thrust bearing is set up on these, as at the moment, I can't understand how it is working.

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Hi guys - so sorry for my delayed reply.  Thank you for your continued support :-)

Let me clear up the confusion about the photos.  The 1st image I posted was a mistake (an image I had on my computer but not of my own car; just realized this now).  The 2nd image is my actual car.

Let me answer all your questions:

- before removing the gear shifter, I put the gearbox into 2nd gear (I know this is an absolute must-do)

- when I put everything back together, I put new oil into the gearbox [I was able to engage 1st gear after that... with some difficultly (as always)  The car sat for about 2 months and now I'm no longer able to engage 1st gear]

- there is no noise/grinding when I try to engage 1st gear... the shifter physically cannot be pushed into the 1st gear slot

- 1st gear does not engage whether the car is turned off or running

- the pin/ball that the fork pivots on inside the bell housing appears to be just fine... all these elements were in good condition when I removed/re-assembled them

I jacked up the rear tires of the car (one at a time and both at the same time) but that does not change anything.

Is there anything left for me to try?  please bare with me if it takes a few days to reply, I run 2 small businesses that consumer a lot of my life :-)

 

Edited by suavek

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I suspect the issue is in the gearbox. If you are able to use the clutch and select gears other than 1st with the engine running, then the clutch is OK. :) 

 

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Suave - well done on the clarification - easy mistake to make. However, I wonder if the comparison between the 2 images perhaps helps solve your problem. Are you sure that the re-assembly was done correctly? The amount of exposed thread that your actual car has looks very excessive, especially when compared to the manual extract. Has the fork/thrust bearing been put in the correct order? It looks like your (over) adjustability indicates that something is either missing or in the wrong order (ie. something in a different position would take up the slack/excess)

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On 3/2/2018 at 16:14, eclat22 said:

Have you got the isolator fitted to the gearbox where the clutch cable sleeve locates?

This is likely to be the culprit for the over-adjustment. I bet its not fitted.

 

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