Lotus Elan

I've lost all my gears!

PostPost by: Richard Howell » Mon May 08, 2006 5:21 pm

Hello

I've recently bought a +2 big valve 1972, after completing some work on the carbs I decided to take it for a spin. I found that I couldn't get it in to gear, in fact it crashed the gears, except when the engine was off in which case you could put it in to any gear.
The clutch works fine, so I suspect the synchromesh.
The car had been fine prior to being garaged for a week, however, it had been making a gentle high pitch metalic noise as you as changed gears and also if you rested your hand on the gear lever. I took this to be the sound of the synchromesh. Is this noise normal?
Does anyone have a similar experience and suggestions. Also is it, as I believe necessary to remove the engine to work on the gearbox?
Also does anyone have a rough idea how much it would cost to fix at a garage?

I'd be greatful for your advice!

Regards

Richard
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon May 08, 2006 5:34 pm

Hello Richard,
Welcome to the forum, if its as you say it selects all the gears with the engine switched off but crashes when running, then I would suspect a clutch problem (even though you say the clutch works O.K.)
Is it a 4 or 5 speed box ?
Resting your hand on the gear leaver will usually create a whine so I wouldn't worry to much there.
Yes the engine has to come out to work on the clutch/remove the gearbox.
Brian
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Mon May 08, 2006 5:48 pm

Hi Richard

I agree with Brian it does sound like the clutch is not disengaging, but I offer a little hope :)

When my +2 was standing over the winter the clutch slave cylinder leaked fluid and I lost the clutch operation when I tried to drive it about a month ago. I checked the fluid level in the reservoir which was ok, so I crawled underneath and gave the slave a little bleed, and touch wood it has been fine since.

I spoke to Sue Miller about this and she tells me this is pretty normal and that some people choose to lever the clutch pedal down over winter for this reason. She says however that in her option this does not really help.

So I would give the slave a bleed and check the cable adjustment first before going to all the expense of a new clutch.


This is what Lotus owning is all about :D

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PostPost by: alaric » Mon May 08, 2006 6:04 pm

Hi.

I just wondered if you should check the oil level in the gearbox too. Maybe it's a bit low.

Re the clutch, if there's a bit of oil on the clutch (from the crankshaft oil seal) it could be sticking on when you change gear - a vacuum effect from it being wet. Usually the way to check is to look for oil from the bottom of the bell housing, and to try burning the oil off and see if it improves. I have done this in the past by popping the car into third while stationary with the handbrake on, then letting the clutch up a bit and keeping the revs up with the throttle. Don't overdo it though, as the clutch will get hot very quickly.

Good luck.

Sean.
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PostPost by: Richard Howell » Mon May 08, 2006 7:22 pm

Hello

Thanks for your thoughts on this, it will be the weekend before I get chance to try them out. When I said the clutch seems ok it is because I was able to drive and control the car with the clutch. But I imagine there's more to this than meets the eye.
I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks

Richard
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon May 08, 2006 9:04 pm

Hi Richard
The 4 speed box is very strong, and not usually prone to many problems. I would suspect the clutch or the actuating mechanism, esp. the release bearing.
Jack the back of the car up and hop in. Select a gear, foot on the clutch and start the engine. You'll soon be able to tell if the clutch is working properly by pressing / relesing the clutch and selecting gears.
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PostPost by: Richard Howell » Tue May 09, 2006 11:46 am

Hello

Yes it is a four speed.

Richard
Last edited by Richard Howell on Tue May 09, 2006 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Richard Howell » Fri May 12, 2006 7:30 pm

Hello

I just tried to back out by putting it in to gear with the engine switched off.
I got it in to gear, switched the engine on but wasn't able to use the clutch at all this time. The starter motor moved the car.
Also now I'm unable to get it out of gear!
This makes me suspect the hydrolics and I found that the outer rubber covering of the flexible hose (which is covered in oil from an oil leak) is soft enough to come away in my hands. It is also quite limp rather than springy as I would expect. However, if someone depresses the clutch pedal whist I bend this hose around my fingers I can feel it go taught, so it seems to be able to contain presure and there is no obvious leak. I imagine that a small amount of air in the system would posibly stop the clutch from working.
I've yet to try bleeding the clutch hydrolics.
I wonder also if it may be posible to operate the clutch manually just to get it out of gear?
This seemingly progressive failure makes me suspect the hydrolics, but it's easy to kid yourself.
Any thoughts?

Thanks

Richard
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri May 12, 2006 7:45 pm

Hamish.Mmmm,

Sounds like you should replace the original rubber hose with an Aeroquip one. This is covered in a braided stainless outer cover and is a lot less flexible. Just done the same with mine. I'm having great fun bleeding it to get a good solid pedal. Currently, I have to give the clutch a pump to get a decent height on the pedal. I'll percevere though. 8)


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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 12, 2006 7:55 pm

What's with the Hamish,Mmmmm then?
I know it's Friday evening....been on the Talisker a bit early? :P
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri May 12, 2006 8:03 pm

Oops,

Typo, apologies.

Laphroiag a bit later. :) (still to get my tea)

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PostPost by: triumphelan » Sat May 13, 2006 6:26 am

I have a copper pipe from master to slave cylinders. And I still have the symptoms of air in the system I have bleed the clutch with a professional system that sucks the fluid thrrough,twice ??.I can still pump the clutch to get a "harder" pedal.I need to pump once when going into 1st & reverse.It can`t be air in the system ?? I am not looseing any fluid, all the linkages look OK.
I am beginning to suspect the master cylinder
Any thoughts
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PostPost by: Richard Howell » Sat May 13, 2006 8:27 am

Hello

Thanks for your replies. It sounds like my flexible hose is likely to have let air in to the system.

I did once replaced the whole braking system on a VW Polo (a pig of a job) and from that experience I can tell you. Bleed, bleed, bleed and bleed again!

I assume the solid pipe you've replaced your flexible hose with is a temporary fixture? As the flexible hose is meant to allow movement between the body and the engine.

Big thanks again.

Richard
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PostPost by: Richard Howell » Sat May 13, 2006 10:59 am

Hello

I've located the slave cylinder and clutch lever, the lever does move about 1cm when the pedal is depressed, does that sound a small amount of movement?

Another question; I was going to jack the car up by using the edge of the bottom of the sills, but notice there are holes which apper to be jack points.
Is that correct + are +2 jacks non standard/

Thanks

Richard
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PostPost by: schroeder » Sat May 13, 2006 1:21 pm

Richard

The holes under the sill are jacking points. A +2 jack has a pin that fits into them.

BUT.... First a word of caution. The inner sills are steel and original ones had a tendancy to rust, sometimes to a point where they could no longer support the load concentration at these points. The result can be nasty with the jack pushing its way through the bodywork. So before you use these be sure that the inner sills are in good shape.

When I finally replaced mine most of them were removed using a vacuum cleaner.

Replacements are available in galvanized form which improves longevity but are not a simple task to fit unless you are preparing for significant resto.

There is a current thread on jacking at "axle stands under the +2S", . Suggest you read.

Aeroquip hoses are great for this application. I have one run directly from the master cylinder to the slave without any problem.

The clutch lever movement is small as you note. The actuating rod is threaded and you should just have a small amount of free play in it with the pedal up.

You note that you are unable to get out of reverse now even with the engine off. Suggest you have someone rock the car back and forward as you try to disengage to take off any load.

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