Lotus Elan

Rattling in my shift linkage

PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon May 30, 2011 5:21 am

Greetings.

New Plus 2 owner (but lifetime fan!) here. Enjoying my car; driving it regularly as I wrench on it.

I have a metallic buzzing/rattling coming from, I think, the shift linkage. (I'm really hoping it's not coming from the gearbox!) It sounds as the though the parts that are loose are relatively small in size.

Question: before I yank off the console, could anyone tell me what kind of access can be gained from inside the car? Can I get at any of the shift lever parts and tighten anything lose there, or is it futile to look from up top/inside?

Thanks for your insights . . .

Randy
Last edited by Sea Ranch on Mon May 30, 2011 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Mon May 30, 2011 10:10 am

Randy

Brilliant thread title, sounds like a Robert Johnson inspired lotus-based blues!

I'm not sure how different the 4 and 5 speed gearboxes are on this (mine's a 5 speed) but if you take the transmission tunnel cover off you can access the gear lever and the cap that holds it on to the gearbox. If the problems are anything to do with the shift linkage then I suspect you should be able to sort them.

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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Mon May 30, 2011 11:34 am

Randy,
I have a 72 four speed S130. Craig is correct - take off the centre console which will then give you access to the shift linkage. (Might also be able to gain enough access just by removing the gearstick gaiter)

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon May 30, 2011 4:55 pm

Thank you, gentlemen both! I'll get right to it, then. Rattling is one thing, but the thought of something loose and just about to fall apart/off is driving me to do something about it :)

If I get it fixed, Craig, I'll have to work on my radio next, for some real music :wink:
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PostPost by: Tonyw » Tue May 31, 2011 12:58 pm

Craig,

I have just been listening to Robert Johnson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd60nI4sa9A

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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Tue May 31, 2011 3:06 pm

:lol:

The thread title reminded me of "stones in my passway" but maybe that's just me...

Strange to think he was only 30 years older than Bob Dylan.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:09 am

You guys are killin' me!! :wink:

(but for what it's worth, I happen to be a guitarist who likes playing blues . . . so I understand your interest!)

Haven't got around to inspecting my linkage yet, but will keep you all posted. In the meantime, I love this track (old school blues-based pop-rock, but Schon's tone and notes are great!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4QkTvK2OEw

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:25 am

I've finally got working: removed front and rear seats (discovered that a "critter" used to live in the back: some acorn shells and a lot of tiny turds) and tunnel cover/console.

There is one bolt immediately visible (ahead of the shift lever) that I tightened a bit (removed some slop in the action) but unfortunately this cured none of the metallic buzzing/rattling.

I believe this means I will have to live with this noise till the motor/tranmission is removed (when?). Sad but unavoidable, I suppose.

Thanks for help, all!

Randy
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PostPost by: Tonyw » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:21 pm

Randy,

Take off the center console/cover and remove the rubber boot, underneath you will see a large nylon or steel cone like nut that holds the gear lever onto the gear box, this large nut usually wears and caused the 'sizzle" which is a common problem with these gearboxes, you may just find that the large nut is simply loose.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:25 pm

Tony, thanks for the idea.

So you're saying the inner rubber boot, not the outer gaitor/bellows? I believe on mine that inner rubber seal/boot was held by a metal perimeter which is screwed down, but I didn't take it off because the forward edge of the metal plate is under the wood dash, and I assumed there were one or two screws under there I wouldn't be able to get to without removing the dash.

But your suggestion of where the "sizzle" comes from sounds very plausible. I like it.

Thoughts on the access?
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PostPost by: Tonyw » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:09 am

Yep the big nut is under the inner boot so you will need to remove it.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:35 am

Okey dokey. I will try most anything to get rid of this annoyance. 'Tis the only really nasty noise the car makes currently :wink:

Will post when I haul out the seats/console again . . .
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:34 am

Took out the seats and tunnel console this past week (bicycle communter so I can put the car up on blocks for a week at a time) and snugged down the plastic dome (cap) that threads down on the shifter ball end assembly. I got probably about 2 full 360 rotations out of it before it seemed to stop. Threw in the driver's seat and . . . no change. Whatever-it-is rattles just the same as always. Only now it bugs me even more!!!!!!!!

So I've been studying the exploded diagram of the transmission (4 speed) and the only other parts in the tail piece of the transmission (which is where the noise seems to be coming from) are the speedometer drive.

Question for those in the know:
*could the speedo drive be loose, or some part of it causing this quiet loud rattling?
*noise does not happen at all when the car is at rest and motor running, regardless of in gear or nuetral, clutch in or out.
*noise doesn't usually start till I get into four, but then it will persist when I downshift back to third, and it's just as loud or louder when I'm at speed and slip the clutch - or when I put it in nuetral - and coast.
*can the speedo drive parts be removed or serviced with the transmission in place?

Thanks for your thoughts . . .

Randy
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:13 am

Hi Randy,
Could it be the exhaust ? Does your car have the support bracket on the back of the gearbox ? If so it could possibly be the hardware or the clamp round the pipe loose.

Could it be the gearlever itself ? I don't know if all models are the same but in the S4 there is a rubber insulating bush between the lever and the stub to take out the rattle/sizzle from the gearbox.

When the rattle occurs, can you feel anything through the gear lever ? - that might indicate whether it's coming from the gearshift or from elsewhere outside the box.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:48 am

Good points, all, Roger, but I was careful to "feel" everything I could and there is nothing that I can touch - the shift lever, the ball end assembly, stub, plastic cone/cap, etc. - that carries the rattle. I can hear it, but I can't literally put my finger on it. Would that I could 'cause then I'd know I had identified it.

As for exhaust, it's pretty new and last time I was under there, it has pretty decent clearance between the pipe and anything else.

No, it seems to rotational, but very loose, as though something is about to fall off.

???
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