Lotus Elan

reverse gear problem

PostPost by: Boston » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:16 pm

I attempted to get the reverse gear in Elan (S4). But it does not work. It looks the reverse gear is at the right position (pull the gear lever and make down) but the car doesn?t move. Pleas give me your advice.

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PostPost by: ricarbo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:56 pm

When i got my car, I could engage reverse, but it would jump out of gear. The problem was simply that the reversing light switch had been screwed in too far, so obstructed proper engagement. There's a locknut to hold the switch in the right position.
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PostPost by: Boston » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:17 pm

Dear Richard: Thank you for your advice. I also thought the reverse right interference you described and then I took it out. But it does not work. It seems to be a worst case scenario.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:27 pm

[quote="Boston"]I attempted to get the reverse gear in Elan (S4). But it does not work. It looks the reverse gear is at the right position (pull the gear lever and make down) but the car doesn?t move. Pleas give me your advice.

Boston[/quote]

A bit more information might help diagnose your situation.

Was reverse gear working normally before this problem?
Was it noisy?
Did it jump out of reverse?
Are all the other ratios working normally?
What is the history of the car, have you done many miles in it etc?
When you move the lever into reverse position can you feel the gearstick moving anything at all?

These gearboxes are tough and don't usually give any trouble in my experience.

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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:23 pm

Hi Boston, I had the same problem getting reverse to engage on my S3. It turned out to be the gear lever retaining cap was loose and only needed to be tighten. The picture is off of Ray at RD Enterprises. The next time that it happened I knew what to do.

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PostPost by: Boston » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:34 am

Thank you for your information.
I had no sign on the problem. I have driven the car and returned to my home. Then I found the back gear does not work.
I checked the gear lever retained cap. But it looks nothing was loose.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:41 am

[quote="Boston"]Thank you for your information.
I had no sign on the problem. I have driven the car and returned to my home. Then I found the back gear does not work.
I checked the gear lever retained cap. But it looks nothing was loose.
Boston.[/quote]

Boston

I might be stating the obvious, but are the forward gears working?

Lack of drive could be a broken diff output shaft.

If you had just driven into the garage you would need reverse to get out and might not have room to move forward anyway so you would have no reason to try the otehr gears.

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PostPost by: Boston » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:54 am

Dear Ian: The car moves forward without problem.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:16 am

[quote="Boston"]Dear Ian: The car moves forward without problem.
Boston[/quote]

Boston

Oh dear! it does seem to be a bit serious. There is not much you can do through the only access hole (where the gearlever fits) whilst the box is in the car.

I honestly cannot say what might be wrong inside the box and as I've never had to take mine apart I dont know which part could cause this problem. Maybe someone else has a better idea before you go to the inconvenience of taking ot the engine and gearbox.

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PostPost by: david g » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:16 pm

hi boston
reverse selector is locked to the shaft with a square headed screw locked with lock wire
if this is loose you selector will not move the fork on the idler gear . i would check this bolt first
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:45 pm

I had some reverse gear selection problems the first time I ever took the Elan out for a long (tour) drive. When selecting reverse, the gear lever would select two gears at the same time locking the transmission up solid.

You might try slowly pulling up the gear lever while applying pressure to move the lever into the reverse position. As soon as the bottom of the selector fork clears the shallower portion of the reverse gear slot, it should move into position. In my case, the shift lever was moving up too far and skipping barely over the top of the shafts, just grabbing two at the same time, and moving two gears at the same time.

I made a washer about .035 thick to slip over the gear lever and underneath the threaded cup, to prevent the lever from being raised too far. That was all it took to solve the problem.

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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:51 pm

To see if you can actually engage reverse, remove the center console, unscrew the cup and remove the gear lever. Use a screwdriver to move the reverse shift rod into the reverse position. Then try rocking the car to see if it is in gear. If it goes in gear, you may have a shift lever issue. It may take a couple of tries to get the rod to move the reverse gear firmly in place.

Rob Walker
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50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Owning a Lotus will get you off the couch
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