Lotus Elan

Stiff gear change

PostPost by: Apx » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:17 pm

Guys
i'm after ideas to see if there is any thing I've missed before taking the gearbox out. The problem is a stiff gear change. It has come on gradually since late last year. The car a s4se, runs fine whilst moving but at a standstill its really hard to get it in any gear. There is no grinding of gears or weak sincro's except when selecting reverse it clumps in and the car moves slightly. It feels as if the clutch is not completely disengaging. Once in gear with the engine running( but vehicle stationary ), if you take it out of gear, let the clutch go and then re-apply you can't get it back in gear easily.
I have bled the clutch many times including a pressure bleed and it has not made a difference. I have tried adjusting the slave from one extreme to the other, again with no difference. The starter has been removed and there is nothing untoward with that or that i can see in the housing. Is there anything else i can do, or have missed, before removal?
What could be the cause?

Cheers Neal
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:53 am

hi neal. I'm not an expert [only hadmy lotus a year] but sounds like wear somewhere....e.g.clutch cover or plate, release bearing, fork pivot, or push rod........maybe first check travel?.......guys on here will know!

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PostPost by: worzel » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:48 am

Hi

If it was my car I'd do the following-

Clamp the slave cylinder so the pushrod can't move and test the pedal- should be virtually no movement.

If ok disconnect outlet from the mastercyl and substitute a bleed nipple- bleed the master cyl then test the pedal- should be absolutely no movement.

Check the feed and output lines on the slave cylinder- the bleed nipple should be uppermost otherwise you'll never completely bleed out the air

Check for ballooning of the clutch hose- sometimes happens.

Check clutch adjustment at the slave cylinder.

Regards

John
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:11 am

Neal, my Sprint gearbox has always been a stiff changer, stiffer than any other English Ford box that I'ved
used. I was told, many years ago, that the Sprint box has stiffer detent springs than the others, but I've
never been able to confirm this. Yours might have these alleged springs.
Greg Z
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36/5727 pre airflow coupe
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:18 am

If it selects the gears easily with the engine not running than it sounds like a clutch problem to me, if you are sure the hydraulics are sound and there is no air in the system then I think it is a gearbox out job.
Brian
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PostPost by: Apx » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:30 am

I'm reluctant to remove the gearbox because good weathers finally here!! The change whilst stiff feels definitely not right and i will have to correct it is was some 2 years ago sweet. it only occurs when the car is stationary whilst moving its fine.
I am going to run through the hydraulics again, i can't see any ballooning on the clutch line its relatively new braided stainless steel one, but i will go over the master/slave cylinders to re confirm. Is there anything i can do to the box or clutch especially checks whilst in situ?

Cheers neal
IF EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE GOING WELL, YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY OVERLOOKED
SOMETHING.
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:05 am

Hi,
Does sound more like a clutch problem than gear box, my guess would be the clutch driven plate may be sticking on the splines. If it?s high miles or not in continuous use.
Later gear boxes have uprated springs on the blocker bars but can?t say have noticed stronger springs on the selector rod detent.
Ron.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:30 am

There seems to be some combination of nominally standard clutch system components that makes clutch disengagement in the Elan marginal. I have seen it on a number of cars and never really managed to track it down.

Generally if you get everything in the total system perfect you get full disengagement but if you get any little thing slightly out of adjustment or slightly down on travel performance and the clutch does not fully disengage making stationary first and reverse engagement difficult.

You can try to adjust up the slave cylinder push rod free play to completely eliminate any lost movement and see if that fixes the problem. Then you know how little extra throw out you need

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: jbeach » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:47 pm

Neal,

I am having the IDENTICAL problem. I've pressure bled, wife bled, and used the 2x4 wedge approach championed by one of our members (Alan?) after my wife said "It's been great spending this time with you, but I'm done." I cannot swear I've eliminated all air from the system, but I believe I have.

John, your suggested checks are very welcome. I'll employ them this weekend.

I have noticed that the pedal is very light for the first 1.5 to 2 inches of travel. Related to that, the clutch lever the slave plunger pushes is very easy to push for the first, say, 1/4 of its travel. I can push it with my hand. I'm going to check this weekend to confirm the 1.5 to 2 inches of light pedal travel actually moves the lever at the slave and corresponds with the light pressure there. If so, I'm going to adjust the slave plunger so it pushes a bit into the light portion of the lever travel when the pedal is completely released. I do note my clutch is completely engaged with the pedal about half way out. While my experience with Elan's other than mine is zero, other well-adjusted clutch pedals typically engage in the final 1/3 to 1/4 of pedal travel as you release the pedal. Thoughts from you experienced members on all of this?

Many thanks!

John
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:44 pm

>>>>If it selects the gears easily with the engine not running than it sounds like a clutch problem to me<<<<

this this this this this

After the various clutch hydraulic issues, consider if the clutch friction disk is not moving freely on the input shaft, or if the pilot bearing is worn
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:05 am

Neal,
I had a similar problem to you a year ago. It was difficult to get out of first after coming to a halt. Particularly when in slow moving traffic, when you are on and off the clutch.
I changed all the hydraulics, cleaned the splines twice, changed the friction plate once, all to no avail.
The cure was to change the pressure plate. The only sign of a problem on the plate was that the wear markings made by the thrust bearing on the pressure pad where all to one side.
Cheers
John
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PostPost by: Apx » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:23 am

Quick update, i went over the hydraulics again with no good result, so i disconnected the system at the pivot arm and set up a "heath-robinson" affair to manually operate the clutch with ratchets. Again the difficulty selecting gears stationary had no improvement. To me this has confirmed that the problem is probably in the clutch and the engine will have to come out. I'm in the US for a few weeks so will update the thread once the clutch is removed on my return.

Any one know of any classic car events over the next 2.5 weeks in California?

Cheers Neal
IF EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE GOING WELL, YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY OVERLOOKED
SOMETHING.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:34 pm

Neal, you have a pm.
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