Lotus Elan

5 speed reverse gear

PostPost by: Mick6186 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:05 pm

I am currently rebuilding a 1973 130/5 +2. The car was last used in 1997. I have the gearbox on the bench and have refilled with redline MTL oil as recommended by forum members. The box changes smoothly into all forward gears. The problem is with the engagement of reverse. It is very difficult to engage, although the reverse idler is moving slightly as if it is trying to engage, but being prevented. When reverse eventually engages it goes in with a metallic clunk, and is then easy to engage until the first motion shaft and output shaft are rotated, when it then becomes difficult once more. The previous owner (my brother) said reverse worked fine with the engine running(he did say that he recalls that he normally reversed out of his garage only to have to drive back in to repair a problem!!) Is this difficulty to engage reverse normal with the 5 speed Lotus box?
thanks,
Mick.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:15 pm

The reverse gear idler requires the input and output gears teeth to line up with the idler gear teeth before it will slide into position between the two. The clunk is normal when it slides in.

I think what you describe is normal and similar to my 5 speed boxes. If the box is out of the car remove the top cover and just check all the linkages are OK and not binding and watch as you select reverse gear to confirm it all OK.

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: Mick6186 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:54 pm

Thanks Rohan.
Good to hear this difficulty with reverse may be normal. In fact now that the MTL oil has had time to get into the gears and selectors the change has already become much smoother and reverse can be engaged every time, so I am hopeful that the box will be even smoother when warm with the engine running and the gears moving to allow everything to work as it was designed to do.
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