Lotus Elan

gearbox not shifting

PostPost by: Sandals man » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:02 pm

Hello everybody,I cleaned my gearbox on the outside,renewed the gearchange cover gasket,put it together including the gearrails springs and balls.The gearchange shifted.Now it is in the chassis and I cannot move the gearchange in any gear.When I turn the engine by hand it seems to be in reverse.I searced this forum and it looks like it will be in 2 gears? Please advice . My car is S3
Kind regards from Willem from Holland
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PostPost by: alanr » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:29 pm

Sounds like you do have it in two gears at once. Although I wouldn't have thought it possible to get the gearlever screwed in properly if it was.
You can check though if it is in two gears at once if you take the gearlever out and check the positioning of the selector rods which should have the slots in the 3 selector rods for the gearlever all horizontally aligned. If these selector rod slots are not aligned you may be able to try repositioning the selector rods with a screwdriver so they are aligned and then refitting the gearlever.
If they are aligned and it still is stuck in two gears you will have to take the box out again because you have obviously put the selector mechanism back together wrong.
Did you remove the selectors taking the lockwire and bolts out of the selector forks? If so that is probably where your incorrect assembly has taken place.

Alan.
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PostPost by: HCA » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:35 pm

mmm. You might have to describe the problem again with a bit more info. Even a photo from the top.

You say that you can manually turn the engine and the output from the gearbox is reverse, yes?

If this is the case, then I do not think it is stuck in two gears. I cannot think how two gears, one being reverse, would allow the layshaft to rotate. Always go back to the point where there was no issue - in your case just before assembly.

Go back into search and there is a good thread on the gearbox being stuck between two gears where 'prezoom' in 2012 (Do not know ih s/he is still around to assist, but worth trying on a PM even) had an issue with a spacer. Question therefore, have you correctly assembled what you took out..?

Here is what was said:
On my first outing with my Elan, I too had a problem with the shift lever. While attempting to engage reverse gear, the gearbox became locked between two gears. With the gearbox locked in two gears, the car would not move. Needless to say I was panicked because the car was in a dangerous position in an intersection.

What I found, after unscrewing the cap, was both reverse and 2nd gear were both engaged. This was caused by the shifter lever being raised up too far, and catching the 2nd gear shift rail. Once I knocked it out of 2nd, everything was fine. Since I was on a tour, for the remainder I was very careful not to pull up on the shift lever until it stopped. Just enough to engage reverse.

After I got home, with some trial and error, I wound up with a .035" spacer that I installed on the shift lever, to prevent the lever from being raised to the point that it would select two gears. I should note that the retaining cap is metal, rather than the plastic style. Nary a problem since.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:47 pm

If the problem is just that the box is stuck in reverse gear and the gear lever will not move, it could be the reverse light switch has been overtightened .. that can prevent the gear being engaged or lock it into gear, depending where the selector rail was when it was screwed in.

Shouldn't the interlock plungers (if present) prevent more than one selector rail moving at once and thus make it impossible to engage two gears at once ?
Roger
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PostPost by: GLB » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:31 pm

I had a problem selecting reverse and also picking up second because the previous rebuilder left out the interlock pins. Among other problems. Seems unlikely that is your problem unless the rails were out when you had it apart. As others have said removing the shifter and looking at the rails, then moving them with a screwdriver into alignment gets you back on the road but the fix means removing the box. Gary
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:05 pm

Been there, done that. Definitely possible to be in a forward gear and reverse at the same time. Wish I could recall exactly how I repaired it.

As I remember, the issue was the location of a plunger, which I had not correctly positioned before re-installation of the gear lever pivot housing. Or maybe it was under the top gearbox cover. Sorry-it's been 25 years! Requires removal of gearbox or body to repair. I removed the body to address that and a couple of other issues.

In my case the issue manifested when I was 150 miles from home on the first trip after a body off rebuild. Working the gear lever with small motions got it back to neutral and I drove home....not daring to use reverse and shifting as little as possible until I got there.
Steve

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Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:33 pm

Sandals man wrote:Hello everybody,I cleaned my gearbox on the outside,renewed the gearchange cover gasket,put it together including the gearrails springs and balls.The gearchange shifted.Now it is in the chassis and I cannot move the gearchange in any gear.When I turn the engine by hand it seems to be in reverse.I searced this forum and it looks like it will be in 2 gears? Please advice . My car is S3
Kind regards from Willem from Holland


If you removed the gearchange lever cover and refitted, you may have not got the reverse gear drop link seated properly in the selector rod. This results in reverse gear being permanently selected due to the rod being pushed forward and thus you cannot select any other gear you also cannot take it out of reverse.

cheers
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:14 am

Remove the gearlever and try selecting the individual gears by moving the exposed selector rods with a screwdriver through the aperture. If you can then the problem is something to do with the way the gearlever has been refitted.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:53 pm

Plus 1 with Rohan. If you had 2 gears selected, you would NOT be able to turn the gearbox over at all. and it is very easy to not get the reverse swivel correct. Nice thing about it though is that you should be able to remove the 4 bolts holding the shifter down to the tailhousing remove the shifter, correct the issue and reiinstall w/ problem corrected.

RL
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:28 pm

Had this happen the first time I took the Elan out just after finishing, at the start of a 1500 mile tour.. The cause of selecting two gears at the same time, was the gear lever could be pulled up too far, resulting in both reverse and 2nd gear were both selected. The fix was to make a spacer placed under the cup to prevent the additional rise of the gear lever. Didn't take much, after several tries, I think the spacer ended up being .037". Enough to just clear the shift forks to engage reverse, but not enough to select the 2nd gear at the same time as reverse. For the rest of the tour, I gently selected reverse, just pulling up enough to move the lever into the reverse position. Did not have the problem on the rest of the tour.
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PostPost by: GLB » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:10 pm

I have been thinking about this, and after checking the shop manual, I think that if the pins at the front of the gearbox selector rods are not damaged and correctly installed it is impossible to move more than one selector shaft at a time. The pins are displaced from the moving shaft into the stationary shafts and lock them in place. My gearbox was missing the pins and the ball in the 1-2 shaft and all three shafts could move at once. In reality I only ever managed to select second gear while selecting reverse at rest so I never damaged anything. I just could not move the car after selecting reverse and second at the same time. If I was very deliberate when selecting reverse I was okay. Only happened when I was indefinite in my pattern. When I replaced the lock out pins and ball I tried to move more than one shaft with a screwdriver and it was impossible. If you were not in this area of the gearbox when you had it apart I agree with Rohan that the problem must be with the reverse selector fork. I don't understand how shimming the selector would change anything because you can't move two shafts at once if the lock out is correct. Note, I am not referring to the detent balls and springs at the rear of the selector fork shafts but to the two lock out pins and one ball at the front of the shafts. Gary
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PostPost by: GLB » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:21 pm

wrong about ball in the 1-2 shaft. it is called a pin and the other two are plungers. Idea is the same. sorry for the confusion. Gary
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