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Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:18 pm
by Jon Eckman
Looking for some help with a stuck-in-first-gear problem. Recently, I drove a friend’s (Carlos Guerra, who passed away recently and was a contributor to these Forums on occasion) Elan S2 for about an hour and a half, mostly on highways, to its new home. With the exception of the clutch pedal engaging/releasing the clutch closer to the floor than my S3, nothing seemed unusual – it shifted up and down thru the gears fine throughout the trip. A day later, the new owner (Carlos’ son-in-law) called to say that he couldn’t get the car out of first gear after it sat in his garage overnight. He tried with the motor both running and shut off, tried rocking the car, tried pushing it backwards out of the garage and driving back in, all to no avail. Over the phone, I talked him thru how to check that the domed cover holding the shift lever in place was fully tightened, which it was.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to check for next?

Jon Eckman

Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:55 pm
by elanfan1
Nothing to do with ‘Friends’ then, they’re always stuck in second gear! :lol: :lol: Sorry.

Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:51 pm
by benymazz
Is the selector stuck in the neutral position or the 1st gear position?


Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:25 am
by LI-599
I wonder if he lifted the gear stick to select reverse too early while it was still in first gear rather than when it was in neutral. He could try lifting again then try to select first. Otherwise it isn’t a big job to remove the centre console to undo the top portion of the gear mechanism and use a screw driver to align the selector rails.
Good luck

Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:32 pm
by Jon Eckman
Thanks for the replies guys - the selector (shift lever?) is stuck in first gear.

Interesting idea about his possible lift of the gear stick too early, I'll ask him. Seems to me I had to get into the box to realign the selector rails on my car at one point, so I can probably talk him thru that too.

Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:20 am
by Old English White
That's a kind of classic issue:
Christian. :mrgreen:

Re: Elan S2 stuck in 1st gear

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:36 pm
by cbguerrajr
Hi Everyone, I am the son-in-law trying to get the car out of first gear. Thanks Jon, for posting on my behalf. Everything Jon relayed is accurate, the shifter just won't move no matter how I try to pull, push, turn. It's perplexing to me because Jon had no issue with the car when he brought it 50+ miles. I have tried shifting with the car running, and off. Rolling the car down a small hill backwards with the clutch in and pulling it back up the hill while trying to shift.

I appreciate the suggestions, and if all else continues to fail - I will look into the selector rails as recommended.