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Old 11-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Hi Tim:

Many thanks for the detailed answer - your reputation precedes you in your wealth of information.

I'm sufficiently informed now to make a decision to move ahead with a proactive solution. My 88 Esprit recently started having trouble shifting into 5 gear - it's sporadic enough to tell me that while it doesn't directly resemble the circlip symptoms mentioned above, it can be very likely be related. And trouble shifting into reverse tells me that the linkage adjustment for the 5th gear issue is again a sign of circlip trouble.

My car has about 42K miles so it's within range.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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(Snip)... My 88 Esprit recently started having trouble shifting into 5 gear - it's sporadic enough to tell me that while it doesn't directly resemble the circlip symptoms mentioned above, it can be very likely be related. And trouble shifting into reverse tells me that the linkage adjustment for the 5th gear issue is again a sign of circlip trouble.
If your car's transaxle is only having difficulty shifting into 5th, but the other gears are working more normally, then the cause is probably not related to circlip failure, a dragging clutch, bad hydraulic cylinders, or Red Hose Syndrome. Those causes would affect all gears and not target just one. It might be particularly difficult to shift into 1st with the car stationary, but all gears will be affected to some degree... including 5th.

"Sporadic" doesn't sound like the circlip failure. When it fails, it fails, and there's nothing very sporadic about it. Symptoms might be subtle at first while the Nylatron washer is still there, but they should be consistently there. Maybe we're splitting hairs over words.

Problems with 5th alone might have to do with the adjustment of the crossgate cable, one or both of the cable's crimped-on, threaded ferrules might be loose (replace the cable), or the synchro may have simply gone bad.

The crossgate adjustment is finicky enough that being off by only one turn of the clevis where the back end attaches to the transaxle can make the difference between being able to select 5th, or not. There is almost zero extra range of motion to be lavished on one side of the gate without losing contact with the other side.

That same zero extra range also means that any lost motion due to a loose ferrule on the cable can make it impossible to select both the 1-2 gate, and 5th. Properly adjust the cross-gate for selecting 1-2, and 5th slips from your grasp when the ferrule(s) slip... and vice versa.

The 5th gear synchro isn't the hardest working one in the gearbox, but it does have a reputation for failing. The up-side is that you only have to remove the transaxle's rear cover to replace it, and that can be done with the transaxle in the car.

Less likely, but possible, the cross-shaft itself may have failed. Steel fingers hang down off the cross-shaft to engage notches in the internal shift rails. The fingers are only welded to the cross-shaft, and they can fatigue, and break free. One finger operates only 5th gear, and if it has failed, 5th will be out of touch. I've only seen such a failure once, but it's certainly possible. The welds are not robust, and the fingers see a lot of stress. Checking it out only requires removing the top cover. I've checked that out with the transaxle and the boot floor in the car, but it's a lot easier if you first remove the boot floor.

I'm all for upgrading the input shaft circlip, and/or the spigot bearing anytime you have a reasonable excuse to do so. Waiting for failure is never the best, or least expensive option. However, if you're only experiencing problems with 5th gear, then it would be best to do a little more diagnosing before expecting a heavy duty snap ring to fix it. Disappointment is a function of expectations.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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>If your car's transaxle is only having difficulty shifting into 5th, but the other gears are working more normally, then the cause is probably not related to circlip failure, a dragging clutch, bad hydraulic cylinders, or Red Hose Syndrome. Those causes would affect all gears and not target just one. It might be particularly difficult to shift into 1st with the car stationary, but all gears will be affected to some degree... including 5th.

I daily drive the car - I have noticed the 1-4 gears, while engageable, seemed slightly heavier on the shifts now. It's very subtle, but there.

5th gear disappeared on 2 of 4 days driving to San Jose to San Francisco (50 miles one way). 2nd day I could NOT engage 5th on freeway about 90% of time. On evening return trip, 5th gear was 80% ENGAGEABLE on freeway (HUH?). Next day, it was 90% ENGAGEABLE. 4th day, the trouble returned, albeit much less pronounced (50% ENGAGEABLE).

After I got home, the problem nearly disappeared over the next week, but I had mechanic check/adjust linkage.

My mechanic adjusted the linkage (the hydraulics (master clutch cylinder, slave cylinder, and stainless hose replacing red hose) were new hardware installed July 2011, not rebuilt) and 5th was slightly easier to get back.
But then 4-3 downshift suffered greatly; after a few days of driving, everything got better, but now REVERSE is harder to engage.

>"Sporadic" doesn't sound like the circlip failure. When it fails, it fails, and there's nothing very sporadic about it. Symptoms might be subtle at first while the Nylatron washer is still there, but they should be consistently there. Maybe we're splitting hairs over words.

Hmm..maybe i used the wrong word. From your latest reply, I may have a 5th gear-specific issue. I read the 5th gear was an 'afterthought' by Citroen on a 4 speed gearbox -
that explains the isolated behavior. My mistake to connect it to the circlip issue.

>Problems with 5th alone might have to do with the adjustment of the crossgate cable, one or both of the cable's crimped-on, threaded ferrules might be loose (replace the cable), or the synchro may have simply gone bad.

My 5th gear (two weeks after repair) seems 'back to normal', but shifting into 5th is noticeably more vague than prior to the problem. But Reverse is definitely a 2 handed effort about 80% of the time.

>The crossgate adjustment is finicky enough that being off by only one turn of the clevis where the back end attaches to the transaxle can make the difference between being able to select 5th, or not. There is almost zero extra range of motion to be lavished on one side of the gate without losing contact with the other side.

Ah, that may explain the 5th-Reverse issue I see now.

>That same zero extra range also means that any lost motion due to a loose ferrule on the cable can make it impossible to select both the 1-2 gate, and 5th. Properly adjust the cross-gate for selecting 1-2, and 5th slips from your grasp when the ferrule(s) slip... and vice versa.

When you say 'cable', do you mean 'linkage'? I read somewhere the 88 Citroen uses primarily 'rods' and the 89 and newer Renault-equipped use a 'cable'? Not sure if it make a difference?

>The 5th gear synchro isn't the hardest working one in the gearbox, but it does have a reputation for failing. The up-side is that you only have to remove the transaxle's rear cover to replace it, and that can be done with the transaxle in the car.

Cripes Tim - I owe you a beer if this is all I need for my 5th gear woes.


>Less likely, but possible, the cross-shaft itself may have failed. [snip]The welds are not robust, and the fingers see a lot of stress. Checking it out only requires removing the top cover. I've checked that out with the transaxle and the boot floor in the car, but it's a lot easier if you first remove the boot floor.

>I'm all for upgrading the input shaft circlip, and/or the spigot bearing anytime you have a reasonable excuse to do so. Waiting for failure is never the best, or least expensive option.

I am planning to keep the car indefinitely - that's why if a preventative early circlip fix would help, I'm game to do it earlier, rather than later.

>However, if you're only experiencing problems with 5th gear, then it would be best to do a little more diagnosing before expecting a heavy duty snap ring to fix it. Disappointment is a function of expectations.

Many thanks for your detailed analysis. I certainly am up for going for a simpler solution; the worse case scenario always gets the best of me. I'll talk to my mechanic to check the hydraulics and 5th gear more closely. I did discover a few days ago that the master clutch cylinder seems to be weeping inside the pushroad area inside the car very lightly (and it's only 13 months from new).

But wouldn't a leaky clutch master cylinder affect all 1-5 gears? Not just 5th? Statistically, multiple simultaneous failures seems unlikely (leaky hydraulics on 13 month old hardware and broken 5th synchro or cross shaft), but can't ignore the symptoms.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Thank you for your input Tim... I feel like I just went to Citroen College!
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

imho, failure of 5th gear and synchro is mostley due to lack of oil. Level plug indicates 2,25 liter. Not often checked, the level drops and 5th gear doensn't get oil.
I advice to put in 3 liter. There is no pressure inside the tranny so there shouldn't be any problem only benefits.
However, because of different rotation inside the gearbox towards the Citroen SM, the oil in 5th gear carter get smashed onto the nylon bushing from the speedo and might cause minor oil leak. Prevent that with o-ring in nylon bushing.

with kind regarDSm,

Harry Martens
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:49 AM   #26 (permalink)
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So Tim,
If I understand you correctly to recognize this condition before the meltdown happens gear shifting will get worse? Of course check the obvious.

Brother Carbuff's Esprit went out without any warning and if it wasn't shifting right he would know... which is really scary. This is the point of the post, trying to 'nip it in the bud' before it happens.

One other quick question for you, can the tranny be pulled from the car leaving engine in place? Pulling the 'lump' would be a good idea but I don't have any serious issues for the extra work.

Thanks again for your input.

Cheers,
Robert
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:26 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I daily drive the car - I have noticed the 1-4 gears, while engageable, seemed slightly heavier on the shifts now. It's very subtle, but there.

5th gear disappeared on 2 of 4 days driving to San Jose to San Francisco (50 miles one way). 2nd day I could NOT engage 5th on freeway about 90% of time. On evening return trip, 5th gear was 80% ENGAGEABLE on freeway (HUH?). Next day, it was 90% ENGAGEABLE. 4th day, the trouble returned, albeit much less pronounced (50% ENGAGEABLE).

(Snip)... 5th was slightly easier to get back. But then 4-3 downshift suffered greatly; after a few days of driving, everything got better, but now REVERSE is harder to engage.

(Snip)... I read the 5th gear was an 'afterthought' by Citroen on a 4 speed gearbox - that explains the isolated behavior. My mistake to connect it to the circlip issue.
Many 5-speeds in the world started out as 4-speeds that received an upgrade. That doesn't make them any less worthy as transmissions, and 5th isn't somehow separate or isolated from 1st-4th.

Any stray torque that's fed into the transmission by a dragging clutch, or by the failed circlip problem, will affect all synchros in the gearbox, 1-5, to some degree. Each can react differently depending upon it's size and design (not all synchros in the gearbox are born equal), and it's own current 'worn' condition. It may simply be that the 5th synchro is to the point that it is more sensitive to the stray torque being fed into the gearbox while the clutch was fully released. I can only guess why it got better and worse on different days... I have no answer for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
My 5th gear (two weeks after repair) seems 'back to normal', but shifting into 5th is noticeably more vague than prior to the problem. But Reverse is definitely a 2 handed effort about 80% of the time.

Tim wrote: > The crossgate adjustment is finicky... (Snip)...
Ah, that may explain the 5th-Reverse issue I see now.

(Snip)...When you say 'cable', do you mean 'linkage'? I read somewhere the 88 Citroen uses primarily 'rods' and the 89 and newer Renault-equipped use a 'cable'? Not sure if it make a difference?
The crossgate adjustment MAY be the cause of your reverse difficulties, but not 5th so much. 5th can be affected as well, but it's more likely that the reverse lock-out pin at the base of the gear shift lever might be bent or displaced. More on that a bit later.

The Esprit-Citroen set-up uses a pushrod linkage system for the fore-n-aft action, and a cable for the side-to-side crossgate action. The later Esprits with the Renault UN1 transaxle use cables for both motions.

The Esprit-Citroen pushrod assembly uses multiple links with pivot points, each pivot including a rubber grommet for noise/ vibration isolation. The rubber gets old, crumbles, and the fore-n-aft action picks up a lot of slop. Inspect all the pivot points and replace the sloppy grommets and plastic sleeve bushings as required. I replaced the plastic sleeves with sintered bronze bushings and the rubber grommets with harder urethane fawcett washers, both from the hardware store. They fit and worked. Perhaps not as quiet and vibration free as the factory set-up; but NOT metal-to-metal, and yet very positive in shift action.

*~*~*
In the cable assembly, the inner moving part is restrained by the stationary outer sheath, and pushes back against it. It's an action, reaction thing. If the stationary sheath stands fast and doesn't yield, then all the action put into one end of the inner cable, comes out the other end. However, if either end, or both ends of the outer sheath yield and move back due to the applied force, then that amount of movement is lost at the output end of the inner cable.

The outer sheath has a metal sleeve ferrule crimped onto either end. No bond, no screw clamps, just crimped. It has a threaded cylinder body that slides through a hole in some abutment bracket (or a hole in the bell housing flange), and a shoulder-flange that stops it. A washer and nut installed on the threaded body and tightened secures that end of the cable sheath to the abutment so it can't move.

If the nuts that secure the ferrule to the abutment are loose, that's lost motion. In addition, the usual cable failure mode is that the crimped ferrule connection comes loose, and the cable's outer sheath can slide back and forth a little bit within the ferrule. ANY detectable motion of the sheath is lost motion at the back end of the inner cable. Either 'looseness' (nut or ferrule crimp) can happen at one or both ends of the cable, and all looseness is additive. A little here, a little there... it adds up. The system has very little, if any built-in latitude, and it takes very little lost motion before you lose contact with one end of the crossgate action, or the other (1-2, or reverse).

Moving the gear lever to the right, toward 5th-Reverse, pushes the inner cable back. If any motion is lost, and the inner cable doesn't push back far enough, then the gearbox's internal crossshaft and the finger that hangs down from it won't move far enough engage the internal reverse shift rail. Pushing with two hands might force a wee bit more movement (something bends), and get you reverse, but the problem is an incorrectly adjusted cable end, or lost motion due to a loose abutment nut or loose ferrule crimp.

*~*~*
Get on your back and slide under the rear-right of the car. Look up toward the top-right side of the gearbox and you'll see a 90 degree bell crank... an "L" with equal length arms. One arm is attached to the end of the crosshaft sticking out of the top-side of the gearbox, and the other arm has the cable's end/ extension rod attached to it via a clevis, pin and spring clip (bobby pin hair clip).

Loosen the jam nut that tightens the clevis to the threaded extension rod. Remove the spring clip, remove the pin that goes through the clevis and bellcrank, and slide the clevis off the bellcrank. Un-thread the clevis on the extension rod one half revolution... the minimum before the slot in the clevis aligns with the bellcrank again. Re-install everything and tighten the jam nut. You've just made the overall cable assembly's length one half thread pitch longer.

Now try Reverse. If the problem getting reverse is resolved, then it was just a matter of adjustment. If the problem is better, but not resolved, go back under the car and give it another half turn. Repeat until you can get reverse every time, but take minimum steps, and go ONLY as far as is required to get reverse. Since you can't get reverse now, you might want to go 2 or 3 half turns on the first try. Just don't lose sight of the fact that you must use the minimum amount of adjustment necessary to just get reverse, and no more.

Once you get reverse adjusted, then try shifting into 1st & 2nd. If you can still get 1-2, and have resolved the reverse problem, then you're good to go. However, if 1-2 is now a problem, and you've just robbed Peter to pay Paul, then go back and make sure you haven't gone a half turn too far. If, in the end, you simply cannot resolve both sides of the crossgate within half-turn resolution, then it's very likely that there is some lost motion in one or both of the cable's ferrules... either the nuts securing them to the abutments are loose, or the crimps are loose, or both.

*~*~*
The rear ferrule is easy to see where it attaches to the through-hole in the bell housing mounting flange to the right of the engine. Have a helper operate the gear lever side-to-side while you observe the cable/ ferrule/ nut. Any movement is unacceptable.

The forward ferrule is not so easy since it's inside the chassis. Remove the center consol, shift boot and gaiter to reveal the shifter. Check the nut that secures the cable to the forward abutment (hole through the chassis). Checking the ferrule itself will require disconnecting the cable at the front, and pulling it out of the chassis to where you can inspect it. Grab the ferrule and sheath with both hands, and push, pull, twist forcefully. If there's any movement between them, the ferrule is loose. Replace the cable.

*~*~*
While the shift lever is exposed, check out the reverse lock-out pin. Near the base of the gear lever, there's a slender roll pin sticking out about an inch, facing forward. A verticle steel plate is bolted to the shifter base, and has a notch cut in it that clears the roll pin. The notch is wide enough to allow the gear lever to move side-to-side far enough to engage 1-2, 3-4 & 5th, but stops the lever before it reaches reverse. To get reverse, the gear lever must be pulled upward against a spring action, lifting the pin up above the notch-plate, then further to the right.

If the roll pin has fallen out (and they do) or been bent, then you've lost the positive stop that aligns the gear lever with the 5th gate. Finding 5th is now a matter of simply knowing where it is by the Braille method... like typing without looking at the keyboard. Mine fell out eons ago, but I could always find 5th by feel, first time every time, so I didn't bother messing with the pin. Other folk would drive my car, and swear up and down 5th wasn't there.

If your reverse lockout roll pin is missing, or bent, or otherwise not right, that could explain some of the difficulty with finding 5th, without opening up the gearbox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
(Snip)... I certainly am up for going for a simpler solution; the worse case scenario always gets the best of me. I'll talk to my mechanic to check the hydraulics and 5th gear more closely. I did discover a few days ago that the master clutch cylinder seems to be weeping inside the pushroad area inside the car very lightly (and it's only 13 months from new).

But wouldn't a leaky clutch master cylinder affect all 1-5 gears? Not just 5th? Statistically, multiple simultaneous failures seems unlikely (leaky hydraulics on 13 month old hardware and broken 5th synchro or cross shaft), but can't ignore the symptoms.
I'm NOT trying to talk you out of upgrading the circlip or spigot bearing. Do be very aware of that possibility, and don't delay with the fix or keep driving the car if you think it's the leading contender. I'm just pointing out that there are a multitude of things that affect shifting in the Esprit-Citroen, and they all need to be right.

Yes, a leaking cylinder can result in less than a clean clutch release, the drag will affect all synchros, and it's possible for each synchro to react to a different degree depending upon it's own size or condition. And never discount a possible cause just because it was addressed a year ago. Some parts are bad out of the box. Always keep an open mind and consider all possibilities.

Now that you've clarified that 1-4 are also harder to engage 'lately' and it's not just a 5th thing, that does indicate there might be something going on with the clutch release (bad master or slave cylinders, air in the system, Red Hose Syndrome, incorrect release lever adjustment), or you could really be seeing the early symptoms of the circlip failure. Be vigilant, and don't let a potential circlip problem go unattended. Just don't get so focused on one thing that you don't see the others.

BTW, reverse is not syncrhonized. It's always a crash-gear, and depends upon a little movement in the works to get a clean engagement. Too much gear movement is still too much, and a dragging clutch can adversely affect reverse as well. But reverse is unique, and will not react to stray torque/ drag like the other synchro-gears do.

I hope I'm not just adding to the confusion and burning bandwidth.

Regards,
Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North (LOON)

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:27 AM   #28 (permalink)
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So Tim, If I understand you correctly, to recognize this condition before the meltdown happens gear shifting will get worse? Of course check the obvious.
Robert,
Yes. The earliest symptom before serious damage actually occurs acts like a dragging clutch. Some torque continues to be fed into the gearbox even with the clutch pedal hard to the floor, and the synchros can't handle it. If the gearbox that used to shift easily suddenly becomes difficult to shove into gear, something is probably not right with the clutch, or the circlip has failed. Unfortunately, the early circlip symptoms (Nylatron washer still there) can be subtle, and many owners just drive through it for too long.

When the washer gets chewed up and things go metal to metal, the drag/torque gets worse, and the noise level steps up. When the clutch spline reaches the crank and starts digging in, things get incrementally much worse. The drag/torque can be great enough to slightly move the car on a level surface with the clutch pedal to the floor, foot off the brake, tranny in gear. By that time, there should be a "funny noise" to a squeal coming from the bell housing area when the clutch is held in with the tranny in gear and the car stationary.

Taken to the extreme, the spline between the input and primary shafts strips, and all drive is lost. That part is sudden/ instant. "It just happened all at once!" The time leading up to that does offer some warning (poor shifting, noise in bell housing area, gradually getting worse), but it doesn't grab you by the ears and shake. You have to notice, and recognize it for what it is.

Quote:
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One other quick question for you, can the tranny be pulled from the car leaving engine in place?
Yes. The rear mounts are on the transaxle, so you'll have to do something temporary to support the back end of the engine when the transaxle is removed. I just slide a short length of 2x4 under the rear of the engine, and over the bottom chassis tubes. Or Sanj made up a nifty welded bracket that slides right in there and also provides some engine tilt adjustability via a screw knob.

To remove the transaxle, do all the obvious disconnects, remove the rear boot floor, exhaust system, turbo and rear chassis cross member. If all goes really well, you might be able to zig-zag sneak the bell housing past the turbo on the manifold, but I never count on things going that well. I strongly recommend removing the turbo in preparation.

Support the back of the engine with a floor jack, and use a sling to hook an engine hoist up to the transaxle.

Loosen, but don't remove the vertical bolts through the front engine mounts... just allow for some engine tilt during the process.

The vertical bolts for the rear mounts point up... nuts on top. The bolts can't be withdrawn downward unless the suspension's lower lateral links are first disconnected at their inner ends. Alternatively, unbolt the cast rear mounting ears from the gearbox and lift them up off the bolts. Neither alternative is as simple as it reads. One way or another, disengage the bolts from the mounts before trying to move the gearbox. Simply lifting the rear of the transaxle high enough with the front engine mounts still attached is going to put something in a bind somewhere.

Unbolt the bell housing, and slide the transaxle back. Using the hoist and the jack supporting the back of the engine together, tilt the tail end up above the back edge of the boot floor, and slide the transaxle all the way back to the rear wall, under the rear lip of the boot. Once the bell housing is free of the engine/ clutch, rotate & swing the transaxle enough to move the tail end out from under the boot's rear lip. Lift straight up.

"Installation is the reverse of removal... "

Regards,
Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North (LOON)

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:37 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Tim.. another question....
I've been a mechanic for 20+ years and have done a lot of clutches. Recently I just drove my friends '90 SE to check a brake problem and his car starts to engage just as the clutch pedal is released from the floor. I've never seen a car do that... could it be a sign of this problem?

Re-reading your post above sounds right. My Esprit shifts smooth and straight. When I drove his car it felt like I was trying to find the gears as I drove my '74 Spitfire for 25 years with a non-existant shifter bushing and had to 'know' how to shift to get into gear.

Thanks!

Robert

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:12 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I just drove my friends '90 SE to check a brake problem and his car starts to engage just as the clutch pedal is released from the floor. I've never seen a car do that... could it be a sign of this problem?
All Esprit clutches require a full stroke of the pedal to ensure a clean clutch release. But having the clutch bite right off the carpet isn't right. That could be a matter of pedal adjustment (including master cylinder pushrod clearance), clutch release lever adjustment, or a leaky cylinder.

If the clutch disk has been replace recently, and an aftermarket disk was used that's a little thicker than Lotus spec, then that could drive the friction point down closer to the floor. But even then, you should be able to adjust the clutch release lever to account for that... to a degree.

Early Esprits used a clutch master cylinder with a 5/8" bore, and they required the pedal to be depressed fully to the floor in order to ensure a clean release. Starting in 1992 (?) the master cylinder was changed to a larger 0.70" bore, and the pedal stroke got shorter/ friction point higher. (The pedal assembly was moved 2" forward to increase leg room, and the clutch release had to happen in a shorter distance... hence the larger bore to move more fluid in less distance. The result was a heavy pedal.)

> ... could it be a sign of this problem?
If by "this problem" you mean the circlip failure, then no, on two counts.

First, the SE with it's Renault transaxle, doesn't have the circlip problem.

Second, even IF it were a Citroen model, I still wouldn't think so. If the circlip had failed, there would be some drag/torque going to the transaxle even with the clutch fully disengaged. From your description, the clutch releases with the pedal fully to the floor, which I interpret to mean there's no drag. With no drag, the circlip wouldn't appear to be a problem.

I'm guessing (it would sure help to be able to drive the car) that the early engagement right off the floor is due to clutch and/or pedal issues... including the hydraulics. And no, I don't think it sounds right. However, the normal friction point isn't high in the pedal stroke as it is on a lot of classic Detroit clutches. You still need to give it a full stroke.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Tim - You are the Michael Jordan of Esprit ownership.

I love you, man.

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

imho, failure of 5th gear and synchro is mostley due to lack of oil. Level plug indicates 2,25 liter. Not often checked, the level drops and 5th gear doensn't get oil.[snip]
VERSNELLINGSBAKREVISIE
Thanks - I went out at lunch and had my transmission oil level checked - it was about 'level' - the 'level' plug showed the oil was about full. It wasn't dripping out, but the oil was touching the bottom edge of the hole.

I had them put 2.5 liters in there - a split between the 2.25 and 3 liter limits.

Despite originally being lower oil, the 5th gear action 'recovered' - as I mentioned the sporadic nature of the problem, I hope a fresh oil change (14 months old) would help. The car was on the lift for the oil level check, so may as well change it too.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:12 PM   #33 (permalink)
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> And never discount a possible cause just because it was addressed a year ago. Some parts are bad out of the box. Always keep an open mind and consider all possibilities.

This is the big one - bad parts out of the box - very sobering considering what I spent to get this car prepped for daily driver use. I'll keep my eyeballs (and brain) more open.

>[snip] Be vigilant, and don't let a potential circlip problem go unattended. Just don't get so focused on one thing that you don't see the others.

Yes - your information here goes a long way to help!

>BTW, reverse is not syncrhonized. It's always a crash-gear, and depends upon a little movement in the works to get a clean engagement.

I always shift into 1/2 before Reverse and that stops the crunch.
Note when I said I use 2 hands to sometimes get Reverse - I have carpal tunnel damage and I use 2 hands to LIFT the lever UP; I don't believe I'm bending anything force-wise. It's just my weak right hand can't lift up sometimes.

>I hope I'm not just adding to the confusion and burning bandwidth.

Not at all - appreciate the sharing of detailed information for the Esprit - THANKS!
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:02 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Let me weigh in here, I missed this Topic as I was offline for several weeks.



My 1988 Esprit's trans was rebuilt in 1998 after a failure of the crownwheel bearing (at 42,000 miles)...the work was done by a respected, experienced Esprit specialist (RS Motorsports). At that time, the input shaft WAS starting to bore into the crank, and RS observed this and so made repairs. As a preventative measure, RS cut the bias spring to reduce pressure on the circlip and Nylatron washer. Back then, no improved circlips were available, nor were Renault-style bearings for the input shaft where it rode on the crankshaft. So, new OE-type parts were installed.


While I normally fancy myself as being sensitive to changes in my car's behavior, I didn't notice any difference in shift action prior to failure. During that never-to-be-forgotten "last drive", however, I did hear a tiny chirp. "Gotta look into that" I told myself...but 50 miles later, I was on the back of an AAA flatbed with no drive to the rear wheels.

So, perhaps my experiences were not typical due to the 1998 modification. When we removed the "lump" to begin repairs, the Nylatron washer seemed OK. The ends of the input shaft splines were stripped out, is all. There was no metal "dust" around the crank to indicate that there was any input-shaft-to-crankshaft contact.



I'll post some pics of my damaged input shaft in a week.


++++++++++++

Question for Tim (or perhaps Harry M.) here:

Tim wrote, "Properly replacing the the primary shaft requires that you also replace the mating gears for 1st & 2nd."

Because new primary shafts are no longer available, the gears will not match even if 1 & 2 are replaced. Is this a potential problem? Any way to compensate?
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:34 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Question for Tim (or perhaps Harry M.) here:

Tim wrote, "Properly replacing the the primary shaft requires that you also replace the mating gears for 1st & 2nd."

Because new primary shafts are no longer available, the gears will not match even if 1 & 2 are replaced. Is this a potential problem? Any way to compensate?[/QUOTE]


Hi

imho mating the gears for 1st and 2nd is not that important. I allway keep 3rd, 4th and 5th mated because of the much higher rotations.
1st and 2nd do not rotate at very high speed.

cheers,

Harry Martens
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
(Snip)... My 1988 Esprit's trans was rebuilt in 1998 (Snip)... Back then, no improved circlips were available, nor were Renault-style bearings for the input shaft where it rode on the crankshaft. So, new OE-type parts were installed.
The snap ring and bearing are each pretty much standard hardware, and it was more a matter of figuring out what to use where. I think not having a common fix in 1998 was more a matter of awareness. We new it was a failure mode that happened now and then, but I don't think it had become common enough to really get anyone's attention. Once the need was clearly identified, fixes were figured out. The ball bearing spigot fix was just a matter of following Lotus' lead, since they had already gone that way with the Renault UN1 equipped Esprits. Harry took his own approach, and came up with the heavy duty snap ring solution. Both work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
Question for Tim (or perhaps Harry M.) here:
Tim wrote, "Properly replacing the the primary shaft requires that you also replace the mating gears for 1st & 2nd."

Because new primary shafts are no longer available, the gears will not match even if 1 & 2 are replaced. Is this a potential problem? Any way to compensate?
You're right, new parts aren't available any longer, so factory matched 'new' isn't an option. But, if you buy a used primary shaft, try to buy the mating gears from the same salvage transmission. They were matched at the factory, and they have worn in together in use. As long as Harry inventories parts as sets, you should be able to buy matched sets... until a sale breaks up the set.

I have rebuilt an Esprit transaxle for a "regular" on the Turboesprit list, and we purchased a good used primary shaft and the mating 1st-2nd gears from Harry. I recommended it, and the fellow bought-in. It can be done, but it depends upon Harry to inventory used parts as sets.

Was it necessary? As a mechanical engineer, I might be a bit more of a gear purist than most folk, and my own inclination is to say that in a car of the Esprit's power and character (you feel encouraged to use that power), it should be necessary. On the other hand, I respect Harry's experience with the Citroen transaxle, and certainly wouldn't discount his opinion... especially for cars that are only driven on public roads in a civil manner.

But I must say I disagree with him about 1st & 2nd not running as fast. For the secondary shaft, that's true. However, the primary shaft turns at full engine rpm, and I frequently use full throttle in 1st & 2nd up to 7200 rpm. I rarely, if ever, approach full throttle redline in 4th or 5th.

Personally, I see 1st & 2nd as the more abused gears (I flog them), and tend to err on the side of perfection for them. I could be a little more ambivalent about 3rd & 4th if the parts budget is more of a priority. In civilian use, I've had my redline fun in 1st & 2nd, and I'm short-shifting my way into cruise mode in 3rd & 4th. Even autocrossing is pretty much a 1st-2nd event... in which case I'm flogging the crap out of it.

IMHO, 5th goes both ways in that it's more of a freeway cruise gear and seldom gets more than light cruise throttle in civilian use. From a full power duty cycle stand point, 5th could probably get along with a mis-matched gearset. However, mis-matched gears will be more noisey, and to me that would be annoying during a long, sustained cruise... like a long freeway cross-country trip. I'd want matched gears there just so I didn't have to listen to any whine or rumble for hours on end. 3rd & 4th are less of a noise issue to me, since I'm rarely in them for a long period of time.

For any Esprit that sees occasional track days, I think it's important to used matched gear sets. Sustained full throttle in any gear puts a serious load on the meshed teeth, and a mis-matched pair is much more likely to fail.

Sustained full throttle is also a bad thing in 5th, since the over-hung 5th gear wasn't designed with the Esprit's full throttle power in mind. 5th is actually a track-day weak link if you put the hammer down in 5th on a long straight. 5th can also proove weak even during brief full throttle freeway passing situations where you don't bother to shift down first, and just step on it (given time to build boost, the 910 can make a lot of torque). So from both a quiet cruise and a full throttle standpoint, I think 5th should be serviced with matched gears.

If you don't track the car, rarely flog it, and drive it sorta like a Citroen, then mis-matched gears will work if you don't mind a little whine. I can't say all mis-matched gearsets will whine significantly, but the probability that they will is much higher than with matched gears.

Regards,
Tim Engel

Last edited by Esprit2; 11-17-2012 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #37 (permalink)
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On the other hand, I respect Harry's experience with the Citroen transaxle, and certainly wouldn't discount his opinion... especially for cars that are only driven on public roads in a civil manner.

But I must say I disagree with him about 1st & 2nd not running as fast. For the secondary shaft, that's true. However, the primary shaft turns at full engine rpm, and I frequently use full throttle in 1st & 2nd up to 7200 rpm. I rarely, if ever, approach full throttle redline in 4th or 5th.

Personally, I see 1st & 2nd as the more abused gears (I flog them), and tend to err on the side of perfection for them. I could be a little more ambivalent about 3rd & 4th if the parts budget is more of a priority. In civilian use, I've had my redline fun in 1st & 2nd, and I'm short-shifting my way into cruise mode in 3rd & 4th. Even autocrossing is pretty much a 1st-2nd event... in which case I'm flogging the crap out of it.

I can't say all mis-matched gearsets will whine significantly, but the probability that they will is much higher than with matched gears.

Regards,
Tim Engel[/QUOTE]

Hi,

you must remember, that every set primairy shaft and secundairy gears you get from me will be new for your Esprit. Your engine runs opposite.
I never, offcourse Citroen use only, had any problems with not mating first two gears. For Esprit I keep them as a set.


cheers,

Harry Martens
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #38 (permalink)
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What does "matched gears" really mean? It depends on the method. In general practice it typically means you should not mix old and new parts, ie, replace in sets. Once the gears wear in to each other you should not replace only one and run the other to a "new" (or good used) one. If parts availability is an issue and you cannot get matched sets you will get a whine but after they wear in it may go away. The probability of breakage is also probably higher until they wear in. If they wear too much you can destroy both gears too. As Tim points out it is always best to replace in sets but that is a luxury if you can't get sets of gears anymore. Very similar situation with the ring and pinion gears. Once the parts have 'lived together" and worn to each other you should not be mixing them up with other parts. Same theory for trying to keep track of all of the parts as you disassemble and reassemble the motor. Parts that wear against each other should be put back in the same places.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Great thread!
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