I think I need a tranny - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I think I need a tranny

Without getting into too much detail right now, I think I need a new tranny for my 83 turbo Esprit. It's out for an engine rebuild so might as well PM it like everything else. When the mechanic opened it up he said the inside is so damaged it would cost more to repair than what a new tranny would cost. Not sure what he means by damaged so I'm going over there on Monday to inspect the damage and will get pictures before any decisions are made.

I trust his judgement but just to get the ball rolling does anyone have a lead on a rebuilt (preferably) or new (last resort) tranny for an 83 turbo Esprit?

It sux to be me this weekend

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 02:31 PM
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Well, the almost always go-to and only source I know of for the Citroen transmission service, parts, and rebuilds is Harry Martens Limmen in Holland. He will pretty much do anything - including taking your old tranny in for some kind of credit if you purchase a rebuilt from him. Or he can do a repair, but as you've noted it may not be worth it. You may consider a newly rebuilt one from Harry and ship your old one over there for some kind of credit or evaluation on whether or not he thinks its worth rebuilding. He us very used to dealing with folks in the states, has excellent English, a very good reputation, etc. Here's his website.

https://ds-vitesse.com/en/

Forget new, there is no such thing as a new one, not for decades unless someone says they found one in a warehouse in Russia or something. The tranny has been out of production for many years. Harry (as well as Mr. Dangerus) have commissioned replacement parts to be fabricated from scratch, like crown and pinion sets, etc. But I think Harry is probably your only choice unless you can locate a used one someplace and then have it inspected and "freshened" as they say....

I can probably swing by Glen's on Monday at 11:00 am. Send me his address to my direct email.

Tom

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom- I probably should have used the word 'refurbished' instead of 'new'. Glenn mentioned HML, I wanted to check around and see if something was available on this side of the planet. Sometimes LT members know things other people don't. Since I haven't been having any problems at all with the tranny, it caught me off guard when I was told it is trashed and unrepairable. I'll send Glenn's address by email.

Thanks

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 05:56 PM
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Many dealers send the trannys and engines out to others to rebuild. They don't do it often enough to be good at it. I would contact R S Motorsports and send him pictures. Many of the dealers send him their units to rebuild. If it can be fixed he can do it and if he can't he can probably find you one. In most cases it will be easier and cheaper to get another than to try to piece a busted one back together. Some of the parts ave very difficult to get and when 1 gear goes bad it wrecks the others it meshes with. Then the metal debris wrecks everything else.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 03:22 AM
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If it wasn't making horrendous noises or acting badly I cannot imagine it cannot be fixed.

While I have only redone the Ford 3 rail, transmissions are not the most complex thing in the world.

Since this is a transaxle the diff is probably the fussiest thing[and apparently the weak link ]

Interesting to see what the pics show
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:02 AM
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If you want to rebuild your Citroen transmission or Maserati engine, contact Dave

[email protected]

Many years of experience/racing C35-s, nice guy, good prices!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:29 AM
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What was wrong that you didn't know or feel??
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jenna'sEspritTurbo View Post
What was wrong that you didn't know or feel??
I never had a problem with the transmission, which is what really caught me off guard when I was told it was toast. The car went in for some routine work and sprung a major oil leak while it was there. So the motor came out for a rebuild, and while it was out they were going to do a PM on the tranny. When they opened it up they said the insides were damaged so bad it would cost more to repair than buy a new one.

I'm meeting Tom Meizkowski there Monday to inspect the damage and take pictures, and will pass all this info on to Glenn & their parts guy Brian. [sigh]

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Last edited by Laser Bob; 05-04-2019 at 08:01 AM.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 09:45 AM
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Any replacement will probably need to be rebuilt as well unless you are getting it from Harry. I have a tool kit that has most of the special tools for rebuilding Citroen 'boxes, and Harry has the parts. As long as the case is in good shape, I don't see a reason not to rebuild it. If you don't, I would be interested in the damaged box if you don't send it to Harry.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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I would be interested in the damaged box if you don't send it to Harry.
I think Harry wants the broken transmission in exchange. We're having a pow wow on Monday to get pictures and plot a course of action.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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We had a big pow wow today, I'm ordering a 'new' tranny from Harry @ HML (complete with the new & improved 2d gear), he wants my current tranny as a core charge.
Here's some picture of the damage. Thanks to Tom (Mieczkow) for stopping by and sharing his knowledge with me.

Picture 1- arrows point to rust.

Picture 2 shows rounded teeth and scarring

Picture 3- That nice groove that the arrow is pointing at was caused by seating the gears too deep

There was plenty of the PO's signature grey gasket goop all over the tranny, which explains why it's in the same condition as the engine (he rebuilt it in '06).
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:16 PM
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:47 PM
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When they first put that back together the noise and resistance must have been amazing until the indentations formed in the diff carrier.

No expert but I be tempted to change the diff carrier and run it.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 01:05 PM
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Smart move Bob. That's exactly what I would have done in the situation. I don't think there is a better guy on the planet, and certainly not a more experienced or knowledgeable one, than Harry when it come to the Citroen trans. You will get a virtually new tranny and with the newly re-done engine you've got the Esprit covered for as long as you or I are going to be dwelling on the planet.

Tom
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mieczkow View Post
Smart move Bob. That's exactly what I would have done in the situation. I don't think there is a better guy on the planet, and certainly not a more experienced or knowledgeable one, than Harry when it come to the Citroen trans. You will get a virtually new tranny and with the newly re-done engine you've got the Esprit covered for as long as you or I are going to be dwelling on the planet. Tom
.
It was nice chatting with you today. New motor, new water pump, new clutch, new tranny, new alternator; old operator
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MRDANGERUS View Post
Bob, What is the gist of the "improved 2-nd gear"?
Glenn can explain it better than I could-
he is offering his own custom Ring Gear and Pinion that is a stronger version than what Lotus actually used, and you can read his description. All ring gears have a "Thrust" side and "coast" side, and because this unit was actually designed for a different car, these gears run backwards in a Lotus. He offers the upgrade to install a proper designed gear just for the Lotus. The wear on that ring gear is actually one of the puzzling things we saw in your unit, and this explains it.

Second gear is usually the hardest gear to shift into. It is on my car and I don't power shift. Apparently Harry has refined the gear itself so that it synchs better with the other gears during shifting.

Tom (Meiczkow)- am I close?
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Last edited by Laser Bob; 05-06-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 02:12 PM
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Close enough. The BIG improvement is the new crown and pinion with the geometry of the teeth corrected so that you are not running the gear and pinion backwards. I'm a Renault guy so I don't know much about the particulars of the second gear and its history. But I do have a lot of respect for Harry and his knowledge so I would be very pleased with what you're going to have in your virtually new drivetrain. As I said, I would have made the exact same decision you did Bob.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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They also have a limited slip differential available for 1,100 Euros. I passed on that one.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:00 AM
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Hopefully you are replacing the differential carrier bearings (accurately speaking, part of the bell housing ... not the trans itself).

I could imagine that worn carrier bearings (if adjusted by the rebuilder for end-play) could have allowed the crownwheel to mover and wear like that.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 09:42 PM
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Benefits of HML reversed CWP for Lotus Esprit.

Lotus Esprit has the Citroen SM gearbox with Lotus bell housing.

The Maserati Merak has the engine in the back, like the Lotus Esprit, with the gearbox behind the engine, but since the engine spins the same direction as the Citroen SM, the Merak uses the same CWP but the crown wheel is flipped to the opposite side (which required a change in the differential and gearbox casting) but the pinion is still driving on the drive (concave) side of the crown wheel teeth, rather than the coast (convex) side of the crown wheel. Otherwise the Merak would have had five reverse gears and one forward..... The Lotus engine is set up like the Merak (engine in front of the transaxle), but the Lotus engine spins the opposite direction from the SM/Merak so Chapman used the SM transaxle out of the box. That means the Lotus engine is driving on the coast side of the ring gear and it means the thrust vector of the pinion adds to the thrust vector of the helical gears (which loads the case bearings). It was a quick and dirty solution, but not a good design for longevity. The HML CWP is a mirror image of the SM/Merak CWP, so the pinion is driving on the drive side of the crown wheel...

cheers,

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