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Discussion Starter #1
Well, things were going way too well on my axle seal replacement. I knew something was coming. I should have tried to fix something on another car, waited for the bad luck, and then gone back to the Esprit once the bad luck drained. Instead I believed this would be a trouble free repair (hahaa). That, coupled with trying to fix a British car on the Fourth of July apparently, seems to have hurt me.

I was finishing up the one side. Just had to put the roll pins in. I put the big one in, into the beveled hole, and started hitting it in. Seemed tight, but it seemed to be moving. Then it got really tight, but I kept at it. It got most of the way in, but now it's stuck. Can't get it in or out. I'm not sure what went wrong. I did forget to mark the axle to the tranny shaft, but I had the car in gear and the parking brake on, so the pieces couldn't have moved. When I put the axle back on it lined right up with the holes without having to turn anything. And it certainly looked to be a perfect alignment looking through the hole. So I claim the holes were lined up. So WTH? I'm trying to drill it out (bleeeh, these pins are hard), at least enough where maybe I can hit it out.

So assuming I can get it out without damaging anything, what went wrong? It certainly got into the tranny shaft. At that point I'd assume the tapered roll pin would find it's way through the other side. How much of a pounding can the tranny shaft take before I start causing other problems?

Thanks
Rock
2001 Esprit
 

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Sure sounds like the hole was 180 degrees out of alignment as that's exactly what happens. It looks like it's aligned but it's not. If you shine a light through the hole from the opposite side you can just barely see the misalignment. When it's the correct way it will be a perfect hole all the way through.

When not aligned, the pin will go through until it hits the edge of the hole on the other side of the shaft and stops. If you keep hitting it at the point, the roll-pin will bend inside the output shaft as the shaft is somewhat hollow inside the center. Then you're basically screwed.

You can drill it out if you are very careful and go slowly, otherwise you risk breaking the drill bit in the hole and complicating things further. Once you get the side drilled that you started the pin in, you should be able to use a pry bar to lever the axle back off the shaft.

The output shaft is pretty robust, but don't beat on it any more if the pin isn't moving.

I feel your pain man, been there done that...when it happened to me, I ended up using a Dremel tool with a diamond bit to basically grind the pin away until I could lever the axle out.

Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<sob>

Well, I did it to myself if that is the case. If I ever get it off I'll see what 180 degrees opposite looks like. I can't think of anything else that could have happened, but right I can't see how that would have happened either. I admit nothing until I see it work at 180 degrees! :)

Thanks. It definitely feels like it's going to take a long time to remove this SOB.
 

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Alignment

In theory you can visualize the alignment, as Jim K. noted. I have also been told by reliable sources (Sanj) that if you take a probe and run it on the surface of the hole you can feel a "click" if it is misaligned. In a few weeks I will be installing a new UN1 in my car and I face the issue of alignment. A new transmission does not come with any indications of alignment so I will have to guess the orientation and see if I get it right or not.

Sure would have been easier if Lotus had marked this stuff or else engineered it so the shafts could go on either direction.

:sad:
 

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Agree with the 180 out as above.

If you can get a smaller punch in from the bottom, you might be able to tap it out from the opposite side.

Also I had luck putting vise grips on the stub, use lubrication, and wiggle it a very small amount back and forth while tapping it back out...

Or the method Jim mentioned (lotus4s) since it probably didn't go through the other side of the stub axle and back through the half shaft, you can probably use a carbide cutter or diamond on a die-grinder to remove the roll pin down to the level where you can slide the half-shaft back off the stub axle.
 

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I also concur. This is exactly what happens when you are 180 degrees out of alignment. Drilling is not an option, the roll pin is hardened. Your only hope is to try to hammer it back out the way it went in. Get a good set of pin punches and keep trying. If you have to you can try using the correct size # drill ground flat on both ends. Just be careful about it shattering. Use eye protection and you shouldn't have to hit it very hard. You will need a new roll pin. You were supposed to also put sealer all over it before inserting which makes it messier to remove. Watch where you position the axle or you will get caught on the case. It is not a tapered pin, it is a roll pin.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update. I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad (but I'm sad). After trying to drill it out (haha, you're right no chance) and grinding it (some luck, but I can't get enough room for anything to go deep enough) I decided to try and knock it out again. Got a good punch this time (I bent my cheap one) and my bigger framing hammer and with that setup I was able to push it out the way it came in.

However, I can now say that it wasn't out 180 degrees. :( Rotating it 180 degrees, at least on mine, clearly doesn't line up the holes on any splines. It's at least 1/8 of the hole that doesn't overlap. So I'm happy that I didn't screw up the steps, but in this case I'd rather the situation have been that I messed up and I could just finish it now.

So I don't know what to do. Could I be insane enough to just try it again? Doesn't sound like my best plan. Is it somehow possible things weren't lined up laterally? The roll pins do have a tiny taper at both ends to make it easy to start them in the holes, so I'd assume that would auto align everything once I got the pin down to the exit side of the tranny shaft. Has anyone had to ensure the lateral lineup of the axle to the shaft (to a high accuracy)?

How much hammering is normally needed? To get them out, I just needed some aggressive tapping, as has been the case with other roll pins I've dealt with. I've never had to pound them. Although I pounded this one and it still wouldn't go in.

I measured my other pin with a caliper and the OD is 1/4". That's a little bigger than the 6mm it should be. But are rollpins measured that simply? Or are they expected to be a little bigger than their size, and then they'll scrunch up to their measured size when driven in?

Thanks
Rock
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, since I had to get new pins to replace the new pins, I figured I'd get them from another source just to be sure they were the correct parts. Indeed, the new-new ones work out well. They're actually slightly larger in diameter, but they have thinner walls and must scrunch up easier. I got an extra one to be safe, and tried it out just as a test, and it went in and out nicely. So I'll fill it with sealant and put them in for real. I'll let the original distributor I used (a Lotus specialist) know that they probably want to look into it.

Unfortunately this is a tricky little car to work on. I went to put the passenger side seal in and like others warned me, one side of the seal went in too far while I was trying to square it up. So I had to pull it out and now I need a new seal. Dang shifter cables are right in the way. It's so hard to get a good look at what you're doing. But I don't mind as much when I make a mistake. I'm used to learning from mistakes, and it's still cheaper doing it myself.

Rock
 

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Since you are having so much trouble I would suspect you need to switch the flanges side-to-side. Maybe you will have a better fit. You should not have to pound the roll pins in. Worst case maybe grind the end of the roll pin a little so it starts easier but that's all.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Which flange do you mean? For the seal driver tool? I'm free-handing the seal driving, so maybe no surprise I messed up there. I'm starting to see the value in that tool. But I still think I can do it. The driver side seal went in with no trouble.

The roll pins I was having trouble with were just the wrong size. Not sure what happened. The new ones I got go in correctly. Do the Renault and Citroen cars have different sized pins? (assuming they both have pins). Maybe I got a set for the older cars?

Rock
 

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Sorry to dust off an old thread, but I have some additional advice on this, as I've done mine about 4 times now.

The 180 degree issue was my early mistake; now I use a light to see the hole. I use an inverted 1/4" drive extension to start the larger pin, then put the smaller pin in and hammer both together. It takes longer (probably 100 hammer blows) to get them most of the way in, but they won't bend this way. If you use a rounded punch pin, the top of the roll pins will spread. If I were to do this again I would probably make a tool: 1/4" dia x 6" length steel rod with a bit of a hole in one end for the roll pins. When I get to where the drive extension would hit the lip seal, I switch to a flat end punch. The roll pins are longer than the shaft diameter, so stick out about a mm on each side. Clean the pin end areas and seal well.

I also tried McMaster roll pins and found they were tougher to get in than the JAE ones.
 
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