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Discussion Starter #1
"Many Esprit owners, especially those that live in warm climates, have complained that their gear changing becomes more difficult on extremely warm days.
There are different theories as to why it is that some Esprits gears (especially reverse) become difficult to engage when the car is driven in hot weather. Most of these revolve around the choice Lotus made for clutch line tubing."


My question: I know the famous "red hose" in 4 cylinder Esprit but is this true in the V8 Esprit?
My car has no problem in shifting not until the weather gets really hot.
kinda notchy when hot. I wonder if its my clutch fluid Motul 5.1 or my old braided hose line?
I'm currently also using Redline in my transmission which most of you are using it. However, I do remember I had a good smooth shifting using
the original Tafx castrol. Since this was discontinued & replaced by syntran transaxle 75-90, I am tempted to use this fluid too. Any feedback? Thank you.
 

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I must be lucky in the fact that living here in central Florida where it does get hot, I've never noticed a change in shifting either when it's hot or cold. I'm using Redline MT90.
 

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The fluid should be flushed every year. The V-8's have a braided hose so they don't have the same problem with the plastic hose as the earlier cars. The oil in the transaxle also does have an effect on shifting. Make sure it is at the correct level. If you continue to have problems your clutch may be worn out. Do you have 40K or more miles on the car?
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks David...
My clutch is new, say...less than a 1000 miles.
I have not check the transaxle oil -- could be that one too 'cause i have a small leak and perhaps over a year that the fluid is low.
But I think the problem was my center exit exhaust design. As I said, when the engine is cold, I have no problem shifting. When it gets very hot, very notchy and hard to engage at the 1st.

I am pretty sure the problem was my exhaust pipe that is near the transmission. The transmission is exposed to the heat. What do you think? I like to insulate the pipe with a half moon stainless shield and see if this will help protect the transmission to the heat.
 

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First and foremost, check your clutch fluid level.
If the level is low, shifting will be temperature sensitive.

Roy
 

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Yes I had this issue and level was low. No idea why but it's been a month and I drive the car on the regular now with zero loss in fluid. Yes I do have the SS braided line as well. Problem never came back.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Noob---Low level transmission fluid?

TurboR said ...low level clutch fluid which always full. Both brakes and clutch use the same fluid.
 

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Noob---Low level transmission fluid?

TurboR said ...low level clutch fluid which always full. Both brakes and clutch use the same fluid.
Low clutch fluid. Like I said no idea why but it hasn't dropped at all in a month. Then again I never checked it since I purchased the car a year ago. Could have been low the entire time I had it but has not dropped even a bit since it was topped off. Brake fluid was flushed twor months ago.
 

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I had the same problem as EspritNOOB on my first yellow Esprit. Unknown to me at the time, the clutch fluid kept slowly disappearing until it reached a point where shifting became difficult (as temperature rose), eventually getting to the point where I couldn't get into first gear when the engine was hot. Naturally, this didn't happen until I was on a date with this crazy Swedish/Italian girl (those were the days) who for some reason thought the yellow winged wonder was hilarious. I had to turn the engine off at stoplights to get it into first with the engine off and then start the car with the clutch in just to get it back home.

Turned out that one of the slave/master clutch cylinders was slowly leaking until it got the level down to a point where driveability was affected. Also, I never saw any fluid on the ground, it seemingly disappeared or went somewhere into the compartment.

Perhaps this might put things into perspective:

Esprit Clutch Cylinders

My Corvette had a similar issue years ago, but on that one, I topped it off and it never did it again.

Roy
 

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Although, I think it is unlikely that transaxle oil is the cause of your heat-related issue, you did mention that you previously had a small leak (which may have resulted in a reduced level), so if it were me, I'd definitely check that level next for sure. It's probably just fine, but running a transaxle on low gear oil is something you don't want to take a chance on. $$$$

As always, it is a process of elimination before you find the source of your difficulty...wishing you the very best!

Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Although, I think it is unlikely that transaxle oil is the cause of your heat-related issue, you did mention that you previously had a small leak (which may have resulted in a reduced level), so if it were me, I'd definitely check that level next for sure. It's probably just fine, but running a transaxle on low gear oil is something you don't want to take a chance on. $$$$

As always, it is a process of elimination before you find the source of your difficulty...wishing you the very best!

Roy
Yeah... I will check that this week. I hate to deal with that tranny plug...it's hard to remove it but its worth to check it.
But i"m betting on my center pipe exit design. That's bad design...the heat perhaps bothering the fluid and the transmission gears.
 

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Yeah... I will check that this week. I hate to deal with that tranny plug...it's hard to remove it but its worth to check it.
But i"m betting on my center pipe exit design. That's bad design...the heat perhaps bothering the fluid and the transmission gears.
If it is the center pipe design this problem would be a lot more common. You need to check the level. It is not that hard. Remove the floor in the boot (trunk) and use the proper adapter on a ratchet and extension. You are not going to get the plug out with a wrench or a vise-grip. It is surrounded by the mounting bracket. While you have the floor out flush and bleed the clutch.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I ran into something similar recently just after I replaced my leaking slave cylinder.

Apparently, during the bleeding process the small seal in the master that prevents back flow into the reservoir developed a small tear. It was probably weak to begin with and all the pumping pushed it too far.

When I would first get in the car the clutch worked fine but after I'd been sitting at a traffic light with the clutch depressed the fluid would leak back into the reservoir effectively reducing the clutch travel until I couldn't shift into first or reverse.

There was no external leak so everything looked fine. Fortunately it happened right after I messed with the slave cylinder so I knew it had to be in the clutch hydraulics. If it had just torn on its own I might have suspected a transmission problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can buy a new clutch slave but is there a kit to rebuild the master?
or both master and slave are throw away stuff when bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I solved the problem:
The changing of gear in out from 1st to 5th & to reverse is now smooth as a butter.
I adjusted the throw (the rod plunger) of the master clutch master cyl.
For years that I never touch it, I thought it was stock setup. The first owner somehow adjusted it wrong. I never get the full throw.
I'm happy ....... thank you for the help.
 
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