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I finally got my Elise after winning it on ebay three weeks ago.

I've only driven it around one day, but I am noticing that the shifter is very noisy and clunky, and that sometimes it seems hard to get it into 2nd gear-- i.e. when pull back from first the shifter is hitting something and not going into 2nd. I dont know if I have a mechanical problem or not.

I am certainly not an expert driver; I've had a stick Eclipse for almost 11 years now, and I'm thinking that I am just so used to the feel of that transmission that it might take a while for me to adjust to the Elise. For one thing, on the Eclipse, reverse is all the way to the right and down-- where as on the Elise it is exactly the opposite. Going from Reverse into first has been interesting. I haven't even attempted 6th gear yet. When I am driving it I am not enjoying it, only worrying about getting into the gears without destroying them.

Is there a learning curve with the car, or am I just a lousy driver? :shrug:
 

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are you pistol gripping the shifter? I notice that's only a problem when people pistol grip the shifter which means they tend to pull it towards them when you shift from 1st to 2nd. Otherwise, sliding it straight down shouldn't be a problem.
 

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There is a big learning curve, don't worry :) Just go easy, read all of the technical info on Lotustalk, and enjoy this very unique car.

The shifters on these cars are one of the more interesting features - definitely not as wonderful as the steering. It's not just yours, they're all like that - but there are fixes - do a search (use the "search" feature on the LotusTalk menu) and you'll find lots of info on things you can do to improve the shifter's feel.

Generally, this car will teach you how to be a better driver - it goes exactly where you point it, so be careful where you point it ;)
 

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The mechanism can feel "clunky" compared to most daily driver cars. There is a mod you can do adding some bolts to the shifter plate to make it more solid and aligned, I am considering this. Also one thing I noticed since taking a HPD class. If you shift with your hand on the shifter sideways or with just your fingers you don't get the feel of the shifter any where near as much as when you have the palm of your hand on top of the ball with your fingers gripping it, your fore arm in as straight a line as possible with the forward backward motion, this made a huge difference for me. I used to have problems getting into first at stop lights after having it in neutral, now with my new palm down around the entire ball style this rarely happens and I rarely have any issues with shifting ....

One thing to realize is this car is kind of old school in it's driving principles. It is up to the driver to make this car perform, it does not do things for you automagically like most modern sport systems. It will let you be as good or as bad as you want to be, it will let you win a race or spin off the road. You need to be aware and pre-think a lot of things like up / down shifting, braking, not lifting in turns, that you would take for granted in a normal car. The more confident, smooth and purposeful you can be in your driving style , the better the car will perform.
 

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I finally got my Elise after winning it on ebay three weeks ago.

I've only driven it around one day, but I am noticing that the shifter is very noisy and clunky, and that sometimes it seems hard to get it into 2nd gear-- i.e. when pull back from first the shifter is hitting something and not going into 2nd. I dont know if I have a mechanical problem or not.

I am certainly not an expert driver; I've had a stick Eclipse for almost 11 years now, and I'm thinking that I am just so used to the feel of that transmission that it might take a while for me to adjust to the Elise. For one thing, on the Eclipse, reverse is all the way to the right and down-- where as on the Elise it is exactly the opposite. Going from Reverse into first has been interesting. I haven't even attempted 6th gear yet. When I am driving it I am not enjoying it, only worrying about getting into the gears without destroying them.

Is there a learning curve with the car, or am I just a lousy driver? :shrug:

Also, you may be shifting a bit too early - I think this is a common thing for people coming from other cars - remember, this car can rev to over 8,000 RPM (not that you should do that all the time, but...) Generally the shift will be very easy when you're in the right range, you shouldn't have to force too much. It's still clunkier than your typical shifter though, but you'll start feeling the difference. Re: 6'th gear, that's really just for long-haul, highway economy, I very rarely use 6'th gear -- even 5'th gear is mainly for the freeway when you're just cruising and want to keep the engine's RPM down.
 

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When I got my Elise brand new in 2005, I had a hard time shifting from 1st to 2nd and the linkage required adjustment. I couldn't shift it into reverse sometimes before the adjustment. The shift feel of my car is still clunky but you will get used to it after a while. It definately doesn't shift like a Porsche or even a Honda.
 

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... not lifting in turns....
If you have never driven a mid-engine car, take a class. Several people have wrecked their car doing exactly this. Lift in a turn that they are taking at the limit of grip of the rear tires. If you do that, you'll instantly spin. Finding this out on a public road is not the place for it.
 

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It definately doesn't shift like a Porsche or even a Honda.
Actually, after the shifter reinforcement and (especially) the ForcedFed engine damper, the Elise shifting is better than my Integra ever was.
 

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Actually, after the shifter reinforcement and (especially) the ForcedFed engine damper, the Elise shifting is better than my Integra ever was.
I have never driven another car that shifts as well as my Porsche 944T. Where did you buy your shifter reinforcement?
 

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I have never driven another car that shifts as well as my Porsche 944T. Where did you buy your shifter reinforcement?
Made it. There used to be a thread around here but I think Stan removed it. It sends another bolt through a spacer to the floor under the middle of the shifter cage. Takes a few minutes, but it's worth it. I think Sector 111 makes a kit to do the same thing.
 

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It definately doesn't shift like a Porsche...
Oh yeah? You must never have driven any pre-1987 air-cooled Porsches. My old 84 shifted like stirring a screwdriver through a coffee can filled with 90 wt and gravel (and it was the best shifting one of the many 911s I drove before buying mine).
 

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Made it. There used to be a thread around here but I think Stan removed it. It sends another bolt through a spacer to the floor under the middle of the shifter cage. Takes a few minutes, but it's worth it. I think Sector 111 makes a kit to do the same thing.
Thanks
 

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Oh yeah? You must never have driven any pre-1987 air-cooled Porsches. My old 84 shifted like stirring a screwdriver through a coffee can filled with 90 wt and gravel (and it was the best shifting one of the many 911s I drove before buying mine).
I had a 1971 911t and my father had a 1987 911 cab and both shifted horribly. My 944t is in a totally different league than a pre 1987 911 and is much more precise than my Elise.
 

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Let it flow....be liquid.
 

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Is there a learning curve with the car, or am I just a lousy driver? :shrug:
You're a lousy driver. :D Kidding. There is a learning curve, but you may also want to adjust your grip on the shifter. The shifter is noisy and clunky compared to many. I've never had trouble going into 2nd gear from first. I hesitate saying this, but some have had synchro problems with 2nd. Nobody asked, what rpm are you shifting at? Don't baby this car!
 

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When I first test drove the Elise, it was a 2005. The shifter was clunky (as many here already said) and I missed 2nd-to-3rd a couple of times. Apparently, there was a TSB for 2005.

The Elise I bought was a 2006. Shifter just as clunky as the 2005. The 2-3 is better but not a whole lot.

It's one of Lotus's signature quirkiness I guess. I got used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore.

Best shifter was my 1995 Miata. Better than my current BMW.
 

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Actually, after the shifter reinforcement and (especially) the ForcedFed engine damper, the Elise shifting is better than my Integra ever was.
When I got my Elise brand new in 2005, I had a hard time shifting from 1st to 2nd and the linkage required adjustment. I couldn't shift it into reverse sometimes before the adjustment. The shift feel of my car is still clunky but you will get used to it after a while. It definately doesn't shift like a Porsche or even a Honda.
I adjusted the shifter linkage when I installed the reinforcement pieces (thanks, Tony). Feels beautiful and solid, now. Before, it was sloppy and clunky.
 

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Let it flow....be liquid.
+1 - I had an issue going from 2nd to 3rd when I first got the car. I realized that if I didn't try to force it into gear and instead just eased the shifter into position there was no issue. In other words, it works better if you don't try to jam it into gear and instead let the gate guide it.

Carl
 

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Everything in the car performs better with a delicate touch. If you hamfist any of the controls around, the car won't reward you. I shift with a light, but deliberate touch. For the 1st to 2nd shift, tug the shifter gently back and with a slight pressure to the left, and let it flop into gear when it wants to. For 3rd, let the shifter center itself, and then let it glide into 3rd.

For 6th, gentle pressure on the shifter when you pull back from 5th, and you are good to go.

There is a learning curve with the Elise, but it's not bad at all IMO. I've had my BMW 540 for over a year and half, and I still have issues making a smooth 1-2 shift.
 

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You'll get used to the shifter. The Elise shifter has long throws, a tight pattern, and isn't properly braced. This is the worst part of the driving experience, but you'll get used to it. As bad as it is, it's still a whole lot better than the rubber stick they put in the Esprit.
 
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