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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i did my first track day in my elise and found that after a while it's popping out of 4th gear.

It's an early 2006 Lotus Elise with 38k miles on the clock. it was at thunderhill and the outside air temp was around 100f. The car's engine never went over 215-220

It's the first time i've had it on the track so first time i've had it at full throttle in 4th gear for an extended time when the car has been at anything above normal freeway cruising speeds temps which are pretty low actually... so it's never happend on the the highway to my recollection

Also it didn't seem to happen the first 10 minutes of the session. it's NOT the clutch, which was my first though... but thinking more the rpm's weren't spiking softly like a lazy clutch, the rpm's would suddenly spike and i had seen the shifter jiggle in my peripheral vision. It would happen when i was in the 6-8k rpm range... and finally i thought carefully enough (since toward the end of the day the track was empty) to just wait a second collect my thoughts and see what was going on, and the car would be out of gear.

So in short, up to operating temps on the (hot) track, going full throttle in 4th, the lever and transmission would pop out of 4th. I don't think it ever happened in 3rd gear. Any suggestions or ideas?

ps. the track day was FUN!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah, i've had the car 3 years and 34k of it's 38k miles, and i don't think this has happened before... but the reality is that in street driving i'm just virtually never deep into 4th gear at full throttle. So yeah, seemingly only on track... and if i'm NOT at full throttle, it doesn't pop out of gear (on track).

Regarding the cables... forgive my ignorance... the shifter controls the gears via cables from the shifter unit to the tranny? I'm not familiar with the mechanism... and the tension (or lack of tension) in the cables can allow the tranny to get into gear but not have it fully seated such that it might be back driveable to pop out of gear under max hp/torque? Is it something where i can just remove the center console and see some cable/cables to tighten?

Regretfully now, one thing i didn't do was keep my hand on the shifter to feel if there was a kick in the shifter (as in the gears trying to back drive the shifter out of gear) or if there was some problem in the shifter unit itself where it's just slipping out of position (as such it wouldn't kick nor slip out of gear if my hand were on it).

As random side facts it was fresh fluid in the tranny and i have the factory LSD.
 

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After I installed the LETSLA kit, I'd pop out of 4th gear. It turned out I had broken a zip tie that kept a cable away from the levers. Once I removed the console, I could see it (including the busted zip tie) so I fixed that and the lever then cleared the cable when in 4th gear.

Maybe that zip tie failed.

Tom
 

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Yeah - it's common when messing with the gear selector cables that the alignment can be out. It seems the box will engage ok but not "lock" if the cables are not accurate enough. You should be able have a look under the centre console and adjust the forward/back selector cable. Shouldn't need much - try in 1/4 - 1/2 turn increments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Considering it's unlikely that i'll be able to get the failure to occur unless i'm on the track... will it be intuitive which way the cable needs to be adjusted if it's the issue? and what's the implication of over adjusting it one way or the other?

The small screw at the left side of my consol is loose (near my feet)... any chance that plays into this? I'll also check for busted zip ties as well.
 

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That small screw just helps secure the console cover, it doesn't affect shifting. Personally, I'd adjust the cable and then test it on the freeway. You shouldn't need to speed, just go WOT in 4th and see if the problem persists after adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tip on the consol screw.

However, The reason i don't think i'll be able to duplicate on the freeway is two fold... i have to be going fast enough to be sustained in fourth gear at 6-7.5k RPM which is pretty darned fast for freeway driving (i had to be in 4th becuase i had hit 8500 in 3rd gear), and it wasn't happening until i had been on track for 10 minutes or so... so it seams the car had to be fully heated up, where i don't think i've ever seen temps over 200 driving around off track but it was usually in the 212-215 range when it would happen...

Would i want to tighten or loosen the cable?
 

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My instinct tells me loosen, but I've never adjusted the cables so I'm winging it on that advice...
 

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Check the coolant hoses that run over top of the transmission. They droop and bind in the movement of arms. Same problem here... fixed with some zip ties.
 

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Reviving this old thread...

Was this problem ever resolved?

Was the problem related to drooping coolant hoses?

I'm having this EXACT same problem. I looked at the hoses on top of the linkage and they don't seem to be touching the shift linkage at a standstill with the engine not running. The zip ties are still there. With the engine running though and at full throttle, it could be moving around, or moving the hoses around such that they contact the linkage. I'll work on a bracket to hold the hoses up a little better to see if that does anything.

Just wondering if the problem was with these hoses getting in the way, something else with the shift linkage/cables needing adjustment, or something internal to the trans.

Thanks

Skip
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hopefully yes. I haven't confirmed it was solved becuase i haven't been back to the track since, but afterward it was found that at least one of my motor/transmission mounts was totally trashed. The assumption is that it was probably the issue due to excessive motor/tranny movement. I had the replaced with stock mounts. There are apparently aftermarket solutions for mounts that are more durable and stiffer (maybe more necessary for higher HP cars), but they result in more vibration in the car also so i don't know if' it'd go that route.
 

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I had this problem in my new Elise S, just on track as described: 4th gear poping out to neutral.. After adjusting cables, checking heat isolation and changing oil for making engine work cooler, nothing was solved.
Finally it was a bearing between the gears, was defective and made the synchro between main gear and 4th's fail. All these bearings (the 4th and the rest) were changed in warranty and now works perfect, even on track.
Cheers
T
 
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