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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I drove the car to work and boy is this thing fun at full boost and cool charge cooler water! However coming home from work I was having trouble getting in to first. This has happened before but went away and never came back til today. I would put it in to second before putting in first and it slides right in. Getting home and waiting for my garage door to open sitting in my driveway it wouldn't go in to first at all without moving in to second first. Going straight to first won't work, gear would grind so I would back off and do the same ritual. What is worse now is that it would not go in reverse. I would have to shut the car down, put it in reverse and start her up already in gear to back up otherwise it would grind. Once the car is moving shifting is smooth from first to second and up the line no issues. Only in a complete stop is when I am having issues. Maybe the fork needs adjustment?

In short, it won't go in to first at all now in a stop without me having to go to second first and then to first. To go in reverse I would have to shut the car off, put it in reverse and start up in gear in order to back up. Getting out of these two gears takes a bit of effort now too and not smooth like it used to be. Could this be my transmission going out or my clutch? Never had this experience before. I have experienced clutch slip but never having issues getting in to gear. Also please note that when the car is off I can get in to any gea, it's only when the car is on that I am having issues with first and reverse.

Thanks for any input!
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Bleed clutch fluid.

Check clutch adjustment.

X2


Bleeding the clutch (and brakes) should be a yearly maintenance item on Esprits. Always the first step when experiencing gear selection sluggishness.


On your 94, I'd also give the shift cable translators a look (rear of tranny), make sure they are not loose and that they are well-lubricated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Brake fluids done last month. Will get on clutch fluid today. Thanks again as always!
 

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Cal H
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If the clutch fluid is low check around the pedal box for any signs of leaking especially around area where the rod goes into the master. Sometimes the rubber cap of the master will mask a leak so any sign of fluid no matter how slight will warrant further investigation. Also check the tranny mounted slave for signs of leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You guys are great problem solved.
 

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This is symptomatic of a clutch problem. The clutch is not fully disengaging. Either because of a problem with the clutch hydraulics or because the clutch is worn out. If you have experienced any slipping you are probably due for a clutch. Since it can't hurt to flush and bleed the hydraulics and it doesn't cost much try that first. If the level is low you are leaking so you will have to rebuild something (slave or master or both) first. I believe the S4 still came with the plastic hose too. If you have it you should replace it with a S/S braided one. As long as you are checking things you should check the level in the transaxle. If you do not know what is in there or how long it has been in there you should drain and refill it. I would also check the shift linkage for any play and adjustment.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Also, I believe that there's no synchro for first, so any issues with the system will show up earliest in first gear shifts. I have always made a habit of doing 2nd gear before first from a stop as well as first before reverse...I think my dad beat that into me and it seems to make the transitions between those gears really smooth. Second nature now, and I think that anytime you smooth out things like that it makes things last longer..

*disclaimer:
This is all based on speculation and heresay, no facts. Possibly some voodoo and black magic as well.
 

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Yep, I always slot 3rd then Reverse. Got in the habit in high school as I drove an Austin Healey and this was a known pattern to follow. Made Reverse easier to slot and, apparently, saved on some wear and tear... At any rate, those older than me also beat that into my head at an early age!
 

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Also, I believe that there's no synchro for first, so any issues with the system will show up earliest in first gear shifts. I have always made a habit of doing 2nd gear before first from a stop as well as first before reverse...I think my dad beat that into me and it seems to make the transitions between those gears really smooth. Second nature now, and I think that anytime you smooth out things like that it makes things last longer..

*disclaimer:
This is all based on speculation and heresay, no facts. Possibly some voodoo and black magic as well.
Actually all of the gears have syncros except reverse. The reason 1st gear is the one you notice is because it is the only forward gear you shift into with the car not moving. When you do the other shifts and the car is moving it is easier to shift even if you do not get full disengagement of the clutch. Tricks like double-clutching or shifting into other gears help with aligning things (making the gears rotate inside) so it is easier for them to line up and allow you to shift into a gear.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I thought I was the only one with shift problems. When I first got my S4s I had intermittent first gear ,like you are having. That turned out to be the top retaining bolt for the shift cables had fallen off and the cables would jump out of the bracket at the transaxle. Then a couple months later, setting in my driveway I couldn't get any gear with the engine running, that was because the clutch master had dumped it's fluid into the pedal box. So I hope that helps you with your problem, post what it turns out was the problem. Dave
 

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Cal H
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If he solved his problem this quickly it was probably air in the system or low fluid levels. If he just refilled the fluid or bled the system it is rather like treating the symptom than resolving the fault. But it would work for now.
 

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Glad it worked out for you to be just a fluid issue. I have a new slave cyl. on my trans., as well as the SS clutch line.

I also bought a clutch master rebuild kit, as I recently noticed I was low on clutch fluid in the reservior. Every few months, I lose the tiniest amount of fluid from it, so will be doing that as me remedy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So what was the fix?
Old thread but it was low fluid. Been checking almost weekly and level has not gone down any. Will wait and see.

Thanks again fellas.
 

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Old thread but it was low fluid. Been checking almost weekly and level has not gone down any. Will wait and see.

Thanks again fellas.
That fluid is not consumed so if you are low it had to have leaked. Plan on rebuilding or replacing the clutch master and slave cylinders. Do not drive on a flakey clutch. By forcing shifts you can do expensive damage to the internals of the transaxle. Get into the habit of flushing the brake and clutch fluid annually. It's a lot cheaper than replacing hard parts.
David Teitelbaum
 

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So happy to hear that you got it resolved...sounded like low fluid level to me too as I had a similar issue with my first yellow Esprit years ago. Naturally, the problem never reared it's ugly head until I was on a date with a hot Swedish girl that had just moved here from Italy :)

Just top it off and keep a closer eye on the level for now. Hopefully everything will be just fine :)

Roy
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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the problem never reared it's ugly head until I was on a date with a hot Swedish girl that had just moved here from Italy :)


Roy
We need further concise analysis with pics if possible! rotfl


(Personally I think it was all a dream...) :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That fluid is not consumed so if you are low it had to have leaked. Plan on rebuilding or replacing the clutch master and slave cylinders. Do not drive on a flakey clutch. By forcing shifts you can do expensive damage to the internals of the transaxle. Get into the habit of flushing the brake and clutch fluid annually. It's a lot cheaper than replacing hard parts.
David Teitelbaum
Thanks will keep an eye on it for now. Fluid has not gotten lower nor is the shifting issues come back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We need further concise analysis with pics if possible! rotfl


(Personally I think it was all a dream...) :p
I think it was this guy I mean gal...

 
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