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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noticed this yesterday, and today too, so definitely not a transient issue.

Sometimes while letting up the clutch and applying throttle, I hear a rather unpleasant whirring sound coming from the back of the car. Once the clutch is all the way out, and I am moving (first or reverse, doesn't matter), the noise is gone.

The really troubling part that I noticed today is that sometimes (not always) when the whirring sound started, I would push the clutch all the way back to the floor, and let off the gas, and it would be VERY difficult to get the shifter out of gear and back into neutral. In this case, the whirring was continuing the whole time while the clutch pedal was depressed. In the other case, the sound would NOT be present, and the shifter would move easily.

Does this sound like the dreaded shaft drilling into the crank issue?
 

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Sure someone else will chime in, sounds similar to what I have read here and personally experienced with other cars: Throw out bearing going bad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, so either way the transmission will be coming out, but if it turns out to be just the throwout bearing, I will be very happy. I'll look up some videos of throwout bearings going bad to confirm.

Either way, not driving the car again until it gets fixed.
 

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Well, so either way the transmission will be coming out, but if it turns out to be just the throwout bearing, I will be very happy. I'll look up some videos of throwout bearings going bad to confirm.

Either way, not driving the car again until it gets fixed.
I'm betting on the circlip issue myself judging by the hard shifting symptom.

You may want to see this thread on my Citroen circlip issue. I tried to group all the information gleaned from the various forums in one thread.

I agree it's a good idea not to drive the car until fixed - reduce any additional damage. You might be able to get away with a circlip fix (maybe).

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/citroen-circlip-pre-emptive-strike-200137/#post2782161
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So.... how painful is transmission removal on a G-car Esprit? I've pulled transmissions out of my DeLorean, and a Dodge Dakota, but those are pretty simply machines, and the gear boxes drop down, not come up.

Thankfully, if it is the circlip and there is any damage, it wouldn't be much, this just started yesterday, and ~20 miles ago. Though, if it were the circlip, wouldn't it be for all gear changes? This noise only is noticeable doing first and reverse, and the hard shifting was intermittent.
 

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So.... how painful is transmission removal on a G-car Esprit? I've pulled transmissions out of my DeLorean, and a Dodge Dakota, but those are pretty simply machines, and the gear boxes drop down, not come up.

Thankfully, if it is the circlip and there is any damage, it wouldn't be much, this just started yesterday, and ~20 miles ago. Though, if it were the circlip, wouldn't it be for all gear changes? This noise only is noticeable doing first and reverse, and the hard shifting was intermittent.
I had my work professionally done; I did note they had to remove the turbo and a bunch of subsystems bolted in/around the transmission. Assuming my 88 S car Citroen is close enough to your 87 G car Citroen layout.

The gearbox comes out TOP and requires removal of the trunk floor plate. (assuming your input shaft isn't ground deeply into the crank :eek:). You can check out my pictures on the above thread (near the end pages 6 or 7).

While my circlip wasn't fully destroyed, it certainly was well on the way (the nylatron washer was definitely being chewed up. Surprisingly, the clutch was heavily worn at 60K miles - pictures there too. I don't drive the car that hard to warrant the clutch wear I saw (I don't ride the clutch, etc.).

With my old ears, I didn't hear any significant noises, but the hard shifting was the most obvious sign. If you shift to 2nd like I do before shifting to 1st, the hard shifting 'goes away'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The box comes down? Hmm... Is the frame in the way for that?

The part that troubles me the most here is that the noise would sometimes be there with the pedal fully depressed, and other times, it would not.
 

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The transaxle comes out the top. One of the few things that you have really good access to. Remove the oil before you take it out. An engine crane is very nice to have but 2 strong guys can manhandle it out. Going back in is a little harder since you have to line things up. Use a bottle jack under the motor to hold it up. I also agree it is probably the throwout bearing but it doesn't matter, once out it will be obvious what you need to do.
David Teitelbaum
 

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The transaxle comes out the top. [snip]
Sorry - David had described it correctly; I remember seeing the car on the lift and transmission on the ground and *looked* like from bottom.

But this photo shows not possible from bottom:



And they did remove the floor in the trunk.
 

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Hmmm - Thats a totally new symptom. Car always shifted like a champ in the time I owned it. We recently bled and changed out the clutch fluid as I always do each year. Just saying.

The clutch on that car was replaced at about 25K only because the engine was out for a major anyways. Its possible a bearing(throw-out) is going. Strange timing though....right? Been perfect right up until this issue you reported. I think the intermittent nature points to a replaceable component on its way out. That circlip issue is an "all of a sudden" thing and usually offers no warnings at all from what Ive read(Robert and Atwell).

Just for poops and giggles, make sure the clutch fluid and hydraulics are good. I do remember when my slave cylinder went that I "might" have heard some funny stuff only because the system wasnt fully engaging/disengaging properly.

Keep me/us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So since the gearbox is coming out regardless: clutch, throw-out, and pilot bearings will get replaced.

Even if the circlip isn't the problem, I am going to have it replaced, along with the nylatral washer.

I know I can get the clutch kit stuff from JAE; but what are my options for the washer and the circlip?
 

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So since the gearbox is coming out regardless: clutch, throw-out, and pilot bearings will get replaced.

Even if the circlip isn't the problem, I am going to have it replaced, along with the nylatral washer.

I know I can get the clutch kit stuff from JAE; but what are my options for the washer and the circlip?
If JAE can't help with the other parts Harry Martens can. With the transaxle out you should inspect the syncros too. I don't think it is worth upgrading the pilot bearing but I would certainly replace it. You might also want to replace the output seals. Are you having fun yet? Just bought the car and now you are doing a clutch. At least it isn't all that expensive. Too bad it happened during driving season, this is a good winter job that for Atwell lasted 2 years! To be fair he also had to rebuild the motor after the input shaft remachined the crank!
David Teitelbaum
 

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I did this project last winter and even went a step further and disassembled the gearbox mating surfaces and used new anaerobic sealer to stop any leaks it had previously. Sounds like either a Clutch release bearing or spigot bearing, possilby even you input shaft splines wearing due to circlip failure. When I did this project, within minutes of separating the gearcase from motor I saw my culprits and knew exactly what I had instore.

You will feel better once this is resolved or at the very least diagnosed.

My gearbox came out the bottom of my 88, did it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I found Eddie B's video on youtube; his video has a "clacking" sound. That's nothing like what I am experiencing. My car has a very distinct "whirring" sound.
 

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I found Eddie B's video on youtube; his video has a "clacking" sound. That's nothing like what I am experiencing. My car has a very distinct "whirring" sound.
That video, while definitely during my early stage circlip issue, was NOT displaying sounds of the circlip (as I later found out).

Here is Tim's more eloquent description:

"There's no warning that the circlip is about to fail, but the wheels don't come off the wagon all at once. There are signs that something is wrong before all drive is lost, but you need to be sensitive to notice them, and then quick to take action. Delay becomes progressively expensive to repair.

Initially, the Nylatron washer will take the thust load when the circlip fails and the input shaft pushes forward against the crankshaft. The washer is a relatively low friction surface, but still, there will be an increase in drag between the crank and input shafts, and some amount of torque will continue to be fed into the gearbox even when the clutch is fully released. The synchros can deal with any continuous torque input very well, and that will lead to your first clue something is wrong. Sensitive owners with a little mechanical empathy will notice that it suddenly becomes more difficult to shift gears... especially getting into 1st while at a standstill. That's the first symptom most folk ignore.

The Nylatron washer can't take that friction load forever, and eventually gets chewed up to dust (the Nylatron washer is a victim, not a culprit). Then the shoulder at the front end of the input shaft bears against the spigot bearing's end face, and the end of the crank. It's metal-to-metal contact, so the friction goes up, more torque is fed into the gearbox when the clutch is fully released, and shifting becomes even more difficult than it was initially. Folk complain about Red Hose Syndrome, bleed the hydraulics, and adjust the clutch, but they keep driving the car.

When the clutch spline reaches the end of the crank, it makes a very effective milling cutter, and starts boring into the back of the crank. That's when serious damage to the crank begins. And now the friction torque load fed into the gearbox really goes up, and shifting becomes very problematic. Also, there's the distinct sound of milling cast iron/ steel when the clutch pedal is depressed, sometimes accompanied by a squeal. But that often gets lost in the general caucauphony in the engine bay, and doesn't get noticed in the insulated cabin. Folk keep driving the car, and complaining about the shifting.

From:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/transmission-circlip-failure-121424/#post1814791
 

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So since the gearbox is coming out regardless: clutch, throw-out, and pilot bearings will get replaced.

Even if the circlip isn't the problem, I am going to have it replaced, along with the nylatral washer.

I know I can get the clutch kit stuff from JAE; but what are my options for the washer and the circlip?
There are other parts not obvious for this job. I ended buying duplicate parts by accident (and gave them away to another forum member facing the circlip issue)

You'll need:
clutch disc, pressure plate, throw out bearing (and 2 throw out bearing rubber O-rings)

circlip and nylatron washer

turbo gaskets (since turbo will need to be removed)

Citroen C35 gaskets

SKF differential carrier bearings (highly recommended as OEM were marginal)

Shim kit (? only if you replace the carrier bearings)

Rear main seal (highly recommended since you're in there already)
----
(I got my circlip/washer from Harry Martens/dvitesse; also available from JAE).

You could get carried away like me and get a Quaife, but that's a different topic altogether $$$ :facepalm
 

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Mike,


You are fortunate that the noise is apparent to you. Yeah, get it fixed before driving.


Type82 's and my own circlip problem did not result in any noise before failure. In my case, that was because my mechanic had cut the forward-biasing tension spring on the back of the input shaft, that pushes it towards the crank.

PS: The Lotus Dealer shop-time book I have, specifies 9 hours for removal and replacement of the Citroen tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Scheduled an appointment with my shop today. The car will be going in on the 15th.

Cross your fingers for me.
 
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