Stuck in gear issue

Drivetrain problems

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Stuck in gear issue

Postby Nick Brough » Thu 12.07.2018, 14:40

Hi,

My car got stuck in 5th at Classic Le Mans this week , I have read the temporary fix thread and all clips / cables seem to be intact. It is the side to side movement that is the problem, fore and aft appears OK, and off course it is this cable that appears to be the hardest to see gear lever end where i think the issue is.

I am trying to get it into a lower gear to get it to PNM Wirral to look at, but cant work out how the side to side cable works, as the lever the cable attaches seems fixed in that plane.

https://youtu.be/PKEcGOmX_gI

Regards

Nick
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby rip » Thu 12.07.2018, 15:07

G UK's 1st Elan got stuck in 5th at a Lotus event in Hethel about 10 years ago. I believe it was something to do with the selector itself. Once he got the selector box off the top of the gearbox, releasing it was straightforward, but it got stuck again as soon as 5th was engaged.
I do not know what the permanent fix was.

Enright helped him fix it by the side of the road, so may also know what the issue is. I have not seen either of them on here for a while so a PM to both may get you an answer.
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby dapinky » Thu 12.07.2018, 15:28

Hi Nick,

The 'usual' reason for the car to stick in 5th gear is an issue inside the selector box on the gearbox - but it can be caused by cable adjustment (unlikely) or gearbox fault (also unlikely).

It happened on mine, and I had to do a couple of 'roadside' repairs with minimal tools - so it isn't difficult.

Basically, you need to undo the 4 (IIRC) bolts from the selector box to the gearbox - and lift the selector box out of the way. You then need to use a screwdriver (or similar) to replicate the bit of the selector box which engages with the gearbox. You should be able to easily select whichever gear you require by hand. Assuming that you can, then you have ruled out a problem with the gearbox, and can then drive the car in whatever gear you have 'chosen' - 3rd will get you most places, if push comes to shove..... but this is only a necesity if it is the cables at fault.

Okay, so you have got the gearbox into 4th (or whatever you choose), then you need to get the gearstick into the right place for 4th (and the selectors inside the box).

This is where I would expect you to instantly see the problem...... the shaft which runs through the box between the 5th Gear and reverse positions has a metal cam and spring between the 2 positions. If the pin which holds this cam onto the shaft becomes undone or broken, the cam will slip and jam the mechanism (it is this cam which you overcome with the lever when you select reverse from the drivers seat). The whole point of it is so that you can't engage reverse whilst driving, but if it slips, it will allow you to select 5th, but not de-select it (hence the original problem).

Once you manipulate the contents of the selector box to match the gearbox, simply bolt it back together again. In this state it will allow you to select and drive in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and reverse without any issues..... but if you 'forget' and go into 5th it will stay there! This would get you to a garage, but to be honest, if you get to this point you may as well just fix it yourself.

You have 2 choices (or 3 if you have a 'spare' selector box) - either work out visually where the cam should locate (pull against the spring and it should be obvious) and refit it with a new pin/bolt/screw/whatever..... or if you're in a wet layby at the side of the road in rural Herefordshire on a rainy night...... remove the cam from the shaft and chuck it in the toolbox along with the spring intending to replace it at a suitable time.

Option 1 will be sorted. :D

Option 2 will do for at least 6 years as long as you remember not to try and engage reverse from 5th whilst driving at 70mph because you have 6 gears in your other car!!! 8)

The whole job can take less than 15 minutes - no gasket is necessary between the selector box and the gearbox (as it isn't below the oil level), but you can use a smear of blue instant-gasket-in-a-tube if you want to, Silicone sealant, or similar. You only need a 13mm socket,spanner or very strong fingers - screwdriver and long-nose pliers.

Edit - Written whilst RIP was posting, but at least i know the full answer :wink:
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby HJ2 » Thu 12.07.2018, 15:43

t might be usefull to check the 5th gear nut under the cover of the gearbox.
I beleive they sometimes can get loose and the box locks up when the nut comes loose enough to touch the gearbox cover.

Try the selector box first :-)
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby Nick Brough » Thu 12.07.2018, 18:32

Thanks for the info, should have said playing around with it at Le Mans initially got me 1st 3rd and 5th then as soon as I got onto the motorway and got to the first peage I could only get 5th, the rest of the drive home with just 5th was interesting, don't fancy a journey into Liverpool in 5th.

So still seems difficult to determine if it is cable or selector related, I guess time will tell.

Nick
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby Nick Brough » Thu 12.07.2018, 18:55

Well now my clutch operator is back from work the plot thickens. Operating manually releases it from stuck in 5th I can then get 1st and 3rd no 2nd 4th or reverse. Select 5th and it gets stuck again and the clutch operator has to be called back to release it.

Regards

Nick
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Re: Stuck in gear issue

Postby dapinky » Thu 12.07.2018, 19:07

Ah, it's now begining to sound like a cable issue....

The 'fore/aft' cable is not going through enough travel to clear the gates in the selector.

I would suggest that the issue is the adjustment 'nut' - which in the case of an SE is a plastic bayonet type fitting - at the bracket on top of the gearbox, where the cables come out from the bulkhead.

What happens is that if the fitting works loose (or cracks/snaps) the gearstick being pulled backwards causes the cable to be pushed forwards. Normally, the outer sleeve stays still and the inner cable moves the selector at the box. If it has slipped and/or broken, the outer cable also moves a bit (as the crack expands or the whole lot moves) and the inner cable doesn't get enough movement to operate the selector.

When mine went like that it was a simple case of turning the large nut to lock it back in place (it took 2 goes to get the fitted length right - there is about half an inch of option on where you tighten it up).

Mine wasn't broken, but I know others who did discover a crack, and the choice then is to either replace the cable(s) or fabricate a support bracket out of a bent piece of steel and jubilee clips with a dollop of epoxy glue.

It can be awkward to observe, but if your clutch/gearstick assistant tries to get the gears whilst you either look and/or feel the adjuster, you should see/feel the issue.... it only really becomes apparent whilst trying to get the gear as otherwise there is little tension on the joint. Unfortunately, it's in one of those locations that you can either see or feel it, but rarely both at the same time.

If it is the S2 cables it may be the locknut has come loose (same with AB cables) - neither of those are liable to breakage, just adjustment!
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