Gearbox problem

Hello All,

My beloved ‘little red beastie’ has developed a problem since the weekend. I’m finding it difficult to get her into 2nd & 4th (the gears where you pull the stick towards you). Sometimes they drop in easily, sometimes I have to tug, and sometimes the stick barely move towards me (but the gear still manages to engage). So, a problem with the box, linkage, lever? Any experience of the same? HELP!


Gear linkage is possible.

Eliseparts do an upgrade but more helpfully is the instructions to fit it on their site. It’ll show you exactly where it is on the car. I have one of their kits and it makes the change much nicer and not go sloppy when it gets hot.

Whilst down there, check the engine mount thingy is OK (black bracket with rubber bunge in it attached to the sump). They use to break regularly and the engine movement could make gear changing tricky. That said, you may have noticed other things if it was that.


I’m with Ian. I would also bleed the clutch as well as if you are nor fully disengaging the clutch you will find shifting more difficult

Ooo, clutch, good call. Could be the bracket has broken, meaning the clutch isn’t disengaging properly. Get somebody to press down on it whilst you (or somebody that knows what they’re looking for) peers down the left-hand side of the engine (looking from the back).


Thanks all!

Said beastie is currently enjoying the weather in Cornwall and is due its service / MOT / TAX all next month Upgrading the linkage + short-throw gear shift, checking clutch etc just prior to its service … just to get someone who knows what they’re doing to have a look at it after I’ve been playing around under there

Have you sorted this yet.
Gather this can be caused by the cable clips that hold the cables to the back of the gearbox dropping off their mounts…This can be prevented by using a couple of nylon ties to supplement the metal clips.
My H’apth worth…

This can be prevented by using a couple of nylon ties to supplement the metal clips.
My H’apth worth…

How would you know? You only possess silk cravats… alledgedly


Where did you get that picture of me as a lad???/
Looks as if you need one to tie round your waist to keep your trousers up
Or are you about to Pee on your rear brake

Or are you about to Pee on your rear brake

MrD06 thinks it’s amusing anyway Or, perhaps he just fancies a pink car too

Red beastie is in for service, MOT, this Friday. The ‘problem’ is still very hit-or-miss, generally raising its ugly head when the car gets driven a little harder than normal. South West Lotus know the car so I’m happy for them to figure it out … and fit the replacement bits.

I won’t shout too loud, i’ve got an S2 (2002) Elise 160 with the Rover engine/gearbox. I purchased the car 2 months ago with the short shift system already fitted. Last Saturday it went back to the dealer (offical Lotus one) to sort out. Gear change became vague - sloppy - and sometimes a nightmare when trying to go up the box to 5th, but even worse when trying to come down to 3rd/4th for a quick over take, so much so that i nearly collected a Beemer who was also trying to overtake the same line of cars behind me. Hopefully the dealer will tell me what the problem was when i collect on Saturday will let everyone know!

If the short-shift is set to it’s maximum reduction 5th can be tricky.

My change got sloppy when hot before I upgraded to the Eliseparts linkage kit.


When I had an S1 Exige I had a problem where 2nd would pop out of gear and 4th could also pop out. This was a big problem on track.

To cut a long story short I got the gear box reconditioned. The problem was a couple of pins or something in the synchromesh which had worn out. After the recon the box was good as new.

Sorted the problem, according to the dealer it was a stretched cross gate cable which they replaced under warranty.