for Stevens Esprit
by Steven Wright (www.unity1.co.uk)
Gear shifts have always been awkward in my Esprit, but In the most part I put this down to the general design as most owners comment on it. However while Geoff and Esprit Engineering was replacing my fuel tank he noticed thats the tie rod ends on the shift translator were worn. He did clean it up and re grease but suggested I change them. The improvement was very surprising so I when the weather started to improve I got the parts and replaced as suggested.
These are third party rod ends (4 needed) avaliable from www.sjsportscars.co.uk. You can also get soft rubber boots which fit over them to hold grease, keep clean and improve future ware.
Fitting these boots was on the other hand much easier said than done. The first took me well over a hour. However to save you the grief follow this and you should do it in 15 minutes
Put the boot in hot water to make it more plyable.
Rub a small amount of washing up liquid on the rod end.
Put a small amount of grease in the boot.
Push on the boot as shown (This may take some time and language).
Applay a small amount of grease around the boot ends and work in
This is the translator as seen from under the car to the rear of the gear box. You can clearly see the rod end on the gear chnage cables. These should be solid but I could move mine slightly.
Here is a side view from on top of the exhaust. It was more so I could get a better view of the bolts and then upper rod which fixs the translator to thr chassy to cause the pivot.
I was completely unable to get a spanner in to undo the rod ends on the gear cables. The only way I could see round this was to remove the translator with the cables attached over the chassis to give me better access. You cannot drop it down due to the cables themselves.
You need 2x10mm spanners to remove the nut while stopping the rod end from rotating. A degree of digit dexterity is required for this with many 1/8th turns.
With the upper rod disconnected you can now remove the bolt and circlip from the top of the translator and slide it off the gearbox linkage. You also need to remove a small plate/clip which holds the cables in place. (Picture to taken)
With the translator now free from the box you can easily remove the cable ends.
This is the new rod ends fitted to the upper rod. I tried to leave the lock nuts where the were to keep the necessary length as this is very important and it should keep the translator 4 Deg off central when in neutral. I also checked the distance between the ends to ensure they were the same as before. You may also notice that these dont have the boots fitted. This is because I tore two while trying to fit them and decided these would be better fitted to the top as these were not that worn. It is also easier to remove at a later date if needed.
With the translator and shaft cleaned and greased I re connected the cables. Care should be taken to fit these the correct way round.
Now to just slide it back in place, Sounds simple doesnt it.
Fitted in place and now as solid as a rock.
With the new parts fitted the gear change is now very positive, Still a little clunky but thats just a feature of the box.
After doing this I decided it would be very easy to do if you had the boot floor out for other reasons. Still if you can hold a spanner and have some competence the job will only a couple of hours in all.
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