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Gear Selection Issue


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I took the Vitesse to the Duxford meeting last weekend, it was her first proper outing since I have made a few minor adjustments and fitted the correct size Michelin tyres. What fun, I'd forgotten how good these cars really are, she howled along the A505 easily keeping up with (and then some) modern traffic and I must confess I did give her some stick.

Thanks to good luck, Triumph Six pot torque and overdrive I really didn't need to go below 2nd until I got caught at traffic lights in Letchworth. Then 1st was very difficult to engage, the stick being very stiff and heavy but only into 1st and after dropping her into 2nd and going back down the box I got 1st.

Drove back to the garage where I found 1st was stiff again and when I put her into reverse the gears appeared to grate but once again 2nd 3rd and 4th all selected smoothly and quietly. 

There was no evidence of clutch drag, the clutch was replaced less than 4000 miles ago and the bite point remains about half way up the pedal travel.

When I did get reverse she backed into the garage fine and came out of gear easily but still wouldn't get 1st and grated into reverse. Now comes the odd part, next day she went in to every gear without issue.

The receipts I have suggest that the box was rebuilt when the clutch was changed, a new slave cylinder fitted along with new hydraulic lines.

Any suggestions?

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the grate of teeth getting reverse and the baulking in lower gears when stationary indicate clutch drag ,its not gear box related

 try it with engine off if its easy then but baulks when idling then its the clutch is not clearing.




new clutches can have a lot of feathering on the disc which clears with a bit of good use,this can give some drag


if its hard to engage engine ' off' then look at the spherical ball and the remote bushes on the remote extension.


lost clutch travel has a lot of idea behind the problem,

start with the carpet blocking travel

clutch slave has bleed at bottom not the top, so unable to bleed fully.

worn forks and pin on the M cyl

worn pins on throwout lever

worn pin grooves in the throwout carrier

throwout bearing is 15mm thick on the new but was 19mm thick on the old makes the lever  (seesaw) ratio late .


bent  clutch disc

seized flywheel spigot bearing 

pressure plate has been dropped and diaphragm is now misaligned 


start with the easy 



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Hi Pete thanks for the reply.


Definitely not clutch drag as a) could get 2nd and above without fully depressing the clutch and B) more significantly, couldn't get first with the engine off either.


Looks like I shall be examining the remote linkage doesn't it? Any reason why this only happens when hot and will this explain why I have never been able to select reverse with the engine off?



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as you go higher gears the baulking load is less due to the ratio's in the box its quite possible 2nd 3rd will drag the clutch disc up/down to speed where as in 1st it wont and reverse will grate as ...no synchro.


remote spherical bushes do tend to get stuck when hot new kits often have a cup washer like a razor which chops the new ball to bits very quickly


if first is blanking with engine off its looking  at remote problems first 


but the grating reverse is looking clutch 


one of the two will be the culprit



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Thanks Pete,


Had her out again today, no issues with any gear but gear lever has started to rattle and has become quite loose.


Suspect a razor edged cup washer might be the main issue. Also noticed that my copper pipe to the slave cylinder lives awfully close to the exhaust manifold, I'm sure incorrectly so this could also be a source of problems. I'm rebuilding the carbs soon so I'll reroute the pipe and change the fluid at the same time.



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