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G: Gearbox Stuck gear lever

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phsDommie

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After a long winter in which it sat idle (except for starting it up a few times to run the engine) I ventured out on my '51 Series C Rapide this afternoon. I find I'm able to run in first and second gears but the lever refuses to budge higher than second. I can shift back into neutral and into first, but not into third at all.
I have suspected that my return spring has been about to go as, in the recent past, I have had to physically lift the lever slightly before pressing down into fourth, which was then no problem. Not today, however, as all I can do is shift back into neutral and first.
Before I remove the gearbox outer cover, does anyone have advice on what I should look for, please? Would a broken return spring behave like this or is that too simple an explanation?
Thanks in advance,
Paul.
 

greg brillus

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Most likely the G 64 spring broken which is preventing the G 59 assembly from centralizing itself. This will stop the shift mechanism aligning correctly on the ratchet, the "pick up points" for the ratchet alter slightly from gear to gear selection and this may explain why it is only picking up the first couple of gears. Good luck with it............... Greg.
 

TouringComet

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If you grab the indictor itself, and rotate it, will it then go into third?
 

phsDommie

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Thank you very much, Greg, for quick response. That is what I am suspecting and will get on with removal of the outer cover. Will let you know.
Paul.
 

phsDommie

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Hi Steve, thanks for responding. It didn't the first time I tried it, but I tried again today and it worked.
 

TouringComet

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Then it is likely something accessible under the cover, and not something inside the gearbox.
 

phsDommie

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I removed the gearbox outer cover and didn't find anything untoward. All springs were intact and no parts appeared worn. Interestingly, as I try to change gears, the same thing (i.e. inability to budge the gear lever downward into third) happens about half the time and the other half I am able to shift into 3rd and 4th easily.
I will proceed with the three stage adjustment as indicated in Richardson's book and see if it makes any difference.
Paul
 

vibrac

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You are about to enter a dark cave with a poor map and a flickering light.... :(
but on this forum you will soon hear footsteps:)
 

phsDommie

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Dying to hear those footsteps......the suspense (and not being able to ride the bike) is killing me!
 

phsDommie

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Thanks, Cyborg - I am indeed rotating the wheel while changing gears. Also, the problem was noted originally as I was riding along, so definite wheel rotation.
 

litnman

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I have found if the cam plate spindle is loose or warn or the G29 fork or fork selector pin is warn or loose, selecting 3rd gear is more difficult.
Also check the the drive sprocket nut is tight. This keeps the final drive shaft G4 from moving inward allowing 3rd gear G12 to interfere with the double gear G11. Just a few things to observe if all else fails.
 

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vibrac

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In Richardson where he says you should be able to bang up and down the gears after its set corectly he makes no mention of wheel rotation although obviously there are cog positions the prevent it happening
 

Cyborg

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I was able to just bang up and down through the gears once. Made me wonder if I left something out.

Are there drawings around for the gearset holder shown in Litnman’s photo that can be had?
 

phsDommie

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I have four, fully functioning gears! Found the problem. This is so embarrassing, I almost kept quiet about it, but thought it might help prevent someone else making the same stupid mistake.

I was trying to figure out why I had this problem with the gear change now, while it was fine when I put the bike away for the winter. With the outer gearbox cover off, I have been able to go through all gears over and over again, using both the manual “arm”, G81, as well as the foot change, G 78. I drained the oil – crystal clear and no metallic particles, so filled the box with fresh oil. I replaced the cover and was successful in going through all gears again. Puzzling, but hopefully the gremlin was gone. After readjusting the clutch, I replaced the inspection cap – and ran into the same problem! How stupid could I have been? I’d replaced my original cap, ET24, which was a dull plain one, with a pretty one emblazoned with the Vincent logo. BUT – I”d used a valve cover instead. As you probably know, this is much taller and the G81 arm was butting up against it and prevented further downward movement.

They say we learn by our mistakes – I am one very learned individual.

Thank you all for your suggestions. Sorry I led you down the garden path.

Paul.
 

peter holmes

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I had a very similar dumb moment, my Comet had never had the nice little gear position indicator fitted, and someone pointed this out to me, Marcus Bowden I think, I saw a pair being offered for sale on eBay I think, really nicely made from stainless steel, after a very small amount of fettling with a swiss file the two parts were fitted, don't really know why I bothered, does anybody actually look at them when riding or stopping. Anyway that is when my problems started, just occasionally falling out of the gear that I had selected, it wasn't that frequent, just now and then the revs would go through the stratosphere, but it drove me crazy, so I phoned my good friend Hugo Myatt, he is my first port of call for all Comet related problems, his very first comment was "have you messed around with or fitted new gear lever indicators, they can foul the gear lever and stop the gears engaging fully, Bingo! Thanks again Hugo.
 

peter holmes

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I think the gear lever is original, the new indicator, although very nicely made, was slightly larger than the original items, and made of a slightly heavier gauge material, nothing that a Makita Power File could not correct, all now working fine with the exception of the pushrod failure.
 
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