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Hard to shift gears above 6000rpm


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My K-series 1.8VVC, 5 speed is having trouble to shift gears in the higher revs. It's a hard push and it takes a while to get in gear. No weird noises, just hard and slow.
It's ok in lower revs, but it happens every time and in every gear when trying to rev it out above 6000rpm.

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Hmmm...bit like that piece of string...

Some initial thoughts:  clutch drag, synchros, selector fork/detent, gear lever lube, g/box oil level/type/grade.

Personally, I'd start by making sure the clutch operates smoothly and disengages positively.  Is it hydraulic on that model?


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It's a cable clutch. Clutch feels fine when driving. Bites when it should, disengages seemingly without drag.


Gear oil has been topped up with 75w90 this weekend, but we didn't manage to extract the old oil. Last drain was 4y, 15000km ago.


My guess it's something with the synchro's or forks, but shouldn't that affect only some gears?


Note: The engine has been swapped 2y ago and only recently got the correct ecu. (Long story) The gearbox never saw more than 140bhp at 6500rpm before this winter, now it takes 160bhp and 7200rpm. Could it be a matter of running in?



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When you say swapped, do you know if it had the appropriate spigot bearing installed in the end of the crank? Caterhams use a sleeve and a ford bearing.

If it was a caterham supplied engine you should be OK, if it was from a scrap yard then it would have needed a new spigot bearing and sleeve.

That said, the ford spigot bearings have been known to fail too!


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This spigot bearing looks like it might be the problem. The bearing just fell out the crankshaft. It might have caused a vibration at high revs, making it hard to get to the next gear.

Other than that there are no noticeable faults to clutch or gearbox, synchro's look fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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