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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
When I got my spider in summer 2019, I knew the rear gear was slippery and that the rear light were intermittent. Sometimes they work sometimes not.
I have the feeling that this is not coming from the transmission nor the light switch inside the transmission but from the gear shift rubber boot that has been changed.
1-did someone experience such problem from a new boot?
2- Would anyone have tips about how to check this without removing the whole central dash? Can I access the shift boot simply or even remove it for a test?
Cheers
Francois
 

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check to see if the centre consul is loose or messing with the shift lever,, take off the ' leather shift boot, and move the lever around
 

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you can test the back up (reverse) lights quite easily.....
there are 2 wires coming out the bellhousing which have spade connections just after where they are clamped to the side of the gearbox.
reverse light cables.jpg
Undo those 2 spade connectors and simply join the wires that lead off to the rear of the car...now turn on the ignition.
If the lights light up, it is most likely a bad switch in the bellhousing, if they still do not light up there is a problem with the wiring or bulb sockets etc.
intermittent reverse lights sure sounds like the switch.....either sticking or oil contamination.
Not much you can do, gearbox out to replace!
....or rewire a manually operated back up switch as I have been running with for the last 10 years (still waiting for my clutch to go bad!)

what do you mean by "rear gear was slippery"..........you mean when you select reverse gear and try to drive backwards it slips out of gear?
 

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There is no real way to avoid removing the console. The shift boot is clipped to the chrome surround inside the console. Then there is a rubber boot clamped to the shift tower of the gearbox. Inside there, the shift lever is clamped in place by a pinch bolt. Sometimes the bolt is not tight enough and the shift lever will slip sideways as Bianchi is suggesting. This may cause reverse to not fully engage, which would cause both problems as suspected.

I'm not so familiar with Spiders, but removing the console has to be described somewhere on the forum. It involves:
  • Yanking and twisting the shift knob off, it is a press fit.
  • Removing the two heater control knobs which are slipped on the levers
  • Unscrewing the heater lever assembly
  • Removing whatever screws hold the console in place
  • Pulling off the console and disconnecting the switch harness - one or two connectors inside
  • Disconnecting the two fan wires at the fan motor.

At least that's what it is on a GTV, not so hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
you can test the back up (reverse) lights quite easily.....
there are 2 wires coming out the bellhousing which have spade connections just after where they are clamped to the side of the gearbox.
View attachment 1676346
Undo those 2 spade connectors and simply join the wires that lead off to the rear of the car...now turn on the ignition.
If the lights light up, it is most likely a bad switch in the bellhousing, if they still do not light up there is a problem with the wiring or bulb sockets etc.
intermittent reverse lights sure sounds like the switch.....either sticking or oil contamination.
Not much you can do, gearbox out to replace!
....or rewire a manually operated back up switch as I have been running with for the last 10 years (still waiting for my clutch to go bad!)

what do you mean by "rear gear was slippery"..........you mean when you select reverse gear and try to drive backwards it slips out of gear?
I did check the two wires and yes the light turn on when they are connected. yes it could be the switch as well rather than the rubber boot.
yes it slips out of gear when I drive backward. if I keep my hand on the shift lever without force (just the weight of my hand) it does not slip.

I was just examining the possibility that the shift lever cannot go back enough because of the rubber boot, thus explaining the slippery rear gear and the rear light that do not switch on.
 

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I replaced all of the boots and such on my shift column and when i put everything back, the reverse will slip out occasionally. It also is still leaking so I suspect something came loose. All in all, yes it can probably cause the issue, and no there isn't a way around yoinking all of the dash out. Thus, why I have avoided the problem over the winter months. Not sure i'd suggest keeping your hand on it, sounds like it could cause issues for the synchros if pushed down too hard.
 

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I did check the two wires and yes the light turn on when they are connected. yes it could be the switch as well rather than the rubber boot.
yes it slips out of gear when I drive backward. if I keep my hand on the shift lever without force (just the weight of my hand) it does not slip.

I was just examining the possibility that the shift lever cannot go back enough because of the rubber boot, thus explaining the slippery rear gear and the rear light that do not switch on.
It could be that the rear mount is sagging causing the console to interfere with the shifter. This was more of an issue on 1985 and earlier models. It seems that the redesign of the console alleviated some of that. Also, the console may have a little wiggle room.
If left unattended and having to hold the shifter in reverse can result in wear on the shift fork and enough damage that you will have to remove the gearbox and rebuild the reverse part of it. Eventually the gearbox will get worse and even jump out of reverse even when you try to hold it in reverse.
I had to remove and rework a gearbox a couple of years ago just for that reason.
Been there and done that
 
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