This is Philip from Dallas with a question regarding my '94 Lotus Esprit's gear change mechanism.
Towards the end of my last drive, I could tell my reverse inhibitor blocking pin broke, which is just a cheap piece of plastic that is intended to keep me from accidentally shifting into reverse when targeting second gear. I realized this was the case after having more trouble than usual shifting between first, second, and reverse while trying to parallel park on an inclined street. Replacing this plastic piece is not a problem, but what it's initial failure may have caused is why I have come to you!
Fortunately, I did not shift into reverse while accelerating forward, but now I am unable to completely change gears after starting up the car! I don't know if it's possible the clutch alignment is off due to the parallel parking fiasco after the reverse inhibitor went AWOL. I can change the gears while the engine is off, and also start the car in any gear. However, if I start the car in neutral, then I can't change gears at all. 1st-5th gear feel completely blocked off, and I hear grinding when I try to engage reverse.
I've taken a quick look at my gear change cables, translator, and paired bell crank levers, which all seem to be in working condition. The clutch master fluid for the hydraulics seems to be full, but I suspect there may be an issue with the slave cylinder. I'll flush the clutch fluid today just to be certain, and also check for leaks - maybe this'll solve the problem since the clutch seem to be partially (dis)engaged. I may be dealing with two separate issues, but sought an expert's opinion on the next steps before I tear apart the whole car. Supposedly the clutch was replaced not long ago... I just hope it's not a transmission failure!