Lotus Elan

Twin-Cam to T5 Bellhousing Anyone?

PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:12 pm

And, you can get them modded to take 600 ft-lbs if needed, for your Elan funny car. :shock:
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:03 pm

worzel wrote:You'll probably find that 0.82 for 5th might even be slightly low!. I've a Type 9 in a std spec sprint with a 5th gear speed of 22.7 mph/1000 revs. Occasionally I find myself looking for 6th- honestly- so much so that later this year I'm going to do a further mod to change 5th to 0.75 to give 24.9 mph/1000 revs.John


John, I understand your point entirely. Every five speed equipped car I have ever owned left me fishing for sixth on occasion. My current six speeder could use a seventh from time to time.
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:04 pm

Just to muddle things a bit, I thought when I looked into a T5 for the Elan 5 years ago that I found a Ford application of the T5 with the 1.6 liter kent engine. It is all kind of fuzzy now, but it could have been the last years of the pinto.

So a bellhousing may already be out there.

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PostPost by: lotuselanman » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:19 pm

Gidday,
I have a friend here in Australia who when living in the UK fitted a 'T9' Ford box to his Spyder chassised S3 Elan, He moved the gear lever to the correct Elan position, also upgraded first gear ratio. He is more than pleased with it and would never go back to the 4 speed or use a Lotus / BMC 5 speed.
If anyone would like me to pass on any questions I would be only too happy.
Lastly talk of using aT5 box, why ? The basic Ford 200E is a strong unit as is the T5 box. These cars are very light and fitting a T5 unless you are also fitting a Sierra Turbo or a BDG to me is total over kill also unneccesaryly expenceive and complex.
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:52 pm

lotuselanman wrote:Lastly talk of using aT5 box, why ? The basic Ford 200E is a strong unit as is the T5 box. These cars are very light and fitting a T5 unless you are also fitting a Sierra Turbo or a BDG to me is total over kill also unneccesaryly expenceive and complex.


As pointed out by Gary and others, availability (new and used) in the states is the big motivator - then, reasonable cost (esp. used/rebuilt), robust aftermarket, good 1-4 ratios with a variety of OD ratios available, etc. My impression is that the basic, older T-5 is rated at about 240 ft-lbs and that the more recent incarnations have been beefed up (and perhaps physically enlarged) to handle the stronger V8s. The research here is being done by others (notably Russ Newton) but that's my take on it.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:02 pm

garyeanderson wrote:
I have hefted T5's T9's and elan 4speeds, I thinks there all heavy.
The 4 speed is close 70 lbs with the Iron bell, I think the T9 is around 85 and the t5 95 to 105. My bad memory aside, its not that much. The main reason to go withe the T5 is there available here in the U.S. and they have some good ratios available here in the U.S. The best you can do is the merkur box and that will need a lot of work. Or you could send $4k to Alan, then you need some decent ratios for another $2000 to 3000. That aint ever going to happen. A $250 (or what ever it is) adapter plate and the appropreate companion flange adapted to the Elan propellor shaft and some form of off the shelf concentric bearing. This is something that an Elan owner can and would (well maybe, possibly) be willing to pay for. It would be best if that person didn't have to pay all at once and could source the parts as they needed to get them, locally where possible.


Russ has emailed me (about my bad memory) that his Plus2 stock gearbox with iron bell and the rest of the components is 80 pounds, The T5 is 75 pounds as claimed in all of the online info that Russ and I could find. That would be no bell ,stick, or fluids. If you used the stock twin cam bellhousing at 18 pounds and another couple of pounds for the concentric throwout bearing and adapter plate you may well end up only 20 to 25 pounds over the stock box. An alloy bell would get the difference back closer to 10 to 12 pounds.
Thats beer and french fry terretory folks. :)
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: Gearbox weights

My T9 (SPC version, should be the same weight as a regular T9) - no bell, stick, or fluids - was 58/59 lbs on the FedEx scale.

I recently got a low mileage Merkur T9 complete with bell and stick ($300+!) but haven't weighed it yet.

Rohan reported a weight of 24.4kg/53.8lbs for a TC gearbox http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15794

I had been told in the past that the TC gearbox was quite a bit lighter than the T9, but if these weights are correct, 6lbs is not that much.

Of course, if you are going for a lightweight, the TC gearbox case can be had in aluminum and magnesium, and the bellhousing in aluminum and magnesium also. The T9 gearcase and top plate can be had in aluminum. The usual T9 to TC bellhousing is in aluminum. Both of these would widen the weight difference between these two and the T5 for those of you who have already taken out the spare tire and are using an Odyssey battery to save weight.

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:47 pm

msd1107 wrote:Re: Gearbox weights

My T9 (SPC version, should be the same weight as a regular T9) - no bell, stick, or fluids - was 58/59 lbs on the FedEx scale.

I recently got a low mileage Merkur T9 complete with bell and stick ($300+!) but haven't weighed it yet.

Rohan reported a weight of 24.4kg/53.8lbs for a TC gearbox http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15794

I had been told in the past that the TC gearbox was quite a bit lighter than the T9, but if these weights are correct, 6lbs is not that much.

Of course, if you are going for a lightweight, the TC gearbox case can be had in aluminum and magnesium, and the bellhousing in aluminum and magnesium also. The T9 gearcase and top plate can be had in aluminum. The usual T9 to TC bellhousing is in aluminum. Both of these would widen the weight difference between these two and the T5 for those of you who have already taken out the spare tire and are using an Odyssey battery to save weight.

David
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David

Your alternative is great but its expensive. Both options (T9 and 4 speed) in aluminum or magnesium will be lighter by some amount if you cary either to the extream. My alloy bell, gear case and tailshaft for the 4 speed cost $1500 10 years ago. Probably double now. Lets stop all this which is better stuff and see what it will take to make 10 or so kits. Do a proto with junkyard parts for a proof of concept and see what the costs end up being. If its cheap enough who cars about 15 or 20 pounds, If your that concerned about it, it can be lost else where.

p.s. - My murkur box is 87 pounds with everything as it cam out. The T9 included alloy bell, shifter, fork, bearing, oompanion flange and very little fluid.
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PostPost by: johnc » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:50 am

I thought I would share some T5 info and thoughts. I was going to post a table I put together, but I can't find a way to posted without the formating being upset (i.e white space eliminate).

The key number in the table is the approximate distance from the transmission front face to the shift stick. For the 4-speed Elan I measured 10.75", and for a T5 with a S10 tailhousing based on Internet info I get 11.74". In otherwords, everything else equal the T5 S-10 arrangement would move the shift stick back by 1".

See the second table at http://www.flatheadv8.org/t5-swap.htm for T5-S10 dimensions. I think a S-10 tailhousing will interchange with the Mustang T5. Also see the interesting photo at the above site about 3/4 the way down which visual shows the difference between, a 1939 ford box, a T5 S-10. and a Mustang T5.

Now goto http://www.inliners.org/Jack/T5tech.html, checkout photo 1 and 2. In photo 2 which visually compares a T5 S-10 tailhousing with a T5 Mustang tailhousing. Note the forward shift position of the S-10. Also note the forward position of the speedo takeoff compared to the Mustang tailhousing.

Any know whether or not an L shaped shift lever could be adapted to the T5 S-10 so as to move the vertical leg 1" forward? Also does the forward speedo takeoff location solve the frame interference with a mechanical drive as mentioned earlier?

I have been thinking a bit about sand casting and wondering if a bellhousing pattern could be developed by reshaping a bellhousing by using fiber-filled bondo. Anyone have knowledge in this area?

Also, other than input shaft issues, would it be feasible reduce the depth of the bellhousing by 1"?
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PostPost by: tower of strength » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:14 am

Rob_LaMoreaux wrote:Just to muddle things a bit, I thought when I looked into a T5 for the Elan 5 years ago that I found a Ford application of the T5 with the 1.6 liter kent engine. It is all kind of fuzzy now, but it could have been the last years of the pinto.

So a bellhousing may already be out there.

Rob


the standard Sierra cosworth bellhousing will mate the T5 to a Twincam, the starter is on the wrong side however and the clutch is cable operated on the sierra. The gearbox is also quite bulky, wider and deeper than a type 9 from memory.

Burtons used to supply Flowtec bellhousings for various applications, the T5 being one, however I havent spoken to them recently.

Just for reference, all 4cylinder Iron block Ford engines share the same bolt pattern with the Twink(its a Ford block after all),

hope this helps

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PostPost by: johnc » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:43 pm

I found some info on the Tremec TR-3550 transmission. The info is from the service manual which can be found at http://www.ttcautomotive.com/English/products/TR-3550.asp.

The TR-3550 has three shifter locations, front, mid, and rear which positions the shifter 7.02", 12.68", and 19.52" rearward from the font face. The Elan shifter is located 10.75" from the transmission front face. The overall length of the unit is 24" compared to the Elan's 24.5". However, the weight is about 25 pounds more than the T5, and apparently is somewhat larger in width and height.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:22 pm

johnc wrote:I found some info on the Tremec TR-3550 transmission. The info is from the service manual which can be found at http://www.ttcautomotive.com/English/products/TR-3550.asp.

The TR-3550 has three shifter locations, front, mid, and rear which positions the shifter 7.02", 12.68", and 19.52" rearward from the font face. The Elan shifter is located 10.75" from the transmission front face. The overall length of the unit is 24" compared to the Elan's 24.5". However, the weight is about 25 pounds more than the T5, and apparently is somewhat larger in width and height.


Hi John

If the T5 with a S10 tailshaft housing and shifter is with in an inch. Lets finish looking at this option before we move on to larger boxs that we don't need. Expensive options ar available presently from England, lets try to work on getting a "thrifty U.S. version"into a prototype form. Please let us know when your ebay 2.3 T5 bellhousing arives, better photos would be good too.

Gary
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PostPost by: johnc » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:59 pm

Good reference for T5 identification:

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Borg-Warner-T5-ID-Tags.htm

Located on the U.K. site no less. The ratios under the column labeled 4th I should read 1.0 or 1:1, not 1.1, I presume.

And a good reference for GM F-Body T5s is:

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/transmissions-drivetrain/444098-t5-faq-everything-we.html

The key point here is the internals for the GM and Ford T5s are identical, but externally they are different.
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:53 am

Russ Newton in one post feels the .82 5th gear is too tall, and in another post wishes he had a 6th gear. John (worzel) also feels 5th is too low.

If you take a 155-13 tire, 3.55 diff, .82 5th gear ratio, you get around 158mph at 7000, 147 at 6500. It would take a pretty well prepared FHC to run out of revs with this setup. 4000 is 90, and 3000 is 68.

Every body has their car set up differently - tire sizes, diff ratios, red lines, etc. So enclosed is a spreadsheet that allows you to fiddle to your hearts content, and also see what cruising speed you get at lower RPMs.

If you are looking at 5th to be a cruising overdrive, you can plug in the various T5 5th gears ratios available by following links toward the end of this post.

Talk about a 6-speed to get an even higher overdrive is sort of getting off topic. You would like to have over drive ratios on the top two ratios, but I don't know how many 6-speeds are made this way. To get the higher cruising speed, you would have to get a higher diff ratio to accomplish this, which could also be done with the 5-speed conversion.

Well, no answers.

David
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:50 am

With respect to the T5 transmission in an Elan, there has been some discussion of possible clearance problems with the standard Lotus chassis because of the larger dimensions of the T5 transmission.

However, what about mounting the transmission in a Spyder chassis?

Enclosed are some pictures of a T9 transmission in a recent Spyder chassis. (It iw known that the T9 does not fit the older Spyder chassis. One of the pictures looks down the center part of the Spyder chassis so you can see how Spyder modified the center section to allow for the T9 to fit.)

The first pictures are of a trial fit of a SPC T9 only.

Later, Erik Berg brought over a TC block and a T9 to TC bell, and the later pictures are of the trial fit of that combination.

As you can see, the chassis is pretty well filled up with the transmission. It takes a steady hand to thread the transmission through the narrow opening. I didn't think to measure the clearance (was just glad it fit!), but there isn't much.

I guess we need to get some measurements of the two transmissions, both width and height

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