Lotus Elan

Air con?

PostPost by: v7slr » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:48 pm

I hope this isn't to sacriligeous, but does anyone know a company that could provide an air con kit that would fit into the +2? I intend to use mine for Southern European touring, and it gets hot down there.

I have already Googled and found some portable units that rely on your pouring buckets of ice into them, but I'm after a proper engine driven air con unit, so I guess I need a pump/compressor, pipework, matrix and someone to fill it once it's installed (unless they can do the whole job).

Thanks.
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PostPost by: steveww » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:13 pm

Check out www.nfauto.co.uk they do a proper a/c kit.

Just saw this http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2841984 if you fancy a more radical approach.

You should have bought a rag top :wink:

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PostPost by: v7slr » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:55 pm

Thanks for the links.

I'm actually moving *from* a rag top... a Caterham in fact. I have toured in it for the past 5 year all over Europe, and it has been great fun. Recently I've noted that I don't use it as often as I used to, and following a tour we did to Italy 2 years ago where it was far too hot to be sitting in a red hot tin coffin, my wife and I decided we wanted a change. So we had a baby. :D

Baby was not the *only* reason I wanted a +2 though. I have made a lot of friends through the Se7ens List (www.se7ens.net) and wish to continue touring with them, but next time I'd like to go in a little more comfort (hence the aircon) and with my entire family. The +2, being a Lotus, has a lovely "spiritual" link to the Se7ens, and will be welcomed by that community. There's already a chap touring in a beautiful Elite and another in a Banks Europa so I'll slot in with them.

Thanks again.
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PostPost by: elansprint » Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:22 pm

I have one of the NF units in a P4 & it is quite compact i dont think it would fit in my sprint but maybe a +2. Speak to neil/matt on 01580 891309
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PostPost by: elansprint » Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:26 pm

Forgot to mention peugeot/citroen use an electric compressor under the seats might be worth a look as under bonnet space tight. Some one has done this before i remember an advert for a +2 with A/C for sale some time back
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PostPost by: v7slr » Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:26 pm

Thanks. Have emailed them and Matt has agreed to pop their installation instructions in the post for me.

I'm a little scared to admit this in the company of people who value the heritage, but I'm actually about to buy a full Spyder Zetec converted +2. I love the +2 passionately but I woud like to rely on more modern underpinnings for both an everyday car and a very long distance tourer. I'm also hooked on the power that the Caterham gives and although I won't reach anything like that with the +2, the more the better.

Anyway, this admission was partly to test the waters of acceptance here, and to point out that using the Zetec compressor and mounting ought to be slightly more straightforrward than implementing a "foreign" body into a normal Lotus installation.
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:49 am

Good for you!

I've recently finished a full Zetec conversion on my own car and it's a superb machine to drive - not as quick as a Caterham obviously but quicker than most other things.. Like yours mine is for every day use and as such it's a great car.

I'd be interested in details of your a/c conversion as it progresses so please keep us posted!
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PostPost by: v7slr » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:58 am

I suppose there's a limit where modifications become unacceptable to lovers of heritage cars but I'm in for a penny so I might as well also admit that I'm looking at a 300+bhp turbo Zetec engine. I doubt it'll fit in the engine bay (the turbo and ancilliaries look like they'll need to be installed in places already occupied) but I get all giggly at the thought os a +2 touring with the Caterhams that is actually *faster* than they are. :lol:

I've a few people interested in buying my current Caterham, and I've a test drive booked with Spyder on the 31st July, so with a favourable wind I hope to be in a new +2 before the year's out.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:39 pm

If you can fit a 300 hp turbo into a plus 2 go for it. The plus 2 chassis is one of the best handling cars in the world if properly set-up and always cried out for more hp to compenstae or its extra weight compared to an Elan and to test it to it limits. A good suspension and tyre set up on a 150 hp car would run away from most 7's in real world touring so 300 hp would really be fun.

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PostPost by: v7slr » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:51 pm

The thing I'm looking at today is whether or not I can find an alternative set of ratios for the MT75 gearbox. Spyder is using this box because it utilises a remote shift mechanism, and therefore when cut down to its shortest, will place the gear lever in the optimal place for the driver (it looks about an inch or two further back from the original location).

That's all well and good, and the MT75 is one strong box (ought to cope with a lot of torque - which will be nice if I manage to implement the turbo) but the ratios are a little irksome. First gear is way too short, the gap between that and second is large enough to fall into.

The general spread of ratios is nothing more than "OK" really. I'm used to the utterly fabulous Caterham 6-speed box which makes you literally laugh out loud as you snatch each gear and ride the wave of torque over and over again. I don't think 6 gears are strictly necessary with what I intend to be a touring car, and *definitely* unnecessary with a boosty engine, but a better spread would be nice.

Mitchell Cotts does a "Clinton" version of the MT75 (designed for some application in Iraq but cancelled by Clinton - hence the name). It has no bellhousing but as far as I can see utilises the same ratios.

Phil Stewart from Road & Race suggests I see if the Cosworth MT75 ratios are any better. Although they are from a 4x4 gearbox he says they could be rebuilt into a standard MT75 casing. Trouble is, I can't find any technical info by Googling.

Anyway, spec'ing the details of a new car is almost as fun as taking delivery and driving it. 8)
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PostPost by: steveww » Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:51 pm

For some different MT75 ratios try Quaife / Jack Knight

There are plenty of competition parts for the Type 9 may be you should fit one of those? The MT75 replaced the Type 9 so should be about the same size etc.
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PostPost by: v7slr » Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:00 pm

Sadly, no. The MT75 is very much shorter than the Type-9. The Type-9 has an integral shift mechanism whereas the MT75 utilises a remote mechanism which can be (and is) shortened for the +2 application.

Quiafe does have a dog engagement set of ratios for the MT75 but they only list it as a replacement box altogether... and for ?4700 and ?7000 respectively (2WD and 4WD). That's about ?3700 and ?6000 too expensive for me. :shock:

I'll investigate Jack Knight. Thanks for the tip. I had one of their boxes in a racing mini some years ago.

I think the problem will be simply that to change any single ratio in the MT75 means you have to change them ALL. Such is the way they are locked onto their respective shafts (if I understood people I've spoken to correctly). This means that *any* change will be expensive, but I'm not necessarily after dog engagement (definitely not), stronger gears or straight cut. I just want the same but in better ratios. This might be what ultimately defeats me but there's always the future... :lol:
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PostPost by: elansprint » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:03 pm

If you want to look at the NF A/C unit i see you are in the midlands i am in northants. As for the spyder +2 i think you have no chance with the turbo i ask the same question about cosworth turbo but no chance. I drove the +2 at bruntingthorpe it is very good but the remote change seems to work in an arc across the gate which is strange at first. You could try the 2WD cosworth borg warner T5 not sure how easy this would fit.

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PostPost by: v7slr » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:14 pm

Thanks, I've just been looking at the T5 and it appears to fit into the same hole a T9 would fit into... i.e. still to long. :(

Never mind, I'll stick with it and see what the future holds. I've had a Caterham for 6 years and it has *never* been 100% perfect for me, even though I love it and have had so many enjoyable track days and tours with it. Now I fancy a +2 for touring Europe for a while with my young family. I'm betting that in 5 years time it'll still not be 100% perfect but I'll love it all the same.

I think you're probably right that I won't be able to fit the turbo ancilliaries under the bonnet/hood of a +2, particularly as I prefer the looks of those without the bulge. Although I'm not a "heritage" buff it is important to me not to ruin the looks of such a beautiful car with vents and intakes all over the place. If this means no turbo, then I'll have to go for a DVAPower ported cylinder head, forged pistons and revs. In many ways this is probably more in keeping with the character of the original car anyway.

However a turbo is where my sights are now. I'll buy the car then see about fitting it all in.
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PostPost by: steveww » Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:08 pm

You are correct on the gear ratio thing. They come as sets and must be fitted all together. As the MT75 is a Ford box have a word with a Ford parts specialist and find out what cars Ford fitted the box in to. You often find that diffent models of car with the same box had different ratios.

IMHO turbos and fibreglass cars don't mix. All the heat from the turbo too close to the fibreglass could be rather dangerous :shock:
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