Lotus Elan

Toyota t50??

PostPost by: nomad » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:52 am

Wondering if anyone has looked at fitting a Toyota t50 gearbox?
They can be built with all kinds of ratios, have a separate bell housing and if one gets hold of a early box the shifter is moved to the front of the extension.
Don't know the overall dimentions and imagine someone has checked this all out but I find only a passing reference in the archives.
The box appears tough and easy to work on.

Kurt

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:55 am

It's been kicked around before a few times

T50 search on elan.net
http://www.lotuselan.net/cgi-bin/search ... oom_sort=0

There is plenty of info on it around and they are reputed to be a good box. That said if you are going to modify one to fit then fit the 4age (or 4AGZE, more is better :) ) engine too. if will save you from making the adapter and any problems that it will create.

T50 google search
http://www.google.com/search?q=toyota+t ... =firefox-a

If you want to keep the Twin Cam and don't have the 3.55 (or 3.54) Ring and pinion in the Elan then I would start there first. Fit the biggest tire diameter that you can and call it a day.

If you still want a project and have no interest in driving the Elan in the next couple years than the Tremec T5 is more than likely the easiest box to work with (with stock parts) and get the shifter close where it belongs (within an inch and a bit). The bellhousing will bolt up but the starter will hang a bot lower and may fowl the Elan crossmember under the rear of the sump. read this topic, its been done by a couple members and is not much heavier than an all iron stock box.

Twin-Cam to T5 Bellhousing Anyone?
elan-f14/twin-cam-bellhousing-anyone-t15954

T5 transmission in TTR frame
elan-f14/transmission-ttr-frame-t15977.html

Have fun, thats what these cars are for. What your idea of fun is more important than mine as it is your Elan. I just want to drive mine... :D

Gary
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:11 pm

Well, Gary, the ae86 4age swap was what I had in mind!
Also looked into the t5 swap but got to thinking the whole power unit may be the easiest. I've swapped engine and trans before and since my engine has to be gone thru anyway.........
Apparently no one has done any trial fitting's though?

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:27 am

Hi Kurt

I am not sure what your objectives are or what your S1 is like. If it were me I would be putting it back as near to as delivered as possible. I don't know what it looks like or the amount of work that you are willing or capable of doing but even a distressed S1 can be brought back to a great driver without a lot of expense (like the Sows Ear). Making other engines and gearboxes fit the Elan has not worked out well in the past and probably wont work well today. The Elan was designed around the 1500 pre-crossflow block and Ford Cortina gearbox. The engine (rear block face to the front of the pulley bolt is 19 inches long,
rear block face to front pulley bolt is 19 inches.JPG and

that is pretty short, add into that the shifter to the front of the bell housing of 17.75 inch (the bellhousing accounts for 8.2 inches of the 17.75, more memory stuff)
17 and three quarters is the critical dimension.JPG and

that does not give you a lot of options unless you would like to cut and paste sheet metal and fiberglass. My guess is the shifter location really is the key to why you don't see other swaps. Total length from the front of the pan to the shifter is less than 3 feet. We all know that you can do zetecs and duratecs (with enough money), some of the money can be exchanged for your own labor but by the time you put all that labor in and build what you want, you have possibly made something that no one else does. If that's ok with you, than do what you like, it is your Elan. It's just that it seems like now that the Elan is half a hundred years old now the rarity of the S1 (maybe half, possibly less left of the 900 built) you may want to rethink your objectives.

Build the best "near stock" Elan 1600 you can. Use the Twin Cam, the 4 speed and get a 3.54 Crownwheel and pinion and get 19 mph/1000 rpm and go have fun. When your tired of it SELL it and build the car you want, but use a dead common S4 :) .

Gary
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PostPost by: nomad » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:44 pm

Gary I'm very aware of all the fitment problems and wouldn't want to make any major modifications to the car. That d*** shifter location has been the bane of many modification attempts I'm sure.
The diff gear change makes the most sense but am wondering how streetable and how hard on clutch's that would be with the close ratio box that my S1 is supposed to have.
I'm looking at the cost of rebuilding the twink and replaceing parts I don't have. Then, once that is done, I have an engine without vac advance and from what I've heard, poor fuel economy.
Very much like to experience the S1 as Colin built it but I also like to put a lot of miles on fun to drive Brit cars and it appears that swapping the power unit may cost about the same.
So, for now, no money spent and I'm just toying with the direction i should take.

Kurt

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:06 pm

Don't imagine or speculate. Get what you have back together, drive it, then decide what YOU think it needs. If you have the basics then get it assembled. Cost is best deferred by driving what you have and then deciding what it is you think it needs.

It's not like once it is running you are done with working on it, it just that you don't have to work as much on it. I think you have what is called winter where you live, there is plenty of time to make changes AFTER you know what it is that you don't like or can't live with at that time. The parts you have you know fit and work together, if you have most of the bits than put them together and see what missing. Find those missing parts and drive it. You are reading too much of what others think, 100 hp and 1300lbs of Elan are just a lot of fun and to "explore" other possibilities before you know anything other that what a few of "us" experts say seems kind of wrong.

I leave a lot of parts off of my Elans, get the weight out mentality and keep the weight in your wallet. Sound deadening seems to be a big item that folks go overboard with, it's a roadster, there is wind noise and not a lot that can be done to eliminate it, a bit of sound deadening is not going to make a type 26 quiet. Don't make it a life long project, it will be one anyway but at least you can drive the project and get the smile that folks like me talk about. Your not building a daily driver, just a car that can go someplace and get you home (hopefully).

Gary
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:24 pm

There's a lot of wisdom in that last post. Many a car has been sidelined for years for want of making it a little better or worse yet "perfect". Mine has been down for more than thirty years and I don't even get the trophy.
Bud
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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:16 pm

Point well taken, Gary and Bud, We definetly have winter and am trying to find a place for all the stuff in my shop so the Elan can go in and be layed up for a while.
Before I do anything else I guess I will tear down the engine and see why I can't break it loose even with a long bar and many months of the bores soaking with diesel and auto trans oil in them! I can also find out if I'm lucky enough to have the 125 rods that it sounds like are a must.

Kurt

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:30 pm

I have a damaged block from being brutal with a hammer, today I would not do it that way but this was before I knew folks that have a lot more experience. Try acetone and ATF for a lube, not likely to help but may be worth a try. Not looking at what you have as it is not in front of me, I would first and foremost save the block, milling the pistons out with a Bridgeport would be high on my list as the pistons are likely junk and the rods (by the sounds of it) are likely the old small bolt ones. I might try a press but that may be on the brutal side of things. If its the original block I would do what is needed to save it at the expense of the rods and pistons.

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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:43 pm

"Expense" is the operative word, Gary!!
Will be careful with the block.

Kurt.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:29 pm

Bud English wrote:There's a lot of wisdom in that last post. Many a car has been sidelined for years for want of making it a little better or worse yet "perfect". Mine has been down for more than thirty years and I don't even get the trophy.


I guess I am the contrarian here. I have avoided a frame off restoration, first because of cost, later because I couldn't bear to take it off the road for so long. Mine needs paint, stress crack repair, carpets, dash veneer, a new pinion seal, dampers and bushings. I have the dampers, and bushings, so this winter will be the time. May also do the CV conversion since its apart.

That said, the damn thing always starts and runs well. As my friend Martin Swig said "Every mile is a joy."

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:32 pm

Kurt,
You commented:
The diff gear change makes the most sense but am wondering how streetable and how hard on clutch's that would be with the close ratio box that my S1 is supposed to have.


I had over 7,000 miles of driving on my S2 with the 3.90 diff and was contemplating another trip of over 4,000 miles so I bit the bullet and ordered the 11/43 pinon/crown combination (3.54) from Burton Power in England. It is the best thing I have ever done to my Elan. The start on a hill takes a bit of "touch" but other than that it is wonderful. Third gear is a usable overtaking gear past 70MPH and cruising there in fourth is now realistic. I learned to NOT slip the clutch but let the thing out quickly and then the torque will get you going in the lower gears. Remember the change in ratio is only just over 10% so in first and second the effect is tolerable and it is really worth it for the benefits in third and forth.

I HIGHLY recommend it :D :D
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:43 pm

Ross Robbins wrote: "so I bit the bullet and ordered the 11/43 pinon/crown combination (3.54) from Burton Power in England"

I HIGHLY recommend it :D :D


Piss-ant correction :)

- 11/43 is a 3.91 :oops:

I think you meant to type 8)
- 11/39 is a 3.54

Anyway, David (msd1107) posted this handy xls sheet and you can change things as needed to fit what ever dream you have for gears and tyres. It makes the calculations for you and all you do is plug in different size tyres rpm, gearbox ratios, different ring and pinions if there is something that you would like to see.

Davids tire diff and gearbox wide semi close.xls
(112.5 KiB) Downloaded 402 times
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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:41 pm

My last post I mentioned " expense" as the operative word. I realize I can probably do better with a bit of shopping but just a quick check puts piston's, rings, and rod's in the 2K vicinity and I haven't even begun on machining and head work.
Then sourcing a shifter cover and shift lever, spigot sleeve, throwout bearing ect.
Haven't even got to the diff yet!
I'm sorry, but a swap still dosn't look that bad!

Will see as I go along.

Kurt

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:39 pm

I am not saying that it's going to be cheap or free (thats one of my favorite words, when you look it up that's me with the shit eaten grin in the photo :D ) any how, not sure that you are too far off but $2k seems a bit high. Have you seen what Tony Ingram is offering?

http://www.lotus7.com/CP_%26_Carrillo_Parts.html

Pistons set prices start at $ 595.00

I don't know what that means but my guess is that may be close to what you should be paying for a premium set of forged pistons, I am looking at biting off the the same bullet for Tingles C production body.

I do not know the numbers that you will pay, what I do know that an S1 with a Toyota is not worth what one is with the correct (and original) Twin Cam is. If money is tight than do the labor intensive parts, that is things that you can do on your own time and put the engine on hold. I have my own money issues, I know what can and can't be done. Not a lot can be done on a zero dollar budget but sometimes you just have to do it right or wait. At this point in time, turning an Elan 1600 into a mongrel should not be in anyones thoughts. Not sure why you are not reading that.

Gary
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