Lotus Elan

Installing a T5 in a +S

PostPost by: drtarkir » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:46 am

Thought I would pass on my experience with installing a T5 transmission in my +2S. I had read all of the existing posts on install 5 speeds. Being in the US I decided the T5 was the best option.
I found a S10 T5 for $100.00 and a Mustang unit for $75.00. I bought both off of Graig's list. Prices are all over the place but with a little patience you can find units at a decent price. The Mustang unit I have has ratios of 3.35, 1.93. 1.29, 1.00, 0.68. While these ratios, except the od are acceptable there is a T5 that was used in the 50. Mustang that has a little better ratio set. However, as fewer of them were made they are harder to find and tend to be quite a bit higher in price. As far as the 5th gear ratio it is easy enough to buy a set of overdrive gears and change that to something in the 0.80-0.85 range
After I got both of the units the first thing I did was to fit the S10 tailshaft to the Mustang box to move the shifter into a more acceptable location. Then I spent quite a bit of time measuring and playing with bellhousings and various fittings. I determined that the Mustang box input shaft was approximately 3/4" longer than the Lotus unit from the transmission face to the tip than the Lotus box. I decided that if I made an adapter plate to fit between the bell housing and the transmission that was the proper thickness I could use the original Lotus bell housing. This meant I would have fewer problems with frame clearance and could use the standard Lotus starter. For mockup I cut off the back of a Mustang bellhousing, machined it to the proper thickness and drilled holes to fit the Lotus bellhousing. While this adapter worked for mockup purposes I will have a proper adapter machined before final fitting.
Because of the input shaft differences three possible issues arise. I will probably not be able to use the original Lotus throwout bearing. This is a minor issue as there are several concentric throwout bearing that are designed for the Mustang box. Second is the fact that the pilot bearing diameter is different. Again this is a minor issue since you can easily machine a pilot bearing to the proper diameter. Finally I will have to find a Mustang disc with the proper diameter to fit the Lotus pressure plate.
There were a couple of areas in the frame that had to be cut but nothing major. I also cut a hole in the frame and body so that I could access the transmission filler plug.
The box had several fittings on it that were used as mounts in various cars. As none of these met my needs I cut all of them off. This made for better clearance when installing. For the rear mount I bought several low profile mounts from Summit. I found one that fit and machined a bracket to fit it to the transmission.
Next up was the shifter. I bought a short throw adapter for a Mustang that has a stub handle to attach a shift lever to. Since the tailshaft housing cutout is different for the S10 I had to modify the baseplate of the adapter to fit the different bolt pattern. I put the Lotus transmission in the frame and made a template that showed me the exact location including angle and height of the original Lotus shifter. Then I took my Lotus shifter and cut off the portion that holds the anti-sizzle bushing and the lever. I then made an adapter that fit the stub on the short throw adapter that I could weld the piece I cut off of the original Lotus shifter. By using the template I ended up with the shift lever located within 1/8? of the original including height and angle and I was able to retain the anti-sizzle bushing.
For the shift boot I was able to retain the original to mount on the console. For the external boot I found one from Summit that fit the short throw adapter.
The S10 unit that I bought had an electronic speedometer output. I am able to mount the reducter ring to the Mustang output shaft. There are several units available that can take the electrical signal and convert it to a cable drive. In this manner I will be able to use the original speedometer. I am also looking into the possibility of getting a GPS enabled unit that will drive a cable output.
I have talked to a driveshaft shop in the area and they can shorten my shaft and fit the proper u-joint at the front. They say that there is no problem with having different joints at the front and rear as long as they are aligned and balanced properly.
While time consuming I found that this swap in not nearly as hard as I was lead to believe after reading the existing posts. Also, since I have a milling machine, lathe and MIG welder I was able to do all of the work to this point myself. For the final installation I will have a machine shop make a more accurate adapter and machine the pilot bearing. While I have probably spent 25-30 hours on this I could do another in less than half the time, now that I know exactly what is necessary. I estimate the total cost will be about $750 unless I find a 5.0 box at a decent price and purchase it. Although the car is still a long way from being on the road I am very pleased with this part.
Attachments
p1010009.jpg and
p1010007.jpg and
p1010005.jpg and
p1010003.jpg and
p1010001.jpg and
0717161731a.jpg and
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:02 am

Thanks much for the write up. I look forward to seeing the final install details.

Perhaps when you get to the point of having an adaptor machined, you could have a few extra made up. I'm sure a few of us would be interested.
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:40 am

Very nice on the shifter. More pics are needed, such as the mount(s), frame mods and bellhousing
adapter. I had also thought of a T5 and liked the ratios of a mid to late 80s GM box. 1st gear is 2.97 and 5th is something like .75 (can't remember exactly). Just need to use the Ford case and swap everything else in.

Looking forward to future installments :)
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:59 am

Hi All

this bellhousing is a direct fit T5 to T/C

http://www.rwdmotorsport.com/pinto-or-c ... using.html

Cheers
Dave
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:03 pm

This link lists al the ratios available.

http://www.britishv8.org/articles/borg- ... d-tags.htm

I believe a Camaro box has the shifter in the same place as the S10 chevy

Dave
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:37 pm

Wow, this looks really exciting and encouraging! I'm definitely interested!
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:10 pm

Pics of std box and T5 with bellhousing.

dave
Attachments
010.jpg and
009.jpg and
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:31 am

David,

Am curious to know what is your solution for slave cylinder, given it appears the stock setup won't work.

Also, have you found a suitable clutch disk to work with the stock pressure plate, or have you gone with a whole new clutch assembly?
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:58 am

I had a 1995 Nissan 300ZX Turbo with a pre World Class T5. It shifted like crap, and you almost had to double clutch to keep from beating the syncros. I hope someone with a WC version will chime in on their experiences.
Rob Walker
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PostPost by: drtarkir » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:45 pm

The concentric throwout bearings are a self contained hydraulic unit. There is no slave cylinder. You just plumb the line straight into the unit

The world class T5 trans shifts are very clean. I put one into a 1965 Mustang and loved it. Shifts were clean and crisp. In the Lotus with the short throw adapter it feels fine.

Ford made several sizes of clutch discs that fit the T5 input shaft. There is a 8.8" one available . My Lotus has a 8" flywheel. I can either convert to a 8.5" flywheel or cut down the 8.8" disc on a lathe. Another option is to have a custom unit made. In the states there a lot of speed shops that can make up custom discs for fairly reasonable prices.

There were 3 areas where i had to cut the frame. Two access holes for the rear mount, the area around the shifter, and in the inner tunnel. Access to the filler was OK through existing frame cutouts. I just added a hole in the interior of the car.

Dennis
Attachments
p1010006.jpg and
p1010005.jpg and
p1010003.jpg and
p1010002.jpg and
p1010001.jpg and
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PostPost by: nomad » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:43 am

If you take a close look at the construction of your clutch disc it might be quite easy to swap one center drive for another yourself. In many cases just a matter of removing and reriveting. I haven't got the two to compare but most clutch plate center's are very similiar.

Nice to see there is another 5 speed option since with modern highway speeds having one is almost a necessity. 80MPH posted freeway speeds here in So Dak and everyone running over that.

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:21 pm

Dennis,

Thanks for the report. I am in the process of installing an MT75 gearbox. Over here I n the UK Ford fitted these 5 speed boxes to a few vehicles, and I have chosen the box fitted to a Scorpio. One of my difficulties is with the electric speedometer output from the gearbox. Like you I want to retain the original mechanical speedometer. You mention that there are adaptors to convert an electrical signal to a cable drive. Could you please tell me who makes these adaptors.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:29 pm

No experience with it, just doing a lot of reading for now
http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/ ... prd886.htm
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:20 pm

Dave Hughes
S2 26R
Elan DHC Sprint
Shapecraft Honda powered S1(in progress)
Turbocharged 26R clone (also in progress)
Evora 400 development car ex Lotus Factory
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:41 pm

Greg,

Thanks for the reference to Dakota Digital. Looks a bit expensive, but I suppose that's what I should expect.

Does anyone have experience of this device that will run an old mechanical speedometer from an electrical output on the transmission.

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