Lotus Elan

5 Speed Gearbox for Early Elan Engine?

PostPost by: hbferrariguy123 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:31 am

Hello.
I have a Elan engine with a 4 speed gearbox that I going to be using in a car other than a Elan and would like to upgrade the gearbox to a 5 speed. I have spoken to a few people looking for suggestions but they were all none Lotus owners so the advise I received was their experience with different gearboxes but none mounted to an Elan engine. Therefore I'm asking for any input that might help me determine which, if any, gearbox is best suited to work with an Elan engine. I realize there might be extensive modifications required to the mounting points to the engine and also the frame I'll be using but I'm okay with that.
So, if there's anyone with actual experience with adapting a 5 speed gearbox to an Elan engine please help me out.
Any and all assistance will be appreciated!
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:03 am

I have installed a Lotus 5 speed gearbox in my '68 s4se, which had a 3.77:1 diff ratio, and find the result a good compromise for a road car: I use only the first four gears on occasional track days, and the fifth let me cruise at maximum highway speed (130 km/h) at about 3600 rpm with my current tires (about 3500 with tires closer to stock). My car was quite original to start with, I did not want to depart too much from that and not do major irreversible modifications to it, so staying 100% Lotus was the obvious choice. You will find a number of threads on this forum to detail most aspects of the many routes that have been explored to the same end.
For that particular modification most aspects are in the paper by Victor Hollnagel (I also did the concentric clutch slave modification at the same time, using a Saab 900 part) :

http://gglotus.org/ggtech/elan-5spd/elan5spd.pdf
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PostPost by: JohnP » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:16 am

Try

www.alanvoigtsgearboxes.co.uk

No experience of them myself but believe they have been producing these for years.

John
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:34 am

This company has a bellhousing for a twin cam to T5 adaption
http://www.rwdmotorsport.com/pinto-or-c ... using.html

Many variations of a T5 but the T5Z box has ratios similar to the Elan's 4 speed box, with the advantage
of an OD. You didn't mention what type of car it's going in but most of the Fox body Mustangs have
a T5 with a 3.31 first gear which is ideal for a relatively heavy car.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:36 am

Any of the Ford 5 speed gearboxes of the era and later ( e.g. type 5 or type 9 etc) that used the same bell housing pattern as for the Kent series engine can be relatively easily fitted to the Elan engine that used the same basic block. Fitting these to an Elan involve extra changes due to the tight space and gear lever location but fitting them to another car along to a twin cam engine will probably be much easier. Most of these boxes have too low a first gear ratio for an Elan but that lower first gear will suit the typically heavier weight of the alternate car you are planning using it in.

cheers
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:01 pm

JohnP wrote:Try

http://www.alanvoigtsgearboxes.co.uk
No experience of them myself but believe they have been producing these for years.

John


I fitted my Voigts T9 in 2004, replacing a Lotus 5-speed which replaced the original 4-speed.

I did the original installation of this gearbox in a Spyder +2 chassis

I subsequently fitted the 1.98 1st gear conversion, (which could now be ordered with a new gearbox)

Another big advantage is the concentric clutch release.

The original 'top hat' reverse detent shown on the website photo interfered with fitting the gearbox/engine as a unit, and is now located on the left side of the tail housing. When I had Alan Voigts make this mod on my gearbox, I discovered it now interfered with a diagonal in the Mark I Spyder chassis, necessitating replacing the diagonal with a flanged panel.

Alan Voigts is very helpful, but does not do email !

I have been racing and hillclimbing for the last 8 years, with no problems.

I am really happy with this gearbox :)
68 Elan +2, 70 Elan +2s
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PostPost by: TomR » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:22 pm

I'm a fan of the BorgWarner T5 - very robust and quite light. You can get a 2.95 first gear which is what I have. The Ford mainshaft tip is larger than the standard twin cam pilot bushing by about 2-3mm. I had the shaft turned down while building the box but it may be possible to fit a thinner pilot bushing or get a different flywheel. I used a bellhousing from an SVO mustang with the 2.3L turbo engine, but others with the 2.3L, like the period Thunderbird, also work. The top 2 holes don't match up so I had to weld on a couple of ears. Other bellhousings may be available now. I also use a concentric throwout bearing, from McLeod in my case. TomR
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PostPost by: hbferrariguy123 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:59 pm

WOW! I am so thrilled with all your responses! To find that I can purchase a bell housing that will allow me to bolt a T5 to my Elan engine is outstanding.
I'm in the planning stage of my next car build so I have plenty of time to determine what options I have and which will be best for my application.The car I'm planning on putting the Elan engine in is a 1949 MG TC. Even though I have the complete TC engine, gearbox and a Judson supercharger I think the car would be happier with a Lotus twin cam engine. I know I will be!
I'm finishing a rebuild of a 1978 Lotus Esprit S1 which is now quite modified including Turbo style body panels and a aluminum Buick V8 engine. I'm hoping the Esprit will be completed early next year then after a short break I'll start on the MG/Lotus. Of course I have to sell the Esprit to finance the MG project, but that's OK.
Thanks again for all your valuable input. :D
Lou
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:45 pm

The T5 can be fitted with a bellhousing that fits exactly to the Twin Cam.
Available from RWD Motorsport in the UK

Pics for comparison
This is link to all the ratios in the T5 boxes
http://www.britishv8.org/articles/borg- ... d-tags.htm

The box in the pic is the 1352-249 Ford Tremec competition box with the 2.95 first and an overdrive of .63 for motorway cruising!
Cheers
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:23 pm

despite being all ally if its anything like an MT75 box it will weigh a ton compared to the all steel Anglia box.

And has there ever been a gearbox with a better gearchange than the single or three rail Ford ones?

Ok my Vauxhall Viva one did but no way would that take the multiple increases of torque over the standard vehicle that the Ford ones do.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:12 am

A T/C in a TC? Nah...

Use the blower and do it right and you will have a car worth more and just as much fun to drive for less. You can get a 5 speed from Moss to fit the TC.

Just my opinion.
(As a classic car appraiser)
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PostPost by: hbferrariguy123 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:14 am

Thanks again for everyone?s input.
As far as building the car with its original drivetrain and adding the supercharger that would be the most logical, responsible thing to do but after building/restoring many cars over the past 5o+ years I?m looking at the TC project as my last one. Most of the cars I?ve done in the past were restoration projects with many of them being award winners. So for my last build I just want to do something for myself, something with some wow factor and something that could be a fun ride. As far as value I agree that restoring it back to (or better then) factory condition would be the smartest thing to do but like I said, this build is for me to enjoy regardless of the value when done.
So I?ll just keep going forward with the intentions of doing the engine swap, at least until I run into major hurdles or someone talks some sense to me.
Thanks again for all the information, I deeply appreciate it.
Lou
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:29 am

Okay! I have done pretty well the same thing-just so long as you are aware of the costs/consequences. :)
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:10 pm

Chancer wrote:despite being all ally if its anything like an MT75 box it will weigh a ton compared to the all steel Anglia box.


Actually they are quite close in weight. When fitting a T5z to my ?lan, I weighed the complete (w/ bell housing, shifter, and clutch release) of both the 4 speed and 5 speed. The T5 was surprisingly only about 5 pounds heavier.

It is a much larger 'box than the original, and will require some chassis surgery in the 'v notch' shifter area for shifter clearance and a new chassis mount arrangement, along with input shaft mods as already mentioned.
Steve

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Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Thanks for that Bitsobrits.

I have been swayed by the weight of the MT75 box and Sierra diff vs the Anglia ?quivalents.

They are far more robust and reliable but come at a severe weight penalty, both of which have nearly crushed me when I wrongly assumed that I could support and remove them while on my back as I had always done before.
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