Lotus Elan

Transmission questions

PostPost by: 264889socal » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:45 am

Greetings all.....

I am in need of a little assistance. Spent the afternoon removing the engine and trans from my S2. Now understand the term "bellhousing jam". Upon inspection I found some discrepancies. First, the spacers shown in the Buckland book between the transmission mount and the rubber mounting, were not installed, DPO. Making them is no problem, however I need a dimension of the thickness. Appears to be between .375" and .500".

Second, the parts manual shows the bolt in the lower left position on the shift lever mounting plate to double as a vent. This was missing as well. Since I was experiencing some fluid loss from various locations such as the shift lever retaining cap and the rear seal, I am wondering if heat/pressure build up is forcing the fluid out. If anyone can describe the vent bolt I will fabricate a replacement. Also, is there a better location for this vent?

The shift lever retaining cap on the transmission is steel. All references are to a plastic unit. Is one better than the other?

Now to fix the jumping out of 4th gear........

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Rob Walker
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:52 am

Hello Rob, the breather bolt consists of a bolt with a hole through it and it also has a cap on the top to prevent dirt entry, easy enough to drill a bolt, weld/braze a tube (brake pipe for instance) and attach a rubber tube to that.
I think I have a spacer somewhere, I'll see if I can find it later and measure unless someones got one handy.
As far as I know the early cars had the metal cap on the gear lever and I dont think they even had the gear lever with the anti vibration bush.
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breather boilt 1 (Large).JPG and
breather bolt 2.JPG and
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PostPost by: Dag-Henning » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:58 am

- "Rob Walker" in a "Lotus-relation" give me good wibs......!!!! :D

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:27 pm

264889socal wrote:Greetings all.....

Making them is no problem, however I need a dimension of the thickness. Appears to be between .375" and .500".

Rob Walker


The original spacers are 7/16" thick, 1 1/8" OD, with a clearance hole for a 5/16" bolt. That is the easy part. The new problem is that currently available mounts are dimensionally different from the originals. The new mounts have less height, meaning that the tail shaft housing will sit lower in the chassis. I have not got this all sorted out yet but I think we need spacers somewhere between 5/8" and 11/16" with the new mounts. I have looked at mounts from numerous vendors and they all seem to have this problem. I have also had to drill out the center hole. My gearbox is a late snap-ring type and the attachement bolt is 12 mm as in a Ford Type 9 gearbox. The new mounts come drilled for a smaller fastener. It never ends.
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PostPost by: 264889socal » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:00 pm

Thanks for all the help. The Elan seems to be a continuing quest to get it correct.

I look at the pictures in both the early and late parts manual and they show, what appears to be a 1" square section of tubing on top of the mount. There is also the reference to a spacer to be included if the transmission is a rally type. I find my mount is 1 1/2" from the mounting face to the chassis to the top of the mount. I guess the question should be, what is the distance from the chassis mounting face to the bottom of the rubber mount????

The transmission seems to be a later unit, as it has a bolt in place of the reverse switch. Took a while to figure out why there was a bolt in that location. Since I haven't taken started the disassembly, would this indicate it is a "snap ring" type rather than a securing nut type?

Brian - Thought about something similar to what you suggest with a pig tail wound into the tube. Not sure about the clearance when reinstalling the engine.

Russ - I have found 12 point bolts to be the answer to locations where restricted clearance is present. They work well on the fabricated header, which has restricted clearance around the head of the bolt. The only negative is they are black oxide coated and subject to rusting. Fortunately I have a good friend who is in the restoration business and has constant loads going to a plating shop, so I toss them in and they come back all bright and clear.with a zinc coating. Tossed the header in with a load to his powder coater and should get it back today.

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:04 pm

264889socal wrote:The transmission seems to be a later unit, as it has a bolt in place of the reverse switch. Took a while to figure out why there was a bolt in that location. Since I haven't taken started the disassembly, would this indicate it is a "snap ring" type rather than a securing nut type? Rob Walker


Hmmmm, not sure what the reversing lamp switch mount signifies in terms of gearbox revision. The parts book does not even cover the snap ring style of gearbox although they were the standard fitment at least by 1971. My parts book is a late edition and should cover this change. I guess Chapman didn't want to spend money on keeping the manuals current. My comments about the spacer thicknesses certainly apply to the +2. I have shop and parts manuals for both Elan and +2. I should compare them tonight so that I don't feed you bad information.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:16 pm

Rob,
I checked both my Elan and +2 service parts list yesterday. Both lists are late publication (circa 1974). The gearbox mounting bracket and spacers seem to be the same for both although the part numbers introduce the usual level of confusion. The Elan and +2 lists show the bracket as D026 A 0002 and D026 F 0002, respectively, for all series. They parts look the same in both illustrations. Why Lotus associated it with the chassis "A" for the Elan and the gearbox "F" for the +2 beats me, in both cases the parts are shown in the chassis section. The spacers are 050 B 1000 for both Elan and +2, all series. Here again, why "B" denoting the body section? I didn't see any reference to a "rally" gearbox in my Elan service parts list. The bottom line is that the service parts lists make me think the original spacers for the Elan should be 7/16" thick.
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PostPost by: 264889socal » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:52 am

I need all of you to say a little prayer or what ever. The fires in San Diego County are burning with vengence like I have never seen in all my
years living is Southern California. As of 15 minutes ago 50mph winds were sending a raging fire to within less than a quarter mile upwind from the house. The house sits at the top of a ridge. Couldn't evacuate the Elan, engine and transmission are out and the car is on stands. The race car, enclosed car hauler and the Infinity G35 Coupe are still at the house along with all our possessions. Was able to call the house telephone number and my answering machine answered. Whew...... 400,000 people have been evacuated in the area. A dozen or more fires are burning in the county. We are holding our breath the fire gods will not choose our home of the past 33 years.

Will keep you posted

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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:21 am

ok ----prayers said ----hope ever thing goes well for you ----ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: elandoc » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:03 am

Hi Rob,
Our thoughts are with you from Downunder, where we have a bit of experience with bushfires. My advice - STAY AND FIGHT. A properly prepared house with a desperate owner has been shown to resist many a fire - the only exception being in a fire storm. Good Luck.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:49 am

Patrick --this is more like a fire storm involving a huge area of 350 thousand acres to date and still spreading with 50 and 60 mile a hour winds ---hes better far away --things can be replaced people can't -----ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: oldokie » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 am

Rob,
Our prayers are with you! I do hope they managed to save your area. I, too, have never seen it this bad in the 40 years I've been out here!
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PostPost by: 264889socal » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:15 pm

Thanks for all your prayers!!!!!!!

We survived the fire, just barely. The fire burned up within 20' of the house. The only rolling stock lost was the wheelbarrow.

If I learned one thing, about saving your home in a fire storm, it was leave a ladder leaning up against the front of the house so the fire fighters can get on the roof. Without this ladder my home would have long gone.

A very close friend who lives down the hill lost his home. The good thing was both his race cars were still in transit from the SCCA runoffs in Topeka and were not there. Over 100 homes in close proximity were burned to the ground. Lots of clean up before I can get back to the Elan.

Again, thanks for all your thoughts. They must have worked.

I know Scott has posted to this sight and lives to the south of me in Ramona. I do not know if he survived or not.

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PostPost by: oldokie » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:17 pm

I'm so glad your place survived the fire, hopefully Scott will check in with good news from Ramona! It's such a nice little town, I used to get down there every year when Casey Tibbs was still alive and hosting his rodeo.
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