Lotus Elan

5-Speed for North America -- Redux

PostPost by: johnc » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:06 am

Reading an article in the February 2008 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car about John Esposito and Quantum Mechanics. Ltd (see: www.quantumechanics.com) I was wondering if anyone has made any progress on this subject over the last year.

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:46 pm

I emailed John and left him a pone message over the last few weeks. The only response I have recieved to date is that he'd like to make up a kit to fit the Elan and he may have one ready sometime in 2008. Personally, I'm getting too old to wait long periods of time. But the car is nowhere near ready for it now anyway, so I guess I'll have to wait.
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:30 pm

Has anyone considered the 6-speed from the Honda S2000? The shift lever lives in a sort of flying buttress arrangement that looks as if it could be relocated forward. This press release gives the ratios for the original box - it was updated with new ratios in 2004? or so (couldn't find the release that compares old and new ratios).

Just to stir the pot a bit more :twisted:
Attachments
HondaS2000Transmission.jpg and
The shift lever would need to be relocated, but it seems like a very compact unit overall.
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I love the sound of a torque wrench in the morning. Sounds like... progress.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:01 pm

I called Alan Voights in early December to discuss getting one of his T-9 conversions westward across the Altantic. At that time he was having difficulty getting his tail housings machined. The subcontractor who was doing the machining was no longer interested. Alan was in the process of buying his own CNC mill and finding someone to operate it. He has a backlog of orders which he hopes to clear out in March. He told me to call back then. Of course the pound/dollar conversion makes this an expensive propositon now. I am waiting to hear the presidential candidate who declares that getting the dollar back to 1:1 parity with the pound is a matter of great urgency (yes, the conversion was 1:1 for a bit in the early 80s).
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PostPost by: pamitchell » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:18 pm

Given the exchange rate, Voight should sub out all his machining/egineering work to the USA. Might create more interest in his product in the USA which could be significant new market for him.
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PostPost by: DJThom » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:42 am

I was fortunate to obtain a 5-speed transmission from an Alfa Giulia this year. I want to drive the Elan for a a few years before I take it back apart, but I think this is the optimal transmission for the conversion based on my research. No need to change shift lever location. There are of course adaptor plate and output shaft mods, but the unit itself will go in without chassis mods or housing machining etc.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:39 pm

I seem to recall this is true from Europa swap discussions. All engines don't turn the same direction, so you may find you have five reverse speeds. :shock:
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PostPost by: crannyr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:02 pm

I have been running a 5 speed Alpha in my Plus 2 for the past year and some 1500 mile. So far no problems, makes the turnpike driving much more pleasant and the ratios appear to work well with my 1700 cc twink.
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:30 pm

How is the shift throw and synchros on the Alfa Tranny in the Elan?

Personally those are two of the things I don't like about the family Alfas (my wife's 1972 Berlina with 1989 Twinspark 2.0L, and my father-in-laws 1968 GTA Jr. and 1969 Spider). The shift throw on the Alfas is way way too long and the Synchros on the Alfa don't seem to be as nice as the Ford box in the Elan.

Also most Alfa boxes have fairly long ratios. It was expensive for my Father-in-law to get the replacement input shaft machined for his GTA Jr. after the bellhousing self-destructed. It has the close ratio box and it would have been really really expensive if gears had gotten damaged.

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PostPost by: crannyr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:48 pm

Shift throws are marginally longer but because the shifter arm is significantly shorter than the original Afpfa everthing ends up very close to the original location, appearance, and throw (your hand does not crash into the dash). It is a little stiffer(slower). Not as nice as the ford but the 5th gear makes it all worthhwile. No noticable synchro issues other than 1st gear which I suspect is non-synchro (I did not build the box). The added torque of the 1700 seems to manage any shortcomings from the gear ratios.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:48 pm

Rob_LaMoreaux wrote:Also most Alfa boxes have fairly long ratios.
Rob


Close ratio sets for the Alfa box are available from Re-Originals (http://www.reoriginals.com). They have two sets: 2.76, 1.78, 1.21, 1.00, 0.88 and 2.54, 1.70, 1.26, 1.00 and 0.85. The rub is the price at about $4,400 for the gear sets alone. These ratios are closer than I would want for my +2 but might be fine for an Elan. The people at Re-Originals are very nice. I got a set of Pirelli Cinturatos for my Elite from them.
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PostPost by: Barney » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:31 am

Sounds like they can afford to be nice :!:
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PostPost by: johnc » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:13 pm

A while back RotoFlexible stirred the pot regarding the Honda S2000 transmission. Let me stir it a bit more. I spent sometime today searching LocostUSA.com for transmission info and ran across some pictures comparing Miata 1.8 and S2000 6-speed transmissions.

It looks like the Miata has an intergal bellhousing whereas S2000 is removable. Both appear to have a shifter arrangement much like the T5. And it looks like it may be possible relocate the S2000 shift lever quite far forward (e.g. to the point eliminating the visible horizontal shift tube or rod). In otherwords, much like the S10 tailhousing arrangement on a T5.

Does anyone have dimensional data on the S2000 transmission?

The S2000 gear ratios can be found here:
http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=20010221001309[/b]
Attachments
locost-enginefitting.jpg and
engines-03.jpg and
engines-05.jpg and
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PostPost by: bratboyy2k » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:02 am

will the MT75 just plainly not fit? i also remember in the 90s there was a company in the uk that made alloy tailshaft housings that would bring the shifter farther forward. i wish i could remember who they were.
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PostPost by: johnc » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:56 am

Regarding the MT75 transmission, I contacted Spyder Engineering recently and received the following reply:

We manufacture our spaceframe chassis to enable the MT75 gearbox to be fitted, this is a development spin off from our Zetec conversion which also uses the same box.

But in short no it will not fit the standard Lotus chassis,only our latest
spaceframe from 2004 onwards.

Regards
Sean Reeve

An excellent dimensional drawing of the MT75 can be found at: http://www.haynes.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=216 -- once there click on the "MT75 gearbox.pdf" link. Per this drawing the shifter has to be located at least 20 1/2" (520mm) rearward from the front face of the bellhousing. I don't know what adjustments Spyder has made to make it fit.
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