Lotus Elan

CV Replacement - Any Preferences?

PostPost by: markcs » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:09 am

Hi,

I have had my Plus 2 on the road for 18 years now in Dorset and have decided to treat her to a complete rebuild! She is currently in a 'thousand' pieces ready for putting back together again. I am going to use a Spyder chassis, keep the Twin Cam engine that was rebuilt by QED and replace the 5 speed box with the MT75 unit. I am also going to replace the driveshafts with CV units. I have a few questions (for now :) )

1. It would appear to be possible to either fit Spyder driveshafts with 1 CV and one doughnut, or a two CV joint solution from Sue Miller / Tony Thompson with no doughnuts? I really want to get rid of all the doughnuts if possible / sensible. However I can be persuaded either way! Does anyone have any experience of either of these options and what would you choose?!

2. Is it possible to fit a modern DIN radio with surgery behing the panel, if so what surgery is required?

3. There is a fair amount of sheet metal in the car which is rusty, radiator mounts, radiator blanking plates, heater casing etc. I really want to do a 'prpoer' job and am concerned that if I merely sand these metal parts back to bare metal, prime and paint that the rust will return. Is there anything more long lasting out there that anyone has experience with to keep the rust away?

Many thanks in advance of several more questions as the rebuild progreses!

Mark
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PostPost by: Kerryt333 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:24 am

Hi Mark
I'm also based in Dorset, 4 miles outside of Dorchester.
I fitted Paul Matty CV driveshafts to my +2 2years ago & although I haven't done many miles I've had no problems with them,& the good thing about them is they are so much easier to put on & take off.I 've seen Sue Miller & Tony Thompson shafts & they are all pretty much alike & similar in price. I would recommend fitting them rather than doughnuts just for the ease of fitting them.
Regards
John
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:10 am

Mark,

I'd echo Johns reply, I've used the Miller driveshafts and they seem very good.

One thing though, I'd recommend driving a car with an MT75 gearbox before you go ahead with the swap unless your standard 5 speed is completely trashed. At risk of stirring up a hornet's nest, if your existing gearbox is pretty good (or can be made so fairly easily - you can download a paper on refurbing these boxes from somewhere on the forum) then you may find that the quality of the shift isn't that different. I'm not 100% sure it was an MT75 but when I tried a zetec conversion with a replacement ford gearbox I found that the quality of the shift was no better - the gate was significantly wider and was still pretty vague and couldn't see the benefits of doing a swap unless you need to because something unobtainable is broken.

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PostPost by: markcs » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:22 pm

John, Craig,

Many thanks for your replies. My gearbox has lost sync on 1st and 2nd gear otherwise ok. I truly hate the shift feel on the 5 speed - like stirring treacle! V. interesting your comments on the MT75 - anyone else driven the MT75 have any comparisons?

Mark
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:01 pm

Mark,

I too am based in Dorset,about 10 miles east of Dorchester in Bovington.My car is in Fareham having a bit of work done but should be ok soon.I have Sue Miller drive shafts and love them to bits so highly recomend them,and Sue is lovely too.So if you want to drive before you buy it shouldnt be a proplem.

As for the gearbox,many will say switch back to the 4 speed,but if you have a 5,then id rebuild it as I personaly think its a better "shift" than the MT75.But thats just my opinion.

As for the amount of people on this forum in Dorset,is there a local Dorset meet that people go too,If not is there enougth of us to start one up?

Paul
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:12 pm

markcs wrote:Hi,

I have had my Plus 2 on the road for 18 years now in Dorset and have decided to treat her to a complete rebuild! She is currently in a 'thousand' pieces ready for putting back together again. I am going to use a Spyder chassis, keep the Twin Cam engine that was rebuilt by QED and replace the 5 speed box with the MT75 unit. I am also going to replace the driveshafts with CV units. I have a few questions (for now :) )

Mark


I have the MT75 / TC / Solid drive shaft combo. Really like it. When ordering the Spyder frame, make sure it is correctly modified to accept the MT75 starter; they do this on request I believe.

1. It would appear to be possible to either fit Spyder driveshafts with 1 CV and one doughnut, or a two CV joint solution from Sue Miller / Tony Thompson with no doughnuts? I really want to get rid of all the doughnuts if possible / sensible. However I can be persuaded either way! Does anyone have any experience of either of these options and what would you choose?!


Make sure you check condition of the output shafts as they may be starting to twist. The solid shaft kits seem to be pretty similar, although the one's I got from the 'States came with new output shafts included. Difficulty with comparing between the different systems is probably no one has a side by side comparo as they are pretty much a one time upgrade.

2. Is it possible to fit a modern DIN radio with surgery being the panel, if so what surgery is required?


My experience says no, it is not possible to fit a typical modern unit. The archives have reports from several years ago about heater mod that will provide more mounting depth. I tried this, but it did not provide sufficient room. I believe the DIN standard does not include a mounting depth spec, which adds a bit to the confusion. Note when looking at manufacturer's depth specs, they do not include space for the wiring loom, which can be very difficult to fit in the Plus 2 application. Here is a recent thread on one modern radio that has extremely shallow mounting depth that does work; there is also a link there to the US supplied trunk mounted unit I used.

elan-plus-f13/car-radio-t21183.html

3. There is a fair amount of sheet metal in the car which is rusty, radiator mounts, radiator blanking plates, heater casing etc. I really want to do a 'proper' job and am concerned that if I merely sand these metal parts back to bare metal, prime and paint that the rust will return. Is there anything more long lasting out there that anyone has experience with to keep the rust away
?

I just used various rattle can finishes as required. Seems fine.

Many thanks in advance of several more questions as the rebuild progress!


Look forward to your progress!
Stu
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PostPost by: alaric » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:10 pm

Another Dorseter here. I'm in Weymouth. I went for the Sue Miller shafts as I couldn't see why you'd want to leave a rubber joint in there. The UJ and sliding spline set up doesn't appeal to me either. The CV solution will do the job for road cars. The only negative that I could see was in the CV joint is possibly heavier than the UJ solution or rubber doughnut, so you may be increasing the unsprung weight slightly.

Sean.
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PostPost by: Dave Fowler » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:09 pm

pauljones915 wrote:Mark,

I too am based in Dorset,about 10 miles east of Dorchester in Bovington.My car is in Fareham having a bit of work done but should be ok soon.I have Sue Miller drive shafts and love them to bits so highly recomend them,and Sue is lovely too.So if you want to drive before you buy it shouldnt be a proplem.

As for the gearbox,many will say switch back to the 4 speed,but if you have a 5,then id rebuild it as I personaly think its a better "shift" than the MT75.But thats just my opinion.

As for the amount of people on this forum in Dorset,is there a local Dorset meet that people go too,If not is there enougth of us to start one up?

Paul


Having recently fitted Miller drive shafts, I'd agree with this. Not done many miles since fitting them, but the gear change is a good bit nicer as a result, plus I always felt having doughnuts was like a breakdown waiting to happen. And as Paul says, Sue Miller is lovely, always very helpful and pleasant.

On the radio, you can get the original one re-fitted with new insides, so it will be a radio/mp3/iPod player. Don't think it's cheap to do, but you get to keep the original look and have a fully-functional car sound system. And if you're doing a full rebuild it'll be no more than a marginal extra cost anyway. and it may be of less interest if you don't have an iPod or other mp3 player. If I can remember the names of companies which do this I'll post them on this thread.

If you Dorset types aren't too far west, can I come too? I don't think I'd need a passport from Hampshire... :)
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PostPost by: gerrym » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:54 pm

To refurbish the sheet metal parts, most important thing is to get rid of all the rust. Starting from no experience at all, I've tried all the Ku-rust etc products. Conclusion reached as some early restored parts started to rust again was that sand blasting (properly grit blasting) is the only really sure was of getting back to sound metal. Then use metal prep (phosphoric acid) followed by a decent primer or etch primer followed by the top coats. For the grit blasting, either job it out or invest in a decent heavy duty compressor plus grit blasting cabinet. For small parts, a bucket of oxalic acid solution (sold as wood bleach) is a chemical alternative that also does a good job (with a little wire brushing).

Regards
Gerry

PS, why the MT75. If I was doing this from scratch again I would look much harder at a type 9 conversion.
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PostPost by: gerrym » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:58 pm

Stu, any chance of some sketches and photos next time you have car up on a hoist of how you routed exhaust around/under the MT75.

Ta

Gerry
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:20 pm

I do not live in Dorset and I do not have a +2. :roll:

Do Paul Matty actually have their own CV set-up? I thought that they sold Mick (Sue) Miller units. I put these into my Sprint a few years ago and they transformed the car.

I don't have a radio in my car. :roll: :roll:

There is a place in Sale, Cheshire; not too far from me, who make modern audio units behind classic "frontages" i.e. they fit the latest gubbins in the old box. I think that they are called the Vintage Radio Company, or something like that. I'm sure that if you do a Google with "Sale" and "old car radio" you will find them.
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:25 pm

I've found the Bilt Hamber deox C excellent for rust removal
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PostPost by: Iyarno » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:56 am

In contrast to the popular consensus here, I went for the Spyder CV/rotoflex combo. I was sold it by Spyder based on the following...

1. The inner rotoflexs don't have anywhere near as much stress as the outer ones, so wear here isn't so much of a problem.
2. Using solid driveshafts allround can stress the diff over years of use, unless you upgrade the diff too.
3. Preserving the inner rotoflexs maintains the original feel of the car under braking cornering (if that's important to you).

I have also read a few other comments regarding full solid CVs where clunking and noises under braking can be heard.

Spyder had a rig setup when I had the work done, and showed me all the options. I've only done a few months running on them and so far so good.

Do your research and make an informed decision. Either option is better than rotoflexs allround :-)
Last edited by Iyarno on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:55 pm

Iyarno wrote:...
2. Using solid driveshafts allround can stress the diff over years of use, unless you upgrade the diff too.
...
I have also read a few other comments regarding full solid CVs where clunking and noises under braking can be heard.

....

Do your research and make an informed decision. Either option is better than rotoflexs allround :-)


I wouldn't think that 2 is a problem, but stess on the Diff output shafts coudl be an issue, especially on earlier cars.

I don't have any clunking with my (Mick Miller) CV's.

I did when Ifirst put them in, but that was a broken Diff Mount. Silky smooth since :) Touch wood!!

DEFINITELY: Do your research!!

Putting CV's into my car definitely changed the feel of the car from the Donuts...for the better in my opinion.

But one man's food is another man's....

I have a friend (yes you Se?n) on the Spyder set-up and he is more than happy!!

Best of luck,
Peter
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PostPost by: marode » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:53 am

I recently fitted new donuts to my spyder-driveshafts and it was NO FUN. I agree in the point, that the spyder-shafts are probably more diff-gently, but after all, you still have numerous diseconomies with the donuts, such as you have to care about them every time you jack up the car (should fix the rear axles with tension belts to avoid extra stress for the donuts because of the geometry when car is lifted..). Next time the donuts are broken I?ll buy some CV ones all arround.
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