Lotus Elan


PostPost by: MikeBee » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:18 pm

a couple of weekends ago I attempted, for the first time, to fit the engine and gearbox to my 1966 S3fhc. I was unable to do so. By the time I had lowered the bell housing when past the engine mounts, the tail of the gearbox was well past the entrance in the spine of the chassis and below it. I couldn't lift it up as it was lifting the bodywork. The cross brace also seemed to be a problem.

The engine has been refurbished and is from a Plus 2 so should be ok. I had to buy an replacement gearbox and bell housing separately. My concern is that maybe I've ended up with an incorrect gearbox/bell housing.
The bell housing looks Ok from pictures I've seen and it shows 105E 7505B.

The gearbox has quite a few numbers such as: 262LE 7006 D, OA15A2, IF4,IF2, 2821E 7AO40A.Some were not very clear.

Would anyone be able to tell me if these look correct?

Many thanks.

Mike B
First Gear
First Gear
Posts: 21
Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Location: UK

PostPost by: billwill » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:17 pm

You have to be able to lift the tail of the gearbox into the tunnel before you lower the engine plus bell housing etc.

You may need two people and the use of a rope around the gearbox to accomplish this.

It seems unlikely that you have the wrong stuff.

Check the parts lists.

Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 4723
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: Elan45 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:24 pm

It sounds like you have the correct 105E bell housing. A photo would help us to determine its suitability.

There are only 2 real variations on the sump, if it fits onto a lip seal engine, and that is a front sump as used in Cortina and Elan and +2. The other option is a rear sump as used on Escort Mk1 & Mk2.

'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 886
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPost by: stevebroad » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:02 pm

Is it possible to fit engne and gearbox in one piece? If you are having a problem, fit them separately.
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 930
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Location: Essex, England

PostPost by: gearbox » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:15 pm

I dropped in my Engine/Gearbox solo, so it can be done. Putting it in separately is a bigger PITA. But it's like building a ship in a bottle, and a lot more difficult if the body is on the car. Everything fits, but with only fractions of an inch if that much. First thing to get is a load leveler (see pic) which allows you to alter the angle of the engine/gearbox assembly as you lower it in.

load leveler.jpg
load leveler.jpg (35.55 KiB) Viewed 549 times

As you had found out, the bellhousing needs to clear and be at the rear of frame engine mounting points, so the engine has to be set at around 45 degrees to start. I normally wrap the tip of the gearbox tailhousing with a bunch of rags so it doesn't scratch the frame as it slides in. Position the tailhousing inside the frame first as you lower the engine and crank the load leveler as you go. The deeper in the gearbox goes into the frame, the more level the assembly has to be. You need 3 areas of adjustment, up and down from the hoist, angle from the load leveler, and front and rear movement of the chassis or hoist and it will go in. I installed mine without the head, rubber mounts, and other parts on the engine so I could manage it better by myself.

IMG_0944.JPG and

IMG_0947.JPG and

IMG_0948.JPG and

IMG_1031.JPG and

As you can see, everything fits, but it is deadly close. The pan is about 1/16" from the front cross member and I had removed the lower welded on "C" channel on the frame and fabricated a 1.00" x 0.50" piece of tubing that would bolt on and off, but you can still get the motor in without this mod. Also, you will need to put the prop (Drive) shaft inside the frame before installing the engine and slip the yoke on to the gearbox as it is going in. Like I said, it's like building a ship in a bottle. Have fun.
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 405
Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Location: Westfield, New Jersey USA

PostPost by: billwill » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:37 am

stevebroad wrote:Is it possible to fit engne and gearbox in one piece? If you are having a problem, fit them separately.

It is possible I have done it several times.

As mentioned above.

The engine starts nearly vertical and high. Higher than a normal engine crane can do.
Clear the tail of the gearbox over the front of the bonnet, then with a combination of slight lowering and tail lifting, get the tail of the gearbox into the tunnel. Then working that back bit by bit as you incrementally lower the engine, finally get the engine into line with its mounts. You may need to move the car forward or the lifting device back to get every thing in the right place.

Before you get inline with the engine mounts, the right hand seat needs to be out so that you can reach in through the body & chassis hole to lift the propshaft and slide it into the tail of the gearbox and one rear wheel may need to be off the ground so that you can rotate it slightly to let the splines engage.

You do all this with the gearbox drained or all the oil will run out of the back, so don't forget to put the gearbox oil in afterwards.
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 4723
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:33 pm

I am sure a load leveller would be ideal, but I managed without, with no difficulty altering the angle when installing the engine and gearbox together.
The ropes from the front of the engine all went over the crane hook to the back so that once the assembly was entering the engine bay
it was possible to lift and shift the support point on the hook readily. It is not that difficult to adjust once the weight is being taken by the crane.
A second rope sling was added slightly slack as a safety measure.
With one person each side and another inside, swearing a lot, we got it to the point where the propshaft would not enter the gearbox. It was obvious that it was out of line and could not enter the splines.
One hour later after some tea and a bacon butty, it went in in 5 minutes! I don`t know why!
My main point is that is does go in eventually and it helps to have some mates in there with you.
Keep going and best of luck
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC (on the road again)
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 840
Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Location: east lancashire

PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:35 pm

"One hour later after some tea and a bacon butty, it went in in 5 minutes! I don`t know why!"


The same applies to removing the diff.

John :wink:
User avatar
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 5691
Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Location: Manchester

PostPost by: jimj » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:39 pm

When Elans were supplied in kit form, that`s what you, or I, did. Engine and gearbox together. Fiddle, swear, fiddle and swear some more and then suddenly it slips in. A bit like getting the diff. out; you fiddle and swear then suddenly, miraculously, it pops out.
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 1135
Joined: 25 Feb 2008

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests