Lotus Elan

general info about the elan gearbox

PostPost by: dgym » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:06 pm

So the Elan has possibly the nicest gearchange in the entire universe.
The 2000e gearbox, (that's the gearbox we have right?) did it come first with the zephyr? and was the gearchange just as good in that car? or is the niceness something to do with the linkage/gearlever length?
what other cars came with the elan gearbox?
did the other cars that came with the same box have the same ratio or did lotus make its own gearsets?
was the close ratio box standard for an elan?
what's the easiest way of finding out what ratios I have?

1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:32 pm

Can't comment on the ratios but It was fitted to the Mkll Cortina I had (and presumably the MKl and maybe the Escort) but the feel was completely different owing to the very long shift lever that was fitted to reach forward and down to the floor. Later MKll Cortina's had an extension on the back of the 'box to allow a shorter lever to be fitted but I never drove one of those...
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:22 am

Can answer some of the questions,
Origin of the all synchromesh 4 speed 3 rail gearbox type that we know, first appeared in 1962 with the introduction by Ford of the Anglia Super and the 1200 Cortina.
Ford competition department of the day because of the association between them and Lotus through the MK1 Lotus Cortina, produced an Ultra Close 2.51 1st ratio version and this was fitted as standard in the Lotus Cortina until 1964.
In homologation papers late 1962, there is reference to several alterative gear sets for the Lotus Cortina one of which was the Ultra Close, however a second set is of interest to us as these are gears 2.9 1st found in the Elan. These ratio?s were also offered by Ford Rallye Sport as a close ratio option to their standard gearbox 3.54 1st .
It was in 1966 when this gear set was fitted to a production car the new Corsair V4, that the now almost legendary ?2000 E?, Corsair model number, appeared.
So although 2000E is widely used it is not an actual gearbox number.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:38 pm


Didn't you mean Ford produced a semi close ratio @ 2.9:1 and a Close ratio @ 2.5:1?

The ultra close was somewhere @ 2.25:1 wasn't it.

I've got an original Sprint box that's referred to as Semi close @ 2.9:1.

I'm no gearbox expert, but I think you are a little mixed up?

Although I will stand corrected, if I'm wrong and have my head on backwards !



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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:25 am

I think you are trying to use the generic definition of ratio sets as specific.
We have in our cars a gearbox made by FORD not LOTUS and the terms I used are how Ford described them at the time.
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PostPost by: bob_rich » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:26 pm


when I rebuilt My +2 I wanted to know the diff ratio and to check the box ratios. It used the Ford "2000E" gearbox but there are options on what the exact ratios could be for this box. When I checked the ratio the engine was out and I fitted a pointer on the gear box input shaft and a crude home made 360 degree protractor. I jacked up the car and with one wheel one the ground rotated the wheel for one full turn and recorded the number of revs of the gearbox input shaft plus the final angle after one rev of the wheel. I did this for each gear.

If you have the car assembled then you could fit the protractor to the crank pully and rotate that until the rear wheel went round by one full turn.

I have attached a copy of my notes form my rebuild diary showing in a bit more detail what I did.

the results should be accurate enough to compare the data with known options for the Ford gear boxes

Hope this helps best of luck

gear_ratio_check.png and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:47 pm

The close ratio was also used on the Elan up until Oct 1965, when both Elan, and Lotus Cortina, went to the 'semi' close ratio. The Lotus Cortina went to an 'interim' ratio of 3.543:1 for a short period (Oct 64 to Oct 65) but that was just horrible.

The close ratio worked well on the Elan as it was so light and could only carry 1 passenger. It also worked well on a stripped down racing Lotus Cortina on a flat track, but for a road car, starting on a hill with three passengers and a boot full of luggage, it was a nightmare! On more that one occasion I've had to get out of a mate's early Lotus Cortina on a hill for him to be able to get the thing going!

The 2000E ratios were developed by Boreham (Ford's competition department), and they found them to be the perfect set for rallying. It was a nice little earner for them as well, with plenty of customers playing at rallying at weekends. They got a bit grumpy when the ratios became 'mainstream' at the end of '65!
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