Lotus Elan

Need help with Voights 5-speed conversion

PostPost by: bill308 » Fri May 27, 2016 1:14 pm

Some years ago I purchased a new Voights 5-speed conversion from a forum member. I now find I need some pieces that I would like to upgrade or that have gone missing in the intervening years.

I would like to purchase:

1. Latest gear lever assembly
2. The speedo drive gear assembly (I have a Lotus right angle drive and the Voights retaining bracket; I will use a 3.54:1 CWP. Lotus 2000E transmission pieces, driven gear, bearing, adaptor don't seem to fit or work.
3. Reversing light switch assembly. I have the harness but not the screw in switch.

I tried sending Voights a Fax but apparently their answering machine picks up without recognizing an incoming Fax. I tried calling them today but again, only got their answering machine. I left a message asking they call me in the USA but I'm skeptical this will happen. Voights apparently have only one telephone number and it is listed for both voice and Fax.

Is there anyone on the forum that can assist me in making my purchase? Voights address and contact information are:

Alan Voights Gearboxes
4 Toronto Street
Wallasey
Merseyside
CH44 6PR
UK

Their voice and fax number is listed as 0151 630 3575.

Calling direct from the USA, one has to dial 011 44 151 630 3575. This got me to an answering machine. The time I called was about 8:30 EDT. I believe this is 1:30 GMT.

Thanks in advance,
Bill
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PostPost by: bill308 » Fri May 27, 2016 3:40 pm

I finally got through to Alan by phone, but he couldn't spend enough time to take care of me, so he suggested I call him back on Tuesday 5/31/2016 to sort it out as Monday is a bank holiday.

Alan did tell me:

1. The gear lever has changed
2. The speedo gear is not the Elan item, but the other stuff, adapter, bearing, right angle drive apparently is.
3. He is out of stock on the reverse switches

Alan no longer has a Fax. He has email but did not reveal it.

Bill
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri May 27, 2016 5:21 pm

Bill,
I did not know about the gear lever changing but I did read on this site that he has changed the spring detent mechanism which was originally integrated into the pressed steel top cover. Apparently the revised detent requires some machine work to one of his cast housings. I would also like to procure whatever upgrades are available for my Voights box. The original detent design and function are less than satisfactory. Perhaps you and I can collaborate on this. I have the reversing lamp switch and will send you any details I can find over the weekend. Are you going to the VSCCA / Jaguar Club races at Lime Rock on 3 - 4 June?
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PostPost by: bill308 » Fri May 27, 2016 6:39 pm

Hi Russ.

Thanks for your input. When John Esposito built my box I elected to go with a Quaife aluminum case and top cover, along with the custom BGH gear set. I?ve never installed the gear change mechanism, so I?m not sure how well it does or does not work. In any event I?ll have to keep an eye on any detent issues and hold onto my butt and would be happy to work with you on this.

I am starting to believe the correct speedo driven gear is from the T9/Rocket family as when I zoom in on Alan?s flyer this appears to be the case. Also, there is an aluminum adapter for the right angle drive that appears a little different than the Lotus 4-speed adapter, but I?m not sure. Could you check on this? The thing is the boss on the bottom of this adapter does not fit inside the driven gear bearing feature. It wants to contact the radiused edge of the cavity and not slip down into it. Parts diagrams I?ve seen show a gasket here, between the bearing and adapter, but it would have to be pretty thick to take up the gap/space that I see. Is Voights adapter a little different or do I have a defective one? This piece determines to some extent the height of the right angle drive relative to the chassis so I need to get this sorted to see how much I have to trim from the chassis bulkhead. So far I haven?t had to trim anything on the chassis but if I go with the speedo cable drive, I will likely have to do some trimming. The backup plan would be to block of the speedo feature and go with a GPS speedo.

Another issue is the bearing is almost a press fit in Voights case. I will likely have to do some fettling to get it to fit properly. The final issue is the reverse switch. This again appears to be a T9/Rocket item that just screws into the side of the Quaife case. I have the harness for it.

A T9 (23-tooth) driven gear and reverse switch appear to be available and in stock from Burton Power. 22-tooth driven gears may be available from other vendors. Lotus 4-speed driven gears don?t mesh with the Voights conversion.

I hadn't planned on going to the VSCCA / Jaguar Club races at Lime Rock on 3 - 4 June but if you're going I reconsider. Let me know which day(s) you are going. I sent you an email so please let me know if you get it or not. It dates back a few years.

Bill
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PostPost by: bill308 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:55 pm

1. I called Alan Voights on Tuesday and he said he was out of stock on the new style gear levers but should have more in a week or two.
2. Alan said the speedo gear was T9. I sourced a used 22-tooth gear which should be ok for a 3.54:1 final drive and oversize tires.
3. I sourced a reverse light switch from Burton Power if for no other reason than it plugs a hole in the side of the Quaife case.

The speedo drive bearing is a Ford part and the adapter for the right angle drive is a Lotus part.

The od of the speedo bearing was too big for the bore in the Voights casting so I turned in down 0.001 inches and now if fits nicely.

I trimmed the Y-bulkhead of my new 26R chassis to accommodate the speedo drive gear assembly. The edge of the trimmed area was bent to re-establish the stiffening feature. There is now about 1/4-inch clearance between the right angle drive gear and cable and the chassis.

Installation of the speedo drive gear enable use of a period speedometer. I could have used a GPS base speedometer but the Smiths instruments look better IMHO.

Billl
Attachments
chassis-bulkhead-grid.jpg and
Modified chassis Y-bulkhead
slide4.jpg and
Assembled speedo drive components
slide3.jpg and
Individual speedo drive components
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PostPost by: bill308 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:49 am

The used T9 speedo driven gear was delivered today. It fits in the Voights tail housing and works properly when I turn the tail shaft.

Ray at RDE told me the Elan BG2402/03 right angle drive is 1:1 ratio and is still made in the UK buy the current version of Smiths Instruments. Can anybody confirm this? The right angle drive I currently have fitted has a much different part number, but it fits for now. Kelsport lists a right angle drive for about 80 GBP.

I'm still waiting for the reverse light switch from Burtons Power and the new style gear shift lever from Alan Voights..

The last thing I need to do is set up the co-axial throw out bearing and its hydraulic circuit. I would think the bleed line would be the highest line at the slave cylinder but where to place the bleed nipple?

Bill
Attachments
dsc01370d.jpg and
The T9 5-speed driven gear is on the left and the 4-speed Ford drive gear is on the right. Note the T9 gear is smaller in diameter
dsc01373d.jpg and
The T9 5-speed driven gear in the Ford bearing
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:28 am

bill308 wrote:The used T9 speedo driven gear was delivered today. It fits in the Voights tail housing and works properly when I turn the tail shaft.


The last thing I need to do is set up the co-axial throw out bearing and its hydraulic circuit. I would think the bleed line would be the highest line at the slave cylinder but where to place the bleed nipple?

Bill


I made up this bracket which fits over the No. 4 exhaust flange. I used the extended nipple to clear the Tony Thompson large bore exhaust manifold. Use a flexible brake line to the nipple in preference. :)
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:32 am

Foxie wrote:
bill308 wrote:The last thing I need to do is set up the co-axial throw out bearing and its hydraulic circuit. I would think the bleed line would be the highest line at the slave cylinder but where to place the bleed nipple?

Bill


I made up this bracket which fits over the No. 4 exhaust flange. I used the extended nipple to clear the Tony Thompson large bore exhaust manifold. Use a flexible brake line to the nipple in preference. :)


I would rather not take the chance of direct heat conduction via a metallic path from the hotter part of the engine to the hydraulic system (even if at a rather high point)...
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:24 am

CBUEB1771 wrote:Bill,
I did not know about the gear lever changing but I did read on this site that he has changed the spring detent mechanism which was originally integrated into the pressed steel top cover. Apparently the revised detent requires some machine work to one of his cast housings. I would also like to procure whatever upgrades are available for my Voights box. The original detent design and function are less than satisfactory. Perhaps you and I can collaborate on this. I have the reversing lamp switch and will send you any details I can find over the weekend. Are you going to the VSCCA / Jaguar Club races at Lime Rock on 3 - 4 June?
Russ


I fitted a Voigts 5 speed to my Spyder chassised +2 in 2004. Alan told me this had not been done before, and might not fit. I had to do a lot of grinding to the chassis bulkead, and also the gearbox casing, the details of which I passed on to Alan. Subsequently the spring detent on the top cover greatly interfered with removing and refitting engine and gearbox, which was quite often.

I was talking to Alan about this problem last year when he told me he had changed the location, it was now on the side of the box. I sent him back the gearbox for modification.

When it came back, I saw the new location was not on the side of the main gearbox as I had understood, but on the side of the tail housing. It would not now fit back in the Spyder chassis, as there was a diagonal tube in the way.

I had to do a body lift, cut out the diagonal, and have Spyder make up a replacement panel, as is fitted to their present version of the Plus 2 chassis.
Attachments
p6280782a.jpg and
Detent housing interfering with Spyder chassis diagonal
p6280776a.jpg and
Body lift
p6190756a.jpg and
New position of detent in tail housing
lotusford-4-speed-ampt9-5-speeda.jpg
Original position of detent in top cover
lotusford-4-speed-ampt9-5-speeda.jpg (63.2 KiB) Viewed 1174 times
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:41 pm

nmauduit wrote:
I would rather not take the chance of direct heat conduction via a metallic path from the hotter part of the engine to the hydraulic system (even if at a rather high point)...


I fitted this item 12 years and about 50k miles ago, and have had no problems whatsoever. Including trips to the heat of Lisbon, Madrid, Valencia and Rome, among others.

So, based on the benefit of my experience, I don't think you would be taking any chance at all.

BTW, did you notice the holes drilled in the bracket to improve air cooling and reduce the thermal transfer path ? :)
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:57 am

Foxie wrote:When it came back, I saw the new location was not on the side of the main gearbox as I had understood, but on the side of the tail housing. It would not now fit back in the Spyder chassis, as there was a diagonal tube in the way.


Thanks very much for posting the images of the revised detent location. I think it would fit a standard Lotus chassis without additional difficultly beyond the modifications originally required to the bulkhead at the front of the tunnel section.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:00 pm

CBUEB1771 wrote:
Foxie wrote:When it came back, I saw the new location was not on the side of the main gearbox as I had understood, but on the side of the tail housing. It would not now fit back in the Spyder chassis, as there was a diagonal tube in the way.


Thanks very much for posting the images of the revised detent location. I think it would fit a standard Lotus chassis without additional difficultly beyond the modifications originally required to the bulkhead at the front of the tunnel section.


My Spyder chassis was made in 1998. Since that time I understand it has been modified considerably, mainly to accomodate the Zetec version.

One of the modifiications was to replace the diagonal tube which interferes with the rear detent on the Voigts T9 with a steel panel. it seems this mod was also required to fit the MT75 gearbox, see pic.
Attachments
p7070030a.jpg and
Plywood pattern for Spyder to make up flanged panel to replace diagonal tube
spyder-frame-from-web-site-with-tc-and-mt75-2.jpg and
Spyder chassis with MT75
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PostPost by: bill308 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:25 pm

Thanks for the input and discussion.

Foxie, am I correct is assuming your bracket goes under the #4 manifold tube? Yes the holes you drilled will lower temperatures at the bleed point because you have increased surface area a bit for better cooling and you have reduced the conduction area between the heat source and the bleed point.

Additional cooling benefits might be to replace the mild steel with stainless steel, a poorer conductor, or perhaps a high temperature insulating grommet, or bolted on finned tab to hold the bleed fitting.

I also like the idea of a flex line here. Can you provide a photo of the installation?

Is the bleed fitting location convenient or otherwise easy to access?

By the way, what is the shift pattern, I've never actually fitted the gear lever assembly?

Bill
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:11 pm

bill308 wrote:Thanks for the input and discussion.

Foxie, am I correct is assuming your bracket goes under the #4 manifold tube? Yes the holes you drilled will lower temperatures at the bleed point because you have increased surface area a bit for better cooling and you have reduced the conduction area between the heat source and the bleed point.

Additional cooling benefits might be to replace the mild steel with stainless steel, a poorer conductor, or perhaps a high temperature insulating grommet, or bolted on finned tab to hold the bleed fitting.

I also like the idea of a flex line here. Can you provide a photo of the installation?

Is the bleed fitting location convenient or otherwise easy to access?

By the way, what is the shift pattern, I've never actually fitted the gear lever assembly?

Bill


There have been no temperature problems with the arrangement since fitted 12 years ago, so it works fine as it is.

I have attached photos of the bleed nipple location, it bit tight with the Tony Thompson exhaust manifold, but no problem to access the nipple. An alternative arrangement would be to use a flexible line going to a bracket on the bulkhead. At the moment the fuse box heat shield has been removed to refit the exhaust system following a new engine build.

Voigts T9 gearbox shift pattern is: Reverse: left against the detent, then forward. 1, 2, 3, 4 in usual 'H' pattern, 5th is right and forward.
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