Lotus Elan

Elan 5 speed

PostPost by: Foxie » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:33 pm

Spyder fan wrote:Won?t the gearshift lever be in the wrong position for a Mk1 Cortina?


Sorry, I missed the end of your post ! :oops:

I see now you want to put it in a Cortina.

I'd give Alan Voigts a call, 0151 630 3575. it's possible he does a version for the Cortina. :)
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PostPost by: europatek » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:06 pm

The type 9 has been fitted in Cortinas that I know and the top for the trans tunnel needs to be cut away, plus all the other items that need to be sorted it becomes quite a job. A Toyota conversion is also possible but again mods to tunnel etc....
The Elan 5 speed really does seem like the easiest, particularly as I have all the parts from the Elan. The gearstick location between the 5 and 4 speed is the same so will line up with the hole in the Cortina tunnel. As mentioned the size of the tail housing in the area of the gearstick and the speedo drive area are my only concerns as to whether the trans will fit/or won?t without modifying the tunnel. If the tunnel does need to be modified the change will be a lot less than fitting the type 9 or Toyota box.
I will need to fabricate or modify the Elan gearbox x-member to suit the Cortina floor mounting location, modify a Cortina propshaft to have the GB end fitted and make a shift mechanism to fit under the centre console. Everything else will just bolt up like it was designed to be there. Oh, and I need another gearstick as the one I have is toast. This would be cut down and an adapter fitted to the end to allow a clevis connection to the remote shift mech I will make.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Following on from my post above, I've had a PM query about the different gearboxes, so I thought I'd put something up here.

The original 4-speed never gave any problems, but being a 4 -speed meant high revs at speed, even with a 3.54 diff. (The car came with a 3.7, and I've also used a 3.9 and a 4.55)

I take the engine out quite often, and I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I didn't like the external clutch slave restricted by the exhaust, and the the requirement of occasional adjustment, and the gear lever plastic screw-on pivot which always seemed to jam.

I had been researching 5-speeds for a long time, and had been talking to Alan Voigts before he had his T9 conversion in production, so in the meantime I bought a used Lotus 5-speed from Arnolds Garages in Surrey.

I put up about 500 miles on it before taking it to Austria on the MSA Euroclassic, where it developed a noise in the mountains. On my wife's account I took advantage of our event insurance and had it trailered back to Ireland. I then drove it for a further 3,000 miles without a problem until the T9 was delivered.

The ratios in the Lotus 5 speed are not too different from the 4 speed, the gear lever felt a bit rubbery, but all in all I was very happy with it, especially the 5th gear ! What I didn't like was that it protrudes below the bottom chassis rail, requiring the centre pipe to be cut and brazed, reducing ground clearance.

I fitted the T9 and sent the Lotus 5 speed to Alan Voigts, where he diagnosed a worn bearing and did a complete rebuild. It's been sitting in my garage ever since.

Alan's T9 had never been fitted to a Plus 2 Spyder chassis before, so I had to do a lot of grinding on the gearbox casing, and also the chassis, principally in the central web, where the speedo angle drive is also inconveniently situated. I sent details of this to Alan, and also to Spyder, who have modified later chassis to fit the Ford MT 75.

The 1st gear in the T9 is a very high 3.65 stump puller, so I got a 2.98 conversion kit from Burtons which made it much more useful. The concentric clutch release bearing is a dream. The 'top hat' selector plunger in the middle of the main cover (now changed to the top lh tail housing) had to be removed to fit the engine/gearbox as a unit. The T9 does not have a drain plug. The selector detent has now been moved to the upper lh tail housing, and by cutting an accurately located opening in the fibreglass transmission tunnel, it can be adjusted easily. If it's not right, reverse can easily be selected by accident, or not at all !

I had the Alan Voigts modify my gearbox to change the position of the awkward selector detent. When I got it back it wouldn't fit in my Mark 1 Spyder chassis because the repositioned protruding detent was in the same position as one of the chassis diagonal tubes. I had to do a body lift, cut out the diagonal and replace it with a flanged panel. I understand the present Spyder chassis incorporates this mod.

With all the gearboxes I have had to fabricate a strong bracket for the main pipe to stop the exhaust from departing on groundings. This happened one time in Milan, and we were amazed to drive halfway across town with an open manifold and a cop car behind us who took absolutely no notice ! :)

As I said in a recent post, I have eliminated the speedo angle drive/cable by fitting and electronic speedo, which makes fitting a lot simpler.

I have now had the T9 for 14 years, did around 25,000 miles in Europe, raced and hillclimbed over the last 12 years and never had a problem, so I'm very happy with it. :)
Last edited by Foxie on Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:52 pm

Makes me wish I could get one over here.
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