Lotus Elan

My Voigt 5-speed conversion

PostPost by: TBG » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:38 am

I do so agree that the hassle is quite fun. Working out, sorting out and doing it is all part of the game. Ironically your very kind work to produce the chart showing what a 3:1 cwp would produce was the final brick in the wall that made me go ahead and do it. For that I am eternally grateful. :D
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:26 am

1owner69Elan wrote:
nmauduit wrote:thank you for your detailed feedback and operation follow up (an idea of total cost and build time would be of interest as well, as a reference to whomever would consider that route).


The total cost was around 4100 pounds broken down as:



well, thank you for the detailed answer. I cost me more than half that to get a (rebuilt) Lotus 5 speed gearbox in my S4 a few years ago... but the 5th gear does not operate satisfactorily (yet? ...).

I like to solve engineering problems, too - esp. if it works in the end.
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PostPost by: My72Sprint » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:59 pm

1owner69Elan,
Thanks for all the detailed information regarding you instalation.

If $'s were unlimited (Jay Leno) Quaife QBE60G Universal 6-Speed In-Line Sequential Gearbox is priced @ £5,995.00 (include input shaft & retainer, and bellhousing / adapter plate where applicable) could be installed.

https://shop.quaife.co.uk/qbe60g

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:25 pm

My72Sprint wrote:1owner69Elan,
Thanks for all the detailed information regarding you instalation.

If $'s were unlimited (Jay Leno) Quaife QBE60G Universal 6-Speed In-Line Sequential Gearbox is priced @ £5,995.00 (include input shaft & retainer, and bellhousing / adapter plate where applicable) could be installed.

https://shop.quaife.co.uk/qbe60g

Tim


Not that I have Leno money, but I did look into the Quaife sequential as an alternative gearbox. In the end, decided against it, not just for the cost but:

1. The Quaife sequential is a dog box. I didn't relish driving this around town. But, I have no experience with dog boxes and know that some people do have them on road cars.

2. The amount of fabrication looked a bit challenging. Leno had the gear shift lever moved to the usual Elan location and then had to fabricate linkage. Not impossible and greatly simplified by this being a sequential box. You can even use remote paddle shifters. The Elan center console has to be raised up to enclose the linkage. Then there is the correct bellhousing, adapter plate, etc.

3. Wasn't sure about shoe-horning this into the Elan chassis with the body on and without some attendant dedicated surgery. Obviously Leno's people did it - but they are professional fabricators and their car was completely stripped down.

4. Not sure my car would benefit from 6 gears. A four speed with a 5th overdrive gear captures my broad torque curve just fine along with the tall cruising gear.

In the end I figured the Voigt conversion would have the least impact on the original look and character of my car. Moreover, it was a "proven" solution (not without some glitches) amenable to us moderately skilled Elan mechanics. With the Voigt installed there is no real indication anything has been changed on the car and it maintains the integrity of my original interior.
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PostPost by: My72Sprint » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:14 am

Yea, You can purchase Quaife sequential gearchange 5 speed equipped but not worth the effort

Perhaps Voigt has increased 5 speed quality/features based of everyones inputs.

He really needs to update rear transmission mount and resolve exhaust clearance issues
I'll start my order with Voigt next year and I'll use bill308's type of mount.

I'd order now but no funding currently avaliable, 2020 C8 Corvette arriving next couple of months.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:33 pm

Well the throw-out bearing has not cured itself as of yet. I still only have a few miles on the transmission. Took the car out in high temperatures today hoping that might encourage the flow of lubricant in the bearing. But, noise still there. Not consistently but still there.

I have emailed Alan twice with no response. I would like to know what slave/throw-out is used in the Voigt box. If anyone knows it would be useful. If I am going to replace might consider other concentric alternatives (Burton, ...).

Clearly disappointed that this problem persists in what should have been new kit. I cannot see that anything I did during installation could have caused this. Checked the clutch cover thrust pad dimension carefully to be within Voigt specs - something that he no longer supplies instructions on, as you are supposed to use the supplied cover. As you recall I could not use that cover because, as standard, it did not have the torque rating needed for my application. Cover dimensions were identical between the supplied one and the higher spec one. Also, measured height in situ.

PS: Gearbox occasionally still pops out of 1st gear going downhill. Not sure what causes that but I guess I can live with it. The throw-out bearing, not.
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PostPost by: TBG » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:52 am

1owner69elan - I really do feel for you. This is so annoying when you have gone to all the trouble and expense of a five speeder. It seems to be a recurring thread that 5 speeders are sometimes very troublesome to fit and get right. Thanks to you I didn't go down that route, and am a very happy chappie. :D
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:58 am

Took the car out today in oppressive heat (100 deg F). The good news is the car ran cool - the big TTR radiator and the oil cooler really work. The gearbox performed well but the throw out bearing, not surprisingly, is not curing itself. Car is drivable, just need to avoid too many stop/starts. Would be a bit of a nightmare in stop and go traffic, I'm sure, something I try to avoid anyway.

Alan Voigt says that he has not experienced prior TO failures and offered to send me a new one. Which is fine, except for the effort of replacing it. I am going to probably defer this work until the winter months and just enjoy driving the car for now. I will admit that now having the CR box with a 5th overdrive has spoiled me and it would be hard to give up and go back to the standard 4-speed.

The issue of popping out of first gear according to Alan has happened once before and apparently solved with a shim. I am awaiting further information.
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PostPost by: Harvey » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:32 am

@1owner69Elan

I know the frustration of having to pull the engine yet again to deal with a clutch/gearbox problem. I had my engine in and out at least three times inside of a year trying to solve an issue related to a chatter from the area of the gearbox on overrun.

You didn't describe what noise you hear which you attribute to your throwout bearing but since you have to remove the engine/gearbox you might consider an alternative to your present concentric clutch slave cylinder setup. I purchased a Tilton hydraulic concentric slave cylinder and throwout bearing from Dave Bean Engineering to replace the original external slave cylinder, pivot arm, springs, carrier, and T/O bearing on my four speed gearbox.

The Tilton unit has greatly improved my clutch action resulting in a lighter feel to the clutch pedal and a shorter pedal throw. Since the T/O bearing rests lightly on the clutch fingers there is no lost movement when the pedal is pressed; the bearing immediately begins to depress the clutch fingers. The Tilton setup does require that the concentric slave cylinder be set at the proper distance from the clutch fingers to allow for wear in the friction disc and a pedal stop be set to prevent overextending the T/O bearing.

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:03 am

It will be good if your first gear issue is solved by a simple shim.
The installation of which will presumably entail removal of gearbox and strip down?
Simples :)
Still if you have it out anyway for the bearing replacement it might not feel so bad?
As you say - something to do in the winter :)
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:36 pm

Harvey wrote:@1owner69Elan

I know the frustration of having to pull the engine yet again to deal with a clutch/gearbox problem. I had my engine in and out at least three times inside of a year trying to solve an issue related to a chatter from the area of the gearbox on overrun.

You didn't describe what noise you hear which you attribute to your throwout bearing but since you have to remove the engine/gearbox you might consider an alternative to your present concentric clutch slave cylinder setup. I purchased a Tilton hydraulic concentric slave cylinder and throwout bearing from Dave Bean Engineering to replace the original external slave cylinder, pivot arm, springs, carrier, and T/O bearing on my four speed gearbox.

The Tilton unit has greatly improved my clutch action resulting in a lighter feel to the clutch pedal and a shorter pedal throw. Since the T/O bearing rests lightly on the clutch fingers there is no lost movement when the pedal is pressed; the bearing immediately begins to depress the clutch fingers. The Tilton setup does require that the concentric slave cylinder be set at the proper distance from the clutch fingers to allow for wear in the friction disc and a pedal stop be set to prevent overextending the T/O bearing.

Lee
Something to consider but the Voigt supplied unit is a Sachs piece and I think should be of good quality. Has the same attributes as what you described. The only difference is that with the supplied Voigt spacer and adhering to the specified clutch cover thrust pad height, the Voigt setup doesn't need a pedal stop to prevent overextension.

I'll make a decision downstream if I replace the Sachs(Voigt) slave. Right now my plan is to just replace the throwout bearing and , while I am at it, the pilot (spigot) bearing as well.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:12 am

Been out of the game due to an operation. Should be back in business in a few weeks.

In the meantime, Alan sent me a new concentric slave unit at no cost. I post it here for the record in case anyone needs a replacement later. The part number is SACHS 3182 654 148 18200.
IMG_5945.jpeg and
IMG_5947.jpeg and
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:15 pm

That slave cylinder is used on the Ford Contour/Mondaeo. Rock Auto lists them from $27 to $57. I am using one for my Zetec conversion Plus2, coupled with a 2000E close ratio gearbox.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:52 am

Success!!

I can finally report that the grinding noise from the clutch is now gone.

I replaced both the spigot (pilot) bearing and the slave with the newly supplied slave cylinder from Alan Voigt. No more noise when clutch is depressed.

I now think that the noise was actually coming from the spigot bearing rather than the slave. I did not follow best practice of always replacing the pilot bearing when the engine is out. In fact, I didn't even give is a second look. Big mistake.

It was an oilite bush type. It had been packed with some kind of moly grease that had hardened into a dry coating that resulted in a hard, non-lubricated surface as seen below.
IMG_5978.jpeg and

The basic design of the oilite bush being impregnated with oil was thereby compromised. I think greasing(incorrectly) the oilite bush probably was never a problem for the engine builder in that he typically would have his race engines regularly removed and a new spigot bearing inserted or regreased each time. But, for my road car with the bush being expected to be in situ for a long period, not the best choice.

I replaced the pilot bush with a needle bearing type installed with a sparing dab of grease. In that process I found that many of the pilot bearings provided by the usual suppliers did not include the internal seal. After several incorrect ones without a seal being supplied (Bean, Pegasus) I finally got the correct one off Ebay. Probably would work to use the unsealed one but better to use the sealed one. Sealed one on the right:
IMG_6003.jpeg and


I also had a horrible time with getting the slave cylinder hydraulic lines to seal. Multiplicity of errors, many of them mine. The face of the new slave cylinder where the copper sealing washer lies was not smooth and thus did not seal. I didn't inspect it carefully before I installed assuming that it would be OK. I'll one day learn to not to assume anything regarding parts supplied. Here is the before and after prep of the sealing surface.
IMG_6067.jpeg and
IMG_6077.jpeg and



Further, I had leaks from my flexible bleed hose fitting - finally used an endoscope to determine this while pumping the clutch. I lost track of how many times I had the engine in and out, since you cannot readily test the concentric slave cylinder except when the engine/clutch is in place. With so much practice putting the engine in and out it became a rather easy exercise and not the dreaded chore. I found the use of a "tilter" to be especially helpful to fine adjust the angle of entry to mate with the gearbox. Ignoring all the ancillaries, I can now remove and reinstall an engine (separate from the gearbox) in very little time as a one-person job.
IMG_6087.jpeg and


In the end I also chose to use stat-o-seal washers instead of solid copper ones. This particular concentric slave cylinder has the master and bleed lines connections very close to each other that limits the size of the copper sealing washers (and sealing surface) that can be used on the banjo. Tight quarters.

I will say that the issue of popping out of first gear when decelerating still exists. I had (wrongly) assumed that the bad spigot bearing might be the cause of this. Not a big deal for me. Not going to pursue this until I might otherwise be required to remove the engine/gearbox again some time in the future. I never received Voigts instructions about a gearbox modification for this issue. Another time.

Now, all of a sudden my heater control valve has decided to leak. Not a big task. But, for now the big issues of the Voigt 5 speed seem to be behind me.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:29 pm

Congrats, Mr. OneOwner! A long haul, hopefully, and I think you will, find that the pain of the process will be forgotten as the benefits of the 5th gear are experienced. I am whistling past the graveyard a bit, as I didn't replace my spigot bearing either.

For my part, at this point I've put about 3k miles on the car since the box went in - 1876 of them last week when we drove the Natchez Trace Parkway (more to come on that). I have absolutely nothing negative to report - the speed limit on the Parkway was mostly 50 mph - which was about 2250 RPM - very calm, easy to converse and hear music. And when we took a short turn on I-40 to get across the bridge at Memphis, 80 mph was only 4k RPM. Very nice.

As for shift feel, it seems perfectly fine to me. Maybe a difference could be discerned if you drove the "before" and "after" back to back, but that's not my reality. As it is, I find it smooth, not particularly long, and not in the least objectionable.

I am glad I went with the extra-cost ratios that closely match the stock ratios.

If I run into any issues, I'll add them to this thread. As of now, I'm driving on with no regrets.
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