Lotus Elan

My Voigt 5-speed conversion

PostPost by: steve lyle » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:05 am

Today I got (most) all of the under-the-car work done.

I started with hooking up the clutch line, bleeding and testing the clutch. You just remove the flex line from the old slave, and attach it to the new flex line coming out of the bell housing. Minimal loss of fluid. Then I hooked up my Mity Vac bleeder and went to it. It just took a couple minutes, and I had a clutch. Relief - I didn't want to have to pull the engine back out.

Next up was the drive shaft. Fiddly, but straight-forward.

The transmission mount was more work. Per the instructions it was on loosely. There were a couple of interference issues or potential issues - the casing of the rubber mount itself was resting against the transmission tunnel. Reversing the mount and some judicious grinding of the tunnel "ledge" gave me about 1/16" clearance.

But first I had to get the mount off - and I couldn't get the nylocs at the end of the two long bolts off, because I couldn't get a wrench on the bolt heads - even with dropping the tranny as much as possible. I ended up using an impact wrench and putting enough side load on the bolts that it would do the job.

To make the job easier for the any future removals, I MIGed the bolt heads to the steel casing of the rubber mount. Not pretty, but effective, and made the job of removing/installing the mount assembly much easier.

The next interference issue was with the spacer and the brake line. I rounded off one corner of the spacer with a grinder, and levered the tranny tail a bit to the right when I put the mount/crossmember on, and that gave me plenty of clearance there, about 1/8" or a tad more.

Lots of test fits, fiddling (grinding, filing, etc) and trips between crawling under the car and going to the bench, but eventually I was happy with the results.

The final job was fitting the starter. Another fiddly task. And hooking up the fuel line (really an above the car task, but I was on a roll).

Finally, I fit the gear level, again an above the car task, but I couldn't resist seeing what it looked like and how it shifted.

That's it for today. Next up will be the remaining engine bay work - carbs, alternator, temp sender, heater lines, radiator, etc..

Here's the photographic proof.
Attachments
IMG_0298.JPG and
The final fit of the tranny mount.
IMG_0299.JPG and
The clutch bleed screw. Seems like a good location, not too close to the exhaust.
IMG_0301.JPG and
IMG_0303.JPG and
The lever is a little long for my taste - I think I'll shorten it 1/2" or so.
Steve Lyle
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:35 am

Steve, looking good! You’re on the home stretch.

Looking forward to getting your shifting/ driving impressions. What ratios did you go for?

I’m still in armchair mode but with your account I think the planned steps are coming together. I still am doing preliminaries:

1. Waiting for the missing gear shift plug from Alan. Approaching 3 weeks since supposedly sent. If this doesn’t show up in time I think I can use an appropriate oil galley (gallery) plug. Looks like a 14mm (9/16”) will do the trick.

2. Having the mount plate front flange be fabricated to create the needed clearance- also a bit stronger than cutting a notch. But, with the thicker newer type plate the flange maybe not as needed.

3. Have to order an uprated T9 friction plate after I verify that the lightened flywheel can accommodate an 8.5” vs 8” plate.

It is also useful that Rohan has been chronicling his recent engine-out steps as well.

Lots of helpful information on the Forum, as usual.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:59 am

Little bit of progress today.

I really did, this time, finish up the "under car" work.

I reconnected the exhaust. I use a 8.5" length of 1 3/4" with a 2" end, to join the header outlet to the tailpipe. It's sacrificial - when I need to take the system apart I just cut it in two and wrench the two ends out. So to replace I just cut another piece of pipe from Autozone that already has the 2" end on it to length. Job done.

I tweaked the tranny mount a bit - easy to do with the bolts welded to the rubber mount frame. I just wanted to add a bit more clearance to the bottom of the tranny. By the way, even with the notch at the front end, that cross member is plenty strong. No worries there at all. I mean, did you really think that the Voigts did a FEM analysis on the assembly and sized the crossmember with a 1.0 safety factor? Heck no, they just grabbed a big plate of steel and tried it.

I filled the tranny with Red Line MT-90 gear oil. Alan's notes say it takes 1.0 litres. Well, it took me 2.0 litres before it came flowing back out of the fill hole. BTW - this would have been a bit easier if done before fitting the exhaust. Also, I needed to go get a cheater bar for my socket wrench to break open the filler plug. So maybe it would be best to loosen it a bit when it's out of the car.

Finally, I strapped down the clutch hydraulic line to the cross member. I cut a bit of fuel hose and sliced it so I could wrap it around my nylon clutch line, then wire tied it to the cross member so that it didn't contact any metal bits in between the clutch master cylinder and the tranny.

After playing with the shifter a bit, I'm concerned that it doesn't want to easily slip into 2nd gear entirely. It seems that on my car the thickness of the rubber/vinyl gaiter is taking up more space than available between the shift lever and the console opening, making it a bit tough to get into 2nd. I'll have to come up with a solution for that.

BTW - I went with the ratios closest to the original. Something like a 2.9 first, I believe, vs the 3.x first that's in the base price.

So much for today's progress.
Attachments
IMG_0305.JPG and
IMG_0304.JPG and
Steve Lyle
1972 Elan Sprint 0248k @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-Lot ... 48K.30245/
1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:41 am

Thanks for the update.

Good tip on loosening the filler plug before fitting.

If you would, what is the height of the gear lever ball, vertically from the console as well as the horizontal distance from dash?

Interested to see what the difference is with the stock shift. The impression is that the Voigt is taller.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:25 am

Hi Steve,
is that the Flexible for the Clutch Slave coming out of the Bell Housing.
Wouldn't have been better to come out the top or side of the Bell Housing.
At the bottom it could get ripped off when driving :shock:
Alan
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:59 am

steve lyle wrote:After playing with the shifter a bit, I'm concerned that it doesn't want to easily slip into 2nd gear entirely. It seems that on my car the thickness of the rubber/vinyl gaiter is taking up more space than available between the shift lever and the console opening, making it a bit tough to get into 2nd. I'll have to come up with a solution for that.


A thought:

Since you are already using a flexible shift boot I think you could remove the rubber/vinyl gaiter (you basically have two gaiters wrapped over each other). That should ostensibly give the lever a lot more clearance.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:55 am

1owner69Elan wrote:Thanks for the update.

Good tip on loosening the filler plug before fitting.

.



The tapered gearbox filler plugs can always be a challenge with the limited space between the chassis and the gearbox and their tendency to jam in place overtime. I rounded off the one on my Elan about 6 months ago and still cannot get it to shift despite using every technique I know including head and chilling and chisels. I was planning on pulling the engine to remove the gear box to remove the filler plug and do the longest gear box oil change time in history before the engine failure I had at the last race meeting meant the engine was coming out anyhow. :roll:

cheers
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:21 am

One way of checking your gearbox oil level would be to remove the drain plug, measure the volume, top up as required to the spec volume, and fill up again through the gear lever opening.

:)
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:18 pm

In the past when I have found a rounded off square portion of the drain/filler plugs, I have cleaned them up with a file or grinder and Tig'd on a hex nut. Between the localized heat and the better grip of the hex nut they come out with little effort.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:15 pm

I find any plug with a recess easier to deal with than a protusion. An example:
https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-090-5004C ... 14A57075AE

The recess is always shaped to take a hex key, or 1/2" driver.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:46 pm

Just for the record.

Heard back from Alan regarding my missing gearshift plug, still not received after 3 weeks.

"Plug is plain aluminium interference fit 14.2 dia. 6 to 7 mm deep. We smear a little locktite on and tap home."

He is sending two more. In the meantime, I have ordered locally a VW aluminum core plug, of the proper dimensions, in case Alan's still don't show up.

Part no: 113-101-118-D-VAG
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:20 pm

1owner69Elan wrote:Thanks for the update.

Good tip on loosening the filler plug before fitting.

If you would, what is the height of the gear lever ball, vertically from the console as well as the horizontal distance from dash?

Interested to see what the difference is with the stock shift. The impression is that the Voigt is taller.


7 1/4" from the console to the top of the ball.
6 1/4" from the face of the dash to the front of the ball.
Steve Lyle
1972 Elan Sprint 0248k @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-Lot ... 48K.30245/
1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:23 pm

alan.barker wrote:Hi Steve,
is that the Flexible for the Clutch Slave coming out of the Bell Housing.
Wouldn't have been better to come out the top or side of the Bell Housing.
At the bottom it could get ripped off when driving :shock:
Alan


Probably. At this point, for me, it is what it is. Anybody ordering one in the future might want to discuss that with Alan ahead of time.

In any event, it doesn't hang down below the front crossmember. And it's well above transmission crossmember, and miles above the exhaust. So if something ripped it, you'd probably have other problems as well.
Steve Lyle
1972 Elan Sprint 0248k @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-Lot ... 48K.30245/
1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:25 pm

Foxie wrote:One way of checking your gearbox oil level would be to remove the drain plug, measure the volume, top up as required to the spec volume, and fill up again through the gear lever opening.

:)


Interesting thought, but this tranny has no drain plug!
Steve Lyle
1972 Elan Sprint 0248k @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-Lot ... 48K.30245/
1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:45 pm

1owner69Elan wrote:
steve lyle wrote:After playing with the shifter a bit, I'm concerned that it doesn't want to easily slip into 2nd gear entirely. It seems that on my car the thickness of the rubber/vinyl gaiter is taking up more space than available between the shift lever and the console opening, making it a bit tough to get into 2nd. I'll have to come up with a solution for that.


A thought:

Since you are already using a flexible shift boot I think you could remove the rubber/vinyl gaiter (you basically have two gaiters wrapped over each other). That should ostensibly give the lever a lot more clearance.


My plan at this point:
1) Get a new rubber gaiter, since mine is split. Ray @ RDE says it should be mounted to the body, not the console. That will seal the opening. But I don't think it'll buy me much room, if any, since the console and the body are so close together.

2) So I think I'll need to "retrim" the console opening some. I've pealed off the outer gaiter, and I'll glue its lower edge to the underside of the console, so it'll follow my new "ovalled out" console opening.

See the pic for the position of the lever relative to the opening when fully seated in 2nd.
Attachments
IMG_0308.JPG and
Last edited by steve lyle on Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Lyle
1972 Elan Sprint 0248k @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-Lot ... 48K.30245/
1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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