Lotus Elan

T9 conversion into Spyder chassis?

PostPost by: HCA » Fri May 01, 2020 2:43 pm

Calling Foxie...!

Alan Voigt tells me that someone has fitted his T9 box into a Spyder chassis and knows exactly what has to be cut away from the chassis and casing. He gave me a name, but when he said it was a blue +2 and in Ireland, I am putting a few things together and hope it is you!

Indeed, has anyone else made this move?

At this stage, I really want to know how difficult the installation is -- like, can it be done by one person with a two post lift, or does the body have to come off?

Thanks
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri May 01, 2020 6:10 pm

Hal, No experience with the T9, but interested in what you find out.

I can speak to a restriction for the MT75 that might be an issue. Spyder modifies one of the right side diagonal lattice braces to provide clearance for the MT75 starter. I got the impression it is basically bending the oval profile brace a bit before welding in place if the client says they want to install an MT75. This may not apply to the T9, and only be an issue with the MT75 integral bell housing?

They forgot to do this with my frame, and I had to modify it myself. I did this by cutting out the brace and replacing it with a piece of channel iron bolted on the outside of the frame. I may have had the frame welded, but I did not discover this issue until after the frame was built up and I can’t weld.

Probably some relieving at the tunnel top as well, just based on what the guys are doing to a Lotus frame; looking forward to others clarifying.

HTH. As I say, may not apply but worth a look.

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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri May 01, 2020 6:23 pm

HCA wrote:Calling Foxie...!

Alan Voigt tells me that someone has fitted his T9 box into a Spyder chassis and knows exactly what has to be cut away from the chassis and casing. He gave me a name, but when he said it was a blue +2 and in Ireland, I am putting a few things together and hope it is you!

Hal


Yep, that's me alright !

I'll get back to you soon

:)
Last edited by Foxie on Sun May 03, 2020 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: HCA » Sat May 02, 2020 9:30 am

Stu - Let's wait for Foxie to come back as he is the man that has done this.

I had planned on a complete engine/gearbox makeover next year, but wondering if I have the budget to bring it forward to this winter. I was planning a simple engine rebuild using lighter components and fully balanced following tips from Rohan. For the box, I was thinking of a recond std box and lowering the rear to 3.5 to give me a quieter cruising road car. I know little of box possibilities for the Elan, and following comments re the starter, I discounted the MT box. Then, looking for a recon box, I spoke with Voigt who told me about his T9. This has everything - starter and gear lever in the right place AND with the top gear ratio of .8, should negate my need to lower the rear diff ratio. It is priced at £3,000 to include clutch and internal slave cylinder. Bearing in mind what price a second hand box was (asking on ebay) I did not think this too bad. However the downside is that Voigt never designed the box with a spyder chassis in mind. To his knowledge, Foxie is the only one to have done this. His comments therefore will be my guide to continue or not with this thought..
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun May 03, 2020 12:01 am

The only problem I had with the T9 was the selector detent spring "top hat " in the middle of the gearbox cover plate. If I wanted to remove the engine/gearbox as a unit (which I do frequently ) the top hat had to be removed working through the gear lever opening, as it jammed on the tunnel top. Alan told me they were aware of that problem, and had moved the detent to the side of the gearbox, and offered to modify my gearbox, which he did.

When I tried to refit the gearbox, it would not fit. The detent unit was not on the side of the main box, but on the tailhousing, and interfered with a chassis diagonal tube.

So a body lift had to be done, and the chassis diagonal removed. I cut out a plywood pattern for the opening, and Spyder made up a flanged panel for me to weld in in place of the diagonal tube.

I also cut an access hole in the side of the transmission tunnel to adjust the detent if required.

I have found the pic of the Spyder Zetec chassis, where it can be seen that they have replaced the diagonal in the same bay with a perforated sheet panel to accomodate the MT75. This should also suit the Voigts T9



:)
Attachments
Top cover & plunger.jpg and
P6300805aa.jpg and
P7210114.JPG and
Spyder frame from web site with TC and MT75.jpg and
Last edited by Foxie on Mon May 04, 2020 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun May 03, 2020 8:22 am

Thanks Foxie! Pretty well what I wanted to know!

In fairness to Voigt, he does have your info. He was though talking with me from the workshop with his brother and had to go back to the office to send it to me, but when he said Ireland and blue +2, I said leave it pretty sure it was you!

The one question I ask before I undertake this - is it worth it? What is the engine RPM in top travelling at 130/80 with .8 top gear ratio? Assuming a good engine and a few more hp - maybe up to 150 - is there enough pick up in top gear to do a gentle overtake? Is it noticeably quiet?

I quite fancy a well proven Ford box and like the idea that I could keep the 3.7 diff, I just do not know about all the cutting - but again if you have had it this time and used it in competitive motoring without any breakage, then that is a re-assurance. Speedometrer drive is not an issue as I have an electronic unit from my last MGB that I could use anyway, and try to ignore the mismatch in design between it and the rev counter...

What I find hard to believe - if Voigt is selling many of these boxes that he claims, surely there must have been another person in the sixteen years between yours and my enquiry with a Spyder chassis?
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun May 03, 2020 1:29 pm

HCA wrote:What I find hard to believe - if Voigt is selling many of these boxes that he claims, surely there must have been another person in the sixteen years between yours and my enquiry with a Spyder chassis?


I think I may have seen such a car here in USA. My memory is a bit foggy, but I think the owner told me it was a Spyder chassis and T9, along with a Zetec. I got to drive it and found it quite enjoyable.
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun May 03, 2020 1:52 pm

Might be Ross Robbins car. That is zetec, Spyder and a 5 speed.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun May 03, 2020 11:43 pm

HCA wrote:Thanks Foxie! Pretty well what I wanted to know!

In fairness to Voigt, he does have your info. He was though talking with me from the workshop with his brother and had to go back to the office to send it to me, but when he said Ireland and blue +2, I said leave it pretty sure it was you!

The one question I ask before I undertake this - is it worth it? What is the engine RPM in top travelling at 130/80 with .8 top gear ratio? Assuming a good engine and a few more hp - maybe up to 150 - is there enough pick up in top gear to do a gentle overtake? Is it noticeably quiet?

I quite fancy a well proven Ford box and like the idea that I could keep the 3.7 diff, I just do not know about all the cutting - but again if you have had it this time and used it in competitive motoring without any breakage, then that is a re-assurance. Speedometrer drive is not an issue as I have an electronic unit from my last MGB that I could use anyway, and try to ignore the mismatch in design between it and the rev counter...

What I find hard to believe - if Voigt is selling many of these boxes that he claims, surely there must have been another person in the sixteen years between yours and my enquiry with a Spyder chassis?


Glad to be of service ! :)

Pleased to hear Alan has me spotted !

Is it worth it ? If you are doing any modern motorway/fast driving driving at all; absolutely ! With 150 hp it would not be slow ! Is it noticeably quiet ? I don't hear it at all !

With a 3.77 diff at 80 mph you would have 3887 rpm. ( The 5th gear is 0.815 ) I have attached a basic chart of speeds/rpms.

There is not that much cutting / grinding, just mark it of with typex and do a little at a time, checking the fit often.

I would highly recommend asking Alan to fit the 2.98 1st gear kit, the standard 3.65 is a real stump puller !

I had my original Smiths speedo converted to electronic operation, the only obvious difference is the digital trip meter read-out.

Hard to know how many Voigts T9s went into Spyder +2s. I think Alan can be a bit absent minded at times regarding office records ! When I sent him the gearbox for the mod, he lost my details, and didn't know who to send it back to, until I phoned him about the delay ! But he is very good at what he does, and always chatty and helpful.

(I have corrected an error in the chart, mph/1,000rpm for the 3.54 diff in 5th is 21.91 mph )

:)
Attachments
Ratios.png and
191029Tach&Speedo.JPG and
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed May 06, 2020 12:05 am

HCA wrote:Thanks Foxie! Pretty well what I wanted to know!

<Snip>
Is it noticeably quiet?



I did follow Alan Voigts' advice:

"After fitting the gearbox and gear lever, get a large sponge, cut a hole in the middle, and stuff it down around the gear lever before fitting the cover plate "

:)
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