Lotus Elan

Gearbox paint colour S2

PostPost by: jono » Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:39 pm

...for a 1965 S2 Elan.

I've seen bottle green before and lots in black. Does anyone know the correct colour and is it all the same for gearbox, tailshaft and bellhousing?


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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:35 pm

1965 All green, I think they went black with snap ring mainshaft around MK2 Escort 1975.
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PostPost by: Ray419G » Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:21 pm

My only experience is with a 68 S4, but the factory paint on the gearbox and tail shaft was a dark green. When removed as part of the car's restoration, plenty of original paint was still visible on the gearbox but there was no trace of green on the bell housing. I had the impression the bell housing may not have been painted from new, though this may have been something peculiar to that car.

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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Tue Feb 20, 2024 11:38 pm

Green as others suggest, no paint on the bellhousing on my S4 when I got it in the 70's.
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PostPost by: S2Jay » Wed Feb 21, 2024 12:37 am

There seems to be one of those change point differences between earlier cars & later, maybe S3 – S4, etc??
My S2, 26/5009, Gearbox, Tailshaft & possibly Bell all seem to be grey. The bellhousing is tougher to determine from pics since it has been more exposed & deteriorated. I think it still has a bit of grey left on it. I’ll post pics & you can decide. 1 pic shows several grays I tried to match to what appears to be original on my car.
I bought the S2 in 1984 [used, obviously], when it had what appeared to be 26K miles from new.
It may have had a clutch replacement, but it has always been a California car & the chap I bought from definitely did not appear to be a restoration or maintenance type. Its just my guess that this is original & I have painted all grey close to what appears original to me.
I also inherited a spare Tail shaft when I had an S3 prior to selling that & buying the S2. That tail shaft is green & I have a pic showing both. Both appear to be original to me. The green S3 tail has a crack at the rear seal, which is the reason that the PO replaced it.
P1030902.JPG and
A closer pic of the Gearbox only.
P1030881.JPG and
"As Removed" From S2 26/5009 for a rebuild.
P1350428.JPG and
The "grey" Tailshaft is from the S2, the Green from an S3/SE/SS.
P1350480.JPG and
The Pipe shows various grays I was comparing to "original".
just looking for clues at the scene....
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:08 am

Craven wrote:1965 All green, I think they went black with snap ring mainshaft around MK2 Escort 1975.

Both of my Twin Cam Escorts have black gearboxes. I’d suggest that Lotus were supplied painted gearboxes from Ford and the Lotus gearbox colour just followed what was being fitted to Fords at the time and there was probably an overlap period with the Lotuses when either colour gearboxes were fitted. Ford changed to black colored gearboxes from the time of the first single rail (1969/70). I’d suggest the 2000E three rail changed colour at approximately the same time.

Earlier Cortinas (pre 1969/70) with the 3 rail (2000E and standard) boxes all had green gearboxes.
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PostPost by: tonyabacus » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:33 am

Forgive me for high jacking this item, but S2Jay posted some excellent pictures which may help me solve a problem with my own gearbox. So Jay can you confirm which variant of the Elan the gearbox pictured comes from and also whether there is any castings drillings or provisions for a reverse light switch please
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Feb 24, 2024 9:48 pm

Not Jay here, but that case does not have a threaded hole for the reverse light switch. I've attached
a picture of my Sprint's gearbox case for reference
DSC02101.JPG and
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PostPost by: tonyabacus » Sun Feb 25, 2024 12:13 pm

Hello Greg
I think you may have answered my question about the reverse switch drilling.
The pictures from you and Jay show that the two cases are different, as well as the location or lack of it between the two gearboxes, so thanks for that additional information. As they say "A picture is worth a thousand words" the point being proven here
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