Lotus Elan

F.N.G., first post l. time lurker, twin cam to 5-speed ??'s

PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:35 pm

Howdy from Colorado, I'm about to attempt to put a full chat dry-sumped twin cam into a 1960 Hillman Husky (Mod's if this is the wrong spot for this kind of vehicle please forgive me & feel free to move to the appropriate spot). I'd been planning on using the close ratio 4 speed out of another project to save a few $'s as it's a bolt on no muss-no fuss.

But,,,,,, thinking that I'd really only want to pay for fabrication of mounts etc. one time is there an avaiable off the shelf 'cheap' (relative term I know~) 5 speed available that will bolt up from here in the colonies.? Would help make it somewhat more user friendly I believe. The car (see attached photo) heads to the shop in a couple weeks for the organ transplant.

We've updated it with the suspension from a Hillman Super Minx (what a great name!) so it now has disc brakes in front & bigger nine inch drums in back along with a hi-way gear in the diff.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:29 pm

When I saw Hillman Husky I was thinking of the later Hillman Imp rear engined RWD version, so I'm unsure of your earlier car and think it's front engine RWD?

This is what I was expecting, but I think yours is the earlier car.

Image

If so, there are 2 gearboxes that bolt straight on, the Type 9 as fitted to Ford Cortinas and the MT75 as fitted to Ford Sierras and Ford Granada's, these gearboxes are starting to become a bit rarer over here as the cars they were fitted to are long out of production and there's not that many in the scrap yards these days, but there do still seem to be enough to go around although prices are rising.

I'm totally unaware of the space your car has for gearboxes, so can't advise if they will fit or where the gear-lever will be placed as standard, so all I can say is expect lots of fettling and if it turns out easy it will be a bonus.

Sounds like a fun project, a real oddball thing to do, keep us posted, maybe it's a Free Parking subject rather than Mods, but here's a good start point.

Regards
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:41 pm

Chris, welcome.

Don't worry about Alan, he's a youngster, has questionable taste in cars and doesn't know his Husky's from his Minx's!

So I too have a question? Why are you doing this? Is the Husky a sought after hot rod in Colorado?

Whatever, I wish you well and will be interested to know what suspension mods you will be making to the dear old Hillman.

Tim
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:57 pm

Tim,
The blue car in my post is in fact a Hillman Husky, it's the estate / van / ahead of its time crossover based on the rear engined rear wheel drive Hillman Imp that had an engine based upon the good old Coventry climax design, you could say it has a link with Lotus just because of that. Or perhaps it has it's roots in Rootes?

I was thinking stuff the twin cam and fit a zetec with a Renault 25 5 speed, then was quite disappointed to see the earlier car, but it still looks a lot of fun and will no doubt be a very rare sight on the roads in the good ole U S of A.

Stick to sailing, you don't understand this modification lark :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:12 pm

Hi Allen & Tim, I'm doing this because I've been 'gifted' the engine from the estate of a good friend who passed away several years ago now. It was his (when everything else fails) un-correct back up motor for his Lotus 23, 711 tall block. Which he'd never installed or ran, it's pickeled up but basicalIy a zero time (besides dyno time) race motor, can't see having this lump here anymore without using it. Should be a hoot when it's done & I've found from hanging around race tracks most of my life that nothing beats the sound of a twink on weber's at full chat, for me it's certainly the sirens song. The motor was going to go into my U2 Mallock 'basket-case' but I've kind of lost the nuts to vintage race anymore.

I've always been 'odd' regarding cars & my Hillman fits that bill. It is front engined and rear wheel drive.We'd upgraded the engine to the Minx 1725cc to get away from a near-nonrunning original 1392cc. Whole suspension-drivtrain came from Oregon from a real nice guy who was installing a Honda S-2000 drivtrain into the Minx. Do a google search if you want to see some amazing fabrication skills. Anywho, that 1725 now has too much slop in the crank area to live much longer & the Alpine tranny in it is making some awful noises too, and there really isn't much of a parts world for either of those makes, so with the wifes blessing we're now jumping in with all four of our feet. The 4 speed I have is coming out of the Mallock to keep it cheap, but would still love a 5speed. Mallock was a UK hillclimb car 'back in the day' so might be a real close ratio box, but haven't looked at it closely.

I guess I'm building an all English 'rat-rod' to use the term loosely. There's a few Husky's locally that are all tarted up with shiny paint & V8 power and literally a foot between the inside edges of the rear tires, think 'gasser', but that's not really my thing.

Suspension mods to the Hillman will be getting rid of the knee action rear shocks & go with tube shocks , re-arch the rear leafs, add a panhard bar to keep the rearend straight & rebush the front end & find sway bars for both ends. Eventually upgrade to 4wheel discs etc.

Cheers & thanks for the replies, I'm attaching another photo or two of the nerf bumpers we just designed & had made (I need to learn how to weld!). The same shop that made these will be doing the engine & tranny mounts for the swap.
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PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:18 pm

Shot of the front bumper.....
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PostPost by: c42 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:15 pm

Hi Chris
As you are in the States you might find this website of interest.

http://www.sunbeamalpine.org/

John
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PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:39 pm

c42 wrote:Hi Chris
As you are in the States you might find this website of interest.

http://www.sunbeamalpine.org/

John


Hi John, yep I'm a member there. They've been helpful in finding bit's. Where I found a transmission & also a tranny tunnel & also where I found the guy doing the Honda conversion on his Minx.

Cheers,
Cris
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:13 pm

Hi Cris
Nice work, the Type 9 Ford box is a good fit to the 711M block.

The 5th cog makes a nice relaxed ride. If you need to adjust the gearing then a lower tyre makes you quicker off the mark and still keeps good cruising in top gear.

I have a drawing and parts list from when I fitted one to my Morgan 711M engine.

Jon the Chief
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PostPost by: Europatc » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:24 pm

Welcome Chris, if I didn't know better I would suspect that you had been in the sun for too long :D
Keep us posted with your progress
all the best
Stuart
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:39 pm

I get you completely.

Good on you, will make a great rat style street sleeper.

They looked ugly in the day but looking back with nostalgic glasses on how cool does that car look with just the tiniest of mods to the fenders, I'm surprised that no-one customised them in the 70's.

A great home for a Twink rather than a thumping V8.
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PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:28 pm

Europatc wrote:Welcome Chris, if I didn't know better I would suspect that you had been in the sun for too long :D
Stuart


Guilty as charged.!.! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: David Crosby once told me he only had a few braincells holding hands, and I can only be a few steps behind him at this point.

So, found this one on evilBay UK, is this a good deal for a used 'who the hell knows' T9.? Sounds high, but wtf do I know..., limited supply etc..
http://www.ebay.com/itm/181756169442?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Shipping would prolly hurt (a lot). I've inquired of the seller on 'how much to here', we'll see. Believe I'll post a wanted ad.

Thanks for the warm welcome folks!

Cheers,
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PostPost by: SimonH » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:36 pm

Wasn't the Merkur XR4Ti basically a Sierra?

That may be a (slightly) easier route to a T9 box (if they you can find one) and then just get a bell housing if the engine bolt pattern isn't the same?
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PostPost by: CrisinColorado » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:46 pm

SimonH wrote:Wasn't the Merkur XR4Ti basically a Sierra?

That may be a (slightly) easier route to a T9 box (if they you can find one) and then just get a bell housing if the engine bolt pattern isn't the same?


Good point Simon, I was thinking the same thing. Which just lead me to these folks who have this one for sale in Chicago....

http://merkurmidwest.com/catalog/i771.html

Here in the states the Merkur's went with the (turbo?) 2.3 motor, don't know if that's the same bolt pattern or not. Will research more tomorrow.

stealthy edit/// What length input shaft should I be seeking, I've read that three types are available. I'm guessing I want/need the shortest, the 7.25 incher. Is this a good assumption.? Will the bell housing from my single rail ally tail fit this box.?

Thanks again for all the help.!
Cheers,
Cris
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:38 am

Not sure about whether the states had it but we here in the great white north also had a ford thunderbird with the 2.3 turbo, late 80's. If the merkur lead doesn't pan out then maybe add the thunderbird. Not positive about the transmission, but the murkur I owned way back did have reverse on a dogleg or something different than the typical below 5th position....
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