Lotus Elan

VOIGHTS 5spd Box

PostPost by: seaandmoor » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:04 am

I've read a few threads on this in the past and also went to see one of these boxes (out of the car) in Dorset before making a decision.
After an initial phone call, free from any 'sales pitch' I might add, I agreed to buy a box which was delivered on time and now it's installed.
My phone call was always answered (or my call returned) and good advice quickly given. It's also apparent that he quietly knows all lot more about these cars than you might at first think.
We do have cause to grumble at times, and it's our experiences shared on this forum that saves others from similar pitfalls but I just felt we all owe it to the good guys to post our positive experiences sometimes aswell.
The 'box'... well, I didn't want to speak too soon and tempt fate so I've waited before posting. However, I've covered 3000 miles now and I have to say I'm REALLY pleased with it and also the customer service that came with it.
Thank you.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:36 am

Do you have have the contact details for these as I have been thinking about one for my car.

If you dont mind me asking how much are they? Is the cost of the box an outright purchase price or do you need to supply an exchange unit?

Thanks
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PostPost by: John Larkin » Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:24 pm

I bought my gearbox in summer 2005, and I can recommend it. It cost me ?1540 shipped to Dublin. It was a straight purchase without any exchange being involved. I found Alan Voigts approachable and helpful.

The contact details are:-

Alan Voigts, 4 Toronto Street, Wallasey, Merseyside, CH44 6PR, UK
Telephone: +44 151 630 3575


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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:51 pm

I am going to fit an AV kit this winter and have read in past threads that there is an easy way and difficult way to remove and refit the engine and transmission from and to the car. From what I remember, the easy way is to split the engine and transmission, but there are do's and don?ts for this method. The difficult way is to remove and refit the complete assembly.
I am always looking for the easiest way of doing things - so any help with the do's and don?ts will be most welcome.

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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:19 pm

Brian,

If you are going to take out the gearbox anyway. in my experience it's easier to take out the complete engine/GB assembly. I find it also easier to replace as a complete assembly. I have a pit which makes access easy, and allows the gearbox room to tilt down. It might not be so easy on the flat. I found it necessary to remove the selector detent plug on the top of the AV gearbox to allow the assembly to clear the front bulkhead. I did the prototype AV box / Spyder Plus 2 chassis installation in 2004, 10k+ miles since, no probs, very happy with it.

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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:01 am

does this gearbox only work on a Plus 2, or does it work on a baby elan as well? I'm rebuilding the engine... this winter, so no better time. Also, I am in the US, would I have to ship it? I hate to think of the price of that. Thanks. Dan '70 S4 SE
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PostPost by: John Larkin » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:17 am

The gearbox fits the baby Elan.

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PostPost by: seaandmoor » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:27 pm

Hi Simon,
John and others have answered your Q's and added some additional information which is correct before I could get back on forum... been changing over to broadband so now I'm in the twentieth century (yes I did mean twentieth! Some way behind the times in this part of the country)
Also it does go into the Elan and Elan +2 but you will need to let Alan Voight know which car it's for as I believe he makes the gear lever slightly differently for the two cars. I'm running a 3.77 diff and that seems fine for me.
Best regards.
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PostPost by: worzel » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:46 am

Hello all readers

Interesting to read the comments on this conversion. Some of you have probably read some of the following before as I've thrown in the odd bit of info a number of times over the past year or so- so apologies to those members.

Despite what some think 5 speed conversions using the Type 9 have been around since 1982 (in fact 6 months after the Sierra was introduced) so there is nothing new about them.

I'm not talking about the original CN job which worked but left the gearlever too far back and involved (I believe) chopping some of the transmission tunnel part of the chassis. Instead this located the lever as per the 4 speed and required no chassis/body mods at all. The guy who designed it was a gifted amateur (but clearly a lot smarter than the professionals). He converted his car in late 1982 and has never had any problems with it.

He carried out the conversion work on the box in my car 7 years ago for around ?400 and the whole job including the other necessary bits came to ?650.

He has produced three different conversions-

Type 1 (as in my car) uses the simplest and easiest conversion which moves the lever as far forward as possible without major alterations to the internals. The final positioning of the lever is achieved via a small extension to the lever itself.

Type 2 is much more involved. 5th gear selector fork has to be in effect turned thru 180 degrees to clear the lever and items like the "crank" in the box and the spring loading mechanism for 5th across the neutral plane have to altered/repositioned. Quite a bit of precision machining is required.

Type 3 is more involved again and requires major modification to the casing and alteration of the 5th selector fork and requires even more machining.

All 3 conversions retain the original alloy tail of the box (there is really no need for a new one).

None of the conversions is superior to the other- the change quality remains the same in each case and the lever position in all 3 is exactly as per the 4 speed unit.

So why haven't more used these conversions in the past if they're so good?

Firstly, the guy doesn't need the money (!)- and he's never bothered advertising it (I only found out about it via a 3rd party who'd had the conversion done in 1983 by him). In fact over the years he's done around 35 conversions all referred to him by word of mouth so he's way ahead of the ones currently being offered for sale commercially.

Secondly, word of mouth led to a lot of people ringing him full of enthusiasm only to lose interest when they found out that doing the conversion involved more than lifting the bonnet (!) and that he only converted the boxes which they would have to source themselves. This put most off the idea.

For some reason a lot of people seem to think that unless a major conversion like this comes from a "name" there must be something wrong with it. Fine if you like paying more than necessary- I don't. Maybe some are concerned about reliability issues etc. In fact reliability issues are one for Ford- the actual internal workings of the gears are unchanged- remember the linkage is only a switch- admittedly a fairly precise one.

Possibly one of the reasons many of the enquiries he received never went further was that this conversion won't fit spaceframe chassis cars (because the centre spine width is too reduced by the tubes) and years ago lots of cars were re-chassised this way. I don't know for certain about this but does the Voights' conversion fit spaceframes?

The final point I'll make will probably attract a lot of criticism but the purists possibly don't like the conversion- they'd rather have something original that is a pain in the **** on the motorway because that's how the factory made them! I've had my sprint since 1978 and (no apologies) thought it was bloody awful in the gearing stakes. It wasn't until I fitted the new box that I was entirely happy with it. As for originality what does that mean- original paint/instruments/clutch- get my drift? I prefer something more useable so I've altered lots on my car but guess what, mine spends a lot more time being used than worked on because the improvements actually improved on the original which quite frankly I thought was pretty poor in some respects (water leaks/overheating/fuel tanks perforating/exhausts you can't get apart/headlights not lifting/vibrations caused by badly manufactured original wheel rims/interior trim coming adrift/dashboards cracking/panels not fitting) any more?.

Anyway, enough said. If any fellow owner wants to convert their own car and is competent mechanically feel free to pick my brains (!)

Secondly,
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PostPost by: alaric » Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:51 pm

Seandmoor,

Last time we spoke I believe you were on your 5th engine and gearbox removal to sort out a problem with the speedo drive on the Voigt box. What was the solution in the end? I'm also intrigued that the gearlever is slightly different as I don't remember Alan mentioning that to me. Do you know what the differences are?

Sean.
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PostPost by: tower of strength » Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:11 pm

Worzel,

I'm intrigued by your post and would like to know more!! I tried a type 9 for fit and I'm currently playing with an MT75!!, I'd prefer a type 9 though.


regards

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:58 pm

John Larkin wrote:The contact details are:-

Alan Voigts, 4 Toronto Street, Wallasey, Merseyside, CH44 6PR, UK
Telephone: +44 151 630 3575


John Larkin


Does anyone have an email address for Mr. Voights?
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PostPost by: Dave-M » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:22 pm

Don't think he does e-mails but it's well worth a phone call, Last winter I called him regarding a box and spent an hour chatting about the old days. The man is full of great tales of times gone by regarding the good the bad and the ugly of Motorsport and Lotus things.
He is old school, no bull sh*t, & top gearbox engineering.
Regards
Dave
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PostPost by: seaandmoor » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:48 pm

Hi Sean,
Well I think it was the fourth lift out actually... according to Matty's as it was they (not me) who weren't able to get the speedo drive to work. (not seating down properly and gear wheel all chewed up)
Alan Voigt sent them his own speedo drive taken straight out of his own car for them to fit so he knew that they had got the correct drive/connection/wheel... all chewed up again by the time I got home!
In the end drove to Liverpool on a nice day and Mr AV fitted new speedo drive (and fixed several other things which his eagle eye spotted 'whilst we've got the opportunity')
Collected on another day, had a really good chat and cuppa and a great drive home. It's been perfect ever since and can't recommend AV highly enough.
On the gear lever, best have a word with him because he does do more than one version depending on which car it's going in and I think there may be some variation in the position of the gear lever even in the same model. I did swop the first lever that came with the g/box for another one he does and it's now in exactly the same position as it was originally in the car. Great!
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