Lotus Elan

Thoughts on this car please?

PostPost by: elanski » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:51 am

The gearbox has apparently been replaced with a sierra 5 speed that as you can see leaves the shifter sitting quite a bit further back along the transmission tunnel. Has anyone seen one like this before or indeed carried out a conversion that ended up looking like this?

Should I be concerned about other cuting and jiggery pokery which cant be seen but might have gone on under the car to accomodate the gearbox? Conversion is said to have been carried out at a competent specialist garage but I would have thought a competent garage would have been able to find a way to do something with the gearstick to bring it back nearer the front of the console, even if it was done some time ago.

Debating whether to go and view the car at the moment as I quite like it but am put off by the unusual gear position. Everything else about the car suggests a careful owner who uses the car regularly. Am I worrying about nothing or right to be concerned?

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PostPost by: peterako » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:15 am

Have seen this on a +2 before. Actually the first +2 I ever saw or was in.

It's the result of putting the Siera Box straight in. The Lever just sits back.
Voight is 'just' a Siera Box.......but costs considerably more than just a Siera Box.....the price of getting the lever in teh right place :)

Personally I don't like it, though the owner considered it a massive improvement over his old 4 speed box for long trips.

Should you be worried? Probably not.
I dont know if the chassis had to be cut to get the lever up....worth checking.
But it's aestetically and ergonomically wrong to my eyes. Your left arm will be well back when changing gear.

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PostPost by: robertverhey » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:17 am

You could always revert to a 4 speed box with shifter in original place. You won't have any trouble selling or swapping the box, Cortina / escort owners will be forming a queue
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:22 am

Not 100% about this but with the lever so far to the back.I guess the V in the chassis could have been compromised?

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PostPost by: curly type 26 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:52 am

Was this not the way c.niels did it some years ago :?: Curly
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:29 pm

Drive it and see, you will have to move the drivers seat to fit your legs so you will not be able to tell until you drive it.

Try doing a hill start with the handbrake when you test drive it. I have to kiss the steering wheel when I do mine as I have short arms.
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:43 pm

Glen,
Unless you can look at the chassis from in the engine bay, under the car and inside the car by removing the centre consol, then you cannot be sure what if any "mods" have been carried out to fit the box. You say that you are quite taken by this car but have not said why. (close by, price?).
My opinion is to look at others. If you really want a 5 speed box, and end up with a standard 4 speed, then you can always carry out a conversion later - lots of help/advice on here about that.

Keep looking-there are still really good cars out there.

Regards

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:31 pm

peterako wrote:I dont know if the chassis had to be cut to get the lever up....worth checking.


The gear lever on the standard T9 gearbox is 11 inches (28 cm) aft of its location on the standard, Cortina-based four speed gearbox. I am sure that a hole has been cut in the top of the backbone section of the chassis for the gear lever to pass through. This is probably right at the front of the backbone section. I would really want to know how it was done. I have no doubt it could be done well with some reinforcement to produce the stiffening effect of the plunged holes in the vertical panels of the backbone section.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:04 pm

Jason1 wrote:Try doing a hill start with the handbrake when you test drive it. I have to kiss the steering wheel when I do mine as I have short arms.

. . . or just heel-and-toe and forget about using the parking brake for anything except parking! 8)
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:12 pm

curly type 26 wrote:Was this not the way c.niels did it some years ago :?: Curly


Yes. And I'm reasonably sure that Spyder started out this way too. However I'm not a +2 expert. Definitely get the car up on a lift to see where everything sits and try out the driving position.
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PostPost by: Bob » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:44 pm

Take a spanner take the gear knob off lift the tunnel cover and have a look. If its Ok call Andy at Spyder and see if he has a solution to the position.
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:54 pm

I converted mine in a similar way, 15 years ago, back then the only other alternative was an original 5 speed box.

Basically you have to cut a hole in the top of the chassis, I flanged the edge like the other holes already in the backbone, it has been fine (mine is also a convertable so has lost the strength of the roof). You also have to modify the baffle in the front of the backbone by forming an arch at the top like the bottom.

On mine I have a short shift kit and the gearstick is longer and cranked forward about 5-6 inches which puts it in a comfortable position pretty close to the original which is cranked back by 3 inches or so.
I did consider raising the console slightly making a remote linkage to fit underneath, but in the end didn't want to compromise the shift quality.

The other advantage is all the parts are standard Ford and easily available.

Fitting the 5 speed box made the car much more useable, its fine on motorway's where the 4 speed always felt stressed and the fuel economy is considerably improved.

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PostPost by: robertverhey » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:06 pm

A bit like Gilbern did in the Genie....http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C215218/# S'pose that's an option.
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PostPost by: elanski » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:06 am

Thanks for your responses guys. Spoke to the dealer this morning. He says the chasis hasn't been cut about and is going to take some photos of the underneath to send me. If I decided to still view/testdrive the car he can have it put up on a ramp for insepction so I should be able to see if anything untoward has gone on.

Dealer is Vincent Haydon. Anyone delt with him before?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:10 am

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