Lotus Elan


PostPost by: Tony P » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:39 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll:
Last edited by Tony P on Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: peterako » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:26 pm

Tony P wrote:Hi
Has any one put a zetec +2 on to a automatic gear box.



I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
'73 +2S 130/5
Opel Zafira, Some bicycles, Wife, Kids, Cats, Dogs....chickens....cluck cluck...goldfish...ducks flew away!
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:58 pm

When Ford brought out that lovely car that they called the Pinto in 1972, the engines offered were the 1600 crossflow and the now well known Pinto 2.0 Liter engine, it was available with the German built 4 speed or a 3 Speed automatic. The box was the C4 that they used with the 6 and small 8 cylinder engine of that period. A small torque converter (10 inch I believe) and a custom bell housing that mated up with the 2 liter 4 cylinder. It will also bolt up to the twin cam and has been done by Mike Ostrov for one of his modified Elites that used a stretched Elan chassis along with a 1700 cc Stromberg Twin Cam. I have driven it and being the cripple that I am I quite enjoyed it. It was a bit on the heavy side but went well. I found a couple of these boxes and decided to see how much work it was and I had the short block bolted up to the automatic and installed in a spare chassis. There were some interference issues that would have needed to be dealt with but nothing major. I also remember that the crankshaft needed a spacer installed between it and the torque converter.
a Link to a post by Mike
Elite/Elan MK II Automatic

"Elite/Elan MK II Automatic
First Gear
First Gear
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 10:34 am
Lotus Elan Posts: 26
Location: Richmond, CA
Hi, Bill.
A few seasons ago, I placed an Elite (Type l4) body onto a stretched
(4.125 inch) Elan chassis with suitable re enforcements per AVO with two
additional changes: the upper two inch wide engine bay flange has a one
inch box tube welded under it and the excess removed and the lower
flange has a l/8 by one inch angle iron from front to rear. This
allowed the removal of the upper and lower cross bracing. Total chassis
weight at 98.5 lbs. and sand blasted and POR l5 sprayed.
Heim joints on the outboard rear arms and a sway bar from an Elan +2
(.75 inch) suitably altered with modified +2 front and rear springs and
externally adjustable SPAX shocks at all four corners with adjustable
ride height coils, help keep the balance.
The powerplant is a l725 cc Twin Cam (Stromberg head, high European
balance tubes, l0.3l to I static compression ratio, using a standard
Lotus block which was sonic tested for a minimum of .090 at the bottom
and .125 top cylinder wall thickness, new Ford SVO l600 crank, standard
TC 125 rods, pistons from Bean at 84 mm), Pertronix ignition, oil
cooler and many other mods.
All this, so I could mate up a vacuum controlled C-4 automatic gearbox
from a l98l Pinto Estate Wagon.
3.55 Elan diff with my standard l5 inch wire wheels provides 3400 rpm
cruising at 72 mph.
Runs all day at 75/80 C and 48 psi oil pressure at speed and 35 psi
at idle.
Not a rapid level of acceleration, as the tare weight was l925
lbs, but most comfortable on the motorway.
If you are out in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am 6 miles from
Berkeley and all the cars (Standard Elites, Sevens and another
Elite/Elan MK I with Coventry Climax and 280zx 5 speed) have full petrol
tanks for your driving enjoyment.
Just ring me on (5l0) 232-7764 when in the neighborhood.
Cheers. Mike."

Here are some pictures of the box by itself, I didn't take any pictures when it was in the chassis back in 1999.
If you think about it, there is not much that is discussed today that has not been visited in the past.

c4kit.jpg and

The burgundy elite with the bonnet up is the automatic version
mike.jpg and
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:47 pm

The Ford C4 was an excellent auto-box, if such a thing exists!!!!
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:44 am

Chancer wrote:The Ford C4 was an excellent auto-box, if such a thing exists!!!!

The one in the photos I posted in my first reply is in stock. The picture in the lower left is a partial kit that has the bell, torque converter (lower right), flex plate, closing plate, and dowels to the 711 style block. So they doe exist and maybe one day I'll get back to such a project.

This one is still attached to the 2 liter Pinto is out in the garage.It is pretty narrow but the chassis would need a window or two cut and shut to do a proper job.


2 liter with C4 gearbox.JPG and
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:57 am


From another (+2) thread:

"Graham Arnold said that NAH 120F was converted to take a Borg Warner 35 auto box allied to a 130 bhp high torque engine from Expert Engineering of Ware. Apparently the black and silver car was badly vandalised in 1971. Present whereabouts - anyone know? DVLA has it down as being first registered on 3 May 1968, with last tax disc liability on 1 Nov 1979 and then painted red.

So that would appear to be the only factory auto. Any others were presumably done by owners after delivery."

And on eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Borg-Warner-3 ... 0844303232

box 1.jpg and

box 2.jpg and

Is that going to bolt straight on?


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PostPost by: Tonyw » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:17 pm

A good number of Ford Cortina's in Australia were fitted with automatics I thnk from memory they were Borg Warner 35 box which were very common during the mid 60's to mid 70s there are some for sale on Australian Gumtree web sites as I write.

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PostPost by: promotor » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:00 pm

vernon.taylor wrote:
box 1.jpg

box 2.jpg

Is that going to bolt straight on?



This box will bolt on to the Zetec engine as it has the same bell-housing bolt pattern.
The flex plate to fasten the torque converter to the crankshaft will need to be a custom one.
I wouldn't think that this gearbox will handle the torque of a big zetec without putting in a bigger clutch pack (it is possible as Triumph Stags, amongst other cars, use this 'box by using more clutch plates to cope with the engine output).

I have seen somebody mate a Ford C3 autobox (3 speed) to either a 1.8 or 2.0 Zetec though - I will try and find the link and post it later.

It's my gearbox in the picture by the way!
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:33 pm

NAH 120F was a factory trade plate and seen on a number of cars, Elans and Plus 2s, so the DVLA info does not necessarily apply to the auto box Plus 2.

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