Lotus Elan

Gearbox swop?

PostPost by: bobashton » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:09 pm

Alex,
Congratulations on your conversion it looks to be an impressive achievement. Like you, I have been looking to move to a five gear box as the elan feels frustratingly under geared these days. Not having your engineering background I went to see Alan Voights in Liverpool, he's not too far away from me. Alan is in his early seventies now but has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things gearbox related, his workshop reminded me of Mr Ollivander's Wand Shop in the Harry Potter films. He has manufactured a bell housing and tail section for the Type 9 which puts the gear stick in exactly the right position. After reading concerns on this forum about the low first gear from the Sierra box Alan fitted the higher BGH first ratio when building the unit at cost price. The advantage for me was that I was able to pick the assembled unit up and plug it straight into my elan with no complications; improvements such as the concentric clutch with remote bleeder which won't get cooked by the exhaust are practical and effective.
The transformation to the car is remarkable, like you I can now cruise at 70mph doing 3000 rpm which feels a lot less stressful to driver and engine; I cannot detect any change in the shift quality between either box. I’ve been following your postings with interest over the past few months and feel a bit of a cheat when I see the creativity and expertise in what you have done. However for those such as myself who have less expertise and time on their hands I feel the Voights conversion is the best money I have spent on my car and will make the driving experience so much more enjoyable. I'm now looking forward to doing some serious mileage this summer.

Regards,
Bob
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Hi Bob,
Thank you for the kind words. I am delighted to hear you are happy with your car converted to the 5 speed Gearbox. Well done to you too Sir. Sometimes it is worth the effort and expense. Blindingly obvious thing to do IMHO...If one intends serious use of the car. My one might be abroad soon.... :wink:

I tried hard to make sure it was or would have been if it had been one of the few to be done by the factory. But right now looking at the car, sitting in it in fact and even driving it it is difficult to tell its been converted. Until you look for reverse that is or indeed 'find' the other gear when you go looking, as I did all the time. :roll: :lol: :lol: No doubt I will now try for a 6th.
(My every day car has 6 spd box) I will let you all know if I find it and not reverse!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have to say I have received great help and encouragement from some individuals on this Forum without who's help I might not have had a go at it. I was not at all sure about the Lotus box and I do hope that I have been reliably informed and it keeps going as it is now (or better)...

My time now to say THANKS.... To everyone who chipped in with help and info' various..

THANK YOU ALL.


Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:17 am

bobashton wrote:Alex,
However for those such as myself who have less expertise and time on their hands I feel the Voights conversion is the best money I have spent on my car and will make the driving experience so much more enjoyable. I'm now looking forward to doing some serious mileage this summer.
Bob


As an Alan Voigts/BGH converted +2S, I can certainly second that :D

Heading for Rome in September with the MSA Euroclassic :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:51 am

Hi Guys..... :D

A bit of a trend appearing here I see.

I noticed the requirement when we set off last year to go to the LeMans Classic and especially on the way back. I just hated the more or less unavoidable motorway sections of the run. One of my fellow C/L members passed us doing a little more than us, approx :roll: 80 ish. I stayed with him a while but it was not comfortable and the car was beginning to sound really stressed. He had a 5 speed box and I didn't so he got better fuel consumption and more comfort. That was the deciding moment I think. Then Sue M phoned me to say she had a box for me ..... The rest is well documented...

Advice time... I have all the parts to put the car back to 4 speed if required but I can't ever see me doing so now. I had intended to keep everything and pass it on with the car which I intend to part with after 2012 (Retirement year), to help fund another project and a camper van / motor-home I'm Keeping my Boxster S so I won't be stuck for hood down motoring. :wink:

Does the team think I should part with the gearbox and clutch assy? + speedo cable / drive etc etc? I'm not desperate for the money (contrary to what a couple of our lurking members think, I am not a money hungry profiteer) As most of you will have noticed I tend to give things away and ask only a donation to a charity (BHF for E.G.) But the gearbox kit would have to be sold due to its value.

Should I keep it? and give it with the car? Or sell it to a needy Elan Owner?

Question for the voigts guys. What is the BGH part? Silly question and I probably will feel sorry I asked in a moment or two!! :?

Alex.... 8)
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PostPost by: paddy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:17 am

If it was me I would definitely want to keep the original box with the car.

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:26 am

My thoughts exactly Paddy.. Only motivation for parting with, would be to help someone out who badly needs etc...

AB.... 8)
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:59 pm

alexblack13 wrote:Hi Guys..... :D

Question for the voigts guys. What is the BGH part? Silly question and I probably will feel sorry I asked in a moment or two!! :?

Alex.... 8)


Alex,

It's a layshaft & first gear kit with a better ratio of 2.98

Here it is:

http://www.spcomponents.co.uk/gpage3.html

http://www.bghgeartech.co.uk/html/gear_kits.html

Always remember old Chinese proverb:
"Man who ask question, fool for five minutes. Man who not ask question, fool forever..." :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:04 pm

Alex

I agree too.

Keep original kit with the car and it helps tell the story of that car, allows originality guys like me to put the car back together again properly and there are plenty of 4 speed boxes around - well some any way!

Tim
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:30 pm

It is decided then! The box and kit go into storage and will remain with the car for ever and ever Amen. Makes sense!

Thanks guys...

Thank you also Sean... I had not a clue what that was but I do now. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

Sad to learn today that the guy who bought my Honda ST 1100 pan European motorcycle has crashed it. He is ok. The bike however is not.... :?

Regards to all.

Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:36 pm

Hi Guys,
Here are a couple of pic's showing the Mk2 modified gearstick in my attempt to get it working sweet and looking right.

What do you think? Read the text on the pics for details...

The little car is driving very nice now. Well pleased with the box and the way it changes now and it looks correct I think..

I tried the std 5 speed stick in place and it just looked and felt all wrong. I have modified it too and It will live in the boot for a while. Just in case. :roll:


Alex... 8)
Attachments
063.JPG and
I think it looks great! And it works great too. Nice short and precise movements. No soggy rubber feel or long gearstick...
062.JPG and
Another view. Cover fitted.
061.JPG and
fixed and the boot in place. Nicely centered and moves sweetly without binding anywhere
057.JPG and
3 fixings @ 120 deg's.. solid!
055.JPG and
here it is fitted into place..Ready to tighten the grubs.
052.JPG and
Made a collar to slip over and fasten onto the rubber bush ass'y. Fixed with three m6mm grub screws.
Welded the set to length and angle stick to the collar.
050.JPG and
This part is still MK 1 if you like. The 4 speed rubber bush assy is firmly fastened to the 5 speed 'stub'. Note the missing gearstick...
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:32 am

Just a quick 200 mls report.

I think I have arrived at the final gearstick 'spec' if you like. Still having the rubber bush does give a bit of a cushion and helps avoid damage when the box is cold by heavy handed unsympathetic fast changes. So I'm keeping the rubber bush.

The trick is trying to limit the flexing when selecting the gears against the quite stiff protection spring and also keeping everything neat and tidy under the rubber boot.

Gears 1 thru' 4 up and down are great. Very similar to and poss' even slightly better than the Ford box.. JMHO...

Selecting 5Th is a bit vague, not bad, but slightly rubbery feel to it. One can feel the rubber bush flexing as the gear is selected. When running it requires a little 'tug' to get it out of 5Th. Reverse feels to be more precise somehow. It just clicks into place.

The car is now doing an indicated 3.3k (approx) RPM at a GPS verified 80 MPH :roll:

Conclusion ..... Worth the effort and cost I think but it's early yet! 3 - 5 hundred Mils to do before changing the oils again. Red line MTL going into the box then. And.. The change is improving. Its better every time I drive it.. But I'm also getting used to it.

4 speed box and its required parts are stored away to be kept with the car..

Finito...

Al' .... 8)
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:37 am

Alex,I know you've got your own Parliament up there,when did they alter the speed limits?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:51 am

bobashton wrote:The advantage for me was that I was able to pick the assembled unit up and plug it straight into my elan with no complications; improvements such as the concentric clutch with remote bleeder which won't get cooked by the exhaust are practical and effective.

Bob,
How long ago did you buy your converted T9 from Alan Voights? I have one of his most recent conversions and he has changed the location of the speedo drive and the rear mount locator. Both of which have made it anything but a drop-in. The gearbox mount locator is now too far rearward and I have got to fabricate a new mounting bracket to compensate.
Russ Newton
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:53 am

alexblack13 wrote:The car is now doing an indicated 3.3k (approx) RPM at a GPS verified 80 MPH :roll:

That's all very well, Alex, but what did the speedo say? You need to know what the speedo says at 78MPH.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:26 pm

When I put my 5 speed box in,it made the speedo accurate for a change....

John :wink:
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