Lotus Elan

Lotus 5 speed shifter

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:29 am

For those of you with the Lotus 5 speed, how much up and down motion of the stick should there be?

Here is mine and it seems excessive. Is the ball socket (the blue plastic thing that screws into the
aluminum) worn?

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:13 pm

Up and Down is no problem,that slack is taken up by the rubber that goes on after,the problem ( if you have one ) lies in fore and aft and side to side sloppiness.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:31 pm

Thanks John!
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:06 pm

There should also be another piece between the ball and the rubber spring that removes the up/down movement.

On my stick the lower white ball is crumbling away like cheese, so I'd inspect it from underneath to be sure of it's condition.

I need to measure mine up to see if I can fit a suitably modified Nylon ball from McMaster in place of the original. I may make other mods while there but currently thinking this is a job for after the gearbox, engine are back in the car.

As far as I've seen these stick are difficult to get new. Or does any one know of a good source for them?
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:09 pm

Mbell, is the 'rubber spring' you're referring to, the gaitor / bellows?

I have a good white ball and with a hunk of teflon, I had a machine shop make another ball for me. Simple
stuff for a lathe operator (not me!). Hmmm, now that I'm thinking about, maybe I'll have him make several
more. I'm sure there are others who need this ball, too.

You're right about the sticks. They Sierra type 9 stick, with the 4 bolts for a hold down, instead of a
threaded socket, looks to be more abundant. Hence, my other thread about adapting said stick.

Any larger ball will take up the extra space to limit the up/down motion, although John C indicates that
motion is not the problem, but rather the left/right is.

As an aside, I'm trying to replicate the Alex Black V2 stick he fabbed up in this thread:
lotus-gearbox-f37/gearbox-swop-t21414-285.html
I think I'm close and found, with all my pieces together, the up / down motion is very limited. I'm not sure
why but it seems to work.

Both he and John C have nice solutions to the dreaded stick sloppiness.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:38 pm

gjz30075 wrote:Mbell, is the 'rubber spring' you're referring to, the gaitor / bellows?


Its a rubber spring fitted on the stick. This photo shows it and the top ball not shown in your picture:
lotus-gearbox-f37/gearbox-swop-t21414-270.html#p136351

I think a stick for a Type E or rocket gearbox has the right fitment but haven't had much luck locating them.

I am hoping I can buy a correct sized ball and drill/cut it to replace the existing one. I'd be interested in a pre made one if available. Was also thinking about removing the rubber spring and threading the rod then fitting a nut + normal spring so I could adjust the load on the stick to find a sweet spot. Then maybe also do a firmer bush between the upper and lower parts. Just in the crazy idea phase at the minute and a lot of other stuff to sort before worrying about the gear stick.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:53 pm

I believe that spring only exists on 4 speed sticks. See #56 in the diagram. It's purpose is to force the
stick down and acts partially as a detent for reverse.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:29 pm

There is not a traditional spring but a rubber bellow/spring on the 5 speed stick that keep tension on the stick to remove up/down slack.

You can see it on the parts diagram on part 1, but it doesn't have a part number.
http://www.lotuselan.net/wiki/FD_-_Gear ... ifter_%2B2

The stick's off my car at the minute so can post picture later if it helps (and I remember).
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:04 pm

Ok, got it. That's the part I'm calling a gaitor / bellows. It does act like a spring because there's a
circlip on top of it, holding it down, under tension. Yes, I've got that part.

Interestingly, it doesn't hold the white ball down, it just puts tension on the stick itself.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:04 am

Greg

"Interestingly, it doesn't hold the white ball down, it just puts tension on the stick itself."

The tension on the stick should pull the white ball up into the cup.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:45 am

You're right, John. The spring is pushing upward, against the circlip.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:24 pm

In many 5 speeds this rubber bellows has lost its compressive spring force over time and the ball is loose in the socket creating a vague change. Shimming the bellows down under the circlip with some washers on the lever makes a huge difference and improves the change feel.

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:14 pm

Appologies for hijacking the thread but could anyone suggest a reason why I've lost all gear selection?

It had got progessively, and rapidly, worse then suddenly - nothing.

Is it possible for the stick to simply jump out of connection?

This was particularly tiresome as I had just bought the ******** thing and completed about 7 miles!

( It could be relevant that during gear changes the whole centre column would move suggesting the lever had excess movement? The change was quite positive on the box I have recently sold)
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:26 pm

Maybe the threaded portion has unscrewed?

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:42 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:Maybe the threaded portion has unscrewed?

John :wink:


Maybe? I could not see much at the side of the road and feel it advisable to leave it alone for a while in case I do something unwise.
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