Lotus Elan

Gearbox main shaft "C" clips

PostPost by: Briggs1 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:09 pm

This is embarrassing, but I took the main shaft out of the gearbox to clean and install new bearings on the "in" and "out" end of gearbox case.

In reassembling I find myself with an "extra" c-clip.

There is one holding the third gear synchro in place and two at the input bearing.
I have one more and do not see it on the exploded view in the manual.

It looks like it should go on after the "first and second gear synchronizer hub".

hoping someone can confirm. I kept my parts together so as not to not have these issue upon reassembly, but seems that the weeks between tear down and assembly have left my mind with a lapse.
gearbox1.jpg and
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PostPost by: promotor » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:37 pm

Sounds like you're right if the clip is bigger than the one that holds 3rd/4th synchroniser in place.
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PostPost by: Craven » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:25 pm

Yes that will be it, not shown on any exploded view I’ve seen. Caught more than one out!
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:46 pm

A photo of the item would tell a thousand words!
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:16 pm

A photo of the C-Clip?
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:00 am

Wasn't there a change from the drawnut style mainshaft to a snap ring sometime after 69?
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:35 am

There was not one on mine, either coming apart or going back together. Here is a picture of mine as it came apart, numbered in the sequence to put them back together in reverse.

img_20190616_145746.jpg and
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:43 am

see the video link at about 9:00 minute mark.

There must have been a running change that was not documented in the manual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncEH3FrHz2E&t=815s
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:10 am

Quite painful to watch as this guy makes just about all the wrong moves but if you can stay with it you will see where your c clip belongs. Looks as if SENC box has been apart before.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncEH3FrHz2E
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:13 am

Well, I won't make any comments about long and boring videos... but you made me go back and watch my own and I did, in fact, have a circlip at that location. Must have had it under one of the pieces in that picture, but it is going back in at the 6 minute mark in the link.

https://youtu.be/0hUcB-4b9C0

It is laid out at the beginning of the video. And if you are really bored, part four of the disassembly videos is where it comes out
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PostPost by: promotor » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:42 am

Briggs : the manual picture you posted is correct for the period and doesn't need a circlip in that assembly as the sleeve that fits under 1st gear is what holds the 1st/2nd synchroniser hub in place.

However, in all of the later boxes - ie those that don't use a sleeve under 1st gear and either have the rear mainshaft bearing held in place with a locknut or a circlip - the 1st/2nd synchroniser is held in place by a large circlip.

Leaving it out will cause numerous issues, the main issue being gear selection issues.
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:41 am

But if you look at the later views ‘no sleeve’ the c clip is not shown.
elan-4-speed-internals1r.jpg and
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PostPost by: promotor » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:57 am

Craven wrote:But if you look at the later views ‘no sleeve’ the c clip is not shown.
The attachment elan-4-speed-internals1r.jpg is no longer available


I wonder how many people have left that circlip out after reading the manual?!!

And if you look in the mk2 cortina parts manual there's a circlip (I presume the one we are talking about) but it's in the wrong place!

dsc05880.jpg and


The mk2 cortina workshop manual finally gets it right!

dsc05883.jpg and
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:40 am

Thanks for all the feedback. Having a part left over is never a good feeling.

Luckily I stopped all work once I saw it out of place, so getting the C-Clip back where it belongs is not a problem.
Last edited by Briggs1 on Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Over 40 years since I had one of these gearboxes in bits....happy memories in my father’s workshop learning (his Lotus Cortina g/b consumed itself, the later Ford 2000E replacement gearbox was cheaper than the replacement original Lotus gear set alone, just needed a change of spigot bearing).
I seem to recall all the circlips had to be correct size (width) too?
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