Lotus Elan

Type 9 conversions

PostPost by: worzel » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:51 am

Hi all (and Happy New Year)

I'm currently having a few parts machined to alter the linkage on a Type 9 to shift the lever forward. It's an idea I've come up with that appears to be pretty simple (at this stage at least) and what's generated it is the recent input from possible would-be owners who responded to a question I put about T5 boxes.

I'm having the parts duplicated initially to enable some sort of blueprints to be made once I'm satisfied they do the job ok.

I know something similar to my idea has already been done successfully so I'm not exactly working in the dark I admit but my approach involves a lot less machining and initially only requires the removal of 5th selector fork ie the gears don't need to be disturbed. Admittedly my idea is slightly less "pretty" but it'll work exactly the same as the other conversions I've seen.

All potential owners would require to do if not particularly technically minded would be to remove the alloy gearbox tail, the gearlever "crank" (by punching out a rollpin), unscrew the forward spring loaded plunger (a 2 minute job), punch out the roll pin on the selector rod and extract the rod itself.

A 5/16 inch hole needs to be drilled through the alloy sandwich plate and the gearbox casing and then following instructions the parts I've had machined can be assembled and the linkage tested.

Obviously the lever still needs to be relocated and the alloy tail altered accordingly but this is relatively simple.

Owners who are "adventurous" to put it one way could probably do all/most of the conversion themselves for about £3-400 (possibly a lot less depending on skill levels and how much they had to farm out) and this would include altering the alloy tail, fitting a spring loaded system to bias the gearlever across the gate (or alternatively introduce a simple spring loaded cam arrangement to reverse and 5th gears) or, if they wanted to stick with the Ford system for locking out reverse this is also possible using a £40 rose jointed gearlever.

Owners would be advised to have any box overhauled as a precaution but the beauty of this idea is that any high street box specialist could easily do the job since the conversion is so simple and doesn't require specialist tools etc to assemble/dismantle.

I reckon I could get the parts required for the initial stage of altering the linkage for less than £100 so if any would-be owners out there are interested feel free to get in touch.

Last point- my own car has had a T9 since 1999 using a pretty simple system of linkage conversion but this latest idea is actually just as simple but is arguably more flexible in terms of the features that can be incorporated into it.

If you want a discussion ring 0151 480 8400

Regards

John
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PostPost by: nhhiker » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:55 pm

John

Thanks for telling us about this. Please keep the group up to date as you go along. Us in the states are looking to somehow to move the shifter ahead. I for one can not wait for Russ to show up with his Voights gearbox conversion. For T9's and T5's I need to stop and look @ Gary's stock pile of Lotus or Lotus to be parts. Always a good afternoon. I love to see what the other ideas are out there. I for one is always short of cash, But with a Bridgeport in the garage and time, anything can be made.

Bill Fralick
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PostPost by: worzel » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:36 am

Hi

Just to clarify- "my idea" (if that's what it is) has actually been well tried and tested by a fellow owner who's actually figured out 3 different ways of achieving the same thing.

I'm not suggesting my way is any better than his (which was very cleverly done) but I think it's simpler and involves less machining. In brief he linked the 5th selector fork to the other forks in the main gearbox casing and eliminated the separate lockout system on the gearbox rear. His idea however involved enlarging the hole for the selector rod at the rear of the box and sleeving 5th selector fork so that the selector rod ran thru the sleeve.

My idea simply routes 5th selector fork thru the casing at a different point and then marries up in the main casing. The biggest obstacle was figuring out how to design it in such a way that the modification could be assembled/disassembled in situ otherwise it couldn't actually be fitted ie 5th fork could easily be permanently modified but doing so meant that the box couldn't be assembled!

I'll keep you all posted.

Regards

John
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:16 pm

John,

There was another approach to the general shift lever repositioning problem that was applied to the T9 conversion for the Lotus Elite some years ago.

I have driven an Elite with a ZF 4-speed and an Elite with the T9 conversion in a back to back drive. There is simply no comparison. The T9 conversion exemplifies the words "like a hot knife through butter" comparison.

It required subtle engineering to accomplish such results. And the amount of forward relocation was less for the Elite than required for the Elan. But the same concept could be used. One side benefit is that the reverse gear lockout and 5th gear spring loading remain unchanged, so no detailed engineering changes need to be made to the rest of the transmission.

I don't know if you can track down one of the converted Elites to see how all this works, but it would be worth while to do so. The engineering of an equivalent Elan conversion would be a little more involved, but there are reasonable solutions to that problem.

David
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PostPost by: straightcut » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:19 pm

This may not apply, but I saw this website for transmission conversions in TVR's. This link shows some shift lever repositioning mechanisms: http://tvrna.com/tech-a02.html Perhaps there's something that would apply to the T-9.

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PostPost by: worzel » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:58 pm

Hi

Not had the bits back just yet but I'll definitely keep up the flow of info. Regarding the comment about a T9 into an Elite. Unfortunately when the lever is relocated as far forward as it's possible to go it isn't possible to retain the original spring loading device (there would be if the elan's transmission tunnel wasn't so tight as it could be located aft of the lever rather than in the front as per Ford's design.

It is however possible to reintroduce a spring loaded mechanism into the lid of the box with a bit of ingenuity.

Regards

John
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