Lotus Elan

Propshaft frustration!

PostPost by: alaric » Sun May 07, 2006 9:44 pm

Hi all.

I'm expecting to be taking my chassis off to the body restorers this coming week, so tried to fit the propshaft, engine and T9 gearbox this weekend. I'm not going to mention the supplier at this point, but I'm actually amazed to find that almost every part of the new propshaft is wrong.

The story goes as follows: In order to ensure the flanges etc were correct I sent a new front spline and old differential flange off to the supplier, with measurements re the length of the propshaft, requesting that they use the new spline and supply a new diff flange. I wrote a very clear letter listing my requirements and including photos of the new spline and old diff flange that I'd included in the parcel. Anyway, after weeks of waiting and phoning them I agreed to go ahead with a verbal quote of £75. Happy with the price, despite being unhappy with their lack of proffessionalism.

On taking the masking tape off the gearbox spline this morning I noticed that the oil seal surface was not shiny - it's actually a second hand part, and what's more, it's not actually the one that I supplied. I hadn't noticed when it was delivered. Pah! I offered it up to the output of the gearbox, and it won't fit. The internal diameter of the splines is several mm too small. Again, Pah!

The differential flange, which I thought was correct, is actually 0.6 inches higher than the one that I supplied, and again, it's not new. So, the propshaft is actually 0.6 inches longer than what I need; at least the main shaft part is the correct length. Also, the bolt holes are a larger diameter.

Finally, the invoice is for £224. I expected postage, vat, and the usual error in the verbal quote, so would have been happy with £150. But this is taking the mickey. I haven't paid anything to date.

So, I've written another clear letter, politely explaining that I need an urgent solution.

What really hacks me off, is that since it's a T9 gearbox and therefore not standard, I went to great lengths to make sure that they had all the measurements that they needed, so that the new shaft would fit, and I even supplied the spline and a diff flange. They've actually managed to get it all wrong (apart from the mainshaft length).

Luckily I have an ebay purchased prop shaft that I have assembled with new roller bearings and a second of the correct gearbox spline. So at least I can crack on and get the car together. It means I may end up lifting out the prop shaft for a re-balance.

I wonder what response I'll get. If they are true to form it'll be a demand for payment. Thing is, I want my parts back, so two can play at that game.

Keep smiling! :)

Sean.
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PostPost by: worzel » Mon May 08, 2006 7:48 am

Hi Sean

Bit late now of course but when I converted my car in 1999 I took the measurements to a local speialist who then passed the work on to GKN in the midlands.

Price was around £90 then and it took about a week. Balancing was included in the price.

Incidentally, and without revealing names, is this conversion your own design or is it a commercially available one. The reason I'm asking is that I'm still trying to sell a converted T9 box that I originally made to replace the existing T9 in my own car (3rd on mine is starting to make unpleasant noises occasionally) so (and with apologies) the more tales like yours I hear the better my chances of selling this one!

Anyway- good luck.

John
John
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PostPost by: alaric » Mon May 08, 2006 11:16 am

Hi John.

The gearbox conversion is from Alan Voigts. No problems with it really other than fitting to a +2 5 speed car rather than as a conversion from a 4 speed. I am aware of at least two other +2 owners who are now getting the box from him - both have visited me at home to see the gearbox etc and been impressed.

Re GKN, yup, that's who I went to... they've not had a chance to respond to my letter yet. It could be they've shipped the wrong prop shaft to me - it's probably a standard 4 speed one. Maybe there's someone in the country with my propshaft, wondering why their shiny new spline won't fit into their 4 speed box...

Sean.
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