Lotus Elan

Elan with ZF 5 Speed gearbox

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:11 am

A friend of mine has an Elan S3 / S4 Coupe of rather doubtful heritage. It is fitted with wide Cosmic style wheels, a detuned BRM Phase IV engine & most unusually a ZF Gearbox.
It car was once used as a competition car here in Germany.
It has been rebuilt & is now registered for road use.
The owner describes the gearbox as being a direct fit into the car; that meaning the bellhousing flange fits directly onto the Twink crankcase bolting patern & the propshaft splines etc. are compatible.
The gearbox has an output for the speedo drive but he has not been able to source a right angle drive to fit. There is one which sticks out perpendicularly but of course this, as with the Ford gearbox, is of no use due to the limited space.

My question is:-
Have any of you heard of ZF 5 speed G/boxes being fitted to Elans or any other cars using the 116E block so that he could contact other sources in his search for a suitable speedo drive box?

A nice weekend to you all, I'm off for 2 Weeks :lol:
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:53 am

Sounds like he has a gearbox/bellhousing from a mk1 escort bda.parts were available from ford to copy the works cars.not sure,but angle drive probably not needed on escort. box was similar in droopsnoot firenza and a few variations in bedford vans etc,
cheers,
Martin
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:29 am

Thanks Martin,
a very good tip, I'll pass it on.

Could it be that you have one of thse very fast 105E Anglia's fitted with a Twin Cam?
I remember them racing at Castle Coombe.

Cheers
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: Dag-Henning » Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:22 am

- the works Escort Mk 1s ( TC and BDA )had that gearbox fitted, so the apropriate box & bellhouse can be sourced from the "Escort rallydealers" in the UK. I do believe it is somewhere in between hens teeth and obtainable, but don't expect it to be cheap......

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:35 am

Once again thanks.

Just out of interest. I presume that the ZF G/box was designed purely for competition use & therefore is a close ratio 5 speed with 5th gear being 1:1 ratio.

My freind seems to think he has the advantage of an overdrive 5th gear!

All the best
John.
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PostPost by: M100 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:04 pm

Vegantune (yes that bunch of incompetent head wrecking dishonest thieving wankers) fitted ZF boxes to the "Evante" (Elan Clone) back in the 80's. I think they might have changed to a type 9 box on later cars.

On a visit there in about 1985 ish they had all sorts of crap in their reception area most of it fit only for the scrapyard and surprisingly about half a dozen brand new ZF gearboxes, complete with bellhosings which they said were for their modern day Elan (at the time I don't think it even had a name)

I couldn't afford one then and I didn't even ask the price, but by the standards they maintained I'd guess they'd have slung a handful of sand in the gearbox before selling one to a customer - complete with a "racing components are not covered by any guarantee disclaimer"

:)

I missed my chance a couple of years later when a mate of mine got a job with ZF. He said he could get huge discounts on gearboxes - alas I had just moved house and had a huge mortgage so I passed on the offer.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:39 pm

[quote="M100"]Vegantune (yes that bunch of incompetent head wrecking dishonest thieving wankers) quote]

Hmm!..... so I take it you were not entirely satatisfied with their operation then ?
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PostPost by: thor » Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:12 pm

I also seem to detect a slight hint of dissatisfaction :o ....... ... .. hehe

They might be shit, but my vegantune cams are brilliant, they probably had them machined somewhere else, and didn't fit them to my engine....which by your remarks must be a good thing. :D

I'd love to change my porridge 5-speed for a ZF.
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:10 pm

Easy Thor - you'll be giving porridge a bad name! :)


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PostPost by: elans3 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:36 pm

Just a note to say that there are lots of ZF boxes out there that are not Direct (1:1 ) top gear ! In fact, the majority of surviving gearboxes will be as such, as all the direct top ones were picked up for rally cars.
The Droopsnoot Firenza had an overdrive 5th gear, so did most of the CF vans that utilised this box. Be careful, most of the CF van boxes are not right for a road car, with VERY low ratio's. (I used to be a Firenza / Chevette HS freak in an earlier existence)
If you could source a bellhousing, a droopsnoot box would be a very nice addition, howevr, I'm not sure that it would be an easy fit in the Elan tunnel..... Be warned though, ZF spares are mega expensive, should it need a rebuild.
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:14 am

John,
I did have an anglia,with twin cam,have now sold it and am busy transfering all the mechanical parts into my anglia van (307e) Yes,I probably am mad! will be using van for my business,so will have some fun driving around the essex lanes!
elans3,
I too was a member of the dsg in a former life,agree,droopsnoot box good for road car,zf gearchange is quite heavy and slow compared to slick 2000e elan box though.and parts are crazy/hard to find,only use one for historic reasons.
Martin
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PostPost by: lotuselan2 » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:28 pm

ZF may be expensive to rebuild but if you get a decent one it should never need it. My Group 1 Firenza race car had 185 HP at 2.3 liter. It took that torque and power for several years including some long races without ever complaining.
I would love to squeeze one into my Plus 2.
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PostPost by: crannyr » Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:03 pm

I just completed installation of 5 sp ZF in my Plus 2. It fitts well in the available space but does require some fairly significant fabrication for bellhousing adaptor, driveshaft, trans mount, shifter. Any one interested drop me a email.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:57 am

Thanks all you guys, for all of the valuable information.
The ZF gear box is actually in the Elan & the car has been running with it for several years; alas without a functioning speedo.
I have suggested to him that a digital push bike speedo would be the easiest solution because sourcing a right angle speedo drive adaptor seems to be impossible.
Cheers
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:00 am

Is the speedo thread/centre pin a special on the ZF?

I would have thought modifying a standard right angle drive would have been relatively simple.
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