Lotus Elan

elan close ratio box

PostPost by: jhonnyrockets » Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:56 pm

I have a plus two with a worn box and I might have an opportunity to purchase a close ratio box, and put it in, instead of rebuilding my semi-close. What are the characteristics of the close ratio, it's road manners and how does it differ from the standard semi-close? This is a street car, although driven enthusiastically, it is not raced and I fear that the close ratio will compromise it's standard roadability.

thanks ahead of time,
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PostPost by: bill308 » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:22 pm

My S2 SE has has an engine built to Sprint specs but with slightly lower compression, Weber carbs, and an aluminum flywheel. I have exceptional low end torque and can launch with very little throttle if I choose to drive like this. Light weight and good low end torque make a close ratio box acceptable, but I use a simi-close ratio transmission and personally would change unless I had to. I wish I had a 5-speed though.

My friend has an S3 with a close ratio box, Webers, and a standard engine which I have driven on occasion. From a dead stop, take off is more challanging, but once off, the gear ratios are a delight. Take off up a hill from a standing start was more challanging, but doable with practice and a little more throttle and clutch slippage.

The plus 2 is a bit heavier, so I personally would not recommend it. I don't know what your engine is like,or what your local terrain is like, but if it's generally hilly, standing starts will likely cause additional clutch wear.

Anyway, that's been my experience.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:34 am

The close ratio box will be no real advantage in a road plus 2 and the high first gear will be an annoyance unless you have a big high torque stroker motor.

In my Elan the close ratio box is fine but then most of my starts are done by dropping the clutch at 5000 rpm in races ! In my plus 2 on the road the lower ratio first ( its a 5 speed box) is a real benefit especially getting up the 1 in 3 hill out of my drive with a cold engine when I dont want to wake up the neighbours early on a Sunday morning.


I would rebuild your standard semi close ratio box.

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