Lotus Elan

MT75 Gearbox

PostPost by: DJThom » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm

Could someone running a MT75 5-speed gearbox in their Elan elaborate on the pros and cons as well as on what modifications may be required to fit it.

Many Thanks
Darren
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:14 pm

If I recall correctly the MT75 has an integral bellhousing and won't fit the Elan - only the Type 9 will.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 2:36 am

Hi There

You can get modified MT75's that take a type 9 (RS 2000) bellhousing. Michael Cotts does one. There was such a box on ebay recently.

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PostPost by: gav » Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:35 am

Hi Darren

I have just fitted one to my sprint using the Spyder package (not the purists approach but it keeps me on the road). I changed the diff to a Sierra with lsd to match the ratios.
I used Spyder's modified chassis to accommodate it and needed their propshaft and speedo drive to complete the set
The hydraulic clutch is really smooth and easily compensates for the heavier duty AP clutch I fitted.
The only tricky bit was the handbrake arrangement which is now done but needs the usual adjustment. The chassis can accommodate a more conventional handbrake on the tunnel but I didn't want to change the external or cockpit appearance.
The car drives smoothly and is very user friendly. I think cruising is much quieter but this is subjective,
The last job is to change the driveshafts from modified TTR (with Hookes joints) to CVs to increase the travel. Will do this over Crimble while the family watch telly (hopefully)
All the best
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PostPost by: berni29 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:44 pm

Hi Gavin

I am about to build up a plus2 Zetec chassis, and I was wondering how you connected up the Ford LSD to the standard suspension uprights. I would like to keep my suspension standard because I do not like the wider track of the Spyder suspension, although I am worried about the strut inserts bending/binding under acceleration.

Many thanks

Berni
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PostPost by: gav » Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:42 pm

Hi berni

First a health warning - I have a baby Elan not a plus 2 so the effects may be different. You may need a chat with Andy (Wiggy) at Spyder to clarify the differences.

I use Spyder's twin rear wishbone kit so I haven't seen the effect of the diff set up on the original suspension set up. The kit is designed to locate the outer connection (where the donuts fit) in the same position as original.
The diff sits slightly forward of the standard Lotus diff output on the baby Elan so I modified the diff end of a set of TTR driveshafts to fit the diff. The outer end was as original. Because the splines are so long they took up the difference in travel. However, these joints bottom out on droop so I now have all the bits needed to convert to CV joints.
I asked Spyders to take a ford drive shaft, cut it and fit a sleeve over the break. The sleeve needs a hole towards each end over which is welded a nut. The shaft length can then be adjusted to the exact dimension by offering it up, checking the travel and locking the length through the nuts. These dimensions are used to have proper shafts made. I gather that there is a slight difference between the sides.
It sounds worse in writing than it is in reality
I'm at the stage of having the dummy shafts, I just need to disconnect the TTR shafts and offer up the dummy ones and measure the length and have a pair made up. Spyders are helping me with all of this. I have a lot of time for them.
It may be that some of the CV joint kit suppliers can help here also.


Very long winded but I hope it helps.

All the best
Gavin
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PostPost by: RonR » Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:59 pm

Hi Gavin,

I too am considering using a Spyder Zetec Chassis with the Zetec engine, MT75 'box and Granada Diff in my Plus2, but using the suspension bits I already have, including the Spyder RSC conversion (Pre-Zetec, so it has standard Lotus fittings and locations like yours).

Do you know if Spyder intend to offer the "Ford LSD to Lotus Suspension" driveshafts for sale, or is this just a one-off?
Obviously the length would have to be adjusted for the Plus2, but the extra length is already a known quantity.

Also, all the Spyder Zetec cars I've seen have had cable clutches with modified pedal boxes, how did you go about keeping the Hydraulic Clutch?

Cheers,

Ron.
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PostPost by: gav » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:16 pm

Hi Ron

I dont know if Spyder are offering a drive shaft set. They can certainly arrange one offs but you really need to talk to Andy (Wiggy) on that point. They are better geared up for the plus twos than the baby Elans (althought they have now done a variety of the babies in a number of engine/box combinations) so they may well do a kit - I never had a need to ask the question so don't know.

With the hydraulic clutch, The hydraulic release mechanism is within the bell housing of the MT75. The trick is to find the right clutch and cover combination to suit. Again Spyders have good contacts here. Andy put me in touch with a clutch supplier who was brilliant. I looked for his details recently but have filed them somewhere safe (!). I'll have another ferret but in parallel, a chat with Andy should assist

Hope this helps.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:32 am

Hi Ron

Re the Spyder conversion, I took delivery of my engine, and ordered a Zetec chassis and other bits today. I spoke with Andy about using the standard suspension. The main problems are with the handbrake and driveshafts. Secondary problems are down to the extra power ie reduced wheel bearing life etc. When asked about the driveshafts being converted to mate up with the standard strut he said that it would be custom work.

The handbrake linkage with the Ford diff in there would be pretty challenging he reckoned, and you cannot use a hydraulic solution in the UK because of the MOT laws.

I do not give up easily so ordered all the bits that I HAD to have and could not get any other way (economically) ie the chassis, mounts, roll bar, propshaft & gearlever assembly etc. I do like the sound of theSpyder rear uprights that take the double wishbones and the standard susp gubbins. I think that the standard struts will bend/bind under fierce acceleration, even with the 1800 engine that I am going to use.

Andy thinks that the way forwards for people like me who dislike the wider track of the Zetec car is to have narrower wheels with 175 section tyres fitted. I still want to try it with the standard suspension though. I will have certain components (the rear shafts for example) crack tested before using.

That is the plan anyway! It will be great if someone else like Ron builds a similar car at the same time.

Berni
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PostPost by: RonR » Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:32 pm

Thanks for the info guys, very useful.

Using a hydraulic clutch certainly makes sense to me, as reversion to the Twin-Cam and a 4-speed box would be much easier.

I must admit the handbrake wasn't something I'd thought about yet.

Berni, I'm just down the road in Petts Wood. At the moment the Zetec is just an idea for a project for 2006. Meanwhile, my car is fitted with the Spyder rear end, so if you want to have a butchers, PM me to arrange.

Cheers and Merry Christmas,
Ron '68 +2, '92 M100
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