Lotus Elan

Isuzu 5 speed...again

PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:38 pm

It's a cold day here (28 degrees) but clear and sunny. I needed to take a ride and visit my machinist. Life is short and neither of us is getting any younger. I was looking forward to seeing him and taking him to lunch.

Guess what? He is one vacation with his wife. A cruise none the less. Well he deserves it and his wife always puts up with his shenanigans. He's a marine so you can imagine! He'll be back next week.

The good news! The CNC operator couldn't find the program and neither could the manager. Luckily, they let me sit down at the computer. Viola! I found the program and my invoice from 4 years ago. Where does the time go? More importantly, the program is safe and when Harry gets back next week, we'll have a price. I should have made a few extras years ago when Aluminum prices were substantially lower.

I'll have a price on the adapter plates next week.

While I'm waiting, I think I'll visit my other fabricator and machinist friend Bob and let him cut off the bellhousing on my spare trans that came out of a Isuzu pick up. Greg Zelazak was with me when I purchased the second trans. I remember I was told someone else already had dibs on it. I found the yard manager, told him I had some cash with me and asked what would it take for me to take it with me. A moment later, he got another yard worker to remove it and it put it in my truck. They are not easy to find.

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PostPost by: rcfurse » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:38 pm

Has anyone considered an alternative way to achieve the same thing? An overdrive.
There is a US company offering a pretty small, VERY expensive but highly rated unit that is roughly 7" deep, radius of 3.25" and about 12" long. If it is not possible to fit it to a shortened tail housing then I guess it could fit behind the tail shaft in the tunnel. The unit is a 0.78 and runs about $3,000.
Or is this heresy?
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:07 pm

^^ ^^^ Are you thinking of Gearvendors? I don't think they had anything that small but loved to be
proven wrong here.
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PostPost by: rcfurse » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:18 pm

Yes, it's gearvendors.
https://www.gearvendors.com/install.html

They say "it's roughly the size of a coffee can".
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:34 pm

Been there, tried that, got the photo--it don't work-too wide:
p1060888.jpg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:53 am

Davidb,

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That one exceeds a thousand. Good pic.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:47 am

It would be a wonderful solution-if it fitted. That way we would retain the wonderful feeling of the standard gearbox but with the addition of o/drive (On 2nd third and top?!)

The overdrive pictured is a Laycock de Normanville (GearVendors unit is a copy) unit-actually from a Volvo. If you want a cheap overdrive go to your local Volvo wrecking yard. It isn't that simple-you have to make up a blanking plate for the front and find a shaft-probably from an old Volvo gearbox-to drive the unit. But it can be done-given enough room...
But not in an Elan.
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PostPost by: rcfurse » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:56 am

That is a pity. The photo has saved me a ton of time. Back to the Isuzu?
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:31 am

That box was originally in the Isuzu Gemini (Holden Gemini here in Australia). The Isuzu Impulse (Holden Piazza) was basically the same platform. Don't confuse it with Geminis built from the mid 80's because by that stage the switch was made to front wheel drive. Some of the Isuzu pickups and SUV's may have shared a similar box but I cant be sure without research. In my workplace I actually have access to a lot of the old Isuzu workshop manuals. I saved them from being trashed so they are still in the archives somewhere - yes even going back to the Bellet !!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isuzu_Gemini
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_Gemini
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isuzu_Piazza
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:39 pm

Hmmmm, yes, the rarity these days of Isuzu bits in the USA is a concern for trying this, and any attempt by me to install a five won't be for a little while yet, which doesn't help with that rarity. Maybe some of the other possible boxes would be better to plan for.
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PostPost by: Terry Posma » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:28 am

img_0631.jpg and
Shortened Drive
Frank,

I am in Australia where the Izusu/Holden Gemini was very popular. Sadly most have been scrapped and these boxes are harder to get. I was lucky to find the diesel box after a short search. Gemini's are now popular for putting rather larger motors than was previously envisaged. https://www.flickr.com/photos/aussiefor ... 340445950/

The notion of the adapter for the gearbox side saves a vast amount of work if you can get two flat (compatible surfaces) I think. I am going to use this method in the Porsche 944/V6 project I have.

One warning is the location of the speedo drive. It is very close to the bulkhead in the frame and there is a mod that neds to be made to shorten it. You can screw the Elan cable to the drive. The ratios are quite similar but you will need a speedo redo to get it accurate.

Here are a few photos. Took them so I could remember how I did it. Putting in and removal is not a job to be taken lightly. I had to do it a few times to get it all working correctly and that was with the body off!! I found it easier to undo the whole lot half way out. The engine to bell housing bolts are very difficult to get at.
Attachments
img_0664.jpg and
Chop, chop
img_0653.jpg and
Tail shaft lengthened
img_0646.jpg and
Throw out & housing mod
img_0643.jpg and
Connected
img_0638.jpg and
Gearbox
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:13 pm

Any issues with speedo drives should be moot, at this point in time, with advent of the GPS
speedo box, discussed in recent threads. Your stock speedo cable will screw into the GPS
'black box', hidden, or in plain sight somewhere in the car which allows you to retain your
stock speedo gauge and innard workings.
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PostPost by: crannyr » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:05 pm

Years ago around 2002 we converted a Alpha 5 speed into my Plus 2. Still driving it today with no issues (knock on wood), My car has a 1700 cc Webber motor dynoed at a about 130 bph driving a 3.55 diff. In archives there is a lengthy discussion of the build, installation, and critique by various contributors, for what it's worth follow this thread:

lotus-gearbox-f37/speed-conversion-t14379.html

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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:39 pm

At the risk of being taken as a pedant (God ferbid) Can we call it an ALFA gearbox- Anonima Lomarda Fabbrica Automobili - Nothing Greek about it! :)
They don't call ours Lola's (do they?).
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PostPost by: crannyr » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:09 pm

ops
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