Lotus Elan

Has anyone eliminated anti-sizzle gear lever?

PostPost by: jbeach » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:23 pm

Dear Elan Community,

Last weekend I wrung off the ball end assembly bolt over which my anti-sizzle gear lever bushing is attached.
anti-sizzle-lever.png
anti-sizzle-lever.png (47.5 KiB) Viewed 791 times

I have located a used ball end assembly with bolt intact, but is is quite expensive and I cannot find a "lock washer," one of which was missing from my assembly.

So, I'm thinking about replacing the entire assembly with a direct lever assembly that eliminates the "anti-sizzle" bushing. I understand this direct lever arrangement is more common in racing Elan's.
bean-direct-shift-lever.jpg and

Does anyone have experience using the direct lever for street driving in terms of vibration and noise? If so, can you describe the level of noise and vibration for the direct lever and how it differs from the anti-sizzle?

For what it is worth, I tend to generally like more direct mechanical connections and often favor them over connections that provide additional comfort and isolation from noise and vibration.

Many thanks,

-John
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:53 pm

Hi John,

I have an Alan Voigts T9 conversion, which is basically a development of the original Lotus/Ford gearbox. My gear lever is welded solid, and does not have an 'Anti sizzle' bush. There is no vibration at all. :)
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:19 pm

I fitted a couple of discarded copper spark plug washers either side of the rubber bonded insert in my S4 gearstick within a few days of building it from a kit. I prefer the direct feel and have never been aware of any sizzle. For any purists, its reversible anyway.

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PostPost by: jbeach » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:19 pm

Brilliant. Thanks to you both. Exactly what I was hoping to hear. I am leaning heavily toward doing this, but solicit anyone else's experience on the subject.
Cheers,
-John
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:45 pm

Mine hasn`t got the anti sizzle gear lever and I think nothing about it. It just feels right to me. I do have an anti sizzle type as well, but have never thought of any reason to fit it.
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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:13 am

I have both types, and would say its just a different feel, no real change in noise level.

Personally I still can't decide which one I prefer, the solid stick does have a more confident feel, the anti sizzel can feel a little vague but does the job

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:51 am

Yes, I've gone back to the solid stick on my Sprint and......hated it! Drove me crazy on the highway with the
sizzle. Went back to the bushed, oem stick and it's fine. Actually, thinking about it, it feels great compared
to the Lotus 5 speed box I have in the car now!
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PostPost by: Chris » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:53 am

I modified my 5 speed lever mainly because of the soft rubber bush making gear changes vague, Selecting fifth gear meant the gear lever knob was almost touching the dash, and the excessive lever movement would distort the lever gaiter so it would contact a switch and operate it inadvertantly. I also wanted to keep the gear lever straight as it should be and not bent as so many are, and I also wanted to maintain its anti sizzle qualities. I therefore removed the lever and separated the two halves by destroying the rubber bush. All traces of rubber were removed from the lower half of the lever, and also from inside the upper sheath. The inside of the sheath was accurately measured and an aluminium plug was made 0.010" smaller in diameter than the sheath, giving 0.005 clearance all round. Two O ring grooves were cut and O rings fitted. These rings meant the ally plug could not touch the steel sheath so preserving the anti sizzle qualities, and the O rings being stiffer than the original bush meant a more positive change and if the O rings deflected on gear changing only 5 thou would be possible. Two 6mm grub screws were fitted between the O rings ensuring the ally plug could be securely located on to the lower shaft, then the upper shaft was pressed home. My car has had this mod for two years no problems encountered. I can't see why a similar arrangement wouldn't suit a four speed car.
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PostPost by: jbeach » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:06 pm

Thanks all. I’ve decided I’m going to install the non-bushed stick this week and see how I like it. I am wondering whether different engine/transmission combos provide a different level of sizzle and vibration. Anyway, I’m going to give this a try and see how it goes. I’ll give you a report in about seven days.

Greg and Chris, I envy your five speed gearboxes! I’ll have to say, I do get a little fatigued from 4000 RPMs on the interstate. Frankly, though, it’s quite amazing it’s not much worse. These cars and their engines are absolutely incredible.

Still trying to wrestle the excessive exhaust note to the ground. Once I fix the gear shift, I’m taking my car down to the local muffler shop and have them install the smallest Thrush glass pack I could find to see if that quiet things down enough.

Thanks to all - I’ll let you know how it goes.

-John
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:31 pm

jbeach wrote:Thanks all. I’ve decided I’m going to install the non-bushed stick this week and see how I like it. I am wondering whether different engine/transmission combos provide a different level of sizzle and vibration.



John, good thinking! My solid stick with my stock Sprint engine barely sizzled, not enough for concern. When I upgraded to a stroker, ie, more hp and torque, that's when the sizzle came through.
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PostPost by: SENC » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:00 pm

Watching with interest, John, keep us posted.
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PostPost by: derek uk » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:25 am

Not based on knowledge of this particular shifter but thick. heavy, sticky grease can help. Likewise, alternate weight gear lever knobs alter the resonance factor. I think the original is small, light and made of wood. Many will have larger and heavier ones, so owners who use anything other than the OEM one might care to comment.

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PostPost by: jbeach » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:28 pm

Will do, Henry,

Derek, Thanks for your comment on the shift knob. I'll look into that.

I'm intrigued by your "heavy, sticky grease" suggestion. I've been thinking about how I'm going to grease things up when I reassemble the mechanism with my direct shift lever. I assume you mean to grease all of the components I've circled here as I assemble, but please confirm.
shift-mechanism.png
shift-mechanism.png (70.17 KiB) Viewed 406 times

Can you or anyone suggest what grease I should look for that will best accomplish our goal?

At the risk of hijacking my own thread, while we're talking of lubrication, I'd like to change the oil in my gearbox while I'm at this. I assume I add the oil at the place indicated below, but would someone please confirm that? If so, is there a port in the side of my interior I can remove to access the fill hole? If no port, how do I get to it?
gearbox-fill-plug.png
gearbox-fill-plug.png (62.31 KiB) Viewed 406 times

For what it's worth, I will be using Redline MTL, based on numerous recommendations on this forum.
Thanks!
-John
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PostPost by: derek uk » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:46 pm

I was thinking of boat trailer wheel bearing grease. You can refill the gearbox by pouring in the measured amount down through the gearstick hole I think. Do the greasing after you have refilled the box.

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PostPost by: SENC » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:49 pm

John, yes, the side plug is the filler hole. I use an oil gun like the one below to fill it from beneath - but since you'll have the gear lever out you can fill from the top. Remove the filler plug anyway, and add MTL until it flows out of the filler hole.

51jqxauu8ml._sl1500_.jpg and
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