Lotus Elan

5 Speed Gearbox

PostPost by: piers phillips » Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:39 pm

I am currently restoring my S3 DHC and am wanting to install a 5 speed box.I have a 4 speed box which i want to keep original....Has anyone got anything for sale or can tell me where to get one /who to speak to ???? (UK) ..... :unsure:
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:02 pm

Allan Voigts sells a 5 speed box (type 9) compleat with clutch for ?1500 + vat
tel. 0151 630 3575
Has anyone fitted one of his conversions yet?
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:09 am

Yes,

I took delivery of Alan Voigts 5 speed T9 conversion last month, it looks good. Expect to begin installation in Spyder +2 next week.

Will report on progress.

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PostPost by: worzel » Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:45 pm

Hi this is John

You can buy the complete package from Alan voights for around ?2100 (fitted I believe).

I've had mine in my own car for 6 years- it's based on the same type 9 box Alan Voights use.
Mine brings the lever in the same position as the 4 speed with no body or chassis mods or trim alterations.
The guy who designed it did so in 1982 (yep 22 years ago) and he has had his in his car since that time.
6 years ago the conversion cost me about ?600 in total including the other bits needed.
If you are close to Liverpool I could show you it fitted and working- I am not being altruistic here- I should have a spare box in about 8-10 weeks for which I want about ?650.
Adding the other bits eg propshaft, clutch friction plate, gearbox mounting bracket, special ally bellhousing and a speedo cable should bring it to about ?950. Fitting is a striaghtforward swap and should give you around 22 mph per 100 revs- depending on tyres. If you are interested in more details get back to me

Regards

John
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PostPost by: bill308 » Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:15 am

I'm unfamiliar with a T9 gear box.

What does it come out of?

Are you saying this 5-speed will fit a baby elan and retain the stock gear shift lever position?

I have a 66 S2 and would love to fit a 5-speed if this is possible.
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PostPost by: worzel » Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:05 am

Hi

John again.

The gearbox is the same as that fitted to early model Sierra/Capri and is of the type with a separate bellhousing (later ones had an integral bellhousing). As standard it will fit an Elan (but not with a spaceframe chassis) but the gearlever will end up behind the driver. To get it to fit properly so that the lever is in the same position as the 4 speed the linkage inside the box has to be reworked (a fairly major job). There are a few ways to do this- the simplest (and cheapest) will result in the lever requiring a short extension to bring it out at the same angle if that is what is desired. If not, using this method will result in the gearlever knob in exactly the same position but the gealever will adopt a more vertical position. Two other ways are possible- without going into the technical details both result in the gearlever being in exactly the same place as the 4 speed and at exactly the same angle. It depends what you want. In my own case I did originally have the short extension fitted but later decided to reduce this and have the lever more vertical. The change quality is just the same in both cases. The other items needed are a new propshaft (because the splines on the Type 9 box differ from the 4 speed and the prop needs to be slightly longer, a new gearbox support bracket (this bolts to captive nuts already present on the chassis), a new friction plate (you retain the 4 speed clutch cover), a new modified speedo cable and a special bellhousing to match the Type9 box to the Elan engine (Ford very kindly use the same fixing pattern so no sandwich plate is needed). Any problems/quirks?. Fitting took a weekend and was a straight swap. There is no cutting of the chassis/body and if you get fed up with the higher gearing you can always swap back to the 4 speeder (I'm joking). How well does it work- mine gives around 22.7 mph per 1000 revs, change quality is not quite up to the 4 speed (but they were exceptional anyway) but the throws are very short. The intermediate gears on mine are higher tthan standard (mine uses the 2.8 Capri box) but the 1600 and 2000 Sierras use ratios similar to the 4 speed. If you want to really go overboard there is also the option of an even higher 5th- but only with the box from 2.8 engined cars. This would give around 25 mph per 1000 revs which is the reason why I should have a spare box for sale- I am going to go down this route because I've found that my own car will pull even higher gearing. Does it make the car "different"- yes- 95 on mine is about 4100 and that pace can be kept up all day if you wish without mechanical strain- but be aware that surprisingly the noise levels don't seem very different so don't be fooled into thinking this conversion will make the car like a quiet limo- it won't.

Hope this info helps you.

John
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PostPost by: bill308 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:16 am

John,

Thanks for your detailed reply. There's a lot to be digested.

You say this conversion won't fit a space frame chassis. Do you mean a Spyder chassis?

From your description, it sounds like the best configuration is to have the gear lever exit vertically in the normal Elan position as it does with the standard 4-speed. It also appears that the transmission to use is from the 2.8 engine.

What is the source for the special bell housing?

You say the intermediate gears are higher than standard. Does this mean the lower 3 gear ratios are closer to the 4-speed Elan close ratio box or the semi-close ratio box, whic is what I currently have fitted?

When you do your new box, is the only difference to your old box a taller 5th gear?

Thanks again,
Bill
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:56 am

Hi John

When I talked to Alan Voight in March at Donington he said to me that no one had tried one of the 5 speed conversions in a Spyder (spaceframe). Has this changed and it has been tried by someone and its definate?

Gary
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PostPost by: gav » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:58 pm

Hi all,

What a small world it is. I have been considering the same conversion and co incidentally spoke to Alan Voigts yesterday.

I too have a spaceframe chasis and am aware of the slight clash between the type 9 set up and the chasis. He mentioned that he hasn't yet tried one of his boxes in a spaceframe but has recently sold one to N Ireland where it is currently being fitted.

I currently run a 5 speed ZF comp box which is perfect but extremely noisy. One thing that concerns me is that I am running a 4.1 diff. which I dont want to change. This affects the revs/ rpm ratio and forces me into an overdrive setup. I want to run the car on the road but in the light of Johns comments on noise wonder if the type 9 is worth it.

Is anyone able to comment on this?

My cunning plan was to adjust the box mounting slightly to accommodate the type 9 within the chasis. Any idea if this might solve the problem?

Many thanks

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PostPost by: worzel » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:59 am

Hi- John again

Some background to this- the guy who designed the conversion did so back in 1982 and has had the box in use since then. Do you have faith in amateurs?. I ask this because he is not a trained gearbox specialist but a very talented amateur. He assures me that the conversion definitely will not fit the spyder spaceframe chassis because the tubes restrict the width available at the rear of the box. I have no doubt that he is correct on this point. To answer the point about the bellhousing- this is from a racing Ford Escort and joins the BDA unit to a "Rocket" gearbox. The starter is on the same side and it uses the same clutch slave cylinder. There are loads lying around in garages who used to race escorts but I believe Burtonpower now sell new ones for around ?200. Secondhand ones can be had for half that. An alternative is to use the RS2000 bellhousing and modify it to use the Elan clutch slave cylinder but this does not look so nice. When I "do" my own box the only difference will be the higher 5th.

To give you some idea of the gearing here are some numbers- these apply to a tyre with a rolling circumference of 1737mm- scale up or down to suit your own tyres.

Elan 4 speed- 1st- 2.97 (5.784 mph/1000)
2nd 2.01 (8.546 " )
3rd 1.39 (12.36 " )
4th 1.00 (17.18 " )


Elan 5 speed
1st 3.2 (5.368)
2nd 2.01 (8.546)
3rd 1.37 (12.54)
4th 1.00 (17.18)
5th 0.8 (21.47)

2.8 Capri 1st 3.35 (5.128)
2nd 1.81 (9.49)
3rd 1.26 (13.63)
4th 1.00 (17.18)
5th 0.82 (20.82)

Above are with a 3.77 diff ratio

Mine uses a 3.55 and 1826mm tyres to give 22.7/1000 rpm

With a 0.75 top this will give me just over 25 mph/1000 rpm

The Sierra/Capri 1600/2000 models use ratios virtually identical in the bottom 4 to the Elan 4 speeder.

You can, if you wish, uprate 1st to the same ratio as the Elan 1st (I didn't because I prefer an easier hill start).

Hope this interests you.

Incidentally, where are you- I'm in Merseyside

Regards
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PostPost by: worzel » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:02 pm

A message for Bill across the pond- I've been trying to E-mail you some more info but cannot get through- so here is what I was trying to send. I forgot to mention that when fitting the box it is vital that you first assemble the box to the engine with the clutch fitted and rig up a temporary hydraulic circuit to the clutch cylinder. With the car in any gear have an assistant try to turn the output shaft whilst you depress the clutch pedal slowly. This is to determine the "bite/release" points. The reason for this check is that the alloy bellhousing is very slightly dimensionally different from the 4 speed cast iron item (I can't remember if it's longer/shorter). This difference means that the leverage is different on the clutch operating arm and a new post may be needed- any precision engineer can make one easily- mine cost ?10 six years ago.

If you will contact me to verify your own e-mail is operative I will send you some shots of a gearbox identical to my own with a picture of where the lever is on my own car and you can compare it with the photo of the box I am working on (which has the lever one inch further forward)

Regards

John
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PostPost by: cdraper » Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:48 pm

Caan somebody please confirm Alan Voight phone number 01516303575 or post his address/e mail. I am trying to contact him without success.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:27 pm

Got his leaflet in my hand and thats his number, no email address on it.
Address.
4 Toronto st,
Wallasey,
Merseyside CH44 6PR
U.K.

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PostPost by: bill308 » Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:41 pm

Hi John,

Please try my email again:

[email protected]

If this doesn't work perhaps you would be kind enough to post your email address and I will try to contact you directly.

Thanks for the info on the dimensional differences of the bell housings.

I would very much like to see the pictures you mentioned.

Bill
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