Lotus Elan

Overdrive Unit Fitting

PostPost by: Greg+2s » Wed May 26, 2004 7:33 pm

Has anyone checked into the addition of an overdrive unit onto the existing trans of an elan? Since I have never been deep into the drivetrain , yet saw an advertisemen from Overdrive Spares( www.overdrivespares.com ) and had never seen any discussion of this before, I thought I might ask.

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Wed May 26, 2004 8:46 pm

Ford never really went the overdrive route. I suppose it might be possible to mate an overdrive onto a Lotus/Ford gearbox.

Two things spring to mind .....

Space would be a problem in the Lotus chassis


Why would you want to? A modernish 5 speed box would be much nicer and more reliable and probably easier to fit in the space available and also mate to the engine with an appropriate bellhousing.

Anyone know if something like a Sierra box would fit?

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PostPost by: worzel » Fri May 28, 2004 12:09 pm


Re your overdrive enquiry. it is possible- but- you'd need the body off as you have to alter the chassis to fit the overdrive unit and you also need tp alter the body which in turn means you need to alter the trim (centre console etc). Probably not worth it unless you don't mind extensive mods and are going to change the chassis anyway.I've got a 5 speed box in my own car- I fitted it about 5-6 years ago. It's based on a Type 9 Capri 2.8 unit with the linkage modified to locate the gearlever as per the 4 speed unit. No body mods or chassis mods needed but I believe it will not fit a spaceframe chassis. Apart from the modified box you need a special bellhousing plua a new prop and gearbox mounting bracket (uses the holes for the Lotus 5 speed unit so no chassis drilling) plus a different clutch friction plate and a modified speedo cable. To fit- about 3 days if you are a keen amateur. How does it work- mine gives about 22.7 mph per 1000 revs in top. There is an option of an even higher 5th with a .75 ratio (mine is .82). Change quality- not quite as good as the 4 speed unit but still very positive and direct- less "metallic" in feel. Would I ever go back to the 4 speed unit- sorry but to all you out there who are sticklers for originality I'm afraid that the 5 speed makes the car infinitely superior to use and completely outclasses the original unit.

Alan Voights now do a conversion (the guy who designed the one in my car actually did the conversion on his own car about 22 (yes 22) years ago. If you're interested in more info e-mail me- I might have a spare one for sale later this year (about ?500) which, if you add on the other parts you would need, would total around ?950


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