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UN1 gearbox upgrades


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Looks like a trip to GTO engineering perhaps?

My rebuilt box is ready and I should be going to GTO tomorrow to pick it up - three weeks after I dropped it off as promised. The clutch I have had rebuilt by an AP Racing dealer/specialist for half the price of a brand new one.

I was at Donnington on Sunday and the Classic Lotus Racing Team was there with 3 - 70's F1 cars. I got chatting with a guy on the team who currently works as an Elise development engineer and has been at the factory 20 years. He said they always new the Renault box was a weak link in the V8 (as many of us know to our cost) but the car was already going to be so expensive they had no margin to do the job right.

His opinion was the Quaife/Derek Bell upgrade is the way to go on a rebuild and gives the V8 the box it probably should have had in the first place.

Jeff

Edited by jeff_hooper
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My rebuilt box is ready and I should be going to GTO tomorrow to pick it up - three weeks after I dropped it off as promised. The clutch I have had rebuilt by an AP Racing dealer/specialist for half the price of a brand new one.

I was at Donnington on Sunday and the Classic Lotus Racing Team was there with 3 - 70's F1 cars. I got chatting with a guy on the team who currently works as an Elise development engineer and has been at the factory 20 years. He said they always new the Renault box was a weak link in the V8 (as many of us know to our cost) but the car was already going to be so expensive they had no margin to do the job right.

His opinion was the Quaife/Derek Bell upgrade is the way to go on a rebuild and gives the V8 the box it probably should have had in the first place.

Jeff

Hi All,

Since Jack Knights are going bust I don't feel too bad talking about them. I suspect the 'good will gesture' that they promised me is unlikely to arrive now anyway (not that I ever expected it would!).

I put my gearbox into Jack Knights in about February/March this year for the Derek Bell upgrade and I for one am not going to be sorry to see the back of them.

I had no end of missed deadline with them and it took over 6 months to complete my gearbox. Now I know they had technical issues and I could live with that, I like to think I am a reasonable guy, but their customer service was non existent. I would have to call them all the time for any updates. If I left a messaqe it was NEVER returned. I spoke to everyone from the shop floor to the MD, he promised me a daily update on the week leading up to my wedding as I had hoped to arrive at the church in my Sport 350. I didn't get one phone call, the day before my wedding I was told (after calling them) it would be ready on the Monday after I was married, 2 days too late (again!) and when I would be on honeymoon. I bet you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that news.

When they invoiced me for the work more than a month later, I began to get excited but when I went to collect the 'box it still hadn't been assembled!! :)

Fortunately I am still of the opinion that their engineering ability is of a high standard and I do feel for the engineering staff who will be the losers. If I was them I would be asking their managerial staff some very tough questions because I for one would never have recommended them to any of you.

This is no reflection on Derek Bell, I believe that his upgrades are excellent and should be made available through Lotus, but I think they would price them out of that idea. :(

Jeff, I hope you are pleased with your 'box I am looking forward to hearing about it.

I will let you know about mine when I eventually get it back on the road.... its a long story. :lol:

cheers

-Chris

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It now appears GTO have a monopoly on rebuilds and upgrades.

Can't be a bad thing as they will have plenty of business in the small market that is UN1 gearboxes.

I contacted them recently and they gave prices which were ok and all the stuff is on the shelf. I was perticularly interested that they do a dog box and uprated clutches.

Edited by DBredS4
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Sorry to hear of your trouble Chris very frustrating and hope in 20 years time its the wedding you and your wife remember and not a lack of gearbox!

Personally, people performance is very important to me. I have always worked on being absolutely honest and realistic with clients and worked on, 'Underpromise and Overprovide'. If its later than promised and its a lengthy delay then that is the outstanding memory in the customers mind. I dealt with a firm last year (Servicing/repairing garden machinery) that as standard promise 3 weeks. In my case that turned into 7. They are running a 6/7 week turnaround and they are fully aware of it. But they still tell everyone 3 weeks! These are customers they hope to see probably every year or two. As a long term strategy that's an insane way to run a business... They certainly won't see me again.

I spoke to Derek Bell at the outset with my box problem, nice guy, very helpful. But I asked him three times about delivery dates and each time I found he was unable to answer with any confidence. I think Derek must be hugely dissapointed at what has happened and as frustrated as the gearbox owners who have been let down and inconvenienced.

GTO Engineering, promised me 3 weeks ready in 19 days...

Jeff

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I am new to this forum. I can sympathize with Chris Weeden and fully understand what he is going thru as I and a few others are currently caught up in this JKD fiasco. I don't have enogh time to tell you all how pissed off I am right now. My issue with JKD is now in it's 10 month...yep you read that correctly. I knew something was wrong back in March...I oredred my upgrade kit in January...was promised it by the end of Feb, and demanded they (JKD) return my original parts and a full refund and they never did. JKD never once returned my calls. Instead, 6 months later My gear box arrived in a damaged container with the following issues: 1) Input shaft (upgraded one) would not turn, 2) second gear had no lash...too large/not round...probably why shaft would not turn, 3) third/fourth gear syncro was not centered, 4) Bearing on primary shaft 5th gear end was too tight, 5) gears on primary shaft misaligned with secondary shaft, 6) primary shaft not straight...had .010 - .020 deviation at crankshaft pilot bearing end, 7) primary shaft incorrect...I was sent a FORD shaft...did not fit my Lotus clutches and on, and on.

Derek Bell knew about the problems I was having with JKD, should have seen this coming, and should have delayed orders for this kit until he was certain the product was as he advertised.

That was just a glimpse at some of the issues. I sent my gear box back to JKD to have these issues resolved and they liquidated. I still do not have my gear box back. Derek did recover my tranny from JKD and is currently working my transmission and others to ensure we at the very least get what we paid for.

JKD owe those of us who bought this Derek Bell product money, and we will more than likely not recover our funds, not to mention our time, non use of our cars, and frustration from false promises and lies.

If you or someone you know is caught up in this fiasco which in some cases amounts to theft on JKDs part, then I encourage you to respond to this forum. There are legal actions that can be taken if we have at least 5 individuals...I believe, that may allow us to recover some of the monies paid to JKD.

Edited by DeLotus
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At least Kevin at GTO will up-grade your Renault box from 5 speed to 6 if you so wish.

He also have a 5 speed upgrade in stock........

A lady from JKD called me 2 times this summer and asked if I wanted the 5 speed upgrade they offered, since I had showed interest earlier.I told her both times that I had alreaddy bought a 6sp upgrade from GTO so I didnt need one, witch she didnt understand....................??

Sorry for Derek Bell that he got his name in this negative case..

But I think He need to be able to have some boxes in stock and offer rebuilding him self.

I can not see how they can do business if they have to get 10 customer to pay up front to get this in production.If you cant affort to get this in production and have it in stock, then you dont have money to do business.

89 Lotus Esprit Turbo S

Very fast road and trackday car.

GT3076R+ a lot of other modifications.

http://lotusespritwo...inZzdningz.html

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1) Input shaft (upgraded one) would not turn, 2) second gear had no lash...too large/not round...probably why shaft would not turn, 3) third/fourth gear syncro was not centered, 4) Bearing on primary shaft 5th gear end was too tight, 5) gears on primary shaft misaligned with secondary shaft, 6) primary shaft not straight...had .010 - .020 deviation at crankshaft pilot bearing end, 7) primary shaft incorrect...I was sent a FORD shaft...did not fit my Lotus clutches and on, and on.

Hi guys,

Have not posted in some time, but definitely cannot pass up this thread.

I also have been in this fiasco since January of this year!! I was promised the gearbox within 6 to 8 weeks max, and ended up receiving it 6 months later in June! During that time, I never once received the promised call backs, but did receive plenty of direct blaitent lies and stories to entertain and enrage me even further. When I finally received the gearbox, they didnt even ship it properly and therefore I had to wait another 2 weeks (and $225) just to get it out of Customs! They could have Fedexed it for less and directly to the shop. I ended up having to send it back on my expense, as it was defective with all the same issues as DeLotus mentioned, as well as 2nd gear having no lash and needing the teeth to be recut! I couldnt even get it into first gear. My shafts deviation was more than double that of DeLotus, and ended up damaging my flywheel (another $900). They also sent me the wrong Ford Spline and therefore I was forced to have AP Racing make up a custom clutch assembly for this gearbox with a Ford spline, of which there is now a part number for... Thanks Jim! I was the first to discover JKD had trouble when the day after I had spoken to Laura (she told me everyone was on Holiday!), the phones would just ring, no answer. I immediately smelled foul play and contacted Derek Bell, who ended up going out there the week after only to find JKD under liquidation. This was exactly on Wed, August 30th, when I received the email on my Treo phone,just as I was boarding a plane with my wife about to go on vacation... Needless to say, that was the longest plane ride I have ever taken!!

This entire project has already run me in over $13500 (over 8000 Sterling) in the actual upgrade, shipping, and many unnecessary parts and extra labor! Furthermore, my Esprit now has an idling problem due to sitting around for 10 months, and I dont want to imagine what other ones await me.

This has been a horror story, and its still not over, as now I await for Derek Bell to hopefully give me the good news that he and his connections can repair the defective gearbox parts. This is plainly ridiculous and I would be more than glad to participate in any class action law suite, as well as contribute.

This is not over yet, and soon it will be 11 months!

"To Hear is to Doubt, To See is to Deceive, But to Feel is to Believe!!"

Iceman

02 "Blue Thunder" Esprit V8 #094

Edited by Iceman
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I was at GTO Engineering on Tuesday and was told they have about 20 of the 5 speed upgrade kits and several 6 speed kits in stock. Supply doesn't seem an issue at present and there is a ready market beyond the Esprit as they supply stuff for GT40 kit cars and the like. Apparently there are lots of kits and other race car stuff that can utilise the UN-1 box.. So there is a ready an active market for the manufacture of the kits to continue.

The GTO supplied kits are manufactured by Quaife who I understand were the manufacturers of the original Derek Bell kit. (Its Quaife who also do the ATB Limited Slip diffs.) I don't know why Derek Bell 'jumped ship' from Quaife - (his words). But my personal impression is that it wasn't a manufacturing/quality issue.

I know Derek Bell had talked about some slight changes from the first batch he had made (small alterations to some sizes from knowledge gained on the first batch and a different choice of steel stock??). I don't know how the Quaife kits might compare exactly to any later specification. But then beggars can't be choosers can they...

GTO tell me they have done maybe 40 boxes in the past 2 years or so without any problems (maybe 20 for Esprits). I've read threads on a GT40 club Forum and on Pistonheads that seem to provide support to these claims and I haven't read any adverse comments about GTO, there work or the Quaife kits. I'm a fussy bastard and I personally found them to be outstanding people to deal with. I'll tell you in 20,000 miles/6 years if the rebuild proves just as good!

Jeff

(Ps. trying to be factual here to the best of my understanding and no I'm not on commission!)

Edited by jeff_hooper
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