free hit
counters
Another resto... - Projects & Restorations - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
mikeeech

Another resto...

Recommended Posts

Thought I would join up and say Hi since I have just brought a part finished/started (depending on your point of view) elite restoration which was posted on this forum amongst other places!

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/59676-just-been-given-a-lotus-elite/

I have brought unfinished restorations in the past and almost invariably redid some of the work and was/am expecting to do the same here - on my bucket list would be a replacement chassis which, whilst swapping the mechanicals over would give me the chance to check out the work already done and get a 5 speed box in... but that may be some years off.  

So all the mechanical work has been done allegedly! Well it's extremely difficult to start thanks to a blown head gasket and copious amounts of oil on the plugs. The cylinders don't hold much compression as a result and the mayo on the oil filler cap would put a big mac to shame. So the first job is clear once I get my garage tidied up and get it nestled in there and then it's just a case of seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes once the top end is off. .

On the positive side the chassis does look fairly tidy and brake pipes are all copper so apart from the gearbox, the engine, the bodywork, and interior it's all good! ;->

In the meantime does anyone have any good ideas as to a replacement 5 speed box. I read somewhere that a 80's supra box was used in the excel's but needs chassis mods on s1 elites? any views?   

and photos below - The one next to my wife's Aygo really puts the stance into perspective since the aygo is perhap one of the smallest cars that can be brought these days!

post-16070-0-47749900-1385305714.jpg

post-16070-0-71895800-1385305984.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

I remember that thread.

You are right that the chassis needs some modification to get a Toyota gearbox to fit but I think they are fairly minor.  Did you get the Excel chassis with the Elite?  A couple of people have fitted these to the Elite to take advantage of its more reliable running gear but doing so needs a modification to the bodyshell.

Good luck.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to our little corner of the forum Mike!

I must say the elite does look rather good from the rear in white, especially with the correct black bumpers.

With regard to your gearbox, why is it that you want to change it? Unless it's an auto, it should be a 5 speed as standard.

Gearboxes fitted to our cars as standard are a lotus 5 speed, a ford 4 speed (base model éclat only), a Borg Warner 3 speed auto, and a getrag 265. The Toyota box you refer to is from the excel, which has a slightly different chassis. It can probably be made to fit, but unless your going for torque that the standard unit can't deal with, it would seem a lot of trouble. I don't know how easy or difficult that swap would be as I don't know anyone who has tried it.

Nb, the best box is the getrag from the series 2, lotus changed to the Toyota box for the excel on the grounds of cost rather than it being better. The Toyota box has a decent rep, but it's not as strong as the 265 which is monumentally strong and is the box of choice for v12 jag conversions from auto, which drives prices second hand. It was standard fit in larger 6cyl BMW pre 82 (628 633 635, & 5 & 7, the first BMW m3, the jag 3.6 Xjs, and the Opel monza. Boxes do vary slightly in speedo drive, tail shaft and change linkage, which makes using a non lotus sourced one a pain unless you have a ruined lotus fitment one to rob parts from.

Personally, I would stick with the standard item. Much simpler and retains originality if your into that kind of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, I just read through the original posters thread and can see the elite has had a 4 speed box retro fitted.

Presumably it's the 4 speed ford box from an éclat 520?

It's a strong and slick box, but isn't overdriven like the 5 speed, so has much shorter legs.

I'm building an éclat HSCC racer, and had the intention of fitting the 4 speed. Mine has the 5 speed lotus box.

A swap could be possible, but would be a bit further down the line as the car is currently laid up in Scotland and I probably won't be bringing it down to surrey for a while.

Could be mutually beneficial?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that thread.

You are right that the chassis needs some modification to get a Toyota gearbox to fit but I think they are fairly minor.  Did you get the Excel chassis with the Elite?  A couple of people have fitted these to the Elite to take advantage of its more reliable running gear but doing so needs a modification to the bodyshell.

Good luck.

No I didn;t take the excel since the seats would end up being non standard and I didn't have the space to store the chassis until I was ready for it. Lotus bits have a second hand galvanised chassis for £400 which I would get powered coated when i went down that route also I quite like the idea of the rear suspension set up on the elite and the excel would have moved it away from that.

Having seen the excel, the seats are grubby but in good condition generally and would be a good buy for someone... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, I just read through the original posters thread and can see the elite has had a 4 speed box retro fitted.

Presumably it's the 4 speed ford box from an éclat 520?

It's a strong and slick box, but isn't overdriven like the 5 speed, so has much shorter legs.

I'm building an éclat HSCC racer, and had the intention of fitting the 4 speed. Mine has the 5 speed lotus box.

A swap could be possible, but would be a bit further down the line as the car is currently laid up in Scotland and I probably won't be bringing it down to surrey for a while.

Could be mutually beneficial?

Dunc,

I would be up for a swap. I'm not sure of the provenance of the box. The reverse is away from the driver and to the back. Timing is not a problem for me. This is a long term project which I won't be starting on until after christmas - since I have a few other things that must get done - the first job is to get the head off and examine the quality of the engine rebuild - this won't be done until March. only when it's running again will I take the engine and box out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello MIke

Good luck with your project

I quite like the idea of the rear suspension set up on the elite

Wow, you are in a very exclusive club there! Colin Chapman himself sketched the layout (according to Oliver Winterbottom), but I bet he didn't have to maintain one!

Nb, the best box is the getrag from the series 2, ... which is monumentally strong and is the box of choice for v12 jag conversions from auto, which drives prices second hand. It was standard fit in larger 6cyl BMW pre 82 (628 633 635, & 5 & 7, the first BMW m3, the jag 3.6 Xjs, and the Opel monza.

Dunc you are a fountain of knowledge. Someone at the NEC last week told me the Getrag box was worth £600 alone, is that why? I also had a manual Monza; I understood th box to be Getrag but didnt think it felt the same, except for a similar baulkiness until warmed up. Do they all run with engine grade oil instead of EP90 or whatever?


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is the same box in the monza, but has a different shift linkage and the tailshaft looks different. Funnily enough a friend has one put aside for me in his workshop that came from a monza. I figure I'll pop it under the shelf in the workshop in case I ever have trouble with mine. Some manufacturers mentioned engine oil in an emergency but suggested SAE 80, so you can run engine oil in the getrag, but most people on the BM forums seem to reckon redline MTL (or MTL90) is the hot recomendation, with other people suggesting ATF. There is reams of info on getrag 265 boxes on the net. A lot of it says to avoid hypoid as it damages it somehow.

As an addendum to the above, there are different types of Getrag 265, with some being dogleg and not overdriven. The one in the lotus is the conventional pattern and the overdriven type.

And if anyone if reading this and looking at BMW as potential gearbox donors, it is only the pre 82 boxes that are getrag 265's, as they changed to a one peice (non-interchangable) bellhousing afterwards (I think called a 280) which is no use to us, as we need to be able to fit our bellhousing to match our engines. I think there are differences in the speedo drive as well. It was AGES ago I started researching getrags, and the above is from memory, so may have little details wrong.

NB I quite like the suspension set up on the elite/eclat as well.

less unspring weight..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A brief update; Got the garage clear over christmas and have now started disconnecting engine bits ready for pulling out the engine and box. since the weather has been so good it seemed a shame not to get stuck in even with a few other jobs half done...

since it's now in the dry I have got it up on axle stands and have had a poke around at the restored chassis... those that remember the original thread will recall that the chassis was hamerited and the advice was that this would crack... I can confirm that it has cracks and needs redoing. 

spare galvanised chassis anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I have one advertised in the lotus forums classified above, £100 wants a good clean, there are a couple of areas that would benefit cold galv spray. You can contact me on 07710176066. It is my spare for the race car but I now no longer have the storage space that I used to have.

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dan. We spoke earlier and I would like to take you up on your kind offer. If the chassis is free from extra bits and bobs I will get it collected by a galvansing/powder coating company local to me but I will ring later in the week once I have a better idea on the logistics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just too slow! Don't suppose there's anyone else out there looking for a galvanised chassis??? Currently listed on eBay but get in touch and make me an offer! Pretty clean all over, all ready to go. I bought it for an Elite restoration that I was planning but I abandoned it for an Éclat Riviera. So the chassis is wrapped in tarp and taking up space. Someone please help..!


Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunc - re your comments on the getrag grearbox - it is worth noting that the Toyota W58 gearbox is both lighter and more efficient (ie lower transmission losses) than the Getrag in the eclat 2.2. The W58 is also well known to handle up to 300 bhp without trouble when connected to various toyota engines.... On a practical note what is likely to rule it out for a swap is the hydraulic clutch on the excel. That and - as Mike Taylor puts it - the need to "adjust" the chassis in a couple of places.

Gearboxes fitted to our cars as standard are a lotus 5 speed, a ford 4 speed (base model éclat only), a Borg Warner 3 speed auto, and a getrag 265. The Toyota box you refer to is from the excel, which has a slightly different chassis. It can probably be made to fit, but unless your going for torque that the standard unit can't deal with, it would seem a lot of trouble. I don't know how easy or difficult that swap would be as I don't know anyone who has tried it.

Nb, the best box is the getrag from the series 2, lotus changed to the Toyota box for the excel on the grounds of cost rather than it being better. The Toyota box has a decent rep, but it's not as strong as the 265 which is monumentally strong and is the box of choice for v12 jag conversions from auto, which drives prices second hand. It was standard fit in larger 6cyl BMW pre 82 (628 633 635, & 5 & 7, the first BMW m3, the jag 3.6 Xjs, and the Opel monza. Boxes do vary slightly in speedo drive, tail shaft and change linkage, which makes using a non lotus sourced one a pain unless you have a ruined lotus fitment one to rob parts from.

Personally, I would stick with the standard item. Much simpler and retains originality if your into that kind of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The W58 has a rep as being a decent box. It has been used in lots of conversions, particularly in Australia where japanese stuff is plentiful and cheap.

The reason that Getrags are so expensive second hand and it is because everybody wants them. It is a massively over-specced unit for the power output of our cars and is the box of choice amongst the rally guys and people fitting conversions which need a strong box.

NB I'm not actually sure there is very much between the W58 and Getrag weight wise. Some googling shows the Getrag with bellhousing tips the scales at 34.34kg with a bellhousing (admitedly a BMW bellhousing rather than a Lotus one) and the W58 tipping the scales at 74 lbs (33.5kg). (from memory my mate John who weighed his 912 and box before splitting them and then weighing just the box stated 35kg for the excel gearbox)...however it is hard to know if figures quoted on the net are wet/dry for a comparison.

http://tr6.danielsonfamily.org/5Speed.htm

http://e9coupe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5519

The getrag is an awesomely good box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So after getting my grubby mitts on Dan's galvansied chassis - cheers Dan, it has now had all it's original galvanising removed, been hot zinc sprayed and powder coated. i collected it today and it now forms the basis of the restoration that I suspected that this car needed all along..

The pictures below perhaps indictate that my OCD is begining to take hold. erm... and I know it's upside down! :harhar:

Engine and box is due out in a few weeks with the body then being separated from the current chassis the following day.

the summer will be spent swaping bit over to the new chassis.

.post-16070-0-66304800-1393072377.jpgpost-16070-0-94069900-1393072478.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.k. another update.

Everything is now disconnected from the engine and box with engine mount bolts slackened off ready foo the big lift;

There are a few other things to do first - like removing the gear lever, and "disconnecting the gearbox from the final drive" - at least that's what it says in the manual! But then jobs a good-un

Anyway I was going to hang the engine off the inlet manifold here

post-16070-0-78407400-1393700400.jpg

as advised here...

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/47460-engine-out/page-2?hl=engine

or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

also when disconnecting the gearbox from the final drive, is this in the oval cutout in the chassis - i haven;t got the car high enough to see in there yet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike chassis looks great, I can't quite make out your picture of where you are lifting from exactly, but spreading the load around the two middle inlet manifold tracts is quite a standard method used on these engines, personally in use an engine load leveler from machine mart picking up the outer inlet tracts as this allows for a very controlled lift angle and allows you to safely tip the engine and gearbox. This method allows me to remove and instal the engine and gearbox safely and quickly on my own. As for disconnecting the gearbox from propshaft, the gearbox output shaft is splined and the propshaft should just pull out when the gearbox is pulled forward, don't forget to drain gearbox oil first.

Hope this helps

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoopee - engine out. Went ok in the end with a load leveler attached to the inlet manifold. I had some issues with clearance at the front and had to remove the power steering pump with the engine dangling from the hoist in order to get clearance but the radiator didn't have to come out as suggested on other threads.

Interestingly the front of the body where it meets the bonnet has a lot of paint chipping to it, prior to the engine removal, which corresponds to where I caught the engine as it came out. Cearly the engine has been out a few times in the past. The body will be sprayed with the engine out so the engine bay can be done at the same time which then means that putting the engine back in will be a really delicate job which i'm not sure i'm looking forward to... 

So tomorrow the body will come off.

All 14 of the body bolts were removed today (the ones near the spare wheel well were a real pain with one needing to be cut off) which I'm guessing leaves the steering column, the fuel tank, the brake pipes and jobs a goodun as they say! have i missed anything?

pic update below...

post-16070-0-67669800-1394739816.jpg

On a slightly different note this car was bought with a 4 speed box which is not orginal of course. I was looking for a 5 speed box to replace it. Maybe an original lotus box. Now interestingly the gearbox has ford stamped on it - what are the chances that it has a type 9 bell housing conversion so a good sierra box will go in it.

post-16070-0-64435800-1394740304.jpg

body off picture to follow tomorrow...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, well done on pulling the lump. Look forward to seeing more photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an S2-style Getrag on eBay at the moment.  Seems expensive by typical Eclat-breaking prices, but these are quite rare I believe.

Herc

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up Herc. it is alot and probably comes at the wrong time for this restoration. the current gearbox is a ford type 5 it seems proably from and eclat? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about the different ford boxes or the bolt patterns at the box end I'm afraid. In fact, beyond having a short drive in a 520 and finding the shift to be nice, I don't know much about the ford box in the eclat 520. I do know I want one for my HSCC project as its reputed to be stronger and I don't need an overdrive box.

My guess would be that your car has had the complete bellhousing and ford gearbox from a Lotus Eclat 520 fitted. This bolts straight in with no fuss, so would have been an obvious choice.

I have zero knowledge on whether the type 9 /Lotus 907 adaptor bellhousing sold by Gary Kemp is exactly the same as the bellhousing from an eclat 520. He is a super chap, so give him a call and ask him about your plan to fit a type 9 in place of your current box.

From when I was looking for a cheap heavy duty clutch for my proposed 4 speed project, I have a feeling that I found out that the input shaft may vary on the type 9 (23 spline), but perhaps with a ford clutch swap it would all mate up fine??

I don't know - but I would call Gary Kemp at Kemp High Performance. I'm sure he will know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunc, from looking at it, using the wonderful world wide web, most ford boxes had 23 spline ouput shafts. I suspect this becomes something of a defacto standard for parts bin manufacturers using ford stuff - so Lotus might have had a 23 spline output shaft since the previous ford boxes they used were of this configuration.  

I have the gearbox number so will research a little more about the provenance of the box. If it is an eclat box are you still interested? Defo a type 5 configuration but the selector seems different. I won't need a replacement for sometime since my timescale is to replace the chassis and replace the body for a respray before getting the engine and box rebuilt which will certainly take me until 2015. If i can get the respray this year i will be chuffed to bits since quote for a colour sanded job to inclue to engine bay is looking like £4500!

Anyway... after what has been a very long day the body is off! 2 days to get a functioning car to 3 bits (engine/gearbox, body and rolling chassis) I think is pretty epic. it certainly feels like it or i'm not as young as i used to be - you decide!!!

photo's below...

Mid lift...

post-16070-0-31100500-1394831258.jpg

Chassis removed - precariousy balanced... it gave me a few heart stopping moments getting it to this height but was secure once there!

post-16070-0-66511700-1394831268.jpg

Chassis ready for strip down - actually the hamerite looks ok from the top but underneath is not good. I will post photo's to discourage anyone from hammeriting theirs and thinking that it;s a good job done...

post-16070-0-07946000-1394831263.jpg

So on other posts on this topic I have read that it is good to have a plan. In hindsight I would completely agree. I had not really considered how high the body needed to go to clear the suspension turrents. Whilst the body is sercurely mounted now on it's axles stands it was a bit wobbly going up and back down again. I certainly need a better plan for putting the body back on again.

The only downside was power steering fluid on the block paving. Any ideas how I get this off! the wife is not chuffed with that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...