A Look Inside Our Lotus Elan’s Transmission

Apr 5, 2016 update to the Lotus Elan project car

Your author holds the transmission in place while Steve Smith reassembles the unit.
Everything inside our transmission looks fresh now. We still need to safety-wire the shift selectors.
You can see the wear on our layshaft. This was replaced.

While waiting for engine parts, our new friend Steve Smith went through our gearbox, which was indeed the original close-ratio Ford gearbox that was correct for our Elan.

Steve told us that the front and rear main shaft bearings were bad, as were the tail shaft and input shaft seals. He also ended up changing the layshaft, as it exhibited excessive wear.

He also replaced the needle bearings on the layshaft. After a good cleaning and a concours correct gray paint job, he assembled the transmission and deemed it worthy of years of use. We are quickly becoming very impressed with Twin Cam Sportscars.

Their knowledge of these cars and their attention to detail are among the best in the business. And a real rarity today: If shop owner Steve Smith tells you it will be ready in a few weeks, it will actually be ready in a few weeks.

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Reader comments:

gjz30075
gjz30075 HalfDork
April 5, 2016 6:19 p.m.

I know Steve's work. It is very good.

CertifiedLotus
CertifiedLotus New Reader
April 9, 2016 5:17 p.m.

I did a complete rebuild on mine. Wasn't difficult as long as you remember the exact placement of each and every part.

wheelsmithy
April 10, 2016 9:53 a.m.

You guys are moving fast on this one. The vicarious enjoyment is appreciated. Just the word LOTUS bings a smile to my face.

roblamoreaux
roblamoreaux New Reader
April 10, 2016 12:31 p.m.

He said "concourse correct paint gray paint job" LOL

He obviously hasn't owned a Lotus long enough to know how silly that sounds, and how many of us owners find the word Concourse amusing when it comes to Lotus.

Too many documented instances of Lotus putting on whatever was at hand for anything to be truly "concourse" in my book.

My car came with the semi-close ratio box in a lovely shade of teal (as did others), and I was able to find the Ford color to match for a repaint when I rebuilt it. So while the grey is probably correct, it may not be since it is a Lotus Elan.

And no my car is not concourse, but it is a heck of a lot of fun.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
April 13, 2016 9:14 p.m.

roblamoreaux,

Good point, but we are trying very hard to make this car very correct.

gjz30075
gjz30075 HalfDork
April 14, 2016 4:13 a.m.

Actually he said "concours correct..." paint job. Lotus is not unique when it comes to running production changes with small companies and half the fun is getting one's car correct, or nearly so, for the time frame it left the factory.

CertifiedLotus
CertifiedLotus New Reader
April 16, 2016 5:27 p.m.

Tim, you moving quickly on this restoration. You should be more than done by LOG36 in Princeton this August. I expect the see the car ;-)

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
April 18, 2016 7:55 a.m.
roblamoreaux wrote: He said "concourse correct paint gray paint job" LOL He obviously hasn't owned a Lotus long enough to know how silly that sounds, and how many of us owners find the word Concourse amusing when it comes to Lotus. Too many documented instances of Lotus putting on whatever was at hand for anything to be truly "concourse" in my book. My car came with the semi-close ratio box in a lovely shade of teal (as did others), and I was able to find the Ford color to match for a repaint when I rebuilt it. So while the grey is probably correct, it may not be since it is a Lotus Elan. And no my car is not concourse, but it is a heck of a lot of fun.

Rob You should be happy that CM got this car out of our extended back yard. Your car is enough work- think of trying to restore this one.

(nice to see you here, finally- it's hard to fathom how long ago we took that restoration class that I was working on the GRM challenge car- back in 2002. You should have been here since then...

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
April 21, 2016 6:46 a.m.

I have been thinking of coming to LOG36, but probably won't have the car done. I promised Margie, I would get back on her vintage trailer restoration project before I got totally lost in the Lotus. We are also taking a couple of months to do some upgrades and maintenance on the rest of the fleet, including our newly acquired Spitfire 1500. Last week we sorted a couple of issues on the Shelby. Man I love that car!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
April 21, 2016 8:41 a.m.

That thing has the longest tailshaft I've ever seen.

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