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Hey guys, my name is Zack and I live in the Chicago area. I've been on here for a while but haven't posted yet. This is going to be a super long post but here goes. I've been into cars my entire life, went to school at Southern Illinois University for automotive technology. I have had a few fun cars but nothing that actually handles well. My current cars are a 2013 Audi allroad that i daily, a RHD Evo that makes 700whp (Built 2.3, twin scroll 6466, E85, etc.), and the Exige.

In 2010 while on my way home from work on my motorcycle (Triumph Daytona 675) I was forced off the road by a distracted driver and into the back of a SUV parked on the shoulder changing a flat. I ran into the back of the car at ~30mph. Broke my left femur in half, snapped a vertebrae in my back into 3 pieces, cracked all 7 vertebrae in my neck, and hit my right shoulder so hard that it ripped the nerves for my right arm out of my spinal chord. If nerves are torn or stretched they can graft a new piece in, but if they are pulled out they can't be plugged back in. I lost all movement in my right arm. So now how do i drive my cars with manuals? I have to reach over myself to shift and that's less than ideal. I found the Evo for sale in 2011. Being RHD i can use my left hand to shift so it's a pretty good solution, but the evo breaks something every other time i drive it. I wanted something fun that i could drive on a semi-daily basis during spring/summer/fall.

On to the exige... I had the idea one day to make a cable shifter for a car that could be mounted to the door or dash. After lots of consideration I remembered that the elise/exige have those wide sills so maybe that could work to put a shifter in. I had always wanted an elise and even tried to get my dad to buy one when they came out in 05. I was just old enough to drive at that point and couldn't afford my own. I found a shop near me that builds race cars and brought the idea to them. We looked at a car together and talked the idea out. The shop owner said he could make a shifter that would sit in the sill. So I found/bought a car. It's a 2007 Exige S, solar yellow, track pack and touring pack. The car pretty much went from the dealer to the shop where it stayed for about a month until the shop owner decided that they couldn't build a shifter and kinda left me out to dry with a $45k car that has the shifter on the wrong side. So now i'm exploring options on my own. My basic idea right now is to get a shiftR111+ from inokinetic, CNC a new mounting plate and affix it to the sill with quick release fasteners meant for machining work. I can get more in detail about my current idea if anyone is interested.

Current modifications to the Exige (that I know of)
-Aluminum oil pan (previous owner)
-Rear toe links (previous owner)
-Full stereo system, Boston speakers and amp, sub, and sony head unit (previous owner + me)
-GRP V3 taillights, carbon side scoops and carbon mirrors
-RLS carbon winglets
-Cup air box
-BOE intercooler side scoops
-Radium catch can
-rear panel delete
-inokinetic carbon lip
-Volk TE37 Sonic SL 15x7/16x8

I'll add pictures from my phone in a few minutes, thanks guys!
 

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Sorry about your arm, but cool project and I am almost certain you could do it in these cars.

My first thought is actually to move the pedal box and seat to the right right against the pass seat and put the shifter on the floor next to the seat. Once you have it in place it is trivial to order the right length cables you need to run up over the gas tank and back through the bulkhead to the trans.

Moving the steering 6" to the right is VERY easy just need to figure out how to make it work cosmetically.
Moving the pedal box Is harder and I would just get tilton underfloor pedal set if you are short enough for that to work. If not you will need to take the car pretty far apart to move the box over, but i bet that it is possible

If you put the shifter on the sill then you have a real problem getting in and out of the car, especially with limited mobility and I think at a minimum youll need to put a soft top on the car full time so you can roll it back to get out.

The other option is a paddle shift sequential. Probably budget at least $20k for this but easy to make a push pull lever on the steering column to control this.
 

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I don't want to go sequential because I don't want the gear wine from the straight cut gears. I'm only 5'4" so height isn't a problem. My thought was to put the entire shifter and cables on quick releases, leaving only a riser/ mounting plate bonded to the frame under the sill, and the cables of course.

My thought was to use something existing already if i can rather than trying to build an entire shifter mechanism. From what I've seen, most cable shifters in cars use a shifter similar to the picture I added. That's from an evo X. It has the front/ back cable attachment at the bottom, below the pivot point. And it uses an L bracket kind of arrangement to change the left to right movement of the shifter to a forward/ back movement on the side to side cable. The lotus is odd in that the connection for the front to back cable is connected above the pivot point, not below, changing the direction the cable is moved. So this narrows the available options for shifters unless I can rig up something that mirror images the cable movement. Overall height is an issue as well as the amount of total movement side to side that the shifter has. I added 3 pictures of a shiftr111+. Circled in green is the front/ back cable connection. Circled in blue is the side to side cable connection. Circled in orange is the "cable block" mount. Take this shifter, and cnc a new base/mounting plate for it. The mounting plate sits on top of the riser plate and the two are attached with quick releases. I'm thinking something like these:

Then I would need a way to make the cables attach/ detach on quick releases (not sure of how to do that yet) maybe something like this:

And then a couple of pins similar to these to release the cable block:


The cables and block detach from the shifter. The shifter detaches from the riser and the whole shifter unit moves out of the way leaving only the riser plate, cables and cable block. Giving me enough room to get in/ out.

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

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I think probably that will work, but that it will be harder to use then you think to get in and out every time. I would think about how to mount the whole thing on a plate that bent up at the rear somehow. I wonder if you could even move the seat over just enough and mount the shifter forward a little on the floor to not have to move the pedals or wheel.
 

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I agree with kfennell, moving the seat to the right or going with a paddles might be best. You could also consider changing to RHD as there are plenty of them overseas and guessing you could find parts instead of having to custom make them all, unless that is part of the fun for you. Sorry the shop you had lined up didn't come through.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree it definitely wouldn't be great having to remove/ install it to get in/ out of the car but I think with the roof off I could get in/out without removing it.
I'll start messing with the idea of putting it next to the sill and moving the seat over without messing with the pedals and wheel. I'd really like to stay away from moving those if I can haha
 

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I was also trying to stay away from rhd if I can. I daily drove my evo for a couple years and it was a pain in the ass sometimes. Add in the blind spots of the exige and it would be even worse. That's probably my last option, but not completely off the table
 

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I'm not able to find much but I thought there was someone that made paddles for the H pattern on this car, maybe it was just an auto blip system. Would paddles work for you?

Found a couple threads about converting to an automatic but didn't find a thread where someone actually did it.
 

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Ideally I want to keep it an H pattern with a shift lever. No paddles, no sequential. Just a regular shifter but for my left hand.
2nd best would be a sequential shifter but again I don't really want the gear whine. There are some companies that make 'sequential' shifters for H pattern transmissions but i haven't found anything for a lotus.
3rd/4th would be rhd or paddles
 

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There is a sequential shifter for this car that I have seen sold before I think on these forums Ikeya Formula. No idea where to get one or how you would mount it so it works for you, but it MAY be possible to do something?

My sequential isn't THAT loud, but maybe its hard to tell over the rest of the cars racket ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've heard of ikeya formula before, I think they made a shifter for the evo as well. I can look into that.
The whine there doesn't seem bad, I just see videos like this and it scares me hahaha

Don't know how to inbed YouTube, sorry
 

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Center seat ? There have been a number of track Exige’s built with center seat. That would allow easy placement of shifter on left side.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I contacted inokinetic a while back and they suggested a center seat as well. I'd rather keep 2 seats in the car if i can
 

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All the Toyota cars that drivetrain went in had a cable shifter. What's the big deal? Get a Toyota shifter assembly, mount it somewhere that you can use it, hook it up with "control cables" such as are used to steer outboard motor boats.
 

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Here's a Toyota MR2 MK1 shifter in the frame of my wife's Europa with cables going back to a C50 transmission.
1266419
 

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MME Motorsport has a universal H pattern to paddle shift conversion "kit". IIRC cost is ~$5k plus your time and probable fabrication for mounts. I'm not aware of anyone using one on a Lotus....

Ever thought about mounting the shifter with a short throw rod between your legs and leave everything else where it is? Ingress/Egress will be a little more challenging, but I usually slide into place anyway so that might work. That would be a cake project to get done, bolt it in, get new longer cables, route into the back under the gas tank.. done.
 

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All the Toyota cars that drivetrain went in had a cable shifter. What's the big deal? Get a Toyota shifter assembly, mount it somewhere that you can use it, hook it up with "control cables" such as are used to steer outboard motor boats.
Here's a Toyota MR2 MK1 shifter in the frame of my wife's Europa with cables going back to a C50 transmission.
View attachment 1266419
Yes, it theoretically is that simple. The problem is placement so I can still get in and out of the car. I don't think I can cut a hole in the frame without compromising structure.

MME Motorsport has a universal H pattern to paddle shift conversion "kit". IIRC cost is ~$5k plus your time and probable fabrication for mounts. I'm not aware of anyone using one on a Lotus....

Ever thought about mounting the shifter with a short throw rod between your legs and leave everything else where it is? Ingress/Egress will be a little more challenging, but I usually slide into place anyway so that might work. That would be a cake project to get done, bolt it in, get new longer cables, route into the back under the gas tank.. done.
Not sure I understand exactly what you mean about the short throw rod idea, can you explain a little more please? I'll take a look at MME motorsports as well
 
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