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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to pull an Elise tranny. I have the Lotus manual and have reviewed it several times. My question for those who have done this already, I understand that the engine needs to be disconnected from it's mounts and tilted to get the tranny out. Can anyone confirm this? Any pointers are appreciated!!!

Basic steps as I understand them.
1. Remove exhaust
2. Remove axle nuts
3. Disconnect both rear hub carriers at plinth and toe link ball joint
4. Remove LHD driveshaft via circlip removal and slidehammer
5. Remove RHD driveshaft via two bolts at bearing housing.
6. Disconnect clutch fork, grounding wire, back-up light switch from tranny
7. Remove 8 or 9 bolts around bell housing
8. Disconnect and tilt motor to lower trany
 

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Watch out on #4, the circlip is on the splined end of the shaft beyond the seal so there is no "removing" it. You will have to pull the half shaft out by the large wieghted section that slides into the transmission. DO NOT PULL ON THE SHAFT ITSELF, you will destroy the tri-pod joint.
It will take a fair amount of force to overcome the circlip. There is no way I found to attach a slide hammer to the inner section of the shaft.
I ended up using a large ply bar (not crow bar) held at an angle from behind the joint and drove it out with a very large dead blow hammer. I was very surprised by how much force it took. My S1 half shafts pop out with a gentle pry of a screw driver.

Oh ya, you forgot to mention the shift cables.

Every thing else I think you have covered.

Good luck and Happy New Year!!
 

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Why does the exhaust have to be removed?

The tranny / driveshafts are mounted forward...

Hmmm. I'm going to check the manual on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mikelr said:
Watch out on #4, the circlip is on the splined end of the shaft beyond the seal so there is no "removing" it. You will have to pull the half shaft out by the large wieghted section that slides into the transmission. DO NOT PULL ON THE SHAFT ITSELF, you will destroy the tri-pod joint.
It will take a fair amount of force to overcome the circlip. There is no way I found to attach a slide hammer to the inner section of the shaft.
I ended up using a large ply bar (not crow bar) held at an angle from behind the joint and drove it out with a very large dead blow hammer. I was very surprised by how much force it took. My S1 half shafts pop out with a gentle pry of a screw driver.

Oh ya, you forgot to mention the shift cables.

Every thing else I think you have covered.

Good luck and Happy New Year!!
Thanks for the extra pointers on the left hand driveshaft. From what I understand, it's the most difficult part of the job. Can you tell me a little more about disconnecting the motor mounts (where, how many) and how the motor needs to be tilted? I'm sure it'll make sense when I get into it but any clarification up front is good. :up:

I plan to do a full write-up with pictures.
 

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A couple things - first is remmeber to disconnect the negative battery terminal before starting this:

1 - using 2 pry bars on the LHD joint spaced pretty close to 180 out from eachother make it MUCH easier to pop that clip. If you have even and hard pressure from 2 prybars often a gentle yank on the CV shaft itself will get the job done.

2 - drain the gear oil first or you will have a rude surprise when you pop the axles.

3 - leave at least a couple at least partially installed bolts in the tranny to bell housing coupling until you are 100% ready to have the tranny come off the engine.

4 - don't forget to unplug and remove the starter.

on a side note, the axle nuts on the Toyotas can be a bitch (they are staked on the end and tend to be a bear to remove and occasionally screw up the threads on the outer CV). A lot of us leave the axles in the hub and just take the hubs loose enough to pop the axles out. I haven't paid too much attention to how easy / hard that would be on the lotus, but its something to consider when you reach that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick update:

After a full day of work the transmission is almost out. From the start I hit a stripped diffuser bolt (allen) which had to be drilled out. Most everything else came apart without much drama. Shift linkage release-check, clutch bracket-check, tranny oil drained-check, earth braid-check, reverse light harness-check, lower ball joint-check, camber bolts-lots of Permabond used here but check. Then it came to the axles.

Wow, what a day with the axles. Removing the axle nut was a cinch. However, when it came down to pulling the splined axle stub out of the hubs I hit a snag. Apparently the splines are seized in the hub. I tried a dead blow hammer, follwed by an air hammer, followed by a 5 ton mechanical hub press which stripped.:wallbang:

So I ended up removing brake calipers/lower suspension arms/toe link and pulled the half-shaft and hub assembly as one piece.

Anyone experience this with splined stub/hub assemblies? All the Lotus and Toyota techs I talked to today said the stub should just "tap right out".:shrug:
 

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When they are stubborn you can normally just leave the nut on the end of the axle threads (to protect the threads) and whack it a few times with a 5 lb hammer and it comes out.

Try soaking the splines with come PB Blaster or Kroil.

What did Lotus make their hubs out of?
 

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When you get it separated, I'd highly suggest some copper antisieze on the splines. Put some on the nut and any threads that aren't plated. One day you may have to do the job again.
 

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Clovis said:
Quick update:

After a full day of work the transmission is almost out. From the start I hit a stripped diffuser bolt (allen) which had to be drilled out. Most everything else came apart without much drama. Shift linkage release-check, clutch bracket-check, tranny oil drained-check, earth braid-check, reverse light harness-check, lower ball joint-check, camber bolts-lots of Permabond used here but check. Then it came to the axles.

Wow, what a day with the axles. Removing the axle nut was a cinch. However, when it came down to pulling the splined axle stub out of the hubs I hit a snag. Apparently the splines are seized in the hub. I tried a dead blow hammer, follwed by an air hammer, followed by a 5 ton mechanical hub press which stripped.:wallbang:

So I ended up removing brake calipers/lower suspension arms/toe link and pulled the half-shaft and hub assembly as one piece.

Anyone experience this with splined stub/hub assemblies? All the Lotus and Toyota techs I talked to today said the stub should just "tap right out".:shrug:
Clovis, In that It's clear your doing this yourself and I won't be taking work
away your local Lotus dealer, PM me your # and I'll try to walk you thru this
R+R. I'll check back tonight.
Cheers, Don, (Apogee) ( Ex Lotus trained Tech)
 

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darkSol said:
Why does the exhaust have to be removed?

The tranny / driveshafts are mounted forward...

Hmmm. I'm going to check the manual on this.
hey dave!
if u have to tilt the engine u may have to remove the exhaust.
when i did mine the exhaust was off already, so i dont remember if we tilted it or not.
 

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evomind said:
hey dave!
if u have to tilt the engine u may have to remove the exhaust.
when i did mine the exhaust was off already, so i dont remember if we tilted it or not.
Well that makes perfect sense Mike... let's hope a tilt is not required! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I just wanted to offer a public thank you to Donelise. We had a very good 30+ minute discussion last night over the phone regarding tranny removal from the Elise. He is very knowledgable and helpful.:up:

I will do my best to put together a detailed write-up on how this procedure works. One important note, it's not a 1.5 hour job. It's more like 8-12 hours depending on your experience and intensity level. Also, the Lotus manual tells you about ~1/2 of what you really need to know. Hopefully I can clear up the other 1/2 in a write-up for those of you wanting to add LSD, clutch/flywheel, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Donelise said:
Is it out yet ? Don.
Yep, it's out. Thanks for the pointers and tech support. Here's what I ended up doing:

1. Disconnected battery
2. Removeed rear diffuser and underbody engine panel
3. Lifted car using appropriate rear jack points (per manual) and removed rear wheels
4. Removed rear deck lid - not necessary but made things easier
5. Disconnect and removed intake air box. Again, this made things easier
6. Removed rear driver side fender liner
7. Removed 30mm axle nuts
8. Disconnected both rear hub carriers at plinth (noted shims) and toe link ball joints
9. Pushed axle stub out of both rear hubs
10. Removed RHD driveshaft - first removed two bolts at bearing support
11. Removed LHD driveshaft - axle circlip overcome w/ leverage bar
12. Disconnected parking brake wire and removed LHD brake caliper
13. Removed LHD lower suspension/hub assembly from frame
14. Disconnected clutch slave, grounding wire, back-up light switch, and shift linkage from tranny
15. Removed inertia switch - prone to getting broken if not removed
16. Removed starter bolts and pulled starter away from transmission
17. Disconnect exhaust at flex joint
18. Secured engine with hoist
19. Loosened slightly the 8 or 9 bell housing bolts
20. Remove LHD, RHD, and rear engine mounts (w/ heat shield)
21. Tilted engine towards LHD side enough for transmission to clear frame rail at LHD wheel well
22. Supported transmission and removed bell housing bolts
23. Withdrew transmission by sliding towards LHD wheel well and lowering

I'd rate this job a 4.5 out of 5 on the difficulty scale due to tight packaging, stuborn connections, and time required.
 
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