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Discussion Starter #1
I have driven a handful of Elises and Exiges on various tracks, and several of them seem to have had issues with the transmission synchros for second gear. Up until recently, my gearbox felt great, and I used to be able to shift into second gear, then blip the throttle, and then release the clutch -- but I am starting to get some grinding unless I blip the throttle just shifting into gear (with the clutch in). This may be due to the transaxle fluid, as I had the car in for some work recently, and they used the stock fluid. Up until this time, I have used Mobil 1's transaxle fluid with good results. I plan to change the fluid to see if it helps. But I suspect that the synchros are showing some wear. I was thinking about rebuilding the tranny as a winter project. Has anyone done this? If so, where did you source the parts?

Thanks for the help,
Twin
 

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Just go Toyota dealer, and ask for the parts. For sure, you will need the synchro, but maybe, the slider (with the reverse gear on it), and the second gear.

You will need a very good puller to remove the gear 6. A very good one with 2 jaws with bolt to hold it in place. You will be able to use the same puller for the gear 5, but you will need to grind the puller to minimise gear tooth damage. And you willneed another puller to remove the synchro hib on the other shaft, with 3 long bolts. You will need also an hydraulic press the slide out out all other parts from the shaft (the one with the diff gear), and clamp puller.

In other word, you need many pullers, the Toyota transmission is press fit all accros the box, it is a no sense to be that press fit. Try to have a manual to be able to see all step by step, I have the file but in Italian (I don't speak italian...).

I did it 2 times, one of the worst transmission I ever dismounted. When I re-assemble it, I decided to grind the pline on the shaft for the gear 5 and 6 to reduce the press fit.

Good luck
 

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Cryo treat the tranny internals before putting it back together.

The crazy drag racer guys in PR with multiple 2zz powered GTS's pushing 300+ whp and beyond have broken many C60's. So far, the only thing left to do is to cryo treat them and see what happens after the 300 whp mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
E&E: thanks for the (very helpful) information. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the manual to do the rebuild (in English!)? I'm assuming it comes Toyota and it's the manual they produce for their mechanics.

GTsRasta: thanks for the post, but I'm not sure cryo-treating the tranny will help given that the gears themselves seem to be fine. The problem (assuming it's not simply caused by the fluid I'm running) would be with worn synchros, and those are designed to be sacrificial. I have no intention of building the engine or adding a blower, so stock-levels of power are all it'll ever be asked to produce.

Twin
 

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Gatchya. Well good luck with that then. Cryo treatment is the current experiment Redliner9k in PR is doing, the guy who designed the Lotus and Celica PPE race headers, along with tuning some of the highest NA and boosted 2zz's powered cars.

I got my 2003 Celica GTS completely stock at 28,000 miles with 3rd gear completely shot, and 4th gear half way shot. That's pretty sad considering the car makes only 140 ft*lbs of torque all the way at 6,800 rpm. The even sadder thing is that people here think it's a good idea to stick this tranny on a Lotus after going through the trouble to do a V6 swap, which makes 248 ft*lbs at 4,700 rpm :rolleyes: .
 

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not a standard (American) Toyota gear box

The gear box in the Lotus Elise and Exige is not identical to the one found in the Celica and is not a C60.

The Elise transmission is a C64 and has different gear ratios from the Celica.

You may still be able to download an electronic version of the manual from the European Toyota website for a small subscription charge, much like Lotus does here for the Elise manual.

Lotus Part Number is D120T0327J
Toyota Part Number RM930E

Given the reports of broken teeth while trying to pull the gears, I suggest this is a do-it-yourself project that needs some experience.

Michael
 

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The Standard Celica or Matrix have a longer ratio for the sixth.

On my car, I changed my ratio for the fifth, to be close ratio withgh the forth, with custome made gear set, and I installed the standard Toyota ratio for the sixth, acting like a real overdrive, to reduce my fuel consumption on highway and having a silencious car on highway. Anyway, I am not using that gear on race track. The rpm is droping by around 10%.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is all very helpful. Thank you. A couple of questions:

1. Are the synchro's gear ratio-dependent or will I be able to use (non-gear related) parts designed for the C60 to rebuild a C64 gearbox?

2. Choi: I will see if I can find the electronic version of the manual per Michael's suggestion, but if I cannot locate it, I'd be grateful to know where you found it.

3. Elise/Europa: when you say "standard" 6th gear, do you mean the C60 gear ratio? Also, did you just go to your local Toyota dealer and order a "rebuild kit for a C60" or did you need to specify all of the parts you had to replace?

Also, for those of you who worry that I'm getting in over my head (a fair conclusion, given my technical envelope!), I will have help from someone who's rebuilt a dozen NSX gearboxes, has pretty much every tool known to man, and is pretty good with these things (TitaniumDave -- the same guy who has fabricated some parts for this and my prior track cars). :)

Twin
 

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I wonder if it would be worth it to swap in the G86/20 Transmission from the boxster S. The boxster dif should work fine too.

For me, the transmission is the only thing I dont love about this car. I do however love the Boxster's...
 

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Evil,

Me again.

It is no link between synchro and ratio, the C60 rebuild kit is probably very good.

By Standard, I am supposing that the Toyota ratio are the standard one, and the Lotus have special ratio for the sixth. This is explaining why the ratio of the fifth is bad on the Lotus compared with the 4 and 6. On the Elise the 5 is very long, and the 6 quite short. On the Toyota, the 5 have the same ratio, but it make sense with the overdrive 6. Anyway, all this does not affect the wear parts inside the box.

Tracktimeplz,

Please spend time to look the transmission configuration, it is a completely different animal than the C64, and imaging doing a swap is not serious. But, it is true that the Boxter is a lot better transmission, and the synchro are twice the same of the C64, working at the opposite way than the usual way. I think that Porsche have a patent for the synchro design.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Tracktime, I wish you luck, but for me, this has to be a discreet and solvable problem. I have no desire to see what "just might work" as much as -- like you -- I don't really like the gearbox in our car.

On Toyota Europe website, I found the following main manual for the Celica -- it was the only manual available -- for models "ZZT230 and 231 series". For 3 euro, I was able to print, but not download it. Had to do it in sections, however, as it's not possible to view but a few pages at a time, in subsections. The part number for the English version of the manual is PZ471-ZX002-CA, nglish Service Information Library (08/1999-->). Does this sound like the right one? I printed everything related to the manual transmission from all of the various sections of the manual. There was no way of saving the document.
 

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By Standard, I am supposing that the Toyota ratio are the standard one, and the Lotus have special ratio for the sixth. This is explaining why the ratio of the fifth is bad on the Lotus compared with the 4 and 6.
Both versions of the transmission are "Standard" - Toyota makes two versions (differing in the 6th gear ratio). What you are calling "Standard" is the US spec version. The transmission used in the Elise is the "European" spec version - again, differing only in the 6th gear ratio.

As for "bad for the Lotus", it all depends on what you are looking for. Lotus was looking for close ratio gears for performance. Most people that don't like the 6th gear ratio are looking for a taller gear for lower RPM cruising (and better mileage, less engine wear). "Better" all depends on what was the intention is...

On Toyota Europe website, I found the following main manual for the Celica
I never could find the manuals on the old European Toyota web site. But I found essentially the same manuals on the US Toyota web site after paying a $10 "membership fee".
 

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Tim,

I agree with you that it depend how we are defining "better".

I am saying that the ratio in five is bad because the ratio gives around 40 km/h per gear except for the 5 at 52, and the 6 at 32. The first gear speed is around 71, + 39 for second, + 42 for third, +41 for forth, + 52 for fifth, and + 32 for sixth.

A usual close ratio box is more constant, like 71 on first, +X, +X, +X, +X, +X. And since the car is light, and not used with a trailer, the fifth speed should be higher if the transmission was designed especially for the Lotus, which is not, and this is reducing the cost of the car, good new either.

But, the NA Elise is not able to reach maximum is sixth, but in five, and shorter ratio should reduce the maximum speed in the spec sheet, but increasing the real maximum speed on track for usual track.

Reducing the ratio in sixth does not give anything in term of performance, since the maximum speed is reached on sixth.

I really like my set-up with a closer fifth (special ratio, 32/33 versus 33/36), and a longer sixth.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is all very helpful -- and Elise/Europa and Hackzi, thank you for your PM's. I need some time to digest the repair manual and the information everyone's provided, but I wanted to acknowledge all that's been posted and say "thanks". My take-away, at this point, is (i) the job requires some skill but can be done (and I will have help from my buddy TitaniumDave who knows a lot more about this sort of thing than I do and who has all the tools) and (ii) at a minimum it's probably worth swapping out the 6th gear for highway cruising to/from the track. In NoCal, you can easily cruise along at 80mph (and still be driving slower than traffic!), and I do find that the engine's buzzing along pretty fast at that speed. It would be nice to gear it down a bit. Like Elise/Europa, however, I don't see any disadvantage to making 6th gear a bit taller. I appreciate all the advice.

Best,
Twin
 

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I have driven a handful of Elises and Exiges on various tracks, and several of them seem to have had issues with the transmission synchros for second gear. Up until recently, my gearbox felt great, and I used to be able to shift into second gear, then blip the throttle, and then release the clutch -- but I am starting to get some grinding unless I blip the throttle just shifting into gear (with the clutch in).
Interesting -- I'm just beginning to suffer this exact same problem.

Guys: I have no intention of doing any tranny rebuilds myself. Think I should just make sure the tranny fluids are always up to snuff, and then wait for the tranny to just stop working, or can this approach damage other systems?
 

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Waiting until the trans grinds a lot will likely require you to replace the gear AND synchro ring and slider. That means more money. In a perfect world, you would periodically do a tear down, inspect the synchro rings for wear and replace the most worn ones before the grinding starts. I will add that having a cable operated trans doesn't give much actual feel if the gears aren't synchronizing as they should. On front engine cars, you can feel the slider nibble on the synchronizer teeth on the gear. You can't hear it very well when it's behing you either.
 
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