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Old 01-25-2006, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Mid engine project...Lotus Esprit S1...Transaxle?

Hey!

I'm in the planning stages of a Lotus Esprit S1 - LS1 swap, and wondered if anyone here had dealt with a mid-engine swap before.

This is a longitudinal mounting, so "Fiero" type solutions don't work, and it must be a manual. I'm on a bit of a budget, so the $20K Hewland 6sp Sequential transaxle (although amazing) is out of my range at this point.

That said; I'm planning on ITBs, all the valvetrain mods for higher RPM, and some other fun stuff on this...It should look and sound GREAT in the old Lotus body!

Input?

Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:42 AM   #2
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you could try the porsche G50 transaxle that they use in the ultima GTR, im sure it would work with some fabrication. I know the renault transaxle in the lotus wouldn't last behind an LS1.
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:19 PM   #3
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what kind of price range are you talkin about for the swap? i know the harrop ITB setup is somewhere around 3500. you would probably need to rotate the intake manifold 90 degrees also. the porsche getrag trans is very popular in mid engine swaps. do you have any pics of the engine bay of the lotus? where is the radiator located from the factory? since you have a car that did have a v8 option, you might be able to get some parts from a v8 car and use those for parts of this swap
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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The radiator is up front, so that simplifies things a bit.
I was trying to keep the project at $15K on paper, and we all know how these things go once they're underway.
I can buy the base car for under $5K, so that leaves me roughly $10K to get the engine and transaxle and get them in. Some suspension upgrades/updates and wheels/tires and brakes are all going to be necessary as well.

The "extras" are fine above budget. ITBs, headers, tubular adjustable control arms, brake bias, adjustable swaybars, etc. can all be above the $15K mark.

The car should be a reliable rolling road car for $15K, and I'll spend another $5K+ making it a serious weekend track car.

...At least that's the plan...I keep finding more stuff I want to add and it all adds up.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:32 PM   #5
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You might want to check the transmission code found on a metal tag under one of the case half bolts (these usually disappear if the trans has been rebuilt). If it is indeed the UN1-XX (as I suspect), then it will take V8 power up to a point. These transaxles are commonly used in Europe on GT40 replica's with SBF V8's. Many are track cars and have some amount of data regarding longevity. If you add the Derek Bell upgrades, they can purportedly handle 500HP. The best code is UN1-013, as it has the best "V8" ratio's.

http://www.bell-performance.co.uk/Gearbox%20Upgrade.htm

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Old 01-25-2006, 06:38 PM   #6
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WOW! Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:48 AM   #7
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You will quickly fry the Renault box if you try to use that with the LS engine.

Look here for a boatload of info on G50 boxes for Ultimas.

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/t...25930&f=20&h=0

You must use the G50 box for an LS conversion, the Getrag 6 speed wont work, neither will any of the Boxter boxes.

You'll need to find a decent G50 box - then you need to get the adaptor plates and inverter kit and starter.

You need some machining of the adaptor plate when you use the LS engine.

Speak to these guys http://www.phii.net/ - they just did one for my Ultima project.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crafty888
You will quickly fry the Renault box if you try to use that with the LS engine.

Look here for a boatload of info on G50 boxes for Ultimas.

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/t...25930&f=20&h=0

You must use the G50 box for an LS conversion, the Getrag 6 speed wont work, neither will any of the Boxter boxes.

You'll need to find a decent G50 box - then you need to get the adaptor plates and inverter kit and starter.

You need some machining of the adaptor plate when you use the LS engine.

Speak to these guys http://www.phii.net/ - they just did one for my Ultima project.
I think Michael Blue talks about a budget that will likely not allow for a G50 and all it takes to convert it. Granted, it's probably the better transaxle, but will cost money. A friend has a Renault UN1-013 gearbox in his GTD GT40 replica; has owned the car for 6 years without any gearbox issues (~400HP SBF). It really depends a lot on how you drive them. I have the Getrag 01E 6 speed for my conversion. RF in Australia has one in a test mule behind a 500HP SBF; last I read, he had ~20K miles on it without issue. Outside of a 930, there are few transaxle options for higher HP applications that don't cost a lot of money.

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Old 01-26-2006, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy1
I think Michael Blue talks about a budget that will likely not allow for a G50 and all it takes to convert it. Granted, it's probably the better transaxle, but will cost money. A friend has a Renault UN1-013 gearbox in his GTD GT40 replica; has owned the car for 6 years without any gearbox issues (~400HP SBF). It really depends a lot on how you drive them. I have the Getrag 01E 6 speed for my conversion. RF in Australia has one in a test mule behind a 500HP SBF; last I read, he had ~20K miles on it without issue. Outside of a 930, there are few transaxle options for higher HP applications that don't cost a lot of money.

Andy1

Ahhhh.... see this is because Fords are just not as tough as Chevs
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #10
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930turbo Transaxle is essentially a G50 without overdrive and is rated at 700hp+. They are cheaper.

I would spend the $$$ on a proper transaxle vs. getting one without overdrive and just plop in a stock LS1. '99+ is preferred.

Mid engine typically = $$$$$ Plan on spending more money for your conversion unless you can fabricate everything.
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:23 PM   #11
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Planning on fabricating mounts, adapter plate, etc.

Definitely want a good transaxle though...
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:49 PM   #12
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The Detomaso Pantera 5 speed is worth looking into. Also, as new Ford GTs get totalled, the RBT 6 speeds will start hitting the streets. That's the ultimate crashbox for a car like that.

Also, what about the transmissions from the later model TT V8 Esprits? Are they any good?
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:24 PM   #13
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Renegade Hybrids has been in business since 1982 doing just one thing... Chevy small block V8 engine conversions in Porsches.they are a leader in the field of providing do-it-yourself kits, as well as in-house conversions, for Porsche models: 911, 912, 914, 924S, 928, 930, and 944. they also offer adapter plates, an array of clutch components, and modified Porsche transaxles for mid engine kit car builders.They may be able to help you with info or parts, renegadehybrids.com Toll Free: (866) 498-2421. I hope that helps. good luck and post some pictures
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMcCarthy
Also, what about the transmissions from the later model TT V8 Esprits? Are they any good?
I hear the stock TT motor could kill the stock transaxle
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noxwagon
Renegade Hybrids has been in business since 1982 doing just one thing... Chevy small block V8 engine conversions in Porsches.they are a leader in the field of providing do-it-yourself kits, as well as in-house conversions, for Porsche models: 911, 912, 914, 924S, 928, 930, and 944. they also offer adapter plates, an array of clutch components, and modified Porsche transaxles for mid engine kit car builders.They may be able to help you with info or parts, renegadehybrids.com Toll Free: (866) 498-2421. I hope that helps. good luck and post some pictures
THANKS! I'll check them out!


Quote:
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I hear the stock TT motor could kill the stock transaxle
That's true. They blow chunks...Literally.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:58 PM   #16
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Bumperino!
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:51 PM   #17
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I saw a DeLorean with the Lotus twin-turbo V8 in it and I think it was a Porsche transaxle. The owner said it was an 18 month project to get it right.

Contact the Las Vegas Lotus club and they'll be able to put you in contact with the owner. They were at a car show this spring in Henderson, NV (south of LV).
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:56 PM   #18
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so its gonna be FWD?
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XtremeDime
so its gonna be FWD?




No, mid-engine, rear-drive.
The Porsche transaxle gets flipped over.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:13 PM   #20
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Just wanted to say, sounds like a kick *** project, not as common as mine. I like that, I went with mine because of cost issues. Good luck, and I hope you figure it all out.

Chris
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:13 PM
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