View single post by Rick Willard
 Posted: 04-12-2017 02:46 pm
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Rick Willard

Joined: 08-20-2005
Location: Broomfield, Colorado USA
Posts: 47
There's quite a bit to consider with this project. Look on the board for tons of information beyond what I'll summarize here.

* Transmission - I got one for $200, which was a steal. You could spend up to $1,000 for a used one that has some sort of warranty. Mike Taylor from Lotus Bits confirmed for me that the Toyota W58 is "designed to go 400K miles under 300+ HP. The JH motor can't break that transmission." So just find a good used one and don't go over the top. Mine actually came from an early 80's Lotus Excel with 60K miles.
* Kit from Lotus Bits in the UK includes bell housing, clutch parts, throwout bearing, and speedo cable. Again, I chose the upgraded bell housing, so I could keep my stock clutch cable. I also chose the lightened flywheel and the upgraded clutch for my future 2.2. Cost for the kit ranges from $950 - $1,450, depending on what upgrades you choose. Mike Taylor heavily recommended the lightened flywheel and he was right, as the throttle response to the engine is very noticeably improved.
* Extended shifter housing and linkage came from Conversion Components in NZ ($350). I couldn't find it elsewhere. You need the "530mm" extension.

* I chose to have mine installed by a restoration shop. THIS is where you can save lots of bucks and many JH owners who have done the conversion will attest to that. Personally, I had done lots of clutch and tranny work on my previous JH's over the years, and I think I could have eventually gotten through it just fine. But with my kids at their age, I just didn't want the project dragging on for weeks/months and costing me lots of weekend time away from the family. The major things we had to handle were the cross-member (a specially machined mounting plate was welded to the original JH cross-member), the shifter (created from the Lotus Excel shifter and the original JH shifter), and the driveshaft (very standard work for a driveshaft specialist). I spent about $3K on labor. I had hoped that this would be around $2K, but...we had some snags and adjustments that had to be worked out. I wanted the work to be top notch - which it is. Again, there is PLENTY of money to be saved here, but there's no doubt that you'll do some machine work to get the cross member and shifter correct.
* I still have the speedometer to calibrate, because I couldn't find speedometer gears to work with this particular conversion. In my research, I struggled to find the proper gearing that was guaranteed to mesh properly, and just decided to have it calibrated instead. Thus, I will have to get a specialist to handle this. I expect roughly $200 for this, give or take $50.

Another thought to consider from my own experience. The 2nd of my 4 JH's had the Getrag 5-speed, which is a good tranny for the car, but...the Toyota is so much better on the highway. It's about 500 RPM's lower than the Getrag at 75 mph and 900 RPM's lower than the 4-speed at 75 mph. My previous/3rd JH had a 2.2 mated to a standard 4-speed. The engine was awesome (again, lots of $$$), but the tranny really let it down on the freeway. That particular car was done in by an engine fire (long story). Knowing what I know now, I would have done the 5-speed FIRST before going for the 2.2 (unless you do both upgrades at the same time). I'll do the 2.2 in the near future, but my current car has 45mm Dellorto's, the lightened flywheel, and the W58, and it drives beautifully, as is. Search the comments of the message board here, and you'll see plenty of testimonials. In the end, I figured that I will own this car for the rest of my life (hopefully), and I only wanted to do this once and do it right. My two cents; the project was costly, but for someone committed to their car for the long-term...worth every penny.

Good luck!


Last edited on 04-12-2017 06:59 pm by Rick Willard