The time had finally come for installation of the transaxle.

With great confidence, I swung the trans up over the car.

Much aggravation lining up the input shaft with the pilot bearing. I had jacked the front of the car up since removing the transaxle, moving the engine slightly. Eventually, my girlfriend helped out by slowly raising the jack under the engine until the trans slipped in with a satisfying 'thunk'.

Ah. Success. Now to install the halfshafts, exhaust, intake tube, clutch slave, trunk, etc.


I made some simple tools to help with the rollpin installation. These were 6mm allen keys before they met the bench grinder.


Here's the bigger rollpin going in. MUCH easier with the homebrew tool. Probably easier still with the Lotus tools (~$140).

Here everything is hooked up to make sure the engine actually ran. It did. See the cross brace in the engine compartment? I was amazed to find that I had to put a jack under the suspension to line up the bolt holes!

Against all odds, the car started at the first turn of the key and hasn't required a single adjustment. The shifter feels a touch off but that's expected because the muffler/shifter cable bracket is never going to be in exactly the same position after it's disturbed.

Loyal (ahem) readers are no doubt wondering about the limited slip, the reason for all this aggravation. Truth is, I'm not quite sure. In the cold with well worn rear tires, it's still possible to get the inside tire spinning, even in 2nd gear . It happens much less frequently though and the car positively leaps out of most 2nd gear corners. Still, I'm questioning the wisdom of the expenditure, which exceeded $3000 all told. It made a lot more "sense" when the economy wasn't so dismal!

The new lower control arms work well but the car does still pull from side to side as the ABS cycles, just not as badly.


Back to Service.