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Mid engine project, transaxle needed

This is a discussion on Mid engine project, transaxle needed within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Hi! I'm working on an Exotic swap project, unusual advice needed... I'm building a Lotus Esprit S1, and adding an ...

  1. #1
    Michael Blue
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    Mid engine project, transaxle needed

    Hi!

    I'm working on an Exotic swap project, unusual advice needed...

    I'm building a Lotus Esprit S1, and adding an LS1.

    At first I don't plan on more than 350-400hp MAX.
    I'll be adding ITBs and headers, light flywheel, etc, and will be raising the stock limiter to roughly 7500rpm (I'm getting adveice here in another thread for that).

    I was wondering if anyone here was aware of a good 5-6sp transaxle that would work with this kind of project.
    In the Esprit, the transmission runs behind the engine to the rear of the car, so I don't know if the Corvette setup might even fit?

    Suggestions and links to sources needed...

    Thanks a ton for your help...I am a newbie to the domestic muscle scene, but I'm very impressed by this engine so far!


  2. #2
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    Have you looked at the Corvette layout?

  3. #3
    M6TA
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    get some info on Porshe transaxles or an Oldsmobile Toronado

  4. #4
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    The Toronado set-up(if you can still find one) would handle the horsepower.The Corvette transaxle is separate from the engine,don't know if it's possible to connect the engine directly to it(with a custom adapter maybe).Interesting project-good luck.

  5. #5
    I like the way yew tawlk. Ric's Avatar
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    Red
    2000 T/A WS6

    Sounds like you'd need to research the C5's transaxle, and find out what it takes to fit it to an F-body bellhousing/input shaft/throwout bearing, along with anything else that I may not have thought about.

    Also, check the overall length of the C5 transaxle, then add the length of the LS1 engine with the bellhousing bolted on. That'll tell you what kind of room you'll be dealing with.

    Duuuuuude, that'd make for a KILLER rail buggy!!!

  6. #6
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    The Toronado set up was a good suggestion, but it is an auto. Going manual and trans rear of engine:
    Porche would be logical( also mentioned but big $)

    Subaru with the center diff defeated( two outputs instead of 3)These six speeds can handle gobs of power.

  7. #7
    Michael Blue
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    True, but the Subaru WRX STI 6sp has very short gears...Not exactly optimum for an SBC.

    I'm very surprised there aren't more options...I know a lot of guys go the Porsche route, but I'm doing this on a budget, and if I'm going to break it, it's going to be with a Hewland sequential.

    What do the Lambo-kit guys use?

  8. #8
    Michael Blue
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    Someone on LS1Tech linked me to this...I just emailed Derek Bell...Really.
    Cool!

    bell-performance co uk / Gearbox%20Upgrade htm

    (10 post rule)

  9. #9
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    Arctic White
    1998 Z28 ls1 m6

    I have done a mid engine sbc in a fiero so have done some research as to what you are after. If you want a 6 spd the thing I would look for is a Porsche 968. For 5 spd you could use a Porsche 911 with mod or an Audi 5000 turbo. I know there is a company that makes the Audi to sbc adapter maybe they could help with an ls1 change. good luck

  10. #10
    Michael Blue
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    Thanks!

    So...How did you fit a lonitudinal setup in a transverse car?

  11. #11
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    2000 Camaro SS #1625

    Porsche G-50 transaxle would work the best for the LS1, but they are expensive! Adapter plate/kit can be found at renegadehybrids.com, and they specialize in LS1 conversions.

  12. #12
    Michael Blue
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    Yup, been looking at their "Renegade G50" kit with taller 4th and 5th gears, cable operation and the "side shift" feature.
    They also do all the clutch/flywheel and starter modification and preparation.

    Seems like a nice setup, but it is more $ than anticipated.

    Honestly, I think it's worth re-budgeting the project for. At this point, I'm still keeping my eyes open, but I think I'll be calling Vegas when the time comes for the transaxle.

  13. #13
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    Arctic White
    1998 Z28 ls1 m6

    take a look here for the audi 5000 adapter ww.kennedyeng.com/other.htm

  14. #14
    My other car sneezes gmendoza's Avatar
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    Sorry to bring this back, but we were discussing transaxles recently and I remembered about this thread. Have you thought about the Audi 5000 tranny. It's almost identical to the G50 but these could be had for a few hundred dollars as opposed to a few thousand for the G50

    lambolounge.com/Chassis/Transmission/5000/5000.asp

  15. #15
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    I'm glad somebody brought this back up-and sorry I didn't think of this sooner. The guy that said it would make a killer sandrail is on to something-it's been done on a regular basis actually. These are usually rear engine/transaxle arrangement,but it wouldn't surprise me if someone wasn't doing it mid-engine. Swapping the transaxle around backward is possible with alot of the VW variant transaxles. There is the Mendeola transaxle, the Albins AGB 5 speed,VW Bus transaxles have alot more strength than you might imagine(the stock ring gear is on par with the Ford 9 inch)when modified.I subscribe to "Sand Sports" magazine and a quick look through the latest issue gives several possible avenues to explore in this realm. Try contacting Mendeola racing @ 619-691-1000--or Mannex Sandsports Products for engine adaptors @ www.mannex.org ---or here's a good lead, a new mid-engine transaxle made by Dave Folts Transmission@562-694-5591 or dfolts@msn.com (ask about the "Magnum 44" new mid-engine transaxle). Kennedy Engineered Products makes a 100 different adaptors to fit the engines to the VW and Porshe type transaxles/$3 for the catalog to- KEP 38830 17th St. East, Palmdale,CA 93550 . The Wright Gearbox can build a transaxle to your needs at www.wrightgearbox.com . A mid engine shifter for these transaxles at www.grracecomponents.com . I think that gives you enough to go on for now-I'm sure there are a lot of other companies out there than can help with your project,these are just a few of the companies doing the sand rail LS-1 conversions.


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