Gear Cables Exige S1

What gear cables would be recommended for an Exige S1?

Elise Parts?
Elise Shop?

Thank you

A bit quite on here!

I have the Elise-shop motorsport cables on mine. They are thicker in the tunnel area near the handbrake. Fully adjustable.

On my Elise S1 have no problems with the OEM ones though. New rear bushes inserted. They are a Ford part in fact the plastic push in bits.

I wrote this at 22:10 +1 gmt. Says 14:00! Ok, not important

I used the Elise Parts ones but that was years ago and I expect the game has moved on since then

In the meantime I ordered the cables from Elise Parts.

One simple question: What kind of gear box oil do you use?

It seems a simple one, but on my car after an oil change the gear change became difficult
when the box warmed up (!?).
I used the Bardahl MTF instead of the original Rover-Oil.
Both are GL-4.
Note: Until now I didn’ t change the cables.

:astonished: :astonished: :astonished:

1 Like

I have Castrol Syntrans 75W-90

You need to be careful by just going on the GL-4 code.

Have a look into the viscosity of your’s at low and high temps. You can destroy a gearbox synchros with the wrong oil, i.e. too thick at low temps, oil doesn’t get through the ports. Gets trapped between the syn. and heats up the gearbox and makes gear change hard. Leads to complete failure!

As soon as you select a different gearbox oil, need to look at what’s in it and how viscos it is. Just keep to what is specified. Forgetting GL as it is only half the answer, doesn’t cover the synchro! but just gears.

Note: if you have a GL-5 code on the label, take that oil out ASAP!

Thank you for your answer.
It was a GL-4 oil!
To cut a long story short I ordered the original MG/Rover Gear Box Oil.
I will keep you updated


I hope I feels better with the new oil. I think it would be good to say what oil you put in. You know it might be the right spec.

It could be the gear cables after all.

Will keep an eye out if you update the thread :wink:

this is the oil actually in the gear box:

as said when heating up, shifting gears becomes harder


So, you oil is in fact too thin. I think it is basically not holding on to the gears as they spin through the oil in the box.

Not going to to more details but you can search for a chart comparing the different specs. I hope no damage is done. Worry not until you refill and try.

Keep a small quality of the oil you remove, just in case you want to get it analysed. Maybe OTT for some.

Do you have the figures for viscosity, as the data sheet I found for the Bardahl product has a very similar ‘warm’, ie. 100 deg C, figure to the OE Texaco MTF94 of around 9cSt.

Mine was refilled recently with Millers (TRX 75W-90, I think - will check later) which was done by a Lotus garage. This has a 100 deg C viscosity of 14.77cSt.

Fortunately the car was used only on the test bench and approximately for 12 km on the open road,
before we decided to intervene.
As said, I ordered the oem MG Rover oil and we will make a complete oil change next Tuesday:

A Lotus dealer told me that some of their clients on their own decided to use an ATF
(automatic transmission fluid) in their cars.
He didn’ t absolutely recommend it, but they are still using it…

I have seen ATF used in manual racing gearboxes. At one time it was common to use it in the Hewland Mk.9 transaxle because - allegedly - there was less fluid drag so power transmission was more efficient.

I’m not convinced what % improvement this gave - very small, I suspect - but in this situation the fluid was changed for every race and the gears inspected for wear.

To confirm - my Lotus service agent uses Millers TRX 75W-90 in the S1 gearbox.

1 Like

The oil you are using has GL-4 and GL-5 specifications.
Hawing it also GL-5 specs would it not be harmful on the longterm for the synchronizer
in a Rover gearbox?


As it was a Lotus-approved garage that used it, I would have thought it was correct. If any problems are due to the wrong oil, then it will be their responsibility to sort them.

Regarding concerns over corrosion and EP-modifiers, this is surely down to the chemistry of the specific modifiers, rather than their tribology properties.

The last update on the gear box problems:

1. Changed the gear cables with those from Elise Parts
2. Drained the Bardahl oil and put the MG Rover oil in
3. Replaced the short shifter with an oem shifter
4. Optimized the gear linkage to 7.2 mm

=> noted immediately a much smoother gear selection.

This afternoon we will test it on the road, hoping that the problems will be gone.



I imagine you will have checked the old cables for any tightness?

A short shift was on my ‘to buy’ list at one time, but my concern was that the change in leverage could/would affect the quality of the gear change.

Enjoy :thumbup:

Yes, we checked the old cables and the cross gate cable was a little bit tight.
I agree with you that the short shifter is not the right way to go…

Tomorrow the car will be tested and we will see.


I had a short shifter on an s1 Elise for a while but it was not good and came off. I changed my oil to Redline, widely recommended. I think it’s very marginally smoother than the normal Rover stuff.

After the listed modifications the gear changes are smooth and no more issues
when the gear box gets warm…

Problems solved.