Lotus Elan

What degree of caster is best?

PostPost by: jon1986eac » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:04 pm

Wow!! Lots to be aware of. I have spoken to the previous owner who has campaigned the car mainly on hillclimbs and Sprints with quite a lot of success. He was aware of the light feeling and was pretty certain it was more to do with the aerodynamics and again suggested a front splitter or raise the back and lower the front. Like me he was reluctant to do this. The other suggestion was to get used to it! I am very much aware that I need to get behind the wheel and learn how to drive it properly and the previous owner managed to frighten the life out of me when I went to view the car without any trouble.

Next stop for me will probably be a drivers school at Prescott with the hope of Hillclimbs and Sprints next season building confidence along the way.

Thanks
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:27 am

welll don't expect to go to driver school and learn it all ----get 'Driving in competition --Allen Johnson-----any other 'how to drive fast books ---- read them!!!! I wouldn't want to read about you turning the car into a brillo pad -------------they are getting rare ---the National Health will repair you --and get some seat time in a cart ---go carting is great learning tool for racing ---unless your ego is still too large for that -ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: elandoc » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:19 am

Hi Rohan,
I'm actually curious what springs you run! I run TTR recommended 250/150 lbs for tarmac rallying, and I've come to the opinion that they must rally on billiard tables over there, because they feel a bit stiff - seem OK on the track, though, so I thought I'd ask what you run.
Cheers
Patrick
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:40 am

Hi Patrick

I run 150 lb/in front and 110 lb/in rear springs - substantially softer than what TTR recommends for race and at the low end of what Dave Bean recommends for racing. But the settings are in line with the original 26R rates and a good match for tyres allowed in Groups S histrorics here as they are probably only a little better than the full race tyres back in original 26R days in terms of grip.

I run it stiff in roll though with the bump stops at the rear spaced down to come into play earlier in roll and a 23 mm front roll bar. I find this helps with stability in fast corners.

I have tried stiffer and found it better in some circumstance but worse in others- especially in the wet. Maybe if i raced more I could manage a stiffer and more twitchy car but where i am at with my driving skills I find the relatively soft settings best for me, if slower than a better driver could handle.

I would think 250F / 150R would be a real handful on a typical Australian country road especially on a cold damp early morning stage !

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:22 pm

ok Jon IM going to offer one more bit of advice then my conscience will be clear -this is not a game ---There are a few groups in any class ---one ---the fast guys at the front with the money to campaign the car and develop their skill ---two ---the mid pack group [of which I was one] who ran on a close budget and occasionally got to the sharp end and three ---the novi [ No knowledge-- Over confidant --Very irritating --Individuals] of these the carters go immediately to the front as they have been carting since they were 6 years old', know tire and chassis set up and race smarts and have developed their talent Then there are the rest of the novi guys who watched from the other side of the guard rail and decided they can do that and have put every last nickle in the car.These arrive waving their driver school diploma full of piss and vinegar but cant understand why they are not getting calls from F1 teams yet ;but they'll call . This group usually last about 4 or 5 events before the car is crashed and junk and they have 6 or 8 weeks healing time to decide that macrame or chess is a better pastime ---and as for being harsh; Ive been to too many funerals and seen too may widows and fatherless children to be starry eyed about racing although I still love it -don't let it be you ----good luck ---ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: jon1986eac » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:25 pm

Well Ed, It seems you really don't like beginners! We all have to start somewhere and Prescott drivers school came highly recomended as a good introduction for someone like me without any experience and knowledge. The idea being to learn something that may be of use before getting into competition. Perhaps I might learn how to avoid killing myself with my huge "ego" and how not to annoy experienced drivers by asking questions that I ought to know the answers to. Safety will come before anything for me (I do have a wife and 2 kids) and as it happens all the work I am having done on the car relates to that.
Sorry to have asked "What degree of caster is best"


twincamman wrote:ok Jon IM going to offer one more bit of advice then my conscience will be clear -this is not a game ---There are a few groups in any class ---one ---the fast guys at the front with the money to campaign the car and develop their skill ---two ---the mid pack group [of which I was one] who ran on a close budget and occasionally got to the sharp end and three ---the novi [ No knowledge-- Over confidant --Very irritating --Individuals] of these the carters go immediately to the front as they have been carting since they were 6 years old', know tire and chassis set up and race smarts and have developed their talent Then there are the rest of the novi guys who watched from the other side of the guard rail and decided they can do that and have put every last nickle in the car.These arrive waving their driver school diploma full of piss and vinegar but cant understand why they are not getting calls from F1 teams yet ;but they'll call . This group usually last about 4 or 5 events before the car is crashed and junk and they have 6 or 8 weeks healing time to decide that macrame or chess is a better pastime ---and as for being harsh; Ive been to too many funerals and seen too may widows and fatherless children to be starry eyed about racing although I still love it -don't let it be you ----good luck ---ed
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:42 pm

NO!!!!!JUST BE SORRY YOU CANT ACCEPT THE INFORMATION OFFERED MAN TO MAN -----ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: utp79 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:37 pm

Hello, I was just reading through your interesting replies regarding your question, some of them are excellent and helpful. Some of them seem to rather digress from your question though so I thought I?d write a quick message of encouragement.
Whilst on holiday in Australia this April I was fortunate enough to stay with Tony Jefferies, who tested for and competed in Formula 1 Lotus cars in the early to mid sixties, he was friends with all the Lotus crowd and told many interesting stories, he was actually testing alongside Gary Hocking the day he tragically died in 1962. He even told me what really happened in that accident? as he was first on the scene. Interestingly Jefferies, Brabham, Frank Gardner and Ian Lees still all live really close to each other in Queensland? what a great racing team they?d still make today!
Anyway, like Jon1986eac I have an interest in starting up competing again (I have done a small amount in the past) and I too also have an Elan and I am never too proud to ask advice. The advice I got from Jefferies was fantastic when I mentioned it to him and really interesting, he encouraged me to get back into competing as soon as I could. I wish you every success with your training and driving. From the photograph your car looks like a fine example and having it thoroughly checked over by a knowledgeable person is a very good idea. All the best for the future!
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PostPost by: elandoc » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:56 am

Hi Jon,
You keep asking your questions, and don't be discouraged by negative comments - you'll find that anyone who's been around the circuit for a few decades will love to have a chat (obviously, with a few notable exceptions!).
Patrick
67 S3 DHC - The world's most expensive Elan
64 Morris Cooper S (now sold)
85 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV
79 Ferrari 400i
68 Lotus Europa S2 (in boxes - wanna buy it?)
50 Riley 21/2 Litre (now sold)
65 Lotus Elan S2 (in boxes, soon to be a lightweight)
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PostPost by: twincamman » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:30 pm

well I wasn't trying to antagonise --just give some information regarding the dangers of racing it was prerequisite at the casc driving school I worked at for 4 years ---but wear your best dress to the driver school so the instructor wont hurt your feeling s ----ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: toomspj » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:49 pm

Jon
Keep asking the questions. At the end of the day, there may be no substitute for experience but it sure helps if you have some advice to build on. Easiest way is to get down to the track with your car and find someone to mentor you.

By the way, were you and Ed married previously -conversation sounds a bit that way?! :P
Turning money into noise!
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