Lotus Elan

26R type magnesium wheels

PostPost by: petelot26R » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:19 am

Any advice as to the life of a racing mag wheel? I'm after racing parts to build a track car albeit it on a tight budget and I've been offered a set of 13x6 mag wheels but I have no idea as to their age, ie could they be a relatively recent repro set through TTR or perhaps they're an old original set of 26R rims in which case I assume they are of no use to anyone ?? In short whats the lifespan of magnesium parts?
Thanks for any info...Pete
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Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Location: london

PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:57 pm


Its not just the age of Mg parts, but where and how they were stored or used. And are they bare or painted. When I started vintage racing in 1989, there were no reproduction wheels for my Lotus Eleven, so I raced on the originals, and would do so today. When I tried to have my wheels checked by an aircraft maintenance company, I was told Mg parts are so brittle, that if I had a wheel with a crack, I would be able to see it. I found that to be true and over the years, I found a tiny crack near a lug on one of the rears. After the next session, the crack grew and I ceased using that wheel. Today, I race a Lotus 20/22 and part of my preparation, I examine the wheels carefully while cleaning them and retaping the balance weights.

One of my Elan projects was converted to 26R spec by the original owner back in period. I have a couple of sets of sets of wheels for it and I will treat them the same way.

Your biggest issue with the 26R wheels will be that you probably don't have the proper hubs to mount them. And even the alloy K-O spinners have a different thread from the normal brass ones used on standard Elans.

'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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