Lotus Elan

making my elan more livable/drivable

PostPost by: "trdr_gonzo" » Mon May 02, 2005 3:37 am

Hi all,

First I just wanted to thank everyone for your great input and
helpful advice. I haven't yet gotten any Lotus books so this message
board and your tips have really been invaluable - especially with
the broken U-joint (on the left side rear axle) I experienced after
a weeks worth of ownership of my Elan.

I managed to remove the offending piece, and will take to the
machine shop for repair. While I had the rear semi-apart, I started
to consider ways in which to safegaurd another breakdown. Let me
know what you think of the following:

1) replacement of the shocks and springs (the car tilts a bit to the
left which tells me the springs might be sagging and in need of
replacement. I believe the shocks are non-adjustable Spax, more than
a decade old possible 20 yrs old. The car has bottomed out several
times (causing me no end in mental anguish). Can anyone recommend a
spring/shock setup that has worked for them where the car is more
resilient to bottoming out on potholes etc? Perhaps adjustable Spax
set to the softest settings?

2) Limited slip differentials - Do many members here have LSD
setups? Any recommendations on what is good, what to avoid? I saw a
Quaffe setup from I think Tommy Thompson racing. Any performance
benefits to the LSD that you've noticed? I figured that dividing the
power between two wheels will put less stress on the rear ends U-
joints than having it all run through one side.

thanks in advance

Frank
NYC area
'69 Elan DHC
'67 Volvo 122s estate
'73 Honda CB750
"trdr_gonzo"
 

PostPost by: poiuyt » Mon May 02, 2005 5:01 am

Frank,

I recently replaced the springs, shocks, bushings, rotoflex, etc in
the rear of my 1969 S4. I spoke with the folks at Dave Bean and
asked them for everything as close as possible to the original
equipment. They gave me adjustable shocks (I think they were KYB)
and told me to set them at the softest setting. The part number is
036D 9010. Can't find the part number for the springs.

I'm pretty satisfied with the results.

I'm also in the NYC area (East Meadow, LI) - where are you?

Steve B
1969 Elan S4 DHC
1978 Fiat X1/9
1992 Honda Nighthawk CB750


--- In ***@***.***, "trdr_gonzo" <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi all,

First I just wanted to thank everyone for your great input and
helpful advice. I haven't yet gotten any Lotus books so this
message

board and your tips have really been invaluable - especially with
the broken U-joint (on the left side rear axle) I experienced after
a weeks worth of ownership of my Elan.

I managed to remove the offending piece, and will take to the
machine shop for repair. While I had the rear semi-apart, I started
to consider ways in which to safegaurd another breakdown. Let me
know what you think of the following:

1) replacement of the shocks and springs (the car tilts a bit to
the

left which tells me the springs might be sagging and in need of
replacement. I believe the shocks are non-adjustable Spax, more
than

a decade old possible 20 yrs old. The car has bottomed out several
times (causing me no end in mental anguish). Can anyone recommend a
spring/shock setup that has worked for them where the car is more
resilient to bottoming out on potholes etc? Perhaps adjustable
Spax

set to the softest settings?

2) Limited slip differentials - Do many members here have LSD
setups? Any recommendations on what is good, what to avoid? I saw
a

Quaffe setup from I think Tommy Thompson racing. Any performance
benefits to the LSD that you've noticed? I figured that dividing
the

power between two wheels will put less stress on the rear ends U-
joints than having it all run through one side.

thanks in advance

Frank
NYC area
'69 Elan DHC
'67 Volvo 122s estate
'73 Honda CB750
Steve B.<br>1969 Elan S4
poiuyt
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon May 02, 2005 11:40 am

1) replacement of the shocks and springs (the car tilts a bit
to the left which tells me the springs might be sagging and
in need of replacement. I believe the shocks are
non-adjustable Spax, more than a decade old possible 20 yrs
old. The car has bottomed out several times (causing me no
end in mental anguish). Can anyone recommend a spring/shock
setup that has worked for them where the car is more
resilient to bottoming out on potholes etc? Perhaps
adjustable Spax set to the softest settings?


I have adjustable Koni's in the rear set to full soft, and original springs.
My car sags to the left, but it is not the rear that is the main problem.
The antiroll bar in the front is tweaked. After shimming the bar I have
gotten the car quite a bit more level. One of these days I'll get under
there and replace the bar with the straight one sitting on the shelf. The
springs are soft, 75 lb/in front, 68 lb/in in the rear, in order to give the
excellent ride, so be careful about going up in the spring rates.

2) Limited slip differentials - Do many members here have
LSD setups? Any recommendations on what is good, what to
avoid? I saw a Quaffe setup from I think Tommy Thompson
racing. Any performance benefits to the LSD that you've
noticed? I figured that dividing the power between two wheels
will put less stress on the rear ends U- joints than having
it all run through one side.


I made the mistake of putting a limited slip differential in my car, and one
of these days I'll either get it enough less limited to not cause so much
understeer, or I'll take it out and put the open differential back in. The
car is light enough and the suspension good enough that a limited slip
differential is not necessary. It probably won't reduce the stress on the
U-Joints since it will cause more torque to go through instead of no torque
while a wheel spins. Many people recommend against LSD with donuts since it
puts more stress on them.

The torque sensing style would be better than the clutch pack type I have,
but I don't think it is necessary.

Rob LaMoreaux
Ann Arbor, MI USA
(734)-971-5583
Cell (734)-604-9280
Email: ***@***.***
Too many Hobbies.... Too Little Time
1969 Lotus Elan....It's not a restoration, it's a never-ending adventure.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon May 02, 2005 12:03 pm

An LSD is not really necessary for a road car with relatively standard
engine and horsepower.

If you do go for one use the Quaiffe type. I have had one in my car for
a lot of years as I have progressively increased the HP and stiffend
the suspension. Never had any handling or understeer problems induced
by it. Howvever only really beneficial on a track coming out of a slow
corner at full throttle. On the road you need to be at suicidal speeds
to benefit.

With modern tyres you can stiffen the roll bar by up to 100% and the
springs by around 50% from standard while still having the supple ride
that the Elan and other Lotus are famous for. More will improve the
handling but the ride will start to signficantly suffer. Drive a modern
Elise to see how Lotus get the most out of modern tyres, still supple
but a lot stiffer than an Elan.

Rohan
In God I trust.... All others please bring data
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PostPost by: "trdr_gonzo" » Tue May 03, 2005 8:07 pm

Hi Rohan,

What spring rates would you recommend stiffening the springs to?
150/100lbs?

thanks

Frank




--- In ***@***.***, "Rohan Hodges" <[email protected]> wrote:
An LSD is not really necessary for a road car with relatively
standard

engine and horsepower.

If you do go for one use the Quaiffe type. I have had one in my car
for

a lot of years as I have progressively increased the HP and
stiffend

the suspension. Never had any handling or understeer problems
induced

by it. Howvever only really beneficial on a track coming out of a
slow

corner at full throttle. On the road you need to be at suicidal
speeds

to benefit.

With modern tyres you can stiffen the roll bar by up to 100% and
the

springs by around 50% from standard while still having the supple
ride

that the Elan and other Lotus are famous for. More will improve the
handling but the ride will start to signficantly suffer. Drive a
modern

Elise to see how Lotus get the most out of modern tyres, still
supple

but a lot stiffer than an Elan.

Rohan
"trdr_gonzo"
 

PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed May 04, 2005 10:40 am

--- In ***@***.***, "trdr_gonzo" <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi Rohan,

What spring rates would you recommend stiffening the springs to?
150/100lbs?

thanks

Frank

Depends a whole lot on intended use. I run 150 / 110 with 7/8th inch

roll bar and rear bump rubbers spaced down so they come into play in
corners in my race car. Other racers like 250 / 150 ( eg TTR) but
that is too stiff for my liking especially in the wet as I dont have
the time to change spring rates between wet and dry days.

A good road and track setting is around 115 / 90 and around a 3/4
inch roll bar for modern sticky tyres I believe. If running original
width hard compound tyres the original settings still best, Chapman
knew how to match his suspension to the tyres available at the time.


The specifications in the Dave Bean manual are similar to the above
for standard, fast road / track days and race and pretty good in my
opinion.

The steps with each of these stages are around 50% and the average
driver cannot feel differences of less than 50% so small differences
in spring rates not worth worrying about.

You can get rear roll bars but i have never seen a need for them at
any level of development.

Rohan.
In God I trust.... All others please bring data
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PostPost by: davidallen » Wed May 04, 2005 10:55 am

One thing I have often wondered in the past is why should stiffer suspension
effect the grip in the wet?

In the UK we get a lot of rain!

David



-----Original Message-----
From: Rohan Hodges [mailto:***@***.***
Sent: 04 May 2005 11:40
To: ***@***.***
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] making my elan more livable/drivable


--- In ***@***.***, "trdr_gonzo" <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi Rohan,

What spring rates would you recommend stiffening the springs to?
150/100lbs?

thanks

Frank

Depends a whole lot on intended use. I run 150 / 110 with 7/8th inch

roll bar and rear bump rubbers spaced down so they come into play in
corners in my race car. Other racers like 250 / 150 ( eg TTR) but
that is too stiff for my liking especially in the wet as I dont have
the time to change spring rates between wet and dry days.

A good road and track setting is around 115 / 90 and around a 3/4
inch roll bar for modern sticky tyres I believe. If running original
width hard compound tyres the original settings still best, Chapman
knew how to match his suspension to the tyres available at the time.


The specifications in the Dave Bean manual are similar to the above
for standard, fast road / track days and race and pretty good in my
opinion.

The steps with each of these stages are around 50% and the average
driver cannot feel differences of less than 50% so small differences
in spring rates not worth worrying about.

You can get rear roll bars but i have never seen a need for them at
any level of development.

Rohan.








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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed May 04, 2005 11:34 am

--- In ***@***.***, "ALLEN, David" <[email protected]>
wrote:
One thing I have often wondered in the past is why should stiffer
suspension

effect the grip in the wet?

In the UK we get a lot of rain!

David

It do not believe it affects the grip limit itself much all other

things being equal. But it does affect how close you can drive to the
limit. The stiffer suspension tends to let go more quickly and
unpredictably in the wet so you have to drive more conservatively. A
softer suspension gives more warning of the limit and lets go more
slowly so easier to drive to the limit.

Rohan
In God I trust.... All others please bring data
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