Lotus Elan

Yet more wheels - the 26R wheel

PostPost by: "abstamaria" » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:45 am

The ultimate Elan wheel may be the magnesium wheels the factory fitted on
the 26Rs. They are very light and are of course "correct" for the Elan, and
they do come in a knock-off version. New replicas are available at the
sites mentioned by other listers earlier. The wobblies, so far as I know,
will not fit and were never used on the Elan by the factory.

I weighed the 26R wheels when I first received them some time ago and,
reviewing on my journal, find the following weight comparison:

Original steel (KO) wheel with Dunlop SP Sports: 30 lbs..
Magnesium 6" 26R (KO) wheel with Dunlop CR65s: 21 lbs.

I was surprised my steel wheel/tire combo weighs more than the 26 lbs that
Tom Moore mentioned. Perhaps the Series 4 KO wheels are heavier. Since the
tires are off my steel wheels, I can't verify. Can someone do this?
However, I did have the same mag/CR65 set handy and weighed these again on
my trusty bathroom scale: about 21 lbs. Note that the CR65s are also very
light.

The 26R wheels use a different knock-off (do the English say "knock-on"?),
made in aluminum. When I first got them, I weighed the alloy KOs and the
standard KOs on my wife's baking scale (500 grams maximum). Results as
follows:

26R aluminum KO: 190 grams (about 6-1/2 ounces)
Standard Federal KO: 315 grams
Standard "eared" KO: Off the scale! (over 500 grams)

So more unsprung weight savings there.

Magnesium wheels I don't believe are prone to cracking, as was stated by a
well-meaning lister. I had an "off" during a race and bent one against a
wall. It twisted and deformed, but didn't crack. If anything, it is
probably more reliable, stiffer, and stronger than the standard steel wheel.
It also will not burst into flames, except in very high heat (in which case
one has bigger problems than a burning wheel). I read the danger might be
in very thin sheet magnesium, but again very intense heat is necessary.

The biggest problem, in my experience, is corrosion. I have not noticed any
corrosion in my painted 26R wheels, but do have to keep polishing the
exposed outer rims on the Wobblies. The magnesium wheels on an Italian car
I have also seems more prone to corrosion, paint notwithstanding; I just had
to replace these. Magnesium corrosion just goes through the substance,
unlike aluminum, which corrodes at the surface. It is almost impossible to
stop magnesium corrosion once it starts.

The problem with the 26R KO wheels on the Elan is that one will need to
change the hub assembly, which makes the switch an even more expensive
proposition. Having done that, one can no longer use the standard KO
wheels.

The original Minilites I recall used a steel adaptor for splined Rudge
wheels (eg. Jaguar), which increased their weight. I do not believe they
ever had KOs for the Elan. The Panasports also have a steel adaptor, and
this may increase weight somewhat.

That may be more about wheels than you care to know, so my apologies.

Warm regards,

Andres
1969 DHC 45/8439
Manila
"abstamaria"
 

PostPost by: rodbean » Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:32 pm

Hello Andres,

The original magnesium Minilites were indeed available in either bolt-on
or knock-off configuration. I have a set of knock-off Minilites (mag).
They are from John Clark's slalom-prepared Elan that I co-drove a few
times in the seventies.

The wheels are 13 x 6 with a custom offset for an Elan without flares
(but with judicious grinding here and there). They were used on John's
S4 Elan which he had also been using as his main street transportation.
When John decided to get a S1 1/2 Elan for exclusive slalom use for
both of us to drive, and which would have flares and 10" wide Revolution
(knock-off) wheels, I bought the Minilites from him on the chance that I
would want to make one of my (S1/S2) Elans into a compromise car similar
to John's S4.

The wheels each have a steel piece in the center to accept the knock-off
nut. John used the hex nut. I would have used the eared nut in my
application. The wheels still have mounted the very narrow looking (now
hard as rocks) 6" Dunlop slicks that we used.

Rod Bean
(S1, S1, S1, S2)

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:45:21 +0800
From: "abstamaria" <***@***.***>
Subject: Yet more wheels - the 26R wheel

The ultimate Elan wheel may be the magnesium wheels the factory fitted on
the 26Rs. They are very light and are of course "correct" for the Elan, and
they do come in a knock-off version. New replicas are available at the
sites mentioned by other listers earlier. The wobblies, so far as I know,
will not fit and were never used on the Elan by the factory.

I weighed the 26R wheels when I first received them some time ago and,
reviewing on my journal, find the following weight comparison:

Original steel (KO) wheel with Dunlop SP Sports: 30 lbs..
Magnesium 6" 26R (KO) wheel with Dunlop CR65s: 21 lbs.

I was surprised my steel wheel/tire combo weighs more than the 26 lbs that
Tom Moore mentioned. Perhaps the Series 4 KO wheels are heavier. Since the
tires are off my steel wheels, I can't verify. Can someone do this?
However, I did have the same mag/CR65 set handy and weighed these again on
my trusty bathroom scale: about 21 lbs. Note that the CR65s are also very
light.

The 26R wheels use a different knock-off (do the English say "knock-on"?),
made in aluminum. When I first got them, I weighed the alloy KOs and the
standard KOs on my wife's baking scale (500 grams maximum). Results as
follows:

26R aluminum KO: 190 grams (about 6-1/2 ounces)
Standard Federal KO: 315 grams
Standard "eared" KO: Off the scale! (over 500 grams)

So more unsprung weight savings there.

Magnesium wheels I don't believe are prone to cracking, as was stated by a
well-meaning lister. I had an "off" during a race and bent one against a
wall. It twisted and deformed, but didn't crack. If anything, it is
probably more reliable, stiffer, and stronger than the standard steel wheel.
It also will not burst into flames, except in very high heat (in which case
one has bigger problems than a burning wheel). I read the danger might be
in very thin sheet magnesium, but again very intense heat is necessary.

The biggest problem, in my experience, is corrosion. I have not noticed any
corrosion in my painted 26R wheels, but do have to keep polishing the
exposed outer rims on the Wobblies. The magnesium wheels on an Italian car
I have also seems more prone to corrosion, paint notwithstanding; I just had
to replace these. Magnesium corrosion just goes through the substance,
unlike aluminum, which corrodes at the surface. It is almost impossible to
stop magnesium corrosion once it starts.

The problem with the 26R KO wheels on the Elan is that one will need to
change the hub assembly, which makes the switch an even more expensive
proposition. Having done that, one can no longer use the standard KO
wheels.

The original Minilites I recall used a steel adaptor for splined Rudge
wheels (eg. Jaguar), which increased their weight. I do not believe they
ever had KOs for the Elan. The Panasports also have a steel adaptor, and
this may increase weight somewhat.

That may be more about wheels than you care to know, so my apologies.

Warm regards,

Andres
1969 DHC 45/8439
Manila

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PostPost by: "Andres B. Sta Maria » Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:24 am

Hello, Rod.

It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed! Now, I
know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?

Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car. Would
the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?

Warm regards,

Andres
45/8439
Manila
"Andres B. Sta Maria
 

PostPost by: "Roger Sieling" » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:08 am

Andres,

My 45/26R has S1 26R wheels (5-1/2" wide) for street tires and S2 26R (6" wide)wheels with race tires fitted. It has a spare fitted into the boot of aS1 wheel w/ I believe one of the original 145R 13 Dunlop SP radials. It fits on, but would look rather strange if 4 were fitted to the car. It accomplishes the goal of a spare though.

I'm also wondering if you may have gotten the alum alloy 26R repro wheels. My original wheels aren't as light as the mag American Silverstones, but they compare w/ the wobblies on the 20/22 or 23. And there were some companies making both alloys in this pattern.

Roger

>> ***@***.*** 08/11/05 9:26 PM >>>
Hello, Rod.


It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed! Now, I
know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?

Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car. Would
the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?

Warm regards,

Andres
45/8439
Manila










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PostPost by: "Andres B. Sta Maria » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:49 am

Hello, Roger,

Thanks for the information. I do have the magnesium 26R wheels
(reproduction from TTR), which are as light my Wobblies. How much do your
wheels weigh?

Do you have bolt-on 26R wheels? I assume they fit on the standard hubs?
The KO 26R wheels need special hubs, as you know, which won't take the
standard wheels.

I was looking at period pictures of the Elan as reference (to see where to
reinstall the "S4" and "World Champion" badges on the sides) and was struck
at how good the Elan looks high off the ground with skinny tires. I first
saw the Elans that way but had forgotten. I was wondering if I could fit
155R13s on the 6" 26R rims, but decided this probably wasn't a good idea. I
have Dunlop racing CR65s on, which look vintage but look fatter.

Warm regards,

Andres
45/8439
"Andres B. Sta Maria
 

PostPost by: "Roger Sieling" » Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:37 pm

Andres,

I have never seen or heard of bolt-on 26R wheels. Maybe something TT makes today that was never made in period.

My 45/26R is a S3 SE originally owned by a doctor about 50 miles from here.It is an early 6000 range, but must have been purchased late in the year or maybe imported late in the year because it is titled a '67. I say imported because I know he traveled to Europe fairly often and the Lotus historianlists the car as delivered to "Dudly Davis", where most other eastern USA cars came into Lotus East distributor. At some point, he had the car converted to 26R with as many factory options as could be bought at the time. The26R S2 rear hubs also require the use of the roller type "splined hooke joint half shafts and they''re back there. And the special bronze hubs up front too.

The doctor died sometime in the early 70's and his prodigal son took the car over, crashed it over the winter of '74-75 and the car has sat ever since. I bought it in '84 after he was evicted from his apartment, intended to restore it the next year but got sidetracked when I bought the Eleven which also needed to be restored. The Eleven got the nod and then came racing it and as the say, the rest is history.

I do have a couple of photos I'll send you next week when I'm back in office.

Roger

>> "Andres B. Sta Maria" <***@***.***> 08/11/05 10:51 PM >>>
Hello, Roger,


Thanks for the information. I do have the magnesium 26R wheels
(reproduction from TTR), which are as light my Wobblies. How much do your
wheels weigh?

Do you have bolt-on 26R wheels? I assume they fit on the standard hubs?
The KO 26R wheels need special hubs, as you know, which won't take the
standard wheels.

I was looking at period pictures of the Elan as reference (to see where to
reinstall the "S4" and "World Champion" badges on the sides) and was struck
at how good the Elan looks high off the ground with skinny tires. I first
saw the Elans that way but had forgotten. I was wondering if I could fit
155R13s on the 6" 26R rims, but decided this probably wasn't a good idea. I
have Dunlop racing CR65s on, which look vintage but look fatter.

Warm regards,

Andres
45/8439




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This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
the system manager.
This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.
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PostPost by: rodbean » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:25 pm

Hi Andres,

Yes they do have blind holes for the original pins. I was thinking of
using them on my S2 (currently in need of full restoration) and would
probably use 155 tires as I wouldn't be flaring the fenders. You should
see these old petrified Dunlop slicks that are currently mounted on the
wheels. The "tread" AND the section width are BOTH six inches across
(very square section design). Six in. is close to the section width of
a 155 street tire so I would think a 155 or 165 would be fine. I use
175/70 tires on stock steel wheels for my running S1 without flares and
it frankly amazes me that they don't hit anything (I haven't ground any
fiberglass or anything else).

The Minilites have been protected in one garage or another for the
approx. 30 years I've had them. They have the original paint which is
in good shape so I guess they're okay. Anyway, before installing them
on any car, I will have them x-rayed to be sure.

I don't think they're unique because I remember seeing other knock-on
Minilites in "the period" (before Minilite made anything other than
magnesium wheels) but they are rather rare these days so I will take
care of them.

Good luck with your de-preparation project. I vote for leaving it lowered.

Cheers,

Rod
S1, S1, S1, S2



Andres B. Sta Maria wrote:
Hello, Rod.

It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed!
Now, I

know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?

Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car.
Would

the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?

Warm regards,

Andres
45/8439
Manila





User avatar
rodbean
Second Gear
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Posts: 84
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Location: Orange County, California, USA

PostPost by: Dan Griffin » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:02 pm

Helo!

Is this the Rod Bean that I knew many years ago from Lotus West? Let me
know----

Dan Griffin

Rod Bean wrote:

Hi Andres,

Yes they do have blind holes for the original pins. I was thinking of
using them on my S2 (currently in need of full restoration) and would
probably use 155 tires as I wouldn't be flaring the fenders. You should
see these old petrified Dunlop slicks that are currently mounted on the
wheels. The "tread" AND the section width are BOTH six inches across
(very square section design). Six in. is close to the section width of
a 155 street tire so I would think a 155 or 165 would be fine. I use
175/70 tires on stock steel wheels for my running S1 without flares and
it frankly amazes me that they don't hit anything (I haven't ground any
fiberglass or anything else).

The Minilites have been protected in one garage or another for the
approx. 30 years I've had them. They have the original paint which is
in good shape so I guess they're okay. Anyway, before installing them
on any car, I will have them x-rayed to be sure.

I don't think they're unique because I remember seeing other knock-on
Minilites in "the period" (before Minilite made anything other than
magnesium wheels) but they are rather rare these days so I will take
care of them.

Good luck with your de-preparation project. I vote for leaving it lowered.

Cheers,

Rod
S1, S1, S1, S2



Andres B. Sta Maria wrote:
> Hello, Rod.
>
> It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed!
Now, I
> know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?
>
> Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
> rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car.
Would
> the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?
>
> Warm regards,
>
> Andres
> 45/8439
> Manila
>
>
>
>
>









To search the mailing list archives:
http://www.escribe.com/automotive/europ ... index.html



Yahoo! Groups Links










Dan Griffin
 

PostPost by: Dan Griffin » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:03 pm

Hello!

Is this the Rod Bean that I knew many years ago from Lotus West? Let me
know----

Dan Griffin

Rod Bean wrote:

Hi Andres,

Yes they do have blind holes for the original pins. I was thinking of
using them on my S2 (currently in need of full restoration) and would
probably use 155 tires as I wouldn't be flaring the fenders. You should
see these old petrified Dunlop slicks that are currently mounted on the
wheels. The "tread" AND the section width are BOTH six inches across
(very square section design). Six in. is close to the section width of
a 155 street tire so I would think a 155 or 165 would be fine. I use
175/70 tires on stock steel wheels for my running S1 without flares and
it frankly amazes me that they don't hit anything (I haven't ground any
fiberglass or anything else).

The Minilites have been protected in one garage or another for the
approx. 30 years I've had them. They have the original paint which is
in good shape so I guess they're okay. Anyway, before installing them
on any car, I will have them x-rayed to be sure.

I don't think they're unique because I remember seeing other knock-on
Minilites in "the period" (before Minilite made anything other than
magnesium wheels) but they are rather rare these days so I will take
care of them.

Good luck with your de-preparation project. I vote for leaving it lowered.

Cheers,

Rod
S1, S1, S1, S2



Andres B. Sta Maria wrote:
> Hello, Rod.
>
> It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed!
Now, I
> know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?
>
> Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
> rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car.
Would
> the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?
>
> Warm regards,
>
> Andres
> 45/8439
> Manila
>
>
>
>
>









To search the mailing list archives:
http://www.escribe.com/automotive/europ ... index.html



Yahoo! Groups Links










Dan Griffin
 

PostPost by: rodbean » Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:19 pm

Yes Dan, I am the very same one. I'll write to you off-list to catch up.

Rod


Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 09:03:54 -0700
From: Dan Griffin <***@***.***>
Subject: Re: Re: Yet more wheels - the 26R wheel

Hello!

Is this the Rod Bean that I knew many years ago from Lotus West? Let me
know----

Dan Griffin

Rod Bean wrote:


>Hi Andres,
>
>Yes they do have blind holes for the original pins. I was thinking of
>using them on my S2 (currently in need of full restoration) and would
>probably use 155 tires as I wouldn't be flaring the fenders. You should
>see these old petrified Dunlop slicks that are currently mounted on the
>wheels. The "tread" AND the section width are BOTH six inches across
>(very square section design). Six in. is close to the section width of
>a 155 street tire so I would think a 155 or 165 would be fine. I use
>175/70 tires on stock steel wheels for my running S1 without flares and
>it frankly amazes me that they don't hit anything (I haven't ground any
>fiberglass or anything else).
>
>The Minilites have been protected in one garage or another for the
>approx. 30 years I've had them. They have the original paint which is
>in good shape so I guess they're okay. Anyway, before installing them
>on any car, I will have them x-rayed to be sure.
>
>I don't think they're unique because I remember seeing other knock-on
>Minilites in "the period" (before Minilite made anything other than
>magnesium wheels) but they are rather rare these days so I will take
>care of them.
>
>Good luck with your de-preparation project. I vote for leaving it lowered.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Rod
>S1, S1, S1, S2
>
>
>
>Andres B. Sta Maria wrote:

> > Hello, Rod.
> >
> > It's good to hear from you. I never knew those Minilites existed!

>Now, I

> > know better. Do they have holes for the original peg drive?
> >
> > Considering the nature of magnesium, your Minilites must by now be very
> > rare. Take good care of them! I would fit them even on a road car.

> Would

> > the original 155s be too narrow for the 6" rim?
> >
> > Warm regards,
> >
> > Andres
> > 45/8439
> > Manila
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >
>To search the mailing list archives:
> http://www.escribe.com/automotive/europ ... index.html
>
>
> >Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >







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