Lotus Elan

Tire/rim size?

PostPost by: Giallo77 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:02 pm

Hello - I am new to this forum and would like to ask the following question: I believe that the standard size of the wheels of a S3/4 Elan is 5' for the rim and 155-13 for the tires. Would it be possible to mount a 5,5' rim with 165-13 tires without changing the wheelarches or something else? Or what would be the maximum size for a change like this?

Thanks in advance - I am thinking to buy a Lotus Elan FHC in the near future!

Beat
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:33 pm

Beat,
The standard rim size is 4.5 inches. Many aftermarket wheels such as Panasports are 5 inches wide. A 165/70 may fit. Anything after that is a crap shoot. I have seen a few 5.5 inch rims installed but usually with additional suspension work such as installing smaller diameter rear springs after cutting off most or all of the spring perches, and then maybe some trimming of the fiberglass at the wheel openings.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Frank
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:03 pm

I installed +2 wheels (5 1/2") on my early FHC S4 with no problems.

I also ran 185/70-13 tires. The fit was close.

Your car may well be different.

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PostPost by: ElliottN » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:14 am

You can fit 165/70-13 tyres on the standard 4 1/2" rim, and I would not expect any problems on an S4 (many people have done it including me), probably OK on an S3 also.

Assuming a standard car, if you go to wider rims with 165 tyres (or even wider tyres) you may have problems with any/all of:
* the rear wheel rims may foul the lower a-arms. For 5" wheels this is commonly solved by filing away some of the ends of the offending material on the a-arms/bolt heads in the upright linkages,
* rear tyres may foul the lower spring perches. Common solutions are to hammer in some of the now offending lower spring perch (works!) or fit narrow springs/perches,
* rear tyres may foul the rear guards - and this may not be apparent until you fully compress the springs (e.g. spirited cornering or hitting a pothole).
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:12 am

i have 4,5" rims and 175 60 13 mounted: works fine: a S3 1965! 5,5 don't fit! sandy 4982
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:47 am

I would try it on standard rims and tyres (155x13 80) first before you start experimenting with wider wheels and tyres. The changes they bring affect how the car feels on the road and your style of driving may bring more fun on narrower, tall section tyres which the car was originally designed for. Early cars were on 145x13 tyres but my personal favourite is 155 for the slight additional grip and feel through the steering. Wider section tyres never seemed to feel so good through the steering for me and bump steer crept in if the tyre pressures were not set very carefully. All of this is my opinion, of course.

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:10 pm

Imho keep it as standard or buy a different car.
If you want a performance Tyre 155 then buy XAS FF but they are not cheap.
Could you tell us "why you want to change things before you have even bought".
I think Colin Chapman had it about right 8)
Alan
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:35 pm

alan.barker wrote:Imho keep it as standard or buy a different car.
If you want a performance Tyre 155 then buy XAS FF but they are not cheap.
Could you tell us "why you want to change things before you have even bought".
I think Colin Chapman had it about right 8)
Alan


IMHO Chapman had it right for the 4.20 cross plies on the S1. The suspension settings never changed after that apart from a small camber change despite the rapid evolution of tyres during the 60's and it shows some loss of interest in the Elan handling or loss of desire to spend money on it ( more likely!!!)

WIth modern grippier tyres (even cheap econobox ones) the suspension needs some more roll stiffness to balance the extra grip I believe. Done right this sharpens the steering feel and turn in

cheers
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:46 pm

hi Rohan,
i thought you were in bed with the 12 hour time difference :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Alan
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:00 pm

hahahha almost midnight and time for bed up in 5 hours for work :(

cheers
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PostPost by: Giallo77 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:02 pm

Thank you very much for all the useful Information!

Alain, I don't want to change things before I even own an Elan. I just could buy an Elan with the standard bolt on steel-wheels and I would prefer the Minilite wheels - and these are available only in 5' - or am I wrong?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:08 pm

I see what you mean and i must say that Minilites do look good on an Elan.
With a set of Michelin XAS FF, very nice.
Alan
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:47 pm

hi Rohan,
the +2 came on the market in 1967 with radial tyres 165mm which it was set up for, so i think the Elan was at the same time readjusted for radial tyres. To me that seems logic. I don't see why the +2 would have been set up for crossply when it never had them to my knowledge :?
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PostPost by: Davidb » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:10 pm

The original poster and others may find this comparison tool useful:
http://www.wheel-size.com/calc/?wheel1= ... 0mm&sr=0mm

The l/h side is for original size wheel/tire=--the r/h side is for what you are considering. The wheel offset can be changed as well. This is the best of these tools I have found so far.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:01 am

Davidb wrote:The original poster and others may find this comparison tool useful:
http://www.wheel-size.com/calc/?wheel1= ... 0mm&sr=0mm

The l/h side is for original size wheel/tire=--the r/h side is for what you are considering. The wheel offset can be changed as well. This is the best of these tools I have found so far.


That is some seriously clever programming! :shock:
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