Lotus Elan

Tripod Racing

PostPost by: lance54 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:50 pm

Those who have raced Elans know all too well that when the outer rear axle breaks the wheel and tire depart company with the car. This is a not too pleasant experience that has happened to me twice. Both times at Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.

Seems that this condition has been around since the Elan first ventured to the race track.

Here's the Sterling Moss Auto Racing Team (SMART) Elan on three wheels way back in 1964.....

006.jpg and

009.jpg and
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:35 pm

...........................that awful body will never win any design awards!! sandy
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:51 pm

el-saturn wrote:...........................that awful body will never win any design awards!! sandy


I agree!
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PostPost by: elaninfuture » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:52 pm

Is this something that also happens on the street, or only under racing conditions?
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:01 pm

Never had that happen, but I did have the centre section of a rear o/s steel bolt on wheel (RHD car) fail, & the outer section with the tyre on hit the car as I spun violently - as you say ..... three wheels on my wagon!

Changed immediately to bolt on Minilites!
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PostPost by: lance54 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:04 pm

Not likely on the street. Racing loads and especially wider tires are the real threat.

On the street it's the inner real axle that is the problem. Unload or lift the inside rear wheel while cornering, allow it to spin-up with an open differential and then reloaded as the car exits the corner puts some really high load on the inner axle (in the differential)....and snap goes the axle. I've experience that too.

The inner axle was strengthen in later Elans.

Good ideal to inspect and crack test your axle shafts....outer and inner.

Modern replacement parts are much much stronger.

The 26R fix was to make the rear hub and the outer axle in one piece. The removable part was then the inner driveshaft yoke and a different brake rotor.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:27 pm

lance54 wrote:Here's the Sterling Moss Auto Racing Team (SMART) Elan on three wheels way back in 1964.....


Clark,
Thanks for these photos. Is the driver Sir John Whitmore?
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:34 pm

Clark,

Only on the 26R S2, and the improved outer axle not only required the different hub/axle and inner yoke, but the yoke was then bolted to the crossed roller-Hooke jointed type half shaft and a mating differential stub axle to match.

Really sorted out all the issues. Should have been bullet proof at that point. The crossed rollers were to ally Chapman's fears of friction interfering w/ the driveshaft plunge, as he'd learned on the type 17 front suspension.

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PostPost by: lance54 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:16 pm

Thanks Russ for your comments....and the year was '63 not '64 as I stated.

I actually saw this car in action (as a teenager) at Mosport in June of 1963.

transparency00107.jpg and

Thanks Roger for your comments....those 26R S2 axles are now being replicated. Notice the hub and axle are one piece and the detachable portion is the yoke of the outer u-joint and it requires a different brake rotor. A much stronger design for sure.

fullsizerender.jpg and
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PostPost by: lance54 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:59 pm

Forgot to answer Russ's question.....I believe this venue is 1963 Autosport 3 Hours at Snetterton and yes John Whitmore is the driver.

Now back to Mosport 1963 where I first saw some of my heros....
transparency00118.jpg and

transparency00113.jpg and

players-200-1963.jpg and

transparency000109.jpg and
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:54 pm

lance54 wrote:
Thanks Roger for your comments....those 26R S2 axles are now being replicated. Notice the hub and axle are one piece and the detachable portion is the yoke of the outer u-joint and it requires a different brake rotor. A much stronger design for sure.

[attachment=0]FullSizeRender.jpg


A very sensible engineering re-design. How does this get past scrutineering (depends what they look at, I suppose.

I had not seen the Whitmore 3-wheeler photos before, thanks for posting.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:01 pm

Probably worth a fortune if it still exists? An original 1960's Lotus Elan special ...Image
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:28 pm

el-saturn wrote:...........................that awful body will never win any design awards!! sandy


It's a half-Shapecraft 26R! (ducking, but does that make it a 13R?)
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:44 pm

Is the brake disk in two halves to fit on that shaft?

Signed: Puzzled of North London.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:01 pm

billwill wrote:Is the brake disk in two halves to fit on that shaft?

Signed: Puzzled of North London.


Silly Billy! :mrgreen:
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