Lotus Elan

Alloy Rear Calipers

PostPost by: JonnyPlus2 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 pm

Hi,
There was a post somewhere that alluded to standard size Elan rear calipers except they were made of alloy. (I don't think he meant NR calipers). He called them NLAs but I can't find a reference to them on Google that seems to match.

Does anyone know anything about these calipers or are they apocryphal. Thanks.

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PostPost by: elanern » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:38 pm

Does NLA perhaps mean "no longer available", i.e., new calipers are no longer available (or are extremely rare and therefore expensive)??
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:40 pm

NLA = No Longer Available

It might have been me on the original comment - I have a pair of alloy calipers done in the stock pattern , rear's with hand brake mechanism.

They were the last pair available off a limited run, I have not seen or heard of any being available since.

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PostPost by: vstibbard » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:35 am

Hi George, who manufactured or sold them? Have you had any issues with them? Ive been down the NR route previously and brake pedal is terrible due to the larger rear pistons.

I noted that Dave Hughes looked like he was going to make some, I've asked him if this is still the case.

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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:53 pm

V,

I don't understand how NR calipers would upset the brake pedal feel. My Lotus Eleven and 20/22 both have ARs on the front and NRs at the rear and braking is excellant and pedal is high and firm as a rock. Of course, both have balance bar style dual master cylinders. The one problem I have understood with NRs at the rear of an Elan is that the bolt pattern is not compatible with the Elan strut. What size master cylinder were you using ? That may have been your problem.

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PostPost by: cabc26b » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:12 pm

V ,

I will send a PM on the origins of the calipers -

I have had no issues with them , they are well build. IMO NR's are over kill for rears on a car with so little weight over them. Bias adjustment is a must ( Tandem w in line or dual master with balance bar)

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PostPost by: JonnyPlus2 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:47 pm

Hi All,

Well thanks for solving the NLA mystery. LOL !

George, could you post the info about the calipers you have as I'm quite interested. I can't see how NRs would fit at the back either, the lug bolts are supposedly 76mm apart, the Elan is about 55mm.

Does anybody think there would be a market for a few sets of calipers if I could persuade Hi Spec to modify a few sets of their Ultralight 2 calipers ? These ones look OK and they weigh just over a kilo. http://www.hispecbrake.co.uk/ULSIESVA.html

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PostPost by: oceangreen17 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:28 am

Hi Jon,

I spoke with Hi Spec a couple of years ago about doing the very same modification you have proposed. They said then that they felt that there would never be enough demand for this item and therefore would not produce a modified Ultralight 2 caliper for the Elan.

However, they did say they could reverse the handbrake linkage mechanism so it aligns to the correct side for the Elan rear struts. This would be a straightforward modification.

The main challenge that I saw was the 90 mm lug hole dimensions. It means the (yet to be designed) custom caliper mount adapter bracket to fit the existing strut mounts would need to be offset and of a more complex design. At the time I lacked the resources to make an 'elegant' alloy adapter and as i had already fitted light weight rear calipers, (without a mechanical hand brake), I moved on.

The Ultra light 2 It would be a good caliper for the rear. It's very similar to the original calipers in piston bore size.

I run fitted the Ultralite 4 Calipers with grooved 260 mm solid discs (Caterham kit) on the front of my Elan. You can still run 13" wheels easily and they are fantastic - Especially for track work. You can buy off the shelf Pagid pads that are suitable for both road and track days. In my experience, Hi Spec brakes are reliable and trouble free and very light weight. I use the Canley Classics standard alloy front caliper mounts. It is a neat conversion and saves a lot of weight.

The short answer is I would now be very interested if you can convince them !!!

Cheers

Steve


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PostPost by: JonnyPlus2 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:41 am

Hi Steve,

Hmmn, food for thought ! I can't see Hi Spec changing their minds about this, unless we did something like putting a subscription together and ordering a couple o' dozen sets.

Based on the response to this thread, I doubt we could get any more than 2 responses (you and me ;-)). I think that it would be straightforward to make up an adapter bracket pattern out of wood and then have it copied in alloy by a machinist.

Couple of questions:
1) Where can I get the (handbrakeless) alloy rear calipers ?
2) Do the Hi Spec 4 pot front brakes fit the Elan or Elan +2 bolt spacing ?

Thanks.

Regards,
Jon
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PostPost by: Jas » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:16 pm

Hi all.

If it doesn't have to be Hi Spec, then Mio-engineering has at kit that uses a Wilwood caliper with integrated handbrake. I have been using it for the last year and it works great.
See other thread here:
http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/elan-mods-f31/brake-upgrade-kit-t25990.html#p171076
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PostPost by: JonnyPlus2 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:31 pm

Hi Jannik,

Thanks for this, MIO's stuff looks really good !

Regards,
Jon
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PostPost by: oceangreen17 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:49 am

Hi Jon,

1. The handbrakeless alloy rear calipers that I fitted about eight years ago were lightweight alloy Nissan Pintara calipers. They are floating piston style and frankly quite basic and ugly. However, they have been effective and very cheap ($20 second hand!).
I made a simple 10 mm thick alloy adapter mounting bracket and bolted this onto the strut mounts. I use standard road pads as I do not need big rear brakes for track days. I decided to use these particular calipers because they did have a mechanical hand brake mechanism which proved beyond my limited skills to adapt effectively. Not sure I would recommend them now as they are not very pretty!

2. Yes I am sure that the Hi Spec Caterham 260 kit would fit an Elan Plus 2. I would ring Hi Spec and ask them. They have sold a few of these kits to Elan owners.

Kind regards,

Steve
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PostPost by: JonnyPlus2 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:21 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for this. Alloy and cheap is good. Ugly is not such big deal as I only have to look at them when I change pads. I have always had bad luck with floating calipers. The floating part seems to seize up pretty well for me. The good news is that only one of the pads wears out. :D

I think I'm going to adapt the Hi Spec Ultralight Rears to my car. It is available with 3 different pistons sizes so one of them should work out.

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Jon
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Mio-engineering has at kit that uses a Wilwood caliper with integrated handbrake. I have been using it for the last year and it works great.

Jas, How is the handbrake connected up on the Mio caliper? Does it use the original rods, or are there twin cables?
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PostPost by: Jas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:43 pm

Hi Mike

My first crude set-up uses twin cables without the handbrake three.
The cables I used are for an auto trailer and are on the heavy side, and the gearing (1:2) in the system isn't high enough to hold the car on a slope. I now have the right cables from Wilwood but haven't made a new type of gearing yet, the car still uses the umbrella handle, so all the gearing has to be some place down the line.
If anybody has an idea for a god gearing set-up please let me know.
Mio is working on a different gearing but it hasn?t been tested yet, it still snows here in denmark. :(
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