Lotus Elan

Spyder squeaks

PostPost by: gav » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:06 pm

Hi all

Anyone running the Spyder RSC kit on the rear suffer from squeaking during light suspension travel?

I recently changed the upper to an outboard rose joint version and wondered if it is that but its very hard to tell - there's no wear to use as an indicator.

Clues greatly appreciated.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:48 pm

Mine don't squeak (2 cars) did you nip up the bolts and set the bushes with the A frames parallel to the ground?
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PostPost by: gav » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:06 pm

Alan

I loosened the suspension, drove round the block, left the car for a day then tightened everything up as the manual.

Very strange...
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PostPost by: tesprit » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:39 pm

The main culprit I have found when it comes to squeaks in the Spyder rear suspension is the springs rubbing on the damper bodies. The springs are very long and small in diameter and fit very close to the dampers so they tend to rub especially as the springs age. These are the same units as used on the rear of the Europa and those cars usually end up with squeaks in the rear suspension from the dampers too. You can inspect the damper bodies for the telltale rub marks to see if this is your problem.

The only "cure" for this I have seen is to fit nylon sleeves over the dampers before installing the springs. This way when the springs rub it is metal on plastic instead of on metal so they tend to not squeak. Of course once the sleeves wear through you are back to metal on metal and the loud squeaking resumes.

Other than this problem I have not had any squeaks coming from my RSC suspension.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:57 am

That's a good insight regarding the springs, would a liberal application of spray grease help or have I got my bodgers cap on?

I normally have the top down on the S4, so squeaks and rattles tend to be overlooked, but I'm always curing squeaks and rattles on the +2, the smallest knock or squeak that shouldn't be there makes me get the toolkit out, perhaps I have been lucky with the rear spring, I have had the system since 2007.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Lotus appears to have never really understood the criticality of spring length to diameter ratio to prevent coil spring buckling and rubbing on shocks or other bits of chassis. Maybe they understood it but decide to take the risk based on packaging efficiency and that it would probably last the warranty period :roll: . The original front shocks on my Plus 2 had a rubber sleeve on them to stop squeaks so by 1973 Lotus had clearly learned something.

Spyder with their rear suspension design appear to have copied the Europa rear spring shock units with the same original Lotus induced problems. People doing small diameter rear spring conversions on the standard Elan conversion tend to make the same mistake especially when doing it on a road car with its longer lower rate springs compared to a race car suspension.

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PostPost by: tesprit » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:01 pm

Spyder fan wrote:That's a good insight regarding the springs, would a liberal application of spray grease help or have I got my bodgers cap on?


Lubricating with grease will work, but the grease is going to attract and capture a lot of road grit and grime and the springs will grind that grit into the damper bodies possibly resulting in rapid wear through the damper tube. Unless you intend to routinely clean them and apply clean grease I don't think this would be a good idea, plus I would think the grease would just make a mess of things whenever you needed to work around the rear suspension. Your best bet would be to find some sleeves for the damper bodies and fit them.
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:45 am

I had the same problem with the AVO shocks on the front of my +2.

I fitted some large nylon cable ties on the springs where they were rubbing - end of problem for me and I only have to take the wheel off to do it! They have lasted for years...

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:18 am

Great idea Dave - I never thought of lining the springs with cable ties versus putting a lining on the shock body. i will remember that next time I have that issue

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PostPost by: niallf » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:55 pm

Spyder fit a plastic sleeve to the rear damper to stop this. Andy told me it will eventually wear out, but it has stopped it for the moment. Strategically placed Cable ties is a good idea.
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PostPost by: EPA » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:15 pm

niallf wrote:Spyder fit a plastic sleeve to the rear damper to stop this. Andy told me it will eventually wear out, but it has stopped it for the moment. Strategically placed Cable ties is a good idea.

It's just a shame they don't alert you to this issue when you purchase the units from them. I fitted their rear strut conversion for the rear of my plus 2 (pre assembled by Spyder) and found that I had gained a new set of rattles from the rear. When I rang Spyder and described the noises they didn't offer any useful information. I cured the rattle by fitting some large cable ties as the noise was the spring rattling against the damper tube.

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