Lotus Elan

Front Suspension Washers

PostPost by: sepans » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:35 pm

Hi, I have taken over a renovation of a 66 S3 coupe. The front stub axles on the chassis have been built up using large flat washers (approx same diameter as the new bushes in upper and lower wishbones).This washer is fitted the nut side of the wishbone. It looks o.k.except the self locking part of the retaining nut overhangs the thread (definetly not good), but could be remedied by fitting, half self locking nuts,(narrow) or removing the washers all together.
any suggestions
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:54 pm

Sepans,
I presume you are referring to the inboard ends of the wishbones where they mate to the pivots on the frame, these are 1/2-20 UNF nuts. It is most likely that real issue is that you don't have the correct nylon-insert nuts. The correct ones are of a height somewhere between those of SAE full-height and half-height nylon-insert nuts. Unfortunately I don't have the correct height dimension at hand right now. The usual Lotus parts suppliers should stock the correct nuts. I believe these nuts are commonly available in the UK. I have reduced the height of full-height SAE nuts on a lathe in the past.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:35 pm

I recently went through this. The only supplier with the correct short nuts that I could find was Sue Miller.

I should also say that my original 69 S4 (Federal) came from the factory with no washers.
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PostPost by: sepans » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:37 pm

During my search for a thinner nut,I was informed that thinner nuts in the UK are called `half nuts` and the threads are colour coded UNF white or green and Metric blue nylon insert. Also no washers are shown in the Elan workshop manual exploded diagram.
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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:24 pm

I'm pretty sure that half height Nylocs were what Lotus used. Per the previous reply I got mine from Sue Miller.

I also noticed that the Elan parts breakdown shows no washers (Figure 8, Section C of the March 1970 edition of the manual) while the +2 parts breakdown does show washers (from rdent.com +2 Parts Manual). So I think you can do whatever makes you happy.

That said, after fitting new bushes to my suspension I originally went without washers, but soon regretted it. The poor quality bushes (purchased from one of the usual Lotus parts dealers) failed in short order so that the outer steel tube was free to drift forward/backward over the rubber, taking the wishbone with it. The outer tube is large enough that it can drift over the nut. Fortunately complete suspension collapse is prevented by the opposite wishbone, which drifts toward the chassis tower. Nevertheless, it's quite alarming.

After fitting another set of bushes I bolted them with a washer that was big enough to prevent the outer tube from drifting more than the clearance offered by the slightly longer inner tube (in the event of further bush failures).

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PostPost by: shaun » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:57 pm

Same problem, so just machined some off the back of the nut
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:56 am

Here is a comparison of various Nylock nuts:

b0626c51-8fee-4d59-b80e-601c3a43b492.jpeg and


From left to right:
- Regular nylock provided by most suppliers
- Half height from Susan Miller
- Original
- Very thin, I didn?t want to use these as was concerned about strength and torque with fewer threads.


Using Sue?s that match the originals.
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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:07 am

On early cars the original nuts used are known in UK as STOVER nuts, a use once lock nut.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:25 am

Craven wrote:On early cars the original nuts used are known in UK as STOVER nuts, a use once lock nut.


Here's why they stopped using them......

stover-nuts.png and
From Workshop Manual
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:59 pm

For me the original Nuts which you should bin were "stover" which had a cut in the side and the end bent out of pitch. Which meant it was the out of pitch which blocked the Nut BUT the problem when you removed them they badly damaged the threads. I don't think the "stover" was the one where the last thread was deformed ovale.
Nyloc is by far the best and doesn't damage the threads.
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