Lotus Elan

CV Driveshafts

PostPost by: ecamiel » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:31 pm

My Elan is equipped with a CV conversion from 1980 made by Competition Design Associates of Webster, NY
He sourced the parts from a VW Sirocco including output shafts (direct replacement), CVs, and outboard axel shaft with custom hubs and shafts.
I had 3 sets of stock inboard shafts which were ALL twisted at the end of the splines and stock outboard axels most of which failed magnaflux. They both must be upgraded for modern tires. Magnaflux the parts before use. Lotus improved the specs themselves I believe.

My set up needed to have droop limiters and we broke an axel in the learning process.

Since then it has worked with without fail on the track with wide super sticky race rubber.

I need to know the source of the various parts so I can replace them. I think most parts were various VW. and include output shafts, stub axles, brake disk, and custom shafts.
Does anyone know how to reach them, the name of the guy who ran it, ANYTHING?
Thanks

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PostPost by: johnc » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:05 pm

My Elan is equipped with a CV conversion from 1980 made by Competition Design Associates of Webster, NY


I my memory is correct, the owner's name is Bill Crosby, and his web site is:
http://www.cdamachine.com/

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PostPost by: gino1 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:17 pm

Hi Marc,
With that sort of torque i'd go for some u/j splined racing half shafts.
For normal BHP I would prefer the CV joints that Sue Miller makes up (yes they build them up in their workshop), as Mick MIller was one of the first to do a drop-in-kit, and a very nice kit too, whilst for the heavy duty stuff Pat Thomas at Kelvedon has some really good and beefy racing shafts and racing spec diff shafts....
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PostPost by: Mark B » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:30 pm

Hi Folks,

Thanks for the replies, :)

For John and others interested I'm going to be building a drop head S4, I think I've decided on carnival red with silver bumpers (although I love the mica blue of Johns car). I did buy a fhc S4 before christmas which I'd like to restore aswell (to original) at some point, but then an incomplete S4 dhc came up a few days later, which will be the basis of the zetec project.
I guess it'll be part lotus, part spider and part me, along similar lines of johns car (dj pelly). I've built and rebuilt various cars over the years (westfields for the past 7 years or so), and I'm very familiar with ford engines/components and lately zetec engines, so the elan will run the same spec motor as my westfield did. I hope this will be a nice package of classic styling (always loved the shape of the elan) but with modern performance/ reliability without losing much of the lightness and agility of the original car.

The chassis is going to be spiders zetec chassis in order to accept the zetec motor & 5 speed box, but with a couple of mods by them for the handbrake tree & diff so that I can run the lotus uprights, brakes, diff etc, albeit uprated versions.

My reasons for this are that the lotus components are lighter, I can still run knock on wheels so at least the car will still look correct from the outside. I've decided on using spiders adjustable wishbones front & rear to get the geo better and their rear suspension conversion with adjustable protech dampers all round. With thoughts of safety the full rollover bar/sill system will also be getting ordered, along with a set of harnesses.

I was holding off posting before reg the driveshafts, as yesterday I collected the second car (unfinished S4 dhc), it has a ttr rebuilt (open) diff & their u/j driveshaft conversion from a few years ago, and I believe it has uprated diff output shafts. So I may use the diff but get some cv driveshafts instead of the u/j conversion. They've never been used, the only thing I would prefer is an lsd, more expense though!

The latest car also came with a new bodyshell, so I'm going to make use of it, thought I'd re-enforce the floors & other bits with kevlar, do all the dry fit and make sure all holes are drilled etc before painting.

Here's a couple of other questions for you chaps- has anyone successfully fitted head restraints to the standard seats (preferably ones that are inkeeping with the seat style), with a rollbar behind my head I don't fancy cracking my head open in the event of an accident?
Also with the spider minilite wheels has anyone actually managed to fit 185 tyres? I had a look at the clearance yesterday with 175's & it looksa a very tight squeeze, especially allowing for some tyre deflection....... :shock:

There'll be many more questions to come over the next year or so I'm sure, with this in mind I'll apologise now for being a pain!

In the meantime any advice (and hopefully not too much abuse) welcome!

Thanks,
Mark. :)
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PostPost by: Jas » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:29 pm

Hi Mark

Regarding head restrains, since you are fitting Spyders roll over bar why don't you just fit their head restrains to the roll over bar, they fit and are ?40 a piece.

I have fitted the Spyder head restrains to my TTR roll over bar, as I like the TTR roll over bar better than the Spyder one. Made in one piece and higher but will still fit inside a coupe.
Attachments
Italien 169.JPG and
Spyder head restrain on TTR ROB
IMG_5320.JPG and
Spyder ROB with Spyder head restraints in S4 FHC
IMG_5321.JPG and
Spyder ROB with Spyder head restraints in S4 FHC
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:47 am

Mark,

I was going to make the same suggestion that Jannik has made.
One point to think about when fitting a Roll Bar is that the seats rearward movement is limited & if you are 183 cm / 6 ft or more it will compromise your sitting position.
I did buy some 185/60-14" Yokohamas & fitted them; they looked really good. But when TTR did the suspension set up for me they found a serious foul on the rear Arches which could not be overcome except by fitting 175/60's & a fair bit of Fibreglass grinding.
However I have seen one S4 that had 185/60's fitted (also on Spyder / Two Gates Wheels) but I never got to meet up with the Owner to find out how he'd managed it.
Good luck with your Project; to me the Spec' sounds good; it would wouldn't it :wink:
I wonder a bit about your decision to use the Spyder RS conversion, It was part of my original "Package" but I sold it & fitted uprated original Struts & smaller Springs; a subjective decision on my behalf :roll:

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: Mark B » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:21 pm

Hi Jannik & John,

Ta for the pics, I thought they looked different to that tbh & had decided I didn't like them, but I must have seen either someone elses or a homegrown version.....

Glad you told me about the limited seat movement, I am 6'3" so need it all the way back, any idea how much it restricts it and if it's any different with the ttr bar?

Reg the tyres, I might try the body on with the wheels on 175 tyres, then measure the clearance, I can always move the body over slightly and trim the arch lips if needed before painting, I would like to fit the 185's but it's not the end of the world. To be fair sean @ spyder did say that they may or may not fit with 185's.

I like the spec too... :wink: Any particular reason why you changed your mind about the spider rsc? (pm me if you prefer)

I thought it would be an improvement over the standard kit as it should be a better wheel bearing housing, incorporates double wishbone suspension and converts the rear to 2/1/4 springs to run wider wheels, it also limits the rear wheel travel giving the rear driveshafts an easier time, I would prefer some rear camber adjustment but hey you can't have everything! :) :lol:

Cheers,

Mark.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:00 pm

Mark,

I have the TTR Roll Bar fitted in my S4 which in my case limits the Seat rearward movement by a couple of inches (estimated).
I'm 6" & if I sat properly in the Seat in it's most rearward position my head & Shoulders would be high enough to make me look like a "Pimple on a Rock" as the saying goes.
To avoid this I shuffle my Bum forwards away from the seat Back. This lowers my head well below Windscreen level & doesn't make me look such a Prat.
With the Hood up I can sit fully in the seat without Hood to head contact.
The previously described sitting position may sound odd but in fact it's not at all uncomfortable but my Knees get pretty close to the 13" Steering Wheel.
I removed the RSC as soon as I had fitted it. The vast difference in the lengths of the upper wishbone & lower A Frame just looked wrong & gave the appearance of possible large Camber changes throughout the whole Suspension movement.
As I've mentioned before this was a purely subjective decision & I dismantled the lot without taking any measurements. It was just not going on to my Car.
The top Wishbone could be made to provide Camber adjustment by incorporating a Turnbuckle but as it is so short the space for such would be very limited.
Purely from memory the Fabricated wheel Bearing housing utilises 2 of the larger standard bearings, which may offer better longevity. The correctly located "Upright"/ Bearing Housing would also eliminate Damper rod "Sticktion" which "theoretically" can occur with the standard Hub Carrier/Spring/Damper arrangement.
It is the quite short RSC Spring/Damper Units that reduce the Suspension travel. I don't know if that is something to strive for on a Road going Elan.
So far my TTR suspension & UJ Drive Shafts have not given me any grief at all in the 10 years of albeit limited mileage of driving.

Phew, I'm doing a "War & Peace" type Epic on this one :)
Cheers
John
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PostPost by: Mark B » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:57 pm

Hi John,

I'm long in the leg rather than the body (if you see what I mean), I could probably cope with the seat forward from the rear stop by an inch or so if I changed the wheel or fitted an extension to it. I will have to sit in the car with my karting boots on and see -my other problem is size 14 feet so it's either karting boots or barefoot.
I had the same problem in my westfield, although by making a few parts & modifying things slightly I managed a comfortable driving position which I hope I can acheive in the elan.

The rsc is a personal thing I guess, but with a double wishbone setup versus the original trailing arm setup the camber & wheel control *should* be much better as the road surface changes, although I have to admit the top wishbones are very short and not ideal. This will also limit the suspension travel but I believe there's still alot of travel left so hopefully won't be an issue. Think I'll ask spyder for some figures before signing on the dotted line though.

I don't know how bad the rear wheel bearings are originally, although a few people I know with experience have mentioned them being a pain to remove due to corrosion in the housings.

Do you have the ttr u/j driveshaft conversion or the cv driveshaft John? Any pics?

Thanks,

Mark. :)
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:40 am

Cor blimey Mark, size 14 Plates take some accommodating.
I know a fairly small Guy who modified the Foot Well in his Caterham to get more Foot space & his Plates were no bigger than 8's
But back to the questions. At the end of the day & you find you can't fit into the Car comfortably you can always remove the Roll Bar; most Elan Owners drive without one.
I only fitted one to my Elan so that I could have a higher positioned 3rd Brake light, which I fitted to the Roll Bar.
Visibility was uppermost in my Mind not the possibility of rolling the Car.
When I rebuilt my Elan the only alternative Drive Shafts I knew of were the Spyder Donut/CV or the TTR UJ Sliding spline variety.
I eventually decided to fit the TTR UJ Shafts.
I did eventually sell both the RSC & Drive Shafts all assembled & unused but it did leave a hole in my Pocket.
Regarding the use of the RSC perhaps a reality check may be called for.
We've already discussed the pro's & cons to some extent.
What I'm having difficulty with your idea of incorporating a method of Camber Angle adjustment.
My question is why?
All the Racers seem to be satisfied with the Geometry of the Standard rear Suspension (omitting the 26R guys of course, who have Rose jointed A Frames) & the desired additional negative Camber on the Front is normally dialed in using a Rat Tailed File to elongate the Wishbone holes.
Ref. Pictures; yes I have loads taken during the strip & rebuild of my Car but unfortunately all recorded on glorious "Kodachrome".
I'm not sure what Pictures you're actually after. The Spyder Web Site used to have good Photos of their RSC.
If needs be, I could sort through my Photos to see if there's something suitable & Digitalise for you.
I can't promise coming up with the goods; my Photo Collection is rather limited & I wish now that I had done a more thorough job like our friend Gary does with his Photos.

Sorry if my Post may sound a bit negative, it was not really my intention.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: ianf » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:21 pm

I have MM driveshafts - my last set on do-nuts were knackered afer about 8K. They also took out a transmission vibe I had so I'm really happy with them. Only query is that there appears to be a bit of "slack" in the joints, no noticable clunk or anything so I have decided to ignore it but it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has noticed this.

I put a couple of old scissor jacks under the tyres when I lift the car - it just seems kinder to the FD.

Cheers,
Ian
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PostPost by: alaric » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:39 pm

Hi. I'm interested in AussiJohn's question. The reason Colin Chapman went to doughnut rubber joints in the drive shafts was to solve a problem in which sliding spline with UJ shafts would lock up under high torque, which I understood to be the sliding spline stopping sliding. The only reason I could see for not using a CV joint solution for racing was unsprung weight. So, does the sliding spline lock up? Have any of you noticed your diff and hubs suffering due to the spline not being a frictionless bearing? The CV joints should be frictionless shouldn't they. My only reservation with the Miller shafts is the increased unsprung weight, and Sue did warn me they wouldn't be the choice for the track.

All the best.

Sean.
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PostPost by: Mark B » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:36 am

D.J.Pelly wrote:Cor blimey Mark, size 14 Plates take some accommodating.
I know a fairly small Guy who modified the Foot Well in his Caterham to get more Foot space & his Plates were no bigger than 8's
But back to the questions. At the end of the day & you find you can't fit into the Car comfortably you can always remove the Roll Bar; most Elan Owners drive without one.
I only fitted one to my Elan so that I could have a higher positioned 3rd Brake light, which I fitted to the Roll Bar.
Visibility was uppermost in my Mind not the possibility of rolling the Car.
When I rebuilt my Elan the only alternative Drive Shafts I knew of were the Spyder Donut/CV or the TTR UJ Sliding spline variety.
I eventually decided to fit the TTR UJ Shafts.
I did eventually sell both the RSC & Drive Shafts all assembled & unused but it did leave a hole in my Pocket.
Regarding the use of the RSC perhaps a reality check may be called for.
We've already discussed the pro's & cons to some extent.
What I'm having difficulty with your idea of incorporating a method of Camber Angle adjustment.
My question is why?
All the Racers seem to be satisfied with the Geometry of the Standard rear Suspension (omitting the 26R guys of course, who have Rose jointed A Frames) & the desired additional negative Camber on the Front is normally dialed in using a Rat Tailed File to elongate the Wishbone holes.
Ref. Pictures; yes I have loads taken during the strip & rebuild of my Car but unfortunately all recorded on glorious "Kodachrome".
I'm not sure what Pictures you're actually after. The Spyder Web Site used to have good Photos of their RSC.
If needs be, I could sort through my Photos to see if there's something suitable & Digitalise for you.
I can't promise coming up with the goods; my Photo Collection is rather limited & I wish now that I had done a more thorough job like our friend Gary does with his Photos.

Sorry if my Post may sound a bit negative, it was not really my intention.

Cheers
John


Hi John,

Sorry I did reply to this post before I went away but it must have timed out before I finished writing.
Yes size 14 feet does present me with a challenge, especially with my love of small sportscars, with a bit of engineering and hopefully no personal amputation I should be fine though!

Reg the roll bar, I'm 95% sure to go for the whole spider safety system inc rollbar, for the same reason as you as I also have a high level brake light. - I used to fit these to many westfields as a good safety mod.

I've been looking at the various driveshaft options, the kelsport kit looks good but more thought/ research required on my part methinks...

I will be going for the rsc & adjustable rear wishbones along with the front adjustable wishbones, I would like adjustable rear camber for the simple reason that I like to try different settings & ultimately find the best setup, if everything is adjustable then you can alter the balance of the car front/rear and get the car as neutral as possible, with the spider elan having such short top wishbones though there's not really the space to incorporate anything so will stick with the standard spider setup.
I spent a few years developing my westfield suspension wise to get it just right for me, plus it is an area I've always been interested in. Some people like twidling with their engines, I like playing with suspension!

Reg pictures, I was refering to your driveshaft setup just to picture it, but don't worry if you don't have anything to hand. Since getting the 2nd car back I've found it has a uj driveshaft setup but not sure if it's spiders early stuff or ttr.

You didn't seem -ve btw & thanks for the debate/advice! 8)
Cheers,

Mark.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:33 am

Hi there,
Just wanted to add my two pences worth...

My Sprint has the fail safe type drive shafts with the tube and pin arrangement which stops the driveshaft from flying around if the rubber doughnut fails (donut saver is already built into the drive shafts) . I get the impression these have to be ground away to fit CV driveshafts?

I am still running doughnuts, mine are about 15 years old, and the car has managed a 1000 mile trip across Europe for the last 5 years without any problems, so doughnuts are not all bad.

The only problem these days is the cost and perhaps the quality.... but there again you can say that about most car parts...

Carl
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:55 am

New to the forum. I am in the early stages of restoring a '72 DHC Sprint that has been at the back of the garage for 25 years.

I am keen on changing the old rotoflex driveshafts to CVs. I have experience of the TTR UJ conversion on my S3, which works, but I have always been uncomfortable with the stories of splines locking under load. I have searched through the forum and have found a lot of good background info and have concluded that rather than TTR, the Sue Miller conversion would be best for road use.

A couple of questions:

1. The adaptor plates seem to be machined out of aluminium. I have come across suggestions that these distort, allowing the fixing bolts to become loose over time. Has anyone had experience of this problem?

2. I was suprised at the price. ?570 inc VAT for a pair. I watched a recent 'Wheeler Dealers' (dreadfull couple of bodgers) where they fitted what I took to be Sue Miller shafts and if I recall they quoted a price of ?444. Has there been a recent jump in price?

Any help or guidance most welcome.

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