Lotus Elan

Rotoflex Quality?

PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:14 pm

Hi all and apologies for raising donut questions yet again.
Does anyone know the quality of the latest rotoflexes now available? I would love personally to fit the Spyder combination using only one donut each side as I am not sure if my diff shafts could handle the CV load! The cost of the solid units also has a bearing (sorry) for me, so I'm left wondering if the latest Rotoflexes are OK.
Thanks,
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PostPost by: cbguerrajr » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:50 pm

i replaced the inboard donuts about 3 yrs ago. so far so good.
i don't know if there is more than one manufacturer, i bought mine from r.d. in the usa

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:51 pm

Investigated a noise under braking today. Brakes seem fine but have spotted this. Its not split all the way through (Suspension is on full droop in this picture) but opinions please on whether you think It'll last say 100 miles. I'm not that confident of doing it myself so would need to transport the vehicle. Any more updates on current Rotoflex quality ? (These are 9 years old)
photo.JPG and
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:40 pm

I have now bitten the bullet and bought 4 from Susan Miller who agrees that the modern rubber compound is probably not what it was :( but looked after (no track use and an easy right foot) they should be okay.
I don't think I would risk a hundred miles with that split, if it goes, the bill will be a lot larger than a new coupling and transport home. 9 years seems quite reasonable to me IMHO.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:40 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:..... Its not split all the way through (Suspension is on full droop in this picture) but opinions please on whether you think It'll last say 100 miles.

Mine have looked worse for several thousand miles, Richard, but I'm changing them this year before the MoT. Try not to jack them up fully because that is what really stresses them.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat May 24, 2014 8:36 pm

Just an update. Took the car to Miles on Monday to get the donuts replaced. About 65-70 miles. Drove gingerly & was about 3 miles from destination when started to get nasty noises. Drove very tenderly the last bit to arrive safe & sound. Forgot to take photos of the old ones he took off (!) but it wasn't the inner that finally let go - it was the outer on the same driveshaft.

Watched him do the procedure. Interesting technique - car on a 4 post lift makes it much easier !!!
Wheels off.
Undo bottom hub carrier wishbone bolts but keep wishbone in line.
Remove outer roto flex nuts - came off easy due to copper grease last time they were fitted.
Lever off outer rotoflex (swearing)
Do the same for the inner.(swearing)
Lower wishbone & remove driveshaft
On bench fit both new donuts to driveshaft
Jack up hub carrier -then line up & fit first bolt on outer driveshaft - spin it round to line next holes up (copious swearing) until done.
Repeat on inner driveshaft
Reattach lower wishbone.

Then repeat other side

The first 3 went on reasonably easily But he used the tried 3x jubilee clips to get the last one lined up. Just over 4 hours start to finish.

I reckon - given their state - ill leave it a max of say 6 years next time

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PostPost by: billwill » Sun May 25, 2014 12:40 am

richardcox_lotus wrote:Investigated a noise under braking today. Brakes seem fine but have spotted this. Its not split all the way through (Suspension is on full droop in this picture) but opinions please on whether you think It'll last say 100 miles. I'm not that confident of doing it myself so would need to transport the vehicle. Any more updates on current Rotoflex quality ? (These are 9 years old)
photo.JPG



Nope, sorry, I wouldn't trust those to drive 100 miles, so you are either going to learn how to do one of those, or you will need to hire a man with a trailer/recovery truck. I don't think it would be safe to tow it with the rear wheels on the ground & front wheels off the ground as per many recovery vehicles.

<later>

Ah, I see the prediction was right.

My method of changing doughnuts sounds the same as his.

See photo sequence in:

lotus-gearbox-f37/replacing-the-doughnuts-t16456.html?hilit=doughnuts

Image
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon May 26, 2014 6:32 am

Yes I have to say Bill that if mine had looked like your picture here, I wouldn't have driven 60 feet let alone 60 miles.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon May 26, 2014 1:24 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:Yes I have to say Bill that if mine had looked like your picture here, I wouldn't have driven 60 feet let alone 60 miles.


I didn't drive it like that of course intentionally. :D that was what I found back in 2007 when I was about to fit a new set that I had bought.

In fact this is what it looked like after I got it off.

DSCN0191.JPG and
A shattered rotoflex coupling.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon May 26, 2014 4:56 pm

I've never even seen any like Bill's but I'm surprised yours didn't last, Richard, and apologise for tempting fate.

I have changed mine in the last few weeks and found that when the hub was jacked up slightly high with the wishbone still attached the fully rotor'd drive shaft inserted almost straight up between the inner and outer shafts. I think the shaft tripods were both in a ? orientation and not much swearing was needed to get the three bolts into the inner shaft though a little more hub lift was needed for the outer ones, complicated by having to preserve the disc's orientation and contact with the outer shaft to retain run-out shims.

No four post lift here, just jacks, piles of wood and axle stands. And having early shafts I have to squeeze all my doughnuts to a template. For comparison, I removed the entire strut on the other side, loosening the inner wishbone bolts first, and found it easier in some ways but longer altogether.

118_1530 RH strut assy.JPG and
RH strut with new Rotos

While the strut was out I enlarged my spring retaining split pin to 5/32" for better security. This pin, inserted near the bottom of the flat of the strut shaft, stops the shaft gravitating down into the spring and allows me to insert the strut from below without messing about with wires through the Lotocone. I can, optionally, do without the spring clamps when removing the strut.

118_1531 Strut spring retainer.JPG and
Spring and shaft retainer
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Tue May 27, 2014 12:37 pm

I'm assuming from the refit procedures that the body should be on the car to enable the strut to be jacked and to keep the shafts as straight as possible. I am about to reassemble my rear suspension on my new rolling chassis and it seems a shame with all the room available not to also fit the couplings. Has anyone done this or is it just a no go?
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue May 27, 2014 12:54 pm

Yes, I fitted the couplings when I first built my S2, I just made an arrangement to keep the suspension compressed.
As I recall I used some screwed rods on to the wishbones and attached to a piece of wood over the chassis.
I bolted on a seat, made a bracket to support the steering column, fitted a little fuel tank and drove it about like a big go-cart.....seemed to go like hell with the wind in your face :lol:
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GO CART.jpg and
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue May 27, 2014 10:28 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:I'm assuming from the refit procedures that the body should be on the car to enable the strut to be jacked and to keep the shafts as straight as possible. I am about to reassemble my rear suspension on my new rolling chassis and it seems a shame with all the room available not to also fit the couplings. Has anyone done this or is it just a no go?
Kev.

It should be much easier! If you compress the spring you'll be able to raise the strut enough without the body's weight. You can see my spring compressed, though off the strut, in my earlier post and there was plenty of compression left if needed.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed May 28, 2014 7:39 am

Nice Herman Munster Go Kart Brian :D
Meg, I did consider the spring compressors whilst fitting the couplings, but thought the H & S brigade would jump in :roll:
Always a nice irony to see Elan parts on a workbench. I'm going to start the rear assembly and I'll post the results (without expletives) fingers crossed!
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu May 29, 2014 11:51 am

KevJ+2 wrote:Nice Herman Munster Go Kart Brian :D

Isn't it what Chapman's team bodged up so they could test systems before they had the unitary body and which lead to the present chassis?

KevJ+2 wrote:Meg, I did consider the spring compressors whilst fitting the couplings, but thought the H & S brigade would jump in :roll:

I think they are more concerned with compressing the front springs! Now that is hairy.
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