Lotus Elan

Rotoflex couplings

PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:49 pm

TroonSprint wrote:I put Elantrikbits drive shafts on my Sprint last year and am delighted with them. Even at full droop with the car jacked up the shafts still turn without problem.
Mike


So do the MM ones on my Elan, they were on it when I bought it, I think since about 2005. Looking back through the archives, everyone was recommending MM CV's back then, & seems like quite a few went that way. It now seems, however, that they are starting to show some problems with premature failure on some cars. The worry I would have with the elantrickbits is that they too will start to show problems a few years down the road, & being from the other side of the world, what will the spares situation be ?
A couple of the reasons we were erring towards UJ's is that they have been arround for almost as long as the cars themselves & they can be sourced locally. Another consideration is my friends budget, he doesn't have unlimited funds, so the extra for the elantrickbits kit needs to be justfied. It was widely regarded that MM CV's were fit & forget, a one time investment, that doesn't now seem to be the case, what's to say the elantrickbits conversion won't go the same way ? :?
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:01 pm

I think that's a very legitimate question, and seems especially appropriate regarding the Elan as opposed to the Plus 2.

If I were in your friend's position, I would have that conversation with Col Croucher, via phone preferably. He states on his webpages that one can simply replace the cv joints when necessary, and implies there is no special machining necessary.

That would be good to clarify.

Randy
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PostPost by: potleyu18 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:08 pm

Hi,

I fitted the full replacement kit supplied by Spyder Cars and very comprehensive it was easy to fit with great results. superbly engineered have a look at their web site.

Steve
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:58 pm

I agree, Steve, that it looks nice in the pix and probably in person, as you say.

My problem is that it still does not deal decisively with the quality of rotoflex couplings; only reduces the number you need to source, not the frequency with which they need to be replaced. :cry:
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:43 pm

The advantage of the Spyder drive shafts is that, if the rotoflex does fail, at least the drive shaft is retained in a cup, and can't flail around!

That's why they call it "fail safe/anti surge"!

I too think they are a pretty good option. Providing a certain amount of 'cushioning' to my 50 year old diff! I'd rather replace the rotoflex, than the diff!
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:07 pm

I'm not a fan of the Spyder drive shafts. I had a set on my +2 and they seemed to put more load / cause more distortion to the single Rotoflex coupling causing it to fail very quickly, that's before you take into account i only use Genuine Couplings so the poor quality ones you see for sale nowadays wouldn't last five minutes.

Be interested to see if their better with NOS Lotus Couplings but in my opinion the spyder shafts put more load on an already suspect coupling so not one i'd recommend personally having used them.
Chris
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:00 am

I have to say I've never been too sure about the Spyder conversion, to me it seems neither one thing or the other, & I can't help thinking there's still a weak link. If good Rotoflex's were available, the std set up would still be first choice, but it looks like, at the moment anyway, we've got to try something different, & I think that means either full CV or full UJ conversion. I have to say I'm a bit surprised there hasn't been more advocates for UJ's, to me they seem the simple, & natural, progression, given that Lotus used them for the 26R, but it certainly seems like elantrickbits are getting all the recommendations, but what makes them so different from the Mick Miller set up ? Is it the machining they do to the joints ? Or the "unique" adapter plate ? The problem I have is that they don't look much different to the MM offering, & they look to need to achieve the same accute angles that have caused the problems with the MM kit. Those problems seemed to start when genuine GKN manufactured joints were no longer available, is this going to be the same for Col's kit ?
I guess what I'm trying to say, in a round about way, is can someone convince us that they are worth the extra cost & worry of importing them from the other side of the world. I suspect there will be customs duty on import ? anyone know how much ?

Thanks for the input
Tim
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:18 am

I've been thinking about the Elantrikbits shafts too, and would like to know how much customs duty folks have paid in USA.
Any buyers, please?
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:03 am

OW wrote; ' I suspect there will be customs duty on import ? anyone know how much ?'

Almost certainly 20% VAT to be paid to a Mr Osborne.

I bought some pistons from the USA, a trade seller. Unfortunately, he sent them USPS, which then passes to the robbers and thieves at Royal Mail when the parcel enters the country. And yes, I can, and have proven it.

If the contents are over a certain amount, contents of box opened, examined and documents looked at, the RM will then hold you to ransom and send you a notice informing you how much you need to pay them before the parcel will be delivered, namely 20% VAT on the invoice total, which they then pass on to the Chancellor. The rub, was that RM ALSO charged a fee on top, just a piffling EIGHTEEN POUNDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to handle the transaction.

I would never do that again. A possible way round the VAT charge, is to ensure that any parcel coming in from abroad, is sent by UPS. I have never paid any excesses that way.

Leslie
Last edited by 512BB on Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:04 am

Orsom Weels wrote:. Those problems seemed to start when genuine GKN manufactured joints were no longer available, is this going to be the same for Col's kit ?
I guess what I'm trying to say, in a round about way, is can someone convince us that they are worth the extra cost & worry of importing them from the other side of the world. I suspect there will be customs duty on import ? anyone know how much ?

Thanks for the input
Tim


There are various CV's of the style used by the various axle kit makers available from GKN ( and maybe other manufacturers) and they are available new from GKN so i dont understand the problem about genuine GKN CV's not being available.

Some CV's will accept higher deflection angles than others. The kit makers need to ensure they select the right CV joint to go with their adapter plates and drive shafts to achieve the required deflection or they specify a limited droop shock or other restraint if needed to limit the CV angle. They also need to get the drive shafts the right length so the CV's don't bind on excessive longitudinal travel

I was once told many many years ago to use the VW transporter CV's as they are designed to accept a larger deflection angle. I sourced these from a VW wrecker secondhand more than 30 years ago for my Elan and Plus 2 when I worked with Col Croucher for him to make some adapter plates for me to my design to do the conversion on my cars. I have had no problems since and so have not had to source any new CV's in all this time but looking at the GKN catalogue they are still listed for the VW transporter of the 70's and 80's that I sourced them from.

I did replace one of the CV's in my race car about 5 years ago when it developed a slight amount of backlash but I used a spare second hand one i had bought from the job lot of 10 I purchased from the wrecker of which I used 8 on the Elan and Plus 2 and kept 2 as spares.

The Cv joints have done about 30000+ race miles in my Elan and 60000+ road miles in my Plus 2 and are still in good condition. I dont know how many miles they did before that but if they came from wrecked commercial VW transporters they could have done a lot ! New ones, properly lubricated, in a properly designed conversion should last you forever.

I gave up on Donuts back in the early 80's after failures in both my Elan and Plus 2 of near new good condition donuts from the original manufacturers during hard drop the clutch starts ( as I have a tendency to do from time to time :roll: ). These were certainly a much better unit than the current no name ones.

cheers
Rohan

Cols CV kit has evolved a long way since then !!
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:32 am

My last thoughts on buying expensive items from abroad. What happens if something goes wrong with them, or there is a problem ? PITA to start sending them back !

Make sure you make any purchase over ?100 using a credit card. That way, you POSSIBLY have some comeback for up to 6 years.

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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:36 pm

RogerFrench wrote:I've been thinking about the Elantrikbits shafts too, and would like to know how much customs duty folks have paid in USA.
Any buyers, please?


There a standard import rate for car parts, I think it's 2.5%. Don't know how much the shafts costs so can help with the $ amount.

No one seems to have mentioned the shafts available from rdent. These are also very pricey but include a new diff output shaft that I think allows a slightly longer shaft and lower angles..

My +2 came with a set on and they seem good so far but I very few miles on it yet.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:49 am

I've put a set of Kelvdon / Mick Millar driveshaft on my plus 2 restoration. I've not used them yet, but my reasoning was that:
1. Rotoflexes available today seemed to be of poor quality
2. Even poor quality rotoflexes were pushing ?80 making a set ?320
3. Kelvdon's CV shafts are ?594 (inc VAT) so the price of two sets of potentially dodgy rotoflexes
4. Keldon's driveshaft have a good reputation
5. Col's drive shafts have a really good reputation
6. Col's drive shafts are approx. ?1120 door to door (by the time you've added VAT/import tax) in the UK so almost the price of two sets of Kelvdons

So my rationale is that the Kelvdon shafts offer the best combination of price and quality. Also, being in the UK if I do have any issues then the supplier is close......
Matthew Vale - Classic Motoring Author
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1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
Visit me on matthewvale.com
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:19 am

sounds like a good analysis for a UK buyer, especially for a plus 2 where the deflection angle is less and the potential need for a droop limited suspension less.

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:09 pm

mbell wrote:
RogerFrench wrote:I've been thinking about the Elantrikbits shafts too, and would like to know how much customs duty folks have paid in USA.
Any buyers, please?


There a standard import rate for car parts, I think it's 2.5%. Don't know how much the shafts costs so can help with the $ amount.

No one seems to have mentioned the shafts available from rdent. These are also very pricey but include a new diff output shaft that I think allows a slightly longer shaft and lower angles..

My +2 came with a set on and they seem good so far but I very few miles on it yet.


I'm also considering Ray's shafts, a bit more expensive than Elantrikbits, depending on duties. They do seem to be well-engineered.
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