Lotus Elan

Spyder drive shafts - gaiters

PostPost by: hansaxl » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:04 pm

Dear all,

I just finished a wonderful 2 week trip from Germany to southern Spain with my Elan. We did 5.500 km and the car was very well behaved. What a nice way of wasting time... :o)

Now inspecting everything, I had to notice that the gaiters of my Spyder drive shafts have failed again. They have done so for the third time within less than a year and about 10 k kilometers, which is not really acceptabe, I'd say. I discussed the matter with the guys at Spyder before, and probably at least one of the failures were due to me meaning too good (which is, of course, the opposite of good..). I greased the CV joints too generously at the inside, which resulted in the gaiters being gradually filled with grease and then failing at high speed cruising. But now, as I have apparently avoided that mistake and done everything right, they have been torn away again...

Now my question is: Has anybody of you who uses the Spyder drive shaft conversion experienced the same unreliability of the gaiters? I cannot really ask this question to Spyder directly, as they will probably not be inclined to to confirm their design being somewhat faulty, would they?

So, thanks in advance for any comments or advice. See attached photo from Andalucia near Granada, for watering your mouth as concerning what we call "Fernweh" in German.

Cheers, Hans
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:22 pm

Yes, it's hard to beat driving in Spain, especially away from the Costas !

I've had Spyder C/V drive shafts since 1998, all the C/V boots are still perfect.

Can't think why you are having a problem, except for the actual quality of your boots. Maybe they had a bad production run :(
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:43 am

Have you adjusted the droop angle?
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:22 pm

My car initially ripped 2 sets of boots in very few miles. I think the second set ripped in the shop. Unless you limit droop, under full droop the boots are stretched pretty tight. My second set ripped on jack stands as I was rotating the wheels to check the torque on all the cvj bolts.
You can limit strain on the boots with shorter travel shocks or MacGyver something.
In addition to limiting droop, keep the boot ends pushed in to reduce stretch. It was suggested to me that the clamps not be used so the boots could move a little. I've got about 6k miles on my 3rd set with no problems.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:46 pm

See if any gaiters are available that are made for the cone type expansion tool, probably called stretchy gaiters they tolerate an incredible amount of stretch and will return to the original size.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:36 pm

The Spyder shafts don't have gaiter clips fitted as standard - or at least those I bought in the spring didn't.
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PostPost by: marode » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:29 am

Hans, I bought a new gaiter off the shelf at my ordinary local spares dealer just a few days before. Different type then the spyder ones, but perfect fit. The CV joints are something from the VW shelf, don?t know exactly what type, but it wasn?t difficult at all to get replacement gaiters. Just put them on the desk at your local spares dealer and try buy from a different maker. I haven?t had failures of the gaiters with my +2 so far, but lots oaf donut failures. My guess would be it?s the steeper angle on the small Elan to cause the trouble.
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PostPost by: hansaxl » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 am

Dear all,

thanks for the response. I did fit straps at the inner end of the boots, that was probably the mistake. I will give it another try and then we will see.

Cheers, H.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:01 pm

I've just had one of the capscrews on the cv joint fail - probably faulty rather than sheared.
Spyder sent me new screws and a cv joint 'ring' just in case.
On ringing to find out how much grease to use I was told 150/200g from dry.
They warned that I shouldn't put any in the gaiter just pack the joint from one side and fill the carrier.
Apparently additional grease directly in the gaiter causes it to burst!
So there's the answer - don't do what we'd normally reckon to be a proper job!
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