Lotus Elan

Overhauling the back end

PostPost by: jimj » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:45 am

I haven`t even got a +2 and I`m no mechanic but if I lived 20 miles away rather than 200, I`d be offering to come round and give you a second opinion. Maybe, to some extent, you`re more aware of every little nuance in a car new to you than a seasoned (?!) owner would be. Is there anyone there?
All the work on the rear transmission and suspension is pretty straightforward, even for someone like me. Just nuts and bolts, like meccano. Surely a local garage will have a bounce on the rear and advise on the rear dampers` condition. Everything else is pretty straightforward and not expensive but, personally, while you have the diff. out I`d have it checked over professionally and have them fit new seals and bearings............then put it back forever.
I wouldn`t be putting in wrong seats, they`d shout "wrong" every time you got in the car. I`d rather compromise on comfort, but that`s me, it`s your car.
It`s very good advice to keep most things as Lotus intended, them being world renowned suspension experts.
Good luck,
Jim
jimj
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: 25 Feb 2008

PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:47 am

JonB wrote:The rear suspension isn't really adjustable, is it? So how can it be out of alignment (other than by means of worn bushes)?


Chapman is famous for resisting making anything adjustable or "they will only f**k it up".

However handmade bits, production tolerances and wide rear wishbones, means that probably very few were actually accurately aligned. Add knacked bushes and it's no surprise it's a bit wayward.

Most of the suppliers offer adjustable rear wishbones for that reason.

Search the site you will find loads of posts on the subject. As you are taking the rear apart anyway....................

The general wisdom is that each side is supposed to toe in about 1/4 inch. Basically the rear wheels point at the front wheels.
vincereynard
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1230
Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Location: amersham

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:51 am

OK, well, we can check that with a 4 wheel alignment test.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2113
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Donels » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:33 pm

Four Spitfires and never lubricated the trunnions! You were brave. I had a Spitfire trunnion fail and was in a GT6 when one failed, both from the infrequent use of grease rather than EP90. I was fastidious in my maintenance afterwards. The symptoms prior to failure were heavy steering and a reluctance to self centre making odd feeling steering. Fortunately they always tend to fail at low speed typically in a parking manoeuvre.

Sounds like you already have a good list of items to check.
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 333
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth

PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:52 pm

JonB wrote:The rear suspension isn't really adjustable, is it? So how can it be out of alignment (other than by means of worn bushes)?


Before investing in a set of Spyder rear toe adjustable bottom wishbones and camber adjustable upper wishbones, I took the car to me local tyre centre, which has a very modern alignment facility.

The results confirmed what my basic measurements had already detected.

Both rear wheels had different amounts of positive camber, instead of the design 0 -1 degs negative.

One side had substantial toe-out, the other had toe-in.

The front wheel cambers were also all over the place. (However, I am good at setting front wheel toe ! )

Doesn't look like Chapman's original quality control was very good :(

Fitting adjustable rear wishbones has completely transformed the stability of the car at high speeds.

So a 4-wheel alignment check would seem to be a good idea :)
68 Elan +2, 70 Elan +2s
User avatar
Foxie
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Location: Wexford, Ireland

PostPost by: jono » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:49 pm

..a Plus 2 should be a revelation after a Spitfire. No tuck under!
jono
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: 17 May 2007
Location: The wet bit in the top corner of England

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:09 pm

Yes, but between the Spitfire and the Plus 2 I had an Elise. Selling it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made. :(
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2113
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Donels » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:15 pm

I agree. I have an Elise Mk1 and a +2 in bits. The Elise is a delight with the best steering and feedback ever! If the plus 2 is anywhere near as good I will be delighted.

Dave
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 333
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:20 pm

The baby Elan was said to be close to the S1 Elise but the Europa closer still.

My reasons for buying the Plus 2, other than it's simply lovely to look at, were the low running cost to high performance ratio, the possibility of appreciation given the cost I paid, and my love of fiddling with classic cars.

That said, I am baulking a little at the cost of these driveshafts, and I fear I will need a gearbox overhaul as well.

My first challenge is to work out how to get it up on stands so I can work under it safely and relatively comfortably. There are a lot of suggestions on my original thread, so no need to discuss here. Just a matter of trying something.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2113
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:31 pm

If you are looking for a recommendation for rear shocks I would suggest Gaz adjustables. I believe that is what TT supplies. However, after shopping around I went to DamperTech Ltd - talk to Dave. I found the price and service very good and the shocks are externally adjustable and work very well. Stay away from Spax seems to be the common feeling...
'65 S2 4844
Davidb
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 871
Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:25 pm

Orsom Weels wrote:Hi Jon,
Yes, you're on the right track re the aeon rubbers. If they need replacement, originals are no longer available, but there is a VW part that is a good substitute, there's a thread on here somewhere with the details etc, but typically I can't find it at the moment.

Regards, Tim


The Aeon rubber springs are available again ( or were about a year ago) from the usual suppliers and appear good quality. People fit the VW ones when the fit rear springs that are a smaller diameter than can accomodate the Aeon ones. The later plus 2 also had an alloy spacer of 20 mm thickness approximately on top of the strut to bring the Aeon spring into play early in the suspension travel. i do the same on my Elan which for improves the handling on the limit.

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7567
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:31 pm

Well, I did a bump test on my rear suspension and it was OK.

I need to ask another owner with a sorted car to drive mine and give me some opinions.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2113
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:38 pm

Hi Jon,

In the absence of a second opinion, carry out a condition check of all components, as mentioned in previous posts, then get an alignment check done once your satisfied all is good. Original front wishbones & rear A frames can be bent very easily by careless jacking or hard kerb contact etc, so give them a good check while you're at it :D

Regards, Tim
Orsom Weels
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 492
Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Location: Norfolk, UK

PostPost by: JonB » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:43 am

Thanks Tim. I think there is a very slight bend in the N/S rear lower wishbone but the O/S one looks OK. I still need to get a straight edge up against the N/S wishbone to confirm my suspicions, but I am usually very good at seeing things that aren't tight (optical illusions aside). Is it feasible to straighten it and if so what's the safest way?

I have put some air in the tyres. They were per the manual (20 / 22 PSI) apart from the N/S rear which was 18 PSI. I've increased that to 24 front 26 rear but haven't had a chance to test it properly yet.

I think I'm getting used to the car. I'm seeing less wind up as a result of modifying my driving style. I wonder if I couldn't get away with greasing all the grease points and topping up the gearbox / diff oil? Problem is the diff looks like it will spit it all out again. I have Red Line MTL for both, having done a bit of on-forum research, and I think it might improve the gear shift. Of course, the gearbox is leaky, too, but I suspect less than the diff.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2113
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:13 am

I?ve just fitted cv drive shafts and a diff brace from Kelvedon Motors (I think Sue Miller gets hers from them, but not sure). This was straightforward, while doing this it?s probably worth fitting new rear discs if yours are at all worn as they are very cheap and a lot of work to do later on. Also ch ck the handbrake pivot tree to make sure it?s the modified type and not seized up while you have space to work with the diff out. Also worth checking the prop shaft joints for wear while the diff is out. Beware that the gearbox oil can drain out if you remove the prop shaft. Unless the dampers are really bouncy and inefficient I?d leave them for now. Check the diff lower tie rods to ensure they are not worn on the front bolt holes and anyway fit new rubber bushes when you refit the diff. Probably easier to fill the diff with oil before installing it. You?ll need to remove the rear seat to get to the top diff mount bolt and if you want to replace these mounts completely you?ll end up removing the fuel tank too so make sure it?s nearly empty when you start this work. Check the bottom of the tank for corrosion when it?s out, if you have had water leaks into the boot it may have been sitting on damp felt for years and be rusty. If you decide to replace the dampers it would be worth replacing the wishbone bushes while the rear strut is out.
It starts to get to be a long list once you start!
I?ve done all the above plus gone for modified struts to take the smaller diameter springs for two reasons, 1. My lower spring cups were badly corroded and 2. I?m fitting 14? minilite wheels so need the extra room so they don?t rub.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
Bigbaldybloke
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 699
Joined: 16 May 2017
Location: Lincolnshire
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: Baggy2 and 6 guests