Lotus Elan

Overhauling the back end

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:03 pm

Hi Jon, just had a look at mine. Thin head bolts with washers under the bolt heads but not under the nuts. Distance across the bolt heads is approx 212mm. Pictures of right hand side attached
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:14 pm

One more picture looking down on the whole assembly.
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:24 pm

Wow, that is pretty. Got alloys and good clearance?

[Edit: Ah-ha! I read a post in the archives that said play in the rear bearings would cause the suspension arm bolt to rub against the alloys. As my outer shaft on that side was completely loose, that will have been the culprit, I expect. There is also a small amount of rubbing on the O/S, although I couldn't feel any play in the bearing. New bushes on order!]
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:38 pm

That?s another story! I?ve got a nice set of 14? minilite, but have never had them on the car yet as when I tighten the spinners they bottom out on the thread before they clampbthe wheel. I bought them probably 20 years ago and haven?t sorted the problem so it?s had the standard 13? steel wheels on it all that time. I?ve just got a thicker replacement set of the collars that go between the wheel and spinner but the wheels are still loose. I have a backup plan for the front, i bought a pair of spare hubs so will turn about 3mm off the thread on these and that should do it. I?ll refit them with new bearings. I need to pull the hubs anyway as the seals above the trunnions have split and I?ll need to screw them off to fit the new ones. More work, and I need to have the car mobile in a week or so as it?s off the the trimming shop for a nice new grey leather interior! I think it will be going on a trailer!
Last edited by Bigbaldybloke on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:46 pm

Hi JonB

If you still have the diff out or not yet bolted up I would change the diff top mounts (Lotus) as this can be done without removing the fuel tank. These mounts can crack across the mounting flange and will eventually part company and are difficult to identify later when the car is running. If required the tank straps can be loosened and slightly raise the tank using wooden wedges inside the car although I have done this without moving the tank.

Also make sure the mounts are the same size as I have found the steel tube internally have been different lengths

All other work can be carried out on the rear without again removing the seats etc
My wishbone bolt heads a thin with no washers

Been there got the T shirt.

Good luck
Regards

John

+2s130 1971
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:42 am

I have the wishbones off and, using the "melt the rubber and hacksaw the bush outer" approach, have managed to get one of the larger bushes off. Took about an hour and I have broken the magic screwdriver. Bad. I also tried threaded rod and sockets, hammer and sockets, everything I could think of bar a press.

I think my options are to find someone with a press and get the job done right, or buy a new set of wishbones (one of them is bent due to jacking and both are a little tatty). I've tried calling Miles @ Fibreglass Services but he never answers.

Can I use a vice to press in new bushes?
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PostPost by: jono » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:09 pm

A vice, in my experience, will not generate anywhere near enough pressure.

I used some threaded studding and suitable mandrels and 'wound' the bushes in.

Better still though, borrow the use of a press its much easier.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:48 pm

I think it all depends on the size of the vice and the tolerances of the machining of the parts. I managed mine in a 6? bench vice without much problem, they were tight but not that bad on the rear wishbones. The front were a different thing altogether, the large bushes took about 10 ton to push out and about half that to put the new ones back. I think it?s a try it and see job, but if you go for new wishbones get the supplier to press the bushes in for you. Bent wishbones affect the suspension geometry so just think of the replacement cost as a handling improvement mod!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:52 pm

To remove the old bushes in the past i have threaded a hacksaw blade through the mounting bolt hole. Reconnect to hacksaw frame and cut through to release bush. Assembled new bushes in a big vice no problem.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:46 pm

I've done the hacksaw thing and wasn't impressed. Ended up with small damage to the arm. I've handed the arms to someone who knows what they are doing... a retired local classic car restorer who still has a press.

Fells like I've missed the boat with this car. The specialists are retiring...
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:15 pm

Sorry to hear you were not impressed with the hacksaw method.
Maybe it depends on your background. I was an Engine Fitter and Turner so using a hacksaw is second nature.
Glad to know you have found someone with a press which is easier.
Keep up the good work
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:30 pm

Well, clearly using a hacksaw can be made to work - I got one of them out - but I think it is a bit risky for a hasty fellow like me! I've even been contemplating getting new arms, just to avoid having the aggro of removing the old bushes.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:58 pm

Wait and see what the guy with the press can do. While he's pressing them out sit down and relax, take a glass of red wine. It will cost more money for new wishbones. Like we say "more haste less speed".
You have your +2 which is the main thing and all winter to fix it no panic :wink:
You've made fantastic progress already 8)
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PostPost by: jono » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:10 pm

mmm, new wishbones or one of these, .....now let me think about that?:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Big-Red-Work ... 7141502?ha
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:32 pm

@jono you're right, but I'd have gone for the adjustable wishbones. Anyway, no matter, the highly experienced chap who is doing this is straightening the bent wishbone too. He used to restore classics for a living.

Don't forget you need a set of mandrels (?) to go with the press. More ???!

@Alan, absolutely right. Plus, I know that if I do have it on the road I'll only go and find the next irritation that needs putting right (at the last count, steering column bushes and rattles in the doors).

As a side note, I took the exhaust box and Centre pipe off as I have a used SS set from the PO. Disappointed to find the pipe's too short and my rear silencer bracket badly cracked and about to snap. Sigh. So, will keep the mild steel pipe for now, but replace the nasty U clamps for something a bit better. And put the new box on, because at least it hasn't got a failed repair patch on it. Never know, might sound better too.
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