Lotus Elan

Driveshafts

PostPost by: nickspeed » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:24 pm

Hi. New to Elan ownership. Have bought a S4 FHC. This has probably been asked a thousand times before, but what are the thoughts on solid driveshafts in general, and manufacturers in particular. PNM Parts look to be good quality? Sue Miller? All thoughts appreciated, thank you!
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:39 pm

Without trying to sound patronizing, there is quite a lot on this subject if you do a search on this forum.

Personally, i have the KELVEDON LOTUS cv driveshafts and upto now i can't fault them. I may be mistaken but i understand they are same as the shafts sold by PNM (made by Shaftec). I also believe when Sue miller had issues with warranty claims she decided to stop making them and passed production to Kelvedon, since then Kelvedon/Shaftec changed the design slightly making them more reliable.

If you are fitting them to a 2 seater you should fit a diff brace (if you don't already have one) and reduce the droop of the rear suspension so the shafts don't lock up when over articulated (also stops the cv boots popping off randomly or tearing). But it's all on the forum so i'd advise spending some quality time reading old posts before taking the plunge.
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PostPost by: nickspeed » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:54 pm

Thank you. Will do some browsing!
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:56 pm

Hi Nick,
We were all new to Elans once. Ask any questions you want because other people are reading this and we all learn all the time.
I fitted driveshafts from Kelvedon. Sue miller sells the same ones and I am very pleased with them. It firms up the drive and to me, by removing some softness, the car now pulls away from rest like a modern car.
This improves my confidence when going for a gap in traffic.
You also have to fit droop limiting shock absorbers as the shafts do not have the same maximum angle as the rotoflex joints..
This can also be done with straps or, as I did by shortening the shock absorber action by 25mm.
Others prefer the softness of the rubber drive and no doubt they will be along soon.
If possible I suggest you try someone else`s car and decide for yourself.
Eric in Burrnley
1967 S3SE DHC
PS
This post overlaps the one above
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PostPost by: nickspeed » Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:08 pm

Thanks Eric. Good idea. Will see if I can track down someone local to me. Have just come across Elantrikbits. Seem to overcome the droop problem, but expensive! Interesting that the Kelvedon, Pnm and Miller products appear to be one and the same
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:40 pm

Just while i'm thinking about it, check what rear dampers you have fitted on the back before going and buying a new pair!!

I made a huge mistake on the quest to reduce the rear droop angle, i had a pair of standard length red oil filled Koni's on which i sold to help fund the reduce droop avo's shocks (which were a bit rubbish) turns out the oil filled dampers can be opened and the droop reduced with a suitable spacer, but in typical fashion i only found this out whilst shopping for a better option to the AVO dampers. I ended up buying a pair of shortened gas Koni's at HUGE expense and honestly i preferred the oil filled version.

So don't fall into that trap.
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PostPost by: nickspeed » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:13 pm

Thanks again. Hindsight is very useful to others! I'll take a look
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PostPost by: RichardS » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:43 pm

Welcome!

Would suggest have a word with Sue Miller, she is very helpful.

I spoke to her last year to discuss whether I needed to fit limited rear shock absorbers to my Sprint. Sue supplied me with the CVs some years ago, and I didn’t change the rear shocks at the time so wanted to check.

Sue told me that it was only the earlier versions of the CVs she supplied that needed special shocks, and that I did not need them on my car.

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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:44 pm

I have some ElanTrikBits CV's, on a S4 and +2
They allow full droop at rotation. I am in Canada, and shipping, duties etc all factored into my decisions.
I am on the streets, and dont believe I drive the elans at any sort of race pace. The elise is a different story :wink:
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:22 pm

Kelvedon supplied me with both the driveshafts and reduced droop dampers (Spax). A good improvement over the original set up.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:46 pm

Nick,

You mention that some suppliers seem to sell the same thing. You should not be surprised, all the Lotus parts people I have visited have no manufacturing facilities, so it makes sense for the parts sellers to purchase from a manufacturer who already makes a part that they wish to sell.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: nickspeed » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:24 pm

Thank you Richard. That all makes sense. Will give Sue Miller a call this week!
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:46 am

Does anyone know what the spacer length to reduce the droop for Koni Red rear inserts please.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:39 am

vstibbard wrote:Does anyone know what the spacer length to reduce the droop for Koni Red rear inserts please.

There are a couple of threads about it on the forum, did a quick search and user "Gearbox" explains it towards the bottom of the page on the link below and a bit more info on page 2 of that thread. (maybe send him a message for details??)

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=38203
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:06 am

Hi,
When I ordered my drive shafts from Kelvedon in October 2017 the guy I spoke to said that they used to recommend reducing the droop by 20 mm, but now had increased that to 25mm.
So it seems that a 25m long spacer in the top of the Koni should do the job correctly.
I also had Red Konis but I found that I could not open them without risking damage and they were in `as new` condition. My solution was to turn down the shoulder on the shaft by 25mm and extend the flat which locates the road spring top plate. A 25mm sleeve on top put the nut in the correct position.
The shaft was hardened so it needed a tipped tool and some grinding but it worked OK.
Responding also to a previous post. It seems that Kelvedon do assemble the shafts in house. He said delivery was delayed because they had someone off sick and they were worried about him.
Two weeks later the employee had been in to work to show someone else how to build the shafts so I got mine.
I found them very knowledgeable and helpful and I suggest you speak to them directly if in doubt.
Hope this helps
Eric in Burnley
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