Lotus Elan

Spax rear dampers

PostPost by: johnsimister » Wed May 06, 2009 10:55 pm

I've followed and contributed to the thread, started by Paddy, on 'rear damper trouble', and I'm now seeking opinions on Spax krypton gas rear inserts.

My old Armstrong rear dampers were clearly past their best so I decided to change them, hoping to recreate the correct Elan mix of suppleness and control. All Paul Matty had were these Spax - 'they're what we usually sell' - and expensive Pro-Tec? Pro-Tex? I'd wanted Konis but PM had none, so I bought Spax in good faith.

I should have smelt a rat when I read in the instruction leaflet that 'performance dampers may increase discomfort', but I thought that the range of adjustment would surely be enough to give the compliant ride I wanted. And the (non-gas) Spax on the front are excellent. Anyway, the ride is truly dismal, and has not softened off with use as I had hoped, clutching at a straw, it might. The problem is that the dampers are much too stiff, especially on rebound, even on the minimum setting. The valving is clearly completely wrong for a car as light as an Elan.

What should I do? Are gas Spax normally this bad? The ride is intolerable, and I'd like to remove the dampers and get a refund. But as they have been driven on for a couple of hundred miles that might be tricky. I'd like to hear what other Spax users think, and ideas for better alternatives. I have Gaz on the back of my two-stroke Saab and they seem to have the right damping characteristics, so I'm tempted to try those. Has anyone tried them on an Elan and liked them?

Our roads have become so bad that too-stiff dampers in a light car just don't work, although they might be OK on a track. I can't believe PM haven't had complaints, or are some owners not so critical?

Thanks for any thoughts

John
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PostPost by: stuartgb100 » Thu May 07, 2009 5:40 am

I have TTR's adjustable narrow spring rear suspension setup.
These use Gaz shocks built to his spec.

On the softest setting I think you'd like them.

Regards,
Stuart.
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PostPost by: ebc699 » Thu May 07, 2009 5:59 am

Hi John,
I bought a set of Spax dampers from Paul Matty for a Plus 2 as mentioned in the other thread. I have found them to be quite OK, but initially had them set to hard which made the ride most uncomfortable. I can't remember exactly, but I am now only a few clicks above the softest setting, both front and rear. The other factor of course is that, assuming the dampers are the same, the Plus 2 is a good deal heavier than the Elan which will presumably have some effect.
Hope it all works out for you.
Cheers,
Wylie
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu May 07, 2009 8:09 am

In fairness to the Spax I didn't put them back and try them on the softest setting once my other problems were fixed. I didn't do a scientific test but trying them by hand the Spax seemed to be a lot stiffer on their softest setting than the Konis.

Another effect of the Spax is that they have a "spring" effect as well as damping so the car is rides slightly higher with them than with a straight damper - which is an issue if you don't have adjustable platforms. My car is now maybe 1/2" lower at the back with the Konis.

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PostPost by: paddy » Thu May 07, 2009 12:05 pm

I just spoke to TTR (about my fronts) but he definitely doesn't have a good word to say about Spax. Konis get the thumbs up, as well (of course) as his home-grown units.

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PostPost by: johnsimister » Thu May 07, 2009 2:03 pm

I've now spoken to Tony too. Spax got a big thumbs-down, and after much interesting discussion I think I'm going the Koni route.

John
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PostPost by: memnon » Thu May 07, 2009 6:39 pm

I have TTR's rear's

I think the difference is that Tony has taken the time to study and develop the damping characteristics needed for an Elan. Spax (who I don't think make good quality units anyway) have taken the time to make something that fits.
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PostPost by: elansprint » Thu May 07, 2009 9:23 pm

John i have had spax on two or three cars & have always found them too hard with sod all adjustment despite the 22 clicks. I have the koni's from TTR you will be happy with these
Ian
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PostPost by: steveww » Fri May 08, 2009 7:49 am

I have TTR own units (GAZ) and I am very happy with these. I have them set just above their softest setting.
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PostPost by: frearther » Fri May 08, 2009 11:45 am

Does anyone know if the TTR/GAZ units are available here on the other side of the pond?
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri May 08, 2009 12:44 pm

frearther wrote:Does anyone know if the TTR/GAZ units are available here on the other side of the pond?


Ray at RD Enterprises handles TTR products in the US. He stocks some items and can order anything else in the TTR catalog.
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PostPost by: frearther » Fri May 08, 2009 1:22 pm

Thanks, Russ.
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Sat May 09, 2009 3:36 pm

Art,

I have been ordering direct from TTR for sometime now. even with customs and shipping there is money to be saved.
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PostPost by: johnsimister » Mon May 25, 2009 5:24 pm

TTR Konis now fitted. Car transformed. Front and rear now feel like they belong to the same car. Owner v happy.

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