Lotus Elan

Parking brake advice required?

PostPost by: NORTHWALES+2 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:55 am

My Car failed it's MOT yesterday on the parking brake, little efficiency.

It will only lock on one side (nearside), I have readjusted both sides and the cable, however the offside will not lock. On closer inspection, I notice that the nearside (the one that locks) seems to have more movement that the offside. On the inner operating arm there is an angled piece of metal near the top and when I look at the gap between that and the rest of the mechanism there seems to be a larger gap on the n/s. The offside one is resting against the body of the mechanism.


During the MOT, the tester clicked on Lotus Elan 1970 and it brought specific information up for this car including the weight at 1,300 kgs, which I guess is wrong and is for a modern day car. For the car to pass on the parking brake it much achieve 25% of this weight and obviously if the weight is wrong I have got to achieve a higher reading. I thought that the correct weight is somewhere near 960Kgs.


I have been in touch with Sue Miller enquiring about adjustable rods, however she currently is out of stock but she hopes to have some re manufactured in about 2-3 weeks time.

Any advice on the subject will be grateful received
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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:38 am

Even 960 Kg sounds high.

lotuselanprint.com lists the weight as:

Average kerb weight (unladen):

Coupe 1550lbs (703kg)
Convertible 1540lbs (698.5kg)

Is the number used for the MOT meant to be based on laden weight?

Paddy
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:03 am

The handbrake works fine when well adjusted. The handbrake linkage on the calliper gets loose with age and causes all sortss of problems. If there is any pay in these linkages get the callipers rebuilt by Classicar Automotive who specialise in this sort of thing.
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PostPost by: M.J.S » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:08 pm

My info gives a +2 as between 864 kilos and 889 kilos depending on spec, a whooping three hundredweight or thereabouts above the baby coupe, a weight gain for which it received a lot of criticism at the time.

Your tester's 1300 kilos is a major error on his part and makes his brake test void in my opinion, it demanding a much higher braking force for an extremely heavy car.

Even the later FWD Elan in Turbo SE guise was only 1020 kilos and virtually all Elite 701, Eclat and Esprit were around the 1000 kilo mark too. The only Lotus close to 1300 kilos was the Esprit V8 or the new Evora, so lord knows where he got that from.

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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:34 pm

According to this site:

http://www.motuk.co.uk/manual_380.htm

the vehicle weight for the purposes of calcluating brake "efficiency" includes an allowance of 140Kgs for driver, fuel, tools etc. So for a Plus2 this would give a total weight of around 1030Kg.

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PostPost by: andyelan » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:29 pm

Hi There

I assume you're talking about standard Lotus calipers.

Have you checked that both the brake pad levers are free on their pivot. You'll need to disconnect the cable and check or ideally remove the caliper. On my car one side had partially seized and I had a similar problem. Once I freed it off and reset the centralising strips everything was fine.

Andy
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:43 pm

Hi Guys,
I agree with Steve. You must start at the begining (unless you are happy with a bodge). When you get all the slop/wear sorted make sure the pads are clear of the discs via the centralizers and the levers are sitting on their stops. Bring the lever on the tree all the way back till its just clear of the chassis support tube. Adjust your new susan millar rods so that the clevis pins (or whatever you are using) slip neatly thro' the holes in the rods levers and the tree levers. The caliper levers should still be on their stops with the tree lever just clear as above. Fit and Adjust your cable. Same as above applies. Adjust the calipers so the pads lock the wheels (car sitting level etc) roll the car back n forth to feel. Then back off a click at a time till they are free and no more.

The handbrake should now work ok.... :D


The adjustable rods are a great help. I modified my own to suit then told Susan Millar. She liked the idea and had them made. I spoke to her at Donnington and they were selling like hotcakes. Incidently she also asked me the handbrake cable length after I shortened mine. She has the info' and I believe is having these made to the new length also. The std cables are about 60 - 80 mm too long. (I found).


Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: tcsoar » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:11 am

Hi,

I had my car mot'd yesterday, not the lotus, and the test center had official posters showing the weights to be used for calculating the braking efficiency of any particular car. One of these posters related to older cars between the mid 60's to early 80's, I cant remember the exact years. But the Elan S2 and S3 were shown as 850kg and the plus 2, all models, as 1090kg. Not sure what happens if you have an S1 or S4 Elan. :?

Chris
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PostPost by: twincamman » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:51 am

Im just about to tackle this problem ---the handle only moves one click and nothing grabs anything ----so its on the list for the weekend - :roll: --ed
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