Lotus Elan

14x6 Minilite Wheels

PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:18 pm

Stumbled on the fact Minilite makes a Peg-Drive 14" x 6" alloy wheel now to fit the Elan. That opens up all sorts of new tire choices. The standard question is what fits under the baby Elans' stock fiberglass. Do these people know the correct offset or do I have to measure it for myself? Any experts out there that have taken the plunge already? I could use your advice now. :)
http://www.minilitewheels.com/sportwheels.htm

Already have the rear struts modified with the smaller 2.5" OD springs. Don't be confused because there are two sizes available for the rear springs. Some are 2.25" depending on the brand you bought. TIA
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:13 pm

AFAIK the 14x6 are for the +2. I don't think you would get them to fit a baby elan with out 26R type arches. You would be looking at using something like 185x60x14 which would give you a lot more options for rubber choice.

BTW: If want some really sticky rubber for the track go for Dunlop CR65 450M13 that what they are using in the Top Hat series and will fit under standard arches. Or for road use Michelin XAS FF 155HR13 8)
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PostPost by: riverkeeper » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:33 pm

I have these on my S4 elan with 185 tires but don't take it as gospel that they are a direct replacement fit. You won't need wider arches fitted on an S4 though you may need to remove some of the arch return to get clearance. I've reshelled my elan so it was a custom fit of shell to chassis to wheels when I did it, and I have the sypder alternate set-up which is geared more towards these. I would think that with 175 tires the clearance would be less of an issue. They won't fit on a S1-3 without the 26R arches of course.

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PostPost by: grat » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:26 pm

I'm about to order a set and have been working out the numbers. (I just posted on the email list where I normally hang out asking about offsets which so far has been pretty much ignored). javascript:emoticon(':?')
Confused

From a tech article on gglotus about the design of the pansport wheels, he states that the offset should be 29mm,

I got one reply off line from a guy fitting pansports to an S2 which required grinding things and such to make them clear. He said his offset was 34mm.

email ref: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/lot ... sage/15815

My plan currently is to demount an old tire off of a stock S4 steel KO, measure it as accurately as possible for stock offset and backset, then determine maximum track I can have for SCCA rules (vintage racing) and spec the wheels to that offset. I'm not concerned about fenders; as mine are trashed (cracked and worn through in a couple spots, and rules allow me to 'slightly' flare the fenders for clearance, maintaining stock opening shape. So I plan on doing so.

I assume the offset is going to end up more than the 34mm above, my guess without measuring anything and assuming that 29mm is stock would be about 40mm (1/2" wider track each side). I don't think (hope) 1/2" increase in track will adversely effect steering that much. I'm expecing some increase in steering effort (that's ok) and hoping that it won't impact centering (return to center).

I'm going to be using TTR rear springs (which off hand I don't know the diameter of as I haven't measured them but smaller than stock, and I think are 2.5" but would have to verify).

So given all of this, once I do some calculations and get them which is probably 2+ months away with current restraints I would be happy to measure stock fender clearances and let you know the results of how far off they are from fitting on an S4 if that will help you.javascript:emoticon(':roll:')
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PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:46 pm

fj,
I would be willing to run different offsets on the front and rear wheels. Seems like with the smaller rear springs and the 4.5J steel wheels that still leaves plenty of extra room to move a wheel inboard by another inch or there abouts. The lower front and rear pivots bushings of the a-arm become the interference problem on the 13" wheel but I'm not so sure about the 14" ones. Be nice if the a-arm were to clear the larger diameter wheel but perhaps it could be modified if it didn't. 1/8" of clearance would be enough to clear the a-arm and the strut. If that's the case then the 6" wide wheel would stick outboard just 1/2" more than the steel wheel does now. With the right section width tire that JUST might fit without flares.

Thought I'd makeup a template of the wheel and tire cross-section and mount is on the peg-drive hub to spin and see if it's possible or not.

My priorities are different than most others. I don't care about mounting the stickest, widest tire. I prefer they not squeal too loudly when they get leaned on at the outer edge of the friction circle. Eliminating the vibration in the steering wheel due to the wheels not running true is my main goal. It helps if handling is superb too so the driver can relax and still be very quick and smooth.
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PostPost by: grat » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:55 pm

I failed to mention in previous that I'm planning on mounting 13"x6" not 14"x6" as you were looking at, so it may not be totally applicable. I would think by moving the offset out the extra 1/2" that the a-arms would be less of an issue as well. I'm also going to TTR a-arms, but I haven't laid the over the stock ones to see if there are differences.

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PostPost by: Terry Posma » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:59 am

Grat,

I have just been through this saga. The 13 x 6 Minilites will only clear the A arms (new, which were laid over the old ones and found to be only slightly larger that the originals) if they have a bit of aluminium milled off the inside of the rim (the castings are not perfect) and put a tiny little bit of extra chamfer on the A arm. This was done by a wheel repairer. The edge of the rim only just clears the adjustable spring perches for 2.25" springs. I tried putting 175/65 Toyo racing tyres on and found that they did not clear under TT 26r s2 rear guards. Changed the tyres over to the 185/60 Goodyears I have on my plus 2 and they did clear......just.

Now thinking again about tyre options.

Terry.
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PostPost by: grat » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:18 pm

Terry Posma wrote:Grat,
. . .
The 13 x 6 Minilites will only clear the A arms (new, which were laid over the old ones and found to be only slightly larger that the originals)
. . .
Terry.


The new A-arms: were they TTR a-arms? or stock? or from what source?


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PostPost by: hewg » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:53 am

Hi, I run 14 x 6 superlites (similar to minilites) and 195/60 Dunlops. Guards are flared to suit but no problems with clearances elsewhere. Running TTR rear springs and Spyder front arms all on adjustable platforms.
Car is set up for tarmac rally (6" front, 7" rear ground clearance) and I do get some problems with clearance on the body work at lower ride heights.
Apart from tyre selection the big advantage of going to 14" wheels is bigger front brakes - rotors ex nissan skyline with willwood dynalite calipers for amazing stopping especially when really working them hard.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:17 am

i run 205 x 13 at rear and 1`85 x 13 front hankook tires on 26r s2 33 --ed
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PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:43 am

I e-mailed Minilite and received a partial reply. They stated those 14 x 6" wheels were to fit the +2 only. I've requested a drawing twice and have not gotten a reply and don't think ones coming. :cry:

Can't see a reason why they wouldn't fit the baby Elan if it's done correctly with just the right offset. The inner stiffening edge of the rear wheelwells would have to be removed of course.

Hewg, I try to use the brakes as little as possible on a smooth road course and have never overheated them yet. Good point about possibly running out brakes with more grip from the tires. That would be a bummer not to be able to lockup all four corners if necessary!

Ed, be careful the first time you get the 26R up over 100mph and take a corner. Those balloon radial tires are scary if they have thin sidewalls. I always do the sidewall test at about 70mph first on the freeway. When no one is around I crank in 1/2 a turn of the steering wheel as fast as I can and then let go to see if it will recover. It can be a huge pucker moment fueled with adrenaline to recover the car if the handling is poor. I would not do this without having a rollbar and shoulder harnesses however.
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PostPost by: hewg » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:41 am

I will measure the offset on the wheels and report back.
If you havent run out of brakes then you arent travelling fast enough!!! Bigger brakes translate to more time at high speed, more progressive braking with less wheel lock ups and consistent feel especially on long stages (20 miles plus) with big downhills. obviously this is not relevant for road cars.
We run Dunlop DO1J tarmac rally tyres which have stiff sidewalls so no issues there - we run 18psi cold/23 warm front and rear
Car is an S2 and there is a slight clearance problem on the rear inner guard on full bump but nothing to worry about.

regards Hew
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:57 am

You can fit bigger brakes with out going to 14" wheels. My S4 has front disks and calipers from the +2. More disk and pad area. I have fitted groved disks and EBC green for fast road use. I have also removed the servo which gives a firm pedal and makes heel n toe much easier.

The +2 calipers are essentailly the M16 caliper as used by the Escort boys for years. Wilwood do a version of this caliper that fits no problem. The Wilwood caliper is 4 pot with a even larger pad area.

However so far I have not managed to cook the +2 set up I have, this includes several track days and sticky tyres.

I know I keep banging on about this set up but.... 5x13 minilites with Michelin XAS FF 155HR13 provides a great set up. Not wheel arch problems, lots of grip and neutral handling. The side walls much be plenty stiff enough as I have had no stability issues braking hard from 100+ mph and committing to corners at big speeds (not looking at the speedo when do this). Easy to maintain a neutral drift through the fast corners 8)
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PostPost by: Terry Posma » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:27 pm

Grat,

The A- arms are replica stock from the Elan Factory in Melbourne.

Terry.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:51 pm

Steve,
I trust your description about the performance level of the XAS FF. What makes me apprehensive it's the typical delicate racing tire. I need a tire that can handle the occasional traverse through a trench without cutting the sidewall or getting a puncture while commuting.
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