Lotus Elan

Handling

PostPost by: jimj » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:42 am

The front end of my S3 is beginning to feel a bit "wooly", not quite as sharp as it once was. The bushes look a bit tired and I`ve been recommended to fit poly bushes. There again I`ve heard other reports that suggest the poly bushes add unacceptable harshness. I don`t race the car so what does anyone with experience of poly bushes think? Where is a good place/brand to get them?
Jim
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:51 am

I bought a whole package of bushes, mountings, Lotocone upgrades from TTR & will fit them sometime in the future.
I've also read about the harshness described by some of the Forum.
The subject is very subjective & a matter of taste.
Personally my car rarely does runs of more tham 200 miles.
Most of my trips are shortish fun blasts & the car is not used as daily transport so I'm not too fussed about a reduction in comfort.

If I may I'd like to add Tyre pressures into the equation because you so usefully started a "Handling" thread.
Bushes, tyres, suspension, tracking, castor angle etc., have long been subjects of discussion here.
The biggest transformation in handling & comfort can be achieved by playing with the tyre pressures.
I first experienced this a few years ago. My Elan was parked on an uneven surface which caused some of the tyres to appear soft.
I called into a local tyre fitting company & their pressure gauge comfirmed that the pressures were in fact correct.
Nevertheless I decided to put an extra 2lbf/ square inch into each of the tyres.
The transformation was incredible with the car becoming so much more responsive.
No looking back after that.
It'd be interesting to hear other members experiences.

Cheers
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: EMA7K » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:00 am

Jim


I rebuilt my Sprint in 1990/1991 to standard format but two years ago I had PM fit poly bushes. At the same time they did a suspension upgrade and set the whole thing up for me. It absolutely transformed the handling. Car much more responsive and stable. Only feels slightly harder ride. Nowhere near as hard as my Zetec.

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PostPost by: atthelimit » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:29 am

I agree whole heartedly on the issue of tyre pressures.

A few years back I started rallying and the regs alowed very little in terms of modifications to suspensions. Having done all that we could we spent a long time playing with tyre presures and the cars behaviour could be transformed form understeer to oversteer and it altered the brake balance as well. Too hard on the fronts saw the tyres locked and plumes of smoke.

It's very worthwhile playing with the tyres.

For those who want to test their cars handling the Lotus drivers club is hosting " an introduction to sprinting/track days on the 8th October. At ?60 for the whole day its great value and will allow anyone to play with their car, adjust set ups and get some valuable data form using the same bit of tarmac over and over again.

See:- http://www.lotusdriversclubonline.org/l ... 8.htm#2852

For full details and entry forms. no competition licence needed.
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PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:10 pm

I found the same issues with tyre pressures. Being relatively new to the delights of the Elan i bought an S4, 4 months ago and have since traded on to a 71 Sprint. When I first bought the S4 from Mattys the car had rather old Ceat radiuls on but handled incredibly. Noting these tyres were cracking with age I changed for Bridgestone Evo 155/80 13's and ran them at the original Lotus pressure settings of 20/21 and the handling was awful it felt like the sidewalls were collapsing. I cursed myself for not buying the Michelin XAS FF :x

After reading the forum I tried pressures of 24/29 which I believe is the over 100mph Lotus pressures from the workshop manual and the handling was transformed although not as well as the old Ceat tyres which were softer and a 75 profile (no longer available). The Sprint has Goodyear GT2's on and these are similar to the Bridgestones therefore after glowing reccomendations I am opting for the Michelins 8) although at ?160 a corner 'ouch' they better be good.
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PostPost by: peterako » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:28 pm

A fourth 'thumbs up' to the tyre pressure suggestions.

I run my +2 at 20/24 (rather than the manual reccomendation) and any deviation from this is VERY noticable!

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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:33 pm

Yes I`ve been on Goodyear GT2s, though they are now obsolete, and have been very satisfied. I`ve found that 27 psi all round is a good compromise for road use, but 30 psi for track days and rally tests sharpens the handling even more, perhaps at the expense of outright grip especially in the wet. When I say my front end feels "wooly" it`s much like it would feel if the front tyres were a bit soft, say around 20 psi.
This is all very subjective of course. Every car feels much sharper when it`s just been cleaned, for example.
Jim
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PostPost by: miked » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:39 pm

Jim,

Auto bush in the club mag or on the net are good and not as expensive. I thinky poly bushes are great but require more fettling to fit.

will PM you!

Mike :)
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:04 pm

jimj wrote:Yes I`ve been on Goodyear GT2s, though they are now obsolete, and have been very satisfied. I`ve found that 27 psi all round is a good compromise for road use, but 30 psi for track days and rally tests sharpens the handling even more, perhaps at the expense of outright grip especially in the wet. When I say my front end feels "wooly" it`s much like it would feel if the front tyres were a bit soft, say around 20 psi.
This is all very subjective of course. Every car feels much sharper when it`s just been cleaned, for example.
Jim


Yes 27 psi all round is what I found to provide everything I wanted; superb turn in!
However I do use a non standard tyre/wheel set up:-
Continental Premium Contact 175/60 x 14"
Two Gates knock on Alloys 6" x 14"

I'm pleased that my oppinion on tyre pressures is so well shared.
A table of some sort where we all could insert data as given above would be great; can anyone out there set something up?

Cheers
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:32 pm

I got my first S4, and ran it with the standard 4 1/2" wheels, 155-13 tyres, and 18/23 recommended tyre pressures.

At tyre replacement time, I upgraded to 5 1/2" wheels, 165-13 tyres (still Dunlop) and ran 28/33 tyre pressures. This produced a very noticable improvement in steering precision and cornering speed. So much so I would never go back.

The 4 1/2" wheel is at the low end of the recommended wheel widths for these tyres. It requires lower tyre pressures than optimum to prevent wearing of the centre of the tyre and has resulting lower cornering speed and less steering precision. Not the Lotus experience.

If I remember, the original tyres for the Elan were 5.2-13 before they were upgraded to the now small 145-13 size. So 4 1/2" was OK for 5.2-13 tyres, but running modern 155-13 or 165-13 tyres requires 5 1/2" wheels with corresponding tyre pressures.

Of course, the S1/S2 cars probably have problems going over 145-13 without "attention" paid to the wheel arches.

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