Lotus Elan

Minilite wheels

PostPost by: RobertCrooks » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:06 am

Hi. I am new to the world of Elans and I am looking for some wheel advice.

My 1966 S3 FHC has knock off steel wheels. I want to replace these with minilites. What is the best size for an S3 and what tyres would you recommend - make and size? Also, I note they are manufactured by a number of different companies, any recommendations about where best to buy them from in the UK?

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:45 pm

Minilites are made by Tech-Del in Telford http://www.minilitewheels.com/contact.php

I have 14" wheels because they look better than 13", and you can use lower pofile tyres which better suits the Elan.

The choice of best tyre will always be an argument waiting to be won. You will probably get 10 answers to this question and 10 different tyres. I guess a Yoko tyre of some description will be satisfactory.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:06 pm

Something which Brian forgot to mention about the choice of 14" instead of 13" Alloys is the improved clearance between the Rim & the outer rear wishbone Bolts; a problem that often occurs when fitting 13" Alloys.
Another point worth mentioning is that the 14" variety usually come as 6" width which need modifications to the rear springs to provide clearance to the inner Rim.
People usually go for smaller Springs on adjustable Spring Seats.

Things get a bit complicated (& expensive) :roll:

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:36 pm

Also remember that there's a lot less room inside the standard S3 rear wheel arch than the later cars, and both Brian and John are refering to S4 cars. Talk with the manufacturers to see what they recommend and make sure you mention that it's a S3. They used to have problems even fitting to S4 cars with unequal sized arches (due to previous repairs) so they are well aware of the challenges with Elans!

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PostPost by: RobertCrooks » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:11 pm

Thanks all. Really appreciate these helpful replies. As you suggest Mark, I will talk to the manufacturer about sizes to ensure I don't end up with a whole load of unexpected fitting problems.

I'll keep you posted on progress.

Robert
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PostPost by: Jas » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:30 pm

I have bought Minilites from TTR in size 13x5 and from my trial fit they clear the wishbones by about 2-3 mm, se pictures.
You could fit Yokohamas A.drive in size 165/70R13 as mentioned in an other thread:
http://www2.yokohama-online.com/gb/tyre-products-view.php?tyreID=1059
or Michelin XAS 155/80R13 from Longstone.
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PostPost by: RobertCrooks » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:04 pm

Sounds like 13s are going to potentially be easier than 14s to fit, but would love to be able to compare how they will look on the car. Can anybody post pictures of cars with 13s and 14s so I can see how they look before I make my mind up?
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PostPost by: Coupe » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:15 am

RobertCrooks wrote:Sounds like 13s are going to potentially be easier than 14s to fit, but would love to be able to compare how they will look on the car. Can anybody post pictures of cars with 13s and 14s so I can see how they look before I make my mind up?
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S3 with 13s
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PostPost by: RobertCrooks » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:41 am

Ben

Thanks for the pic. Lovely looking FHC. 13s look very good on it. I am trying to choose between respraying mine white or BRG.

Would still like to see a pic of a car with 14s if anybody has one.

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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:31 am

Hello Robert, Welcome to the Group. I also have a 1966 S3 coupe and I used Panasport 13x5 and had to grind part of a washer off for clearance. I prefer the minilites/panasports style wheels on pre-flow coupes. Check the "Elan Gallery" for many good pictures.
Mine was originally white and I had BRG as my favorite option. Here is mine showing the different in BRG in sun light and one in the shade. I added the yellow stripe to be more visible. I later changed the yellow stripe to come straight down the front nose. And may I suggest painting the very small bottom edge of the body, between the wheels, black, regardless what color you use. It will accent the Elan's shape. There are other posts that show the difference.
All this is just reflecting my preferences. When I bought mine, I knew nothing and all of my knowledge and ideas came from this site and it's links.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:24 am

Here's a couple of Photos of my S4 with Two Gates 14" x 6" Wheels fitted with 175/60 x14" Tyres.
Please bear in mind all of the previous comments about the S3/S4 differences.

Cheers
John
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S4SE DHC3.jpg and
S4 Elan Zetec1.jpg and
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:41 am

My car is fitted with 14x5.5 Minilites, and John Pelly is quite correct in saying that one of my decisions was to eliminate the potential closeness of the rear suspension, but what really swung it was a friend's Sprint with 14" wheels looked so much better side by side than a Sprint with 13" wheels.

The standard high profile tyres on the 13" wheels, in my opinion, don't look good. You could fit lower profile tyres, say 70's, but the rolling radius will cause concerns with the speedo.

BTW I would not consider spending money on Minilites before changing the rear struts and springs to the smaller diameter versions - then you can happily go with the 5.5" wide wheel, and adjust the ride height in line with the original design.
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PostPost by: Old English White » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:01 am

13X5 & 165/65R 13 Dunlop's on S3 , but black / polished rims :
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:54 am

Those 14"s on the S4 cars really look good. Brian, what size tire do you have?

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:56 pm

gjz30075 wrote:Those 14"s on the S4 cars really look good. Brian, what size tire do you have?

The tyres are 175x65R14 Vredestein Hi-Trac.

They work out at the same rolling radius as the original 155x83R13.
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