Lotus Elan

Quick suspension bushing question

PostPost by: Chrisrich » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:45 pm

Good morning.
Re-assembling front suspension and I have a somewhat rudimentary question:
The bushings that get pressed into the wishbones have an outer jacket, rubber bush and an inner sleeve.
When assembled, the nut can be tightened so that the the inner sleeve will not rotate, meaning the only up-and-down play of the wishbone will happen between the outer jacket and the bush. Is that correct?

If yes, I suppose the idea is to wait to tighten those connections until the wheel is set down?

Am I getting this right?

Thanks- Chris
1970 Elan S4 DHC 45/9780 1972 Triumph TR6
1958 Bugeye Sprite 1967 Triumph Trophy 650
1991 Ducati 900ss 1989 Honda GB500
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PostPost by: andyelan » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:35 pm

Hi Chris

You're correct on both counts. Pivoting of the wishbone is accommodated by flexing of the rubber within the bush. Also, these should be fully tightened up fully once the weight of the car is on the suspension and it has settled into it's normal loaded position.

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: lotocone » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:37 pm

Chris,

Yes, the car is supposed to be in the "normal ride position" before the nuts are tightened. Hope your torque wrench is accurate. You don't want to damage the threads on the fulcrum pins that go through the frame.

BTW, your car is a 1970 (45/9780) and mine is a 1969 with a later number (45/9807). The plate inside the left door opening indicates it was built 12/69. What does your plate show?
Bob
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PostPost by: Chrisrich » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:16 am

Thanks Andy!
Bob -- our cars are siblings: also built 12/69.
Somehow mine was registered somewhere along the way as a '70.
Actually, I hear that's not too uncommon.
Wow. 27 cars apart. That's pretty close!!!

Chris
1970 Elan S4 DHC 45/9780 1972 Triumph TR6
1958 Bugeye Sprite 1967 Triumph Trophy 650
1991 Ducati 900ss 1989 Honda GB500
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:31 am

Chris, just to add to Bob & Andy's remarks, the Workshop manual will provide instructions on the amount of weight to add to the body to get to "normal ride height", including fuel load. If you don't have to hand, there was a recent thread that covered off the weight (I only have for the Plus 2). The other option described was to weight down the car to get the wishbones pretty close to level prior to tightening.

HTH
Stu
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:56 am

I am working from memory, but when I restored my Elan the first time with new springs, dampers, and bushings, the car sat very high on its suspension. I recall there was a measurement from the floor to the bottom of the front crossmember, so I cut blocks of wood to that height and placed the blocks under the crossmember. Then I weighted the car down until it sat on those blocks and tightened the nuts. There is a torque setting.

Now I cannot recall how I got to those nuts while the car was weighted down on the garage floor.

Your analysis of how the silent-bloc and similar ecapsulated rubber bushings work is accurate; it shocked me the first time I realized that. I moved to polyurethane or nylon bushings, which I think don't need to be tightened at ride height, and eventually to rod ends. Overall, I think the original bushings are fine and best suited for the Elan. Just don't store the car with the suspension drooping.

Regards, and good luck.

Andy
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:38 am

abstamaria wrote:Now I cannot recall how I got to those nuts while the car was weighted down on the garage floor.

Andy


I did that part by standing the car on the tires resting on four ~12x12x16" blocks I made up from dimensional lumber. Car was on the blocks so long I think I forgot that part. :)
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