Lotus Elan

14 x 6 minilites knock ons

PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:44 am

miked wrote:Tried Spyder and Minilite for the thicker rings/collar and neither could help. Minilite say these are batch from Tech Del and are no longer supported. Minilite wanted to sell me some new wheels. These have not done 2000 miles. Spyder are not aware of thicker collars.


Mike,
I have to agree with John about the lack of product support. Unless Minilite is casting a new pattern with a thickened section at the hub interface then they are wasting people's time. The old, thin thrust rings do not work, end of story. Why would Tech Del have gone to the trouble of producing a revised design? Minilite could fix the problem by changing one dimension in the CNC program for the thrust rings. You will be surprised at how far outboard the knock on nut seats with the pressed steel wheels compared to the Minilites. I seem to recall this being at least 3/16" (5mm). I can't check this right now, sitting in a hotel room in Washington, DC. Trimming something like 1/8" off the end of the threaded section of the hub is a perfectly reasonable solution. To be fair to Spyder I have never bought wheels from them so my complaint does not extend in their direction.
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PostPost by: miked » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:06 pm

Thanks John and Russ for your endorsement. It was hanging together for me but in the back of my mind I was think about altering the car from spec' and appearing to be a bodger. However, I am not going to bin really nice wheels and as you say, it will only cost me my labour. I will not be putting tin wheel back on. Also, I can pick up some spare hubs seeing as the poor old Plus 2 is broken on a regular basis.


Mike :D
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:53 pm

Hi Mike,

I had exactly the problem you describe on the 6"x14" Minilites I bought from Spyder in about 2003. Like you I worked out what was happening after a very alarming trip round the block with the new wheels wobbling about (fronts only, the rears are fine).

Minilite just didn't want to know when approached by me and by Spyder and I did raise matters with Club Lotus and the issue was aired in Club Lotus News at the time. In fact Minilite responded, suggesting so few cars were affected it was 'unreasonable' to expect them to do anything about it (!!!!), as I remember.

Finally Spyder were so embarrassed when I asked them to take the wheels back that they machined up some deeper ones for me which they did very promptly and did the job very well. So it is a bit disingenuous of them to claim they have never heard of thicker thrust rings.

I agree the wheels are great and mine are absolutely perfectly balanced without tyres so the casting must be good but I would never go back to Minilite after their attitude at the time.

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:07 pm

I bought my Minilights from Spyder in 2008, together with their 'Stainless' spacer rings. Looking at comparison picture, the rings supplied by Spyder are the thicker ones, so perhaps that is all they stock - hence "We don't do thicker ones". The wheels do look good, but have a care which tyres you use. I went against Spyder's choice, as they look a bit too Low Profile - not what I was after. The 175/70 tyre shown in the picture look great but are very close to the wheel arches and required some of the arch to be 'relieved'; also slight rubbing on the sill closing plate, but only on full lock.. Next time I think I will go for 165/70 - the same as many MGB's (I think).

Jeremy
PS the wheels are silver - they are just a bit grubby in the pic!
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:32 pm

For information: Minilite do not make wheels any longer, they have them cast by KN Wheels in Telford, Shropshire. I have an invoice from them from 2007 when I had to get a replacement wheel, which was despatched direct from the foundry. It might well be that these are one and the same but as Minilite has gone through so many ownerships over the years, who knows?

Co-incidentally Two Gates Wheels are also based in Telford; they operate from a different part of town.
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:04 am

Guys, thanks for replies.

I did mention the thrust ring thickness but to no response. Told the tale, if you like.
Also I did recall the Club Lotus article that you mention Roy, but could not find it in my pile of Mags. Looked for ages! Seem to have batch missing.

I have no great expectation these days of anybody, it was worth a try. A lot of the companies do a grand job for us with parts but now and then there are things that go wrong. Had I purchased these myself I would have sorted it out. Seeing as they are from 2003 and from the PO?s purchase, I will deal with the hubs in the lathe. No sweat.


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PostPost by: jono » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:37 am

It's interesting to hear that Minilite do not make wheels any longer as I have just purchased a set from them via the NEC Classic Car show last November. The rims are embossed with the Minilite logo but I guess they could sub contract the work out. The chap whom I dealt with on ther stand at NEC told me that he would be casting them personally as they are made to order :?

I have to say that I found them a pleasure to deal with and the product appears to be excellent and they tighten up fine with the thick stainless thrust washers supplied, albeit mine are 5.5".

There is a picture of them on my other thread in the Plus 2 Section "18 months Work"

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PostPost by: miked » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:14 pm

To conclude this:

I did shave some off the ends of the hubs to allow the minilites to be fully gripped by the spinners and rings. They now tighten up nice with some clearance inside the spinner. Rear hubs had to clamped right through the headstock.

Just a couple of points:
1) I was surprised by some distortion on the face of the two rear hubs. I missed this when I cleaned, painted and lapped them. Some PO had used a puller on them and curved the outer part of the hubs in one area. This was quite visual and shaved off in the lathe. I also removed the pegs from the other to just check with the DTI. I found I had three high pints. 3 legged puller!
Anyway they are now both very falt, albeit with a tad of metal missing. The right would definitely have thrown the wheel from true. I will endeavour to obtain some good spares. Must be better that leaving it like that.

2) I have also noticed a few times on Plus 2?s that the front Brake calliper mounting bolts don?t enter the threads right to the end. Also there is a clearance part were the bolt enters the plate were you lose a couple of mm before you even start the thread. I obtained some bolts that go right through. I once had a well known Plus 2 (about 12 years ago) that had very short bolts and only just engaged. Downright dangerous! The PO was a so called an expert. :? It would have been quite easy to have launched a calliper around the disc.

Just something to watch out for!

Mike :D
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:44 pm

miked wrote:Also there is a clearance part were the bolt enters the plate were you lose a couple of mm before you even start the thread.


Mike,
I am happy to hear that your modifications worked out. I may take a millimeter or so off the ends of my hubs to gain a little more assurance of loading the wheels on the hubs properly. I believe the "clearance part" you mention on the caliper mounts is the counterbore which allows the correct bolts to have the unthreaded shank pass through the plane between the caliper and the mounting plate. This arrangement assures that, with correct bolts again, shear forces resulting from braking are supported by the full diameter of the bolt and not the threaded section. Of course if the bolts are properly torqued the clamping load should keep the bolts from seeing shear. Nonetheless you need to use bolts that have both the correct unthreaded shank and overall lengths. If you use airframe bolts the unthreaded shank lengths are available in 1/16 inch increments and it is fairly easy to get exactly the right bolt.
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PostPost by: miked » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:42 pm

Thanks Russ, I see what you mean. Like a dowel portion sitting in the bored bit. I threaded some longer bolts to match the plain portion so the unthreaded bit sits in there. I will double check though, just to make sure I am not out with any one of teh 4 bolts.

Thinking about it, the rear has the threaded bit on the caliper, so these are more reliant upon the bolt. Saying that I supose the rear forces are a fraction of the front.


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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:20 pm

miked wrote:I threaded some longer bolts to match the plain portion so the unthreaded bit sits in there.


Mike,
Also keep in mind that the threads of a high quality bolt are formed by rolling, not cut with a die or threading bit in a lathe. Roll forming results in the grain structure following the thread form producing a tough fastener, resistant to fatigue. The old adage is to add threads to a Grade 8 bolt with a die is to create a Grade 0 bolt. Not wishing to be too critical but brake caliper mountings are not good places to use bolts with cut threads.
Russ
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:06 pm

Hi Russ,

I will get new front ones from Paul Matty's. I got some new ones for the back to save drilling for the lock wire. I thought that the front looked like they had been die cut. Thanks for putting me right.

Mike
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:58 pm

Mike,
I got curious about where you can get airframe fasteners in the UK. In the US I normally buy through Aircraft Spruce. I just noticed they have three representatives in the UK:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/intlreps. ... tedkingdom
Hopefully they can supply suitable bolts, already drilled for lock wire.
Russ
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PostPost by: miked » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:44 pm

Hi Russ, Sorry for delay. Thanks for the information.
I will look into those boys.

Mike
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