Lotus Elan

Front suspension rebuild

PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:43 am

Started on the rebuild of my front suspension this morning - all came apart reasonably easily, now sitting on the bench waiting to be cleaned up and put back. Broke the saddle of my vice pressing the first bushing out, so had to call it a day for now. Does anybody know what the suspension arms are made from ? Mine are painted black but seem to be stainless steel or similar underneath ! Might just have to polish them...
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PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:43 pm

Cleaned them up now and they seem to be satin chrome plated, not stainless as I had first thought. Chrome is pretty good, apart from a few bits. Polished up on the buffing wheel ok. Now, do I paint them black again or leave them shiny...
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:51 pm

How did you get into the corners to polish???

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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:08 pm

Shiny,
If your arms are plated and tubular, they are probably Spyder replacement parts. The originals were pressed steel (Triumph Herald/Vitesse) and painted. The originals rust an the mounting holes elongate with age. The Spyder parts are much stronger (I think they may be Cadmium rather than Chrome plated but it's ages since I looked at mine?). There have been various discussions about whether the Spyder parts are too strong and would result in in chassis damage in an accident rather than deforming. I much prefer the Spyder redesign.

Mike
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:14 pm

mikealdren wrote:Shiny,
If your arms are plated and tubular, they are probably Spyder replacement parts. The originals were pressed steel (Triumph Herald/Vitesse) and painted. The originals rust an the mounting holes elongate with age. The Spyder parts are much stronger (I think they may be Cadmium rather than Chrome plated but it's ages since I looked at mine?). There have been various discussions about whether the Spyder parts are too strong and would result in in chassis damage in an accident rather than deforming. I much prefer the Spyder redesign.

Mike


I checked the Spyder site out of curiosity: :)

Spyder wishbones are available finished in black powder coat, or to special order in polished nickel.

Mine are black powder coat. Looks like "Shiny Kit" is a well chosen handle. :)
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PostPost by: gerrym » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:57 pm

Hi, the Spyder suspension arms were previously chrome plated, guessing this was at least 15 years ago. I bought some 2nd hand arms and the chrome was shot but steel underneath still good.

Someone on this forum will know for sure.

For removal of suspension bushes, various workaround methods used include burning out the rubber and sawing/machining a weakening groove into the out steel of the bush (sandwich). Probably better to invest in a hydraulic press (about 12 tonne capacity)

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PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:20 pm

Thanks guys for the info. Going to phone round a few local garages tomorrow and find somebody with a press who will do them for me I think.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:49 pm

As previously asked; are they tubular or BL stressed-steel pressings?
I'm guessing Spyder nickel-plated; which is fine but... they will rust from the inside. :twisted:

If you change EVERYTHING "Lotus" on a five-yearly basis, there is a chance that it might all hang together. :shock:
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:08 am

elansprint71 wrote:but... they will rust from the inside.:


Now there's a thought, I'll have to look at the Zetec that I'm building and see if I can get some Dinitrol inside the arms!

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PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:14 pm

They are tubular, and look to be in pretty good nick, but you are right, no idea what they look like on the inside...
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