Lotus Elan

SPAX Shocks

PostPost by: singerv » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:05 pm

I have a set of SPAX shocks TAG 1008 for the rear of my +2. According to the SPAX catalog these should fit my rear. However the screw down does not even come close to fitting over the top. Am I doing something wrong here or what??
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PostPost by: Kerryt333 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:13 am

Hi Singerv,
Is this on a standard suspension set up? I've just fitted the same Spax insert to my +2 & the threaded part of the insert shown in your picture just screws into the internal thread of the strut tube, what is the silver part you are trying to screw down over the thread in your picture?
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John
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PostPost by: singerv » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:23 am

Pretty standard as far as I know! When I took it apart it had the old inserts and am now trying to replace them with the SPAX.

Here are two more pictures with the shock in the insert and with the cap on as far as it will go. The screw on cap does not fit over the shock and the shock sets way up in the tube so only a few threads are engaged. I am assuming the cap is standard as it is pretty close what I see in the diagram in the book?

And to head off the obvious questions, yes it is a different housing, spyders', but I checked with my old magnesium ones and it is exactly the same dimension, ie length. A ham fisted machine shop help me get my bearing out of the old ones and subsequently crushed both.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:19 am

The alloy spacer was standard on later plus 2 and made the Aeon rubber spring come into play earlier in bump. The photo appears to show it crimped over the top of the shock absorber retaining nut that screws into the strut housing, it should just sit loosely on top - or at least mine did.

I would separate the two components and then you should be able to fit the shock absorber in place in the tube, screw down the retaining nut, it should go in almost fully if the tube and shock are the correct length and then fit the alloy spacer on the top

cheers
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:35 am

Hi singerv,
You seem to have the same problem I had when replacing my rear shocks, the retaining caps should fit over the shock body & therefore screw down into the tube but with my new shocks, the caps would not fit over the shock as the top wasn't waisted/reduced down as much as the original Armstrongs, & the Spax units dont look to be reduced at all. Apparently, the new shocks should have been supplied with new caps with a larger diameter recess that fits over the replacement items, but mine didn't come with them. Having access to a lathe, I simply turned out the original caps untill they would fit over the new shocks as per the originals & then everything went together ok.
Also, as Rohan says, the alloy spacer should be loose, or at least just a 'push' fit over the cap, you should be able to remove it fairly easily. Infact, thinking back, I had to remove them to unscrew the caps, the spacers would just turn on the caps without unscrewing them.
There are some dimentions in this thread elan-f15/rear-shock-dimensions-t23770.html that may be of help to you, in particular the pics showing the cap nuts on the shocks. Unfortunately, you can't see the reduced diameter of the top of the shock, as the cap is still in place. If you still need more help with this, when I next get to the workshop where all my bits & piece's are, I'll take some pics & more masurements.
One other thing to mention, when fitting Spax rears to nebogipfel's Elan a while back, we found the shaft diameter was smaller than the Armstrongs & would go straight through the top plate & Lotocone ! He decided not to use them & swapped them for Koni's.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: singerv » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:14 pm

Rohan and Tim,

Thanks, First, didn't realize the cap was two parts, that will hopefully make tightening a lot easier!! Not sure it is "crimped" as much as it is just "whacked repeatedly" by previous owners and now me I guess.

Did review that forum link and the nuts on my SPAX actually have a seat as described but the machined ones certainly look nice. So I have a decision, find someone to machine the insides of the cap as described, which means I am forever locked into the SPAX or go with the Konis, and by default be locked into the Konis. Of course locked in means probably the last pair this car will ever get, the last pair lasted 40 years, though granted it did set in a barn for a large part of that!

And yes most of our suppliers over here are in love with their parts, I find a lot of the time I can order over there, meaning the UK, and pay someone to walk it over here for the same price as I can get it on our West coast. I just wish more of them would join the 21st century, just because the car is 20th doesn't mean the suppliers have to remain there. A phone call is easy when it is down the road but adds to the cost when it is overseas.

Thanks again guys I appreciate the help and your experience.

Vince
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:16 pm

Vince,
If you go with Koni's, they are direct replacements of the Armstrong's & therefore should require no modifications from the original set up, at least that was the case with nebogipfels car, they just dropped straight in, the cap nuts screwed all the way in & just gripped the shock when nipped up. The rest was just as easy, the shaft's fitted the spring caps & Lotocones perfectly, just as the originals that were removed. :)
Mine were Monroe shocks & the reduced top of the shock body was a slightly larger diameter than the Armstrong's, hence the need to machine my original cap nuts.
Hope this is usefull to you,
Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: singerv » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:07 pm

Lohan,

Got them apart, couldn't tell they were two parts until I worked around the edge prying and lifting. Thanks again for that.

Tim is right though, as you can see from the 2nd picture, hopefully, with the shock in place you only go a few threads before it bottoms out. The tube is the same diameter and length as the original. (still have, tried, same result)

I have ordered the Konis, will see what happens when they come. Probably a whole new set of problems to solve, ie top sleeve too small for hole and nyloc not flanged to fit inside the lotocone.

Tim, would appreciate some additional info if the Konis don't work out. As I look at it, to mill out the nut (for the lack of a better term) don't you have to remove quite a bit of the material??

Thanks,

Vince
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:02 am

Hi Vince,
The Koni's should be fine, I'll try to get to my workshop today & get you some pics to show how the cap nut fits over the shock body.
In my case, I didn't have to mill/turn much out of the cap to get it to fit over the Monroe shocks I used, perhaps about 30 thou, but from your first pic, it does look as if you would have to take a lot out to fit over the Spax, I'm sure they should be supplied with a different cap dedicated to them but can't remember for certain. Hopefully some pics will make things clearer for you.
Regards, Tim
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