Lotus Elan

why compress rear suspension to remove?

PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:03 pm

I have raised the car, removed the wheels and am about to remove brakes, a-frames and loosen cv drive bolts. The next step (according to archives directions) is to compress springs and remove nut at top (cotter pin already removed). My question is why compress the springs in order to conduct this last step? Right now everything seems slack and easy to remove. I just don't understand what the added step of compressing the springs (and risking injury to myself and the car) buys me? Thanks, Dan
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:13 pm

Hi dan

I depends on how you intend to remove the rear strut? Some people remove the big nut inside the car so leave the locones inplace. If you compress the springs then there is no danger of them springing when you pull out the strut.

The alternative is to leave the big nut on and undo the 2 bolts holding in the locone (under the wheel arch) and remove it all. This is a bit more fiddly as the bolts are hard to get too.

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PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:15 pm

I don't have lotocones, I have cv's. How does that change things? My thought is to remove the 3 bolts that hold the cv drive from the wheel well, leaving the cv drive in place and removing just the strut. Thanks for the fast reply, as this is an in-process problem. Dan
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PostPost by: elan_fan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:24 pm

the spring is longer than the shock rod and it is easier to compress and re fit if, you compress the spring while it is in situ. You wont get the strut back on without having the spring compressed and I used the height of my pre compressed springs to give me the amount that I needed to compress my new springs to. Plus you can draw on a piece of card the relative position of the spring ends and compressor positions as there is not much room in there. I would compress the spring for removal if only for the reasons above including the fact that I was on my own when I did mine, and I didn't bugger anything extra up when doing the job. You can also use bits of slit heater hose where the spring compressors grip so as not to damage your nice shiny powder coated springs. The castellated nut goes on to 50 ft/lbs when you put it back together.

one I prepared earlier:
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PostPost by: elan_fan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:31 pm

I don't have lotocones, I have cv's. How does that change things? My thought is to remove the 3 bolts that hold the cv drive from the wheel well, leaving the cv drive in place and removing just the strut.


The Lotocones are the rubber mounts at the top of the shock rod

You fit you compressors and loosen the castellated nut a bit, undo all the nuts from your cv's, undo the outer bolts from the A Frame tie string around the A frame and weigh it down. grab the strut and pull it towards you and remove the CV drive shaft and disc. put a jack under the strut and Undo the castellated nut gently lower the strut and repeat.

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PostPost by: elan_fan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:34 pm

Ooh I forgot to add there's wiggling, and swearing where the CV's are concerned and you need to have full and complete bladder control when re fitting the assembly and trying to get the nut on the rod when you are on your own :lol:
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:34 pm

Hi Dan

If on full droop, the rear springs are NOT under tension (floating loose) then there is no problem.
Removing the lotocone (as installed by Lotus) with the thin height heads on the bolts up above the top of the upper spring pan is something I would only wish on someone that has some payback coming to them. I use an 1/2 air wrench and socket to remove the top nut off of the strut(cotter pins sheer real easy so that can be fished out after its on the bench). I can't see what you are looking at so I can't say or tell you what you should do, but reading always gets me into trouble. Especially here where confusion reigns supreme, It wouldn't be elan.net if you didn't get as many conflicting views as possible then toss a dart at the dart board to pick the post you want to follow.

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PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:52 pm

I was able to remove without compressing springs. Picture attached for all those that encouraged me to remove these bodged "adjustable" springs. Before removing the next side, I will compress and take measurements, decompress and remove. Avoiding removal of lotocones until last based on Gary's advice. Removing the top nut was actually no problem and have already checked the other side and it loosens, so should be fine there as well. Thanks for the help. Dan
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:48 pm

Both sides off and as expected, some interesting discoveries. Huge matching holes in fiberglass on each side. Left side spring assembly different length than right. If I measure from the top of the hub assembly to the top of the spring. On the left side it is 18 3/4" and on the right 18 1/4". On the left side, it looks like there is a slight bend in the frame between the end of the lotocone and where it bolts into the body. I would think that would mean that this side would need to be shorter, not longer than the right. That said, ride height on the left side was 1/4 inch higher than the right side. Also, Gary was right, its going to be very hard to remove the lotocones due to the very thin head. Seems like I need a socket where the part that grips the head is flush, not recessed at all.

Dan
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:26 am

Alright, the lotocone bolts win. I got 1 out on the right side. The other was halfway out before it stripped. Neither are the left side are moving at all. Sprayed penetrating oil from top and bottom. Heat helped on the one I got out and the other that is half way out. It just seems like the head was not strong enough for the resistance of removal. Now what. Anyone ever try these damaged bolt head removers. They are craftsman, which is usually good stuff. Other less attractive option is to cut port holes from above and drill them out? Also, just realized that the bent plate is a seat belt mounting which is unused. Good thing, because they are a mess. Thanks, Dan
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:07 pm

Dan, not sure if that tool will work, I haven't tried it but maybe it can be rented from AutoZone. But a couple of points; you can use regular bolts in place of the thin head ones and make sure they're stainless. Also, make sure the 'D' hole in the upper spring perch is well defined and fits tightly over the shock rod. Those 'D's get rounded out over time and then you can no longer tighten the castle nut to spec
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:03 pm

Thanks Greg. Once I get them out, I will use regular stainless bolts. I checked with Ray and the size is 3/8 24 5/8. I also did find that the D hole in the old top perch is to be rounded, so will be replacing with new. Any thoughts on how I should repair the holes in the fiberglass? Rebuild the corner or just go straight across? It doesn't seem like the corner would interfere with the tires, so would have been removed on purpose. Is this the look of doughnut failures? Cheers, Dan
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:42 pm

Just a quick update. I finally managed to get the 3 stuck lotocone bolts out. 2 with the bolt extractor above, some heat and a couple days of soaking in penetrating oil. The last one was too rounded for this, so I got an extractor that you hammer on. After about 6 hours of struggle, I finally got that one out The problem was that I couldn't manage to hammer the extractor on very effectively.

I repaired the holes in the fiberglass from a long ago doughnut failure. The duct tape job of the previous owner lasted over 30 years if you can believe it. That stuff has some sticking power. I also painted the wheel wells black.

Last step is to reinstall the strut assembly. I am going with a suggestion I saw in another post from Rohan, to attach the lotocones to the strut assembly and mount as one unit, using internal socket bolts. I got the button head style, so they are fairly low profile and my test fit leads me to believe that this will work with the narrow springs and cap.

Two questions: Do people use anti-seize or loctite on the lotocone and wishbone bolts, and damper nut? Also, TTR supplied a lock washer for the top of the damper, but there doesn't seem to be enough room for it and the top hat liner that fits in the lotocone. If I manage to get it on, the nut doesn't fully thread on,

Thanks. Dan
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:40 am

Dan,
The parts you have used for the 2.25" spring conversion look like TTR bits, correct?
If so, how far down the strut did you position the new adjustable spring platform tubes and have you checked that there is no interference, with the brake disc fitted, with the adjusting rings at the bottom most position?
Also, what length and poundage are the new springs?
Thanks,
Colin.

collins_dan wrote:Just a quick update. I finally managed to get the 3 stuck lotocone bolts out. 2 with the bolt extractor above, some heat and a couple days of soaking in penetrating oil. The last one was too rounded for this, so I got an extractor that you hammer on. After about 6 hours of struggle, I finally got that one out The problem was that I couldn't manage to hammer the extractor on very effectively.

I repaired the holes in the fiberglass from a long ago doughnut failure. The duct tape job of the previous owner lasted over 30 years if you can believe it. That stuff has some sticking power. I also painted the wheel wells black.

Last step is to reinstall the strut assembly. I am going with a suggestion I saw in another post from Rohan, to attach the lotocones to the strut assembly and mount as one unit, using internal socket bolts. I got the button head style, so they are fairly low profile and my test fit leads me to believe that this will work with the narrow springs and cap.

Two questions: Do people use anti-seize or loctite on the lotocone and wishbone bolts, and damper nut? Also, TTR supplied a lock washer for the top of the damper, but there doesn't seem to be enough room for it and the top hat liner that fits in the lotocone. If I manage to get it on, the nut doesn't fully thread on,

Thanks. Dan
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:51 am

They are TTR. The springs are slack right now, so that I could fit the lotocones. Before I lower the car, I will position the bottom of the springs 6" from the top of hub assembly. That is where they were previously. The springs are 12" and 110 pounds. The dampers are TTR's fast road that have limited droop, which is why I had to position the platforms so low to fit. They spin up surprisingly easy with a c spanner. The position of the threaded section is 150mm from the top of the hub assembly. Dan
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