Lotus Elan

Ride height

PostPost by: 661 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:14 pm

nebogipfel wrote:
collins_dan wrote:John, Can you explain what you mean by "Ride height is a bit of a can of worms on Elans.......".



On a general point my S4 has the standard twin pipe silencer box and I find the triangular yoke joining the two pipes tends to kiss the road first.



Yup, thats the bit!
Graeme
S4 SE
S2 GTS
Peterson JPS Exige
User avatar
661
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 825
Joined: 29 Mar 2012
Location: East Sussex

PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:01 pm

That would make me about 4 1/2" in front and 5" in back. Funny, the only time I hit is speed bumps. As Ross says, some of that is due to the tires, some of it is because I have reduced the wheel clearance to a minimum. After changing the shocks, the front seemed to be higher than I remembered, so I lowered it about 1/2" to get the wishbones horizontal. It seems to have settled a bit. Thanks, Dan
User avatar
collins_dan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1153
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPost by: nebogipfel » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:09 pm

I suspect, although someone may poo poo the notion, (There is a lot of poo pooing on this forum :) ) that the ground clearance beneath the exhaust is a bit more generous on pre S4 cars because the silencer tucks up more neatly into the undertray.
John

No longer active on here, I value my privacy.
User avatar
nebogipfel
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1588
Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Location: Norfolk UK

PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:08 pm

Pulled this from the archives:
Ivor = The ride height is critical because it sets the front roll centre and that can dramatically affect the handling and driveability. The Elan front wishbones are quite short and thus a small ride height adjustment can have a large effect on the roll centre position. Effectively the lower you set the roll centre, the less feel the car has. Bought one car and the adjustable spring platforms were set at the lowest possible setting with some strange handling characteristics. darted all over the road on bumps, well it was using the bump rubbers as springs. Trailing throttle oversteer into corners and no feel from the front end. The more I raised the car, the better it became.
User avatar
collins_dan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1153
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:20 am

Did anyone here drive an Elan in period (in the 60's and 70's) and if so do you remember problems with ground clearance? This is a two pronged question as the cars would have been mostly on standard rubber and suspension in those days, but also perhaps the roads were a little better?
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2519
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:16 am

Mid 70s, 1971 Sprint on standard suspension etc, bottomed out when tank was full and with passenger in the car. I can still see the sparks in the rear view mirror one evening in Southampton!

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2817
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:17 am

Thanks Tim,
I didn't realise you were that age:- Are you restored or a well kept original? :wink:

Alan
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2519
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: elj221c » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:43 am

Spyder fan wrote:Did anyone here drive an Elan in period (in the 60's and 70's) and if so do you remember problems with ground clearance? This is a two pronged question as the cars would have been mostly on standard rubber and suspension in those days, but also perhaps the roads were a little better?

Yes I drove Elans in the '70s but not one was standard so my memories are worth diddley! All pre 'sleeping policemen' and 'cushions'[ of course.

The vulnerable spot on my S2 was the junction of the centre pipe and the silencer 'in' pipe which corresponds to the end of the chassis. Easy to fix but very disruptive to a nice drive!
Roy
'65 S2
User avatar
elj221c
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 633
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Surrey Hills, England

PostPost by: bast0n » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:52 pm

I drove my S3 in 1966 and yes with a passenger it did scrape along if one was a bit over enthusiastic. The exhaust centre pipe fitted inside the silencer pipe so that there was a lip that could whip the exhaust connection apart on contact with terra firma. A bit of welding to reverse that situation made a world of difference. Still the sparks flying but no disconnection.
David

Anarchy Elan S3 SE

Image
bast0n
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Location: Somerset

PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:55 pm

Spyder fan wrote:Thanks Tim,
I didn't realise you were that age:- Are you restored or a well kept original? :wink:

Alan


Original chassis, bodywork now a bit cracked in places, some glazing in the eye area, stress lines on forehead. But you know me, I prefer originality so I won't be going to Option 1 for plastic surgery.

Engine still going strong though!

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2817
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: UAB807F » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:07 pm

trw99 wrote:Mid 70s, 1971 Sprint on standard suspension etc, bottomed out when tank was full and with passenger in the car. I can still see the sparks in the rear view mirror one evening in Southampton!

Tim


Almost ditto. Mid to late 70s, standard (new at the time) rear suspension in the Lake District with undulating roads. I took off and pulled the rear exhaust box out of the center pipe as the suspension bottomed on the next rise. I didn't see sparks but I knew I'd done something interesting...
User avatar
UAB807F
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 645
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:47 pm

I was driving my then very original 1969 S4 in the US East Coast in 1977 and don't recall grounding the exhaust. But then the exhaust had already been changed by a previous owner and the roads then really nice. I restored the car to original spec in 1980-82, setting the ride height by the front crossmember as per manual and used the car for 12 or so years, again with little grounding. I used a small muffler (silencer) and had an S pipe bent to meet the center pipe. That gave me clearance.

I restored the Elan in the mid-90s again for vintage racing and so ride height went down.

Fast forward almost 20 years and now I have to set ride height again, this time for street use. So this discussion is interesting to me.

My opinion is that one should set ride height properly and then fix the exhaust to cure grounding. And then to accept some grounding will occur.

By the way, I have Tony Thompson's 26R A-arms at the front, which are optimized for a lower ride height. Tony advises that I can just crank them up for street use, which is what his clients do for hill-climbs. I will do that, but then know my A-arms won't be parallel to the ground.

Best to all,

Andy
abstamaria
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 320
Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Location: Manila, Philippines

PostPost by: abstamaria » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:10 am

I don't recall ever having seen a ride height specification measured in relation to the sills. The archived discussion on ride height describes the factory method I am familiar with:

Ahh yes the chasis closing plate bit was what I had remembered seeing.
As you say it is not that helpful. Looking at the diagram for the front
suspension I assume that it has been drawn with the suspension in its
neutral position. If so it would appear that the bottom wishbones should
be level at normal ride height. I can now check / adjust the ride height
with a spirit level.

Franklin R. Jones wrote:
Quote:
On Mon, Jul 12, 2004 at 08:31:31PM -0000, stevew_w wrote:
> You have spent too long on google. Yes I know Steve Waterworth is an
> unusual name but it is not me who messes about with Skodas. Although I
> do have an interest in rear engined cars of a different type, see
> www.stig.uklinux.net
>
> Still need to know the right ride height and where to measure it
> though. I am sure I have seen it in the workshop manual but I am
> damned if I can find it at the moment.

only mention I've seen in the workshop manual is under Section
C - Front Suspension (page 4 of my UK vers dated Oct 72) where it
talks about blocking the suspension at 6.125" front(15.5cm) and 6.00"
rear(15.2cm) beneath "front lower wishbone fulcrum and beneath each
rear chassis leg adjacent to the wishbone pivot and NOT touching the
pivot." prior to adjusting the front-end (tow-in/caster/etc).

though it implies that they car should be weighted to get it
to the blocks so that implies that unloaded it would be higher.

Tech page also states that the design ground clearance is 6"
but no detail on what that means in real world terms.

fj..
abstamaria
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 320
Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Location: Manila, Philippines

PostPost by: jimj » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:50 am

I thought the front ride height was measured to the front chassis member but I`ve never seen an Elan that high. Elans have always banged the silencer at speed over bumps when laden but these damn modern speed bumps keep scraping at the front. I can put up with reconnecting the Y piece from time to time. What worries me is that one day some pointlessly severe bump may break the exhaust manifold.
As I`ve got adjustable platforms I`m going to increase the ride height by half an inch today. It may make just enough difference.
Jim
jimj
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1134
Joined: 25 Feb 2008

PostPost by: abstamaria » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:53 pm

The manual sets the measurement to the fulcrum, Jim, not the bottom of the crossmember. In 1982, I set my ride height following the manual and the car looked and drove very well until I took it apart again in 96. In period photos, including Lotus ads, the Elan stands quite tall.

I'm going to try the factory setting first. Good luck with your adjustments, Jim.

Andy
abstamaria
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 320
Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Location: Manila, Philippines
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests