Lotus Elan

Minilites clearance.

PostPost by: Teamrobert » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:51 am

Hi All, just finished a complete rebuild of my ?lan sprint.
Fitted a Spyder chassis with the rsr suspension conversion.
A problem with vibration made me attempt to rebalance my wheels Std steel knockons.
These have been blasted & powder coated. They run a way off on a balancer albeit perfect balance, indeed more like serious wobble!
No std replacements found so logic is to go minilites. Will the 5.5/13 clear the bolt on the lower wishbone? I also intend using the 165/70/13 I have fitted at the mo.
Mike.
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:47 pm

I think 5's are recommended fot the elan and 5.5 for the Plus 2.
I haven't fitted the 5's to my S4 but was hoping the 175's would work from OEM wheels.
Let me know how you get on.

James
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PostPost by: Teamrobert » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:26 pm

Thanks James, yup I will. My main concern is the lower wishbone nut, the std 4.5's clear it no probs, but! 5.5. Hmm. Certainly the Spyder rsr kit allows much larger tyre section, but they tend to encourage you go 5.5 x 14. Personally I think the baby ?lan on 14's look wrong.I will see! May need to go for rose joint lower arms! Bit extreme mind!
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:00 pm

I remember balancing my Sprint steel wheels.
One ran so much out of true the balancer could not handle it.
That one was relagated to the spare.
Clive
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PostPost by: Teamrobert » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:50 pm

I wish it was only one of mine Clive, three down & two to try. Albeit she was sitting in them for thirty years without movement!
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:13 pm

I can certainly see the attraction of alloy wheels.
I think they can be more attractive than the steel ones. Minilites on an Elan look great.
At the very least I hope to change my steel ones for new ones. (I think Paul Matty sell new ones).
When I first bought my Sprint people kept stopping me and saying my wheel was coming loose.
(Including an unmarked police car)
When I investigated the problem it was not the wheel but the external half shaft running through the rear bearing housing.
The car had been seriously kerbed before I bought it and the shaft was bent. I took it off the car and checked the run out.
To this day I still cant believe how bent it was.
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:46 am

My experience with 5.5in Minilites in an S2 shell (tyres are 165.60R13) on a Lotus chassis.

The wheels will foul the wishbone, & it is necessary to grind the bolt head end of the wishbone at an angle to create clearance (plus you must use the special thin headed bolts to secure the wishbone to the upright)

I also used a very thin spacer to help a little, & this just allows the wheel to fit within the arches. I could have removed a little of the wheel arch lip & fitted a wider spacer, but didn't really want to do this. I would guess that the wider rear arches of the S4 shell might alleviate any problems at this end?

Works fine & Minilites do look nice on a low Elan, but I wouldn't want to go to 14 in wheels.
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PostPost by: Teamrobert » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 pm

Hmm yup was thinking that, borrowed a wheel from a +2 today, as you say mighty close to the lower wishbone.I was reading a post re refurbish my steels, the general opinion seems that cos the steel is so light the wheel will eventually bent again.Looks like a set of alloys!unfortunate The steels do look good on the car. Did you notice a difference in the handling with the extra weight?
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:08 pm

I have the Spyder twin-wishbone suspension on my Sprint, with 6x13 Minilites, 175/70/13 tyres. I had to fit the thin-head bolts and ease slightly with a file. You also need to watch where the tyre-fitter puts the balance weights!
One of the problems with the twin wishbones is that the wheel moves up and down in a more vertical plane than with the standard set-up, on which the wheel tucks in to the wheel-arch as it moves upwards. I had to relieve the lip of the wheel-arch, reinforcing the resulting "groove" around the edge with grp to put a bit of strength back.
The second problem is that the corner edge of the tyre tread might contact the inside of the angled flare of the wheel-arch under compression; mine did and I had to raise the adjustable suspension ride-height more than I would have liked. You might find that the body is not aligned with the chassis and one side will be closer than the other!

In theory you should have 5mm more to play with than I had, due to your narrower tyres.

Does this make sense?
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:45 pm

Hmm yup was thinking that, borrowed a wheel from a +2 today, as you say mighty close to the lower wishbone.I was reading a post re refurbish my steels, the general opinion seems that cos the steel is so light the wheel will eventually bent again.Looks like a set of alloys!unfortunate The steels do look good on the car. Did you notice a difference in the handling with the extra weight?


Car handles great & much better than it did on the standard steels (ask the folk who were watching / driving during the Club Lotus track day at Castle Combe) but the tyres were a better compound as well.

I personally would not use old original steel wheels for anything except parking on unless they had been fully crack tested, & this was repeated regularly. Once you've had a wheel fail on you as I have you simply don't trust them again.

Also forgot to mention - but elansprint71 has & is dead right - any tyre weights required must be positioned so that they are outside of the wishbone. I had my tyres fitted to the Minilites without the car, & as soon as I got them home I realised the mistake & had to move the weights.
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:13 am

I fitted 5x13 with 155x80 Xas tyres. There is only one offset availabl with minilites, my body was square so setting rear bones as close to parallel as possible (1/2 neg camber) was fine in relation to wheel arch. No trouble with bolt clearance. Also used small springs
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:48 pm

Mike,

I have 5.5x13 minatar's with 175/70's in stock arches - using stock lower control arms. IMO had to work way to hard to make the wheels work - however they do fit. For arm to rim clearance , had to create some extra room on inside of rim on a lathe plus the work arounds mentioned on the bolthead ( had to work other issues beyond the arm clearance as i needed to move the wheels in to make fit in a type 26 body with stock rear arches ) . The panapsorts are easier to work with and lighter to boot.

George
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PostPost by: bettlesr » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:27 am

I have a set of 6x13" peg drive Minilites om my car. It has the 26R flares. The only offset they offer puts the wheels in a little to far. Had to grind the heads and nuts on the lower a frame and do the same for the uper one also. Kind of makes the upper bushing holder a little thin. Other than that, I love them. I am running a set of 186/60-13 A048 Yokes.
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PostPost by: Teamrobert » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:24 pm

Hi All,
Ironic must have been ages since I last asked questions re my wheel problems!
To remind, I replaced my original steels with a set of 5.5/13 Minilites, running 175/70/13's.
The car sits on a Spyder chassis using Spyders wishbone rear suspension & coil over set up.
I have irrespective had to grind off a small section from the lower A frame bolt.
However the rear tyres rub the rear arches constantly, I have relieved these but cannot go further. I have adjusted up the rear springs to technically a height which realistically spoils the wee car in general.
I noticed one of you kindly posted a note about offsets, is it possible Minilite have sent me the wrong wheels?! I note a number of you run the same or larger section wheels & tyres without issue. I am still loath to jump to a 5/5x14.
Any idea folks please.
Thanks, Mike
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:47 pm

Mike,
It's ages since you asked... and ages since we answered! :twisted:
Did none of the answers help you?
Have you fitted the thin-head bolts, did you relieve them?

I'm usually wrong but.... I seem to recall that Minilites have been available with various off-sets over the years. If you have S4/Sprint arches and can't get your 5.5 wheels not to rub, yet I have same body, tyre and and suspension set-up but with 6" Minilites and (after relieving arches) no rubbing, then I would suggest that you need a different off-set.
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