Lotus Elan

Wheels enigma - closure has been reached!

PostPost by: tyasman » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:09 pm

Thanks to those who replied to my earlier thread about new wheels rubbing on arches etc. The wheels are now on, Minilites supplied by KN at Telford. Ian, you were right, the steel originals were 4.5" and I was supplied with 5". Knowing this was not going to be straightforward I got hold of a "proper" mechanic who has his own beautiful S3. Apparently even Mick Miller rated him, so he's a good man to know.
First of all he noted that the hubs had 7mm spacers to widen the track. We took those off, then realised the original pegs had been replaced with longer ones to accommodate the spacers. These were cut short (many sparks from angle grinder) so they would sit in the holes in the new wheels properly. Then the holes in the wheels were reamed out as they had been machined poorly. Wheels were put on, taken off, put on etc. etc. until they sat flat on the hub. Then we found the back of the wheel was catching the end of the bolt in the wishbone. More dismantling and found the washers through the wishbones were the wrong size. Made some more washers. (More sparks). Refitted the wheels. Corrected some run out, and finally refitted wheels when my man was satisfied all was as it should be. Perfectionists are not easy to please (thank heaven). The old 165/80 tyres have been replaced with Firestone 155/70. Took her out for a test drive, and OH JOY!! The handling has been transformed. (Thanks Andy) As Andy said, fit what god (Mr C) said. Better on straights and bumps in the road, and better, much, much better, round the bendy bits. Best thing I've done to the car, ever. The new wheels look good, but it took 4 hours + of work to put new wheels/tyres on the car.
Anyone want 5 original steel wheels (black) and 5 Pirelli P1000 165/80's?
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:01 pm

tyasman wrote:Anyone want 5 original steel wheels (black)


Unless you have a serious problem with storage space I would advise you to keep your original wheels. When the time comes to sell your Elan you will find that the best modifications are those that can easily be returned to original specification.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:31 pm

tyasman wrote:More dismantling and found the washers through the wishbones were the wrong size. Made some more washers. (More sparks).


I should have addressed this as well. The Service Parts List shows only one washer per bolt for the outboard bolts passing through the metalastic bushing and the hub carrier. These washers should go under the nuts where drawn up against the hub carrier casting and not under the bolt heads. Any washer placed under the bolt head will make fouling the of the wheel rim more probable.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:07 pm

hi - ill take those wheels if youll sell em at a competitive price - ill sell em
to a client in zurich - looking forward to hearing from you - alex
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:09 pm

i forgot: could you use this email address please: [email protected] tx
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:52 pm

Simon

I'm glad that the problem is sorted now and it sounds like you are getting true Lotus handling.

You have mentioned several things though that concern me. I am not that impressed with the 'proper' mechanic, nor with the PO who put on the wheel spacers, KN also seem to have manufactured a poor product and should really have replaced or rectified the badly machines wheels.

Why did the mechanic not remove the drive pegs to shorten them? he could then have chamfered or radiused the ends to ease putting the wheel on. I have heard of people putting small welds on the back of the pegs if they have come loose but if someone went to the trouble of making longer versions I would have thought they would have press fitted then correctly, were yours welded?

You mentioned correcting run-out, what was it that was out of true and how was it corrected?

I think it would be wise to check a few other things on your car, it sounds as if the rear suspension at least, was not assembled correctly (washers in the wrong place?) so there may be other things that are not right and some could affect safety.

Sorry to sound pessimistic but its better to be safe than sorry.

Ian
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PostPost by: elj221c » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:50 pm

Elanman99 wrote:
Why did the mechanic not remove the drive pegs to shorten them? he could then have chamfered or radiused the ends to ease putting the wheel on.

Sorry to sound pessimistic but its better to be safe than sorry.

Ian


I have to say that I too cringed at the showers of sparks!

Not what you would call an engineering solution.......
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