Lotus Elan

Toe in or

PostPost by: jimj » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:52 pm

I had my tracking laser checked today (and adjusted) and as a matter of interest, given its not adjustable, the rear too. Bear in mind the, admittedly replacement, chassis is undamaged, the wishbones are perfect and the bushes all in good condition, guess what? The nearside toes out 3.7mm and the offside toes in 1.9mm giving a total toe out of 1.8mm.
Short of buying new or new adjustable wishbones do you think, or better still, know for a fact, what any symptoms might result from leaving be?
Jim
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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:41 am

Does no-one know? I had another thought; my original wheels are pretty good but you can still see a slight runout when the wheels are spun up on the balancing machine. I doubt they are any worse than anyone else`s but when the laser machine is checking the tracking surely the reading will vary depending on the rotational position of the wheels.
The big advantage to the increase in value of Elans is that you can justify (to the missus) spending a bit now and again and I, for one, would pay what it cost for a set of re-manufactured original wheels, if only.....
Jim
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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:46 am

jimj wrote:Does no-one know? I had another thought; my original wheels are pretty good but you can still see a slight runout when the wheels are spun up on the balancing machine. I doubt they are any worse than anyone else`s but when the laser machine is checking the tracking surely the reading will vary depending on the rotational position of the wheels.
The big advantage to the increase in value of Elans is that you can justify (to the missus) spending a bit now and again and I, for one, would pay what it cost for a set of re-manufactured original wheels, if only.....
Jim
Last edited by 45bvtc on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:57 am

I know of many Elans with rear toe issues. I installed a brand new chassis on mine, and it was off.

I used adjustable a arms to solve the problem. I know that these turnbuckle style arms are the flavor of the moment around here, but you will never see them on my car. A five letter word starting with B comes to mind..... ;)

The effect of rear wheel misalinement should not be underestimated, a proper sports car should have correct rear toe.
Mike
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PostPost by: ecamiel » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:29 pm

The joys of replacement parts for a handmade British car!

You can set up the car level to the ground and check the chassis for offset and height easily with a plumb bob and string. Of course, measure the A arms also. Corrections can be made on the chassis pick up points.
Always measure a new chassis and true it up.

Eric
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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:56 pm

With the toe-in on one side and toe-out on the other mine was very nervous on turning into a corner at speed one way but ok the other.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:40 pm

AussieJohn wrote:With the toe-in on one side and toe-out on the other mine was very nervous on turning into a corner at speed one way but OK the other.



Same for me. The car was very nervous above about 60 mph, and felt like it was steering from the rear. It was also sensitive to cross winds and bumps.

I have Spyder adjustable rear wishbones and new Minilites so it was relatively easy to adjust and correct, although for some reason it took a couple of visits to the alignment shop to get it right. Now that it is adjusted correctly, rear wheel bearings renewed, and the original tire size installed the car is very stable at all speeds. I can't recall the total toe-in I used; I took the numbers from a post here that worked.
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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:19 pm

I can`t understand why a car with minor differing toe in/out at the rear would behave differently right to left. It would if the front differed and the car was steered crab like, but I appreciate it should toe in overall in the Elan. My second query was that given the small figures might the 46 year old wheels have a greater intolerance which would be insurmountable even with adjustable rear wishbones. ?117+ each from Spyder incidentally.
Jim
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:03 pm

Jim,
Are you saying that spyder are selling new steel wheels?

Regards,
Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:08 pm

Mike,
I have made my rear wishbones adjustable by altering them to a turnbuckle type. How have you made yours without a turnbuckle?

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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:15 pm

no
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:26 am

jimj wrote:I can`t understand why a car with minor differing toe in/out at the rear would behave differently right to left. It would if the front differed and the car was steered crab like, but I appreciate it should toe in overall in the Elan. My second query was that given the small figures might the 46 year old wheels have a greater intolerance which would be insurmountable even with adjustable rear wishbones. ?117+ each from Spyder incidentally.
Jim

Jim, cars travel crab-like when the rear wheels are out of line, often seen on old Minis. When the fronts are misaligned one simply turns the steering wheel to compensate and the car travels straight. I suspect the asymmetry in handling is exaggerated by road camber with rear toe-out.

Handling shouldn't be affected by slightly bent old wheels as they simply roll around the wheel bearings without changing their steering direction; provided they don't bump up and down they are merely a balance problem apart from making it difficult to measure the toe-in.
Meg

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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:52 am

Yes Meg, this is what I`m thinking; if a wheel runs out 2mm, not much, then with the hub straight ahead and the run out at the front, there`d be 2mm toe out compared with if the wheel was rotated 180 degrees. So, it`s impossible to set the tracking accurately, is it not?
Jim
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:29 pm

jimj wrote:Yes Meg, this is what I`m thinking; if a wheel runs out 2mm, not much, then with the hub straight ahead and the run out at the front, there`d be 2mm toe out compared with if the wheel was rotated 180 degrees. So, it`s impossible to set the tracking accurately, is it not?
Jim

Tedious but not impossible, in fact standard practice:

I've only got a measuring bar to use between the insides of the rims so I measure it at the front and back of the rim at the height of the axle, best I can, and subtract them to get the toe-in. Then I roll the car exactly half a wheel rotation and do it again and average the answers to get an accurate result.

The good garages always did the same with the Dunlop(?) mirror gauges and I imagine the laser gauges do the same but more expensively.
Meg

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