Lotus Elan

Front Wishbone Bushes

PostPost by: Carlos A » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:46 pm

I need to have the front bushes replaced and looking at different options found these two at RD enterprises:

Front Wishbone Bushes
for all Elan and Plus 2
Polyurethane bushes with stainless steel sleeves. Directly replace original bushes with no loss of ride quality and improved life expectancy. Easy to install; no press required. Please note that a total of eight bushes are required per car (two sets of 4).
Ref. 36RC6004PB - $145.00/set of 4

So the TOTAL is $ 290 plus labor (the no press requires means some savings?)

Front Wishbone Bushes
for all Elan and Plus 2
Original style stock rubber bushes with inner and outer steel sleeves. Less expensive than the uprated polyurethane bushes above.

Ref. 36C6004 $13.00 each

So the Total is $52 plus labor.



1. How many hours are typically involved in this kind of job? (Nothing seems to be rusted or frozen),
2. Do the Polyurethane bushes save some time in installation?

Thank you for your answers.


Carlos A
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:52 pm

Standard bushes can be easily installed without a press. I either use a bench vice or a length of threaded rod to push/pull bushes into place using bits of tube or 1/2" drive sockets of the right diameter/s.

I am not convinced about the advantages of poly bushes. The originals are rubber, bonded to the ID and OD, and the rubber stretches and compresses enough to cope with the Elan's relatively long suspension movement.

Polyurethane bushes are not bonded so presumably rotates around the inner sleeve so wear must take place. On a exhibition stand recently I asked a poly bush supplier to explain the operating principles, after much waffle he eventually said that they must rotate and wear but I was the first person that had ever asked about it so its not a problem.

The Lotus wishbone sleeve is only a thin walled tube but with poly bushes the tube wall becomes a thrust surface that I presume cuts into the flange of the bush with the result that the wishbone are not that well constrained in the fore and aft direction.

I sticking with bonded rubber.

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PostPost by: ceejay » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:25 pm

I have had urethane bushes (Front & rear) in my S2 elan since 1985, I have only
replaced one pair of bushes in the front suspension in all of that time.
However, they have to be installed correctly, and the correct compression
fit needs to be attained with the inner stainless distance tube.
Read more here:
http://elantrikbits.com/lotus-elan-blog ... on-bushes/
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:34 pm

I've just replaced with original style metal and rubber bushes. I did the first couple with a big vice and tubes and a lot of heat but i found it quite dirty, time consuming, smoke-producing and a bit risky using the hacksaw on those fragile arms to weaken the outer tube (only takes one stroke too far and........)
Did the last six on the press, it was very quick and easy. If you don't have your own press, I don't think a mechanic should charge a lot to do the job, it's very straightforward.
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