Lotus Elan

Am I thick or is it the felt or both?

PostPost by: Mister E » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:15 pm

Dear Oracles of the Elan,
As I attempt to assemble my front suspension even my highly untrained eyes have noticed the felt on the replacement seal is significantly thicker than the felt which was removed. Also, I was unable to "coax" (bang and curse) the new ring into the hub as it is just bit larger than the replacement. Not large enough to notice prior to causing the cursing of course.

Here is my course of action so far. I have removed the new chubby felt and attached it to the old properly fitting ring. Oddly, I could not find a glue labeled "high heat felt to metal ring glue for misfitting Elan bearing seals" at my local part store. So, I did not glue the felt to the ring figuring, usually incorrectly, that the pressure from assembly will keep things in place. Bad idea? Should I glue? If so what type?

I am still left with the thick felt conundrum. It appears to be causing binding and will not compress enough to allow the bearing to seat and even causes the brake caliper to rub as it pushes out the hub. Have any of you Oracles had success compressing the felt prior to installation? Or is the proper route to remove felt material? If so, what method (yes I am as thick as my felt)? Or does it run in after a bit of driving?
I have also inquired at my kindly Lotus specialty vendor who supplied the less than perfectly fitting part.
Faithfully yours,
Kevin
1969 Lotus Elan S4 DHC
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:01 pm

Replacement seals which don't fit the hub are pretty common and various methods have been adopted to overcome the problem, including using the old carrier as you have,nothing wrong with that.

The felt alone is unlikely to be the cause of your problem, I suspect that your seal is not fitted correctly - either it's fitted the wrong way round or not driven fully into the hub. If you have changed the bearings check that the inner bearing outer race is driven fully into the hub - if not that could prevent the seal carrier from fully seating and would also cause the hub to be offset on assembly.
Roger
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PostPost by: bmcman.ie » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:15 pm

hi there, for what its worth, i had a similar problem when building my front hub assy. i put new felt seals and carriers as well when i replaced the front bearings, my hub nut would not screw full way down the stub axle thread and my calipers were also binding against the disc. it turned out to be the size of washer i used to bolt on the dust shield onto the hub, the washer was protruding close to the stub axle, not allowing the hub to fulling push home, this may or maynot help, ian.
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:23 pm

This is where our favourite suppliers annoy me. Instead of telling you the quality of the new part isn't up to much, they let you mash the old one, then pretend it is just you.

The felt should go on easy enough, and it will take a set. Did you grease it?
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PostPost by: Mister E » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:11 am

Oracles,
Armed with your sage advice, I proceeded with the other side. I made sure bearing races and seals were well seated (used old race again), checked washer thickness and I compressed the felt prior to installation. Greased it all up and...the disc lines up perfectly! The hub does not spin as freely as I would like but I think with a bit of run-in it will likely free up.

Tomorrow I will take apart the right side and apply my new found wisdom again. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I have assembled (slightly wrong) and disassembled then re-assembled it. Enough that I could give a professional pit crew a run for their money on the front right side.

Thank you all...and chances are you'll hear from me at the rear hubs or sooner.
Kevin
Kevin
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:13 am

Years ago I fitted what I believe were called Nilos bearing seals that I obtained from Dave Bean Engineering. They are vary thin stainless washer like items with a small lip that seals against the outer bearing race. They are fragile bits, but work quite well, and with care seem to last forever (or in my case about 15 years/20K miles). Eliminates the silliness of the inner felt seal and outer grease cup. And they weigh less, probably saving about 1.2oz of precious unsprung weight per side :wink:
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: stevebroad » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:01 am

Hi Steve

Do you have a part number for these little beasties?

Steve
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:42 am

I have also used the Nilos seals from Dave Bean for many years. Work perfectly for me.. There are inner and outer ones and if you use the outer ones in a bolt on hub you don't need the cap and can easily access the adjusting nut for setting bearing end float.



cheers
Rohan
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