Lotus Elan

Autobush bushings

PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:17 pm

I previously installed TTR bushings front and rear, but had a problem with one of the rear outer bushings slipping out and being destroyed by rubbing against the wheel. Lesson learned, use a washer on the outside. Rather than spend another $155, I ordered a full set from Autobush for $40. The crush tubes are the same length (1 3/16") across all three varieties: original rubber, TTR poly and Autobush. The bushings, on the other hand, are different. The outer metal sleeve of the rubber is 1" in length, as is the non-top hat section of the TTR bushing, which makes sense as this is the tube length of the wishbone that they fit inside. The TTR bushing has an additional 3/16" devoted to the top hat, which requires grinding some width off the strut assembly. The Autobush has an overall length of roughly 1", with a top-hat of 3/16", leaving just 13/16" to fit inside the 1" tube on the wishbone, which just does not seem right. Seems like the washer and bolt head will be inside the wishbone tube? Would appreciate hearing how others have handled. Thanks, Dan
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:04 am

Dan, I have Auto bush on my plus 2. I took a measured amount off the alloy strut (as you do with the Mick Miller type) to accommodate a decent landing area for the top hat washer.
Re: other side, I did notice that the bolt head goes in further but it was enough for getting a spanner on to hold while tightening the nut. Must have done over 10k miles with these. No problems.
A fraction of the price of others and good quality IMO for this design. Not a hard compound as people keep saying and also rifle bored for the lube.
It is an advantage IMO to give better clearance to the inside of the wheel. Since the top hat is inboard all the support is between the top hat and the strut so any accel/braking flex will take place on the shoulders of the top hats.
You may wish to ring them in case they are wrong as I never measured or compared with others.

Mike
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PostPost by: [email protected] » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:35 pm

Just getting around to replacing my 48 year old front A arm bushings. Replaced my 46 year rear A arm bushings a couple of years ago. Naturally I used high quality replicas of the originals, in rubber. Installation is simple and they should last at least another 30+ years of hard use. This Elan is no garage queen and in our mild climate is an all year round car for the most part. In my view the only improvement to the OEM style bushings would be spherical rod ends but I don't want to live with those on a road car.
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:23 pm

If decent quality rear outer bushes are available I would have done the same. Having fitted quite a few sets and them being shot within a few 1000 miles, I gave up on them. I have pulled better 40 year old bushes out of A frames than the ones available. IMO, same score with quality again.

Talking with Sue Miller, the cars that Mick used to restore had failed outer bushes when the clients returned them for an MOT 12 months after a total restoration. She said he used to changed them out of embarassement.
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PostPost by: miked » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi Dan, just wondering how did you go on then.

Mike :D
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:00 pm

I have only got one side done, but here are my observations. While they are shorter than the TTR poly bushings, the hole in the center for the crush tube is narrower and the material is more pliable. This combination, when inserted into the wishbone, expands to fit the length of the wishbone sleeve just right. Once I get the other side done and drive, I will provide observations. The true test will be autocrossing, as the TTR worked perfectly for general driving, but slipped out after the abuse of autocross. Mostly, my fault as I had not installed washers on the outside. Cheers, Dan
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