Lotus Elan

Front Suspension Overhaul

PostPost by: tonyr27 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:25 am

Looking to overhaul the front suspension on my Plus 2 which I have recently acquired. It's all in good condition but It creaks over speed bumps etc. and there appears to be spring binding type noises on the left front. The springs are quite rusty and dampers appear to be of age. Went through MOT a month ago with no advisorys.

Looking for advice in how far to go and what components to use. i.e. Springs damper, bushes. Initial plan is to strip and re powder coat wishbones etc. fit new bushes, overhaul or renew trunnions, and fit new springs and damper.

I would like a good compliant road setup.

TonyR
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:13 am

Personally I would stick with the standard spring, damper ,rollbar setup for a Plus2. The wider track compared to an Elan means it still works well with stickier modern tyres so no need to stiffen it up and you can retain the original ride compliance and great handling that is better than when they were built. With the Elan and its narrower track I think you need it a little stiffer to take advantage of todays tyres grip and you can trade of a little compliance for that.

Make sure you get the front springs from a reputable supplier and made to the original specification of wire size and coil count. There appear to be some versions being sold as original that are not. The plus 2 front spring is very heavily stressed and should be hot formed because of this, otherwise they have a tendency to rapidly sag.

For a road car no major advantage of poly bushes versus the original rubber ones. I think a Plus 2 benefits a little from Poly bushes when pushed to the limit as you get less suspension arm deflection, especially in the rear wishbones where there is a lot of rubber in the inner bushes and the wishbones are longer than in an Elan and thus you get more deflection under load.

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: tonyr27 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:58 am

Rohan

Thanks for the advise. I reckon I will do as you suggest and stick with the standard set up.

Will look to obtain parts from one of the UK recognised suppliers.

TonyR
1968 Plus 2 Cirrus White
1966 S3 FHC Medici Blue
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PostPost by: peterako » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:21 pm

Rohan has an impeccable reputation for good advice here.

I too agonized over whether to put in Poly bushes or rubber and in teh end (long story) have ended up with Poly bushes from Sue Miller.

No major difference in feel from rubber ones I've had before. Maybe, maybe, a bit 'tighter' handling (but that could be imaginary) and still have good ride qualities.

I also have Tony Tompson Adjustable Springs and Shocks (got through Sue again). Delighted with them.

Standard roll-bar, with poly's.

Best of luck,
Peter
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