Lotus Elan

Are these the incorrect front struts/springs

PostPost by: Johnfm » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:37 pm

These look like Elan front struts - they have the metal cylinder at the top part which seems to be too wide and are fouling in the uprights of the strut tower of my Plus 2.

The pics in the manual seem to show that the spring should be the full length.

Are these the wrong damper/spring units?

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PostPost by: Johnfm » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:40 pm

Shouldn't it look like this??

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:21 pm

The cover over the spring was original fitment and was always a tight fit in the chassis tower though it should just clear the sides. If it is hitting the chassis them something may be bent or potentially it is not the correct cover. Most replacement shocks these days come without the cover. Many of them were also removed early on as the spring used to rub on them and squeak!

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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:42 pm

If the chassis is galvanised they can be a bit of a tight fit.
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Yep - it is a galvanised chassis.

There are signs that they are rubbing on the strut.

Looks like I need to buy a spring compressor and get these off.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:02 pm

You will probably need to make your own compressor for the front springs as commercial ones don't normally fit. There is a current thread showing some of the things people have made to do the job

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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:23 pm

Johnfm wrote:There are signs that they are rubbing on the strut.


As Rohan mentioned the spring rubs on the inside of the cover. The cover helps keep a rather long spring in place. The cover is only thin so you may find that the spring rubs on the chassis if you remove the cover.

The spring probably rubs on the damper body as well..... such is life!

I ended up putting my covers back on.
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PostPost by: elanner » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:46 pm

I would leave them alone until you want to replace the spring/damper assembly. What you have in there is correct, and is working.

Find something broken to fix! ;-)

If you decide to get them out replace them with new ones. I took mine out because the ride height was wrong - it looked wildly wrong (to me, at least, nobody else seemed to notice) and the lower wishbones were way off horizontal. The new ones, fully assembled spring/damper units (so no spring compressor needed) were from Tony Thompson and adjustable for height and softness. Transformed the car and greatly improved the ride. And the squeak went away too.

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