Lotus Elan

Very hard rear suspension and a clunk?

PostPost by: Johnfm » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:33 pm

My rear suspension seems very unforgiving. Over poor road surfaces the rear, especially the left rear, is very harsh. Like the damper is way way too stuff for the car. I guess the best solution is to remove and get them checked and re-gassed etc and replace all the rear bushes while I have it apart?
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PostPost by: jono » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:31 pm

something is wrong, the +2 rear suspension should be very soft - much, much more so than the front.

If they're std strut inserts they will be oil filled, not gas. It's a case of replacing the strut inserts with original type or up rated Koni or similar if you prefer. Your bushes may be shot as well so worth replacing those too, and the Lotocones.

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PostPost by: Johnfm » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:51 pm

Definitely not soft!

Still, it was a cheap car because all this stuff needs sorting out. Nothing I can't do in my own garage, so looks like need rear bushes and new inserts. Though, if I recall, they are not particularly cheap. :(
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:07 pm

My old MK1 Spyder rear suspension was rock ard. Are you sure its a standard set up?
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:18 pm

I am not sure if it is standard - but it isn't 'hard' in a "good road holding, no body roll" kind of way.

It is what I would call ' not very compliant'. On road irregularities, potholes etc, the front absorbs the blow - the rear just smashes over the bump.

I have a place nearby in Harrgate that will re-build a damper for ?85 - so I will just take them both out and have them rebuilt.

This is the problem with buying an old car - many previous owners will have cut corners and skimped on proper maintenance.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:10 am

If it's like someone hitting the underside with a hammer, it could simply be that the damper has failed completely, are there any signs of fluid leaking ?

The other thing that comes to mind is to check will be the rubber bump stops, if they are still there or have smashed themselves to pieces over the years.

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:41 am

I had exactly the same issue on my S4 - rock hard suspension on the left rear that would jar my teeth over a bump accompanied by a loud bang. When I took the inserts out the left rear had about twice as much resistance as the right rear when I pushed the strut in by hand but it was very hard to pull back out.

It wasn't visibly damaged and had only gone that way through standing. Exactly why it had seized like that I've no idea but replacing the inserts (I got some secondhand Konis via Paul Matty's) put it all back to normal.
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