Lotus Elan

Washer location on rear A arm to hub carrier bolts

PostPost by: Greg Foster » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:22 pm

I am installing the rear a arms after replacing the bushings and wonder where the washers are fitted on the hub carrier to a arm bolts. There were only washers at the contact point of a arm bushing and carrier. Should I place washers at the bolt head to a arm bushing contact? Also just behind the nuts? Most all areas where bolts contact the aluminum housings have a washer to distribute load.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:18 pm

I have poly bushings and have washers on the outside (bolt head end). When I did not have washers there, the bushings drifted out under hard driving conditions. I used to have washers on the inside (nut end) when I had rubber bushings, but with poly bushings there is a bit of a lip on that side that resulted in not enough room. I would rather not grind down the aluminum housing to make room for a washer as that seems self-defeating to me. All the best, Dan
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:09 am

I put the washers on the inside between the nut and the alloy. The head of the bolt goes straight onto the steel inner tube of the bush

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PostPost by: Greg Foster » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks Dan, Rohan.
I installed rubber bushings and have the washer both in and out . If I install wider wheels, it seems I would have to remove the outer washers on the hub carrier to a arm bolts. But that is not happening now.
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PostPost by: elanner » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:36 pm

I'll be refitting my rear wishbones this weekend after fitting new bushes so would like to clarify this point.

Wishbone.png and


- It's pretty obvious that there needs to be a washer to be at A.

- A washer at B seems to be uncertain. On my car I'm pretty sure that there's going to be no room when I come to put it together. There were no washers before and I don't think the new bushes will have changed the situation. However, Section R "Final Drive", Section R.2, "To replace" Step 2 on Page 5 refers to having a washer at B: "Reconnect the left-hand wishbone, ensuring the spacer washers are located between the wishbone and the bearing housing." It's clear that having one would protect the hub but, as Dan says, there's no point in grinding the hub away to make room for one.

- A washer at C also seems uncertain. I don't think I've ever seen washers there, and with Panasport wheels the clearance between the head of the bolt and wheel is so small that a washer might prove impossible. If Rohan's good without a C then so am I, but if I was using the original steel wheels, which have plenty of clearance from the head of the bolt, then I guess I'd use one per Dan's comment.

So I predict that I'm going to end up with just A. And sleep well? :?

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PostPost by: AHM » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:26 pm

No washer at C
There is no need for a washer and insufficient clearance and the already specially thin head can touch the inside of the wheel.

Washers at B depend on clearance created by the shape of the wishbone and the position of the bush.

Washer plus any spare washers at A so that the next bloke has the correct washer.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:57 pm

The washer goes at A so the nut can be torqued without digging into the aluminium

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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:17 pm

In my experience, you need a washer at C if you use poly bushings, given how easily they move within the housing.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:38 pm

collins_dan wrote:In my experience, you need a washer at C if you use poly bushings, given how easily they move within the housing.
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I have penny washers at C, but they're a slightly smaller diameter than the poly bush, in your experience should the washers cover the bush and A frame tube?
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:04 pm

I think mine might be a little smaller as well and work fine. The main thing is that the bolt head is too small and the bushing crept out over it. I settled on the ones I am using because they covered the bush almost completely and didn't catch the wheel. Dan
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:20 pm

Thanks Dan. I think mine are about the same as yours.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:05 pm

Isn't this something that should just be settled by the workshop manual?

I don't have mine to hand but I am sure there should be four washers per side fitted against the faces of the aluminium hub carrier. Definitely no washers under the already thin bolt heads.

If you've changed the original design by fitting Poly bushes all bets are off!

Regardless though, I would say that there should still be washers against the aluminium faces, to spread the concentrated load caused by the small area of the bush sleeves. If you find there is no room for washers then something is wrong with the assembly. It is normal to have to 'squeeze' the washers in with the metalstic bushes.

If polybushes need large external washers to stop them moving axially then something is wrong with their implementation from a design POV! One of the functions of the wishbones is to restrain the suspension against fore and aft movement and bonded metalastic bushes perform that function perfectly. If that function is done by a washer bearing against the bush housing then surely that assembly should be lubricated?

I'm sticking to bonded bushes.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:41 pm

As shown in the early parts manual although not shown in the later w/s manual or parts manual.
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