Lotus Elan

A-Arm Damage?

PostPost by: S2Jay » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:15 pm

Would anyone have any hesitation, reservation, or second thoughts about using this Lower A-Arm half?

As the pic shows, there are some bends & bruises. It may be that someone began to jack up the car on this [I'm almost certain that it was not me, this time.].

I was able to straighten out the bend near the center of the edge fairly well using a piece of thick iron for a straight edge, and 2 clamps for the press. Even the deformity on the end looks much better now after some massaging, but still shows. Dimensions do not appear to have been affected, and the car was driven for several thousand miles like this, at least that I know of.

This will be a road & track day car, not a racer, and will likely run 165 - 70 x 13. Has anyone considered reinforcing these A-Arms with a light connector between the edges on the open side? I gather that new OEM replacements are not available. I have seen aftermarket replacements that seem quite expensive [on my budget], although apparently stronger and better made.

Is it just excessive paranoia to be concerned about this minor tweak?
Any thoughts, opinions, or general insults appreciated.

P1100797A.jpg and
Front Lower A-Arm section with damage, S2 Elan.
just looking for clues at the scene....
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PostPost by: William2 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:37 pm

I personally would have no hesitation in using this wishbone as the dents only look minor and can easily be corrected without loosing any structural integrity.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:11 pm

I would heat the bent areas of the flange with a torch and straighten with a hammer and suitable anvil. If you dont have an anvil, a suitable shaped lump of steel in a vice should be fine to tap it back into shape on.

Then clean up the surface to bright metal and examine carefully for any cracking. You can get die test kits for crack detection, Use one of these if you want to be sure there are no issues. You may find some small radial cracking around the bolt hole for the shocker / spring unit, You can weld or braze on a reinforcing washer like there is for the trunnion mount.

I dont see any need to reinforce these with a plate across the end of the flanges. They dont distort in normal service but bend easily enough and minimise chassis damage if you hit a curb.

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