Lotus Elan

Trunnion fit

PostPost by: JK1 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:14 pm

I am presently rebuilding the front and rear suspension on a 1968 Elan plus 2. I ordered new uprights and trunnions from a reputable supplier and I am unsure as to how precise the fit of the trunnion on the upright should be . The right side trunnion seems to be a perfect engineering fit on the upright with no rock or perceptable movement when wound into place. The left side, however, does have significant rock, the supplier considers that this is normal. Can anyone with experience of replacing trunnions and uprights advise. I would be grateful for your assistance.
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:53 pm

..that does not sound right.

Following the suppliers logic, the one with a perfect fit is 'abnormal' then :?

I would send it back and ask for one that fits properly.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:26 pm

It depends what you mean by "signficant" rock. A new trunnion on an unworn upright shold have no more than a few tenths of a millimetre of vertical or sideways movement on the thread. This level of movement you can just feel but is hard to see.

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PostPost by: JK1 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi Rohan

Thanks for your prompt reply, I considered the play in the new trunnion when fitted dry to the new vertical link to be significant enough to return both to the supplier who advises that all his stock is the same and that it should not be a problem! I was so disappointed with the quality of the parts that I automatically returned them without measuring the play. My estimate, however, would be that there was up a millimeter of play. The supplier was happy to offer a refund. I have since consulted Buckland's excellent manual and he suggests that an intending purchaser should visit a supplier and test the fit on a number of trunnions then select the ones which were the "tightest fit".Unfortunately this is not a practical proposition for me being a considerable distance from the main suppliers. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who had a similar experience and more importantly how they resolved the problem. It seems that there is a wide variance in quality around these parts and would appreciate any advice available as to a reliable source.

Regards

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PostPost by: alan71 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:13 am

The last time I had my front suspension apart I measured the total side to side movement at 0.15 mm. It felt at least as good as any new ones I tried.

Alan
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trunnion measurement (0.15mm).jpg and
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PostPost by: JK1 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:49 pm

Hi Alan

That looks like a pretty good result in comparison to my experience where the new trunnion and vertical link had lateral play in the order of at least 1 mm. I am still in the market for replacement and would appreciate any advice on a reliable source of supply. Can anyone advise?

Regards

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PostPost by: JK1 » Sun May 18, 2014 11:45 am

Hi Alan

I am on my third set of offerings (new vertical links and trunnions) from three different suppliers who seem to be sourcing their vertical links from the same manufacturer. These are the best fit so far but still record an audible knock and movement of .08mm on the dial gauge. The right hand side vertical link and trunnion are a perfect fit with no slack whatsoever. Is this an acceptable fit from new parts?

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun May 18, 2014 12:26 pm

0.08 of a mm sounds fine to me. When filled with grease ( or oil if you are of that view) you will have no significant movement I think.

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PostPost by: Harky71 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:03 pm

Hi,

I'm in the same position as JK1, I have purchased a new RH vertical link and trunnion which are a perfect fit. I have just had to take back the LH vertical link and trunnion for the same reasons mentioned above. It was not much better than the one I have taken off the car, the movement was very easily seen and I was not prepared to put it on the car. I tried the only other link at the counter and this was exactly the same. Apparently LH KO links are in short supply and all recently made L H side had been manufactured to a different tolerance.

I have had a no quibble refund but still need to source a new vertical link. Has anybody purchased a replacement LH KO trunnion which they would consider to be acceptable recently please and from which supplier. I'm in Birmingham UK.

Many thanks
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:12 pm

A millimetre of vertical play is excessive and you need to find components with a better fit.

If your worried about 0.08mm vertical movement (i.e. three thousandths of an inch) then I don't think that free play is significant once its filled with lubricant.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:12 pm

A millimetre of vertical play is excessive and you need to find components with a better fit.

If your worried about 0.08mm vertical movement (i.e. three thousandths of an inch) then I don't think that free play is significant once its filled with lubricant.

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PostPost by: JK1 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:32 pm

Further to my previous posts on left hand vertical links and difficulties experienced with poor fit from three different Lotus suppliers I ultimately refitted the old trunnion and vertical link since there was no advantage in replacing them. In frustration I eventually called a Triumph supplier in the hope of finding some Triumph GT6 stock. The gentleman was most helpful and advised that while there was only one company who were supplying castings there were in fact two different organisations doing the final machining. It seems that this would appear to be the source of the problem. The Triumph dealer who sources components from the other machinists did not have any stock but would be placing an order at some time in the future. My present thoughts are that it is better to wait until supply becomes available from this dealer rather than fit a component of compromised standard. It is probably three months since I spoke to these guys, does anyone have an update on the supply situation? Another development on this theme arose yesterday when I checked the play in my recently fitted front wheel bearings which were changed at the same time as the vertical links and trunnions. I experienced significant play in the front right hub (the side with the good vertical link) The amount of play would have merited an MOT failure in a modern car and surprisingly came from the new trunnion sleeve where the bolt supplied with the trunnion was a particularly poor fit in the sleeve. This is the bolt which bolts the trunnion to the suspension arms All components in the front suspension were replaced at significant cost including shocks, suspension arm bushes, wheel bearings, vertical links and trunnions, trunnion bush kits and bolts and upper ball joints. My attempts at returning the car to its original performance standards have been continuously frustrated by poor quality replacement parts and it is surely a cautionary tale for others embarking on a restoration project to check the fit and quality of all replacement parts before assembly and particularly if you are passing on new parts to a garage or mechanic undertaking a restoration on your behalf.

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PostPost by: Harky71 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:48 pm

Hi,

I have been to my nearest Triumph supplier T.D. Fitchett based at Telford and have obtained perfect left hand and right hand Vertical links. I initially just brought the LH side, but when I compared it to the RH side that I had obtained from my nearest Lotus supplier, I took that back and had a refund due to it having an intermittent tight spot which was evident once the protective coating had been removed. I now have a matched pair of vertical links and trunnions that are are smooth as silk. The links are ?109 inc VAT and are genuine triumph parts and there did not appear to be any issues with supply.

Cheers

Gary
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PostPost by: JK1 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:38 pm

Hi Gary
Many thanks for the welcome information on vertical links. I have been trying for some time to crack this one. It is really reassuring that Fitchett can supply original equipment Triumph GT6 parts as opposed to the poor quality remanufactured items. I will place an order and will be happy to share my experience on the site. In my previous post I mentioned a difficulty with the new trunnion bush sleeves and the poor fit with the dedicated bolt provided by the supplier. The play in the front suspension would have merited an MOT failure and I wonder if you also purchased new trunnions, trunnion bushes and bolts from Fitchett and if these were as satisfactory as the vertical links
Regards
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PostPost by: Harky71 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:30 am

Hi JK1,

I purchased new trunnions and bush kits from them as well. I tried the LH link and trunnion at their shop for obvious reasons and later just ordered the RH side over phone as I had complete confidence that they would be of the same fit. And they are.
They also do an after market trunnion with bush kit built in but I just had the originals.

Cheers

Gary.
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