Lotus Elan

Elan S4-Continuing to Unravel the Mystery - Front Hubs

PostPost by: jbeach » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:22 pm

I'm in Month Three of Elan ownership and continuing to unravel the mystery that is my Elan. Some good (discovered a professionally-done tall block/big valve/Sprint cam conversion); some not good (discovered clutch master cylinder, head gasket, silencer all needed replacement). On balance, I'm loving this car and the Elan experience as a whole.

So this past weekend I replaced my stock steel wheels and 175/70x13 Sumitomos with Panasports/Vredestein 155HRx13 Sprints*, only to learn my front hub nuts spin on opposite of the correct direction. Upon further investigation, I found my hubs had the following parts numbers:

Hub on right side of car:
Front Hub Right Side.jpg and


Hub on left side of car:
Front Hub on Left Side (2).jpg and


Well I didn't have to be a rocket scientist to conclude the hub with the part's number ending "RH" should have been on the right side of the car and vice versa.

I called the HBSCPO**, who, as in response to all previous questions, reported "they must have been that way when I purchased the car in 1989" because during his 25 years of ownership he performed no work on the hubs. He also stated the hub nuts never loosened on him.

So my questions are as follows:

1. How complicated will it be to switch front hubs so they are on the correct side?
2. Will I need to switch the brake rotors as well, or can I leave them in place?
3. Are there any "while I'm at it" tasks I should consider while I'm at it (wheel bearings, axles, etc.)?
4. Is it dangerous driving around on the current configuration while I'm finding time to make the switch?

Many thanks for your help!

John

*Comparison report between the Sumitomos and Vredestein to follow shortly.
**Honest But Somewhat Clueless Previous Owner."
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PostPost by: AHM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:08 pm

jbeach wrote:So my questions are as follows:

1. How complicated will it be to switch front hubs so they are on the correct side?
2. Will I need to switch the brake rotors as well, or can I leave them in place?
3. Are there any "while I'm at it" tasks I should consider while I'm at it (wheel bearings, axles, etc.)?
4. Is it dangerous driving around on the current configuration while I'm finding time to make the switch?


1. Not - undo caliper bolts, remove split pin remove nut
2.You can't remove the hub without them
3.Check bearings.... rebuild suspension, rebuild engine!
4. They are opposite to the usual direction for tightening and undoing due to the epicyclic forces - The friction face of the nut is on the ourtside rather than the inside - discussed somewhere on this site. They are only dangerous when they come loose so check that they are tight - after that it is your choice.

Green ones go on the right red ones on the left. - Check the rear ones also
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PostPost by: Chancer » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:14 pm

I'm sure you didn't mean epicyclic forces but not sure what the correct term should be, inertial forces I guess.
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PostPost by: AHM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:00 pm

No it wasn't very clear was it!

How about the epicyclic motion causes a radial force, that, due to the internal cone on the mating face of the wheel has the opposite sense to the conventional external cone design.

because the cone on the wheel is internal the wheel 'sits' on the top of the spinner, when the cone is external it 'sits' on the bottom of the spinner. so the predominant rotational force has the opposite sense.

After that I haven't a clue
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PostPost by: Europatc » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:51 pm

**Honest But Somewhat Clueless Previous Owner."



love the terminology John
all the best
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:05 am

Uh-oh. Better check the rear hubs, too. There's a tool that makes it easy to pull the rear hubs. Let me know if you need one.

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:13 am

Heed Greg's comment. IF you switch sides on the rear hubs, use the special tool. Way too many people have just tried to use heat and / or any variety of pullers. BEWARE! Pullers will bend and distort the hub. Then you'll be buying some expensive parts!

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PostPost by: jbeach » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:32 pm

Thanks everyone.

"They are only dangerous when they come loose." Ha. Very good.

Fortunately, the rear hubs are correct.

Imagine, removing the front and rear wheels in opposite directions for 25 years and never thinking "I'd better fix that."

Anyway, I'm going to fix it over the holidays. I'm sure the process will become clear when I take a close look at how the hubs are attached to the suspension.

Happy holidays!

John
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PostPost by: jbeach » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:05 pm

OK, still puzzling over the easiest way to switch my hubs. Please be patient - I'm handy and tenacious, but learning pretty much everything as I go.

Looking at the following exploded view of the front suspension (pirated from RD Enterprises website - thanks, Ray!):
Elan Front Suspension.png and

I see the hub fits over the axle (please excuse any incorrect nomenclature). I'll want to remove the hub/axle as a unit, otherwise, I'll have to pull the hub from the axle, rebuild the axle, bearings, etc., and I don't want to do that (because I don't know how, but mostly because it's a much more complicated job than the one I'm hoping to accomplish).

The axle is fixed and is attached to the suspension somewhere behind the brake dust cover on the exploded drawing. The axle/suspension structure is somehow also attached to the brake caliper. The hub is attached to the brake rotor and all of that rotates on the axle.

So what part(s) do I disconnect (i.e., what part is left on the suspension and what part(s) go(es) with the hub to the opposite side of the car? How may bolts, nuts, washers, etc. will I remove and reinstall? I assume the brake calipers are handed, must be mounted to the correct side of the suspension now, and will stay where they are, but am I correct? I would appreciate any additional details you can provide.

Many thanks!

John

P.S., I've looked in Brian Buckland's book and don't see any discussion that clarifies this for me.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:57 pm

You just remove the hubs from the axles, straight forward job. Hub is mounted on bearings and generally doesn't need a puller (unlike the rears). Didn't need one when I changed my discs.

Rough Process:
1) Loosen wheels
2) Raise and support car
3) Remove wheels
4) Push brake pads back a bit, Remove brake caliper, two bolts from behind disc. Support caliper to not strain flex hose.
5) Remove split pin from castle nut on stub axle
6) Remove castle nut (won't be that tight)
7) Pull hub from axle, should come by hand. Watch for the roller bearing and washer falling.

Re-fit is basically reverse, use a new split pin and make sure to set the end float /torque on the hub.

Don't yet have the Brian Buckland book but I'd expect the instructions for front disc brake change would provide the detailed steps you need as that need hubs removing.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:10 pm

Yes, hub is bolted to the disc. The disc needs to come off. Unbolt the caliper and hang it off to the side. The nut holding the whole assembly on, the one used to adjust the wheel bearings, won't be on very tight. Once the nut is off, pull the disc forward. Let the front bearing fall on some cardboard. You'll see the bolts holding the hub to the disc on the backside of the disc. Get some new bolts for good measure.


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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:13 pm

jbeach wrote: I assume the brake calipers are handed, must be mounted to the correct side of the suspension now, and will stay where they are, but am I correct?


Just to be sure the correct caliper is on the correct side, make sure the bleeder is on top side of the caliper.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:59 pm

John,

The axle that you wanted to remove complete with hub is a really tight fit in the suspension upright. If I remember correctly it took 20tons (UK ton is 2240lbs) on my press. I expect that is why everyone has advised you to swap the hubs.

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PostPost by: jbeach » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:02 pm

OK guys, removing the hub from the axle it is!

I assume reinstalling the bearings and then adjusting them with the castle nut after mounting the hubs on the correct axles will be a fairly straightforward proposition.

The value of this forum is huge. Thanks so much for your quick and competent advice!

Best,

John
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:53 am

The one thing that helps (and I mean HELPS......alot) when putting the front hubs back on is to drill a small hole on the side of the hub in line with the cotter pin. That way you can put the cotter pin in from the side versus trying to fish it back in from the axle opening. Greg Z showed me that. Thank you Greg!
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