Lotus Elan

Top rear damper nut on FHC

PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:40 pm

I am fitting new spax dampers with new 2.25" springs to the rear of my Sprint FHC. I haven't got any suitable tools for tightening the top damper nut. Access is difficult because of the rear screen. I can get a 15/16" socket on it, but then I can't prevent the damper rod from turning because the flats for holding it are inside the socket! Due to the angle of the damper and the fact that the nut is down a hole in the fibreglass, even getting an open end wrench on it looks tricky, not that I have one that size.

Surely there is a neat way of doing this? I'm happy to buy a specialist tool if necessary, but what type? The photo is taken through the rear window.

Mike
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PostPost by: tonyr27 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:21 pm

Just had our AVO dampers refurbished, when refitting the damper rod turned with the nut.
Once I dropped the Elan back on its wheels, the weight on the suspension allowed the the nut to be tightened easily.

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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:17 pm

Thanks for that Tony - I didn't think of that solution, but neverless I've figured out a way to do it! Had a think over dinner and went back out to the garage. I took the whole strut out again and this time also the Lotocone. The two bolts were quite accessible. Fitted the Lotocone to the strut on the bench where I could use a ring spanner on the big nut and a 10mm open-ended to hold the damper rod. Put the whole assembly back in and was able to get the Lotocone bolts in quite easily. Job done. Phew! Now for the other side.

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:20 pm

Well done Mike... ;-)

Nearly there?

Al' ....
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:03 pm

Nearly there?

Al' ....

Well, I still haven't started the engine yet, although it is ready to go. The electrics are all finished with 12 fuses and 12 relays. There are hazard lights, intermittent wipers, electric headlamp motors, a third brake light, and an alternator. The fuel delivery side is finished with an electric pump and safety cut-outs. The dash is completed and the interior is trimmed and carpeted, but there are no seats yet. The rear screen is in place, but not the front.

What's left to do? I have to replace the spring and damper on the right rear, and on both front units. While the body was off I put on the suspension components that the PO had given me, but once the body was on and the engine in, it was obvious that the spring rates were too high as the car sat about 2" too high and the springs were not compressed at all by the weight. So I'm fitting all new standard rate 2.25" springs and dampers from Spyder. I had thought I had finished the suspension last summer!

Then I have to assemble the doors and the electric windows. Not looking forward to that much. My 3-year old grandson is quite concerned that Grandpa's red car has no doors.

I would like to say it will be on the road for the first time in 38 years come the summer, but let's not make hasty promises!

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:52 pm

Sounds great!

I do hope you get it sorted for this year bud...

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PostPost by: 7skypilot » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:24 pm

Just a thought... I've also had similar problems removing the damper nut on my S4 coupe.

That rear window really does get in the way! Removing the split-pin was difficult enough (maybe I should've taken out the seats?) but I had real trouble getting a socket to fit well onto the damper nut. Following advice from this forum, I ground down the end of a 24mm socket (Koni's) to ensure that it engaged as securely as possible on the reduced flats of the castellated nut. It was then relatively easy to remove.

Good luck, and looking forward to hearing that your car is on the road before long.
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