Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Front Ride Height.

PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:29 pm

I am looking at a +2 which seems, to me, to be have a lot of space between tyre and wheel arch.

The tyres are 175/70, so the overall circumference is not wildly different from standard.

From images it would appear that the bottom wishbone is virtually parallel to the ground?

If the measurement A and B where the same (ish) would this indicate that the ride high was correct? (the logic being that too long springs etc would lift the sprung inner pivot.)

Or am I talking tosh?

Vince
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ScreenHunter_04 Oct. 08 16.19.jpg
ScreenHunter_04 Oct. 08 16.19.jpg (94.09 KiB) Viewed 1164 times
front suspension diag.jpg and
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:48 pm

Vince

I'd agree with you there...but there is a LARGE gap between the tyre and wheel arch...

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PostPost by: theelanman » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:25 pm

mine is no where near that high....
I also run 175/70 13r
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PostPost by: theelanman » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:40 pm

and with different wheels and tyres....
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:25 pm

On 165 13
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:34 pm

Previous pic of the wheel in the arch and here's a picture of the arm that looks horizontal. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Gap looks a bit large to me as well Vince. Here are a few pics of mine for reference.

Besides the dimensions of the suspension components, the gap can be large due to the mounting position of the body bobbin on the drilled holes in the front tower. Check gap at front frame bolts ahead of the steering rack for excessive packing washers; I think I needed about three washers to get sufficient bonnet clearance.

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Plus 2 Right side view prior to restoration.jpg and
This is when I bought the car. It has the stock frame, suspension and wheels. I can't recall the tire profile.
Rogers Pass after Vegas.jpg and
I think I was using 70 profile tires in this one. This is after restoration with Spyder protech shock / springs, Spyder chassis, Spyder arms.
Plus 2 after LOG33.jpg and
I think this one is on stock 80 profile tires. As with the other red pic the Spyder Protec adjustable ride height springs are in place.
Brochure Cover Small.jpg and
This is the '69 sales brochure. The gap looks a bit larger than many of our cars.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:57 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps. Erudite as ever.

I know the early cars seemed lower than the later ones and there was some chat about raising for legal reasons.

However the car in question seems excessive. I've asked the owner for a straight side on shot so it is easier to judge.

stugilmour wrote:Besides the dimensions of the suspension components, the gap can be large due to the mounting position of the body bobbin on the drilled holes in the front tower. Check gap at front frame bolts ahead of the steering rack for excessive packing washers; I think I needed about three washers to get sufficient bonnet clearance.


As the front towers are virtually in line with the wheel opening would it not have to be a lot of excessive packing to make that difference? Bonnet clearance would be an interesting way of measurement.

It has a spyder chassis BTW. (If that makes any difference.)

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PostPost by: theelanman » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:52 am

vincereynard wrote:It has a spyder chassis BTW. (If that makes any difference.)


no difference at all..... :)
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:10 am

theelanman wrote:
vincereynard wrote:It has a spyder chassis BTW. (If that makes any difference.)


no difference at all..... :)


Good, I hoped not.

The owner also has a full on +2zetec and maintains that the gap is the same on that. I had wondered if Spyder has deliberately raised the body to allow bigger tyres etc. Therefore making any remedial work practically impossible.

The attached shows that it is high front and back. Assuming the arms should be parallel, these are roughly (very) 5 degrees back and 7 degrees front. So I would probably need to fit new springs at both ends.

It does look exceedingly clean under there. Seems a shame to get it all mucky!

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SideS.jpg and
RearS.jpg and
FrontS.jpg and
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:13 pm

Has it been on stands/lift recently?

My car has similar gaps that I put down to it being in the air for long period of time. Expecting it to settle down a little but I seen comments that it car take quite a while for that to happen.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:20 pm

It looks all pretty fresh so I was wondering a similar thing, if everything got tightened down without the car being under load. Gordon sauer
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:44 pm

I would doubt it as the owner is an experienced rebuilder. This 1 was one of 6 various loti he had restored.

However it could have been up on stands for a while? Your guess is as good as mine. Either way if it is only springs it is not a deal breaker. If the arms had been parallel as the large gap was still there then it would be of concern.

I have read before about +2 Zetec having large arch gaps and have wondered why they would need it. Packed out more on the body / chassis bolts to allow clearance for the Zetec engine?
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:27 pm

Vince, this topic might help you out. I didn't go thru it all again, but it has a few links with more details. From memory though, the short answer is the Zetec cars are higher to provide clearance for the exhaust & engine. If you search in the Mods section with 'Spyder Ride Height' or some such you might get more pics and info. Jeff sorted most of the Zetec stuff to Mods when he cleaned up the site.

elan-mods-f31/spyder-zetec-ground-clearance-ride-height-t30837.html?hilit=ride%20height

My car (with all the suspenders and frame from Spyder) is adjustable in the front; I ended up cranking in a bit of additional ride height as I was hitting the exhaust on speed bumps right where the pipe bends to horizontal. Although my car uses the Lotus TC, it has the Spyder supplied MT75 transmission / bell housing (one casting) they use in the Zetec conversion. I think it is a bit tighter for exhaust clearance than the Lotus bell housing. I think I might have posted in the other thread a nice possible solution Jay Leno used on his custom Elan, where the fabricator made an oval shaped pipe section to clear the bell housing.

If I have it right, the front suspension pic looks like they are not the adjustable type, but I don't have my car handy to compare. Does look like Spyder chassis and wishbones though. In any case, I think the Spyder adjustable setup is sold as components or as a pre-assembled spring / shock unit if you don't have a suitable press available.

For sure Spyder Fan is the Zetec ride height expert, so maybe tickle him to weigh in. :)

HTH

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:47 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps. (I'm assuming chaps!)

Stu - the height thread was interesting and hurt my head even more! As you say the front suspension units appear to be non adjustable but the springs do appear new? Maybe also from Spyder and stiffer than standard? I haven't a clue.

What I am after is a +2 that handles and rides like an original +2. I don't particularly want it ungraded, stiffened, strengthened or "improved". Spyder state somewhere on their site that their springs are not necessarily the same wire thickness and number of coils are original. Which could surely mean that their rate is different.

BTW the chassis number is - SPY1250.


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