Lotus Elan

Shock oil???

PostPost by: nomad » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:52 pm

I've been looking but I haven't found it. How much shock oil should my original rear struts have? I was planning on collapsing the shock and filling to the fill hole. Sound right?? Official info anywhere???

Kurt.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:12 pm

Put an inch of oil in the bottom of the tube. Repace the damper, then fill the tube to within an inch of the top. Alternatively, fill the tube to about a quarter full. Replace the damper and mop up the overflow, pouring a little out to allow for the level rising when the damper heats up. Screw down the retainer. Thats officially what I do :D

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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:34 pm

Not the most scientific but mopping the overflow makes sense! :D I imagine I will have to make some hard decision's about them not far down the road any way. Anybody have a good right side stock strut and hub they are not using??

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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:51 am

Kurt,

You can add oil only if the shocks are the original ones which use the strut tube as the outer wall of the damper cylinder. Most all Elans these days have had their original internals replaced with the removable insert dampers readily available from the usual suppliers.

Leslie's advice is solid only if you have the removable insert. It is recommended to add oil into the strut tube with an insert type damper to reduce corrosion and to aid in heat dissipation.

If you remove the threaded top of the strut tube you can tell which type you have. Large channel locks might move it, but as yours haven't been moved in so long, you might have to make your own "peg wrench" to index in the two holes. I have seen these 'staked' in place with a punch, so be on the lookout for that. Once the threaded top is removed, you will either be greeted by an obviously loose and removable inner cylinder (an insert cartridge) or a gooey mess of inner rod and damper discs (original damper internals).

Removing/replacing the rear shocks once the car is assembled is a bit of a PITA, with having to disconnect the half shafts and all, so if you are in doubt about them, now is the time to replace them.
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:18 am

Bitsobrits wrote:
Once the threaded top is removed, you will either be greeted by an obviously loose and removable inner cylinder (an insert cartridge) or a gooey mess of inner rod and damper discs (original damper internals).

I am completely unaware of the second type of damper internals of which you write. I only have knowledge of S4 and Sprint cars with Issue 18 struts, with a few Issue 16 struts thrown in, and have replaced many original Armstrong dampers over the years.

So are you saying Steve, that at one time, Lotus fitted a different type of damper to the rear of early Elans ? If so, I suspect that many others have learnt something new too.

And just to point out, the rear damper inserts are not always loose. Sometimes they are stuck fast, the bottom of the insert having been wedged into the bottom of the strut tube, together with some suction. The easiest method of removal, I find, is to then replace the top nut on the damper, having removed the retaining collar first, hold the nut in a vice, and pull down on the housing.

May I take this opportunity to wish all members of the board a HAPPY, but above that, a HEALTHY, and far above that, a WEALTHY NEW YEAR :lol:

Best,

Leslie
Last edited by 512BB on Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:05 am

Hi Leslie - Happy New Year

and yes the early struts used the outer tube as the shock body and had a free piston and internals inside. You can identify them by an oil fill plug about halfway up the strut tube. I don't know when the change over to the insert style occurred but it must have been early in production in the first couple of years and well before the change to the Issue 18 hubs as i have seen many issue 16 hubs without the fill plug in the strut tube

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:24 pm

Interesting stuff...my car is a late S1 and has the fill plugs and what appear to be original unmolested seals at the top. Well, not completely unmolested. The right looks to have been pressed back straight after the first PO apparently traveled over something large and hard! [curb?]

Steve, I'm going to approach these by adding oil till cycling them pushes oil back out the fill hole. If cycling them doesn't show a change in the oil level I will make the assumption that they have been changed to the later type.

Hope NZ was fun! :D

Kurt.
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Further on the subject.
My thoughts are that if I change shocks [struts] I would prefer to do so on issue 18 hubs and go with adjustable spring's at the same time. The stock shock's appear to do everything shocks are supposed to do but after laying on their side for a while the right, obviously worked on one, lost its prime. Hense, it is low on fluid. I am going to top them up and see how they perform....little concerned with 50 year old seal's as well. Am fitting CV's instead of roto flex'es so expect that removing the struts wouldn't be too bad when necessary.

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