Lotus Elan

AVO Shocks Baby Elan

PostPost by: fattogatto » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:04 pm

A search does not reveal much info. I have a 1967 S3 which has AVO adjustable front shocks. The springs would seem way too long as the spring perch has been adjusted as far down the body as possible (in fact, it has been screwed farther down than the threads go.) There is zero adjustability using the current springs. Can anyone shed light on the appropriate springs to use with these shocks? I am assuming these are the stock springs and are too long for the application. Possibly I can cut them down to an appropriate length once I get them out. The upper spring cover has been wedged onto the springs making it quite a chore to compress the spring enough to get the upper spring seat out.

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Charlie Warner
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:21 pm

Charlie,

The factory shop manual lists the values for the springs. I'm sure you must have a spring checker or at least access to one. I had to make some spacers for my Konis and racing springs on the street

Roger
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:09 pm

Thanks Roger,

I wish I needed spacers. After I cut the springs down I'll make some spacers so the adjustability will be functional. As it is now the adjusters are bottomed out. Any change will result in a ride height increase.
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:19 pm

End of the saga. The IPO bought nice AVO adjustable dampers and then stuffed the stock 16+" springs onto them, wedging the springs under the steel dust covers. Then, over time, the springs rusted themselves to the dust covers. After two hours in the machine shop with no luck it was decided to cut the springs off the shocks as we could not compress them enough to remove the upper spring seat. The springs would have gone into the skip anyway. Thankfully the threads on the shock bodies and lower spring seats are still perfect. This was such a silly issue as the proper springs are quite inexpensive..
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PostPost by: iancockshull » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:07 pm

Charlie
What springs did you end up purchasing to go with the AVO shocks?
I think I need to do something similar for mine.
Ian
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:17 pm

I called Tony Thompson. They will select the appropriate rate springs for a "fast road going Elan." Fronts will be around 100# and the rears around 150#. That will be for the weld-on adjustable rear spring platforms using Koni inserts.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:16 am

Charlie
Stuart at TTR recommended 125# front and 100# rear springs for fast road set up for my Elan.
Chris :)
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:20 am

yet more numbers into the mix.....

175lbs/ins front, 140lbs/ins rear for a road car, that's from Kelvedon. :D

That's firm but still a good ride. Actually my reason for posting wasn't the absolute numbers but the recommendation of 100lbs Fr, & 150lbs R which seemed odd.

Usually the front is a higher spring rate than the rear and those numbers make the ratio of Fr/R wheel frequencies quite a lot different from the original design. I'd be expecting more like 200lbs with 150lbs at the rear ?

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PostPost by: fattogatto » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:18 pm

seniorchristo wrote:Charlie
Stuart at TTR recommended 125# front and 100# rear springs for fast road set up for my Elan.
Chris :)


I must have been dyslexic. Yes, the stiffer springs on the front. I was speaking with Eddie and we had not come up with final numbers as of yet.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:35 pm

fattogatto wrote:
seniorchristo wrote:Charlie
Stuart at TTR recommended 125# front and 100# rear springs for fast road set up for my Elan.
Chris :)


I must have been dyslexic. Yes, the stiffer springs on the front. I was speaking with Eddie and we had not come up with final numbers as of yet.


Hello Charles,

Another data point:
One of my long time friends has AVO dampers on his S4 Coupe. He is a long time owner. He replaced the original armstrongs with Spax dampers and reused the original springs. It caused ride height problems in the front as you found. He did not like the Spax, so he replaced with AVO and said the car was "transformed." He The fronts are 160lb and the rear 130lb sourced from Dave Bean. Yes, its quite firm.

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:58 am

I've got 10 inch springs 150# on my front AVO adjustable shocks. Great ride for fast road.
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:27 am

Thanks for all the replies. I'm waiting to hear from Stuart but I'm leaning towards the 125/100 combination as there is little chance the car will be used on track. Besides, stiffer is not always better. The softer the springs the more mechanical grip available (at a certain point in the curve) and we are not going fast enough to fret about aerodynamic loads.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:09 am

You have not talked about the roll bar --- A stiffer front roll bar and slightly softer springs ( say 110# fr and 90# rear) will give you a better outcome on the road I believe. Also make sure you have the Aeon rubber springs ( or equivalent ) in the rear as they are a critical part of the overall suspension setup.

cheers
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:08 pm

Thanks Rohan. I have not considered the roll bar as of yet. This is a somewhat strange evolution. I bought the car off ebay for a ridiculously low price (or so I thought - you know the story - 3 Boddies and a late night low-ball bid that would never stand up.) Needless to say I got the car and after finding out the engine needs complete rebuild and the rest of the car was equally ignored it became apparent that a general cleaning and going through would not be sufficient. The plan had been to flip the car. Now it has evolved into a body off reconditioning of every system. I'm doing things right but am not sure how I want to set the car up. As it stands Eddie at TThompson has decided on 125# front and 100# rear. I am interested in your opinion and explanation of the Aeon springs. A search reveals they are similar to bump-rubbers? Will they fit inside the smaller diameter rear springs I am getting from the UK?

On that subject I have to sing high praises to the treatment and professionalism I have received from Tony Thompson and Eddie in particular. First rate outfit with two day service to the Colonies.

Not sure how easy it will be to flog this car in the US as it is a RHD version and that seems to scare many people away.

Cheers,
Charlie Warner
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:25 pm

Hi Charlie

Yes I have also found TTR good to deal with.


The Aeon rubber springs are not a "bump rubber" despite their appearance but are intended to work as a secondary spring on the rear to give a progressive rate rear spring arrangement. Many people leave them out or substituent a small bump rubber especially when going to small diameter springs as they don't fit inside most of the standard springs supplied.

The result of this is that the car tends to sit down on the rear outside wheel to much in cornering which leads to a very hard to handle rapid transition to over-steer in mid corner.

There is apparently a Audi / VW front strut rubber spring which is similar in length and spring rate and fits inside the smaller diameter springs that some people have tried. Details have been posted here previously which you can probably search for.

When I was first running my Elan many years ago on standard springs and modern relatively sticky road tyres in sprints and hill climbs I fitted a stiffer 7/8th inch front anti-roll bar and that made a huge difference. This made a bigger handling improvement than the subsequent experiments with various different spring rates which tended to be much smaller handling improvement increments.

cheers
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