Lotus Elan

Elan +2 rear wheel rubbing

PostPost by: GuyC » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:34 am

Hello All,

I've just bought a '70 Elan +2S, of which this forum's buying advice has been greatly appreciated and heeded!

However I have had some teething problems and have just replaced the rear springs, dampers and wheel bearings. Now it is back on the road I have noticed when cornering a tyre rubbing noise coming from the rear, which I think is caused by the inner sidewall touching the rear spring cup (nominal clearance is around 7mm). I don't know if this noise was present before doing the work as I did the work straight away.

I have the standard original steel wheels fitted with Goodyear 175/70 R13s I believe. As far as I can tell from the search function these are the correct sizes to be fitted.

Is this just a poor design issue which is solved by spacers perhaps, or more likely something wrong / broken / knackered on my car? Any likely suspects to check?

I'll get some photos up of the car soon!

Thanks,

Guy
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:58 pm

Welome,

Standard tire size is 165/80r13 in modern tire sizes. I run 175/70r13 due to availability issues of correct sized tires on this side of the pond. I haven't noticed any rubbing on my car but haven't put many miles on it and haven't pushed it hard.

175/70 are wider so will reduce the clearance, exactly how much will depend on the tire and their side wall but not too uncommon for them to rub. Common fix is to "adjust" the rear spring perch with a hammer or similar to gain a little extra clearance. I did this on mine just to be sure.

Cheers,

Mark
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: RichC » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:59 pm

first of all, from what u say the tyre wall rubs against the spring seat & so we assume when you take a Right hand bend it's the right hand tyre which rubs . ( & left hand bend produces rubbing on lh tyre).
to confirm this you'll have telltale marks on both tyre sidewall and spring seat.
Let's assume you have standard steel rims
check list :
wheel bearing ( is there any play ?).... why did you replace the wheelbearings?
is your wheel seated well and tightened down ?
is your wheel running true ? the rims are very lightweight and are easily knocked out of true... i've had a buckled wheel which i managed to straighten by hand ( and I'm not very strong)
obviously a buckled wheel is going to give you just a localised rubbing place ....
keep us posted won't you?
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PostPost by: GuyC » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:17 pm

Hi Rich, Mark,

Thanks for the input.

I cannot find any rubbing signs on the tyre itself but as you say, the rubbing noise comes from the outside wheel as it goes around the corner and given the proximity thought it was the most likely candidate. So I had another look at the tyres today and they are actually 165/80s so definitely shouldn't be rubbing. Rear wheel bearings have just been replaced both sides and the wheels seem to run true.

Another thing worth raising is the wheel studs have been converted to take nuts as well as the central spinner, I thought this was a Lotus idiosyncrasy but turns out this is just plain wrong (thanks to another Elan owner at Orsett Car show today)! I checked his Elan +2 today and they had approx. 15mm gap to the spring cup running 175/70 Minilites, so I'm guessing something is up with my set up somewhere, perhaps the hubs need replacing?

Cheers,

Guy
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PostPost by: EPA » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:49 pm

Guy
Are you sure it's the wheel rubbing?
The handbrake pads can make a rubbing noise when you go round bends if the centralisation strips are not set correctly.The pads pivot onto the disc as you go around the bend and you can hear a rubbing noise . Its not very loud but it is audible especially with the window open.
My car did this when I first got it.
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:09 am

ok guy so we're narrowing it down.... my description/. assumption has noise coming from INSIDE wheel on bend............. . if you have it coming from OUTSIDE wheel then likely your tyre is fouling the inner wheelwell wheelarch somewhere. forget the spring cups that's a red herring ! as you go round a bend the top of the outer wheel will move AWAY from spring cup if anything.. My gap is abt 1/4" and causes no problem .
You saying the locating pins for wheels have been replaced with studs and wheelnuts?? WTF ??
might be that the wheel locating holes for studs are shot from spinner not being tightened properly causing holes to elongate .. in which case its new wheels you want as well..............
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:28 am

RichC wrote:. forget the spring cups that's a red herring ! as you go round a bend the top of the outer wheel will move AWAY from spring cup if anything.. .........


How the tyre will move depends on two counteracting effects.

1. The forces will distort the wheel and the suspension so the wheel moves away from the spring cup for the outer wheel
2. The same forces on the tyre will move the whole tyre including the top near the spring cup closer to the spring cup

The second effect is greater in my experience so the outer tyre moves closer to the lower spring cup but this may not be the case with all tyres.

Normally a 165 tyre will not hit the lower spring cup and you can tell if it is as it will polish the spring cup edge nicely

cheers
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PostPost by: GuyC » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:27 pm

Thanks all for the advice, I had a good look underneath and I couldn't see any signs of rubbing on either the tyre or spring cup so will look else where. Although I am surprised it is so close on 165s.

Regarding the handbrake caliper, the sound is more substantial than what you are describing so not sure if it is that, will take a look anyway.

After more driving I have noticed another issue nearly exactly the same as described here: http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotuselan-plus2-f51/vibration-rear-car-t37532.html. I will be watching the thread closely and have booked my car in for wheel balancing this afternoon.

I don't seem to be having much luck but that's seems to be the theme with me and Lotus', despite having no symptoms my Elise had a HGF 25 miles after I bought it from a dealer :lol: !
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:15 am

Guy, I've had a rubbing noise similar to you describe that was one of the wheel balance weights just touching the end of the wishbone to upright retaining bolt. It was only noticeable during cornering, maybe implying I have some play in the wheel bearing.
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