Lotus Elan

Fitting Rear Springs - S4

PostPost by: William2 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:47 pm

I intend to fit softer rear springs to my car which has a solid driveshaft conversion with splines and U/Js' either end. To fit the springs am I correct in saying that you need to remove the complete strut and brake disc assembly from the car? Also, is it better to leave the Lotocone in place and remove the top nut from the shock absorber?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:45 am

You can just disconnect the shocker top nut and disconnect the drive shaft and then lower the strut and A frame with a jack. Then replace the spring and jack it up again and bolt it all into place.

cheers
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:12 pm

If you have taken 3" out of the stroke of the Damper for the CV shafts you may be best lowering the assembly as Rohan suggests but getting it back in place if you have the original diameter spring seats will be nothing short of a Git.


How i did it was to slot the back lotocone hole and assemble the strut off the car, use a suitable washer under it and run the bolt up / down the threads with a bit of Copper slip so you can turn it with your fingers, fit the back lotocone bolt so its out far enough to hook the damper assembly over it, fit the front bolt using an open ended spanner to tighten, once its pulled up on the front bolt tighten the rear bolt as far as you can by hand then use a Crow foot spanner to get it tight.

Once this is done get a beer because you deserve it........

i did it a couple of times with small Spring compressors and assemble with the Lotocone in place but it's difficult because there isn't much space for the Spring compressors and you can't just push the assembly up because the Lotocone is a different angle so the damper catches it and pushes the rod back in....... Just awkward which ever way you decide to do it.

I wish you luck...
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PostPost by: reb53 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:19 am

[quote="Grizzly"
i did it a couple of times with small Spring compressors and assemble with the Lotocone in place but it's difficult because there isn't much space for the Spring compressors and you can't just push the assembly up because the Lotocone is a different angle so the damper catches it and pushes the rod back in....... Just awkward which ever way you decide to do it.

I wish you luck...[/quote]

I found this frustrating to say the least so I drilled and threaded a small hole in the top of the rod.
Then threaded one end of a piece of thin rod, ( about 5mm), with a corresponding thread, and bent the other end to make a handle.

Then pass the thin rod through the nut, down through the lotocone and thread into the top of the shock rod.
Then you can pull the whole rattly mess up into the car and the top of the rod appears above the lotocone and you thread the nut on.
The threaded shock rod is ready for the next time you need to pull the strut out, and no, the tiny hole in the top of the rod doesn't weaken the rod to the extent it breaks and you die in the resultant fireball...... :shock:

Ralph.
P.S. Guess this wouldn't be viable with a FHC though !
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:30 pm

I would be interested in finding the easiest way to do this. I want to fit adjustable platforms on my S4 DHC but have nightmares about the 2 occasions I have previously. The spring compressors I used seem to be the biggest issue (for me)
I did a body of restoration not that long ago, and i'm thinking it may be easier to pop the body off to do the work.

But PLEASE LMK if there are any tools that make it easier in situ.

James
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:01 am

I have a vague recollection that there is a small transverse hole at the top of the damper shaft (for a split pin later to stop the nut coming off)

I think I used a fine wire through that hole to guide (& pull up) the shaft through the lotocone hole, while jacking it up as Rohan describes.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:41 am

There is a hole for the split pin and I used a wire, as described, the first time I did the job.

It was better than nothing, but not as easy as the tool pictured which allowed you to really wriggle things around.
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rear-strut-tool.jpg and
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:16 am

If you convert to the smaller springs with an adjustable platform it is easy to assemble the entire unit: upright, springs, spring hat, damper, bump stop, lotocone, damper top nut, etc. on the bench. Then connect the entire assembled upright unit to the A-arm, jack up to position the Lotocone and bolt it in place. Done. No fishing the rod through the lotocone.

When assembling the unit have the spring platform adjusted to lowest possible setting and then no spring compressor is needed. Also, get rid of the half-head lotocone bolts and use regular ones - much easier to tighten (and remove).

With the small springs you can still access the lotocone bolts for tightening with a socket wrench even with the spring and spring hat in place.

Much easier method than trying to fish the damper rod through the lotocone and then secure the damper. Especially if you have a damper (like the Konis I have) with no hole in the end for a fish wire. They don't use a castellated nut with cotter pin.

But the above technique probably only works for the small spring setup with adjustable platforms.
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