Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan Spyder front ride height...again

PostPost by: Robzildjian » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:34 pm

Thanks to great advice from Spyderfan I now have slight higher profile tyres at 65 profile and with the wishbones set up perfectly flat all round - the suspension feeling perfect I am approaching good ride height but not quite. Here is a photo..

The arch to floor heights are as follows.

FL 25 ??
FR 25 1/2
RL 24 1/2
RR 24 1/2

Now the problem is my OCD tell me that visually the rears are fine, but the front needs to come down by an inch to an inch and a half for the wheel to fill the arch perfectly. I love this car and find it absolutely beautiful and wonder about whether I can achieve the look that I want and still have flat wishbones and hence good susoension geometry. Does anyone have any advice on how I could do this. My feeling is that adjustable shocks or shorter springs might do the job. If so can anyone advise which ones to go for?

I would greatly appreciate advice from experts on the forum.

Many thanks

Rob
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:49 pm

Sorry, no advice, but love your car!
Also love the colour...don't know why :D
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Rob,
I have been discussing ride height appearance with Mark Kempson recently (Elan in the forest) he gave an interesting comparison with newly rebuilt Austin Healey's or E type Jaguars with which he is very familiar, saying that a freshly rebuilt car can look ridiculously high until the suspension has quite a few thousand miles use through regular driving.

A set of front dampers with adjustable spring perches will allow you to play around with the front ride height, a complete set with new springs will set you back around ?300.

My own car looks a similar ride height to what you have achieved so far, but I could lower it by 1 1/2 inches if I wasn't bothered about the atrocious potholes and speed humps in my home town. Fully loaded with 2 people and luggage it looks like it's slammed into the tarmac ( so I'm told) of course I don't get to see that.

A very nice photo of your car BTW 8)
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:05 pm

Thanks both. Very nice of you to say so. Alan thanks for the suggestion on the dampers - that could well be my next step. By the way: what do you think of the dreaded practice or cutting the springs to get that last inch of lowering at the front? Could this be a cheaper way of o get the adjustment that I'm after. I appreciate this final adjustment would probably also need a re routed exhaust to avoid grounding. Did you have any luck with yours? I think that we discussed it a while back.

Rob
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:08 pm

Yes I have a new manifold that was based upon John Pellys design (Grumpy Bodger), its made by Paul Dunnel engines.

The manifold takes the same route as the standard twincam manifold exiting above and behind the removable crossmember. Because the lowest point is no longer between the front wheels, there is far less chance of grounding when going over a bump.

As soon as I am less busy with work and home renovations I will be experimenting with going down a further inch at the front, but at the moment I'm pleased with how the car looks.

2016-07-07-12.24.34.jpg and


The problem with shortening springs is that there's no going back, and over time they will compress and you will need new springs again, also I can't think of a method to calculate how much to remove, I don't think it's as simple as 1/2 inch off equals 1/2 inch lower..... might be that simple, I don't know reallly.
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:57 am

Thanks Alan - very useful insight. I know the feeling on house renovations and being busy at work! Which adjustable dampers do you use by the way? Would you recommend the ones you have?
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:43 pm

Rob,
The front dampers and springs on my car are as fitted by Spyder back in 2008, since then I have covered around 25,000 miles, no problems and It's straightforward to raise or lower the front using a C spanner.

Front Dampers Aluminium Adjustable (pair) BODA011P ?185.00
Front Springs (Pair) BOSPZT1 ?89.00
+ VAT and carriage
Image
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:51 pm

For information to anyone following this topic, what Rob & I are trying to avoid is the "SUV off road look" that some cars appear to have.

For example
Image
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:57 pm

Alan,

So you can adjust ride height with these without affecting the wishbones being level? Could be my answer.

R
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:52 pm

Front Ride Height 2 seat Elan.
A critical dimension given in the workshop manual of 11.84 inches provides the datum for 6.125 inch ground clearance and approximate parallel to ground of the lower wishbones.
This 11.84 inch dimension is the distance between the lower EYE centre of the shock absorber and the Chassis front upright underside for shock absorber mounting.
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PostPost by: gavk » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:51 pm

Rob,

You mention your wishbones are currently level (horizontal), if that's true then any further lowering will cause your lower wishbones to go past horizontal. How much angular change you'll see I'm not sure, would need to take some measurements to work it out, it could still be acceptable (just).

It doesn't matter if you use adjustable spring platforms or chop your springs, the result will be the same in terms of wishbone angle.

For the record I would personally go for a nice set of adjustable dampers as linked by Alan, you can consider it an upgrade and play around with the adjustments. Chopped springs on the other hand can be dangerous and problematic depending on whether the spring has a linear or variable spring rate, in this instance I'm afraid I'm not sure.

I too will be switching to the higher profile tyres as soon as my rears wear out, 28'000miles and a Circuit Day at Bruntingthorpe and my rears are finally near their limits although they just squeezed through last MOT with maybe a mm to spare!

I'll get my new tyres in the next month or so, when i do I'll play with my ride height and take a pic. I often have to tackle speed bumps so I certainly won't be one of the lowest Zetecs!
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:34 pm

Jim,

That looks a nice car. Quite similar to the height of mine I think so maybe I should be satisfied! Do you know the arch to floor measurements in inches so that I can compare to the dimensions in my original post.

Thanks

Rob
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PostPost by: JimE » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:19 pm

This is how it should look. I have taken the distance from the ground and a line through the centre of the wheel nut to the bodywork. Came up as 25 inches plus 3/16th. The distance front and rear is identical.
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PostPost by: Nickm » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:51 pm

Hi Rob, like Kevj+2 I love the colour! Can you let us know what it is please?
Thanks
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:15 pm

Nick - thank you. It is MG Zircon Silver I believe. It has been on the car for 20 years and has a nice patina. It seems to suit the car really well and get lots of compliments.
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