Lotus Elan

Swaybar broken - can it be welded?

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:41 pm

Out for a drive today, everything fine. Suddenly (after normal driving) noticed some klunking in front end. Up on car ramps to investigate. Found the bolt end of the front swaybar broken. See pictures.
I just sold one a couple months ago to one of the forum members (never fails)!
Question is can it be safely welded and reused or must it be totally replaced with another one? I don't track or race it, but do "spirited" drives on the country roads.
Thanks
swaybar-001.jpg and

swaybar-002.jpg and
TED
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:06 am

I would try brazing it & let it cool in air... don't quench it as it needs to be ductile.

In the mean time look out for another,,, :roll:
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:35 am

I'd add a 16GA piece the same size and shape as the top surface to bridge the break and braze it all around the join and across the break.


....and look for another.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:20 am

Bud, if i bolster the one end to back and strengthen the broken end, the thickness would end up different from the other side. Will that make any noticeable difference?
in other words, should both ends be done the same?

Also, is the Europa front sway bar the same bar (with exception of the drop links, they're obviously longer on the Europa)?
TED
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:39 am

The front track width of the Europa is about 5 inches greater than the Elan.
Having one end thicker than the other wouldn't be much of an issue, but it might be worth reinforcing the other end. After all, if one end broke, the other may well do the same soon!
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:48 am

I have a spare, but I'm in the UK.
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:20 pm

did it 30 years ago, still holds up. The tiny difference in material thickness makes no difference

bushings are too tight
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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:03 pm

I'd just add a bit to each side and arc weld. If the whole end is heated to red and allowed to cool slowly there should n't be a problem. My repair may make it harder to fit new bushings at the chassis attaching point though. Agree that the bushings need to be slacked a bit.

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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:40 pm

SUCCESS! repair made, thick washer used to buttress each end, painted and re-installed, test driven, everything A-OK and back to normal. I did not over tighten the bushes, thanks for that tip.
swaybar-003.jpg and

swaybar-004.jpg and
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:05 pm

>>>I did not over tighten the bushes, thanks for that tip.<<<

I did!
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:07 pm

The rear sway bar on Lotus 22-23 etc and original 26R have bolts welded or brazed to the ends of the bars to attach the down links, so I think your braze repair will do nicely.

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