Lotus Elan

Fitting Front Upper Wishbones with Body On

PostPost by: tonycharente » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:31 pm

Hello All,
BACKGROUND
I have just removed the Front Upper Wishbones from my Elan S4 {which has a very early Spyder (1980) replacement chassis (folded sheet, not space-frame) and tubular (possibly also Spyder) wishbones}. I did this because there was a lot of play in the bushes - the rubber having sheared off the inner tube. When I slid the wishbones off the fulcrum pins the inner tubes stayed in stuck in place - they only came off when twisted with mole-grips.

MY QUESTIONS
It looks to me as if had the wishbones not separated from the inner tubes it would not have been possible to slide the the wishbones off with the body in place, as they slide into the inner wing despite the shape of the inner wing. Thus putting back on re-bushed wishbones with the body in place would also not be possible. Is this in fact the case?

If so would any of the various "polybush" bushes be easier to fit? For example are any of them made up of two "top hats" rather than one "cotton reel" so that one "top hat" could be slid onto the fulcrum pin ahead of wishbone? Or could a "cotton reel" version be cut through half way along to produce two "top hats" to do the same thing?

Or is there another solution?

Or is the only option (other than removing the body!) to cut neat holes through the inner wing to enable the wishbones to be slid back on once they are fully assembled with their new bushes?

Many thanks for all your thoughts.

Tony

PS I've read that on the Spyder chassis the fulcrum pin shaft is only pushed into place (not welded in place) and I thought that if I could slide it first one way and then the other this would make fitting the re-bushed wishbones dead easy. However the application of reasonable force has failed to budge my fulcrum pin shaft and the last thing I want to do is to damage it.
1969 Elan FHC S4 SE
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:26 am

PPS...

Further thoughts / questions following a sleepless night (!)

Using a "polybush" type bush, is it possible to insert the bush (cotton reel type) into the wishbone, then to slide the wishbone onto the fulcrum pin, and ONLY THEN to insert the inner tube? (If so, I think this might be the solution to my problem...)

I have just measured the length of my Spyder fulcrum pin shaft - approx 23.1 cm. How does this compare with the Lotus version? {I.e. is my problem a Spyder chassis only problem, or is it the same for everybody... ...there's a certain comfort in sharing grief (!!!) }
1969 Elan FHC S4 SE
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:05 am

I have had to cut a couple of holes to enable the upper arms to come off in my 1968 S4 with a standard chassis. The body had recesses moulded that were obviously intended to be big enough to slide the arm on and off but for 2 of the arms it was too small so i cut a hole. Been meaning for 30 years to replace the fibreglass with a larger recess :roll:

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PostPost by: tonycharente » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:33 am

Thank you Rohan for your very helpful reply.

I'll see what other replies I get, but I'm leaning towards buying the "polybush" type bushes and seeing whether I can insert the inner tube AFTER having slipped on the wishbone plus polybush, which I think may be possible as in effect that's how I got the old ones off.

And if that doesn't work I'll be cutting holes...

Thanks again
Tony
1969 Elan FHC S4 SE
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:17 am

Yes with split poly bushes it may be possible to position the inner poly bush, fit the wishbone, fit the outer bus and then slide in the inner sleeve. i use poly bushes and have pulled off wishbones and refitted many time in the last 30 years but never really thought if its possible without the holes I have cut :D

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