Lotus Elan

Rear Suspension Overhaul

PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:47 am

20 Feb in this thread (page 1):

[quote="jbeach"]Hi SENC,

I'm in South Carolina and going through an amazingly similar rear-end rebuild process as you......./quote]

In your post the accompanying photograph closeup of your rear struts, the left one (in the picture, destined for the RHS of the car) - can I see an aluminium weld repair to the brake caliper mounting lug ?

My query is - (notwithstanding the strut in this case may not have been repaired) I?ve seen several struts for sale in recent years with damage or repair in this area, is repair a safe/acceptable practice?

Sorry to hijack the thread, but if it has been repaired, it might be considered appropriate to post here.
Malcolm
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:54 pm

A good quality repair weld can certainly be done to the lugs on the alloy casting. You just need to ensure the person doing the weld is top quality aluminium welder. if done right it will be stronger than the original casting.

When i first got my Elan one of the struts had a cracked mounting lug and it had been "fixed' by a reinforcing steel plate that picked up the cracked lug plus the other lug and a bottom wishbone bolt. it was a nice, well made and complex shaped steel reinforcing plate and it would have been harder to make than to just repair the cracked lug. I had the crack ground out and re-welded 40 years ago and its still perfect today .

cheers
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PostPost by: SENC » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:14 pm

Re: SJS poly bushes for rear wishbones, I neglected to post the guidance I got from SJS on installation so am posting the email dialogue below for the benefit of those who may follow. As predicted installation was straightforward and fairly simple, no need for a press or special tools. As indicated above, I waited to tighten nuts and bolts until the suspension was fully loaded as recommended for metalastic bushes but not certain that is necessary for poly. All seems to move well in response to bouncing on the rear corners - will report back on feel once I get it on the road.

Steve - I recently purchased poly bushes for the rear wishbones on my 69 Elan S4 from you and would like some installation guidance.
Re: the larger inner bushes - should the tophat flange be installed facing forward, backward, towards each other, or away from each other? On test fit, the ss inserts appear shorter than the bushings, opposite than I would have expected - does this mean the wishbones rotate around these bushes rather than the bushes around the ss insert? Or do I need to shave down the corrugated end of the bushes for a custom fit, thereby making the ss inserts longer?
Re: the smaller outer bushes - should the tophat flange be installed facing the strut housing, or facing away from the strut housing?
Were either/both sets designed to be installed with thrust washers? What size?
Thanks,
Henry

Good afternoon,
I am sorry for my slow reply. I have been trying to find time to trial fit one myself.
I do not think it makes ay difference which way round you fit the bushes. I like them with the top hats on the insides, inner and outer.
I am sure you would have found that the steel tubes are the correct length, they just fit between the chassis webs.
You are correct the bush is around a millimetre longer. I can just squeeze the bush into the chassis. I do not suggest you trim anything. One the bolt is tightened, it will clamp on the tube and the bush will rotate around the tube, as you might expect.
Steve

Thanks Steve. So no thrust washers, either?

No,
Steve
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PostPost by: jbeach » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:26 pm

You certainly have sharp eyes, Malcolm!

Yes, the right side brake caliper mounting lug has been repaired.

safety-wire-detail.jpg and

This repair has apparently been in place for more than 30 years. With a relatively non-bendable metal like aluminum (sorry for the poor nomenclature - I'm not a real engineer 8)) and an application like this, not only is the integrity of the weld important, but the facing needs to be perfectly in-plane so as to avoid any torquing when the bolts are tightened. This repair appears to meet both requirements and I'm confident in its integrity. But, the devil is certainly in the details with this type of thing.

Best,

-John
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:34 pm

Are banjo fittings standard on the plus 2 or is that your own mod?
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
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PostPost by: jbeach » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:05 am

My Elan is an S4 DHC. I don?t know whether banjos are standard on a Plus 2, but they do appear to be standard on an S4.
-John
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:25 am

Rohan and John,
Thanks for the info on repairs to struts, most helpful :)
Malcolm
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PostPost by: SENC » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:52 am

She was getting low on Vitamin D, so after bleeding the brakes and reinstalling the front sway bar, I took her out for a little sun. Just a quick couple of miles around the neighborhood to shake things out, then sun bathing while I cleaned up the garage.

20180421_172841.jpg and


20180421_172934.jpg and


First impressions of the CVDS from elantrikbits, rebuilt konis, and the various rear poly bushings are very positive. I didn't push or test the car at all, but the rear seemed solid and smooth, no harshness noted in the ride. I didnt even miss the windup of the donuts and thankfully heard no differential whine after replacing the pinion seal.

On the downside, the solid and silent rear end now amplifies the creaks and sloppiness of the front, so will start tackling those suspension bits sooner rather than later.

Great to get her out briefly, though, and to put an end to this overhaul a week or so earlier than anticipated.
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Sat May 05, 2018 10:57 am

Spring is in the air and I'm cleaning and redoing the entire suspension on my 69.

I do have a question about removing the bearings from the output shaft that goes through the rear uprights. How do you guys remove the bearings? I did it many years ago on my Plus 2 but don't remember how I did it. Can it be done without a hydraulic press?
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