Lotus Elan

Front Shock absorbers

PostPost by: alanr » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:35 pm

Mick,
What make shock absorbers do you have?
Alan
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PostPost by: alanr » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:59 pm

Mick6186 wrote:I have the adjustable front shocks (new) on my +2 130/5 with standard springs. To achieve an acceptable front ride height I have had to have the ride height adjuster at the lowest setting, and even then the bottom wishbones are nowhere near parallel with the ground. All of the top mounts and bushes are as in the manual. Everything moves freely when I bounce on the wing. Something doesn't seem right. The car hasn't been used on the road for at least 15years but is nearing completion,
Mick


Well I am begining to wonder if using the original standard length spring is perhaps not appropriate with some adjustable shocks and a slightly shorter spring say a 13inch may be better? Trouble is going shorter will usually push up the spring rate.
Alan
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PostPost by: Mick6186 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:59 pm

20181114_150345.jpg and
20181114_145933.jpg and
The shock absorbers fitted are new Protech double adjustable and I am fairly sure the springs are original.
See the attached photos for pictures of spring platforms at full extension and bottom wishbone not parallel.
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PostPost by: Elseezed » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:11 pm

Elseezed wrote:Update: I have ordered the correct springs from SJ Sportcars, should arrive tomorrow. If I remove the AVO coilovers, take them with the springs, Chris Foulds will assemble the units. Just need to then refit to car.
Thanks Alan for raising the post and Stuart's input.
Les

Thanks to Chris and Steve at Foulds Motors for fitting the springs to my Avo dampers.
Refitted, test drove to let the springs settle, re-adjusted tested today and all is well.
Les.
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PostPost by: alanr » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:56 pm

Elseezed wrote:
Elseezed wrote:Update: I have ordered the correct springs from SJ Sportcars, should arrive tomorrow. If I remove the AVO coilovers, take them with the springs, Chris Foulds will assemble the units. Just need to then refit to car.
Thanks Alan for raising the post and Stuart's input.
Les

Thanks to Chris and Steve at Foulds Motors for fitting the springs to my Avo dampers.
Refitted, test drove to let the springs settle, re-adjusted tested today and all is well.
Les.


Thats good, pleased to hear that all is now sorted for you.

For my own part I have now purchased, and after much deliberation and product comparison, Spax adjustables together with standard 14.5 inch 110lb springs. :!:
So after I have worked out a method of compressing the springs to fit to the shocks it will be interesting to see how the ride height works out on my car! :D
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:39 pm

To continue this...
I have now fitted to my car Spax adjustables with 14.59inch,110lb springs which, according to Paul Matty, are the standard springs for my car. However like others have mentioned in this thread I have found that even with the shock absorber platforms at their lowest the wishbones are not horizontal and the car sits about an 1.25inches too high. :(
In hindsight I am thinking that I should have gone with my original gut instinct which was to fit 13inch 125lb springs which I can get direct from a spring company. My calculations sort of say in theory it should do the trick and lower the car by about 1inch whilst maintaining more or less the correct spring preload.

I will have to do something, I can't leave it like it is, it will handle horribly. Any ideas anyone?

Alan.
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PostPost by: cobraboy » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:05 pm

I had new Spax on my +2SI30 / 4, they lasted 5 minutes, leaked and I threw them away. I had new Spax on a 289 Cobra replica, they lasted 5 minutes, leaked and I threw them away.
Now if I was given new sets of Spax for all of my cars I would cut out the middle man and throw them away.

I bought TTR front shocks and springs as a package for the Lotus, fitted them and have no probs whatsoever.
By choice I would go for Koni on dampers and Faulkner for springs, if I knew the rate and length I wanted.
I use AVO on another car and have had to have a pair rebuilt on warranty already - which they did with no quibbles.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:11 pm

I don't think Koni do front shocks any more for the +2?...
I now have what I have and am looked for a way forward hence the question about spring rates.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:36 pm

I would have gone for Konis if they'd been available earlier this year but they weren't so it was Spax. So far they've lasted ok and performed very well but in light of the numerous bad reports about them I'll have a close look at them before the warranty runs out. The Spax rear inserts are about 10 yrs old and still going strong.

Spring characteristics are quite complicated but I'd have thought a 1" shorter version of what you have at the moment would be a good starting point. That's 1' shorter with the same diameter wire and number of coils, not an inch cut off the spring you have. Have you looked through Faulkner's offerings, they seem to have quite a large range.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:50 pm

It was my decision to go with Spax, I decided I wanted to swap over the dirt shield from the Armstrong originals to the new shocks and besides I thought the Spax looked more durable than the other alloy bodied units on offer.They have a 2year warranty and are based in Bicester so I don't envisage any issues there.
Back to the Spring rate/length.....
The problem of course is that if I go shorter on the spring free length I will have to up the spring rate to obtain the same/similar 'effective' spring rate/preload.
There must be someone who has experienced the same issue and has solved the dilema of which spring to replace the standard length one with when using these adjustable platform shock absorbers which I don't believe is anything to do with the brand of shock absorber. Others using Protech in this thread have the same issue.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:54 am

69S4 wrote:Spring characteristics are quite complicated but I'd have thought a 1" shorter version of what you have at the moment would be a good starting point. That's 1' shorter with the same diameter wire and number of coils, not an inch cut off the spring you have. Have you looked through Faulkner's offerings, they seem to have quite a large range.

Hi Stuart,
I have looked at Faulkner but the only spring they do in 1.9ID x14inch is 100lbs. They also don't do a 13inch spring at all, only 12inch in either 100, 125 or 150lbs/inch. I have calculated that if I go 12inch the poundage would have to be 150lb/s inch which I think would be too stiff.
I found this company:-http://www.shock-factory.co.uk/1.9-springs.html#13inchrange who I see do a 13inch at 125lbs which is what I am tempted to go for but it doesn't say how many coils so perhaps I will call them on Monday and see what they say.
I also thinking of calling Spax Technical dept to see if they have any suggestions.

Alan.
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:52 am

I only have experience with the 2 seat Elan but Lotus use very light spring rates therefore in order to get a suitable pre load a light spring must have a long free length.
Basically the preload supports the cars weight, so the only way a short spring can support the car is to be of a higher spring rate, but this setup will give a completely different ride dynamics to the original.
So in order to keep the legendary ride quality you need long springs.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:17 pm

Another consideration is the fact that the original Lotus/Armstrong springs only have 15.6coils on a 14.1 or 14.59 inch length spring.
( 14.1 early +2 14.59 later car)
The Matty supplied springs I have, have 17.3 coils as do Faulkners etc. on a 14inch spring so then the question arises about coil binding. :?
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PostPost by: cobraboy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:41 pm

Use the OEM Armstrong springs then.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:47 pm

cobraboy wrote:Use the OEM Armstrong springs then.


Yes thanks for the input...it is an idea that I too have thought about and a route that I might have to go down :D
Measuring things again has uncovered that the body of the Spax is 1/2 an inch longer, base platform to the top mounting than the Armstrongs.
I have also discovered that the original springs are 14.19inch (supposedly early springs)and not the 14.59 inch that P Matty supplied and are supposed to be standard for the model according to the workshop manual for the +2 130S.
The original springs would need blasting and powdercoating if I confirm that fitting the original springs could be a solution. This is the big question!!
So this then means I need to swap them over with the new ones I have currently fitted to confirm if it is a solution, then take them off again to have them refurbed and then refit them again afterwards. :cry:
I have made a compressor that seems to work ok but it is still a right royal pain swapping springs !
Going to have a think for a couple of days...

Alan.
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