Lotus Elan

Aeon Spring / Lotocones etc

PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:16 pm

I have most of the bits to start the rebuild .

The Aeon springs have different size holes - which way up do they go.

The lotocones are perfectly reusable - BUT - The internal sleeve is tapered (fits over the dome in the Top Plate.) I'm told that the sleeve should be parallel to prevent the damper tube punching through the plate.
Any comments / recommendations?

Any tips for fitting the lotocones onto the chassis? A bit of surgery on the body by the fuel tank?

Many thanks
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:05 am

I'm fairly sure the small end of the Aeon goes to the top (the Aeon must remain at the top of the stroke as it holds the plastic dirt shield in place) the bottom end must be the bigger hole as that should slide when compressed.

The only thing i know about the Locotones that is any use to you is make sure you have the correct ones, there were some reproduction ones sold a few years back with the wrong taper also make sure you have the correct top hat nuts.

As for fitting, they are a git!! i've tried a few things but it's not easy..... i can only suggest you make sure the captive nuts are spotless and well copper lubed up so you can screw the bolts in with your fingers, i have always struggled with locating the captives with the jack pushing the strut assembly up so i thought about fitting short studs to the captives (Thread locked in) then use nuts. But i've not got that far yet so don't know if it would work.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:44 am

Thanks Chris.

Aeon - small hole at the top makes sense. On the struts I've have the alloy spacers have worn into the Aeons and the whole assembly must have been sliding.

461-nov.-10-10.37.jpg and


Re the Lotocone bolts - I have considered using socket headed bolts, perhaps with a small taper ground on the start? I will first have to check the thread of the existing captive nuts. (assuming they exist!)
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:28 am

When I did lotocones on my S3 Coupe, a long time ago, I took the rear window out to avoid accidentally smashing it with long socket set levers.

I fitted the cones without the rear suspension and it was relatively easy, just something like a bit of broomstick to push it up into place from underneath then hold it there with a bit of wire coathanger while I got the bolts in, using long extension bars on a socket spanner.

I understand that you need an adaptor to fit a taper onto any shock absorbers that do not have tapered ends, (but my memory is vague on this.)

It was not difficult then to push/jack the fully assembled rear suspension up through the lotocone, guiding it with a thin wire through the locking pin hole of the damper, then removing that wire when in position and fitting the castellated nut and a locking pin.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:37 am

As you say that looks like the Aeon looks like it's failed and has been rammed into the raiser pulling it off the top of the strut.


The Locotones are a bit of an on going issue, i tried using hex head bolts with a torx which seemed to work better.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:39 am

vincereynard wrote:Thanks Chris.

Aeon - small hole at the top makes sense. On the struts I've have the alloy spacers have worn into the Aeons and the whole assembly must have been sliding.

461 Nov. 10 10.37.jpg


Re the Lotocone bolts - I have considered using socket headed bolts, perhaps with a small taper ground on the start? I will first have to check the thread of the existing captive nuts. (assuming they exist!)

I thought the Set Scews holding the Lotocone to the Chassis had thin Heads or is my memory failing :?
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:16 pm

billwill wrote:I fitted the cones without the rear suspension and it was relatively easy, just something like a bit of broomstick to push it up into place from underneath then hold it there with a bit of wire coathanger while I got the bolts in, using long extension bars on a socket spanner.

I understand that you need an adaptor to fit a taper onto any shock absorbers that do not have tapered ends, (but my memory is vague on this.)

It was not difficult then to push/jack the fully assembled rear suspension up through the lotocone, guiding it with a thin wire through the locking pin hole of the damper, then removing that wire when in position and fitting the castellated nut and a locking pin.


Fitting the lotocone first presumably entails lifting the strut bits with a spring fitted with compressors? Or is the idea to jack up the strut and use the car weight to compress the spring?
That sounds a bit risky!

Its a thought that having adjustable seats turned to maximum down would make thinks easier.

None of the dampers I have have a top taper. As long as the top is located by the D hole that should be OK?

The fittings that came with the struts were just normal bolts.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:03 pm

alan.barker wrote:
vincereynard wrote:Thanks Chris.

Aeon - small hole at the top makes sense. On the struts I've have the alloy spacers have worn into the Aeons and the whole assembly must have been sliding.

461 Nov. 10 10.37.jpg


Re the Lotocone bolts - I have considered using socket headed bolts, perhaps with a small taper ground on the start? I will first have to check the thread of the existing captive nuts. (assuming they exist!)

I thought the Set Scews holding the Lotocone to the Chassis had thin Heads or is my memory failing :?
Alan

They do usually have thin heads but standard bolts fit fine...... if not a little easier if you screw them in by hand first.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:15 pm

billwill, i tried some thing very similar on my dhc 2 seater..... The problem i had was the lotocone had to be perfectly aligned with the strut or it catches and pushes the strut in as you lift, no space for the spring compressors so the spring is constantly trying to flick the top of the strut through the quarter panel as it's raised into position. Thats all without trying to loose fingers.... I ended up loosening the Lotocone bolts right off to get it to the right angle of attack which kinda defeats the object. I did think about putting some form of clamp on the chrome damper rod but i was loathed to do that to my new dampers and it also would have interfered with the spring.

Maybe i was just doing some thing wrong.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:25 pm

What is the hub nut thread? A 1/2 in Whitworth fits perfectly but I'm assuming it is AF?
Found it - 5/8th UNF (18tpi) I'll get a few from a good source and experiment.

How much body surgery would it take to make the Lotocone bolts accessible from the inside?
Nuts tacked to Lotocones, lift in place, bolt home. It sounds too easy so must have been tried before.

I'm currently fighting to get the hubs off so replacement is academic at the moment!
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:35 pm

Chris,

What is a riser or raiser? My 1968 S4 had no such thing when I dismantled it.

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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:55 pm

Grizzly wrote:billwill, i tried some thing very similar on my dhc 2 seater..... The problem i had was the lotocone had to be perfectly aligned with the strut or it catches and pushes the strut in as you lift, no space for the spring compressors so the spring is constantly trying to flick the top of the strut through the quarter panel as it's raised into position. Thats all without trying to loose fingers.... I ended up loosening the Lotocone bolts right off to get it to the right angle of attack which kinda defeats the object. I did think about putting some form of clamp on the chrome damper rod but i was loathed to do that to my new dampers and it also would have interfered with the spring.

Maybe i was just doing some thing wrong.


It sounds like you did not use a guide wire, passed through the hole in the top of the damper, twisted to hold it, them passed up through the lotocone and kept taught while jacking up the suspension so that the top of the damper rod passes cleanly through the lotocone. Use a wire strong enough to pull the damper to fully out. I think I used brake nut safety wire (Stainless steel).

At least that is my recollection but it was a long time ago.

I have the standard width springs, so I might have also used spring compressors.
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PostPost by: SENC » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:51 am

I did the same as billwill, installed lotocones first then guided the damper up through the lotocone with a strong bit of wire. I used stock springs, and did have to compress them when installing them - because there is so little space to work (mine is a baby elan) I used compressors to compress then ratchet straps to hold. It took a little experimentation to figure out where to place the straps on the springs and how much to compress them (as little as possible to fit them to keep it as safe as possible), but it is easily doable.

Found a couple of pictures...

20180414_162923.jpg and


20180414_171344.jpg and
Last edited by SENC on Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:16 am

If you convert to the smaller springs with an adjustable platform it is easy to assemble the entire unit: upright, springs, spring hat, damper, bump stop (bump rubber spring), lotocone, damper top nut, etc. on the bench. Then connect the entire assembled upright unit to the A-arm, jack up to position the Lotocone and bolt it in place. Done. No fishing the rod through the lotocone.

When assembling the unit have the spring platform adjusted to lowest possible setting and then no spring compressor is needed. Also, get rid of the half-head lotocone bolts and use regular ones - much easier to tighten (and remove).

With the small springs you can still access the lotocone bolts for tightening with a socket wrench even with the spring and spring hat in place.

Much easier method than trying to fish the damper rod through the lotocone and then secure the damper. Especially if you have a damper (like the Konis I have) with no hole in the end for a fish wire. They don't use a castellated nut with cotter pin but a nyloc instead.

But the above technique probably only works for the small spring setup with adjustable platforms.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:16 am

I don't think i will be able to do it that way, as 1owner69Elan points out my rear struts are top adjustable with no pin hole to use for locating wire, with the shorter stroke too it made life even harder.


Richard, sorry i thought i replied to your question but my post seems to have vanished..... The riser was fitted to later +2 cars and from what i've read brings the Aeon springs in earlier which in turn improves handling, i'm also told if you have the hex head Spax type damper securing nut the sharp edges will cut into the Aeon springs reducing the life. There is a bit more about it in this thread lotus-suspension-f42/very-important-rear-suspension-parts-t41753.html
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