Lotus Elan

26R Spinners, RH thread on right?

PostPost by: abstamaria » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:15 am

I have 26R hubs and the appropriate aluminium spinners on 26R magnesium wheels. As the spinners have a male taper. as on the original spinners, I installed the hubs so that the right-hand threads are on the right side of the car. That is, one turns the spinner clockwise to tighten on the tight side.

I just received a copy of an old handwritten note Lotus Components that says the opposite: left-hand thread on the tight side.

Which is correct? For those with these hubs and spinners or have pukka 26Rs, can you please tell me how your spinners tighten?

Many thanks, and regards,

Andy
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PostPost by: 661 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:01 pm

Source of endless debate but, my read and that of Tony Thompson is, top of spinner knocked to the front of the car should tighten it.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:33 pm

Spinners should have a tighten or release direction marked on them permanently. Failure to do this is extreme negligence on both previous and current suppliers and liable for all sorts of OHS prosecution grounds ... but its a lotus so who cares if you get it right or wrong until a wheel falls off :roll:

Getting sick of stupid mistakes and incompetence of both Lotus and their subsequent spare parts suppliers :evil:
You should not need an engineering degree and 40 years experience to get it right, Got enough to worry about getting sick with Corona virus :lol:

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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:44 pm

For those willing to get their head around it, there is a great explanation on Wikipedia -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession_(mechanical)

The interesting part is that even a tight fitting suffers from this effect because of the elasticity of the material, and will eventually loosen if fitted incorrectly.

So, as a lockdown quiz, did Colin get it the right way around?
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:10 pm

abstamaria wrote:I have 26R hubs and the appropriate aluminium spinners on 26R magnesium wheels. As the spinners have a male taper. as on the original spinners, I installed the hubs so that the right-hand threads are on the right side of the car. That is, one turns the spinner clockwise to tighten on the tight side.

I just received a copy of an old handwritten note Lotus Components that says the opposite: left-hand thread on the tight side.

Which is correct? For those with these hubs and spinners or have pukka 26Rs, can you please tell me how your spinners tighten?

Many thanks, and regards,

Andy


A male taper spinner should tighten the same way as a standard Elan male taper. Perhaps whoever wrote the note at lotus components hadn't seen Colin's famous demonstration with a roll of tape and a tin lid. A female taper spinner should tighten the same way as an MG.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:44 pm

Being stuck on a conference call, I have had the opportunity to google around the subject. A couple of interesting (though probably apocryphal) stories:

Colin chose the male taper for the Elan because Dunlop held the patent for the Rudge-Whitworth female taper, and demanded royalties for its use.

Cobras used male tapered spinners on Halibrand wheels and fitted them in the standard 'Rudge-Whitworth' way, which was the wrong way around for male tapered spinners. One suggestion was that this was standard practice in pit lanes of the day and avoided confusion. The other explanation is that AC didn't understand how the spinners worked.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:16 pm

I tighten mine (26R type) as Colin suggested and have never had even the slightest loosening-tighten both sides so the top of the spinner is going towards the front of the car-unlike wire wheels where it is toward the rear.
This works for me on long gravel rallies so Colin must be right!
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:35 pm

This is what caused me concern:

17A81E43-A5E1-400F-9437-91A17C758E51.jpeg and
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:05 pm

When i first visited New Zealand in 2013 i went to "Southwards Open day" Paraparaumu .
There were a few Lotus Elans including a +2. The owner said he had rebuilt the car and i said he had fitted the Hubs the wrong side. He had put the Anti Clockwise Spinners on the right hand side (driver's side NZ) :?
IMG_3519.JPG and

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:28 pm

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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:10 pm

Abstamaria has a point. I just checked my copies of "Handling and Maintenance Notes" for the S1 26R dated May 1964 and the S2 notes dated June 1965 and both say that the l/h threaded hubs should be on the r/h side!

Perhaps it was after this that ACBC gave his engineers the "pep-talk"!

Edit: This is deja vu all over again isn't it?!

I just read the link that 1owner posted, oh dear...
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:04 pm

Yes, the Wikipedia article on precession seems to say Chapman got it wrong. Or, maybe it depends on where the force is applied, on the outer ring or the inner ring, as he notes.

But, then, it also says:

“ Automobiles have also used left-threaded lug nuts on left-side wheels, but now commonly use tapered lug nuts, which do not precess.”

Maybe it doesn’t matter?

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:47 pm

3A6EDD5B-7C47-45ED-B4CB-81C4B774C84F.jpeg and
Either Shelby or Chapman is wrong.

I drilled a hole on one of the ears of each spinner to put locking wire, when I was racing the Elan. I removed the wires now that the Elan is retired to street use. Still a good idea perhaps. (Photo below taken at the local sports car club gathering in Manila this February, pre-lockdown.)

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PostPost by: Davidb » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:43 am

"Maybe it doesn't matter?" You may be right Abstamaria!

I would take ACBC's opinion over a chicken farmer's any day however.

A friend owned Cobra CSX 2151 (the Hairy Canary) and raced it hard-he was a real estate agent who I never saw pay another person to work on the car. He never lost a wheel.

I ran 26/-/-R5 for several seasons with the knock offs tightening "toward the front" back in the eighties. Now I run an old competition Elan on classic rallies with 26R hubs and tighten them "toward the front", no problems.

However, a few years ago there was a "Semi-Lightweight" E Type in California that lost a wheel on the road after attending a "Cars and Coffee" event-it seems the spinner came off... Nasty accident. Anybody know more about that?
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:46 am

abstamaria wrote:Yes, the Wikipedia article on precession seems to say Chapman got it wrong. Or, maybe it depends on where the force is applied, on the outer ring or the inner ring, as he notes.

But, then, it also says:

“ Automobiles have also used left-threaded lug nuts on left-side wheels, but now commonly use tapered lug nuts, which do not precess.”

Maybe it doesn’t matter?

Andy

As I mentioned in the original thread linked to above, these days the cars do very little mileage, and are generally well cared for. Back in the day, a car could go many miles without the spinner being touched, and possibly it was more of an issue then. It clearly mattered enough for Chapman to go to the expense of stocking two types of spinner and two types of hub.

If you go back to the Wikipedia animation, while it does take some mental gymnastics, with a male taper the direction of wheel rotation would be the opposite direction to the rotating blue arrow (assuming I have got it right). In which case, Dunlop, Rudge-Whitworth and Chapman all got it right. So for Elans, its right hand thread on the right side, for MGs its right hand thread on the left side.

Andy.
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