Lotus Elan

Best Lotocone Design?

PostPost by: EricB » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:50 pm

Looking at my Lotocones for my '66 S3 DHC restoration, noticed that my "new" ones (purchased from Christopher Neil Sport Cars while on a business trip to England about 20 years ago), are not the same on the underside where the spring abutment plate mates against it.

The original ones had a conical shape for the mating surface whereas the replacement ones have a very thin tube with a slight taper such that the plate would have very little joining surface. Brian Buckland in his Elan Manual mentions on page 314 .these two differences and much prefers the conical type.due to much less stress imparted to the plate.

What is the groups experience between these two designs?
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Lotoscones-UjnderSide02-OEM on LS-Scan.jpg and
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:32 pm

Eric,

My lotacones are similar to that shown on the left in your photo. However, they still did not match the shape of the abutment plate. I made small brass spacers that fit between the abutment plate on one side of the spacer and the lotacone on the other side. Basically a conical washer with different angle on each side. At the time of doing this I found many abutment plates had the “D” shaped holes knocked round, I hope my brass spacer has resolved this problem.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: EricB » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:07 pm

Thanks Richard. I would hate to throw out the replacement ones shown on the right. will look into that.
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PostPost by: EricB » Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:03 pm

Hi Richard, did you ever make a sketch of your brass spacers? If so, would be curious as to their configuration.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:44 pm

Hi ericB

I bought lotacones from CN in the late eighties when I had the body off, they were the type shown on the right. I believe if my memory serves me right that they were the only type available at that time.
For a lot of years i had a thumping noise from the rear that I could not identify, statically or by inspection most annoying I looked at the boot lid catch, wooden boot covers, spare wheel mounting, exhaust fixings with no succes. Some years later (late 2020)I was removing n/s suspension strut to replace bearings and noticed that the lotacone showed signs of resting on the outer rubber and was a non standard mount. at that point I realised where the thumping
came from. see image, dont know why it is upside down
20201016_115002 small sizeA.jpg and
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:58 pm

Eric,

I am not a very orderly or organised person. I checked my notes, sometimes I make notes and other times I don’t, and I made a sketch, but with no dimensions. Lots of the things I do I just make to fit, and this is probably what I did with these spacers.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help,

Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: EricB » Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:46 pm

Hi Richard, thanks for getting back to me. I am fortunate to have a great machinist who has done a lot of work on the chassis for me already. I am sure he will come up with something like you have suggested.

Hi Hawkins, thanks for your experiences with that narrow type of contact lotocone. What did you do afterwards? Replace with the conical ones?
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:40 pm

Yes Eric

the large access hole type is the wrong part and does not allow proper seating of the mount.
Under compression it allows the outer ring to sit on the top of the suspension top hence the thump. under that rubber ring is the steel outer shell.

I had it for years

Good luck in your endeavours
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PostPost by: EricB » Tue Jan 25, 2022 8:31 pm

I keep looking at my original lotocones with the bevel end vs. the "newer" thin tubing one, and as it looks to be in good shape with the rubber portions still quite flexible and I see no evidence of cracking, I might use them with a brass spacer.

Any comments on what is the life of a lotocone?
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