Lotus Elan

Small springs and short shocks???

PostPost by: nomad » Fri Jan 20, 2023 4:17 am

Bud English posted a change he had made to his +2 a while back. He had sourced adjustable spring perches and springs from E-bay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/165686383920?f ... R_C7qNW5YQ
And 100# springs that he sourced from E-bay as well. These were 14" springs and apparently have just disappeared. I'm sure I can find others.

Anyway, I'm wondering about appropriate spring rate, and length for my S1. Also some insight into exactly where to place the spring platforms on the shocks.

Then.....Planning on taking apart a set of Spax shocks and lengthening the stops inside of them for use with CV joints. Perhaps that should be separate discussion.

Soooo, what say the group??
Kurt
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:26 pm

Fundamentals say if you want to keep the supple ride of the Elan you need long springs. You can’t get around this theory look at it any which way you like its fact, you need long springs.
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PostPost by: nomad » Fri Jan 20, 2023 7:56 pm

Craven wrote:Fundamentals say if you want to keep the supple ride of the Elan you need long springs. You can’t get around this theory look at it any which way you like its fact, you need long springs.


OK, those springs that Bud used were 100# and 14" springs. I was thinking the same springs but 80# for an S1 Elan. Then, wondering where the perches should be placed. Someone who has bought the commercial setups would be nice to converse with. Don't imagine folks selling those kits to be all that conducive to me picking their brains seeing as how I am bypassing them.

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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:03 pm

Craven wrote:Fundamentals say if you want to keep the supple ride of the Elan you need long springs. You can’t get around this theory look at it any which way you like its fact, you need long springs.


Hi

As a reasonably longstanding Lotus elan +2 driver I have always subscribed to this theory. So when I revised the suspension on my Porsche 993 I wanted to run standard spring rates, but at the "sport" height. This is lower than standard. Porsche sell shorter standard rate springs for this purpose. So I put on a system with adjustable spring perches and ran the longer standard springs but at "sport" height.

Berni
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PostPost by: nomad » Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:41 pm

berni29 wrote:
Craven wrote:Fundamentals say if you want to keep the supple ride of the Elan you need long springs. You can’t get around this theory look at it any which way you like its fact, you need long springs.


Hi

As a reasonably longstanding Lotus elan +2 driver I have always subscribed to this theory. So when I revised the suspension on my Porsche 993 I wanted to run standard spring rates, but at the "sport" height. This is lower than standard. Porsche sell shorter standard rate springs for this purpose. So I put on a system with adjustable spring perches and ran the longer standard springs but at "sport" height.

Berni


So if you were running them at "sport" height I am assuming that you were running long springs at a low spring rate so they would compress to the height you wanted. I am hoping to get some insight on what that rate and height would end up at on a S1 Elan.
Kurt
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:26 am

So this is the spring I'm thinking of buying:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/385178444422?h ... BMrtj6mrph

Somewhere I read stock spring rate front and back. Seems that 80 would be a little stiffer than stock.

Kurt
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PostPost by: berni29 » Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:05 am

nomad wrote:
berni29 wrote:
Craven wrote:Fundamentals say if you want to keep the supple ride of the Elan you need long springs. You can’t get around this theory look at it any which way you like its fact, you need long springs.


Hi

As a reasonably longstanding Lotus elan +2 driver I have always subscribed to this theory. So when I revised the suspension on my Porsche 993 I wanted to run standard spring rates, but at the "sport" height. This is lower than standard. Porsche sell shorter standard rate springs for this purpose. So I put on a system with adjustable spring perches and ran the longer standard springs but at "sport" height.

Berni


So if you were running them at "sport" height I am assuming that you were running long springs at a low spring rate so they would compress to the height you wanted. I am hoping to get some insight on what that rate and height would end up at on a S1 Elan.
Kurt


Hi Kurt

I just ran the standard springs at a lower perch/platform height to give the same ride height as the shorter standard rate springs which is the other way to achieve the same height on a non adjustable suspension. If that makes sense.

All the best

Berni
Zetec+ 2 under const, also 130S. And another 130S for complete restoration. Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Great to be back 04/11/2021 although its all starting to get a bit out of control.
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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:00 pm

Required pre-load would reduce your fitted spring length to about 7 inches, I would think this would leave very little free movement before spring binding occurring on bump.
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jan 21, 2023 3:15 pm

Berni, yes, that seems logical.

Craven, very good point!
I'm afraid that I am in a trial and error mode with this.

Kurt
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Jan 21, 2023 3:32 pm

Why not just buy the springs from somewhere like ttr?

While not original they offer springs that are proven to work reasonably well.
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PostPost by: nomad » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:58 am

mbell wrote:Why not just buy the springs from somewhere like ttr?

While not original they offer springs that are proven to work reasonably well.


Well, of course you are right, the idea was to save a buck but that is a better plan than me doing the experimentation.

Kurt
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:11 pm

That's great advice and the price is very reasonable. I would have gone that route if I'd known about them at the time. Unfortunately 2-1/4" springs won't fit the perches that I installed.
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Feb 09, 2023 9:08 pm

For those who have gone to smaller springs on the rear and shorter shocks to coincide with CV drive shafts, I would really like to know what length rear springs you used. Also what spring rate for the rotten rough roads that are common in much of the country.

Thanks
Kurt
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PostPost by: nomad » Fri Feb 10, 2023 12:45 am

I looked at some of the commercial offerings out there and was not overly impressed so I have sourced Bud's spring perches and some 80#, 14" springs. Springs appear to be too long for my purposes. In my motorcycle days I have cut springs down with a friction cut off saw. Hold them very firmly and they come out looking almost factory. However I'm still wondering if 80# is too stiff for a road car on the current rotten roads and knowing what others have done for length would be nice as well.

Next move will be disassembling some Koni shocks and adding to their stops to make them suitable for CV drive shafts :D Wish me luck!

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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Thu Mar 09, 2023 3:57 am

The stock rear springs were something like 78 lbs/inch, so 80 is not too stiff at all. Cutting springs down will have a material impact on the spring rate (increasing it), and unless you are comfortable with a SWAG calculation of new spring rate, or have a way to measure the new spring rate, it's not a recommended practice.

On my S1 I'm running 100lbs/inch 12" long rear springs with Bean's adjustable perch kit.

120lbs/inch in the front on TTR adjustable perch shocks.

Definitely not to stiff with this step up. I would call it mildly uprated.
Steve

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