Lotus Elan

Quick help needed - in the garage now!

PostPost by: leedsj » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:03 pm

Ok, so that might be a tad ambitious, but I'm comtemplating changing my donuts to CV shafts myself (+ useful friend Dave) rather than bother my local garage. Can someone who has done this tell me whether or not the suspension needs to be pulled apart in order to get them off / on?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:32 pm

No need to pull the suspension,just undo the bolts in the donuts and drop the drive shafts,depends on the replacement type for fitting...

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PostPost by: leedsj » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:52 pm

thanks john - i've got some universal joint types from Susan Miller. any other advice out there before i get started..?
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PostPost by: Stuart+2 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:46 pm

Hey Leedssj

This is not too bad a job - I did it in a day solo and the result is very rewarding. I dropped the outer end of the wishbones and folded them down - worked fine.

The only advice I would offer is to tighten it all up again after a few runs.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:49 am

The only problem I've come across is that they're fit and forget.....and after a few years they get rusty (if you drive in crappy weather) and you can get u/j failure....now I've managed to rubber cover the u/j's to prolong their life....try to get u/j's fitted with grease nipples and add them to your yearly list of maintenance jobs.

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:11 am

Having just completed this myself (Mick/Sue Miller CV drive shafts) the main advice I would give is to try to get some spring clamps and clamp up the spring (without taking it or the upright off the car) so that you can push up the upright to make the alignment of the diff output and hub nearer to each other. This makes fitting them much easier. As mentioned above, release the outboard lower wishbone bolts so you can swing the upright about. It is quite awkward but all doable. I have had a few runs in mine now. The solid drive shafts are great, a well worth mod to do. I must get back under there and check tightness of the nuts. You can only get an open ended spanner on the outboard ones so tightness is defo a problem. Will need regular checking I think.
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PostPost by: peterako » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:13 am

Teh Mick Miller CV's are just that....CV joints.

I've had mine on my +2 for 1 1/2 years now without any problems.

Had to loosen the A frames by removing an inner bolt to make fitting them easier, but the studs on teh CV's were a VERY tight fit then.

Have since used some sandpaper to make the interfaces (CV Conversion driveshafts to Lotus Axles) smoother fits and have had no issues removing and refitting them a couple of times since for rear suspension maintenance.

An unexpected bonus has been that the rear of teh car has really tightened up to the better :D

Like John says....fit and forget (well check stud/nut tightness every now and then :) )

One 'downside' I HAVE had is that previously cushioned (by the donuts) differential mounts have been shown up to be worn by the conversion.

Fit, enjoy!

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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:21 am

Whether you have to undo the suspension depends on the age of your Plus 2. Mine is a 1973 and had failsafe drive shafts. These have a peg on the diff shaft and the outer shaft which sit inside a tube on the intermediate shaft. So if the rotoflex fails the intermediate shaft doesn't flail around and damage the suspension. I don't know when these were added as standard.

If you have these failsafe shafts, you will have to undo the outer wishbone bolts and pull the strut out so the pegs disengage. You want to buy some large jubilee clips to fit around the rotoflexes before you undo the bolts as this will make it easy to withdraw the bolts once the nuts are off. Also if you plan to sell the rotoflexes on, it will make it much easier for the next person to fit them. Once the rotoflexes are off and the intermediate shaft is removed, if you have the fail safe type, you will have to grind off the pegs from the diff and outer shafts. I used a dremel type tool with extension as I couldn't get an angle grinder in there.

I found access to the nuts and bolts quite tight and needed a variety of open ended, ring and socket spanners. From memory, they are 5/8" and 11/16". However, I was lucky as my plus 2 had had little use since being restored so the nuts undid quite easily.

I took some photos of the process. If you want them, send an email to [email protected] and I'll send them to you.

I hope this helps.

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PostPost by: Jason1 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:14 pm

I took out the bottom outer A frame bolt and dropped the suspension.

The studs in the new joint will not fit through the holes in the suspension shaft, you need to open them up a bit.
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PostPost by: alaric » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:29 pm

Hi. Watch out if they are a tight fit onto the outer shafts and the diff. Mine (CM) were tight but I perservered, and managed to damage an outer shaft. I ended up using an adjustable reamer to polish the insides of the holes on the shafts until they were a snug fit, but not tight.

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PostPost by: leedsj » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:03 pm

Mine's a '74 and I'm going to hit this in the morning - so Graham, yes I'd love pictures. I'll mail you... james

gwiz22 wrote:Whether you have to undo the suspension depends on the age of your Plus 2. Mine is a 1973 and had failsafe drive shafts. These have a peg on the diff shaft and the outer shaft which sit inside a tube on the intermediate shaft. So if the rotoflex fails the intermediate shaft doesn't flail around and damage the suspension. I don't know when these were added as standard.

If you have these failsafe shafts, you will have to undo the outer wishbone bolts and pull the strut out so the pegs disengage. You want to buy some large jubilee clips to fit around the rotoflexes before you undo the bolts as this will make it easy to withdraw the bolts once the nuts are off. Also if you plan to sell the rotoflexes on, it will make it much easier for the next person to fit them. Once the rotoflexes are off and the intermediate shaft is removed, if you have the fail safe type, you will have to grind off the pegs from the diff and outer shafts. I used a dremel type tool with extension as I couldn't get an angle grinder in there.

I found access to the nuts and bolts quite tight and needed a variety of open ended, ring and socket spanners. From memory, they are 5/8" and 11/16". However, I was lucky as my plus 2 had had little use since being restored so the nuts undid quite easily.

I took some photos of the process. If you want them, send an email to [email protected] and I'll send them to you.

I hope this helps.

Regards
Graham
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PostPost by: leedsj » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:13 pm

Success! Thanks everyone (esp. Graham for the pics ;) - worked out better than I'd expected. The passenger side only had 1 stud, so donuts came out without touching the the suspension, and even managed to wriggle the UJ straight on! Driver's side required the A support to come off, and both studs needed grinding. Successful trip without clunking most appreciated though ;) It transpires that the clunking was simply because one of the bolts had come out of the passenger side donut - that was all!

My shafts seem in pretty good condition and the donuts not that bad actually. Does anybody want / need these?

thanks again,
james
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:02 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:The only problem I've come across is that they're fit and forget.....and after a few years they get rusty (if you drive in crappy weather) and you can get u/j failure....now I've managed to rubber cover the u/j's to prolong their life....try to get u/j's fitted with grease nipples and add them to your yearly list of maintenance jobs.

John :wink:


Careful with this advice. Lots of anecdotal evidence suggests that given a choice between available greasable joints and non-greasable ones, the non-greasable ones, properly prepared with grease, are more durable.

YMMV, of course. This may be entirely due to brand differences in quality. But there are plenty of posts suggesting it's true.

Let either sit untended in a damp garage for a decade or so and you have a problem, which is likely the lion's share of failures.
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