Lotus Elan

Uprated anti roll bar

PostPost by: Fishermt » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:58 am

Hello,

I am considering fitting an uprated anti roll bar of the type sold by Kelvedon - http://www.kelsport.net/parts/product_d ... ctionID=26

Can anyone comment on whether this is a worthwhile upgrade? The rest of the suspension is relatively new and I had Paul Matty adjust the settings. The suspension feels quite soft and I don't fully trust the car in bends - it feels like it's over rolling....sorry can't think of a better way of describing things.

Thanks

Marc
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:49 pm

In my humble opinion, a Plus 2 with standard suspension in good condition & running correct size tyres, does not need an up-rated anti roll bar. Controversial, I know, but for normal/fast road use, I think it's difficult to improve on what Colin & his chums gave us, remember that Lotus had a reputation as one of the best in the suspension/handling department, & it should give you all the confidence you need to throw it into just about any corner & come out the other side with a huge grin & the feeling you could have gone faster. I always feel the Elan is a bit nervous, (both my elan & +2 have as near to std suspension set ups as poss) & I think a slightly up-rated anti roll bar could be an advantage on that, especially with modern tyres, (it was designed with cross plies), but the Plus 2 with it's wider track & longer wheel base, really does handle like it's on rails. Obviously, if your suspension is all fairly new, you need to know what spec you have. Without that knowledge, it's difficult to say what effect a different anti roll bar would have. Do you know if you still have the Aeon rubber springs/bump stops in the rear struts? These often get removed & replaced with a simple bump stop, especially if you have small diameter rear springs, but they are quite an important part of the std suspension set up. They provide a sort of progressive spring rate, the spring is initially quite soft, & when the Aeon rubber comes into play, it stiffens things up a bit & lessens body roll. First thing I would do is to find out exactly what springs & dampers you have, & then what settings Matty worked to.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:23 pm

" I always feel the Elan is a bit nervous, but the Plus 2 with it's wider track & longer wheel base, really does handle like it's on rails. "

" Hear,Hear "

John :wink:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:14 pm

plus 1

cheers
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PostPost by: Fishermt » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:15 am

Tim,

Thanks for the reply. I had a look through the folder for my car last night. It seems the previous owner fitted Tony Thompson Racing supplied front and rear springs and shocks. The bill lists a pair of rear bump stops. I believe the springs are the smaller diametre ones. All replaced in 2010.

Tyres are Yokohama 175/70 R13 82T with good tread.

I asked Paul Matty to check the suspension on the car because of disappointing handling. They softened up the settings compared to how they were. The car then had a noticeably softer ride and gave the benefit of stopping the constant grounding out on speed bumps! But handling is still disappointing and I don't feel I can trust the car in bends. I think the issue is understeer but maybe that's just me not daring to steer harder into the corners with the feeling that the car is going to lose traction.

Perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong because the car certainly doesn't feel like its on rails....but I would have expected Paul Matty to comment if that was the case.

All the best

Marc
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:41 am

Hi Marc

There is something fundamentally wrong with your plus 2 handling as a properly set up plus 2 to original specs on modern radials is the sweetest handling car I have ever driven ( e.g. Yoko a050R or Dunlop equivalent) and will handle like on rails

you need to check a number of things before you start changing even more components

1. What are you spring rates
2. what shocks have you fitted and are they adjustable
3. have you checked front and rear alignment, camber and caster to be in specification
4. Have you checked all your bushes
5. if you have smaller diameter springs you will probably not have the original Aeon rubber springs and that can totally stuff up the handling . Most people... even people such as Matty... do not understand that. You can work around it but generally need to be building on a much stiffer set of springs.

cheers
Rohan
Last edited by rgh0 on Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:13 pm

Hi Marc

As Rohan has suggested, see if you can confirm what spring rates you have, TT may be able to help you there, & then compare them to Lotus spec of 110lbs front & 93lbs rear, & of course make sure all your suspension components are in good condition. One would hope matty checked it all while they were adjusting things, & also did an alignment check, but worth confirming.
Your tyres should be fine, indeed they are the tyre of choice for many, but again, make sure they're all good.
It sounds like you have adjustable shocks & spring platforms? But something doesn't quite ring true. You state
"They softened up the settings compared to how they were. The car then had a noticeably softer ride and gave the benefit of stopping the constant grounding out on speed bumps!"
Softening up the springs would tend to increase grounding out, so I'm guessing they must have raised the spring platforms to give more ground clearance, which would have the effect of stiffening things up, then wound off the damping to take out the harshness. As I say, pure guess work, but I can't think of any other way to achieve that effect, & the opposite of the Lotus mantra of soft springing/harder damping. A check of the ride height wouldn't be a bad idea, details for this are given at the beginning of section C of the WSM.
If you have lost the Aeon rubber spring/bump stops, I believe there is a VW part that is an acceptable alternative, but I'm afraid I don't know from which model or whether it will fit inside the small diameter springs, maybe others can help with that? Failing that, a progressive spring or rear anti roll bar will help, but it's all dependant on what you have, & how much you are willing to change/spend :)

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: Fishermt » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:31 pm

Thanks for the replies. It sounds like I need to get things properly checked over before going down the upgraded anti roll bar route.

Can anyone suggest a classic Lotus specialist or other specialist in Sussex/South East that could help with setting up the suspension on my Elan +2?

Many thanks

Marc
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PostPost by: NedK » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:44 pm

I'd recommend Lakeside in Adlestone, near Weybridge. I'm sure they'd be able to help.
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PostPost by: elated » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Bump Stops: VAG IH0412303 are a suitable replacement for the OE Aeon.
On +2 a 21mm spacer should be fitted between the bump stop and the top of the strut.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:03 pm

Excellent Gordon, Thanks. I will make a note of that part number for future reference.

Good point re the spacer on the +2, it's important as it brings the Aeon spring into effect a bit sooner.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: Tintin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:27 pm

Fishermt wrote:I think the issue is understeer ...


ARBs are a nice tool to fine tune under- and oversteer (if everything else is within sensible working parameters) however if "uprated" means stiffer than you worsen the situation. Stiffer front ARB means more load transfer to the front outer wheel in roll (and less to the rear inner). More load requires more slip angle, not less. Understeer would therefore be countered by a less stiff ARB in general.


Tim
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:00 pm

I'd echo a lot of the posts above. The suspension geometry makes a lot of difference, including things like the rear suspension toe in, as do tyre pressure etc. It's also worth checking that you're tyres aren't getting too old/hardened - esp if they were last renewed when the suspension work was done... If those are all fine then maybe it's time to look at roll stiffness.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:13 pm

+1 I have an Elan sprint and i also had a +2S at the same time. I mixed driving one then next the other and the +2S was far more stable. No problems with +2S on standard size tyres and standard suspension, very easy to drive :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:24 pm

Personally after six Elans, two Plus 2s and two Europas I prefer the handling of the Elan, good thing we all have different preferences.
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