Lotus Elan

Recommendations: shocks/springs for best ride quality

PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 2:18 am

Greetings.

When I rebuilt my car, I sent the 1970s-dated Koni Special D shocks to Koni Racing USA in Kentucky for rebuilding (back when they offered that service).

I am now not happy with the ride quality - a little too choppy on the small stuff, definitely not as supple as I would like - and so I'm ready to swap out all four corners in pursuit of the best possible ride quality. I'm looking for lowest possible NVH: smoothest, supplest, quietest ride I can get from the Plus 2.

I would appreciate any tips, insights, experiences you might have, or direction to someone who knows what the best shocks/springs would be for my purposes.

Thanks so much, gang!!

Randy

ps. we use the car for touring, not boy-racer work, and we're old!!!!! Looking for refinement on the way up and down the west coast of the US :shock: :wink: :D
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Sep 02, 2023 2:44 am

First off, the tires make a big difference in ride quality. Tires are almost 50% of your suspension. Use the OE stock size and avoid going wider than stock.

Use the stock spring rates and find some SPAX single adjustable shocks if available. They are low pressure gas shocks and won't cavitate and lose their damping like the old Koni's. They are not race shocks by any means, but they are adjustable for ride and handling. Before I installed mine, I set them to the softest setting that I could feel resistance and then added one click firmer. I don't know if SPAX is still available for the rear of the Elan or +2. Check with JAE, RDent, and Ken at Bean.

Good luck with your search.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 3:20 am

Cool. Thank you, sir.

I do have the stock tire size (have always ran that size). For steering feel but also for fuel economy (the biggest diameter/circumference I can get out of the stock wheels :wink: )

I believe I have the original 53 year old springs and they still deliver even ride height side to side and what I consider a perfect ride height front and back. I love the stance of the car and have not wanted to mess with it.

So perhaps I will keep the springs and just change out the shocks, see what happens. Thanks for the opinion on Spax. Will do my search!
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Sep 02, 2023 4:38 am

There are two Koni (past) rebuilders in the Lower Mainland.
If we could turn up some seals, I would have a set or 6 to have rebuilt.

I am sure your coils are beyond the pail, the options are 12” and 14” rear. Someone might confirm USA (Federal), or UK etc, front ride height.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:11 am

Didn't know that (about the Koni rebuilders). Thanks for the heads up. Perhaps you could PM and let me know how to contact them. Thanks!!

Randy
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PostPost by: Mike Ostrov » Sat Sep 02, 2023 4:23 pm

Hi, Randy. Give a call to Performance Shock Inc. at Sonoma (Sears Point) Raceway. 707-938-5664.
On your next drive down, pop in to my Lotus Hobby Shop in El Sobrante. Mostly Climax Elites at the moment. Cheers. Mike .
[email protected] or (5l0) 232-7764
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 4:45 pm

Performance Shock. Okay, will do. And thanks for the invite. I will definitely come see you, Mike. I LOVE the type 14 . . .
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Sep 02, 2023 4:57 pm

When the Koni loose the damping they can be ajusted for wear. The ajustment in Koni "D" is for wear nothing else.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:51 pm

Yeah, I've read that. And the Performance Shock people in CA suggest that if possible you should buy new Konis as opposed to rebuilding. Guess that shows they believe the newer models are generally better units.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:38 pm

Broken record here

Sure would be great to find the seals, as our local chaps can manage the rebuilds just fine.

Anyone, anyone with a friend and or etc who can help please.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Sep 02, 2023 9:06 pm

Thank you, sir. Could tell us who the local rebuilders are? I live in Surrey, BC Canada. Love to be able to check in with them :)
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Sep 03, 2023 1:23 pm

Sorry for the delay, luckily I backed up my email and data as it was compromised in spring.
Anyhow, SP Suspension seems the go-to (Not Vancouver) Suspensionwerx does and will do but they need the parts, as does the other place that has said yes in the past, RMR when I uprated my snowbike.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Sep 03, 2023 3:36 pm

Okay. Thanks. I will look them up :)
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:36 pm

A friend used B C Shock & Strut Ltd, Surrey with success. But seals are needed. Sure hope we find a Koni friend!!!!
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Sep 03, 2023 10:05 pm

Right. BC Shock and Strut on King George Blvd was a great resource. They've been gone/closed for many years now.
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