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Everything posted by soldave

  1. Finally the front suspension and steering is all apart. All it took was a breaker bar, a crowbar, a heat gun, a blow torch, and a carbide saw blade, plus the usual set of tools. Need to take the lower links to a garage to get the outer race of the bush out; managed to kill the rubber bush with fire(!) but am replacing with poly bushes so need the outer out too. Another order going in with SJ today or tomorrow for some final bits but then we should be ready for putting things back together. Only other decision to make is whether to have the springs powdercoated. Yes, it'll look nicer as the paint is flaking off them right now, but is it something I need to do? Possibly not.
  2. Not sure whether it's because the exhaust runs on that side of the car so it'll be hotter, but taking apart the suspension on this passenger side has been a pain. The damper will come off this weekend once I have the tool kindly lent by @Trunnion 74, but I've come to a grinding halt at the lower link pivot bolt, which has become seized to the metal distance tube inside the bush. So I can get about 45 degrees of movement (and can even see the rubber bush moving) and then it just goes tight and I can't get any more rotation out of it. Can't get a dremel or grinder in as there's not enough space. Once the damper's off I could get a reciprocating saw blade in and cut down through the bush, distance tube and bolt either side of the link, but will a carbide reciprocating saw blade even have much effect on this hardened bolt? Am thinking something like this: Or possibly:
  3. Yeah they flop around like a dead fish too so have got new ones!
  4. This is going to seem like a really strange question, but is there any reason why this power steering fluid wouldn't be good for a Lotus Eclat power rack? Seems to be good value from Euro Car Parts but other places seem to say it's for older Mercs.
  5. The holes make it easier to do a better job. Access to that adjuster above the diff though is hellish either way. Good luck!
  6. Does anyone know if the insulator on a power steering rack is the same size as the larger insulator on the manual rack? Can't seem to find any listings for the power rack insulator and as I'm replacing the rack itself I thought I'd replace the insulator at the same time.
  7. Another day and a tiny bit of progress. Didn't get steering rack out of the car but I did get the intermediate shaft off which took a fair bit of effort. Looking at the u-joints and one of them looks to have a bit of red around the joint (see photos). Am wondering if it might be seeping grease and needs replacing. The other looks dirty but good, but maybe I should do both at the same time. Plan is hopefully to get the rack out tomorrow, and I'm hoping I can pull put the wishbone stud too using a spacer and nut. Wish me luck as I'll probably need it!
  8. Got a wire wheel on some of the rust just now and cleared it up a bit. The grinding noise had almost gone; replacing it a bit of gurgling sometimes when I compress or expand the shock. Doesn't take much effort to compress but expanding it takes a bit of force. But then one time out of around 20 it will come very easily for an inch or so as if there's no resistance and then will feel like it's got "normal" resistance again.
  9. Steering rack is going to have to come out and be rebuilt (if I can get hold of a power steering track rod) or replaced. Cutting through the track rod end to get it off and of course I cut a chunk out of the track rod itself too. The kicker is the track rod end still won't come off 😭 Given the rebuild kit is £54 and I'd need a new track rod or two... I'm wondering if the £200 +VAT for a reconditioned rack (exchange) from SJ might not be a bad option. They or Lotusbits may charge even more if one of the track rods is damaged. Better do some Arthur Anderson style accounting to keep the cost of replacing these few suspension bushes away from my wife!
  10. Think that's what I'm going to do. Will probably get a bunch of washers so if it comes a bit but still sticks I can put more washers in and pull it further out. I've just watched and listened to that video again. That damper sounds awful!😮
  11. Front side wishbone came off with a lot of persuasionand a bearing puller but the rear one won't budge and I can't get a puller in there to get pull it back out. Stud won't move either so getting very tempted to clean up what I can and put it back together.
  12. One other thing I noticed was that the upper wishbones on the passenger side didn't want to come free of the stud they pivot on. Am in half a mind to assume that as the drivers side ones were in good condition whether I can just leave the wishbones in situ and put the suspension together around them.
  13. I did send you a message about that., and I (and my wife!) would greatly appreciate it! Will wait to get everything else in and then will let you know, but very much appreciated
  14. Well I got one side of my front suspension taken apart today. Even the blowtorch couldn't loosen up the track rod end on the passenger side so am going to have to get destructive and cut into this one to get it off. But on the driver's side the shock is off and with spring compressors not fitting perfectly it was one of the most terrifying things I've done! Am going to have to try and borrow one of those tools people have made specially for the task as the spring compressors I found were pretty thin but still not great for the job. The spring looks in alright condition but the damper has probably seen better days. Take a look at the video with sound on. It might be that cleaning up the rust will stop the grinding noise, but they may be due for replacing. Spring shoulder, damper bushes and lower link bush don't look in great condition either so they'll all be replaced. On the positive side when it's all together and tracked it should handle a lot better!
  15. Will give it a try! Won't damage the bush that's staying in the upper arms will it? Also, what's a decent way to get the rest of the paint off the parts before the citric acid?
  16. Thanks, man. On the rust removal front, I'll probably wire brush everything and then maybe Hammerite. Nothing too extravagant. If the springs are in decent condition I might get them powdercoated or something.
  17. You recommended the heat, and I brought it! Copious amounts of blue flame, plus some cranking on the Stillsons and the track rod came free. Had to do the same with the lock nut but got that off too. So now I can continue with front suspension disassembly and see what kind of state the rest of the bushes are in. Will take both sides apart before anything gets ordered as I don't know if I'll need to replace both track rod ends just yet. But minor successes, and this year any success should be celebrated
  18. The nut I've moved a little; it's the track rod end now that's stuck and won't budge. Getting blow torch tonight so will see if I can persuade it gently with some more heat.
  19. A minor step forward and then stuck again! Following on from my issues yesterday with a stuck track rod lock nut, I got two Stillsons and set to work on it. After a hell of a lot of heaving I finally got it to turn, although it's not easy. Now for the easy part: removing the track rod end itself. Or not. track rod end itself is not budging an inch. Have tried one Stillson on the rod itself and one on the end, tried putting tie rod end back into steering arm, tried heat, dried Plus Gas... the Stillson on the arm is just shredding it. Am not sure quite what to do now. Feels like the end's not going to come off the rod at all Is it possible to remove the rod from the power steering rack without removing the whole rack, or am I going to have to go all out and remove that too? Also, does anyone know if the power steering track rods on an Eclat are the same as any other cars? Can't seem to find any Lotus ones online
  20. Beautiful weather today so after work I decide to go into the hot garage and start taking the front suspension apart, so I got to work on the driver's side. Upper wishbones came off surprisingly easily, and the bushes don't look to be in too bad condition (although would appreciate some thoughts on the pics below, as I may be wrong). Next to come off was the track rod end... and that's where I came to a grinding halt. Just loosening the top nut and track rod bolt started spinning. Managed to get that nut off after a bit of improvisation, so at least I just needed to remove the locknut and spin the track rod end off. Oh no that wasn't going to happen! Sprayed a ridiculous amount of plus gas on it. Used my 2000W heat gun (not blow torch quality but it got some heat into it), but it wasn't budging at all. Didn't help that the lock nut doesn't look to be in great condition either. Tomorrow I'm going to try and get hold of another 22m spanner to see if I can get better purchase on the nut, and I'll also get some more Dremel cutting discs in case I've got to cut it off. That would be a last resort as I don't want to risk damaging the power steering rack by cutting too much. I did manage to take a closer look at the spring shoulder and also the damper spindle bushes and confirmed that they definitely need replacing. So one step forward and one step back today. But tomorrow is a new day and I'm determined to get that track rod end off.
  21. Not sure but I got one from SJ Sportscars in the end 👍. Hopefully they still have one for you.
  22. Thanks for that @EXCEL V8. Really good advice and maybe I go for the rubber bushes instead
  23. The big mystery is what the under-bonnet light is from! Can't find one of those anywhere.
  24. Damn it's been 6 months since I posted in my project thread. Must mean I've had a good run of reliability and that's generally been the case. Changed master brake cylinder for a Land Rover one after mine started leaking a little, but that's been the main bit of work I've needed I think. A couple of weeks ago the car was certified a historic vehicle so car tax became free for me, and I got a refund for some months this year which was very well received. Took a look at the front suspension this past week and think I may have found the next area that I'll try to renew. Take a look at the pic below - the spring seat on the driver's side looks harder than a quadratic equation, and the damper ribber doesn't look much better. Looking at the threaded part of that damper, I could easily see me having to replace the whole thing. I've got Gaz shocks on the rear so may do that on the front too as a winter project, along with the following poly bushes: Top wishbone bush kit Top spring seats Lower wishbone pivot bushes Steering rack mountings Should have the handling as good as if not better than new. Does anyone know off-hand if the Gaz shocks come with top damper bushes? I think they do but just wondered if anyone can confirm
  25. Good discussion and reminds me of a thread on here about my propshaft cv joint. Mine is a '79 523 Eclat and has a u-joint at the front (which I need to grease - good reminder here!) and a CV joint at the back.
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