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Front spring types - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums Jump to content

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Let's talk springs! Specifically front ones and the different types. Now SJ Sportscars sell two types: one for Series 1 without A/C, and another for Series 1 with A/C or Series 2 cars. But aftermarket suppliers (e.g. Gaz) springs only come in one iteration. I'm wondering whether theirs the "with A/C" springs, "without A/C" springs, or somewhere inbetween.

Any thoughts from anyone out there? Whilst my Eclat originally came with A/C, the pump, radiator and everything forward of the firewall has been removed. If I was replacing the springs I'd want to get the best ones for my ride. Right now I have Gaz springs & dampers at the back.

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Slightly off topic, what setting do you have the Gaz shocks? I have Gaz rears too, and they seem best when in softest setting. Interested to hear what others say, as I will probably go and get new fronts too sometime.

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I initially set them to about halfway and went kanagarooing down the road! Right now I'm on three clicks from the softest setting which seems to work for me. 

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Is there any proper data re spring rates available?  That would help you choose and make direct comparisons with the off-the-shelf 2.25" springs that are readily available and cheap.

Pete

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On the Excelforum was a summary about the springs IIRC. At the end, it doesn't matter in my view. You have altered the dampers so you a playing a different game. Take the spring rate which suits your taste best.

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The, GM for my car's air con added 135 lbs extra so a stiffer spring was needed. Doesn't sound like much but these cars are softly sprung with almost 8 inches in travel. I would guess it would be better to be a little stiffer than a too soft spring. I removed my air con but added a 4 gallon, 4 core copper radiator, to cool my V8 engine which by the way is almost the same weight as the original 4 cylinder.

With the difference from removing the air con and adding some more weight in the front nose of the car, I didn't notice it being too stiff although I think I am lighter.  Not sure what kind of driving you do but if you use these cars as they were designed to be driven, then a stiffer spring seems to me the way to go if you had a choice

Cheers,

Richard

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The Lotus suspension philosophy (as developed by Colin Chapman) was to achieve good ride even in a light car by using comparatively soft springs. However, in order to eliminate any sloppiness that may result, dampers were normally quite stiff in compression, which, although not directly affecting the spring rate itself, did have the effect of reducing suspension deflection over bumps. The other objective of Chapman in all his suspension work was to keep the tyre in contact with the road as much as possible - hence the long spring travel, and assisted by limiting the amount of rebound damping. This is, I hope, an accurate summary of what I have heard from Oliver Winterbottom.

Also, Mike Taylor told me that the Elite dampers are a little different, in that quite a long, progressive bump stop is incorporated which does add progressive rate characteristics to the suspension.

The different suspension spring rates were used to preserve a standard ride height, as spring lengths were all the same, thus preserving the ride and handling characteristics of the car with different equipment levels.

Oliver is also keen to remind us that the suspension system should be looked at from road surface to chassis - and that the relatively high profile tyres represent a significant part of the whole suspension system.

As an inveterate fiddler, all this reminds me that we shouldn't mess with the work of an Old Master!

Richard

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