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Rear end 3 inches higher than the front!!! - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Rear end 3 inches higher than the front!!!


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After years of being supported on dollies during the rebuild I have put my car (Elite body on Excel chassis etc) on four wheels. The front end is fine - 6 inches under front cross member. But the whole of the rear end is 3 inches higher. I am confident that the body is on the chassis correctly as the floor pans are level with the bottom of the chassis. But the chassis itself is sloping upwards and the body wheel arch is a long way from the top of the tyre. I have replaced the dampers with Gaz standard dampers as per their catalogue, but re-used the original springs which were fitted at random as I did not mark where each one came from. All the springs look the same though. It looks to me that the rear wheels need to be further apart to lower the chassis. The only way I can think of is to fit shorter springs, but how much shorter? And why should this have happened anyway?

Any thoughts / advice / help as always greatly appreciated.

Thanks

 

Brian

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Are you sure you don't have front springs on the back?  Are the spring platforms on the Gaz dampers at the same height as the originals.  Either the springs are wrong or the dampers.  Are the Gaz dampers "just dampers" or do they have collets at the top for the springs - ie "coil-overs"?

Pete

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I'm pretty sure the springs front to back are different sizes on the Excel, but off hand have no idea which is which.  Suspension bush bolts should also only be tightened when the car is under it's own weight, and sitting level.

 

Neil.

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I went through mi S4 and leaving everything loose and then loading the car up and tightening bush & suspension bolts certainly makes a difference.

By the sounds of things, you definitely need to look at what you have done to the rear suspension and match it to what was there.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

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Hello

Thanks for your suggestions

To clarify a few things - the body goes off for painting tomorrow and is a bare empty body bereft of bumpers doors bonnet tailglass and all glass. The tank is fitted but has never been filled. there is also no engine installed. So it could be that the the car has never been loaded at the back to spread the rear tyres a bit further. I should have measured the width between the rear tyres, but didn't - may get time tomorrow before the car is collected. Eyeing up with the front tyres they don't seem to be out of line, but we could just be talking about 30 mm out of line.

The suspension bolts have been tightened but not torqued and when the suspension is jacked from below it moves freely enough.

I have been unable to find any technical information, or any information at all about the springs - no. of rings, length, bar thickness, design load - nothing. Having spent most of the day in the Lotus position (on my back staring up at the suspension) and having held a spring in clamps I managed to remove (safely) the bottom bolt of the damper (lots of supporting timber and axle stands) . The suspension did indeed relax and let the car come down, but the spring / damper assembly was way too long. So I suspect the springs are wrong in some way. As they are the original springs removed form the very same chassis I can only assume that springs are wrong way round - wrong in both length and strength. If so wouldn't you have thought this would have been mentioned in the Service Notes or there would have been some topic on this on the forum?

I can do no more now until the car comes back from the painters and then spend a couple of days swapping the springs around

I'll keep you informed

 

Brian

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I just noticed under your username area that you are putting an Elite body onto an Excel chassis. Nice move.

I would also ask whether you know the weight difference between the two bodies with interiors fitted as that is going to be required when weighing the suspension down for final tightening/torquing.

I would have thought the rear end of an Elite to be heavier than an Excel so there definitely must be something going on there. Definitely Lotus dampers and springs?

Hopefully someone on here can measure/count coils etc. on their springs and damper measurements to try and assist with what you have going on.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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As far as I can tell the rear springs for the Excel should be 12" long.  I can measure the front ones from my car on the weekend as they are in a box and not fitted yet after refurbishment.  The rubber pads they sit on should also give a clue as to which goes where as I think the diameter is slightly different as well.

Neil.

Also have a look at https://www.lotusexcel.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9058 - that shows the front spring length options - all longer than 12".

 

 

Edited by Excel SA
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