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Elite suspension refresh - reasonable part suppliers?

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Hi everyone,

One of the big steps to getting my 76 Elite 504 on the road is refreshing the suspension. Bushings etc are worn and disintegrated.

I got a price for everything needing to be replaced from a well known supplier and the price comes down to about GBP 350. This seems to me to be a little bit ridiculous for what the parts are, at about 5% of a high valuation of the car, ex labour. 

Does anyone have any advice on suppliers for these components for a reasonable price?

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350gbp sounds reasonable to me. You own the most expensive 4zylinder of its time with true sportscar values. With the second most important thing beside the engine you should show it some love when it comes to the suspension which is responsible for the world known Lotus handling. 

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^ That, 100%. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Which parts are you planning to replace Jono?  Perhaps you could post up a list so we can see if the prices seem reasonable.  The exchange rate is rubbish for you as well!

You may be able to find some useable second hand bits from the UK as well.


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Point somewhat taken 😅. I would also think though that if you view the car as an investment, doing this kind of maintenance needs to be some level of affordable, otherwise you end up underwater quite quickly.

Pete, thanks for the idea - I will check the classifieds and look around on other second hand sites in the UK.

These are the bits I'm after:

Bush set - top wishbone x 1 - GBP 52

Bush set - lower wishbone x 1 - GBP 37

Bush set - ARB x 1 - GBP 41

Spring seat - top x 2 - GBP 31

Mount set - steering rack x 1 - GBP 12

Spring insulator - top rear x 2 - GBP 23

Bush set - rear lower link x 4 - GBP 43

Bush set - top dampers x 4 - GBP 33

Mount set - rear radius Arm x 2 - GBP 69

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There might be a couple of bits you can leave 'til later;  in my experience the front upper wishbone bushes seem to last forever - unless they are completely shot you may be able to leave them for now (also pressing them out sometimes takes so much pressure that the wishbones themselves are damaged). 

Are your spring insulators split/damaged, or just a bit squashed - maybe leave for later.  

Have you got the radius arm mounts off yet? - again they are often serviceable and seem to last well.

All the others will almost certainly need replacing.  Avoid SJ's polyurethane steering rack mounts - they are so hard that you cannot get the brackets back on without them bending!

Good luck!

Post up some photos 🙂


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This seems to me to be a little bit ridiculous for what the parts are, at about 5% of a high valuation of the car,

With due respect, what has the cost of spare parts to do with the value of the car? Your situation regarding the cost of spares occurs every day, almost every time an old car is repaired. I am of the belief that to some extent we should be thankful that we can still buy any spare parts for cars which are approaching 50 years of age. Purchasing SH parts would also seem to me to be an action of last resort given the cost of labour to fit them. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all of the suggestions, going to see what I can get away with that actually needs replacing.

@dmottram, I respect your view, but I think it's pretty reasonable to keep spend in line with the value of the car. In my view (which I don't think is that unpopular), classic cars are assets as much as they are recreational pieces of history. 

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Like you I think that our cars are an investment, but not necessarily a financial investment. My wife and I have a Seven Series 1 with Climax engine, a Super 95 Type 14 Elite, an Elan +2. an Elite Type 75 and an S1 Elise Type 111 in our Lotus collection. The only car which has not been a sound financial investment is the Type 75, but even it provides plenty of enjoyment for my son and me as we rebuild it together. I certainly do not mind spending the required money to bring it up to a standard whereby he and his young family can derive some Lotus enjoyment from it. Here in Australia the Type 75 is not well regarded because it looks so different and hence has a low dollar value. But, it will provide some real pleasure over the next few years.

Good luck with your car.


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