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Passenger side sitting 1.5cm lower than driver's (driver in car) - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums - Official Lotus Community Partner Jump to content


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Passenger side sitting 1.5cm lower than driver's (driver in car)


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Whilst trying to diagnose my rear brake/wheel bearing issue, I noticed that the car is running about 2.5cm lower on the passenger side than the driver's (measuring the height of both front and rear bumpers); with the driver in that drops to just under 2cm but that's still quite a difference. I'll try to do some troubleshooting this weekend but wanted to check with you guys in case I miss anything obvious.

On my to-do list I have...

  • Check tyre pressure. Almost positive that there can't be almost 2cm of difference but it's the lowest of low hanging fruit
  • loosen up suspension bolts on driver's side and tighten again when at ride height (had passenger rear suspension off and tightened everything to spec when the car was back on the ground so that should be good.
  • Check passenger side springs. Rear springs were replaced 5 years ago and I didn't notice there was any issue with them on the passenger side, but I'll take another look.
  • Spring insulators on both rear shocks. Both are rock hard and probably perished but I don't think there would be that much difference.from passenger to driver's side
  • I might try to take some measurements across the front of the chassis to see if it's the chassis or the body that is not parallel to the ground. Might not be easy given the clearance at the front though.

Am I missing anything obvious there? What just seems strange to my uneducated mind is why both front and rear on the passenger side seem to be the same amount lower on passenger side.

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My Esprit has a noticeable lean to the drivers side. It was the rear spring insulators which fell apart when removed from the car. Fixed my lean issue.

Is it possible that things on the suspension have been tightened up from loose when the car wasn’t level?

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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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Yeah, they're probably due to be replaced regardless of whether they're causing this particular issue.

As far as I can remember, everything was tightened to spec when the car was back on the ground, but I might be mistaken. I might do that with the other three corners this weekend just to make sure everything is where it should be on that front.

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Right, using up my hall passes with the wife rather quickly but I may have solved this particular mystery, Was measuring the height of the lower links to the ground and also found the passenger side was lower than the driver's which confused the hell out of me, but then I looked again.

rearsus.jpg.8126b3db69bf17baebaa1d0221f380bd.jpg

If you've not spotted it, the spring isn't seated on the damper base on the driver's side (the side which was higher). Now I'm not a betting man but I'm guessing that might be a big contributing factor in the height issues. Had to take the whole suspension apart to get the spring  mounted correctly on the damper but I got there in the end. At least it meant I was able to take a look at the spring insulators at the top. Whilst not perished, the rubber probably wasn't as flexible as it once was!

rearsus2.thumb.jpg.6bac761a36fe3d1c884bf91d215be318.jpg

rearsus3.thumb.jpg.766f02e40f50c803a895f6e903588ad2.jpg

rearsus4.thumb.jpg.de7de18e8ba9de1bfa621a4d695b080b.jpg

Oh, and to top it off it sounds like the wheel bearing on that side is grinding. If the new one on the passenger side has died on installation then it means I've gone through three rear wheel bearings in 6 years and around 6,000 miles which is quite depressing and expensive, but there we go.

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When you are doing the bearings, I presume they are cup and cone bearings? Or are the rears just a normal bearing?

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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Rears are normal bearings, and around £120+VAT each. Just got one three weeks from a Lotus specialist, installed as per the factory manual and I think it's failed almost right away. Felt something strange when I was on a short drive last weekend; got home and the rear passenger side wheel was hot to the point I couldn't hold it for more than a few seconds. Inboard brakes so if it had been the brakes locking to make the wheel that hot they should have been on fire pretty much! No movement in the bearing but am a little nervous about another test drive given the heat that was in that rear wheel.

The driver's side bearing is the opposite side I took off this evening.

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Are they sealed and pre-greased bearings? And I don't know why they would cost that much. That would be nearly $210AUD per bearing! I can't imagine that they are anything special. Where is that price from?

A very little known thing about bearings is that a new bearing has an 80% chance of failing on first use. If you have a bearing that is running and everything is fine, leave it be.

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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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That price is from Lotusbits, SJ, and Southwest Lotus Centre. All within a few pounds of each other. Yeah, the rear bearings are rather expensive.

Bearing I bought most recently was pre-greased and seller (Lotus parts supplier) said no further greasing was required.

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If the bearings are purchased and it has two seals installed, the bearing is pregreased correctly. If you buy a bearing that is required to be greased, you should only grease it to about 70% of the space in the bearing. The grease expands as it heats up. If you pack it completely, the grease will actually cause the bearing to overheat and fail. Seems counterintuitive, but that's what happens.

You need to get the code from the side of the bearing race, most likely on the outer race and I would be looking into prices with a bearing supplier. I think there is some real markup going on there.

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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Posted (edited)

Been down that route and you struggle to find anything in stock. NOS with surface rust goes from £80 on eBay. There is one member in South Africa who's been looking to make their own bearing using a number of other individual bearings and then grinding down the bearing carrier a little (https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/115798-s1-eliteeclat-rear-wheel-bearing-specdimensions/).

 

From an SKF point of view the bearing kit is SKF VKBA737. The bearing itself is BA2B 417308.

Edited by soldave
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I ended up going for the NOS bearings from SJ in the end as the price would not have been much different sadly, even if you factor in the future savings. This is a fairly odd sized setup.

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Re rear wheel bearings, I have a very distant memory of someone using/suggesting VW bearings, can't recall which model, but it wouldn't have been a recent one.

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When it comes time to replace mine I'll be looking at using a pair of tapered roller bearings with the hub carrier machined to suit - same as the Jag set-up.  I've got a spare hub carrier in the lock-up - I might dig it out and do a bit of research.

Pete

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