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Hey All!!

My Esprit has been actingstrange lately. While driving, I have noticed that the smallest bump will upset the chasis. The rear end get a little out of control. While taking a 30 mph turn at a track, the rear end got away from me and I was slipping and sliding. Had a heck of a time trying to get it under control.

I have noticed that when I push on the rear sides while the car is on the ground, the driver's side rear bounces a little more than the passenger side rear.

I have, also, noticed that the passenger side rear wheel sits closer to the ground than the drivers side rear wheel when the car was jacked up from the rear.

Any ideas anyone? Please help.

Edited by actwon

actwon

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'95 Ducati 916

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Sounds like something is seriously wrong with one side of the suspension.

Jack it up on the chassis i.e. so the suspension is free. Then try to wobble each rear wheel both the horizontally and vertically. There should be no movement.

If no joy, check absolutely everything on the suspenstion. Knackered bushes, shocks, missing bolts, even cracks in the lower and upper links, uprights and trailing arms.

I you still can't find it I would take the car straight to specialist. If someone were to give at speed you'll be in a world of sh1t...

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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Sounds like something is seriously wrong with one side of the suspension.

Jack it up on the chassis i.e. so the suspension is free.  Then try to wobble each rear wheel both the horizontally and vertically.  There should be no movement.

If no joy, check absolutely everything on the suspenstion.  Knackered bushes, shocks, missing bolts, even cracks in the lower and upper links, uprights and trailing arms.

I you still can't find it I would take the car straight to  specialist.  If someone were to give at speed you'll be in a world of sh1t...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is what I have found out. When performing the test above. The wheel moved on the horizontal axis. The arm that holds the wheel carrier and that is connected to the frame was loose. This arm has a set of brackets that bolt onto the frame and acts as a guide or spacer was loose. I tightened the bolts and all seems well. I still think I need to replace my struts though as one wheel sits lower to the ground when jacked up on the chasis.

actwon

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'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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Did you jack the car up on the chassis hook at the back of the engine? If so the chassis can role if the weight distribution betweem the back left and back right is different which would result in one wheel being lower than the other. I presume that in a LHD Esprit the battery is still at the back right? Well that's 20kg straight off.

Grab a spirit level and run it across the chassis box in which the engine sits. If it's not level, use another jack to lift the lagging side of the chassis.

Then check the wheels...

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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Did you jack the car up on the chassis hook at the back of the engine?  If so the chassis can role if the weight distribution betweem the back left and back right is different which would result in one wheel being lower than the other.  I presume that in a LHD Esprit the battery is still at the back right?  Well that's 20kg straight off.

Grab a spirit level and run it across the chassis box in which the engine sits.  If it's not level, use another jack to lift the lagging side of the chassis.

Then check the wheels...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The car was level when it was jacked up. It is a noticable difference in height between the 2 wheels.

Tightening that bracket helped quite a bit. After tightening it, I preformed your test again and neither wheels moved. The rear end still bounces around a bit, which makes me think the rear struts/shocks are bad.

However, I have not performed this test on the front wheels. Could front wheel alignment be a factor?

actwon

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'14 Nike Shox

'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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How many miles does the car have?

When on the ground how does the camber of the two rear wheels compare and does the back of the car sit level?

But it sounds like the bushes and/or shocks are shot and the rear suspension needs a proper going over.

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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How many miles does the car have?

When on the ground how does the camber of the two rear wheels compare and does the back of the car sit level?

But it sounds like the bushes and/or shocks are shot and the rear suspension needs a proper going over.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I haven't checked the camber of the rear wheels. I do not have a tool to check camber. When the car is on the ground (by eye sight), it looks even. I do not have a level to test it. I will grab a level and check the rear stance. When I was under the car tightening the bolts to those brackets I mentioned earlier, I have noticed that my bushings are shot. So, I know I have to replace them all. I'm ordering them this week. Hopefully JAE is back in town.

How can I check my shocks besides the standard "bounce test?"

<-- Edit -->

Ok, I have just used a level to check the rear of my car. From the readings on the bumper it appears to be leveled from the rear. However, on the deck lip below the spoiler/wing the level is off. It appears that the left side (driver's) of the car is lower than the right (passenger) side. As the bubble is leaning to the left of the center markings.

Edited by actwon

actwon

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'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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It appears that the left side (driver's) of the car is lower than the right (passenger) side.  As the bubble is leaning to the left of the center markings.

Have you got that the right way round?? Surely if the bubble is to the left of the center markings then the left is higher than the right :) Bubbles float don't they :)

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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Have you got that the right way round?? Surely if the bubble is to the left of the center markings then the left is higher than the right :) Bubbles float don't they  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

OOoopppsss.. Yeah, you're right..

actwon

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'01 Esprit V8

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No real way to check the shocks other than the bounce test and looking for evidence of leakage. They shouldn't bounce at all other than to rebound to the up position after you stop pushing down on the car.

Since the bushings are shot that would be the place to start and replace the shocks while you have everything apart if in doubt.

Also with your pivot bolt coming loose as you described you could have also lost the toe in/out shims and even though the bolt is now tight it may be way out of alignment.

The Esprit is very sensitive as to alignment. If the front is out it will generally pull one way or the other but if the rear is out it will generally feel unstable and twitchy.

Also it's unusual for the driver's side to be higher as it's usually the other way around since the springs usually sag on the driver's side first unless you have a real fat girlfriend who rides with you all the time. :):)

Cheers,

Jim

Edited by lotus4s

1995 S4s

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The chassis forms a box around the bottom of the engine. Try measuring the distance between the right hand rail and the ground and again for the left hand rail. That'll tell you if the chassis is being twisted by a dodgy suspension.

Regards the camber, both rear wheels should have negative camber so looking from behind the car should look like /----\. One side might be visually out.

Or you could place the spirit level so that it's vertical, with the bottom against the outer lower tyre wall and measure the how far the top of the spirit level is from the upper tyre wall. Repeat for the other side. Hardly scientific but'll give you a ball park comparison :-)

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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Isn't the car weighed down on the passenger side to compensate for the fact it's generally driven solo ie it's level with just the driver?

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

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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No real way to check the shocks other than the bounce test and looking for evidence of leakage. They shouldn't bounce at all other than to rebound to the up position after you stop pushing down on the car.

Since the bushings are shot that would be the place to start and replace the shocks while you have everything apart if in doubt.

Also with your pivot bolt coming loose as you described you could have also lost the toe in/out shims and even though the bolt is now tight it may be way out of alignment.

The Esprit is very sensitive as to alignment. If the front is out it will generally pull one way or the other but if the rear is out it will generally feel unstable and twitchy.

Also it's unusual for the driver's side to be higher as it's usually the other way around since the springs usually sag on the driver's side first unless you have a real fat girlfriend who rides with you all the time.  :):)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Jim,

I drive alone most of the time. My girl is a size 6.. Not on the fat scale.. :)

I forgot about hte toe alignment shims. Consider that I moved the wheel on the horizontal plane, I am very certain, that my toe alignment is very off! Any suggestions for adjustment of the toe in the rear?

When I did the bounce test, the passenger side felt stiffer (i.e. harder to push down), than the drivers side. The passenger side was pressed down and bounced up once to rebound. The driver's side wiggled about twice before it settled in rebound. It did not rebound like the passenger's side shock.

Neal,

I will talk to a friend of mine who has alignment tools. I am quite sure the wheels are mis-aligned as well.

actwon

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'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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Just done a lot of work on my suspension - my rears were very shot (leaking oil though the dampers) and the back end obviously skipped all over the place.

When checking the geometry they advise 1/2 a tank of fuel, a passenger and the driver. The car should be 170mm off the deck on the front (measured under the front crossmember between the wishbones) and 164mm at the rear from the rear chassis hoop (thing you jack onto when lifing the back).

My rears were so shot I could almost bounce the car off the ground, now they have been replaced the car is much stiffer and should only go down by about 1" with your full weight going onto it.

If the radius arm has come lose I'd look to getting the geometry fully checked.

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Just done a lot of work on my suspension - my rears were very shot (leaking oil though the dampers) and the back end obviously skipped all over the place.

When checking the geometry they advise 1/2 a tank of fuel, a passenger and the driver.  The car should be 170mm off the deck on the front (measured under the front crossmember between the wishbones) and 164mm at the rear from the rear chassis hoop (thing you jack onto when lifing the back).

My rears were so shot I could almost bounce the car off the ground, now they have been replaced the car is much stiffer and should only go down by about 1" with your full weight going onto it.

If the radius arm has come lose I'd look to getting the geometry fully checked.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, my rear end skips around like it's at a square dance competition.. The smallest bump makes it jump around My drivers side rear shock is blown. It behaves a lot differently then hte other 3 shocks on the car. However, it appears I have alignment issues as well.

actwon

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'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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I hear from someone that knows about these things... :)

It sounds like this car has a rear suspension problem.

Could possibly have a couple of things contributing to the problem.

One or both of the rear dampers could be defective or worn (car is 5 years

old)

Geometry needs checking (both front & rear) - could be one or more of the

following :-

Something in the rear suspension is bent.

Link bushes worn

Radius Arm Bushes worn

Radius Arm Mountings loose (bolts to chassis loose)

Radius Arm adjusting shims missing (upsetting rear toe adjustment)

Tyre make, size and pressures have an influence

I do not understand the variation in the rear when car is jacked up - unless

it is done on a completely flat surface it is impossible to tell if anything

is wrong.

If handling is as bad as stated a suspension inspection & geometry check

should reveal what is wrong

It is important that the geometry is checked at the specified ride height

(loaded to the equivalent of 2 occupants & half tank fuel.

This should give something near to the specified ride height assuming the

car has standard springs and is otherwise standard.

Our starting point would always be to carry out a visual check on all

suspension components followed by a comprehensive geometry check.

If this does not reveal the problem we would put the car on the corner

weights and check to see if anything is abnormal on the wheel loadings.

Hope this is of some help

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

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Bibs,

Thanks for the info. Most of the stuff on the list (except for the bent parts) applies to my situation. My link bushes are worn, one of my dampers are worn. Sounds like I need ot find a suspension specialist to check my car out here in the States. I may trust the dealership with this work. Not sure, they are so lazy (at least he one that is closest to me).

actwon

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'14 Nike Shox

'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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