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Beating the 'lowering' horse some more... - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Beating the 'lowering' horse some more...


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Okay, reading about how to lower a G-car is exhausting! I think I've read all of the posts on LEF, and I can comprehend about 10% of what I've read... Not to say I'm dumb, but I just don't have any experience with geometry and suspension mechanics. :unworthy:

Anyway, I read many options for using homemade remedies and aftermarket bits, but here's what I haven't seen explained yet. In its simplest terms, what's the difference between the suspension used on a federal spec and euro spec car? My car is a federal car, thus higher sitting, and what I'd like to do is change it to a lower factory spec ride height, but doing so by using original Lotus parts.

In a dumbed down explanation, what all would this require? Shocks, springs, re-calibration, steering changes, etc.?

Thanks,

Adam

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Do you have any pics of your car with its higher setting? I'd be interested how different it is.

Cant help though - baffles me too!

If you lower it, will that place it in a different class or something - how do the rules work with you?

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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If you lower it, will that place it in a different class or something

What in social standing? - I know my place :unworthy:

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Do you have any pics of your car with its higher setting? I'd be interested how different it is.

Not yet, but I'm hoping to have some profile pictures soon. I don't think the difference is much, but I think it hinders the appearance significantly. I remember reading in one of the LE books that the US spec cars were raised to meet import standards to the US. I guess they think an inch may mean the difference between life and death in an accident?!? :unworthy:

If you lower it, will that place it in a different class or something - how do the rules work with you?

Each state has different rules, but here in Georgia at least, lowering the car doesn't change anything. You're more or less either licensed as a commercial or non-commercial vehicle no matter what it is. On a side note, my other play car is a classic hearse, and it's registered as a non-commercial passenger vehicle :thumbsup:

Adam

Edited by ABorkat
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Lotus made different height TE's from 82 to 87. The proof is in their own literature, where pictures of the cars in pamphlets show vastly differing ride heights. For example the PR pic you see from Buddsy's avatar picture is an official promo pic taken for posters in the early 80's, but if you look carefully at the space between the rear tyre and the top of the fender, you mabye can measure an inch. If you look at the famous red car picture, taken at Hethel with the camera at sitting height, with their test track area in the background, there is at least 3 inches of clearance. My feeling is that they monkeyed around with the ride height on the promo picture cars, as they Knew that the cars looked better lowered. But on the sale cars, they had to meet differnt criterion of clearance.

I also worked on Countaches during the 80's and the federal cars headlights just barely didn't meet the minimum height. That is why you see a larger diameter tyre as standard on some of the USA import Lambos then. Ou clients would bring them in to get lower profile tyres put on. I wonder if something similar was for the Esprit, where there was a headlight height issue.... It would be VERY INTERESTING to find out the inside scoop on this mystery. As you can see by the attached picture, I have overlaid the exact spec shape size of the Countach and the Esprit...... fun to see how similar they really are.... the biggest difference is the Lambo hood comes up higher to a flatter windscreen, and the rear trunk area is higher on the lambo.

Paul Wendling

85Te

94S4

espritcountachcomparitive2.jpg

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I'm pretty sure the ride height difference between European and Federal cars was to allow the car to meet headlamp or bumper height regulations.

Unfortunately I don't know how it was achieved.

Paul's comparison between the Esprit and Countach sizes is suprising. The Countach always seemed such a large car and the Esprit so small in comparison. How the memory plays tricks.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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It should be as simple as looking at the parts manual for both and identifying the different part numbers, at least then you know which parts are different, just a matter of finding out what is different about them from there.

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Most british cars (example MG) achieved the higher Federal headlight rules but installing longer springs. Same spring rate just higher pre-load when installed. You will probably find that Lotus used two springs, one for A/C cars (longer) and one without (shorter).

cheers,

jeff

www.espritturbo.com

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hi, been looking at the same problem, mine was at least 3inch between tyre and rear arch,the whole thing was like pushing down on a table, adjustable dampers would do no good as the springs were too strong, dampers were at full stretch [ springs were from sj ] dampers are correct std fitment,many phone calls later, and there is about 3 different springs+ one with a full 1 inch shorter, at 75.00 each you cant guess, i am in the process of sorting this myself,and your right they look bad too high, i can only guess my springs were wrong from the word go?to get back to factory specs will give you about that 1 inch above wheel to arch or just a bit more, and thats how they should look

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  • 2 weeks later...

From what I've read, bumper-height was the reason. But let's be realistic for a moment here. These cars are little plastic doorstops that even if they were RAISED a few inches above US height would still go right under the typical soccer-mom's SUV in a collision, and the soccer-mom probably wouldn't even notice unless her mobile phone got jiggled out of her hand.

I like the idea of slightly lowering US cars- nothing radical, they still need need to be able to survive in the real world...but getting a little closer to the ground wouldn't hurt. I was actually surprised at just how much ground-clearance I saw when I looked under Adam's car a few days ago.

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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hi, i had nearly 10 inch from floor to turbo sill bottom, looked crap,any car on the road was lower than that, had to be sorted, looked more like a dragster,apparently no height setting from various points ,just the height from chassis to floor, aim for book setting of 170mm, they are good at that, gives about 1-2 inch tyre to wheelarch gap,just check in book that its right for your model

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know any simple off-the-shelf Lowered springs that will fit the G Turbo (mines a HC). Just seems to be a simple option. I know about the SJ Adjustables but I've just put lowered Eibachs on my Fiat Coupe LE daily runner which cost me the grand total of

Edited by nello
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hi , nothing wrong with adjustable dampers ,providing the spring rate lets them work right, finding the right spring rate and ending up with the right desired height is a different matter, 3 or 4 different type of spring rate colours available , but whice one-- eeeny meeeny miiiny, you get the picture, steve

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Neil,

I lowered mine by finding a comparable off the shelf spring from my local parts house. What I did was to take the measurements of overall length and inside diameter. Went to my parts house and looked in the back of the MOOG spring catalog. There I found the specifications for the coil springs and I picked one that was the closest in the dimensions I needed along with the right SPRING RATE. Mine were 120 lbs/in. The springs were a little shorter than I needed and so I machined a couple of spacers to get the desired height. My savings is in the fact I can do the work myself, including the machining. If you can't do the work yourself I would recommend the example given by HIILY in the Esprit Fact File on installing the 85-87 adjustable shocks onto the the earlier G car.

Since lowering the car created unwanted bump steer I also had to replace the outer tie rod ends with heim joints to get it back into spec which really improved the ride and handling of the car.

I too was looking for simple and this is what I found.

Best,

jeff

1983 TE

www.espritturbo.com

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