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S1 Rear Suspension Renewal - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums - Lotus Community Partner #ForTheOwners Jump to content


S1 Rear Suspension Renewal

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I recently dissasembled the rear suspension from my S1 esprit, and found all of the bushings and the wheel bearings to be in very bad shape. The bearing races have a deep, galled channel worn into them where the bearings are supposed to ride. If I ordered new wheel bearings from somewhere like JAE would they come with these races as well? I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that the races weren't replaceable... What would be the best brand/place to buy a complete set of suspension bushings? Does anyone sell a complete hardware kit for the suspension?


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Does anyone sell a complete hardware kit for the suspension?


Hi Andrew

I recently bought a whole kit to replace both front and rear suspension for my 88 from SJ's in the UK. Full set of bushes, ball joints, springs, shocks, studs, bolts, washers, spacers, nuts. I just asked them to put together a whole set for me, it wasn't cheap but I figured I might as well do the whole lot. It was shipped from UK to Australia.

I will be starting the job next month, hopefully with everything new there will be no surprises. I've checked the parts supplied against the parts list in the service manual and it all looks to be present and correct.

Too many Toys are never enough !

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Hi Andrew,

Sounds like your bearing has come apart and the outer race has seized to the hub. The race and bearing are one, and should come out of the hub in one piece. You will need to VERY VERY CAREFULLY remove the race. There is a lip on the inside of the hub that the bearing sits against, be super careful not to damage it. New hubs for the S1/S2 are available but cost about $400 - $500 each depending on which side and the exchange rate with the UK. When you install the new bearing be sure to smear anti seize all over the outer race surface to avoid this problem happening again. On the S1/S2 the rear wheel bearings take a beating, so having to change them out more frequently is common.

I've not had to do my rear bearings yet but I know others here have and may have a technique for you to get that race out of the hub.

Best of luck.


Found a quote from Tony K (the forums resident S1 expert)

The S1/S2 requires a little bit of additional care:

"When removing the wheel bearing, the shaft goes out "the back" (toward the center of the car) of the hub carrier and the bearing comes out "the front" (the side of the hub that has the wheel).

The thing that requires the most extra special care is pressing the shaft out of the bearing. There is a remarkably thin ridge that runs the perimeter of the outer race on the back side of the hub carrier to locate the bearing. When you press the shaft out of the bearing, you have to be careful to not apply too much force, or you will break this little ridge. What tends to happen is the inner race siezes to the shaft, and when you try to press the shaft out, it takes the whole bearing with it and the outer race of the bearing breaks the little ridge. If this happens, there are ways to repair it, but a new (or secondhand) hub carrier is difficult and expensive to obtain. If the shaft presses out with relative ease, then all is well; if it is siezed, then you may be better off "blowing apart" the bearing so that the inner race comes off with the shaft, and then work on getting it off separately. Throughout this whole procedure, heat helps.

The outer race is usually not seized into the hub carrier. It usually comes out fairly easily. But if you do have to press it out, just make sure you are not pressing on the ridge at all.

Putting the new bearing in is almost fun. Clean the hub carrier and put it in your oven and set the temperature to 200F degrees (close to 100C). Leave it in for a good 20+ minutes so it is thoroughly heated. While it is heating, pack grease into the new bearing (they are not sealed bearings -- more in a minute) and smear a thin coating of anti-sieze on the outside of the bearing. When you take the hub carrier out of the oven, the new bearing should slip in very easily -- it will almost go in on its own!

Once the bearing is in place, stuff more grease around the sides and install the new seals. Yes, you will need new seals. The bearing itself is not a sealed bearing, but you will have to install a seal on either side of it on the hub carrier. They look like crankshaft or camshaft seals. Best to put them in while the hub carrier is still warm, as they will go in easier, too.

Inserting the shaft into the bearing is not too difficult. Again, I would use anti-sieze to avoid future disasters (and you know you will be doing this again).

When reinstalling everything onto the car, the tightening of the hub nut is critical. It has to be something like 200 or 220 ft-lbs (I forget, so look it up)"

Edited by GavinT
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  • 1 year later...

Gday Crew,

I have ordered a new set of rear wheel bearings for my S2.2, I am still looking for inner and outer seals, The part number from my Parts List does not match any at SJ Sportscar. I have asked Steve to convert the part numbers but, I'm still waiting. Does anyone know the part numbers converted to SJs or where I can get them. Do the seals come with the bearings?

Also is their a thread which gives detailed instructions of the whole procedure. The one above has excellent tips but is only part of the procedure.

Bit nervous about doing this job.

Regards Mark.

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Hi Mark,

SJ list the outer/inner seals for the rear bearings, not original Lotus parts but they are very good products and I've bought them.

It's a very easy job to do, so don't being nervous about that, only difficoult, maybe, will be to fit the bearings in the hub carrier.

Probably you need to heat the carrier and to frozen the bearing, also they need to be fitted with a press.

Mine were finger not good, I've ended changing the two hub carrier, I don't like to use any retaining compound for the rear wheels.



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