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Stickybreaky Wibblywobbly - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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molemot

Stickybreaky Wibblywobbly

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THERE I was, bimbling towards London on the M3, and All was Not Well. The old girl was shaking like someone crafting a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster....going along a cobbled road doesn't begin to describe it...the steering wheel was moving fully 20 degrees in either direction, the front was bouncing up and down in harmony....applying the brakes didn't help much, either. Hmmm. I suppose there could be a missing balance weight? At least half a pound of lead, from the feel of it.....slowing down got it back to something near normal, but not a situation to be allowed to continue. Running in to Richmond I popped into the handy tyre place by the roundabout, and got the front wheels checked for balance. One was 10 grammes out...that's not going to cause it....but I noticed that the RH front wheel was hard to rotate and the brake disc and caliper were pretty hot. Compared with the other side. Once the wheels were back on, tried her down the Chertsey Bypass..and all was well. Mysterious, or what??

Anyway, was on my way to view the Kerouac Original Scroll of "On the Road" and attend a lecture by the chap who arranged the publication of this original in book form....so I parked her in North Road Kew and went up on the Underground. The scroll was an amazing artefact, original documents always grab me...direct connection with the past; Kerouac typing manically for several days fuelled, he said, by coffee in giant quantities....I never thought I'd ever see the scroll that started the whole thing. Got back to the delinquent beastie and she was behaving herself once more. Now, this was on Friday...and today, Sunday, we were booked on the P&O ferry for Calais and thence further south. So Something had to be Done. The best diagnosis I could come up with was that the RH front brake was sitcking on ( meant sticking on, but sitcking is quite a word, not to be wasted) so the next day, Saturday that was, I enlisted my brother as makeelearnee boy ( although he's no longer in his boyhood, difficult to tell though, sometimes, and there's not much he needs to learn either) and we made a start. Without some suitably qualified assistance, this task is darned nearly impossible, as one has to lurch from the brake caliper to the brake pedal and back again so often that you can forget which way you were going....seat someone in the driver's seat and it's all so much easier...

The Plan was to jack up, insert axle stand, remove wheel, turn steering to left and remove one of the pads. The inner pad came out with some fairly mighty leverings using the holes through which the securing pins pass. Once it was out, the next thing was to find something which could be used to push the piston back in....we used the handle of a giant stilson wrench, which fitted in the gap between piston and disc and went far enough in to bear upon the inner unused surface of the disc. First thing to do was to apply the brakes, so that the piston came further out..this meant that the lubricated portion of the piston was moved to where the seal was, carrying the brake fluid with it. In theory, this should introduce lubrication where it was needed....and it worked, too. Apply brakes...piston comes out...lever it back in with the stilson handle. Repeat. Repeat until it looks as if the piston/seal interface is working smoothly. Then repeat another ten times.....and that was the inner piston sorted. Now for the outer....

Which proved to be rather more recalcitrant. So much so, that moving the piston back needed a three foot long crowbar...and an old steel ruler to protect the disc. Crikey...we worked our way up to the crowbar via other, lesser, bits of leverage....nothing worked until we were both heaving on the mighty weapon of mass destruction....and the piston at last slid back!! Phew. Again, we moved the piston back and forth until it was smooth...and another 10 times to be sure to be sure..... Reassembled all the bits and pieces and time for a road test. 85 mph produced a distinct lack of wobbleitis...braking was smooth and positive....did two laps of the test circuit to ensure she was sorted, and all was well. Well enough for an excellent supper at Casa Nova in Virginia Water...and a fairly early night.

Sunday dawned bright and far too early with The Beastie covered in ice; no deicer so my EHIC card was pressed into service to scritch the freezystuff off the screen, and away we went to Dover. A nice drive...no need to have worried about the brakes as I didn't use them between Chertsey and the first roundabout in Dover! P&O put me on the earlier ferry, for which I was very thankful...even though what I had read on the website seemed to intimate that the days of earlier ferries were gone...so it was at 0925 that I was seated in the restaurant with the usual magnificent P&O breakfast, love their sausages.....and once in Calais I fuelled up with 98 octane at a supermarket card operated pump....The equivalent of around £1.28 a litre.....and hit the autoroute towards Paris. Nice steady 130 KPH, no wibblywobblies, all very smooth with the needles pointing at all the right numbers. Paris, however........there had been a significant cludburst ( another word I'm going to use again) and several vehicles had had a coming together somewhere around the peripherique.....which slowed things a lot. Then the rain hit.....for real.....crikey, they do proper rain here......being passed by the giant tanklike things that people seem to like nowadays was an experience.Not so much spray, as wash from a supertanker....the Lotus wiper going flat out was defeated and we proceeded as much by intuition and Feeling the Force as by any form of visual contact. Took the thick end of 45 minutes longer than it should....and getting out onto the A6 didn't help too much, either, as the rain had got here too and - despite the 110kph limit - the Panzers were still howling past at 150+, swamping my poor little rollerskateything; like a mobile carwash, it were. As we progressed further from Paris it got a bit better, and the A77 had it's usual paucity of traffic so I could relax a bit; jolly hard work it had been, too.

Through all this, with modern stuff stranded on the side of the road with the mechanics drowned, the 1982 Turbo just kept on going, never a suggestion of a hesitation, deviation or repetition ( for the aficionados of "I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue!") and we pulled in to Mole End Cottage at about 1730 local. Obviously she appreciated the last week's efforts on the radiator fans and brake caliper....never believe machinery is inanimate, once you've done the first twenty years you have another family member, with all the emotional baggage this brings....... Tomorrow she will have a Nice Wash and Polish and go back under the dust cover in the workshop. This winter I really will fit all the new parts to the front end...honest.....I mean it this time........

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I can agree that driving in heavy rain with a somewhat useless windscreen wiper is not the most amusing escapade... when I first took my sister up to my parents in the Lotus (she was expecting my old golf - you should have seen her face) she commented that the windscreen wiper basically didn't clear the screen in front of her at all, just a little patch in front of the driver... all good fun really.

Edited by skiing

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Hi there.

 

I use a product over here called Clear Vu. You clean the windscreen first and apply this stuff with a cloth, let it dry and apply a second coat. When dry, polish with a soft cloth. This stuff is fantastic, you never need to use your wipers as the rain and stuff just beads off, down at slow speed and up at higher.

 

I did a run the other day back from a car show of some 200 plus kms in steady rain and never used the wipers once.

 

You must have some similar product over there.

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RainKote I think is the name for a similar product here in Oz. I use it on all my cars windows and mirrors. External only. There is a warning on the bottle to not use it on the inside.

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