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Front suspension shims - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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PhilW

Front suspension shims

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Hi I have been reading an article about the rebuilding of the front suspension on an S3 Esprit.  The article is here  http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EGuides/EMaintenance/Suspension_fitting.html

This article is based on the newer suspension set up. '85 onwards.  Mine is '84

 

Can anyone tell me whether the shims between the top wishbone arms and the upper ball joint are likely to exist in earlier suspension.  I have not gone and checked but am sure there is nothing there.  I am about to rebush both sides and replace any other parts i find need doing.

 

Am also interested in any comments on the shocks and springs (which i assume are standard)  Might consider lowering entire car a fraction.  Any comments would be very gratefully recieved.

 

Thanks in advance

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IIRC the caster adjustment on the earlier (or should I say mid as the S1 & S2 used Opel sourced system) uses the ARB to pull the outer edge of the lower arm forwards rather than moving the upper balljoint forwards/ backwards. That later system of shims had to be used as the three point wishbones meant the lower trunion point was then fixed.

 

I've always thought that it must be possible to use the upper shim method where necessary. Some have commented that it would put strain on the trunion but my theory is that it puts no more strain on the trunion than moving the lower arm by the equivalent amount in the opposite direction. That way you could adjust the lower point and the upper point and achieve the correct caster and minimise the set-back that may be present.

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Thanks Andy.

 

Where would you suggest the best place to buy the bushes etc.  Ideally the cheapest.  i know some or all of it is Triumph so maybe even a triumph specialist.  there is one very near to me so could be good.

 

Phil

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For the trunions I suppose any Triumph specialist, although some have indicated they're not designed for Lotus I suspect the ones originally used were also not designed for Lotus.

 

For the bushes, there's a sliding scale of what's right to use. 

Ideal is a Lotus designed poly bush, from Lotus dealer or some independents  Some of these will be available with just the ARB to lower links not. These bushes have been designed to do the job, not just fit the hole. Probably the most expensive.

Second theoretical choice would be original spec rubber (Metalastic) bushes, but true original spec ones are unavailable or if they've been sitting on a shelf for nearly 30 years would be of little use. 

Third (or forth depending on the supplier's materials) would be off-the-shelf non-Lotus poly bushes from an independent, SJ sportscars, Lotusbits, PNM, Superflex etc. Probably all around the same price. These will have been made from a standard material used for many other off-the-shelf non OEM bushes, so are designed to fit but may be harder/ softer then original deign criteria by Lotus. These ones also tend to pivot in the holes / shafts pivot in the bush, this is not how the lotus suspension was designed to work, it was supposed to have an element of self return in the system. Cost wise, on a par with no4.

Forth (or third depending on above) would be original style (Metalastic style) rubber & steel bushes but using a rubber compound that's been adjusted over the years so as to be less environmentally damaging, unfortunately that doesn't mean is has the same stiffness as the original design spec. This design can be a PITA to fit whereas off-the-shelf non-Lotus poly bushes may simply push in by hand. Cost, on a par with 3.

 

So, cheapest may not be bad, but it may or may not give the ride & handling you would want form a Lotus but it will probably still surpass most people's expectations of a  20+ years old car handling.

 

 

Andy

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Thats great Andy, thank you.

Will now carefully strip one side and see what i find.  Each parts is goinf to be cleaned and painted or powder coated etc.  Will then decide what bushes i will use.

Thanks

 

Phil

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