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Advice please, rear suspension - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Clive59

Advice please, rear suspension

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Hi, I have just started checking things on my newly acquired Elite S1 76. This is probably the first of many requests for help, so thanks in advance.

First, rear suspension. The wheels have a fair bit of camber. Just wondering what is reasonable. I have removed the spare wheel, and the driver side rear wheel, and had a look at the chassis. Happily, it seems fine, no evidence of rust at all. However, the bearing hub has been welded at some point in it's life, but seems like it was nicely done, but I am no expert on welding. It has been like this for >14 years, so has lasted so far, as well as a 1200km drive home when I picked it up. There is some play on the wheel in vertical orientation, indicating some wear in the Uni joints I guess, but no more than 1-2mm I think . There does not appear to be any movement on the passenger side however. When i raise the wheel off the ground, it does go pretty close to vertical again. I haven't checked the dimensions to see if it has been intentionally given extra camber.

When wheel is off the ground, and got my son to try to push top of wheel in, along with the bit of movement of the Uni joint, I saw a little twisting of the trailing arm box section. I expect this is normal. I enclose a few pics to review.

 

Second, front suspension. Not much yet, I haven't had a close look, but i did notice a small piercing of the body shell by the tip of the shock absorber(pic enclosed). Have i got a problem, or is this common. Again, looking as best I can, no rust on the chassis. And the piercing has not gone through to the other side.

 

thanks, Clive

 

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The guy who runs LotusBits commented on the camber on my rear wheels, and said it was usually the UJs.

 

I still haven't changed them, but it hasn't got noticeably worse very quickly.  I have the new UJs, but not the time to fit!

 

Yours looks a bit worse than mine, to be honest, but chances are the same theory holds.  

 

Herc 

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I would change the hub cariers! aluminum welding isn't easy and i wouldn't be shure if its done correctly. the influence on the whole geometry is imminent.

 

I have some nice and ultrasonic cleaned hub cariers aside (if you want i can glass beeding these too). just send me an email, if want them...

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I would follow up with the PO and see if he can give you any history as to the welding. From my experience and time around a lot of welders, the welding looks very good for aluminium. If the parts were jigged prior to prepping for welding and then prepped and welded, you may find they are fine geometry wise as Peter has mentioned above. If you are concerned, you could replace them as Peter has offered.

An x-ray via any reputable non-destructive testing firm will point out any issues with weld quality.

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Thanks guys, I will see if the PO knows anything first, and Peter, might just take you up on your offer. I'll let you know.

 

Clive

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The PO found that the car was oversteering badly after he bought it. Found that there was a crack in the carrier that had been badly fixed, and the rear wheel was way out of line. He took it to his son's workplace, who just happen to be experts in aluminium welding, they build the supersize catermarans that go all over the world. They made a jig and did the job properly, and it has been thus for 14 years. Probably stronger than original.

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Clive,

 

I can't really see from the pictures of the rear suspension but it looks like the usual early Lotus design where the drive shaft acts as the top suspension arm.

 

Lotus first used this design on their racing cars & the Europa which used to have the same problem of wear causing too much rear camber and when cornering the outer rear wheel would go vertical as the centrifugal  force pulled on the car (yes, I am that old).

 

The solution was to pull the drive shaft off the diff output shaft around which were shims and add more until with the drive shaft refitted you could just get the roll pin back into the hole through the shafts (don't know if the Elite uses roll pins to secure the drive shafts to the diff output shafts)

 

Hope this help. :thumbsup:

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