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Right then better start my '77 S1 project... - Page 43 - Projects & Restorations - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Right then better start my '77 S1 project...


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It probably hasn't helped but I believe that a 40 year old upright and trunnion had seen their day in all honesty, similar to my drive shaft unions that were knackered due to old age and sitting around for years. It is a problem for owners with trunnions, gt6 spitfire seem to suffer the same sort of history with failed uprights. There's that cranley upgrade, dunno if that is a real option, but I need to find something strong and reliable. 

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One last photo from the weekend for all you photo junkies. I put this picture out on instagram and it went ballistic for some reason, anyway enjoy.

Good day gentlemen, it's been a while but don't fret, just taken the panther out for its first run of spring/summer. Just done a basic oil and filter service and other base checks, all good. She splut

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The canley classics upgrade is very good and well respected in triumph circles 

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Hi Charlie, the conversion using Toyota uprights from the Lotus Excel, this involves cutting and shutting the bottom links of both cars altering the steering track rod ends by inverting them and putting in a reverse taper in the steering arms to receive them and due to my modified wide lower links already being converted to wide wishbones a drop link for the anti roll bar. I would inspect the broken parts to ascertain the condition before failure. My failure was due to riding the kerbs and catching one that had a higher step in it. My conversion to Toyota parts allowed me to fit 310mm vented disc brakes which was the main consideration and the benefit was the lower ball joint

regards Dan

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I see Spyder do an upgrade?

http://www.spydercars.co.uk/lotus-elite-eclat-front-suspension-steering/

So gutted I missed the show, least I'm hear to tell the tale! 

15 minutes ago, eclat22 said:

Hi Charlie, the conversion using Toyota uprights from the Lotus Excel, this involves cutting and shutting the bottom links of both cars altering the steering track rod ends by inverting them and putting in a reverse taper in the steering arms to receive them and due to my modified wide lower links already being converted to wide wishbones a drop link for the anti roll bar. I would inspect the broken parts to ascertain the condition before failure. My failure was due to riding the kerbs and catching one that had a higher step in it. My conversion to Toyota parts allowed me to fit 310mm vented disc brakes which was the main consideration and the benefit was the lower ball joint

regards Dan

Not an easy fix then?

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Been busy today, taken aoart my front end and I'm glad to report no major damage, could have been so much worse on so many levels. Anyway, back to the problem, I'm now totally convinced that fatigue and old trunnions are the cause of failure, but what to do? New uprights and new trunnions or go for the canley ckassic upgrade (not a direct fit) or have something stronger engineered? I've been talking to an engineer friend of mine and he wants to look into making a stronger upright machined rather than cast so that may be an option. In the mean time I'm researching to see if there are any stronger options out there, anyone kniw if pnm engineering make an upgrade, been trying to call but he's an elusive fella. 

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2 hours ago, CharlieCroker said:

Just read on a triumph forum, never ever grease trunnions only use ep80/90, really?

20160509_162714_zpsgthi9p7h.jpg

I have been warned exactly that by a previous triumph owner, not sure how to get hd90 through a grease nipple yet though!

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Hi charlie sorry to hear of your issues especially after all the hard work.I have trunnions with grease nipples on my S1 Eclat so I put grease in .cant imagine that oil would go in very well or stay put

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A Burgess

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3 hours ago, CharlieCroker said:

Just read on a triumph forum, never ever grease trunnions only use ep80/90, really?

 

Absolutely true - As an ex Spitfire/GT6 and multiple TR6 owner, I know all about trunnions.   I just use a greasegun charged with EP90 on the Esprit.   Having said that I also had a similar upright fail to you a number of years ago.   I suspect it was a failure probably caused by an earlier kerbing event.   Beware the Canley Classics.   The lower joint  doesn't locate correctly on a Lotus link and there has been a suggestion that the arc of travel or the angles may be different - certainly the supplier was previously unhappy on this forum when he got winnd ofthem being used on non-Triumph applications - as opposed to flogging them to anybody who wanted to buy.      

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Really appreciate the advice chaps and after some frantic research today I'm swaying away from the canley option. I'm looking at staying stock as my failure is 99.9% due to fatigue and poorly maintained trunnions by the previous owners, I've done what I can with them but they were well past their sell by date. As you can imagine my confidence is shot at the moment and I was hoping to find a stronger solution, but correctly maintained trunnions should not fail so I'm sure that is the best way to go. 

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Look at the state of these! Anti roll bar bushes practically disintegrated, I cant tell if they are meant to be one piece or split conical pieces that go either side of the lower control arm? And here's the culprit trunnion, seen better days me thinks.

20160510_082232_zpsolhn2nqm.jpg

20160509_150632_zpsdzy0cafn.jpg

 

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Fit nice new trunnions- it will all be good then - they are hateful things on a triumph.

do both sides - the feel when fitting a new one in comparison to the old one is frightening!!

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What does there surface of the break look like? I am no metallurgist but apparently you can deduce what happened to a degree from the surface where it snapped.

does your lower ride height load these up in a different way from stock? Would guess not as the camber looks standard even at the lower height.

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Clean break just above the thread. From the research that I'm doing I believe that the trunnion was poorly maintained and is showing a break exactly as you would expect, using grease doesn't always get lubrication to the top of the thread as grease can get blocked at the bottom of the feed tube, and with a poorly fitting seal water can sit at the top of the thread and corrode and weaken it ever so slightly but enough over the years . I out found this morning, further endorsement to using oil rather than grease for this very reason, oil can flow up the to the top of the thread so much easier than grease, did lotus say use grease or oil, would like to know. Another question that springs to mind, if this is a weak area, and had been know for a long while in the lotus fraternity,  why isn't someone making an upgraded kit, would be a win all round if a kit was available, esprit, eclat, elite we'd all need the upgrade right? I really don't think my air ride has been the problem here on two fronts, the front geometry has simply not changed, other than an airbag which replaces the spring but in exactly the same location and taking the force at the same point as an original spring. The only extra force on the front setup, if anything would be when the car raises. I've also read on more than a few occasions that the break happens at relatively low speeds and in turning (not saying it can't happen at speed) but more than a few people relating to a low speed corner when it snaps, exactly what happened in my case. This is a good warning to anyone, make sure the trunnions are maintained correctly,  any doubt change for new. 

20160509_084111_zpsj94u6krt.jpg

 

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I managed to unwind the remainder of the upright bolt, anyone having doubts that my setup is to blame should have a  look at this, the corrosion is damming. It's totally pitted, has thread wear along one side and has rusted badly. I'm no metal forensic expert but it doesn't take a genius to work this one out. I've also been in touch with an engineering firm to see if they can remanufacture the upright using modern fabrication techniques, 3d printing and the latest technology, maybe there is a better solution out there, we'll see.

20160510_170822_zpsaatiso7i.jpg

20160510_170836_zpsmhn7vosi.jpg

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Machined out of stainless block might be the best way to go. Rather than casting or printing in steel for example. This would get round the corrosion issue and would be expensive to mass produce for a production run when triumph uprights were readily available.

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Charlie - looking at those bits, I'd wonder how you  got an MOT....  New uprights, trunnions & top ball joints didn't cost me much more that £200.   I would also be pretty sure you will be rewarded with a better handling car.

Oil specified in Esprit handbook SAE 90 API GL5 (gear oil to you or I)

 

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I'm currently looking at all the necessary parts I need to rebuild the front, will be a 1000 times better I'm sure. It is what it is, it failed in the real world and not at the time of mot, easy to point fingers after the event and all the parts are disassembled and on a bench and under forensic examination. As long as my photos and post help point out to others potential areas of failure, that can't be a bad thing. On a brighter note, Dan (eclat22) has offered me the necessary parts needed to get me back up and running sooner rather than later. I'll take this on the chin and move forward.  

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1 hour ago, mikeeech said:

Machined out of stainless block might be the best way to go. Rather than casting or printing in steel for example. This would get round the corrosion issue and would be expensive to mass produce for a production run when triumph uprights were readily available.

Stainless is not structurally strong enough for this application - my understanding is stainless should not be used in stress conditions.

Back in the good old days - this is how they failed in the real world - they hung on forever - then clunk and they didn't !!

 

swap them trunnions @CharlieCroker - and remember it's your fault not panthers - so don't be cross with her !!

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I've left the old upright with the engineering firm, let them work out what material is best. I'm not fussed at all, all part of the trials and tribulations of owning an old lotus, infact I bloody love the challenges it throughs up at me. I'd admit, when I was looking at her with a wheel hanging off the words 'loads of trouble... started ringing about my head! There's all sorts of ups and downs in life and owning a lotus is small fry to what you could face, so get things fixed and back out on the road, she'll be back out prowling sooner than you think. 

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Glad to hear no serious damage on the Panther Charlie. And I am sure from history, she will come back stonger, sleeker and meaner than ever.

Good luck in finding a better fix.

 

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Just been down to see Dan (eclat22) who has supplied, well basically given me the parts needed to get the panther back up and running in no time. As far as I know he had these from Spyder, with an early PNM vented disc conversion? I'll let him confirm the details, but I'm over the moon to have found something so soon at an incredible price. On the way back I stopped off at lotus bits to pick a few bits and pieces so should be able to make a start at reassembly this week. Seeing as the discs are now thicker in width I may look into a wilwood 4 pot caliper to upgrade the braking. All good fun and another challenge to keep me busy in the next few weeks. Dan, you are a star for helping a brother out in need. All the best,

Charlie ;-)

20160511_170850_zpscjngjl1l.jpg

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