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Fitting AVO Dampers


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Guest modifiedv8engines

After waiting and waiting to get some factory replacement dampers and springs decided to look elsewhere and have gone down the AVO damper route.

 

Fronts removed and new factory Eibach springs fitted to the AVO front dampers all ready to go ....perhaps

 

Front damper with spring installed is however approx 25mm shorter than the old unit that was removed.

 

Rears are yet to be fiitted and these are fully ajustable for ride height etc.

 

AVO advise the dampers are the correct items for my 97 V8 however since the springs are now under more preload (by 25mm) this would suggest a harder ride and less suspension travel before hitting the bump stops.

 

Anyone fitted these and found similar differences ?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback 

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I fitted AVO to my S4. Worst decision I ever made. They are awful and rubbish quality. I went back to standard. Whilst they are adjustable they do not change the ride height at all on the front and if

I fitted AVO to my S4. Worst decision I ever made. They are awful and rubbish quality. I went back to standard. Whilst they are adjustable they do not change the ride height at all on the front and if you lower the rear it just porpoises because it is to soft. The adjusters will seize at the slightest sniff of damp and the body will rust like an old 1970s Lancia.

AWFUL

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Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130

pig_zps6d7342f1.jpg

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On the other side of the coin.... I have AVO fitted to mine and they are great.. all fully adjustable.

Once fitted i did the correct thing and had it all set up professionally with corner weighing to ensure

ride quality and performance.... You can not just fit adjustable's of any make and expect them to be

perfect straight out the box.. It just does not happen... There are loads of cars out there with adj's

which are not set up, they would perform better with standards if they are not going to take the time to

do the job correctly.!!!! 

It is wrong to blame a product when it was not fitted and set up properly... 

As for rusting up ... same as all ....more a maintenance thing, blame the salt on the road,

However on the front you do need to fit shorter springs or have the original Eibach's cut down as i

did to get the adjust-ability . 

There is a lot more to suspension than just bolting on parts. If you get it wrong it can be horrible and have

resulting consequences

Paul was correct to ask and the answer is... Yes they will be fine , but i recommend once fitted you go to

a suitable specialist and check the set up on scales,,, It is always recommended having the full Geometrical

check of the whole suspension at the same time... You may be surprised how far out it can be..

As you are in Norfolk Paul why not see if the factory still offer the service..  

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I absolutely agree with Dave, a geo setup is a must for any car and the best £150 you can spend for driving pleasure. I've made the mistake in the past of bolting thing on and being disappointed with the result.

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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On the other side of the coin.... I have AVO fitted to mine and they are great.. all fully adjustable.

Once fitted i did the correct thing and had it all set up professionally with corner weighing to ensure

ride quality and performance.... You can not just fit adjustable's of any make and expect them to be

perfect straight out the box.. It just does not happen... There are loads of cars out there with adj's

which are not set up, they would perform better with standards if they are not going to take the time to

do the job correctly.!!!! 

It is wrong to blame a product when it was not fitted and set up properly... 

As for rusting up ... same as all ....more a maintenance thing, blame the salt on the road,

However on the front you do need to fit shorter springs or have the original Eibach's cut down as i

did to get the adjust-ability . 

There is a lot more to suspension than just bolting on parts. If you get it wrong it can be horrible and have

resulting consequences

Paul was correct to ask and the answer is... Yes they will be fine , but i recommend once fitted you go to

a suitable specialist and check the set up on scales,,, It is always recommended having the full Geometrical

check of the whole suspension at the same time... You may be surprised how far out it can be..

As you are in Norfolk Paul why not see if the factory still offer the service..  

Just to be clear Dave. Mine were set up and the car had a geo check by a reputable company. The car is not used in the winter and is certainly not subjected to any road salt. I stand by what i have said as that was my experience. it was not born out by incompetence or lack of maintenance for the record.

You presume much for someone who supposedly has such insight.

Your entitled to your opinion, but dont dismiss mine as if I am some sort of incompetent.

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130

pig_zps6d7342f1.jpg

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Just to be clear Dave. Mine were set up and the car had a geo check by a reputable company. The car is not used in the winter and is certainly not subjected to any road salt. I stand by what i have said as that was my experience. it was not born out by incompetence or lack of maintenance for the record.

You presume much for someone who supposedly has such insight.

Your entitled to your opinion, but dont dismiss mine as if I am some sort of incompetent.

 

I apologise if i offended you , but your first post did not volunteer the info you have just given. It merely

implied... fitted them, hated them, went rusty,..judgement... It was never my intention to imply you were

some sort of incompetent and i didn't think i did... I was just passing general comment based on experience..  

  I must say i would have had concerns to experience what you had with new kit... I certainly would have

questioned the reasons and explored deeper for explanations before dumping them...

I think the first area i would have explored would be to question the engineer who set it up,, I do not say

this lightly as it is unfair to criticise or point fingers... BUT when i first sent mine to be set up... at a state

of the art dealer who was Lotus approved but now Ferrari franchise.. It came back Wrong  and cost

£1500 to do.. I did not even need to drive it to see... The ride heights were out and pre-loads way off..

The dam thing was leaning and they said some do....Even the data info was incomplete.... Huh not impressed..

I contacted the Lotus factory to report it and they said they would have done it for me for £600..  In the end I

got a partial refund but still surprised by what i had received from a specialist...

 If I had accepted it as it was i would have experienced similar sort of handling you had and may of thought

as you did ... fortunately my experience runs deeper and i questioned the situation before casting judgement

on the parts fitted..   I think you may have had a similar situation..( this is not a criticism on what you did ) 

 Have you still got the paper work showing the set up and balance they did ?... This will go a long way to explain

your experience... if they did it correctly you should have the weight of each corner recorded and the balance

set up at as close to 50% as possible .. this is just as important as the angles.. Also remember It can take

4 to 5 hours to set up an Esprit Geo and balance on adjustable's by an experienced engineer..  So it won't

be cheap.£££

Sorry once again if i offended you, that was certainly not my intention...

 

Dave 

 

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Guest modifiedv8engines

Thanks for your input and feedback Dave and others.

 

I have used AVO before on an Excel SE I had a few years ago and they performed fairly well. Granted, the quality is not the same as LEDA, Nitron, Bilstein  etc etc but at a reasonable price they satisfy my occassional use. 

 

Since my old dampers where leaking and one the lower coils had snapped anything would be better than that.

 

These are steel bodied ( same as lotus) and although the ride height platform threads could corrode they could of course be greased before assembly. Good idea also to grease up the adjusters or wrap some tape around if you prefer.   

 

Have the front damper assemblies fitted and base spring platforms set to the same height as the Lotus OE arrangement. That is from the centre of the lower fixing loop to the lower edge of the spring platform.

 

The car ride height is almost the same as before as the springs are the factory Eibach items. It would not be possible to lower the car further at least not on the front without installing shorter springs. ( Car already has issues over speed humps so wouldnt want to go any lower than factory ride height and lowering the car would mean a full Geo to get the camber front and rear reset.  

 

Expect the springs to sag a little as they usualy do.

 

Hope to have a play when I get some time and try different damper settings and see how it goes.

 

For anyone considering carrying out this work yourself recommend the following:

 

Wouldnt bother trying to compress the springs "in -situ" as there is little space and the spring clamps need to be positioned opposite one another. Lower link support to chassis gets in the way and makes it awkward to work.

 

Support car properly to start. More supports the better.

Remove wheels, loosen inboard upper wishbone pivot, remove top balljoint bolts taking care to remove the shims and noting their position and number fore and aft of the top ball joint.

Support disc and caliper ensuring brake lines are not stretched/damaged.

Remove front anti-roll bar clamps and bolts (both sides).

Undo 4 top spring retainer to chassis bolts

Remove damper lower pivot bolt/nut

The whole suspension damper and spring assembly can then be removed from the car.

 

Do not remove the damper top nut and lock nut at this stage as the spring is under compression.  

 

Use ( HD ) spring compressors as the springs need to be compressed fully before removing the damper top mtg. Wouldnt bother with the cheap things available on ebay as these are likely to move when the spring is under full compression. I bought some Seeley compressors ( £100 ) but they work brilliantly and are easy to use and best of all, Safe.

 

Build the new dampers, springs and spring support plate.  

 

The lower loop fitting with the bushes supplied by AVO are approx. 3mm too wide to allow installation in the lower bottom link.

 

To get around this, remove steel top hat sections, file polyurethane bush and also steel inserts (inner ends) so width is the same overall as the Lotus damper mtg. Wouldnt bother trying to struggle and attempt to install them without doing this as they are too tight.

 

Installation is the reverse of the above. 

Use plenty of copper slip on bolts etc or struggle next time the dampers need to be removed.

 

Installing the new arrangment is easier since the AVO's are approx 25mm shorter overal than the factory dampers.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest modifiedv8engines

New AVO Dampers and Factory Eibach STD Springs fitted to the front.

New rubber isolators fitted to the spring top cup holder from SJ which are a polyurethane and not rubber as per factory

 

Dampers require most of the adjustment to give some "damping" ie using 12/13 clicks of the available range. Clockwise that is. 

 

Horrible "clunk" at low speed over pot holes, drain covers etc from near side front. Replaced upper ball joints as there was very slight wear and still clunks at low speed. Over 30 mph clunk disapears but suspension feels quite harsh or maybe this is how its supposed to be ?

 

Other bushes although showing some signs of age ( 52 K miles) nothing obviously wrong and lower links appear to be free from cracks or damage. Bottom BJ okay and anti roll bar bushes okay too.

 

Possibly faulty damper(s) ?? anyone else using AVOs and if so what do you have these set to ?

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Mine are set to 8 on front and 5 on rear...  12   is way to harsh for the road and the

springs you are running... drop them back to these settings .. there is plenty of damping 

available at these settings... i am also running Eibach factory spec springs.. no issues.!!!

It is quite common for people to set them too hard to start with .This will upset the whole ride..

That is why i said before about getting it set up by professional, It would be well worth asking the

service department at the Factory to set it up for you... money well spent..  

  

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Hi Paul.

On the Excel I found I had a low-speed clunk from the rear and fount it to be a gas cannister in the Gaz shocks had ruptured, meaning the piston had a few mm of movement before the fluid came into play. I don't know if AVO have a similar system inside that could fail.

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Guest modifiedv8engines

Thanks Andy

 

The AVO's do not appear to have this facility (gas canister) but the symptoms you describe are similar to what I am experiencing.

 

Its as the car moves and travels over a something the height of a paving slab that you hear the clunk a bit like there is a few millimeters movement or that the single lock nut on the damper piston (top) is loose.

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That's what I thought mine was, then when I found it was tight, thought it was a bush failed, then perhaps body moving relative to subframe...

 

The only way I traced mine was to have the car on ramps sitting on its wheels, then I had to gently lift and drop the car. The you can hear the source more easily, move yourself, repeat, place hands on components, repeat etc.

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Guest modifiedv8engines

Thanks Andy

 

Been onto AVO and described the problem - just ordered another damper to swap over but will see/feel/hear/inspect the damper on the car before I remove the unit.

 

Guy at AVO reckons it could be lack of oil in the unit ........hope the other three are okay !! or are they ??

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  • 1 month later...
Guest modifiedv8engines

Update on the AVO damper issue.

 

AVO supplied the wrong dampers although the part numbers were correct. Fitted the correct dampers for the second time and as anyones whos done this job before knows its not a 5 minute job.

 

Returned faulty dampers ( incorrect ones) about 4-5 weeks ago and have made 3 calls to obtain my refund. Called this morning to be told that the dampers returned had no name on them (but as soon as I called they knew what I was talking about) although the box had our name on the return address and a letter inside the box.

 

Lame excuse and treated like a ****ing idiot

 

Front dampers fitted with new lotus springs and appear to be okay/good .

 

Manufacturers who are are unable to stamp up parts correctly for safety critical items ......not very confidence inspiring !!

 

An apology would have been in order but since they havent offered one, I cant really recommend this "outfit" to others.

 

Thanks for the "adventure" AVO ..........never again

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