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Front suspension top wishbones goosed?

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Hello,

 

I pulled the car out to give it a run out when I noticed that the front offside wheel seemed further forward than the other. So I jacked it up and saw that there is a significant difference between the two top wishbones? I do remember hitting a pot hole a while ago...! could this have caused what looks like the bushes within the top offside wishbone to slide out?

 

Should I just buy replacement bushes and reinstall or is there something more significant going on?

I'm guessing that the castor is way out assuming that the nearside is right. I had a full geometry setup at the dealer some 600miles ago and have only driven to France since then but looking at the photographs both wishbones have the same size of castor spacers at the upper ball joint.

I haven't checked to see whether the caster shim washers are at the correct location at the back on the pivot stud but will check tonight.

 

Any thoughts or similar experiences? I want it sorted to start enjoying the summer weather and living in Paris means a trip to the dealer which is way down my option list.

post-9944-0-50116100-1429616855.jpg

post-9944-0-25626200-1429616873.jpg

post-9944-0-84573800-1429616890.jpg

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

My Turbo SE has the exact same problem - my front left side wheel is significantly further back than the right side one. The guy checking the geometry claims he's seen potholes do this to cars, and neither of us found any evidence of chassis damage. 

 

Haven't identified which part it is that's thrown it so far out though... I'll check maybe we have the same issue. 

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so I just did this.

 

It should look like this. My original '89 bushings (photo is recent)

 

IMG_5281.JPG

IMG_5283.JPG

 

The new bushing has an outer metal sleeve, and an inner metal sleeve.

IMG_5274.JPG

 

and it gets pressed into the wishbone.

IMG_5275.JPG

 

The stud should also probably be replaced, but there is not enough room to bring it out the front, it'll hit the radiator, and from behind there is a removable plastic plug in the fiberglass, but you will have to pull the carpet down and cu through some insulation.


I would NOT drive it like that!

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Bit of work to be done there Steve. Certainly does not look right.

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Thanks Travis, good pictures and I agree it's going nowhere until it's sorted. Looks like a front suspension refresh is in order as always just before the summer. Lol.

So logically it looks like the large buffer washer has failed allowing the top wishbone to move off the bush and onto the chassis upright. That means that I need to check for any damage to the wishbone (bent?), buy new bushes, buffer weathers, and as I've got to take it all off replace the main bolt as well. Any recommendations for any other preventive tasks I should do whilst it's all stripped down?

And lastly do I need a press to insert the new bush or can I get away with using an appropriate sized socket?

Thanks for the advice, much clearer on the way forward!

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It's hard to tell from your photographs but are you missing the stepped caps that go between the rubber bushes on the damper stem?

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Hi all,

I stripped the suspension tonight and found that the rear top wishbone is actually bent when comparing it to the near side suspension.

The leading top wishbone is fine which begs the question why is only one of them bent. Anyway I suspect it may be do to the amount of corrosion which has been significant enough to weaken it?

The near side looks good both in terms of shape and levels of corrosion but I'm a stickler for replacing things in pairs so depending of the prices that come back I'll replace both sides including bolts, washers, bushes etc.

See below some pictures, I'll add some pictures of the extraction process for future reference including where you need to cut the carpet.post-9944-0-68227000-1429734543.jpg

You can see the amount deformation it's about 25mm

post-9944-0-80187700-1429734614.jpg

post-9944-0-46935600-1429734654.jpg

The rear wishbone looks fine

post-9944-0-33183400-1429734812.jpg

Significant amount of corrosion.

post-9944-0-04100000-1429735141.jpg

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good time to replace them... check to see if new ones come with bushings!

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Since you are considering replacing both, you may have a spare set depending on corrosion. Can't see anything in the photos as to why they are not interchangeable? Would be interesting to find out how it bent.

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Front & rear halves having different part numbers is a bit of a giveaway. :lol:

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Yes, they are different front to back but left side to right side? Any numpty can see they differ front to back on the same side.

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The joys of esprit ownership at this point I am drawing a blank on replacement top wishbones as the parts have gone obsolete, usual checks have drawn blanks. The only ray of light is SJ Sportscars in which Steve is arranging for new items to be made but that's at least a month away and in my experience these things always drag on!

So does anyone have some old but functioning ones to keep me on the road or any suggestions for alternative sources? I'm guessing that these are lotus bespoke items due to lotus being the first to have this particular configuration.

I'll contact Douglas Valley in the morning and see what's around salvage wise.

Any help appreciated, moral or otherwise!

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Check JAE or Sports Car World in the USA.


There is an earlier version on ebay USA, but note that it does not allow for camber adjustment like the 94+ version.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Upper-control-arm-wishbone-Lotus-Esprit-1983-1993-E075C0130F-J-/171740320703?fits=Make%3ALotus%7CModel%3AEsprit&hash=item27fc8553bf&vxp=mtr

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Hi all, quick update.

Checked the above and including Douglas Valley who wanted £260+VAT for second hand top wishbones. lol

I'm going down the SJ Sportscars route as they are remanufacturing them at approx. £60 which is a good price, just have to wait the 4 weeks.

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So, did you get new wishbones?

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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£260 + VAT for second hand Triumph Herald based wishbones !!

 

The steel stampings (Lotus) are the same but after welding they are machined to suit fore/aft side of suspension upright. The pivot bushes are also larger diameter than the Herald type and to improve strength, the steel bush has an additional filet weld to support the bush. 

 

Excels used the same pressing but differed as did the Esprits as they evolved when Lotus introduced anti dive geometery into the front suspension/chassis and strenghtening etc etc In other words the wishbones are model specific

 

Back in the late 1980s,  I made hundred and hundreds of those when working @ Lotus Cars.

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Paul, what are the odds that what SJ are remanufaturing is correct spec as according to your description?

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Vanya

 

When we made these at the Fab shop at Hethel, I worked out what sequence to weld them to avoid distortion. My fault as I ended up making hundereds of the things which was very very boring.

 

If the top balljoint fixing off the wishbone needs machining, then this will result in slightly less material at the machining point of the wishbone (where it fixes to the top ball-joint) . Doubtful it would make a vast difference but could weaken the structure if extensively machined ....like if the wishbone was twisted

 

So if you have a Esprit, Excel, Elan with parts made between 1987 - 1990 chances are I welded the

Wishbones, rear hoop (excel) top links, front lower links, and if the other guys got behind, the chassis main spine, and rear engine cage as well as the front crossmember

 

If the wishbones ( as well as other parts) are welded incorrectly ( sequence ) they require more time machining. Pick up points are the same as the jig holds them whilst welding but in order to effect a strong weld the MIG amps need to burn in so thay stay welded. 

 

All welders @ Hethel needed to carry out a weld test inspection to avoid potential failures with safety critical "life and Limb" components ...

 

Always a bit of a worry when buying remanufactured components as the standards such as ISO 9000 etc are not "usualy" followed. 

 

Material grade can also differwith aftermarket stuff and something which most of the Motor Industry and consumers know all too well about with "imported goods"

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