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1975 Elite Front Suspension Pivot bush. Excess play - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


1975 Elite Front Suspension Pivot bush. Excess play


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Whilst tinkering with the front suspension on my 1975 Elite I seem to have come across a potential problem..

With the front antiroll bar disconnected there seems to be excessive play at the lower arm inner pivot bushes on my 1975 Elite.

This is part 21 in the workshop manual. I am able to move the lower arm about 1.5 inches.

I understand this is a Metalistic (not sure of the spelling) componant.

Does anyone know of the origins of this bush? I know replacements are available from SJS, and others, but by the time they add postage and VAT they are pricey.

I am wondering if there is a Poly bush alternative as a firm manufactures polybushes 2 miles from where I live. But as with most manufacturers you have to ask for a specific componant by make. State Lotus and they say no!

I suspect that the bushes are Ford, Triumph or even Land Rover.

Any suggestions, recommendations?

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Adrian,

If you check out Mark's spreadsheet (in Elite/Éclat Chat section), it indicates some origins for front suspension parts - however, I'm not sure if the lower link arm is Lotus specific or general to Triumph as well.

Some poly bush's don't fit in some areas - again generally discussed around and about on here!

Good Luck

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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i dont think i have that part on my list,  but any info anyone finds out or knows will help others..    if anyone has a definite replacement info that would be great.. 

I`m guessing the same, that pretty much anything outside of the engine itself that was cast, stamped, rubber (bushes, rod ends etc) etc will be likely sourced elsewhere, i`d imagine lotus could easily acommodate sourced parts into linkages that they were fabricating. 

I have a box of old cortina bushes at home, and can have a look in that if you send me a load of measurements for the bush.  i can see if anything seems to match that might be right.. 

cheers,

Mark 

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Thanks for the offer of looking through your box of bushes.

Unfortunately, I doubt I could supply any dimensions. The bushes fitted to the car are obviously breaking up. Should I remove them experience reminds me that Metalistic bushes are unbelievably difficult  to remove in one piece owing to their contruction of rubber and steel, I think whatever is left of the bush would be trash.

What I would like to ask is has someone got a new inner pivot bush (item 21 in workshop manual) that they have not yet fitted that could be measured?

Of course the origin of this bush would be even better.for me to source my own supply..

Come on guys Help! Have a look in your spares boxes dimensions are required.

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Buying one bush is not really a valid option as there are only two to buy.

It just seems to me that £50 is an excessive price for two bushes when they are probably out there for a lot less if only one knew what car they are from.

I am not giving up yet. I like the challenge.

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What I have found out so far.

If this bush was for fitting to a TVR it is £3.99! A fraction of the price that Lotus specialists want for the Lotus equivalent. I doubt the size of the TVR bush is the same but the item has the same engineering cost.

It shows that there is a rip off occuring here by the very suppliers who depend on us to keep them in business.

These bushes have become a challenge I will get there in the end.

I have found a manufacturer of metalistic bushes quite local to me all I need is the exact size of the bush I require.

So far nothing has been forthcoming from members.

My next step is to strip out the lower arm and see if I can get some measurements for myself. I was hoping to avoid this until I had the replacements but hey ho thats how it goes.

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The cost of parts for cars like an Elite/Eclat often is not a reflection of their manufacturing cost,  but the relative low demand for them, their low volume production costs, and the cost of  stocking.  For example, if  these parts are not readily available, the supplier may have to pay for a batch to be manufactured and hold the stock for years.  If individual items can be made up rapidly on demand, rather bought in bulk and stocked, then the unit production costs will be correspondingly higher.

In contrast, parts for a Mark 2 Jag are massively lower than an Elite just because of the volume of demand means lower production costs and less need for stock piling.  

What you get from suppliers like SJs is also a guarantee that the part you buy will work, not to mention free advice on how to fit it   If you buy parts from say an eBay supplier, then if they are wrong, you have burnt your money.  That expertise and assurance means, quite reasonably, a price mark-up.  Which way you decide to buy is your choice, but personally I have found SJ's costs very reasonable given the market they are in.  

The real issue here is that Elite/Eclat was a small volume exotic car whose value today is not a reflection of their original cost.  In that light, I strongly believe that the sort of parts availability SJs gives us is a pure blessing.

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I have looked at Lotusbits web site. They do not list the pivot arm bush. I suppose a phone call may help.

I have had an interesting read on the Elan.net site about making ones' own poly bushes from scratch.

Being a retired engineer this blog was fascinating. Unfortunately I have no access to a lathe otherwise...........

This story is not over yet.

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http://www.gmt-rubber.com/product-index.php

Just found this company - if you look under bushes, the site provides a comprehensive breakdown of all the metalistic bushes it can supply with all dimensions clearly detailed.

I don't know about costs but I wouldn't think it impossible to find out what the dimensions are for the 'Lotus' item - until I'm sorted with an Elite, I can't help with that I'm afraid.

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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Thanks Ant,

The web link is very similar to one I found with an outlet about 15 miles away from me and both use the same numbers. Looking at both their websites I would think they are looking at volume sales not just two. If I email them they may of course forward me to a retail outlet.

Those pesky sizes elude me at present without them I am sailing into the wind.

I have found that the Elise uses this bush on back and front suspension so I think that as this is a car produced up to 2004 demand is not that limited. Someone must reproduce/supply the bush at a more reasonable price.

I also found a Lotus specialist supplier (name new to me De routh or something) is selling the bushes much cheaper than others. However, I do have to make sure they have stock at this price.

 

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Thank you Paul this is indeed progress.

Now if my memory serves me correctly Mk 3, 4 and 5 all used he same lower arm bush.

Many are suspect of poly bushes as a replacement in this application. Original metalastik apparently do more that just bushing.

I have tried googling the number but nothing comes up.

What I have found is some dimensions on a Cortina bush, plus two types of bush. One is a standard Metalatik and one seems to be all rubber with a metal sleeve. Now I am confused.

The dimensions for the Cortina Metalastik bush are given as: 45mm overall length, 33mm metal sleeve,  43.3mm diameter, 11.5mm hole.

Do you think this would fit in the arm you have loose?

Adrian

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Hi Adrian, 

 

the usual suspects are: Eliseparts where you can get 3 different sorts of bushes and Elise-Shop. In Germany the great motorsport warehouses like Sandtler and Isa-Racing  have them as well. I would guess Merlin Motorsport and Demon-Tweeks will offer them as well. Further on we have an online shop from Fritz-Motorsport who claims to deliver any shore value of PU-bushes... and at last via fleebay. So there is plenty around :)

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Thanks Don there are a few companies to check out most I have never heard of. Excellent. I still have to identify which Elise 1, 2, or 3 uses the same bush.

At the moment I am in the process of removing the lower arms and antirollbar. Floflex say they will definitely have the bushes in poly material they just need the lower arm for confirmation.

Floflex manufactures poly bushes and are based only 4 miles from my home. Very helpful people they even offered me the loan of a coil spring compressor. Unfortunately the tool is too bulky. Still working on that one. Hopefully I am meeting up with Alan Phillips later today as he has a homemade compressor he is going to show me.

Adrian

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Ant,

A valid point particularly if space is restricted like the Lotus with half the spring being inside a tower and little room either side. I have never tried this myself with ratchet straps, could work though.

I have heard of people using large Jubilee type clamps. Bit unsure of the safety aspect here. Again something I have never tried.

Looking at the workshop manual in more detail today it would appear that unless I wish to remove the shock absorbers from the frame coil spring compressors are not required for removing the lower arms.

Armed with this info I am going to attempt removal of the lower arms later today. All the bolts and nuts are free in preparation.

Interestingly the lower arms appear to be galvanised which is not what I expected.

Adrian

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Hi Don,

I have followed so many routes to finding an alternative I may have confused the issue. The Elise it would appear does not use the same bush, just as you say.

FloFlex, a firm I have mentioned earlier, now have the lower arm to work on. They are modifying some other bushes to replace the antiroll bar to lower arm bushes which proved to be perished and needing replacement. They are confident that they will have a replacement for the inner bush which proved to be both, N/S and O/S, perished as I suspected. I pick everything up next Monday. At that point I will find out exactly what bushes they have used/modified.

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Unless there is a decent amount of "squash" you will find these are a proper pain in the bahookie to fit. It is hard enough getting the nut on the end with the standard squishy bushes. I can't imagine fitting polyurethene ones.

 

I had to use a selection of G clamps to get the ARB to push into the lower arm with the bushes.

 

Its not a fun job !!

 

You will find that the car drives so much nicer with a fresh set of bushes and doesnt wander under braking like before.

Edited by Dunc
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