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Lotus Eclat 1977 Alternative Axle

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Good morning everyone,  so I am a recent owner of a lotus eclat 1977 and I'm looking to bring up to today's standard but keeping the same great classic look. My main job at the moment is the back axle, I need to replace the lot, I'm looking to attach discs instead of drums and want to keep the original wheels any suggestions for an alternative back axle/drive to the standard lotus set up? 


Any help is appreciated.


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The standard strategy is to put a complete Excel chassis on it.  

Chances are the car pictured has an original un-galvanised chassis, so it probably has a rotten rear cross member.  Not worth changing the mechanics without sorting that first.

Meanwhile, I'm not clear that the drums are so bad.  Yes, a b***er to work on, but not sure they are the weak link of the car.  Same too of the rear driveshaft UJs - they just need replacing generally.  Vibration was a problem with the design, but there are some Lotus mods (bracing) to address that, or the Excel set-up. are the place to look for upgrade options and ideas.  Here is a link to a powerpoint that outlines all the upgrade options:    


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Hi Owen,

Welcome to the forum!

What you are proposing is possible, and has been done before, but it is a huge job. I am wondering why you want to change it? The stongest suit of the Eclat/Elite is the way it handles - and if you change the rear end - you change it.

Years ago, Spyder engineering produced a series of chassis mods designed to be used with a V8 transplant package, and called it the "Donnington" and it grafted a Jaguar IRS into the rear of the chassis, allowing for the much beefier salisbury 4HU, powerlok and discs with more manly drivehafts. There are some mixed views on how effective the Spyder mods are on elites/eclats. Another alternative is to graft a chopped down Ford Atlas diff into the chassis cradle, which has been done by Dan on his circuit racer. Lotusbits have a nice little sideline in grafting the chassis of an excel under an eclat, which has been done many times and may be attractive if your current ungalvanised chassis is toast and you also want a gearbox upgrade for an S1. Again - a huge job, and as an excel and eclat owner - I'm not sure it improves its road manners at all - but it certainly makes the car more robust and easier to spanner on.

The eclat is a light car, and in truth the rear brakes don't really do a lot. For road use, why is it you want to fit rear discs? More rear braking bias than front braking is a recipe for a car in a ditch - so you would have to bias it to turn down the rear brakes or upgrade the fronts,  which isn't as easy as it sounds, especially with the standard 14 inch wheels.

Why not just fix it back to normal standards. Most elites and eclats take many years to get to the service interval for UJ's nowdays. Buy a spare set of shafts, rebuild them and have them on the shelf when you need to bolt one in.

Edited by Dunc
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That's a lot for all the advice I have been totting up some prices and consulted some restorers and I think keeping the car original is the cheapest and best way to go I can all add some new suspension and drums to make it that bit nicer but other than that it's gonna be all replaced and restored so thanes for the help :) 

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Dunc - indeed!

Gi88oEclat - I was looking at your pic again. Notice the rear wheel tipping in at the top a lot.  I believe this is 

a) Mostly likely the driveshaft UJs gone.  The driveshaft acts as the upper link on the suspension.

b) I've heard it said that chronic chassis woes can cause this too.

Might be worth poking around and finding out

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