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Elite wheels replacement

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Hi Everyone,

The original aluminum wheels of my 1978 Elite are seriously corroded and I have not found a way / product to renovate them myself.

Neither am I prepared to pay the 1.000 euros that the "specialists" want to charge me to renovate them.

I am rather considering buying a brand new set of wheels that would match the Elite look.

Any advice (and pics ? ) would be welcome.

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I replaced mine but for a different reason. Simply....there are no good high performance tires available for a 14 " / 60 series ( no one makes them any more as there is no market with a 14" wheel )

Everyone, including Lotus, has gone larger.

so........... I went with a 16" wheel and a Z rated tire. You will have to go with a 45 series front tire with this size it is the same diameter as the original and the Elite has no room for any larger diameter tire.

I have had lots of positive comments and of course I picked them out so I like them too. lol

They are from American Racing Equipment  ( ARE )  and were quite reasonably priced.


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Thanks to you both,


Ant, the Rota wheels are absolutely great and their look is close to the originals Lotus wheels.

I assume that 195/15/60 is at least as wide as the original wheels (even wider).

I hope these rims don't hit the car's body when you turn.

Rota says the're compatible with the Eclat but they don't mention the Elite.

I am going to check with them.


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Not sure to be honest but the original 14 inch wheels were fitted with 205/60s

The same web site offers 205/45 or 205/50s tyres for those wheels which I guess would end up with a very similar overall profile - not cheap however!

Let me know which route you take. I love the original wheels and would intend to keep them stock if possible, but if suitable tyres prove difficult then an alternative for every day use will be sought. The original wheels can always be kept to keep the car original on occasions - alternatively can you find any OEM wheels in the USA to replace?


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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To get the original diameter was 14 inch with 60 series tires, You have to go to 50 series with 15 inch and 45 series for a 16 inch wheel. These all are 205 which was the original width of tire. If you keep this in mind, you won't have any problems rubbing on the front inner wheel well. 

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Or you could order a set of refurbished wheels from Lotusbits when you come over for next years Lotusfestival at Brands Hatch? ;-)

i second the above , and a 195 15 is actually narrower than a 205 14. 

I have a set of Superlite  7j 15's that I will be fitting to the 520 to allow me some decent grippy rubber, but I should also say that the v8 runs around quite happily on H rated 205 60 H 14's (yokohama's). Whilst the Yokos aren't available anymore, there are Nexen, falken and kenda if you want to stick with the original look 14 inch wheel.

Edited by Dunc
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oh? Maybe they are unavailable now also. They were available from a few internet sources when I last lookaed about 18 months ago. I also think Don fitted a set to his car in Germany.


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have you tried camskills?...up in Cumbria IIRC

Ive always found they have a very good spread of everything.....I need 13" tyres for the Elan

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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The offset seems to be wrong on those Charlie? ET25-32?

I thought the offset range on our cars was ultra low ET15-19 ? Do you use a 10mm spacer to fit something like these? Or have I got that the wrong way round?

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I dunno Dunc, I didn't really look into the details to be honest. I'd be surprised if they didn't bolt straight on though, what offset are the original wheels (do the original wheels have a name?). Wheels, a whole heap of stress to get right, measure, measure, measure!

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ET15 on the Series 1 with GKN wheels and ET18 on the S2 with speedlines (I think...)

I've heard that you can use wider rubber on the rear of an elite/eclat, but it will foul on the front if you go above 205, and my car is really really close to rubbing with standard 205's on 7J speedlines.

I don't think the front offers a lot of clearance for wider and bigger, so I'd be pretty careful with the offset as well. (although I acknowledge that a lower offset brings the wheel further in, away  from the arch (I think?!?)).

Worth remembering that even although a wheel might bolt on and sit within an arch, it can ruin the handling if the offset is wrong, and Lotus spent a whole heap of time making it steer and drive well. I had an alfa 155 sport pack with big wheels, and until I corrected the offset, and reduced the width of the rubber, it steered and tramlined like a pig.

they don't look that big by modern standards, but in the late 90's these were massive wheels!



155 sport pack.jpg

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I've spent the whole day yesterday working on one of my Elite's Wheel to see what kind of result I would achieve

using a high pressure cleaner , some paint stripper and various aluminum cleaning / care products


the center needs to be repainted and I am wondering whether clear coat is absolutely necessary ?

What do you think ?



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