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New Lotus Suspension for S1


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As some of you may be aware, my car is at the factory at the moment and it is being used to configure and test a Lotus approved suspension set-up for the S1

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Love the factory interest (finally) in the early Esprit suspension, definitely interested in the full package, BUT won't do me any good if they don't do their homework on the LHD as well as the RHD models. :thumbup:

:cool:

Cheers!

Eric

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I spoke to Brian Angus re the LHD/ RHD issue, see response below.

Gordon,

There is nothing handed (RHD/LHD) about the suspension that has an influence on the work we need to do to produce updated Suspension Components (Springs,Dampers, Links & Bushes)

There are different springs specified for different Territories to set the Ride Height requirements.

This is something we will take into account while doing any work.

Whether a car is RHD or LHD drive is not an issue.

Cheers

Brian

Fear not, the guys at Lotus have it covered :thumbup:

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I spoke to Brian Angus re the LHD/ RHD issue, see response below.

Gordon,

There is nothing handed (RHD/LHD) about the suspension that has an influence on the work we need to do to produce updated Suspension Components (Springs,Dampers, Links & Bushes)

There are different springs specified for different Territories to set the Ride Height requirements.

This is something we will take into account while doing any work.

Whether a car is RHD or LHD drive is not an issue.

Cheers

Brian

Fear not, the guys at Lotus have it covered :cool:

Fine and dandy, but Lotus DID see fit to change the left rear spring perch height with a spacer on early LHD cars which does affect corner weight and car balance with a driver sitting on the same side the engine leans. Maybe that's the way the original went: Lotus tuned the UK version, then went "hmmm..." on the LHD, added the spacer and "Right, sorted!" Also, I'm certainly not interested in duplicating mid-70's Federal ride height ! :rofl: Euro spec will do just fine. ;)

I wonder what the driver-in-car corner weighting of a stock Esprit is. Anyone got numbers?

BTW, thanks Gordon! :thumbup:

Edited by yeller77
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I will be completely rebuilding the red car's suspension in the next few years, and would insist on approved factory springs and dampers if available. It won't happen this year, though, and probably not 2008. 2009 = very likely. If they don't mind having stock sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, then count me in.

The white car has recent Spax dampers and springs, but when the time comes, I would absolutely go with factory-approved stuff if available. Not expected in the next couple of years, though.

It might be a good idea to contact some North American vendors to see what kind of demand exists. Ray at r.d. enterprises (www.rdent.com) and Jeff at JAE (www.jaeparts.com) would be two good people to contact.

Eric, has this been cross-posted to S1S2S3owners?

- T

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Gents

A bit of background about this topic.

My car had a full rebuild 2 years back with new adjustable stiffness dampers on the front and adjustable (length and stiffness) dampers on the rear.

These were all after market components.

When we were at the factory day last year I got a geometry check done on my car and it was quite far out so the car was left at the factory to have it adjusted.

The front springs were showing a slight sag and I had always thought that suspension on the front was too harsh following the rebuild.

Based on that, I bought another set of adjustable (stiffness) front dampers and new front springs and Lotus fitted them before they reset the geometry.

At that point Brian Angus contacted me and said that they were interested in using the car to produce a new Lotus approved suspension configuration for the S1

Edited by GordonMasson
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Just wanted to add my two cents and say that I'm VERY interested in seeing Lotus pursue this to it's conclusion. You may definitely count me in on buying the new approved suspension parts. I also second making these parts available to North American vendors as stated in a later post.

Charlie

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The reason I joined this list is to throw in my own support for the coming factory S1 suspension upgrades. I'm very happy with the original suspension and wonder how much better can it get? The only upgrades added to my S1 are SE spec 15"F / 16" R wheels with Hankook RS2 rubber -- after a lifetime of '55 Chev / GTO / Corvettes, I find the car scary fast already. If the factory can outdo themselves with updated engineering, I'm in. Keep me posted as to coming availability.

Jeff

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Sent my e-mail to Lotus using the link from LEW. Don't forget to do the same if you want them to make the parts. I'm not sure they read LEF. :lol:

Can't believe a company is working on an upgrade for a 30 year old model. It's great! Just needs us to convince them it's going to be worth their while.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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I was directed to this forum (from the S1S2S3 list) to learn more about these proposed suspension upgrades. I too am interested in being kept advised of progress and would consider buying a kit when one comes available! Great work!

Ian.

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Got a response from Brian Angus at Lotus:-

"Hello Trevor,

Thanks for your comments on the Suspension issue.

Kato (LEW) forwarded your email.

What we are doing at the moment is looking into whether we can use a modified version of the new Bilstein Damper on the early cars (Esprit S1 & S2).

The original plan was to introduce new Dampers (and Springs) to replace the now obsolete Monroe units on cars back to 1985.

Our Aftersales Group have not had Dampers available for the Pre '85 cars for some time. Monroe (now Tenneco) can no longer produce this variant of Damper any more so a replacement had to be sourced.

We have just completed the initial exercise (late 2006) where we carried out a development programme to produce Bilstein Dampers for most of the cars built since 1985 (85 Turbo, X180 Turbo, SE, S4, S300, S4s, GT3, V8 & S350)

A full Ride Exercise was carried out on each model to generate the new Damper requirements.

It was decided to keep the existing Spring Rates for each variant to ensure each model did not lose its original 'character'.

The new Damping specifications were generated to give each model a slightly more 'Sporty' feel.

It was decided to source new Springs from Eibach to support the Exercise.

We are now able to offer new Springs & Dampers for nearly all the cars built form 1985.

Over the last few months we have had a lot of enquiries about Dampers for the earlier models. We are now in the process of looking at the earlier cars. The 1980 - 85 cars had a different front lower arm and we are checking if we can use a version of the new front Damper on these models. For the S1 & S2 we need different front and rear Dampers as you know doubt know. (different mountings)

We have an S1 here at the moment and Bilstein are working on a variant of the Damper for us. We should know very soon if they can produce what we need.

During the Damper programme we have developed some new 'Poly' suspension bushes. We have introduced a bush for the rear links of the later cars and are currently working on the front suspension with a view to do something similar.

We know that the bushes for the earlier cars have been obsolete for some time and we are currently looking at a solution to that problem.

One of the options on the rear is to change the suspension link to accept the later bush which gives the option to use the 'Poly' bush.

If there is enough interest we should be able to introduce the required parts.

Our experience of some of the aftermarket Springs & Dampers has highlighted a need to supply Lotus Approved components to ensure owners have the opportunity to experience the Ride & Handling qualities an Esprit was designed to give.

All of the customer cars we have driven over the last year (fitted with a range of aftermarket components) have exhibited extremely poor levels of Ride & Handling.

It is good to have some positive feedback on our thoughts. Hopefully we will be able to specify new Springs, Dampers & Bushes for the older cars in the not too distant future.

I see you have an S2 JPS - lovely car. Hopefully you will be able to experience our new parts at some time in the future.

Cheers

Brian"

Nice e-mail. I didn't expect any reply at all so to receive one with a personal touch was great and gives me a lot of confidence in the factory supporting our older cars. :thumbsup:

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Got a response from Brian Angus at Lotus:-

"Hello Trevor,

Thanks for your comments on the Suspension issue.

Kato (LEW) forwarded your email.

One of the options on the rear is to change the suspension link to accept the later bush which gives the option to use the 'Poly' bush.

All of the customer cars we have driven over the last year (fitted with a range of aftermarket components) have exhibited extremely poor levels of Ride & Handling.

Cheers

Brian

errmm...you mean owners are NOT modding their cars better than Lotus designed them?? :harhar::thumbsup:

The poly bushes are an interesting proposition, there's so much compliance in the geometry of the original rubber-bushed rear set-up, I would think that would have a significant impact on handling and NVH. Perhaps someone who's already changed to poly bushes or even rose joints (I think it's been done) could comment.

Cheers,

Eric

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Any update?

My car is being moved to be worked on...and definitively I'll be interested in the suspension upgrade... :smoke:

Franky

Lotus Exige S2

Lotus Esprit S2 JPS #27 -restoration process-

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