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Adjusting standard ride height

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Just measured ground to front chassis crossmember and it is circa 130mm so clearly I'm running too low.

Not sure how much the adjustable suspension will alter the ride height versus stiffening the bounce but a bit of both will be enough for me.

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Well I reckon my theory is ok. However, the practice? A different matter.

Got the car loaded up and got the measurements that I wanted. Then jacked up the rear for starters and put the chassis on axle stands. Removed the right rear wheel and started jacking up the hub to the loaded measurement that I took.

The spring on the shock lifts the car off the axle stand about 50mm before I reach the measurement that I want.

Now I have to work out a way to isolate and compress the spring. Just thought I could remove the shock? Long way around it, but it should work.

I'll post up the measurements that I took from the car before everything. Makes for some interesting thought. Also, the lower arm bolts on both sides at the front were certainly not up to torque.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I think it will work better if you jack up both rears at the same time. Ideally you want to keep the car more or less level, so raise the front as well, to get the most accurate position. Alternatively, jack up each corner and but wooden blocks or such under the wheels until you have sufficient room to access the suspension bolts.


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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There is a reason that Lotus say to load the car up with half a tank of fuel and 140kg.

It is the only way to do it. Everything I have tried today has met with an issue.

Back to the tried and true now.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Car going in on Monday and would you concur that my adjustable suspension in images below seems to be at its lowest setting? Making the car too low and bouncy.

I have a spare set of springs that came with the car pictured in on of the images and can't work out if these are front or rear. If they are the front then has someone cut a couple of rings out of the original front springs pictured?

I'm sure the experts at Rapid will let me know if they can raise the car 30-40 mm with what is there now without swapping any springs.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

E.g. Should front springs have 8 or 10 rings?

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Just a slight thought!

Are the correct profile tyres fitted? They will influence the ride height.

kind Regards

Paul

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Good point, assumed to be standard original wheels and tyres.

Front 205/50R15 

Looking at the image above of a red standing Stevens, mine is clearly sitting a bit low.

The wheel rims front and back are the same height perhaps 10 mm higher than the top of the respective tyres.

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On 30/09/2017 at 01:14, DaKa said:

Car going in on Monday and would you concur that my adjustable suspension in images below seems to be at its lowest setting? Making the car too low and bouncy.

I have a spare set of springs that came with the car pictured in on of the images and can't work out if these are front or rear. If they are the front then has someone cut a couple of rings out of the original front springs pictured?

I'm sure the experts at Rapid will let me know if they can raise the car 30-40 mm with what is there now without swapping any springs.

image.jpeg

I have just revisited this thread as I have another issue to sort. What I did notice though is that I am pretty sure we are looking at your RHS wheel arch in this photo. If so, the bolts for your top ball joint are in backwards. I am not sure if it makes any great difference in the scheme of things, Just thought I would throw it out there.

So anyway, after going for an alignment today before any sort of spirited whizzing around, I have a look at the car when it is on the hoist at the tyre place. Looks off. Get Matt the tyre and alignment guy to come and have a look.

He then says I'll check the measurements each side. So while I thought I had it pretty much spot on, I neglected to compare each side to the other. 10mm high on the LHS at the front and 15mm on the LHS rear. So while I got the chassis members to the floor just about spot on, I STUPIDLY  ( :angry: :2guns: ) did not measure and compare each side. I cannot be arsed blocking the car up again and slithering about on my back on the cold garage floor again, so now it will be going into the tyre shop and I will get them to sort it out.

Bother...............


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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The only reason I can think that this would happen is that the RHS shock absorber springs have compressed slightly over 24 years versus the LHS springs. I am wondering if swapping the shock absorbers over at the front and back would be a good idea. I presume that the height issues would follow the shocks.

I'm going to check in the manual as I am sure I have seen something written about the free spring length and the length range they should be.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I swapped my factory spring/shock units side-to-side a decade ago, after I noticed a 'list' to one side (verified by measuring at the frame in front).

 

 


Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Seems like a definite for me to get the mechanics to do where I take my Esprit.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Just went in with the car and they have carry over jobs from yesterday so could not start on mine. So it is back at home until I hear from them sometime today. The head guy in the shop does not think that swapping the shocks over will achieve anything. He thinks that the spring might be out of place in the abutment on the top on the LHS. Seems feasible. Does not account for the front though which I have had apart. Doubt I will get the shocks changed over as the height issue will probably just follow the springs around.

I said I would post up the measurements I took. I can't remember where I took the front and rear measurements to, but it was the same place on both sides obviously.

Before adjustment.

Front chassis member: 192mm, Rear hoop: 185mm

Right front: 368mm, Left front: 376mm

Right rear: 401mm, Rear left: 414mm

After adjustment

Front chassis: 180mm, Rear hoop: 175mm

Right front: 347mm, Left front: 348mm

Right rear: 393mm, Rear left: 406mm

This was before I redid it all as I was pretty sure I had done something incorrectly. The measurements from side to side are worse now than what you see above. It is now 15mm high on the LHS at the rear and 10mm at the front. Both the front and rear measurements to the chassis members are still high.

I am not sure, other than just weighting the car down to get to 170mm front and rear, how to get it there? 140kg and half a tank of fuel doesn't get it there.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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A thought or two on fundamentals, at the risk of stating the obvious. Getting a car settled adequately for taking a ride height measurement will be impossible if the car has been jacked up then lowered while stationary unless steps are taken to mitigate tyre scrub. I have found success in placing sheets of dry newsprint, something like 6 - 10 depending on underlying surface, under the tyres. Still, it's a well damped suspension which does not float about easily so not a sure thing to be settled in situ. Best to take measurements upon driving to a flat, level location in order to target the car's natural state. High point of each wheelarch can be at least a fair datum from which to compare results of adjustments, and the crossmember can be checked though with some effort.

Were any spring spacers fitted at the factory for the sake of leveling side to side? 

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That's a really good idea about the newspaper Steve. Had not though about the issue of the tyres not actually returning to their normal position. Makes absolute sense though.

Don't know if spring spacers were fitted.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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And so it continues.

The tyre place took the rear shocks off and the rubbers on the top of them are buggered. Worse on the RHS than the LHS.They didn't take the front ones off. I am pretty sure that if I am going to do the rears after 24 years, it is a good bet that I will need to doe the fronts as well.

So I went to DeRoure's website and I presume the diagrams I need are the ones under 1996-2004 Esprits? For some reason they don't have 1994 to 1995 covered.

I was also positive that I read somewhere in the manual a free length setting that the springs should be. Was I dreaming about that?

The tyre shop guy is a mechanic, but I am concerned about getting them to do a roadworthy certificate when I need it done after hearing this from him.

"Your brakes need bleeding. The pedal is spongy."

I spoke to him about this when I picked the car up. I asked what symptoms he was seeing.

Him. "The car does not pull up. The brakes are dangerous. They don't have enough vacuum."

Me. "The car does not have a vacuum booster. This is an accumulator assisted system incorporated with the ABS system."

Him. "The ABS system has nothing to do with the pedal.If it is an accumulator system, your accumulator is stuffed." Umm. Yes it does if you have pressure on it when you turn the key on. The pedal will depress a bit more as the solenoids cycle. The pump runs about every third press of the pedal. I do know the pressure switch is getting soft on the high side. I am not going to go to great expense at this point (selling) for another pressure switch system or for getting the vacuum booster system that has been developed on here.

Me. "The system has been bled according to the manual and I assure you the brakes are fine. Better than when I first got the car."

Him. "These brakes will stop this car selling. They are that dangerous."

So then I spoke to Steve Taylor from Lotus Marques in Melbourne and has asked what I was thinking which was has he been in the car and stood on the brakes? These systems are not to be compared with todays 'little toe' operated systems. "Does he put an accelerometer in the car to test the decelaration?" I highly doubt this, though I will be asking Vince.

So I am probably going to take the car to the guy that Steve uses in Melbourne for roadworthys who has done several for Steve on Esprits and knows what is good and what is not.

Brakes are not tested here by assessing on some sort of rollers. They are assessed by a test drive around the block. If I was driving it, I could put Vince through the window if he wasn't belted in. All the while, doing a heel/toe downshift for fun.

So, other than that, if someone would like to confirm for me if I am after parts #20 x 4 and #48 x 4 from the suspension diagrams for 1996~2004 Esprits, I would greatly appreciate it. As far as the top spring insulators go on both the front and rear, are these both alloy as indicated on the rear suspension parts breakdown, or are they front ones rubber and something I should probably replace as well?


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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If the accumulator starts to go, you'll get a hard ABS light on the dash, this will set after a couple of brake presses on the road.  But a failure of the accumulator or switch will not adversely affect the brakes, they will still work well... for a while. My brakes were always good and firm.  Took a bit of foot pressure but only proportional to a quicker stopping time.  My Pedal was never spongy, always firm after the accumulator had kicked in at turn on.


Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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As is mine. Exactly as you describe.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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So does anyone know about my question re the rubber parts I need for the top of all of my shock absorbers?


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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SJSsports car makes copies out of polyurethane. He already had the front and I believe he now also has the rears.

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Thanks Giniw.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Are the insulators on the top of the rear shocks rubber or alloy on a 1994 S4? The DeRoure parts list is confusing me.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Thanks Derek. :) 


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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No longer available as far as I know but SJS now has them reproduced in polyurethane I believe. They didn't have them a few months ago but the front were available and are well made. Only time will tell whether they last long of course!

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