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S4s shocks


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Hello,

I need to change my left rear shock absorber, because it leaks (it's a lotus original one and it's supposed to be almost new as it has been changed before I bought it ...  no warranty as the car has been stored for two years before I bought it).

I suppose I have to change at least the rear axle set, but as the original shocks from Lotus are not available anymore I came to the conclusion it would be best to change the four corners?

So, what are the recommended options?

I can see the PNM Engineering customized AVO shocks ( http://www.pnmengineering.com/lotus-suspension.html), the Nitron (which one?), and of course the LOTAC set (https://www.thelotusforums.com/shop/88-suspension)

Although I like to tinker with my cars, I am not a test pilot and not specialized in suspensions tuning so I would prefer a set which is properly tuned already. That tends to lead me towards the LOTAC set but on the other hand, they are not exactly cheap, and I think it's a pity that the ride height it not adjustable. Not that I would change it from the stock specification but I think that would be better to adjust it "perfectly" (spring sagging, etc).

Is the LOTAC set really worth its price? Do Bilstein refurbish them when needed (price?) ?

Any suggestion?

Thanks in advance! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Giniw

Many use Gaz-Matic UK shocks w/adjustable perches. PUK sells the set for big money, just a  different label is affixed. You can buy them directly from GazMatic much cheaper, address is buried in this thread somewhere http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/lower-cost-bilstein-option-123221/

 

I got mine from them at excellent price

Here is the tech info: Gaz Shocks Products | GAZ Shock Absorbers | GAZ GHA Suspension kits | GAZ Gold Suspension kits | Top Mounts | Camber Adjuster Plates
and
how to contact them: technical at gazshocks dot com and sales at gazshocks dot com

 Telephone: +44 (0)1268 724585

Fax: +44 (0)1268 724536

                                 

Edited by MrDangerUS

MrDangerUS

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GAZ GP-type Adjustable Dampers with adjustable coil seat

 

S4s will take different PN-s. When ordering, just tell them the model and year and they'll make shocks correctly to the specs [they have].

My front shocks for 1988': PN# GP8-2144,   21-click adjustment, spherical bearings, 2.5" ID adjustable perches.
Required spring length = 7.25"+ (corner weight/desired spring rate)
Free length L=7.25"+ (650/spring rate)   round this number up in full inch increments

rear is GP8-2145

Edited by MrDangerUS

MrDangerUS

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I was lucky enough to buy my Esprit with 'Protech' adjustable shocks - 13 click settings.

Having recently adjusted the ride height it was a very easy process that didn't even require the springs to be compressed. Whatever you decide upon, I would suggest adjustable is a like to have.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure all parts come with 12 months, and add it to your cart to see shipping, should be less than £20 (but will be more if you'd like it insured, charged at cost). 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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(Thanks for the lightning fast answer :D)

There is an announced shipping cost of £13.22 but I think/thought it is/was for UK mainland only?

As for the warranty I think if I buy a set from France it's a 2 years warranty but I will have to check that. And I am still waiting for an answer from Bilstein to know if they can refurbish them ... I will contact them again!

Thanks :)

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I checked with the factory and it's 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. :)

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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A little further info...

Quote

Under EU law, as I understand it, the customer has a further 12-months (beyond the original period) in which he must prove either an inherent material manufacturing defect. This does mean that parts have an automatic 24-month Lotus Warranty.

 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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On 13/12/2017 at 15:44, Giniw said:

And I am still waiting for an answer from Bilstein to know if they can refurbish them ... I will contact them again!

Right, I had an answer yesterday by email and the guy told me that it should be around £100+VAT per shock as advertised indeed (base price which may increase if some specific parts need to be replaced). He thinks there should be no legal issue for them to refurbish the LOTAC shocks but he is not absolutely sure. He advised me to call the service centre to confirm that (0116 289 8345) — is that a British phone number? Any local by any chance? :D

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That's a UK phone number in or around Leicester in the midlands.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • 1 month later...

All right, I just received my LOTAC set (thanks @Bibs :happydance:) and had a quick look at it and if I am not wrong there are two positions for the lower cup as it seems there are two grooves to hold the square section ring that hold the cup. It's currently in the higher groove if my memory is  right, but ... is that the right setting to get the proper ride height?! I would much prefer avoiding installing the springs twice! — it's a pity there is no instruction leaflet at all, except a paper where it's stated you should avoid putting it in the microwave :D

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I found http://www.lotusespritworld.com/pdfs/Stoneleigh06.pdf which looks like an official document, and it states the upper groove is the standard ride height, whereas the lower is to ... lower the car. So it's apparently up to the user to choose whether he wants a stock or lowered car.

Quote

ll dampers and springs are supplied in pairs.

• Good quality spring compressor clamps are required for spring/damper assembly.

• Recommended to fit as complete vehicle set.

• If retaining old rear springs, order in addition modified spring lower seat LOTAC05449 (supplied singly).

• Damper bodies are machined with two grooves for the lower spring seat circlip. Use the top groove for standard ride height.

• Fit the dust shield to the damper before assembling the spring and (original) top plate.

• Where tapered front springs are used, the smaller diameter is uppermost

 

Anyway, I have another question. The front shocks and spring assembly can be removed from the car as a whole, and then disassembled on a bench. That is what I did. But, when it comes to reassembly, isn't there a little problem to align properly the upper cup (rotation along the shock axis) and its four screws to fit the chassis AND at the same time the lower fitting hole of the damper to fit in the lower wishbone mount? I haven't tried, maybe there is a magic trick somewhere but from here I would say it's going to be a problem, isn't it? Maybe it's recommenced to arrange a little jig?

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Yes I have read that. I don't understand how it's possible. Indeed I've read a post by someone* who owns a V8, who was worried about the ride height, then ordered a set and set the clip to the lower height. He concluded the ride height was spot on. Very surprising to me, it's not I don't want to trust anyone here, but why would lotus tell it should be on the upper setting?! :ermm:

And there are contrasty opinions about that (http://www.lotusespritworld.co.uk/EGuides/EModifications/Lotus_Suspension.html). Are there any measurements from guys who actually check if it's really higher than specs?

I will compare the original dampers and lower seat to the lotac seat position, as the springs look very similar (I haven't really compared them but at least their length is the same)

*here it is:

 

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  • 1 month later...

So, the front is now all sorted but as for the rear, it was really simple and straightforward to remove the old original shocks and springs (compress the springs, undo the two nuts at the top, undo the nut at the bottom on the hub carrier, lower the shock — see photo, slide the spring/shock towards the rear of the car and  ... that's it!)

But as the LOTAC shocks are gaz dampers, they obviously won't stay compressed like the old ones, so basically they are "too long" to fit easily the top cup and the lower hub carrier stud. I suppose the trick is to push the hub carrier lower so that the top stem can be low enough to pass the upper cup lip? It's about 5 cm too high though, so maybe a few bolts need to be loosened?

What is the best practice to install (and possibly remove) a gas shock at the rear? :D

Thanks in advance :)

 

PS: actually when putting the top stem in the upper cup first, the lower hole of the shock is at the right height relative to the lower hub carrier bolt, but as the shock is tilted around 15-20 degrees the bolt can't go further in the shock hole. Maybe the rubber bushing of the lower mounting of the shock is enough to address that, I don't know ... I also tried to slide the #65 stud (see picture) towards the hub carrier to put the shock in position and the slide the stud back but the stud looks quite stuck (seized maybe?) Is it supposed to slide or is there something else to unbolt?

rear_removal.jpglarge_view.jpg

 

rear_suspension.png

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