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reassembling s1 eclat rear suspension


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hi all, is there a trick to reassembling the rear suspension? i had a right struggle getting the everything together on one side yesterday. mainly getting the hub carrier, and lower link lined up. i have the correct link on the correct side, but its not aligned well enough to go through after its passed through the hub, i tried jacking up the hub and it seemed to align a little better but still no luck, and cant tap it through.. eventually got it through from the link side with more brute force than id have liked, but i was in a pretty bad mood after about two hours of trying that one stud. ;)

cheers, Mark

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Hi Mark,

Welcome to my world!!! I got so p155ed off after the driver's side, I've taken a good time off to regroup!

To be fair, my main problem was bushes with the centre diameter too small for the hub carrier bolt to fit through.

Once I got that sorted after a fair bit of tooing and froing with SJs, I found that it all slotted back together OK. I did however give the bolts and the hub carrier hole a really good clean on the bench and made sure that the bolt/stud went through fairly easily - I'm sure that helped.

I found (after a few tries) that removing the bolts from the brake drum, so that the half shaft was free and fitting the shock absorber bottom bolt first, helped to give me more wiggle room when getting the HC bolt in place - I didn't then need to give it too much welly.

Hope that helps and good luck

Ant

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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i think part of my issue is not straight studs. I bought a couple of diff carrier-radius arm studs from lotusbits, but the issue is they are refurb, and as such not entirely straight and there is friction with the hub, ive ordered what i hope are brand new ones from SJ for a little more money, and i`m hoping this will make things a little easier on attempt number two.

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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Here’s a related question. I’ve just spent months getting everything together for my rear suspension rebuild including all new brake lines. Today was the day I was going to put everything back together - only to discover that that my new brake lines foul on the chassis and mean that the differential won’t fit back in despite the brake lines being modelled on the originals I’d removed.

Has anyone else had this problem? What am I missing? I’m obviously being stupid but I’m buggered if I can work out how. The only solution I can see would be to add very tight bends immediately after the cylinders but the doesn’t strike me as ideal. 

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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the brake lines on my diff were put together in a very random way when i took it off..  they ran OVER the top of the chassis (i assume someone had lifted the body off to manage that, though they were extra long so possibly didnt)..     i redid mine based on some pictures i found and kinda guessed, they didnt fit initially, but with a slight extra bending they did..   sadly i dont think i have any pictures,  but i know it was tight, i slowly jacked the diff into place and kept looking at both sides and bending each until i could wiggle it in, i actually think i may have ended up tilting it in some direction, but i cant remember to be sure.

  this pic is one i looked at.. 

it was something like this - Lotus-Elite-back-axel.jpg

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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20 hours ago, black eclat said:

I may be stating the obvious  but just for clarity, I note that you have the link on the correct side but are you aware there is an inboard end and an outboard end? Its also important that this assembly requirement is correct.

i wondered if this was the case, but turning it round and flipping it over i couldnt see any differences ... what is the difference on the inboard/outboard end?   is there an easy way to tell? 

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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21 hours ago, directordanw said:

Here’s a related question. I’ve just spent months getting everything together for my rear suspension rebuild including all new brake lines. Today was the day I was going to put everything back together - only to discover that that my new brake lines foul on the chassis and mean that the differential won’t fit back in despite the brake lines being modelled on the originals I’d removed.

Has anyone else had this problem? What am I missing? I’m obviously being stupid but I’m buggered if I can work out how. The only solution I can see would be to add very tight bends immediately after the cylinders but the doesn’t strike me as ideal. 

From memory, I had the same issue but overcame it by getting 1 side in first and then then other. It was like a diagonal lift, shift all the way to the left and then lift the right hand side

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IMG_0108.thumb.JPG.7058291a0c4a8f24c2de648662fe304c.JPGIMG_0112.thumb.JPG.d1b8bd1cea9e6182173c2d4b0a29b05e.JPG

3 hours ago, Mark Wainwright said:

i wondered if this was the case, but turning it round and flipping it over i couldnt see any differences ... what is the difference on the inboard/outboard end?   is there an easy way to tell? 

There is a subtle but important difference.

This image will help you see it.

t9a8g1.jpg

Edited by black eclat
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17 hours ago, black eclat said:

 

There is a subtle but important difference.

This image will help you see it.

 

Hey, thanks for all that..  i do have a manual, but i dont have that service bulletin i dont think, ive not seen that side on diagram (the manual is falling apart) 

however, in relation to the inboard and outboard end, I still dont see a difference, the slight upward angle, if its only in one axis, will be reversible (ie, if you turn it round, the angled part is straightened out for the diff mount, then the straight end is then at the same angle as if it was on the other way around)  unless there is an offset, or and angle in another axis, which i couldnt see on my links so assumed it was a single axis roatation of the bush tubes so shouldnt matter which way round it is. 

cheers,

Mark

 

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right, the rear suspension is mostly back together but my handbrake doesnt work!

  to get the left hand lower link-radius arm-hub carrier studs in easily i undid the radius arm at the chassis and left the nut right on the end, let it hang loose, and the stud on the left hand side went straight through, no drama.   I had already done the right hand side when i did this so i cant say whether or not that was the entire reason it was so easy.   on the right hand side i pushed the stud into the radius arm and hub carrier, then tapped it almost flush at the lower link end, put the lower link in position and screwed it through with locked nuts on the other end..  both methods were low drama.   the fact that my new studs are arrow straight helps. 

 anyone else doing this - check that your studs will thread all the way right through the hub carrier to make sure they are straight.. in one end and right out the other end.   everything that came off my car was bent, and the first set of replacements were too.


re. the brake lines..   @directordanw   it looks like the right hand side sits over the top of a chassis lip,I must have got that side up and over the lip first, then raised the left hand side into place. 

so..

handbrake..    where to start?  how does this stupid design even work? i have no contact with the pads and drums using the handbrake at all, should I adjust the primary side first (the cable side) with the rod removed, until the one side works, then fit the rod and adjust that? or will it wholly not work if the rod isnt in place? 
is there a good starting point?  ie..   should the flexible coupling be straight?  do i need to take up all the slack in the cable side as a starting point?  the manual is vague at best.

cheers,

Mark








 

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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This is invaluable!  Thanks for this, it's my next job.  Got everything back together yesterday but was squinting at the handbrake adjustment and decided it needed some thinking time.  You've now done the thinking for me!

The new compensator might be the key, I have replaced mine but the downside of that is that it's so new and stiff it's very hard to manipulate to get any access to the nuts.  But bolstered by your success I'm going back in tomorrow!

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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2 hours ago, directordanw said:

This is invaluable!  Thanks for this, it's my next job.  Got everything back together yesterday but was squinting at the handbrake adjustment and decided it needed some thinking time.  You've now done the thinking for me!

The new compensator might be the key, I have replaced mine but the downside of that is that it's so new and stiff it's very hard to manipulate to get any access to the nuts.  But bolstered by your success I'm going back in tomorrow!

Likewise! Definitely noting this down for future reference :) Might be a job for autumn or winter.

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Having only reassembled the drivers side of my rear suspension, this is a great help Mark - thanks.

I have cut an access hole in the centre rear seat panel to give access for adjustment later on though

Cheers

Ant

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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1 hour ago, oilmagnet477 said:

I have cut an access hole in the centre rear seat panel to give access for adjustment later on though

You still need a fairly delicate hand to reach through the various access holes.  And I don't have the smallest hands..!

 

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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  • 1 month later...
On 04/09/2018 at 12:55, Mark Wainwright said:

So I got my handbrake adjusted, at least, it seems to work with the wheels off, not sure how strong it`ll hold. 

heres how I went about it. 

first thing, removed the rod and cleaned the threads up thoroughly so that i can get a nut all the way down the threads with only my fingers.   

copperslip threads and fit one stainless nut, refit the rod. 

i`d say you really need the flexible "compensator" to be in pretty good condition (mine isnt) 

if you need to , remove the cable (i didnt) and clean up the threads on that, everything needs to move easily by hand. 

if you dont have slim hands, get a 13mm stubby spanner 13mm ratchet spanner, a 14mm long open ended spanner, a 14mm stubby open ended spanner, maybe make an offset 14mm spanner too by bending one..  

another good tool are some very long handles pliers (i have a pair with 12" handles)

right..  

 

- set the handbrake actuator levers on the drums in their start position against the drums (just push them)

-insert the threaded end of the rod into the compensator and use another non locking nut (i should really have put grip washers in) to fasten the compensator at the very end of the rod.

- tighten the cable side (loosen the outside nut to take up the thread extending from the drum side) and tighten the inside nut against the compensator. i found a good way to set it was to make sure the outer(end of the cable/wheel side of the compensator) nut was close to the end of the threads and the inner nut (diff side of the compensator) was set at the other end of the threads so theres lots of slack.  then using the long handled pliers, from the left hand side of the diff, and using the diff as a pivot, grab and pulled the cable sleeve until the tension was taken up between the cable and the actuator lever on the drum, then whilst holding it taught, tightened the nuts on the cable by hand up to the compensator. 

- this should have the cable set so that itll lock the right hand wheel, the left probably wont. 

- I then, with the handbrake still off, adjusted the nuts on the rod further down the threads until the brake shoes dragged on the left hand drum, then backed it off a bit. 

- pull the handbrake a couple of times and check again.

-when i was happy i locked the nuts on the rod and added a nyloc on the end.

the way i understand it, is the cable pulls on the right hand shoe against the compensators resistance, then pulls the rod from the flexible compensator as it cant pull the right hand lever any more. the problem is, of course, the compensator is floppy, and you never seem to get any real positive engagement, or positive stop in the handbrake lever..    maybe with a brand new compensator there would be enough resistance if it was really well adjusted, but i suspect it would take a fair bit of messing about.    this worked for me to get both wheels locking to a reasonable degree (with a worn out compensator).. it really is a crap design. 
 

Tried doing mine today and... well didn't get too far. Everything's seized up and as you know there's not much space to get any leverage. I got the rod removed but bent the fitting to the handbrake arm - should be OK though. Loosening the nuts holding the cable to the compensator is another thing altogether though. Turns out mine are not 14mm nuts but 9/16". Only a small difference but enough for me not to be able to get any leverage on both nuts at the same time to loosen them.

Going to order another 9/16" spanner and then try again. If I can loosen the outer nut then I think I'll probably remove the cable from the driver's side and try to clean it all up as you mentioned.

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I got my extra spanner today but didn't really get too much further. Managed to loosen the nut on the outside of the handbrake cable, although the nut on the other side doesn't want to loosen at all. Saying that, it should still let me see how much slack there is on the outside between the compensator and the brake drum. The problem is, there doesn't seem to be any slack to take up on that side. Pulling the cable sleeve towards the passenger side doesn't seem to tighten anything up anywhere, which has me wondering that even if I could loosen the cable nuts both sides of the compensator whether that would then do anything at all. The only way I could possibly get more tension would be to tighten the inner nut against the compensator even more (probably flexing the compensator a little towards the drum), but not sure.

Really confused with it all right now.

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1 hour ago, soldave said:

I got my extra spanner today but didn't really get too much further. Managed to loosen the nut on the outside of the handbrake cable, although the nut on the other side doesn't want to loosen at all. Saying that, it should still let me see how much slack there is on the outside between the compensator and the brake drum. The problem is, there doesn't seem to be any slack to take up on that side. Pulling the cable sleeve towards the passenger side doesn't seem to tighten anything up anywhere, which has me wondering that even if I could loosen the cable nuts both sides of the compensator whether that would then do anything at all. The only way I could possibly get more tension would be to tighten the inner nut against the compensator even more (probably flexing the compensator a little towards the drum), but not sure.

Really confused with it all right now.

the compensator on mine is pulled toward the drum.. i just tried to get that as tight as possible before tightening the nuts on the rod, as i tightened the rod it pulled the compensator back.  there must be a balance between the two sides somewhere, and i dont think the compensator will necessarily be in the middle, but it will need to be able to move some degree.   the problem i have at the moment is that the handbrake just goes all the way up (it always has) theres never any stop.  i suspect if you tightened the driver side right up, with the rod removed, then backed it off jist enough the the driver side wheel would move.. that would be a good starting point.  them maybe fit the rod where it is.  itll also depend on how well adjusted the shoes are.. they will have to be adjusted (very close to the drums) before youll get proper handbrake adjustment or the levers (and compensator) will have to move too far.

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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On 09/10/2018 at 10:38, Mark Wainwright said:

i may have to go back in and replace the compensator, after trying the handbrake on a slope it leaves a lot to be desired.. it holds.. just..   

I'd love to see how flexible a new one is compared to what's on mine now! Let us know if it makes much of a difference with you.

BTW did you cut a hole from the top to get access to the compensator or are you Hong from underneath?

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