Lotus Elan

MiniLites

PostPost by: webbslinger » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:15 pm

I just mounted a new set of MiniLite center lock wheels and they don't fit my S4. They won't tighten. On the rears without the wheels, the spinners tighten about 8 to 8.5 turns by hand. With the MiniLites the spinners turn about 8 to 8.5 turns by hand before contacting the center rings of the wheels. There aren't enough threads left to tighten the spinners more. The problem is similar in front.
Also, on the rears the MiniLite center ring interferes with the webbing on the hub casting. I guess you could take a grinder to your hubs but come on, how long have these been made?
The center ring on my Minilite wheels are 15mm thick. The center ring on my PanaSports which fit perfectly is 20mm thick. That allows the Panasports to tighten in about 6.5 turns with a bit to spare.
Is there a thicker 20 mm ring for the MiniLites? A spacer isn't the answer as the clearances / offsets are as they should be.
BTW - thanks to all of you who have discussed leaky carbs. Mine are finally dry!
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:28 pm

I should have added that on the rears: it seems that if some of the webbing were removed to eliminate interference with the ring then the spinners wouldn't tighten down at all.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:33 pm

I have exactly the same problem on my Plus 2. I bought them many years ago from Spyder but never got around to fitting them (long story!). I tried recently and came across these problems and Spyder sent me a second set to try, but these were still not right. As Spyder are not that far away, I ended up taking a wheel, ring and spare front hub down to show Andy at Spyder, he is now looking to make me a thicker set of rings that don’t protrude through the wheel so far so they will tighten properly and also will not foul on the webs on the rear hubs. The rings should be 6mm thicker than the current ones. I need to chase them up to see when they are ready, will keep you posted.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:53 pm

maybe you can use a spacer between the wheel and the nut... like for revolution wheels (and octagonal nuts, US style, if the webbing is still a bit too close to the ears).
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 am

It’s not the ears on the nut that have the problem, it’s the webs on the rear hubs. They extend outwards beyond the mating face with the drive pegs in it as far as the start of the wheel nut thread, whereas on the front, the webs finish flush with the wheel mounting face. I’ll see if I have any photos.
Attachments
b113e592-f15d-4c11-b98a-a886ecd38aff.jpeg and
Not quite tight
58d5e3ba-ba44-4656-a718-262419a84997.jpeg and
Rear hub showing webs
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:28 am

Bigbaldybloke wrote:It’s not the ears on the nut that have the problem, it’s the webs on the rear hubs. They extend outwards beyond the mating face with the drive pegs in it as far as the start of the wheel nut thread, whereas on the front, the webs finish flush with the wheel mounting face. I’ll see if I have any photos.


ok, I see you already have a pressure ring, too... there must be an explanation for these not fitting though they are apparently made specifically for Elans. Maybe you could ask on the forum for photos of the inner side of rims that fit ? having to turn them (and by how much?) would certainly bother me...
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:02 am

These wheels have been available for quite sometime now and I suspect a lot have been sold. Wonder why this problem hasn't surfaced before?

Spyderfan should have some thoughts?
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:16 pm

Just been informed by Spyder that they can't supply me with thicker lock rings. The rings are apparently batch made at several hundred a time by someone and they don't want to buy a billet of stainless to custom make me four special rings. They offered to machine a bit off my hubs if I removed them all and sent them to them and to machine a bit off the back of the rings so they didn't foul on the webs on the rear hubs.
I declined as I have a lathe and can turn some off the hubs myself, I have a spare pair of hubs bought off ebay thinking this might happen. The rear is more of a problem as getting those hubs off is a real pain.
All thoughts and suggestions welcome as surely I cant be the only one with this problem?
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PostPost by: elj221c » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:19 am

Why machine the hubs?

If you have the lathe to do that, why not make your own rings?

Surely a much more straightforward turning job.......
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:44 am

Same reason as Spyder, the cost of buying a billet of stainless steel to make them from.
I’m about to try all the local engineering places to see if they have any suitable offcuts, if successful then have a go at turning some up. Probably need to by some new lathe tools too!
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:16 am

Does it really need to be stainless? Unless you are familiar with machining stainless gen up on it first it’s a pig of material if you get it wrong.
Not trying to teach granny to suck eggs but I would see cutting an accurate and consistent angle with good surface finish on a fairly large lump may be a challenge.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:45 pm

Well I think I’ve sussed out the cause of the problems after a visit to Kelvedon motors in their new premises.
They showed me a new Minilite wheel and hey presto, it’s obvious!
The current wheel design is significantly different from my 25 year old ones, the boss in the centre of the wheel is about 8-10mm thicker (didn’t have any measuring tools with me to be more accurate) hence the latest design lock ring can be much thinner and the outside finishes almost flush with the surface of the centre part of the wheel, but still secures the wheel nice and tight.
So, the whole wheel is different to maintain the same offset, so no wonder I’m having problems getting a thicker lock ring as it’s not required for the current design of wheel which looks to be much more substantial and stronger than mine although probably heavier. If I was planning to race it I’d probably go and buy a set of the latest ones, but as it will only get road use my plan is to modify my spare front hubs by machining about 4-6mm off the thread so the spinner tightens without bottoming out at the front.
For the rear I’m undecided, three possible options, machine up thicker lock rings, and I take on board the comments about machining stainless! Second option is a wheel spacer of around 3mm thick between the hub and wheel and the third is machining approx 4mm off the thread similar to the front, but getting the hubs off is a worry and machining in situ is looking difficult too. If there is no problem with the wheel fouling the inside of the wheel arch I’m tempted to go the spacer route. Although two new wheels for the rear might work out cheaper and easier in the end!
Time for lots of careful measuring me thinks, measure twice cut once!
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:04 pm

craven - the only place you don't worry much about the stainless is on a professional mill - otherwise it's as you say a pig!! ---------- wherefore i, from the 1st mention in this thread thought: why the hell stainless!!?? the finished rings in "stock" or soft steel may like a 1/100 mil of silver paint! sandy ----------- my "shop" shows 90% aluminium and therest is brass, titanium and steel profiles (0 sheet) (plus fibers and resin and leftovers of honeycomb) ------------- the s...... colin would've had! PS - these rings in ally would weigh nothing, serve the purpose until the cars' in it's grave and 0 corrosion!
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:33 pm

What about 26r style spinner as wildcard option 4?

They have an open end and so will screw far enough to secure the wheels with out modification or fabrictaion. Likely need to make a hub cap to keep the dirt out of the hubs thou.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:59 pm

Been down the garage and turned 5mm off the thread on one of my spare front hubs, no point taking any more as now the spinner runs out of thread on the hub rather than bottoming out inside the spinner. I’d need to cut another turn or so of thread on the hub if I want to go any further and don’t have the equipment to do that. It machined very easily.
I can’t check if it’s enough as I’m waiting for my lock rings to arrive back from Spyder.

In the meantime I’ve looked at the rear hubs and there is no point in trying to machine any off them as the spinner goes right down to the webs so it has to be thicker lock rings, so I’ve been checking out billet alloy online. I’ve listened to comments above and agree that the right grade of aluminium should be fine and will be much easier to machine. There are several suppliers that look promising but aimed more at the model market and they don’t list the grade of aluminium, so I’ve emailed them for more detail. I’m thinking 6061 or 6062 grade aluminium, but am open to suggestions if there are any experts on here.
I need 84mm diameter for the rings so it’ll be either 3.5” or 4” dia bar, and I’ll need to buy a decent boring bar for the lathe as my biggest drill is about 1.5” dia.
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