Lotus Elan

Bushes and other rubber parts

PostPost by: patrics » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:27 pm

Hi,
It is a general statement and your Porsche probably comes with a choose of OE and Service parts - High end cars can have OE parts but generally speaking the parts in fitted in service are Service parts not OE parts.
Your car is only new once is a true expression you could for instance drive out of the show room get a puncture 100 meters down the road and the new tyre fitted will not be balanced as per OE - by that I mean it will be balanced in the axial direction but not the radial direction.

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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:16 pm

Chancer wrote:I agree wholeheartedly with what was said.

The parts sold at the manufacturers parts counter and used in their workshops will definitely not have come by the same route as those assembled in the factory, maybe for the first 6 months of production they will be but as the years pass they will be no different to those on sale in motor factors, you only have to look at a lot of the packaging to see that.

Are Porsch any different? I doubt it, its just another manufacturer making and servicing vehicles like any other but with a badge that is percieved as indicating quality.


I disagree. I worked for 5 years at Ford in Europe, 15 years at an aftermarket company here in the States & the last 20 years as a consultant working for BMW.

Dealers are only allowed to fit OEM parts in their service department, this is covered by the franchise agreement between the OEM & dealer.

Are OEM service parts different to parts installed at the plant? I would say 99% plus are identical, otherwise you would need 2 sets of specifications etc. The only exceptions I can think of from Ford would be Rebuilt engine/transmission assemblies, otherwise these assemblies would not be available as they are out of production.

In the States the OEMs are required by law to stock enough "spares" to support vehicles through year 7 in service.
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PostPost by: elanner » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:41 pm

Unrelated to the ongoing OEM quality discussion... :-)

Since we're now buying parts for half century old cars, I don't think it’s prudent to assume that rubber components are fit-and-forget OEM quality, even if purchased from any of the usual, trustworthy suppliers. Rotoflexes, engine mounts, whatever.

A couple of years ago I purchased a set of front wishbone bushes from one of the Lotus parts suppliers and fitted them as part of a front suspension refresh. Five of the eight bushes failed almost immediately, certainly less than 500 miles.

elan_failedbush1.jpg and

elan_failedbush2.jpg and


The rubber simply separated from the steel bush tube. Fortunately, as one wishbone arm was working itself off its fulcrum pin its partner was working its way closer to the suspension tower, preventing the entire suspension from coming adrift.

So I purchased and fit another set and they have been fine (so far!). But I'm still keeping a close eye on them. I fitted large washers under the Nyloc nuts to limit the opportunity for movement if the second set of bushes fail (I didn’t fit washers with the first set).

Irritatingly, there was nothing wrong with the original bushes. I should have left them alone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:44 pm

Hi Phil.

I agree with what you said but looking at the dates your experience with Ford Europe may be 35-40 years old?

I have had a lot of dealings with Ford parts over the years, in 1990 I couls still buy bearings and baulk rings for a 1967 2000e Cortina box over the counter, Ford OE parts, later on they rationalised and only held parts (somewhere in the country) for the minumim time period which I think was 7 years, after that they liquidated them, if they ran out before it was pretty much hard luck.

Fast forward to 1998 when I was rebuilding a burnt out 1995 Ford Galaxy, one of the first made and before any facelifts, a good friend worked in a Ford parts dealership/warehouse, everything was available but for cloth seat trim they only stocked what was currently being fitted to new cars in the factory, the styles changed every year, even though they were obliged to hold stock for 7 years because I could buy a seat cover, it would fit but just look wrong, did not prevent the vehicle from being driven.

All the service parts they stocked were non OE but a very good price to me and for a 3 year old vehicle likely to be better quality than the factors, the new speedo binnacle was an exchange unit, I'm sure it was new but even for a 3 year old vehicle they wanted the old one to put in the exchange scheme as the unit had changed for the current production cars.

I guess what i am saying is that the effective lifetime of new vehicles ito the manufacturers is a lot shorter these days even if they are capable of lasting much longer than our old vehicles.
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PostPost by: patrics » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:52 pm

Hi
My comments were general, but the car dealers will sell OEM parts but that can mean original manufacturer not necessarily original specification.
A few years ago I went to get OE brake pads from a main Ford dealer only to be told they could order them but had never sold any before as they were to expensive. They only keep service pads in stock - I’m not saying the service pads are poor quality, they are good but are generally not as good regarding noise.
Same thing at a BMW garage - service pads from same manufacturer.
Some manufacturers do definitely sell OE specification brake parts - I think Land Rover have always done so.

My fault but this thread should highlight problems with Lotus parts

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PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:12 am

Nick,

Excuse me if I'm asking the obvious but did you tighten the bushes with the suspension at full droop or after letting the car sit on it's wheels resting on terrafirma under full vehicle weight?

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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:18 am

I would have thought the adhesive in the bushes could cope with the twisting forces without letting go, even if torqued at full droop. Of course, they would not last long like that.

I've just had one fail as I was assembling the suspension. Inner sleeve popped right out, as if it wasn't bonded in at all! The problem is, I can get a replacement, but then I have to pay someone to fit it as I don't have a press.
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:30 pm

.....well the manufacturers don't agree with you which is why they recommend you torque them once the car has settled.

Did it on my Caterham, did it on my Plus 2 and never had any problems :D
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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:31 pm

jono wrote:Nick,

Excuse me if I'm asking the obvious but did you tighten the bushes with the suspension at full droop or after letting the car sit on it's wheels resting on terrafirma under full vehicle weight?

Jon


Everything was tightened while the suspension was properly compressed. 100% for sure. I'm paranoid about doing that!

If you look at the pictures you can see that there's no sign of tearing or shredding, which, I think, excessive twisting against a solid bond would cause.

The two sets of bushes differed very slightly. The metal used wasn't exactly the same colour and the failed set had a fraction less inward curvature on the ends. You'd never notice the difference unless you were looking at them very closely (which I did!). It wasn't anything that one would worry about. But I presume that they were from different manufacturing batches and the first set simply weren't bonded properly.

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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:41 pm

JonB wrote:I've just had one fail as I was assembling the suspension. Inner sleeve popped right out, as if it wasn't bonded in at all! The problem is, I can get a replacement, but then I have to pay someone to fit it as I don't have a press.


If you go to your local corner garage they'll have a press and pop it in for you - probably for free. It's only a few seconds work.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:02 pm

JonB, I thought you said that you had a puller for getting them out? I seem to remember saying it was the same principle as the one I made from a square block of steel (I added photos later).

That puller-outer, ought to be usable as a puller-into with the addition of relevant thick washers
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:37 pm

Nope, I paid a man to do it for me..
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PostPost by: Donels » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:49 pm

To get back to the original question, rubber bushes are used through out industry and not just on classic cars. If you measure your existing bushes you can go directly to a main supplier/manufacturer bypassing the intermediate classic Lotus suppliers.

Bushes are manufactured in standard sizes and you choose from the catalogue just like Lotus did originally. I am pretty sure that the usual Lotus parts suppliers get their bushes in this way and don't get them specially made. As such the rubber should all be industry standard.

If you are concerned go straight the the suppliers, it's easy and cheaper, I have.
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PostPost by: jono » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:47 am

Donels,

Could you share the name of the supplier you used?

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PostPost by: Donels » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:52 am

Jon,
The company I used is called Robush Ltd. Just checked their website to make sure it's still there and noticed they also do doughnuts couplings!

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