Lotus Elan

Front Shock absorbers

PostPost by: alanr » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:59 pm

I need new front Shocks/Dampers for my +2S 130.
I would appreciate recommendations/source etc. for normal road use and also makes/types to avoid.

Thanks,

Alan.
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PostPost by: tonyr27 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:36 am

I fitted and am happy with the Tony Thompson fast road dampers and springs which I purchased through Sue Miller. I believe the dampers are Gaz.

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:44 am

I went through all of this last Feb, looked at loads of different ones at various dealers, read all the accolades and warnings on here and bought .... Spax.

I suspect I wouldn't have if the car was used for track or anything other than road use but the Spax adjustables seem to win out on a combination of price and quality of finish. That's adjustable as in a knob to alter the damping rate as well as an adjustable spring platform. I was just a bit concerned that some of the more 'sporty' ones looked a little high maintenance and might deteriorate when subjected to normal road car neglect.

I bought them from PMS in the end together with a new set of springs. Fitting the springs was tricky to say the least as they need a lot of compression to get them to fit and you can't use regular spring compressors. I spent at least a day making a compressor and risking life, limb and my garage wall fitting them to the dampers. If you go down this route get the dealer to fit them on pain of taking your business elsewhere.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:25 pm

I've had bad experiences with both Gaz (Gaz were decent ride but the plating was poor and looked grotty in no time), Spax and AVO, i fitted Koni's on one of my cars but the other i went with TTR own custom valved units (all at stock ride height)

Both my cars are set up for comfort/road rather than the track end of the scale..... The Koni's are a bit stiffer then the TTR's (even with the same springs) but personally i prefer the TTR road set up with the matching springs, just make sure your Aeon springs and raisers are good in the back or it won't matter which you use.

I heard some people had problems with the TTR springs binding but my stock type non adjustable platforms are fine.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:43 am

Thanks everyone for the input.
I was favouring the Sue Miller supplied TTR Comfort ones but the comment about them soon looking grotty is a bit of a concern if they are indeed Gaz. My own past experience on other cars has favoured Spax but having trawled the forum threads the problems experienced on here with Spax is also very off putting.

Hmm...I think I need to make some calls and maybe give this a bit more thought!
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:10 am

alanr wrote:Thanks everyone for the input.
I was favouring the Sue Miller supplied TTR Comfort ones but the comment about them soon looking grotty is a bit of a concern if they are indeed Gaz. My own past experience on other cars has favoured Spax but having trawled the forum threads the problems experienced on here with Spax is also very off putting.

Hmm...I think I need to make some calls and maybe give this a bit more thought!


That's exactly the same thought process that went through my mind when I was trying to decide between them all. Other members reported experiences of Spax was a big tick in the 'buy something else' box, but then again the Spax rear inserts that I bought years ago have been very good (if somewhat difficult to adjust with a FHC car). If Koni had been available I'd certainly have gone for them.

The Spax have been very good over the last six months and (roughly) 2500 miles. They seem to have held up ok looks wise (although the car has seen little rain), the damping adjusters are easy to get to and do seem to make a difference when you change the setting (although I'm pretty obtuse about 'optimising' the settings - they're currently about 1/3 of the way from soft on the basis I got tired of fiddling with them rather than that being the best response setting).

However ... Ride height adjustment. I bought the shocks and new springs from PMS, the springs being what they recommended for normal road use. Once assembled and fitted I could only just get the ride height correct (front wishbones horizontal etc) with the adjuster rings screwed right down to the bottom stop. It is correct and works fine but there is no leeway for further lowering, only raising. I kind of expected that the units would give the desired ride height with the ring adjusters at mid travel. There's no way of knowing that in advance, and certainly not on the dealers desk when you're buying them. They have to be not only assembled but fitted to the car and the car lowered onto its wheels before you can make the measurements.

The problem, I suspect, lies with the spring rather than the shock absorbers as dimensionally they're similar to the old Armstrong units and the adjuster thread goes right to the bottom of the damper body. Slightly shorter springs with the same compression rate would seem to be whats needed and they are available but not (then = Feb 18) from PMS (or any of the other 'road' suppliers. I abandoned TT after a less than endearing phone enquiry). The spring adjustability is not a big deal as the car works well and I'm unlikely to need to lower it beyond standard but it wouldn't take much to not even be able to reach standard and in the next set tolerances may stack up to prevent even that.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:13 pm

Thanks Stuart for your thoughts and Spax experience, especially about the springs. :D
All food for further thought....
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:52 pm

Just to confuse things even more, the TTR shocks i bought were black and fixed platform, the Gaz were silver and had the adjustable preload platform. I didn't get to use the gaz v's TTR back to back but i prefer the finish of the TTR black shocks (i thought both had decent ride comfort with the TTR being more road orientated from memory)

Some thing else to ask about the Spax is which version are you looking at? i had the 'Classics' but i believe they also do the 'Krypton' version too. I haven't used the Krypton version but i wouldn't recommend the classics.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:56 pm

I see Kelvedon sell AVO's.
Anyone got any thoughts on AVO's for the front of a +2 S130 with springs suitable for normal road use?
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:18 pm

My Avo's dampers (especially the rears) didn't have enough resistance for the stock springs (even adjusted right up to max), so go over a bump the wheel would bounce and loose contact (which didn't feel nice at all). But that was a lighter 2 seater.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:43 pm

Oh dear what a minefield..Just as I had discovered I could get the correct AVO's a lot cheaper from the likes of Demon Tweeks.

Chris,
I thought TTR shocks, even the black ones, were made for them by GAZ?
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PostPost by: elansprint » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:07 pm

I have the TTR road set up and have to say i am very happy with them these are Gaz front and Koni rear but if i was looking now i would also seriously consider the Protech which are only available from S J Sportscars. Nice alloy bodies i have them on a ginetta G32 & TVR Griffith and very pleased with them.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:21 pm

Thanks for that info Ian...I will have a look at Protech from SJS. :D
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:08 pm

Chris,

What is a raiser? When I dismantled and reassembled my springs and dampers (1968 S4) I didn't find anything other than AEON rubber spring/bump stops.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:32 pm

Richard, lotus-suspension-f42/very-important-rear-suspension-parts-t41753.html seems they only started fitting them in later +2's but makes a difference to 2 seater handling too.


alanr, Definitely have a good look at Protech, i've not used them on an Elan (didn't know they made Elan units) but i've driven a few Jag's with them fitted and thought they were very good.
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