Lotus Elan

Wheel spinners

PostPost by: tablets32 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:17 am

Hi.
Well I thought I had this car sorted, new engine, UJ driveshafts, new loom, brakes overhauled and a myriad of other fixes over a five year period. Went for a spin with my wife yesterday on the way back the offside rear spinner loosened and I nearly lost the wheel !
I blamed myself at first for maybe not checking before going out, but I had the wheels off last week and on reflection I distinctly remember malletting the spinners on.
I did some research on the site and I'm not the only one to have this problem. So what's the solution, change to bolt on wheels ? That would be my perfect solution but very expensive. So I've decided to wire the spinners in place. This has been done before and as you know wiring brake disc bolts and other parts have been standard in the racing world for ever.
So off to the local motor factor for the bits to do the job, and start saving for the change to bolt on wheels.
Keith
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:50 am

just tighten 'em properly: mine are even on the wrong side (rear!) and they stay tight: i use a heavy plastic (lead filled) hammer! wouldn't it be a shame ao loose yr knock-offs?!?!? sandy
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:15 am

Never, ever, had this issue.

Are you sure the threads are not bottoming out?

I use a 1.0m breaker bar and 'wheel widget' to tighten mine. Check them before most long runs and they're always okay.

I'm touching wood now I've said that though :o
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:46 am

If the wheels are mounted correctly on the locating pins and hub and the spinner tightened correctly to the right torque and it is not bottoming out then it will not come loose in normal use and you dont need to wire it.

Most problems are due to the wheel jamming on the studs when its being mounted so that when the spinner is tightened it is not correctly seated. With subsequent use the wheel moves on the studs and releases the compression from the spinner, once it loosens a little then it can work loose until the wheel falls off :shock:

The other common problem is due to distorted steel wheel centers or incorrect after market wheels that allow the spinner to bottom out before clamping the wheel correctly.

You dont really need bolt on wheels as there are many thousand Elans and Plus 2 running safely without problems with the spinners

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:03 pm

Keith
One of my best ( and cheapest ) "mods" ( if you can call it that ) is marking the spinner with indelible felt tip pen ( it does come off ) in-line with the air valve....just a quick look around the wheels will tell you if any have moved, you won't be able to see if it's moved 360 degrees but you should be able to feel that.....

2016_0927spinnermarks0003.jpg and


Looks like it's time for the torque wrench and felt tip pen again...



John :wink:
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PostPost by: rcraven » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:29 pm

The only time I've had a wheel start to wobble on an Elan was when a garage had failed to refit it properly after removing it to do some fibreglass repairs. I don't think they were used to Lotuses.
But on cars with standard Rudge Whitworth hubs it is recognised that the threads may eventually wear with age. For instance, for Bentleys there's a chart which gives the safe diameters above and below which the spinner and hub threads should not be allowed to go before being replaced or (if safe) recut. I've not though had anything similar happen on my Lotus.
Robert
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:02 pm

Don't any of you guys use Sarto's tool?

http://www.knockoffspinnertool.com

He ships Worldwide.

Many here do use it. Whilst not cheap, particularly if you also have to buy a suitable torque wrench, it's absolutely superb.

It also keeps your spinners in pristine condition, rather than bashing the b'jesus out of them, and guessing when they're 'tight' enough! :shock:
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Plus 2S

BLL 315H in white.
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:52 pm

Hi
Thanks for the input fellas, here's what I've done. Not the prettiest solution but I don't want that wobbly, back end swerve sensation again.
Keith
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image.jpeg and
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:43 pm

Keith

I'm really sorry, but someone has to tell you..........

What on earth are you thinking?????

That is one of the ugliest mods I've ever seen on a car of beauty.

It's also totally unnecessary!

Just get yourself a wheelspinner tool, and keep your car pretty!!
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Plus 2S

BLL 315H in white.
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PostPost by: Harvey » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:07 pm

Keith,

I second EPC 394J on this. I have owned my +2 for 18 years and have never had a spinner come loose. I used to use a soft copper or brass hammer to save the chrome on the spinners until I bought Sarto's tool. Now, i tighten the spinners to 190 ft./lbs and no longer worry about the tightness and also protect the expensive chrome spinners. I saw a street Elan for sale a year or two ago that had safety wired spinners and the chrome was worn off the spinner and paint off the wheel from the safety wire rubbing against them.
Jackson, CA
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:08 am

Keith
Have to agree,for us in the UK there is this...

tool-talk-f43/wheel-widget-t34169.html

and the Magic Marker

John :wink:
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PostPost by: vxah » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:21 am

The reason I now run alloys and tighten them to 200 lbs ft is because the steels can and have split at the spinner cone... I'm guessing this is due to bashing the hell out of the spinners to make sure they don't come undone! That's the trouble with bashing them tight, when to stop? In my opinion, get a tightening tool and torque them!
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:50 am

Hi,

Ok ok I agree it is ugly and I have overreacted. But to have the back end swerve away the way it did was so scary !
I had no control at all. Plus it happened on a narrow country lane with cars whizzing past quite closely. So jacking up the car and retightening the wheel was dangerous.
On reflection there was probably no need to drill the spinners I may have been able to loop the wire around them,
To be honest I don't like spinners I would prefer bolt on wheels. So that's my aim, I've spoken to TTR and they have the parts which I will buy shortly along with some mini lite wheels.

Thanks for the input, your opinions are welcome.

Keith.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:09 am

Just thinking out loud,has anyone taken this one step further and knocked out the drive pegs and threaded/tapped the hub to achieve a belt and braces solution,wheelnuts and spinners?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:57 am

Hi,
That's a good idea John. I think I'll fry that before any changes.
Keith
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