Lotus Elan

Clipping Apex Curbs

PostPost by: type26owner » Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:13 pm

Finally spun my car but luckily it wasn't at too high a speed. Had it in third and at 5500 rpms so with my 3.9 diff ratio that's about 70 mph. It was late in the day and I had gotten faster and faster through the day really concentrating on getting this turn at the end of the back straightaway dialed in. It's a sweeping righthand turn with poor apex visibilty at the turn-in point. Once turned I could apply full throttle and push the frontend understeering all the way past the apex. This time I turned in a tad too early and when I got to apex instead of just brushing the right side wheels against the apex curb I was three feet up onto it. The rightside wheels lifted up enough so the engine buzzed above 7000 and I instinctively lifted. I was screwed at that point and knew it. Trailing throttle oversteer kicked the rearend out until I was turned 90 degrees to the direction of travel. I tried steering into the slide but it felt like the thing was going to bicycle right on over so I steered out of it and spun it instead. Nice having a low inertia car that only slides for a short distance and comes to an abrupt stop. :oops:

Only posting this to warn others this is kinda a high pucker factor moment which is preventable. Limited slip would have prevented this for instance. A soft rev limiter would have also helped a bunch. Ordered a Pertronix digital rev limiter which has just recently been introduced BTW. I know I'm going to make more mistakes and launch off the curbs again but next time I'll keep the right foot planted on the throttle and most likely be able to recover it no problem. :shock:

Feels like having this much fun for an old fart should be illegal! Ran the whole day without breaking anything for the very first time. Yeah! I upheld the honour of the early Elans by passing a few Elises and Super 7s too even though I was the only out there with All-Season Mud & Snow tires (just in case the weather should turn suddenly sour). :D
-Keith
p.s. Can't wait for the new addition to the Fernley racetrack to be completed. It's as much fun and just as safe as Thunderhill.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:41 am

Keith

After a while you will instinctively turn into the trailing throttle over steer if you have to lift off suddenly in a corner. It can still catch you out especially in high speed corners but most of the time now I can catch the spin before it happens.

Rohan
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PostPost by: type26owner » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:49 pm

Under the same circumstances I doubt if Senna could have saved it. I went way over that edge this time. Came around and parked it for the day. That many miles at a 100% concentration level and I was totally wiped out tired.
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PostPost by: steveww » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:55 pm

You may already know this but here is a useful tip anyway. Once you have realised that the spin is going to happen no matter what. Usually at the point you run in to the steering stops while applying the opposite lock and the rear is still coming round :shock: Put both feet in i.e. brakes and clutch. It will not stop the spin but at least you will travel in a straight line and come to a stop a bit quicker. Saved me a few times :)

I am off on a track day with the Elan next week, can't wait.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:19 pm

Hi Steve,
Yup, got all that right but blew it by not depressing in the clutch pedal quick enough. The stock seat does not laterally restrain one very well and I had my left foot braced against the firewall and was caught off guard. Pretty sure the engine spun going the wrong direction a few revs. That 15 seconds it took to restart it was agonizing because I knew the engine could be toast. When it finally lit off I was delighted to have survived the day without breaking my car. Pushed my luck enough for that day.

Have fun at the trackday. Be careful if it's your first time on the track. The car can exhibit really wicked handling which you were blissfully unaware of just tooling around on the public roads.
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PostPost by: steveww » Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:11 pm

Thanks, just hope the weather holds out, a track is not so much fun in the rain.

I have already had the Elan on the track and I have not found it to have any vices. You just have to get used to the limited grip and get the hang of drifting.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:47 pm

Steve,
I like it wet but only at a non-spectator track that does not have any hard thingies to hit if you make a tiny mistake. Tracks with no walls are slowly coming back into favor around my parts. Now all they need to do is add an escape road at the end of straights to make it really safe just the way I remember it used to be back in the dark ages.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:30 pm

Kieth---real fast guys dont use the clutch ed :oops:
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:27 pm

Hi Ed,
Installing my Pertronix rev limiter today. This micro-processor thingie is trick in that it does not cutout the spark to the cylinder entirely but instead delays it so it fires later well after the piston has started decending so it does little pushing. This keeps the exhaust system from backfiring and popping due to unburnt mixture getting dumped into it at WOT and at the rev limit.

Clutch usage would be prudent on the Elan though. Does the 26R have a dog ring gearbox? :wink:
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:29 am

nope -0- I still use the clutch ----Im not a fast guy--usually play the -- I got it --oops dont got it--got it --oops dont got it ---followed by a do si do :oops: ed
Last edited by twincamman on Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:31 am

I use the spring rotor type of limiter ----first time I hit it on the 7 I thought the motor had lunched ----- :oops: ed
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:50 pm

explain to him the difference between a rolling start and a standing start and drag racing :lol: ed
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:05 pm

----Kieth----dont close your eyes---you will miss the crash -- ed
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