Lotus Elan

Ditching the donuts

PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:29 am

Right, thanks all.

Is it possible to do the grinding with the shafts in place on the car, or is this too risky with sparks flying about?
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PostPost by: sgbooth » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:10 am

Personally, I wouldn't attempt that.

It's simple enough to drop the rear suspension and remove the complete hub and outer shaft intact. Then simply fix in a vice whilst removing the failsafe with a grinder.

In addition, you may well find you need to ream out one or more holes on the spider (as already mentioned), in which case that operation will also be easier if you do it this way.

HTH.

Regards,
Stuart.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:09 pm

Thanks Stuart.

Regarding removal of the suspension; I have a spyder chassis. Am I correct in thinking that the rear struts can be removed as a unit, without the need to undo the damper nut from inside the car?
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PostPost by: sgbooth » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:21 pm

I don't believe that's possible.

My routine is to remove the rear parcel shelf to access the nut on the top of the damper, and then to loosen it, first.

At a later point, if you carefully support the strut housing with a scissor jack, you can lower away and drop the strut without the need for a spring compressor.

BTW, if you don't know the history of the car and you're going to be this invasive at the rear of the car, why not consider replacing the lotocones at the same time (if funds allow)..... I would.

You should also inspect the dampers (if only for future reference). If you can easily pull out or push the damper in then ......... they're shot, or on their way out. IMHO.

If replacements are necessary, then avoid Spax.
First choice Koni, then Gaz (as funds allow)

The above is of course MHO.

Regards,
Stuart.

Regards,
Stuart.
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:33 pm

Hi,
A question and and an observation:
Hamish, how often do you grease your shafts? TTR recommends every year/2 years and following on from that, I take it that the CV joints don't need the annual greasing.
Secondly: Robbie693, if you have a 2 1/4 inch suspension conversion, it is possible to undo the top Lotocone bolts and drop the strut as a whole, otherwise unless you have the patience of a saint, two rubber hands, a head that'll fit inside the wheelarch next to the Lotocone, short enough bolts and the strength of five men I wouldn't bother.
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:28 pm

SADLOTUS,

Mmmm the strength of 5 men? Is that all? Would have thought that triple jointed wrists and fingers would have helped as well!!

Greasing - I do it about every 6 months which is about the interval at which I jack up the bottom end and grovle about looking at handbrake couplings etc. It's amazing how much water comes out past the seals of the CV joints before the grease appears. Scary! In future, I will continue to grease every 6 months, if only lightly. Don't see any harm in that as long as you keep it clean.

As far a droping the strut as a whole - forget it. I can't see any way to do that. The only way I can see of getting near, is to use spring hooks to keep the rear spring reasonably compressed so you can undo the top mount without any tension on the nut. The spring will be loose and the whole assembly will come apart. Short of that ??? :?

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:21 am

You can drop the whole strut unit out buy releasing the 2 bolts securing the Lotocone to the chassis if you have small diameter springs. A good set of socket extensions and universal joints helps and you have to do it by feel but its not impossible. Disconnect the drive shaft first and support the hub on a jack and then lower it once the bolts are out and disconnect it from the lower A frame.

The reverse process of fitting it back up as a single unit is much harder as you have to get in there some how to get the bolt holes lined up and the bolts in place and the inside one is not easy to do.

Generally I have found it easier to remove the nut on top of the damper rod and lower the hub down on a jack to release the sping compression which is not much at full droop.

regards
Rohan
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:22 am

Here is my set-up: Sue Miller drive shafts, Spyder twin-wishbones and Spyder chassis.

Cheers,
Pete.
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drive shafts 2 copy.jpg and
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:11 am

Thanks for all the replys, either way if I remove the rear suspension then it looks like I'll need some spring compressors for re-assembly?

Or maybe I should try hack-sawing the failsafe spigots off in situ...
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:30 am

You can reassemble without a spring compressor by reversing the disassembly approach I mentioned earlier.

Pull the shocker rod out fully. Put a jack under the hub once you connect the hub to the lower A frame. Put the spring on the lower seat. Jack up the hub and guide the spring onto the upper seat and the shocker rod through the locotone. Once in place put the nut on the top of shocker rod and its all together again and you can remove the jack.

The actual amount of spring compression by the jack required to seat the shocker rod and get the nut on is relatively small.

It helps to put a small hose clamp around the base of the shocker rod to keep it fully extended and remove it once the top rod nut is fitted.

regards
Rohan
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:56 pm

Ah I see. That's great, thanks Rohan
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