Lotus Elan

Tyre question?

PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:52 pm

Hi Gray,
you say you have Spyder Suspension, does that mean Double Wishbone at the back? If so then it will be difficult to compare :wink:
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Thanks Alan,

Very nice drive this morning letting the suspension settle- no bump steer at all and nice ride with feel via the wheel so I am pleased with this combination as a baseline for usual driving. Also modified S4 airbox to improve air flow to the 4th cylinder with equal temperature across all 4 exhaust manifold branches and nice even running/ throttle response across the board-these are such brilliant little cars.


Cheers, Mark
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PostPost by: Gray » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:35 pm

Alan

Yes the RCS double wishbone rear suspension, plus uprated front anti roll bar. The RSC gives negative camber rather than positive on droop, which can cause lack of adhesion if you chuck an Elan into a corner after braking too hard - I was only young at the time, and no damage. I've got standard front springs/shocks and Spyder adjustable platform rears, I'll try it like that to start with, but a long way off being finished.

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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:18 pm

Gray wrote:I have gone down the route of Spyder chassis/suspension and 14x6 minilte style wheels, one of the reasons was the lack of good high performance tyres for 13 inch wheels at the time. I’ll find out if this was a good decision when the prolonged rebuild is finished (still doing the 26R arches)!


Hi Sorry to sound like a tosser, but i really must dispell this myth that there is not a good 13" tyre. there is the 145R13 Cinturato, granted this is new. but there has always been the 155R13 Michelin XAS. It is not lack of availability it is the cost of the tyre that stops people buying XAS. it is simply price and i think it is a big mistake to spend money fit an over sized wheel to fit a cheaper tyre, that will inherently spoil the handling of the car.

i am sorry for that comment. because i realize you have bought the wheels.

Gray wrote:I note that some have put modern 175/70 tyres on the original 4.5 inch wheels. I thought 165 was the maximum width for 4.5 inch wheels (assuming clearance is available), do manufacturers issue any guidance on maximum tyre to wheel widths for current tyres (accepting that whilst wider tyres are possible they may not be the best choice if other changes have not been made)?
Gray


This page is pretty good for a lot of classic rim recommendations https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/vintag ... cr6zz.html

You can run a 175/70R13 on a 4.5" rim, but the tyre will perform better on a slightly wider rim.

Of all the 175/70R13 tyres the Pirelli CN36 will be by far the best road tyre in that size for an Elite https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/pirell ... -cn36.html by miles.

However your car will always be nicer to drive on a 145R13 Cinturato or 155R13 XAS (Lotus could have fitted 70% profile tyres in 1968, but they didn't because they handle better on thinner full profile tyres.)
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:23 pm

mwhitaker wrote:Hello Dougal,

Thanks for your question. My car is a 69 S4dhc-build date-Oct1968 according to Andy Graham and would have come with 155-13 as standard fitment. I actually thought about the CA-67 145/13 at first but its listed inflated diameter is similar to the XAS at 23.2 inches and my original issue seemed more due to rolling diameter than width . I wonder if the profile of the Michelin mounted on original 4.5 steel wheels instead of the 5 x 13 Panasports I have now will make a difference. I really want to try the Michelins after reading your notes!

Cheers, Mark


Although they are a similar diameter it is my guess that it is the outer extremities of the tread that are touching and maybe the thinner tread might have helped.

anyway do persevere , because when you get the XAS fitted you will love it. I never get a dissatisfied customer with XAS. quite the opposite.
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:39 pm

Dougal

I’m sure we all respect your opinions, but I think I made it clear that there was a lack of high performance 155x13 tyres at the time I started my rebuild, many years ago. I’m not suggesting that is the case now.

I believe XAS were available 15-20 years ago, some time after my current rebuild started, but there was a question over their compound/suitability for the UK being made in South Africa? I’m sure that is not the case with the XAS you sell. I’ve certainly had some Michelins that were poor in the wet in the past, although I’ve had some very good Michelins on recent modern performance cars.

I’m certainly not putting an oversized wheel on my Elan to put cheap tyres on as you suggest. As a Chartered Engineer with some experience of suspension setup in F1, I want an appropriately engineered solution, which I should have with Spyder spaceframe chassis, suspension and 6x14 wheels. I realise this is not original, but there was little original left on the car when I bought it (my 9 previous Lotus were largely original).

Personally, I would not use a 175/70/13 on 4.5 rims on an Elan as a little wide for the rims in my view and clearance could be a problem, although pleased to note as you have pointed out this is within limits for the tyres. The current 155/13 XAS you recommend is probably Ideal for a standard car, although I did use 165/70/13 to good effect in the 70s with otherwise standard suspension and as previously noted Goodyear low profiles were listed as an option in August 1969 for the Elan, so presumably Lotus did think the Elan handled better on lower profiles.

Its good we all have our own opinions, that’s what forums are for, I’m sure ours aren’t that far apart, keep up the good work.

Gray
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:13 pm

Hi

Sorry Gray; I realized my last comment was contentious, and i kind of didn't want to post it.

a 6" rim will really need a tyre wider than 155mm and a 14" rim will mean you will have to sacrifice half an inch of side wall heighth, which will lead, you into lower percentage profile, which will lead into more modern carcass structure with all the flex in the side wall in a smaller area and a sharper shoulder to the tyre.

Gray i seriously apologies for my comments because it is far from my intention to suggest you were cheap skating, i do understand how these things happen.

I don't think Lotus did think that the Elan handled better on a lower profile tyre, because they would have fitted it as standard.

However, as with modern cars today, they allow you to spend more money to buy expensive wider, taller wheels which, without doubt, spoil the handling and the ride.

A modern car that you buy today will ride better and handle nicer on the standard wheels that they leave the factory with. Much nicer than the "up rated" taller wider wheels that the toss pot in the show room takes and extra £5K off you for. It is fashion. big wheels apparently look "hairy chested.". But they don't make a better road car.
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:51 pm

Dougal

Apology accepted.

I understand where you are coming from. I went out of my way on my previous everyday car to avoid 19 inch wheels, but on the one I have just bought they are standard, although as its less than 5 seconds to 60 its more justified than some.

There is always a balance between different elements, if Lotus produced a modern Elan it would have bigger wheels. Hopefully my route will be a a sensible upgrade, must get out to the garage to get on with it.

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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:18 pm

I'm busy bankrupting myself. I bought this a few years ago (and of course fitted Borrani wheels https://www.borrani.com/lotus-wheels/elan.html and Pirelli Cinturato )

img_0504.jpg and


And then in a crazy moment in a pub i agreed to go halves on a racing one with a freind,

07551855c923483535a43f8c65208cea67a77697.500.jpeg and


I hope to have my first race in it a Castle Comb at the beginning of October, so i am going to need to do a lot of garage fettling. Also i shall have to brake it to my kids that they won't be going on holiday again.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:35 pm

Does anyone know what the 'low profile' option offered in 1969 actually was? If you read other bits of sales literature they state that the tyre for a standard Elan was the 145 x 13 and the S/E's had 155's - that may have run through the S4 range as it was perfectly possible to buy a standard S4 with bolt on wheels - till? Whenever the standard model was dropped and the Sprint introduced. Was the 'low profile' option just a bit of guff from the PR/sales department?
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:41 am

I believe the size was 165/70R13.

I just don't think it is the right way to go for 2 main reasons

1/ it will put you down to the diameter of a 145R13. though i think an Elan will handle beautifully on a period 145R13 (which currently i believe the only one is the Cinturato https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/pirell ... -ca67.html ). the argument against the 145 in my mind is the benefit of the taller 155R13 giving slightly longer legs and better clearance, both of which are good on modern roads with faster cruising and crappy speed bumps.

2/ there isn't a good tyre in the size 165/70R13 to suit the Elan that i know of.
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:22 pm

I'm currently on 165/70R13 with now very old Goodyear GT2s and I've not been able to find something that looks like a good replacement. The car has 26R arches and 5.5" Minilites and I'm uneasy about going to 175 because I think they're likely to foul the (full size) spring seats at the back. There are also small signs of rubbing inside the front wheelarch (although I've never noticed anything whilst driving) and something wider would surely only make that worse.

I do like the look of the car with the current tyres, but I can't hold off indefinitely. Any suggestions?

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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:15 pm

Hi Paddy,
I have Yokohama Blue Earth 165/70R13 on my S4 and have no complaints for spirited road driving. A friend also has them on his S2, and is also happy with them. A quick search of the Yokohama UK website shows that they are available in the UK.
Cheers,
Colin.



paddy wrote:I'm currently on 165/70R13 with now very old Goodyear GT2s and I've not been able to find something that looks like a good replacement. The car has 26R arches and 5.5" Minilites and I'm uneasy about going to 175 because I think they're likely to foul the (full size) spring seats at the back. There are also small signs of rubbing inside the front wheelarch (although I've never noticed anything whilst driving) and something wider would surely only make that worse.

I do like the look of the car with the current tyres, but I can't hold off indefinitely. Any suggestions?

Paddy
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:42 pm

Colin,

fatboyoz wrote:I have Yokohama Blue Earth 165/70R13 on my S4


That's really useful, thanks. I'll have a look.

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:15 pm

dougal cawley wrote:I believe the size was 165/70R13.


Did anybody see new Elans (not +2's) with these tyres in period?
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