Lotus Elan

Loose Minilites!!!

PostPost by: 7skypilot » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:58 pm

I fitted Minilites years ago and have suffered a minor handling uncertainty, on fast bends (like 'No Name' at Goodwood), ever since. It felt like the rear wheels were toe-ing out with consequent oversteer but the tracking, front and rear, was fine. Following advice on this forum I checked threads on spinners and hubs for bottoming out, correct torques etc. and eventually learnt to 'drive through' this minor handling deficiency.

All Minilites (2sets) and collars bought new, from a very reputable UK Lotus specialist.

Recently, whilst searching again for the cause of this 'vagueness' inspection of the rear hubs, with an expert well versed in all things Lotus, 'witness' marks were noticed where the stainless clamping collar had made significant contact with the five webs on the rear hub. It was confirmed with BluTac that the spinners were clamping the collar against the hub, but that the wheel was slightly (indetectable really) loose against the hub. This was allowing toe-out when the rear became loaded in fast bends.
img_5632.jpg and
Witness marks on rear hub webs

Problem: The clamping collars were too thick and were contacting the rear hub 'web' before the wheel was fully clamped.
Solution: Machine about 1mm off the thickness.

Now the rear wheels are clamped securely against the hub and the handling is superb!

This problem only arises at the rear wheels where the five webs in the hub allow an excessively thick collar to contact the webs before clamping the wheel.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:03 am

Great catch! Great method to confirm the issue as well.

Regards,
Dan
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: Verve » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:32 am

Yeh , we recently had exactly the same problem ... the PO hadn`t realised for 15 years ... but a quick trip to the local machine shop solved it !

I knew something wasn`t quite right ... & fortunately , whilst investigating with the rear suspension in droop ( rear end jacked up off the floor ) , a good club friend noticed the minilites were very slightly "rocking" on the hub !

It wasn`t evident , when the wheels were on the floor in compression .... but was definitely effecting the handling & caused a very slight knocking on over-run ... which I thought was the diff` !

Anyway , it was a very good spot and easily fixed ... thanks Rob ; ) !

Eddie at TTR has got some slimmer collars as well ...

Paul .
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PostPost by: 7skypilot » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:46 pm

Well done Paul! I seem to recollect the same 'knocking on the overrun' that you experienced - also now solved.

It took me rather longer 'driving round' the problem to realise the rears had to be loose on the hubs - the witness marks on the rear hub webs confirmed the cause.

I now have two sets of Minilites, all with appropriately machined collars and the car handles like it should!
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PostPost by: patrics » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:01 pm

Hi
Had the same problem on my Minilites approx 2013 - this has been discussed a couple of times since then.
Anyway I took my wheels and collars back to Minilite - it took a while but eventually we all agreed that the collars were too long, anyway they bunged them on a lathe and machined them down - not checked against any drawing. No idea if my collars were correct to drawing or badly machined - they didn't fill me with confidence.

Regards
Steve
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PostPost by: 7skypilot » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:12 pm

Steve, it's good to know I'm not alone!
The slight oversteer flagged up the problem; the witness marks on the rear hub web confirmed it. Reducing the collar thickness solved it.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:31 pm

Problem was worse with very early Minilites, I ended up modifying the stainless steel rings to ensure they would not foul on the webs on the hubs.
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