Lotus Elan

In action at Castle Coombe

PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:19 am

I got a few laps in before the rain started. This picture shows the stiff sidewalls of the Michelin XAS FF tyres.

I was pretty happy with the car's handling, still a little too much understeer when pushed hard.
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castlecoombe.jpg and
Plenty of grip
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:00 am

Steve

Great photo. I love to see Elans being driven how they were intended

Its a bit nose down in the corner which I think is overloading the front outside tyre. I assume you were off the brakes looking at the corner in the photo. Stiffen up the roll bar and maybe also the front springs a bit to stop the rear inside to front outside weight transfer. I think this will get the best out of your sticky tyres and get a bit of the understeer out.

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Rohan
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:04 pm

I got the next few up in the registration line....676......just an observation!!!
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:23 pm

I love to see Elans being driven how they were intended


It is great to drive Elans as they were intened 8)

Stiffen up the roll bar and maybe also the front springs a bit to stop the rear inside to front outside weight transfer.


All braking done in a straight line. I would have been on the gas and looking for the exit clipping point when the picture was taken.

First of all my S4 is mainly a road car and it only gets on track a few times a year. I do not want to spoil it for the road, I had a Porsche 911 with a track set up and it was painful on the road. The front springs are already a bit stiffer than standard so I am not too sure about making them yet more siffer. The thicker antiroll bar is a possibility as it should not effect the ride too much. I am no suspension expert but I thought the basic rule was if you made the front stiffer you got understeer and if you made the rear stiffer you got oversteer :? I know I need to modify the rear bump stops to make them a bit longer. Would this help take the load off the outside front? I guess I need some good bedtime reading on suspension set up.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:39 am

Steve
The basic rules are right but they are just that "basic". At the next level diagonal weight transfer needs to be considered and I tihnk the Elan is especially prone to that given its relatively low spring rates and narrow track.

If you see an Elan outside nose down it is probably understeering if you see it outside tail down it is oversteering due to diagonal weight transfer.

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PostPost by: Dag-Henning » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:29 am

- true! Depending maybe a bit on you driving-style, an LSD may also lower your rear end out of corners....

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PostPost by: iain.hamlton » Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:06 pm

Just an idea, Steve, and I am by no means claiming to be an expert!

Maybe swapping the dreaded donuts for solid driveshafts has changed (softened) the springing and damping at the rear. The rubber would act as a damper, and increase the spring rate in bump.

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PostPost by: steveww » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:05 am

I was in my garage last night with tape measure in hand. Having strung up the car and measured everything I found that the ride height was way out. The left rear being 0.5" higher than the rest of the car, also the rear is generally higher than the front. The rear springs are new so it looks like the driver's side (RHD) has settle more, not surprising as most of the time there is only me in the car. The front springs have also settled even more after their last adjustment, the front is 0.25" lower.

So out with the C spanners and adjustments made to the ride height. Alas I can't get the rear as low as I would like as the spring platforms come in to contact with the disks :x Looks like I need to order a set of shorter rear springs, 1" shorter should do it. I remeber from my Ford Escort days the rear wants to be lower than the front for optimal handling. I guess the same is true for the Elan :? Lower at the rear should move some of the weight back taking the load off the front and reducing diagonal weight transfer unltimately reducing the understeer.

The shorter springs will have to wait until after Classic Le Mans as I do not have time to pull the rear suspension apart before then.
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PostPost by: sgbooth » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:15 am

Steve,

As you know I've the same rear setup, and my platforms are only just clear of the brake disks. The ground clearance is not less than 6 inches at the rear!

So please do let me know what springs you select, and what clearance you achieve.

Regards,
Stuart.
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PostPost by: Old English White » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:22 pm

... Steve ,
I am not great specialist in car setup but , having seen many cars , standard and racer's , and having made the test , the Elan like having her end higher(a bit) than front ...
It give a better feeling , more stability , you know , when having reach a good speed , you are leaving the gas pedal but not the brakes's one ... This is really obvious on track , and , to be complete , this is no matter with the spring rate .
But the racer's will give their tips ... wait!
Christian.
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