Steering geometry check and adjustment

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Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Fri 18.01.2019, 10:29

Does anyone know of a reliable place preferably in the North East (UK) to check and if needed adjust the steering geometry on my SE.
Need to do the usual tyre pressure, wheel bearing checks first but think it needs setting up, it has the habit especially at slower speeds of the steering feeling like it drops to the left almost like the wheel is loose or driving over a severe camber and obviously it is neither.

Like I said I need some warmer weather to check the obvious things but if that doesn't locate something then I think a full geo set up would be in order so any recommended places local to me (Middlesbrough) would be welcome.
Last edited by david924s on Fri 18.01.2019, 12:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steering geomertry check and adjustment

Postby Bern » Fri 18.01.2019, 11:06

Sorry, I don't know of anywhere near you, but it's definitely worth taking it somewhere where they know what they are doing.

I twice had mine set up on alignment machines at local tyre places. Another guy wasn't interested as he knew he'd need to order parts in to adjust the front camber.

When I finally took it to South West Lotus they sorted it all out properly. But as they are nearly in Cornwall they couldn't be much further away (yet still in England)!
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Fri 18.01.2019, 12:20

Cheers for that did wonder whether there was someone not too far off and as you say don't want to try the usual places as I want them to both know what they are looking for and also how to rectify anything they find. Don't think its anything serious if I didn't know better I would say it feels like too much camber, at slow speeds the steering feels almost like an old Citroen 2CV when the wheel angles right over to help with turning and that is what mine feels like but I will check the obvious things when I get chance and see if there is anything obvious then try to find somewhere to check it out, I do have a local Porsche specialist that sets up race cars so they may be able to help identify the issue even if not fix any problems.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Rambo » Fri 18.01.2019, 13:21

Is this Jamie's white SE ? If so, I'd be surprised anything (serious) is up with it

I'd give Colin at Revline, Whitley Bay a bell. He may be able to do a geo set up or, at worst, suggest someone who can. Only 44 miles away up the A19

Colin has an M100 himself and has been a member here for many years, although he hardly ever posts
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Fri 18.01.2019, 13:49

Rambo wrote:Is this Jamie's white SE ? If so, I'd be surprised anything (serious) is up with it

I'd give Colin at Revline, Whitley Bay a bell. He may be able to do a geo set up or, at worst, suggest someone who can. Only 44 miles away up the A19

Colin has an M100 himself and has been a member here for many years, although he hardly ever posts

It is Jamie's car and I don't think there is anything really wrong with it and indeed may actually be doing what it should and down to my lack of Elan experience and like I said may even be down to tyre pressure so need to check the obvious first. I will probably do as you suggest and try to contact Colin at Revline some time in the future no rush just yet as you say only up the road from me.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby par » Fri 18.01.2019, 14:02

I have found tyre pressure to be critical to how the handling feels like on my Elan.

When I first got mine I pumped the tyres to around 32 and it felt awful, I now find 27 seems to be just right for my set up although I do have Protech dampers and 16" wheels but reckon 27 should be a good starting point.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Rambo » Fri 18.01.2019, 14:42

From memory, I think 32 psi was the recommended tyre pressure for the OEM Michelin V rated tyres on the N/A Steven

I find that 26.5 psi (1.8 bar) works well for me. Again, I think that this was recommended by Lotus in the manual for the OEM Michelin MXX-2, Z rated tyres (15" wheels)
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Fri 18.01.2019, 15:01

Will check the tyre pressures tomorrow and see how it goes.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Saltire » Fri 18.01.2019, 16:34

David

You could also try putting your postcode into this site.It lists wheel alignment centres which use the Hunter Hawkeye system. And that particular system has the Elan in its database, so it’s relatively easy for the operator to see at a glance where your car is at relative to the Lotus specs. Looking at the map, I can see two in Middlesbrough, and half a dozen around the Newcastle area.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Bern » Fri 18.01.2019, 16:38

The 2 places that I took my car were on the Hunter Hawkeye site - neither got it right. It might be that your local people are better than mine (I suspect they couldn't really be bothered), but by taking it to somebody that knows the cars they were able to drive it before and after and know that it was right.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Fri 18.01.2019, 17:01

I did try the Hunter alignment search and as has been said found a couple of places local to me, although I would rather take it to somewhere that knows the cars so will find somewhere no rush at present.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Jamie N » Fri 18.01.2019, 18:26

David you might want to try swapping the wheels around and see if that makes any difference. Remember those SE alloys have been sat for about 4 years
in storage and the tyres will be a good bit older than that. Never had any issues with the 16" Mini alloys or the JDM 15's that were on it before them so I think
if anything it might be tyre related :wink: .
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Sun 20.01.2019, 10:32

Jamie N wrote:David you might want to try swapping the wheels around and see if that makes any difference. Remember those SE alloys have been sat for about 4 years
in storage and the tyres will be a good bit older than that. Never had any issues with the 16" Mini alloys or the JDM 15's that were on it before them so I think
if anything it might be tyre related :wink: .

Hi Jamie,
I think you are right as you say I asked for those wheels to go back on and obviously tyres have some age on them so my fault as what I asked for. Although tyres have lots of tread they are as you say old, checked the pressures yesterday and 3 were over 30psi with one rear down below 20psi so dropped them all slightly to 30psi and inflated the rear will see how it holds but it was always a job on my list to get the four replaced with new rubber down to the age not wear, shame really as they are all not far off new but as you say getting on. Will get some new ones soon and that should resolve the feeling issue. If anyone wants 3 Michelin MXX3 (original tyres I believe) when I swop them over your welcome to them if only for show!
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Rambo » Mon 21.01.2019, 11:42

If they are original tyres (Michelin MXX-2) they will be approx 25 years old :? Well overdue for some new rubber

Dave Speck was looking for some OEM rubber a few years back (display purposes only) so it might be worth PM'ing him

I still think 30 psi is a bit high. Try dropping them 10% lower to 27 psi but don't chance your arm on those old rubbers. Get some new ones as a priority. Safety first
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby david924s » Mon 21.01.2019, 12:08

They tyres are MXX3 so although not as old as originals still past their sell by date by some margin. I knew they were old when I got the car as Jamie did what I asked and fitted the SE wheels so I knew what I was getting it was always my intention of changing them to some newer stuff, when I do I will let people know they are available as "show tyres" but more than likely they will just get thrown away.

Not tried it on lower pressures yet couldn't bring myself to take it out on dirty roads after a deep clean! When I get chance I will check and will adjust if it seems to need it.
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Re: Steering geometry check and adjustment

Postby Specky » Sat 02.02.2019, 14:35

Rambo wrote:If they are original tyres (Michelin MXX-2) they will be approx 25 years old :? Well overdue for some new rubber

Dave Speck was looking for some OEM rubber a few years back (display purposes only) so it might be worth PM'ing him

I still think 30 psi is a bit high. Try dropping them 10% lower to 27 psi but don't chance your arm on those old rubbers. Get some new ones as a priority. Safety first


You’re right Rambo, I have 4 originals for display purposes only... two have enough tread And look visually correct , the other two are very worn... but as they live in the loft in darkness.

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