4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

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4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Sat 11.06.2016, 20:10

I'm not happy with the way the Elan drives, I've had the tracking done and I've adjusted the steering to remove play from the rack.

So I was thinking of getting a full check of all wheel alignment, camber angles etc.

Can anybody recommend anyone in Somerset, Bristol, Bath or slightly further afield? And ideally someone who knows what they are doing with Elans!

Cheers,

Bern.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby lotusflasherman » Sat 11.06.2016, 20:39

What is it you are not happy with? Some owners have had problems when using wrong tyre pressures.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Sun 12.06.2016, 07:51

I've played around with the tyre pressures a bit, didn't seem to make much difference. But I'll give that another go.

It seems to tramline quite a bit, and I don't feel like I know which direction it wants to go in, it's not like it's pulling to one side in particular it seems to go one way, then the other!!

Sorry, that's not particularly descriptive!

I can't find any play in any bushes, and it's not done many miles since the last MOT.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Saltire » Sun 12.06.2016, 07:55

In this thread, Artaban talks about his experiences with wheel alignment on the M100. The Hunter Hawkeye kit to which he refers is used by F1 Autocentres, as well as Miles Tyres at Thornbury, just North of Bristol. The Hunter site gives details of other centres across the country.

Hope this helps.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Sun 12.06.2016, 08:22

Brilliant, thanks :-)

Looks like there's quite a few places that do it reasonably local, I just need to find some time to get it to one of them!!
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Rambo » Sun 12.06.2016, 10:38

Bern wrote:I've played around with the tyre pressures a bit, didn't seem to make much difference. But I'll give that another go.

It seems to tramline quite a bit, and I don't feel like I know which direction it wants to go in, it's not like it's pulling to one side in particular it seems to go one way, then the other!!

Sorry, that's not particularly descriptive!

I can't find any play in any bushes, and it's not done many miles since the last MOT.


So what tyre pressures are you running on ? The OH recommends 26.5 psi (1.8 bar) all round for the SE/turbo

And what tyres do you have on it ? Are they a premium brand or cheapo rubber ?
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Sun 12.06.2016, 11:24

It was on 1.8 when I got it, I've since put it up 2 bar, but perhaps I'll put it back to 1.8 to see if there's any difference.

It's on Michelin Pilots all round.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Rambo » Sun 12.06.2016, 13:29

2bar isn't excessive. It's only 29 psi. However, that's about 10% higher than the Lotus recommendation. Try 26.5 psi/1.8 bar and see how you get on

I had Michelin Pilot Exaltos on my old Collapso Red SE and never had many problems. I experienced tramlining a few times but usually if the tarmac was rough and in bad repair

Hope this helps ?
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Giniw » Sun 12.06.2016, 13:45

If I am not wrong Lotus recommended 1.8 bar with the original MXX2, then said 2 bar with the MXX3 (or whatever tyres they recommended as a replacement, I am not sure either :) ).
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby lotusflasherman » Sun 12.06.2016, 14:06

Giniw wrote:If I am not wrong Lotus recommended 1.8 bar with the original MXX2, then said 2 bar with the MXX3 (or whatever tyres they recommended as a replacement, I am not sure either :) ).


I think you are wrong. I've got a note from Technical Services at Hethel dated Oct 98 that said MXX3 Pilot SX ZR15 was recommended replacement for discontinued MXX-2 and pressure was 27 psi. No reference to those silly 'bar' things... :lol:

I always use psi as bar to 0.1 is a bit vague being approx 1.5 psi and bar to 0.01 is too difficult to remember. :lol: In theory 1.70 bar is 24.6 psi, 1.80 is 26.1 and 1.90 is 27.6. As mentioned, 2.00 bar is 29.0 psi.
Don't think what pressure you choose to run at is actually that critical (how accurate is the gauge anyway ?) but I think having all the tyres set accurately to the same pressure ensures predictable performance.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby lotusflasherman » Sun 12.06.2016, 14:34

Bern wrote:I've played around with the tyre pressures a bit, didn't seem to make much difference. But I'll give that another go.

It seems to tramline quite a bit, and I don't feel like I know which direction it wants to go in, it's not like it's pulling to one side in particular it seems to go one way, then the other!!

Sorry, that's not particularly descriptive!

I can't find any play in any bushes, and it's not done many miles since the last MOT.


That sounds like too much 'toe out '.. as weight transfers from one wheel to another it's moving from one steering a bit left, to one steering a bit right. Too much 'toe in' gives a stable ride but scrubs tyres out. Factory setting should be 0° (wheels parallel) with a tolerance to 1/4° toe out. That's easy to correct by track rod adjustment but may be worth checking castor and camber first.

If a previous owner has stripped the front suspension he may have 'shuffled the shims' about without realising how important they are. Castor is set using shims each side of the top ball joint to move it backwards or forwards and Camber is set using plates on the inner socket bolts to move the top ball joint in or out. Mix those up and your angles will be wrong. The rear suspension is adjustable for camber and toe in too so if that's wrong you may be suffering some 'rear wheel steering' effects.

Good idea to have the geometry properly checked if it's not behaving itself. What you spend on that you may save by not spending so much on tyres and fuel in the future ...
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Sun 12.06.2016, 18:36

Thanks all,

For my own peace of mind I'll get all the geometry checked, and then play around with the tyre pressures. I'll let you know how it goes, though I may not get a chance to do it for a few weeks!

Cheers,

Bern.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Rambo » Sun 12.06.2016, 21:07

lotusflasherman wrote:If a previous owner has stripped the front suspension he may have 'shuffled the shims' about without realising how important they are. Castor is set using shims each side of the top ball joint to move it backwards or forwards and Camber is set using plates on the inner socket bolts to move the top ball joint in or out. Mix those up and your angles will be wrong. The rear suspension is adjustable for camber and toe in too so if that's wrong you may be suffering some 'rear wheel steering' effects.

Good idea to have the geometry properly checked if it's not behaving itself. What you spend on that you may save by not spending so much on tyres and fuel in the future ...


Definitely worth checking the shims and alignment like Phil mentions :wink:
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby dapinky » Mon 13.06.2016, 18:01

Before you go any further, it is worth starting at 'Factory' settings.

The tyre pressures are an easy 'sort' and a good starting point (and costs nowt)

Then check that the ride height is correct (with non-adjustable height shocks it is more a case of ensuring that they are not worn out) and that left/right are equal.

Only then is it worth getting the rest set up.

Depending where you go for the set-up, it may be worth doing some preparatory work yourself - if they charge by the hour and some nuts/bolts are seized it could get quite dear, but if all move smoothly then it is a quick job (well, quickish).

In particular, ensure that the bolts which affect camber/castor (passing through the top balljoint) are free to move - they quite often seize in the balljoint housing, needing a new balljoint and bolts.

At the rear, check that the top arm bolts turn (they are a 'cam' bolt on the earlier cars, and a threaded rod adjustment on the S2 or retrofit to the SE, and the lower wishbone cam bolt turns (rear toe-in adjustment).

It's only worth doing the setup if it can ALL be done at the same time.
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Mon 13.06.2016, 20:04

Cheers chaps.

Yes, I was thinking earlier that I should clean all the nuts and bolts, and maybe apply a little penetrating oil.

I'll try putting the tyre pressures back to standard, and check the height.

It'll be at least another 2 weeks before I can even think about getting it all checked. And I'll have to decide where to take it, I'd be happier about having somebody who knows the cars do it, or at least used to this kind of thing, rather than somebody that normally puts fast road settings on Corsas.....
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Giniw » Mon 13.06.2016, 20:57

lotusflasherman wrote:
Giniw wrote:If I am not wrong Lotus recommended 1.8 bar with the original MXX2, then said 2 bar with the MXX3 (or whatever tyres they recommended as a replacement, I am not sure either :) ).

I think you are wrong. I've got a note from Technical Services at Hethel dated Oct 98 that said MXX3 Pilot SX ZR15 was recommended replacement for discontinued MXX-2 and pressure was 27 psi. No reference to those silly 'bar' things... :lol:

http://wikilec.com/view/Tyres_-_approved_type_and_pressures
To the right is a copy of Service Bulletin 1996/01, indicating the Lotus approved replacement tyres and recommended pressures for the M100. For the pressures indicated in the bulletin:
(SE Michelin MXX-2205/50 ZR15 : 1.8 bar = 26 psi)
SE Michelin MXX-3 Pilot SX 205/50 ZR15 : 2.0 bar = 29 psi

I don't know what to think, then! (but that quote is from 96 so yours may be more accurate?)
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Bern » Wed 29.06.2016, 15:59

I put the tyre pressures to 26psi (it was one of those where you dial in the pressure, but it only does whole values so couldn't do the .5).

That did make quite a difference, and today I had the 4 wheel geometry check done at Formula 1 in Bristol and that improved it further. The rear was within tolerance, the front needed adjusting. And it only cost £36!

It's raining so I've not really had a good trial, but it's definitely better :-)
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby Rambo » Wed 29.06.2016, 22:14

Result then :clap:

I've never strayed far from 26 or 27 psi (1.8 bar) and never experienced anything other than good handling :burnout:
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 30.06.2016, 16:12

Bern wrote:I put the tyre pressures to 26psi (it was one of those where you dial in the pressure, but it only does whole values so couldn't do the .5).

That did make quite a difference, and today I had the 4 wheel geometry check done at Formula 1 in Bristol and that improved it further. The rear was within tolerance, the front needed adjusting. And it only cost £36!

It's raining so I've not really had a good trial, but it's definitely better :-)


I'd be interested to know what adjustments they made to the front ...
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Re: 4 wheel alignment Somerset/Bristol

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 30.06.2016, 16:24

Rambo wrote:Result then :clap:
I've never strayed far from 26 or 27 psi (1.8 bar) and never experienced anything other than good handling :burnout:


:agree: Think it's important to have them all the same for balance and be close to something like that. I use something similar but tyre pressure isn't an 'exact science' anyway, far too many variables!

Atmospheric Pressure : Standard Pressure is 101325 pascals [14.696 psi] which is the Standard Atmospheric Pressure at sea level due to the weight of the atmosphere immediately above that area. Problem is atmospheric pressure keeps changing and looking at the UK weather for the next few days we are currently in a bit of a Low at 994 hectopascals, (don't know why weathermen use hpa but they do - it's also known as 'millibars') but AP is rising and Sunday should be 1015 hpa . In plain English that means 14.41 psi rising to 14.72 psi. Storms the Met Office put names to are 'Lows' around 960 hpa (13.92 psi) but the eye of a hurricane can be down to 870 hpa (12.62 psi). Hot weather 'Highs' can be around 1028 hpa [14.9 psi].
So we pump our tyres up to 27 psi above atmospheric pressure today but we get some decent weather and they'll be showing 26.5 psi . :banghead: Solution - drive up a mountain to altitude where AP is less and they'll be back to 27 psi ... :lol:

Temperature at which you check them... figures in handbook are for cold tyres (driven less than 1 mile) and it makes the comment that it's usual for warm tyres to increase by 0.3 - 0.5 bar (4 to 8 psi). I've checked 'hot tyres' after a 'spirited drive' and found fronts can be 15 psi up and rears 10 psi.

What you check them with ... accuracy of some forecourt gauges can leave a lot to be desired. I have a mains pump with an analogue gauge that indicates about 5psi higher when pumping than the pressure displayed when it's switched off so I go high and use a digital gauge to come down to what I want. I do the same with forecourt pumps - don't know how accurate my digital gauge is but at least it's consistent.

Tyres that are actually fitted. The NA had MXV-2 tyres with a recommended pressure of 2.2 bar [32 psi]. The NA was marginally lighter (98%) than the SE with less power (78%) but basic handling characteristics quite similar. I reckon the 32 psi for MXV-2 VR15 and 26.5 psi for MXX-2 ZR15 was probably due to the SE working the tyres to a higher running temperature than the NA but that's only a hunch on my part... but if you are not driving with turbo on full boost is it really that different to an NA? Probably only John Miles can answer that... :lol:

Also interesting that more mundane saloons can have very different tyre pressures for unladen and fully laden, particularly on the rear tyres, but you never see a minicab driver let air out when he's just dropped off his clients. :lol:
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