Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

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Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Sun 22.10.2017, 17:00

Evening, All.

SW Lotus have Fed front shocks and springs at a good price, so I’ve bought a pair. According to my research, fitting these may raise the height at the front of the car. SWL, themselves, say as much (c.5mm), but are also confident it’s fine to fit them.

My questions are to do with how the ride height is achieved. Are the shocks longer? Are the springs longer? Can I get the correct setup by taking off the Fed springs and fitting my SE ones to the Fed shocks?

Many thanks for your thoughts,

Dom
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby John_W » Sun 22.10.2017, 21:25

I've been running federal shocks with my original SE springs for the last 9 years/30,000 miles, front and rear. They work fine. Much better than the old worn SE shocks that had done 60,000 miles, and cured the diving under braking and improved the general stability.

I've never measured the springs or the shocks, either before or after fitting them, but I seem to remember that the Fed springs were a bit longer, and were a higher spring rate to deal with the heavier front end, air con etc.. I still have the old SE shocks and unused Fed springs in the garage, so I suppose I could dig them out and measure things if you have the federal shocks to compare.

I'm happy with using new Fed shocks with the old SE springs (assuming the old springs aren't nackered).

John
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Sun 22.10.2017, 21:42

John, that’s very helpful and, I must admit, music to my ears. If my SE springs are still good, it sounds like I should be fine. I’ll measure the Fed shocks and let you know.

Where did you get rear shocks from? It might make sense to do the lot while I’m at it!

Thanks again,

Dom.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby John_W » Sun 22.10.2017, 21:47

SWLotus used to sell sets of federal shocks & springs at Donington in the days of the large Elan meets. I bought a full front & rear set for about £140 and kept them until needed.

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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Sun 22.10.2017, 21:58

I don’t think SW Lotus sell the rear Feds anymore. I might ring them tomorrow to see what they’ve got. I did find a company while searching around this forum that will make up the springs and, apparently, have the necessary information on file to do this:

http://www.coilsprings.co.uk

This could be useful if the springs are past it.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby clemo » Wed 25.10.2017, 08:04

Sj sports car have standard spring . I bought some a few months back .
Jim Clark S2 on the way . The one with the Yellow spoke wheels .
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Sleeka » Thu 26.10.2017, 05:18

Is SW Lotus mean south west lotus or Steve Williams Lotus as those are both options on my google search?

I'm guessing south west lotus as they have parts on the website but their email gets rejected when I try to send them a request. I used their online message form but haven't heard back. Can anyone confirm they are still in business? I need a set of shocks for the front of my fed Elan and they are hard to find.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Saltire » Thu 26.10.2017, 07:26

Check out the SW Lotus Facebook page - I believe they’ve been having problems with email (and of course a web contact form just generates an email to a predefined address). I believe James also posts on here occasionally.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Thu 26.10.2017, 12:00

Sleeka wrote:Is SW Lotus mean south west lotus or Steve Williams Lotus as those are both options on my google search?

I'm guessing south west lotus as they have parts on the website but their email gets rejected when I try to send them a request. I used their online message form but haven't heard back. Can anyone confirm they are still in business? I need a set of shocks for the front of my fed Elan and they are hard to find.


I got the Fed shocks from South West Lotus. They still had a fair few in stock.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Thu 24.05.2018, 18:03

Just to resurrect an old thread, the fed shocks and new SE springs are now on. The car doesn’t look like a boat and is more stable, both when braking and during general driving.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Giniw » Thu 24.05.2018, 18:16

Did you source FED rear shocks?
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 24.05.2018, 19:34

They are basically unobtanium. They went obsolete almost 10 years ago and Lotus didn't have a great amount of stock on hand, so they sold off quickly.

Do you need shocks or springs or both?
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Giniw » Thu 24.05.2018, 19:46

Apparently my rear set is rather asymmetrical so I will need to change the rear shocks one day. Not too much in a hurry, but that will need to be done.
And I can't imagine to change the rear axle only as the front is most probably the same age.
The springs may be all right, they are not rusty at all. That said when I measured the ride height a few years ago it was suspiciously low compared to the workshop manual figure, so either I misinterpreted it, or there is an error, or the car is actually really low. Which seems a bit unlikely when I compare to the official photos of the car when it was new. For now I am not sure of anything, just that the rear shocks were asymmetrical according to the MOT guy one year and a half ago.

Too bad Lotus hasn't conducted a second generation of springs and shocks like they did for the Esprit ... They could at least have a few of them remade to the same specs!
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 24.05.2018, 19:58

What do you mean by asymmetrical? A lot of shocks have valving designed to best handle the full "roll" of the body in real time.

Front assemblies are available (were last time I checked and still in their catalogue) from South West Lotus Centre.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Giniw » Thu 24.05.2018, 20:00

I mean that the right one doens't react the same way as the left one according to the MOT guy. So that means one is shot. Or both :-D
Yes I know the front axle is available but I would prefer to get the same at each corner, so ...
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 24.05.2018, 21:10

Sorry, I can't offer any suggestions. My concern is the FED shocks have the spring mounts in different locations than the RHS and ROW models, so getting FED shocks and using non-FED springs might not be the correct solution either.

The FED car is heavier at the front due to the "crash structure" and a different bumper. I don't remember the rear bumper for my RHS project being as heavy as the FED bumper either, so spring rates should be verified.

The FED car is also a bit higher from the ground than the other models to meet Federal requirements for headlamp position and height.

I remember MG/Triumph had to provide front spring shims to increase the headlamp height on US cars around 1973.
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Re: Fed Shocks with SE Springs?

Postby Dom » Thu 24.05.2018, 21:37

I haven’t tried to get Lotus rear shocks and springs for an SE, but I suspect they’re like hens’ teeth. It would be nice to do all four corners!
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