Geo advice please

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Geo advice please

Postby Mutley00 » Thu 10.05.2018, 10:29

Hi,

My car is booked in for a Geo set up, after Chris Foulds kindly informed me it was the worse handling M100 they have ever encountered!

The car has 17 inch wheels on, so will all the settings be the same?

Its a local garage doing the alignment and all the settings are in their computer as per Lotus Factory Spec.

Cheers, Andrew
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 10.05.2018, 11:23

Geo is the same. What width and what offset (ET number) are the wheels?

Offset affects the scrub radius. A lot of older cars had positive scrub radius but flat tyre or one brake circuit failure or ABS operating would pull on steering so all changed to negative scrub radius as ABS became standard as it was more stable.
Elan has -3mm, but it doesn't have ABS so can go positive as long as driver knows a flat or brake failure will need some corrective action. Never end up with zero scrub radius or it will suffer 'squirm' ..
Wikipedia : "Squirm occurs when the scrub radius is at zero. When the pivot point is in the exact center of the tire footprint, this causes scrubbing action in opposite directions when the wheels are turned. Tire wear and some instability in corners is the result."
wiki/Scrub_radius

Mine runs 17" ET42 BBS wheels and Hanger111 (a Lotus specialist) did my Geo check last year.

geo ls.jpg


Before you have Geo checked make sure the rear wheel bearings are correctly adjusted and put a dial gauge on the wheels and make sure they run true or the Geo check will be a waste of time...
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby dapinky » Thu 10.05.2018, 12:03

If the garage are offering a 'fixed fee' for the geo, it's worth checking what it will include.....

.... some of the adjustment bolts/fittings can get fairly siezed with age.

If they can't move the bolts, will you just get a report on current situation? Will they spend time trying to fix it? Will they expect you to go away and (maybe) come back when the bolts are adjustable?

Just ask, so you know where you stand - if they can't do a full job, then there is little point if the overall result isn't what it should be (although it may still be an improvement).

When I replaced my suspension (down to the last nut, bolt and washer!) I had to chop out a couple of stuck bolts as it was easier than waiting for plusgas to work and being replaced anyway with new ones.

Actually setting up all the positions was very straighforward with freely moving components, but if I had tried to do it with all the old stuff, it would have been a nightmare at best, or impossible at worst.

Maybe spend a while checking that all relevant nuts/bolts will turn before going in (there are quite a few, but it shouldn't take more than an hour to do on your drive).
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Bern » Thu 10.05.2018, 12:38

I think mine may have been in close competition for yours as worse handling M100!

I took mine to the local tyre place, and I specifically asked them to check the camber and caster as I had done a lot of work on the suspension.

All they adjusted was tracking front and rear, as that's all the computer told them to do. I didn't get a print out, forgot to ask.

I was still really unhappy with the handling, and it seemed unlikely that I had put it back together with the correct settings, so I bought a camber measuring tool so I could check it myself. (I got it cheaper on eBay I think.)

The caster was out on both front wheels, some of the adjuster shims were missing! I bought some more and got it correct!

The camber on one front wheel was fine, the other is still some way out, I need to work out which of the adjusters to order to get it right.

The rear camber was also way out, one side was positive!! I've adjusted that so it's correct and that's made a HUGE difference! I can't wait to get the front correctly adjusted, that will be the icing on the cake.

And like Dave, I had to cut some of the bolts out. Definitely a good idea to check that they do all come undone!
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Fredjohn » Thu 10.05.2018, 12:53

The 8 shims are easy to use as they are std sizes and the set up always uses 8 in front or behind the front upright.
HOWEVER, the other shims are I think unique to Lotus and your local garage will not stock them. They are fairly thick with a hole offset from centre by different amounts.

If like mine the maximum available offset is insufficient, then the mounting holes will need to be moved (redrill and weld up)! I had mine done at Paul Matty's and all work was included. The rear had also run out of adjustment and also required re-positioning of the holes.

Whilst the local garage/tyre place may well have the equipment to measure castor, camber tracking etc, they may not be able to carry out all the adjustments, as suggested above.
Good luck with it though.
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby dapinky » Thu 10.05.2018, 13:59

Bern wrote:The camber on one front wheel was fine, the other is still some way out, I need to work out which of the adjusters to order to get it right.


Bern,
I'm pretty sure that I've read somewhere how much difference each 1mm makes (but I'm blowed if I can find that info now!) - maybe I'm getting confused with the measurements given for each movement of Castor shim which changes things by half a degree each. I ended up making my own plates out of suitable thickness stainless steel plates - after cutting a few squares, and drilling holes I realised that my drilling isn't as accurate as my measuring, so made them oversized, then drilled the holes, then cut them down to accurate size with a grinder - that way it is possible to get an exact number as opposed to the closest that Lotus can supply (probably a little OCD, but it's what i ended up doing!) - Like you, I didn't want to buy 4 plates only to find that they were still wrong, and therefore cash wasted.

Andrew,
I saw that your garage has the info on their computer (and I'm sure that *someone* has been on the training course to actually use it), but here is a handy document to leave prominantly in the car for their reference (or just give them a copy). It is a collection of cuttings from the WSM and other Lotus publications which give everything needed to get it set up correctly. {The torque numbers in red are for Stainless Steel bolts, so unless you are changing yours, can be ignored for your job - and if you are using them, make sure they have the correct tensile strength - some can't be replicated in Stainless, and you have to use 10.9 or 12.9 allen headed bolts}

suspension settings.pdf


Also, when i did mine I didn't follow it exactly, as it says to set it up with a 75Kg weight in the drivers seat - which is okay if you are 75Kg I suppose, but the last time I saw that number on my bathroom scales was when weighing Angies suitcase for a holiday :lol: :lol: As such, i stuck 4 x 25Kg bags of sand in the car and then set up the rest of it.
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 10.05.2018, 17:10

I went to Hanger111 on a 'check only, I'll do the adjustments basis'. They charge £25 for a check and having mucked around setting up race Mini's I reckoned that was well worth it. They do it properly too, putting 75kg ballast in the drivers seat and checking the tank was half full, which it was. Never had this one to bits and everything is Waxoyled so reckoned getting things undone might take some time and preferred it to be my time, not theirs.

But the check revealed the tracking was a bit out so I asked them to do that and re-check it. Good job I did as the track rod end was 'solid'. They had to get the lock nut dull cherry red with a clip on electric induction set to get the thing to move. No idea how I'd have done that. Fighting the lock nut and a Geo re-check was another £25 but all in all good value.
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 10.05.2018, 17:35

Dave & Andrew,
pdf is good stuff for SE on 15" wheels but with respect, I'd suggest Andrew prints the Hanger111 sheet which is in degrees as he's on 17" rims. If you convert to mm you need to know the distance between measurement points which will be different for 15", 16" & 17" rims.
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 10.05.2018, 17:43

Fredjohn wrote:If like mine the maximum available offset is insufficient, then the mounting holes will need to be moved (redrill and weld up)! I had mine done at Paul Matty's and all work was included. The rear had also run out of adjustment and also required re-positioning of the holes.


:smt017 Seems drastic ! Had they replaced the inboard bushes and checked the raft mountings before doing that?
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby dapinky » Thu 10.05.2018, 18:30

Phil,

Good point about the measurement conversions for 15" wheels - when i did the maths I only did it for what I was doing on mine - forgetting (or, more accurately I suppose, ignoring) the fact that larger diameter metal would give different readings at the outer rim edge.

Thinking about it, if toe-out (or in) is given in degrees, I wonder what practical difference a change in wheel will have on driving.... presumably, the degrees will be the same as the overall circumference is so similar to be considered 'the same', but the 17" wheel rim edges will be further apart than 15" ones for the same angle.
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Fredjohn » Thu 10.05.2018, 18:53

lotusflasherman wrote:
Fredjohn wrote:If like mine the maximum available offset is insufficient, then the mounting holes will need to be moved (redrill and weld up)! I had mine done at Paul Matty's and all work was included. The rear had also run out of adjustment and also required re-positioning of the holes.


:smt017 Seems drastic ! Had they replaced the inboard bushes and checked the raft mountings before doing that?


Very good point Phil. Precisely what I asked.... after they'd done the set up.! :( Paul's reply was basically "you only asked for set-up".! Bit peed off as you can imagine, especially when arriving home I found a mole grip on the track rod end! It's mine now :D
At least the car feels great on the road though!
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Mutley00 » Thu 10.05.2018, 20:22

Thanks for all the advice chaps which has been taken on board.

Fouldsy pointed out that when my car (with wet tyres) was driven into his dry garage, only about 2/3rds of the OSR tyre tread left a wet print on the garage floor. Even with my untrained naked eye, I noticed that one of the 'collars' on the threaded turret that tensions the spring (the car has had adjustable AVO suspension installed) was at least 1" higher on the NSR than than the OSR!

I'll keep you posted!

Regards, Andrew
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Bern » Thu 10.05.2018, 21:12

dapinky wrote:
Bern,
I'm pretty sure that I've read somewhere how much difference each 1mm makes (but I'm blowed if I can find that info now!) - maybe I'm getting confused with the measurements given for each movement of Castor shim which changes things by half a degree each. I ended up making my own plates out of suitable thickness stainless steel plates - after cutting a few squares, and drilling holes I realised that my drilling isn't as accurate as my measuring, so made them oversized, then drilled the holes, then cut them down to accurate size with a grinder - that way it is possible to get an exact number as opposed to the closest that Lotus can supply (probably a little OCD, but it's what i ended up doing!) - Like you, I didn't want to buy 4 plates only to find that they were still wrong, and therefore cash wasted.



That's a very good point Dave, I had seen that info somewhere as well but now I can't find it either!! That is going to make it difficult!! I'm not sure I have the patience to make them!
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Bern » Thu 10.05.2018, 21:26

Found this in the manual:

"On later cars, camber adjustment plates are fitted between the guides at the top swivel joint inboard fixing. Four variations of plate provide seven settings according
to the orientation of the plates and allow for a camber adjustment range of about 3º in steps of just under 1/2º."
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Re: Geo advice please

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 10.05.2018, 22:03

Found this statement from a long time ago:
Maybe what you were looking for?

Maximum camber adjustment is 3 degrees in steps of 1/2 a degree

A100CO111= 7.0mm
A100C0110= 8.5mm
A100C0125= 9.5mm
A100C0109= 10.5mm
Reversed:
A100C0109= 10.5mm
A100C0125= 11.5mm
A100C0110= 12.5mm
A100CO111= 14.0mm

Be prepared to change the bolts as they corrode quite badly especially here in the uk

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Re: Geo advice please

Postby dapinky » Thu 10.05.2018, 22:07

That's the one - I knew it was somewhere!!!!!

So, if you measure camber with what you have, you should be able to work out how much it needs to move, and then measure what is fitted and discern what to buy....

Oh, and to be clear, i didn't want to make loads of stainless bits the wrong sizes, so i initially made a few from 3mm aluminium plate - just to see what it needed, then when I found the 'right' size, i copied it in Stainless.... far easier to work with Ally as a template.
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