Author Topic: Getting There...  (Read 2298 times)

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Offline LeftAngle

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #15 on: Saturday,September 10, 2016, 12:07:39 PM »
Everything on both the front and rear is loose, so much so, that a number of nuts haven't been threaded onto the bolts yet.  The car hasn't been driven yet, but it has made several trips back and forth between garages in the compound with no chang.  I have 2 pictures. The first is the car just before the body was removed (The tape shows where the rear fender line will be).  The perches are about 3/8 up from the bottom all around.  A line drawn between the centers of the knock-offs (I hate fakes, but haven't been able to find the correct parts, including wheels to convert it... Yet :) will run directly in line with the lower crack of the door.

I reversed the second picture so they're facing the same way.  What you're looking at is actually the driver's door.  A line between the same points is somewhat lower down.  1.5" to be more specific.  A line between the top of the tires will also show  the body.  I'll not be cutting the springs until I've explored all possible reasons.  There has to be a reason... Just haven't found it yet.

The chassis is sitting higher now, and the rear axel is pretty much horizontal to the ground.  The way I had it set up, there was some sag at the center (1.5").  While not correct, it looks better than stock.  Bottoming out the perches wouldn't be enough, but the wheels and tires still need to centered in the openings correctly.  I can't come up with any other reason for the discrepancy. I know the old fuel tanks were heavy, but they wouldn't be that much heavier. 

Thank you all for the feedback.

btw Brian. That isn't paint.  It's gelcoat.  Having people (kids) with belt buckles leaning over the car would be a disaster for paint.  This way, a bit of clear coat and I'm back in business again.
« Last Edit: Saturday,September 10, 2016, 08:43:13 PM by LeftAngle »
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Offline BDA

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #16 on: Saturday,September 10, 2016, 02:12:16 PM »
You weren't kidding, were you!

Is the body bolted to the frame? Do the holes behind the seats and the holes in the frame line up?
Could something have gotten stuck between them? (E.g. Too much insulation, a wrench or a socket, a brake line?  :) )
Are the rear springs in coil bind?
I believe you said that nothing in the suspension has changed. I assume this includes springs. I assume your shocks still work. Is there any binding in your suspension? Is the body binding on anything such as your headers? Since you said the half shafts were angled up from the trany but are now parallel to the ground, I suspect something with the suspension is the cause. What happens when somebody stands on the cross member?

Mom always said after looking for something in all the places it could be, if you haven't found it, start looking in places it couldn't be.

I would not cut your springs. As a last resort, I would buy shorter springs.

Good luck! Let us know what it is.

Offline LeftAngle

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #17 on: Saturday,September 10, 2016, 08:40:24 PM »
LOL. I've had the body on and off 3 or 4 times, plus the rear lifted several times after.  One electrical wire was all I ever found between the fiberglass and frame.  I like Your mom's saying. I haven't stood on the crossbar.. I don't think I could get up there without breaking my neck, but you and your mom started me thinking:

The shocks are more likely than not to be set as they came out of the box.  And that would most likely be at their highest setting.  They went on the car when it was all together and sitting as it should.

After the body had been removed, the suspension was taken apart, beautified and put back together again.   The shocks' settings wouldn't have changed, but now the frame would be sitting high, without the weight of the body.  When the body was lowered, it was done so gently one corner at a time ( I did it myself with block & tackle and my special rack... See photo)... All 4 times, plus raising the ends.  Nice and slow.  Maybe the Pistons just need a push to get them started.  Lowering the setting might be enough to get them to relax.

I'll go down tomorrow and fiddle with the settings and -see what happens.
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Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #18 on: Saturday,September 10, 2016, 10:53:53 PM »
Wow, if that finish is self-colour gelcoat then I'm VERY impressed with your glasswork.

Back on the body height thing, it's got to be something simple like the body not sitting down right.

I don't have numbers for the S2 on my suspension spreadsheet but one rule of thumb I read was that normally your car should move 1/4" or less when you get in. If you think of your bodyweight only moving the car 1/4" then to get 1.5" higher you've got to take out a lot of weight ? 

The front springs on the previous page look custom, by any chance are they higher rates than OEM Lotus ?

Brian

Offline Keith A

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #19 on: Monday,September 12, 2016, 05:52:57 PM »
Awesome looking, agree with everyone about chopping springs. I had a similar problem, jacked it up off the chassis to discover the backbone insulation had been wrapped over the rear cabin angular struts, it effectively tipped the cabin up and forward. That coupled with a new plate welded to the front cross chassis member during the previous re-build at 180 degs lifted everything about 1.5 inches, just a thought, keep those pics coming. Keith

Offline LeftAngle

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 03:02:57 PM »
It looks like I'll still be searching for the reason.  I've reduced the stiffness of the front shocks as far as they go, bounced on the fenders with the body guru (about 350#. give or take) and no joy.   I left the rear shocks be for the moment because the high stance helps him work.   If reducing the front shock stiffness didn't do anything, the it seems it wouldn't help the rear anyway.

Those are new springs up front and I'll assume they're the same rate, since they were on before the body was removed and it was sitting proper then.

At first, I also thought the body had hung up, but it's sitting directly on the frame in the back and parallel with it along the tunnel (the linkage into the cabin is also properly aligned as isn't the master brake cylinder up front.

The only items I haven't pulled and replaced multiple times are the bushings.  All suspension bolts are loose and jumping up and down on the fenders should have been enough to break anything free.  I bottomed the perches out which gave me .1875 to .25 in the right direction, but nowhere near where it needs to go.

I'm stumped.  Can anyone think of a way that a greasy, but relatively healthy suspension. Front & rear could do this after being taken apart, cleaned up and replaced?

My ability to put things back together wrong is normally the reason I become the poster child for this type of mystery, so if I've done something stupid, in an extremely balanced way, it's not beyond my capability.

What will normally happen is, in this order; I cut the springs, I learn the true reason for the issue, and I have to replace or buy new springs to get back to zero.  This is my normal mode of operand, so I'm used to doing things this way and it's not a big disaster from my perspective, but it sure is a pita.

btw, here's a pic as of last night.  Shame to destroy all the previous work, but as I say, it's my way of doing things :)
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Offline Rosco5000

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 03:08:49 PM »
I don't know if it has been mentioned before but can't the lower suspension arms get installed upsided down to raise the front of the car.  That is essentially what Chapman did with the first Twin Cams.  Have you checked that they are the right way around?  Not sure if you can have that flip happen on S2 suspension but it might be worth looking at. This seems to be a real mystery.  Good Luck.
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Offline BDA

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 07:27:27 PM »
I am the champion of doing stupid stuff. If somebody is going to leave the workshop manual on the backbone and try to install the body on top of it, that would be me!

First, softening the shocks won't do anything while it's standing still. The springs are what hold the car up. Rosco mentioned that maybe the lower front A-arms are upside down. I would think this would be pretty obvious but in case there is any question, they should be installed so that the bend up at the outside end. Even if you had done that, it probably wouldn't affect the rear.

Since you say you didn't change any of the springs, we can assume that stiffer or longer springs are not the cause. It would be a good idea to find out what spring rates you have anyway. Usually, the rates are engraved or painted on the end of the spring. An earlier picture showed the rear springs without the body on to be near coil bind (the coils touch each other so it no longer acts as a spring). A quick look should satisfy you that they are or are not in that situation. If they are, that is an extremely bad situation and you need new springs. I don't think that's likely since you said you didn't change anything but remember what my mom said...

You say that the body is flat against the frame but you should confirm that by looking at the holes on the inside of where the seats go. The body is bolted to a flange that is welded to the backbone. Those holes should line up and be read to accept bolts. I think that's what interests me the most now. If the body is not seated for whatever reason (i.e. you left your 1/2" ratchet between the body) I would think it would show there. There are also two body to frame attachment points (bolt holes) in the front through the front trunk into the frame near the top of the shocks and two near the end of both sides of the rear of the frame. The body should be in intimate contact at those points as well if you're truly ready to put attach the body. If front and rear two frame attachment points are in intimate contact with the  body, and everything else is ok (springs, front lower A-arms, rear springs), I'm at a total loss and maybe someone else will have an idea. Maybe inspecting those things will help us uncover something else.

Offline HealeyBN7

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #23 on: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 08:44:57 PM »
I second the idea to take another look at the springs.  The yellow rear springs seem to have far more coils then I have seen before. 

Although it is hard to see, it looks like the front lower a-arms are correct but the front springs have only a few coils.

My guess is the springs are not suited for the desired ride height, assumimg your cat wasn't napping on the chassis before you set it down... 

You can account for your animals and small children, right?

Can you post a few photos of the assembled front suspension?

Dean
« Last Edit: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 08:46:30 PM by HealeyBN7 »

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #24 on: Tuesday,September 13, 2016, 11:03:05 PM »
Ok, I'm stumped on this one so let's break it down. Either the body isn't sitting right on the chassis or the chassis is sitting high because either the springs are wrong/it hasn't got enough weight on it yet.

Starting from the last one, how much is left to go on the car, is it just seats and interior trim ?   You'd expect those to drop the car a touch, maybe half an inch overall, so perhaps that's not the main problem here ?

Suspension next. As the springs are the same ones as before when it was sitting correctly, I'd rule them out for now. Likewise your suspension building skills, if the bolts are loose it should settle down on it's own.   The front lower arms being upside down is a good one, but there's nothing I can think of at the rear that would give similar effect, so maybe not ?

Dampers could be "stuck" in fully extended mode I suppose, but if they move even a fraction with some weight on them then they're unlikely to be the problem at all 4 corners.

So we're back to body/chassis fit or something we haven't thought of yet which is keeping the chassis itself too high.

Let's rule out the latter. If you can grovel underneath the car (you're a Lotus owner, you'll soon get used to grovelling  :)  ) and measure the heights from the ground at A,B & C on this sketch, it'll give us an idea on the chassis ride height. For comparison, mt TC is;

A  22cm
B 15.25cm
C  15cm

Your S2 might be lower, but that's a reasonable starting point.  If you're anywhere close to those numbers then it's not suspension or weight because the chassis ride height is ok.  So I'd be looking again at the body/chassis fit and specifically at the areas BDA has suggested.

Brian






Offline LeftAngle

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #25 on: Wednesday,September 14, 2016, 02:08:36 AM »
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.  Unfortunately, I'll be stuck at home until Wedesday, next week when I have to get to the shop to take the trash out (both of my masters insist that happens:).  I'll take photos of the suspension as best I can.  The comments about the rear spring puzzle me.  Both front & rear springs that came with the car had coils similar to those at the rear.  I thought chrome springs would look better, so I ordered a set of fronts from Ray.  They arrived with far fewer coils than the originals.  When I got to the rear suspension, I went to order chrome springs for those as well, but was told they weren't offered in chrome.  I contemplated switching the fronts back, but the realization that those aren't as visible as the rears, and being naturally lazy, I cleaned and painted the rears and left the chromed ones up front. 

Chances are better than not, I'll have the originals powder coated and scrap the chromed ones.

If the original springs aren't stock, it'll be something the PO had done.  When I get the opportunity, I'll calculate the spring rates (I remember doing that at some point, but those notes would be long gone).

As far as weight goes, the early pictures of the "completed" car I published here are without seats, headers, harness, front and rear decks, or carburetors, may be why the comparison picture I published is higher in the rear than it is now.   The Else intake header, carburetors and new, but lighter exhaust header are back in.

However, a ton of dirt & grease (figurative), all of the (crud filled & heavy) steel pipes have been replaced with aluminum, as has the radiator.  All the original lights and their mounts have been removed and replaced with lighter, smaller stuff, the firewall replaced and a major chunk of the body's fiberglass replaced with lighter, thinner, stronger material (but additional carbon fiber, radiator exhaust fiberglass and an additional laminated glass window have been added back in).  The original wiring harness has also been switched out, but I doubt the the new one is much lighter.  What is lighter are the aluminum fuel tanks.  I had coated the original steel ones to slow down corrosion and that alone seemed to double their weight. 

I never would have thought I'd taken that much weight out of the car, but maybe I have.  If I can scare up 4 scales, I'll weigh it.  I'm still tending toward cutting, as I'd like the perches to be somewhat centered of the shock's threads.  But that's down the road.   My fiberglass guru is forming the new fenders and those are adding a lot of weight.  If they drop the body appreciably, I'll have him not make molds or cut the body away, but leave the additional material in place.  Not necessarily good practice and the opposite of Chapman's philosophy, but a possible solution I guess.

I should be frustrated, I suppose.  But I'm having such a joyful time working on this thing, it's only a part of the fun.   Is my wife correct?  Is there something wrong with me?
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Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #26 on: Wednesday,September 14, 2016, 08:58:07 AM »
Is my wife correct?  Is there something wrong with me?

Well my wife would certainly agree with her,  Helen is always rolling her eyes whenever I announce that "I just need to pop down for a little job on the Lotus".....

Offline LeftAngle

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #27 on: Wednesday,September 14, 2016, 12:01:16 PM »
Took out the trash in the pouring rain.  Tomorrow, I go into town to bring it in... Sunday, I have the same job, but I only have to get to the end of the driveway:)

I took photos that were asked for, if anyone is still interested in this thread and my troubles... The first is of one of the original front springs.  Painted yellow.  When their put back, I'll have as many of the the smaller items like springs powder coated as is practical.  The 2'nd & 3'rd are of the rear.  Forgive the dust covering the cf.

The last is the front.  While I was under there, I noticed the anti-roll bar and began to wonder if that could have anything to do with it?  At least at the front.
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Offline BDA

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #28 on: Wednesday,September 14, 2016, 12:39:53 PM »
The anti roll bar should have no effect on the ride height. The only way it could is if it were seized in the bushings in the drop links which is more than highly unlikely!

Your front springs look MUCH stiffer than your rears. That is as it should be but I suspect that your rear springs not nearly stiff enough given your front springs. A popular spring setup is 250# in the front and 140# in the rear. All that is beside the point concerning your ride height issue since you said that you haven't changed he springs between the picture of the desired ride height and current situation where the ride height is 1.5" too high (did I understand that correctly?).

Your front lower A-arms are installed correctly - which is no surprise.

Unfortunately, I have nothing else to add about your situation.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Getting There...
« Reply #29 on: Wednesday,September 14, 2016, 01:37:38 PM »
I'm with BDA, your front springs look as if they're either high rate or you've lost a lot of weight off the front end.

Now my car is a TC so weighs more than yours and I think the inboard front wishbone mounts are higher than yours so we aren't exactly comparable. But if you look at this photo, my car has the inboard mount roughly in horizontal with the brass trunnion bolt, and that's with 250lb front springs. That gives the 15cm front ride height I mentioned previously.

Having seen the close up now I'm puzzled as to why it sits like that now, when your earlier shots show the ride heights somewhere about right.  Are the dampers new, and if so does the lower spring platform line up with the OEM ones ?