Caster shims...sigh...wtf? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Caster shims...sigh...wtf?

Iím having an extremely hard time getting the front caster shims back in. I spent 6 hours yesterday and I couldnít even finish one corner of the car before my back started to kick in. How on Earth did you guys get those shims back in? Surprisingly, I donít have any issues with the rear smaller shims but itís the front larger ones that is giving me problems. I could get all larger shims in on the back side of the bearing, but that no longer leaves anymore space for the front shims. Is it possible to use a slightly smaller washer at the hardware store or does the fit have to be exact? Also, what is the purpose of the rubber piece? It doesnít seem to contact anything. This is for an Exige btw.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 10:01 AM
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This is what I did and its most likely the wrong thing to do.

I used some big nuts and bolts and expanded the opening a bit, kind of like a reverse vice, then I scraped the rubber off that one washer. I glued the stack together and it gave me just enough room with some patience.

Now with that said it most likely is not the correct thing to do and I'm sure other people will differ with me. I am a bit unorthodox with the way I do things from time to time but have had no problems with the front suspension.

WHat to do is your decision!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 10:08 AM
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The general practice is to buy new, larger washers and replace the smaller ones. They are 1.5mm thick, or about 0.060". Fender washers vary greatly in thickness so I took my caliper to the hardware store and bought the ones that measured the right thickness. I also replaced the rubber coated washer with one of the standard fender washers. The rubber isolator is supposed to reduce noise on impacts, but all the aftermarket bushing suppliers say to replace it.

On how to do it, I found that it was a little easier if I used a little superglue and glued all the washers together and then wedged them into place. Grease them up really well, all over. I also used a long, tapered punch to align the washers once I got them far enough that part of the hole of the washer could be caught through the hole in the suspension support. It's a pain and has taken me at least an hour to do both sides the two times I've done it.

Here's the writeup that I did of the job:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f91/...-elise-168937/

If I have to do it again, I'll make a tool that is just a block with a u-shaped cut-out in it that can saddle the washers and be easily tapped into place. There will have to be one tool for each different washer count.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 10:09 AM
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I got larger washers for the rear and with the help of a friend slid everything in (washers and control arms) in as a package. It took a few tries to get the stack up in the rear right. The outer most washers on the front bushing went in on an angle to start so that they acted almost like ramps for the rest of the assembly. This probably also helped spread the aluminum mounts apart just enough for everything to slide in.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Do you guys think that it will create problems if I cut off a section of the washer from the middle hole where the bolt goes through to the edge? That way I can just slide them over the bolt with the wishbone and the bolt already in place?

Also can it be done with say the rears completely in and then do the fronts or do you have to do both rears and fronts at the same time?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 12:37 PM
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Don't do that. Gut instinct says it needs to rotate.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Don't do that. Gut instinct says it needs to rotate.


Ok scrap that idea. I guess I'll give it another shot next weekend with the advice in this thread.

I'll be scraping the rubber off the washer as well since it was a pain in the butt to get it back on with that piece there.

At this rate, I'll probably finish all 4 corners in 2 months LOL.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:06 PM
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Lots of turrettes.

Using a screwdriver or tapered bolt end to weasel its way into the hole helps. You need to preguide it. I got the firewall end in, and then started the stack at the far end, with the last one tapped in with a small hammer while applying pressure to the bolt.
I also took a file to chamfer the edges of the washer on the side away from the hammer.

Looking at what people charge to do that for you I thought, "f that". Afterwards I thought, "That would have been a good deal".
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 03:18 PM
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Sorry Fellas, the Rubber part of the snubber washer is not used with these bushings. You can either remove the rubber or use a similar thickness washer in replacement of it.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Fred so then I assume that I can just scrap it off? Also I'm replacing them with bearings instead of bushings.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:42 AM
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Caster washers

A bump on an older thread.

I noticed that all four of my caster washers are on one side. Is that bad? Shouldn't there be at least one on each side? I know the steel sleeve in the middle of the bushing needs to be clamped in place so that it does not move. Does there need to be at least one washer on both sides of the bushing for that to happen? Or does the frame support itself serve that purpose?

I measured my caster and should move one washer to the front anyway, but I am dreading the job so in no rush to do it. I picked up a set of roll off levelers from Trakkrats and leveled those with a water level and carpenter's level and finally did manage to measure and adjust (I think correctly) my ride height (Penske coilovers with adjustable spring perch), camber and toe (Phil's string method for toe), so have the general confidence now to try the caster. But I need a breather first! And i'd like to install the Section 111 shifter and cables that have been sitting i n my basement for two years.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:47 AM
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And does anyone know what that goop on top of the frame support is?

1974 Europa Twin Cam (gone but not forgotten)
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35 years of restraint (including an Odyssey with 13 cupholders)
2005 Elise (magnetic blue), starshield, chin guards, Penske nonajustable shocks (BWR), Mishimoto sandwich plate, AEM oil temp and pressure gauges, third brake light flasher, Larini Group B silencer, Sector 111 DSBrace
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 06:50 AM
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There doesn't need to be any washers on any one side. They're all there for caster adjustment. I'd replace the little washers with larger fendors, it does make the job a little easier, especially if you only have one washer thickness to work with.

The goop looks like a poor job of attaching the windshield support/shroud to the chassis. Doesn't look like the job that the factory did, at least not in the pictures I've seen or on my own. The color also looks a little different from what I've seen. Has your car been reworked in that area or rebuilt?

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:56 AM
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Thanks very much. Your car looks spotless!

I got the car at 6,995 miles, so don't know all the history. Had a clean CarFax report for whatever that is worth. I don't see any evidence of damage anywhere. I looked very hard as when I adjusted my Penskes, the best I could do on the ride height was 134mm each side rear, 128mm driver's front and 131mm passenger front, which makes me think the tub must be slightly twisted.

Did Lotus use the small washers as a means of deterring DIYers?

You had a tax issue at one point, yes? All resolved?

1974 Europa Twin Cam (gone but not forgotten)
1971 Europa S2 (owned but two months; flipped to raise funds to fill gap in college tuition)
35 years of restraint (including an Odyssey with 13 cupholders)
2005 Elise (magnetic blue), starshield, chin guards, Penske nonajustable shocks (BWR), Mishimoto sandwich plate, AEM oil temp and pressure gauges, third brake light flasher, Larini Group B silencer, Sector 111 DSBrace
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks very much. Your car looks spotless!

I got the car at 6,995 miles, so don't know all the history. Had a clean CarFax report for whatever that is worth. I don't see any evidence of damage anywhere. I looked very hard as when I adjusted my Penskes, the best I could do on the ride height was 134mm each side rear, 128mm driver's front and 131mm passenger front, which makes me think the tub must be slightly twisted.

Did Lotus use the small washers as a means of deterring DIYers?

You had a tax issue at one point, yes? All resolved?
The pic isn't my car, but mine is pretty clean .

The glue in your pic may look different just because of the picture or something.

Smaller washers = lower weight! Seriously, they probably have a tool that does the install so it doesn't matter to them what size the washer is.

Tax issue? Not me..
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:20 PM
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Think all of my small washers were on one side as well. Not sure what all the fuss is with them, had no issue getting them all back in. The bigger washers I picked up were not the same thickness and could not mix and match easy enough to get the same thickness so I just put the small ones back in.
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