Need opinions/help: steering feeling very light - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Need opinions/help: steering feeling very light

The steering in my í05 Elise is feeling extremely light at speed, to the point where I now feel like itís dangerous in curves/corners (having trouble anticipating apexes). I can practically change lanes with one finger and frankly I hate it Ö I need much more tightness in the steering

The car was originally equipped with just the standard suspension and wheels. Iíve since made the following changes (everything else is stock):
  • LSS wheels
  • OEM Yokohama A048ís Ė F: 195/50R16, R: 225/45R17 (BRAND NEW, < 300 miles)
  • Nitron Street Series coilovers Ė settings at -15F, -17R
  • DSBrace rear toe links

The ride height is stock. Iíve also got the carís latest alignment report attached here. My mechanic pointed out that upon inspection, the car had no camber shims at all (likely removed by the previous owner or something) Ö so Iíve got six 1mm shims on order (3 front, 3 rear) to hopefully correct my camber issues.

Thatís pretty much it Ö the goal here is to get that nice, tight at-speed Elise steering back. Would simply setting the alignment specs back to stock be the answer? Any and all help would be super appreciated!
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'05 Elise, Racing Green - a.k.a. the other woman
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Holy BRG! View Post
The steering in my ’05 Elise is feeling extremely light at speed, to the point where I now feel like it’s dangerous in curves/corners (having trouble anticipating apexes). I can practically change lanes with one finger and frankly I hate it … I need much more tightness in the steering

The car was originally equipped with just the standard suspension and wheels. I’ve since made the following changes (everything else is stock):
  • LSS wheels
  • OEM Yokohama A048’s – F: 195/50R16, R: 225/45R17 (BRAND NEW, < 300 miles)
  • Nitron Street Series coilovers – settings at -15F, -17R
  • DSBrace rear toe links

The ride height is stock. I’ve also got the car’s latest alignment report attached here. My mechanic pointed out that upon inspection, the car had no camber shims at all (likely removed by the previous owner or something) … so I’ve got six 1mm shims on order (3 front, 3 rear) to hopefully correct my camber issues.

That’s pretty much it … the goal here is to get that nice, tight at-speed Elise steering back. Would simply setting the alignment specs back to stock be the answer? Any and all help would be super appreciated!
Camber shims were probably removed by PO who autocrossed it.

The factory dialed in a fair amount of understeer into the cars to protect anxious owners unfamiliar with snap oversteer common to mid engine cars. Removing the shims helped negate that a bit, a must for mildly serious autocross while still qualifying as 'stock.'

Are you saying your car doesn't respond precisely to inputs, and maybe wanders at speed? Or that it's TOO sensitive, hence your comment about changing lanes with one finger?

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Last edited by 4380r; 06-09-2019 at 04:28 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4380r View Post
Camber shims were probably removed by PO who autocrossed it.

The factory dialed in a fair amount of understeer into the cars to protect anxious owners unfamiliar with snap oversteer common to mid engine cars. Removing the shims helped negate that a bit, a must for mildly serious autocross while still qualifying as 'stock.'

Are you saying your car doesn't respond precisely to inputs, and maybe wanders at speed? Or that it's TOO sensitive, hence your comment about changing lanes with one finger?
I wouldn't say the car wanders at speed. But I've not touched even close to 100 mph recently out of fear of it doing this... it is way too sensitive at the moment.

The car began life as a standard spec, and was then given Sport Suspension-type upgrades at around ~10k miles (LSS wheels, Nitrons).

The upgrades I've done to it aren't extensive, but even so I doubt the over-light steering is a result.. but you never know.

'05 Elise, Racing Green - a.k.a. the other woman
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:22 PM
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What tire pressures are you running?

2005 Nightfall Blue Elise: Sport, Touring, Quantum Zeros, Pro Alloy, BWR De-Cat, Stage II, BOE Torque200 tune
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:35 PM
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What I noticed is that you do not have much toe compared to where it was before you started. When the toe gets close to straight up, the front will become "darty", especially as speed increases. If you want the car to push a little, toe in the front more otherwise toe out the front.

As far as the camber shims, leave them out. The car comes with way too little camber and you do not have that much anyway. Those that really want some performance push the camber to greater than 2.5 degs.

Also, the next time you have an alignment done, by factory spec, you are suppose to put weight in the drivers seat. This changes the ride height enough to change the alignment by adding 150-200 lbs in the driver's seat.

Later,
Eldon
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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What tire pressures are you running?
26F / 28R

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eldonz View Post
What I noticed is that you do not have much toe compared to where it was before you started. When the toe gets close to straight up, the front will become "darty", especially as speed increases. If you want the car to push a little, toe in the front more otherwise toe out the front.

As far as the camber shims, leave them out. The car comes with way too little camber and you do not have that much anyway. Those that really want some performance push the camber to greater than 2.5 degs.

Also, the next time you have an alignment done, by factory spec, you are suppose to put weight in the drivers seat. This changes the ride height enough to change the alignment by adding 150-200 lbs in the driver's seat.

Later,
Eldon
Bottom line is the car feels like it now has wishy-washy power steering. I'd love for the tight, need-to-use-my-biceps-type steering to come back. I'll take it back to the shop soon to see if we can get it corrected... but from your observation, what should the front and back toe be?

'05 Elise, Racing Green - a.k.a. the other woman
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy BRG! View Post
Bottom line is the car feels like it now has wishy-washy power steering. I'd love for the tight, need-to-use-my-biceps-type steering to come back. I'll take it back to the shop soon to see if we can get it corrected... but from your observation, what should the front and back toe be?
I track my car and want more of a performance drive than a tire life drive.

I unfortunately work in inches of toe and not degrees. You can convert it if you want.

For the rear, I would suggest about 1/32" to 1/16" of toe in. This will help with the throttle oversteer. Also, run around 2 deg negative camber in the rear. This will also help stabilize the rear under hard cornering. For track use, we run up around 3 deg.

For the front, I prefer toe out vs toe in. It helps with turning tight corners and not promoting understeer. I would shoot for around a 1/16". If that still feels to "darty", you could add a little more. The problem when you get too much toe out you will get a lag feeling when turning the wheel because you have to over come the toe out of the outside tire when turning. As far as camber, leave it alone.

Caster is what causes the "load" or "effort" feeling in a car. The more positive caster you have the more effort it takes to turn the wheel. Also, the more the steering will recenter itself. You do not want negative caster because that is what you find on a shopping cart or buggy (for you southerners) and causes the wheels to shake left and right.

Later,
Eldon
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 07:15 PM
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This ^^^^^^^!

What roll bar do you have?

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