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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Driver managed to get the car on the flatbed without scraping the clam, but didn’t have anything to tie around the wheels.. he just had these hooks he attached to the rear suspension..

think I’m good as long as there is no visible damage?

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Well I personally would not have them tie off on the suspension, but that's just me. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially for a long ride. Preferably use the tires as a tie down point, as they are used to the abuse and not as fragile as the suspension components. I would have your guy verify nothing was tweaked when they were torque that down. How did they hold the front, suspension as well?

Tie down the wheels, not the suspension
No, not the control arms. Use only the wheels.
Yes - tie down through the wheels.

ed
The best way to tie down a car is to use "tire nets" - they slip over the tires and pull down to the trailer holding the car in place. This is a good strap set to use in the Elise (because of the clearance), but you would have to add some extra tie-down rings: http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/scripts/prodList.asp?idcategory=24&curPage=3&sortField=sortorder

This thread has a discussion of tie downs: Elise Service Manual for $25 from LCU.
Ahh, I get to quote the owner's manual again!

From page 147 (2006):

"When moving a car by transporter or trailer, the car should be secured only by chocking and strapping around the road wheels. Attaching restraints around suspension linkages or chassis or body components may cause damage."

Hmm, I wonder what to do if your local towing company's flatbed doesn't have tie-downs in the proper place?

:confused:

Hey Tim, I like that first link! Cool!
NEVER tow your Elise!!!

It should only be flat bedded.

After my accident, mine was flat bedded using the front tow hook (included in your trunk kit) to pull the car up onto the truck bed. Take care that the nose doesn't hit when going up the sharp incline of the flat bed. My guy used a piece of wood to raise the front end before pulling it onto the bed.

DO NOT use suspension pieces as tie down points when the car is on the bed. Mine was secured by keeping the tow hook attached to the winch. Wheels were chocked front and back, at all 4 corners, and tie down straps were looped through the wheel spokes. No part of the suspension or drivetrain was tied down. Car emergency brake was also on. Left in neutral though.

Car traveled 30 miles like this. I was behind it the whole way and it never moved

Hope you never need this info.

Wayne
Correct. Wheel nets should be used. Never tie down to the suspension. A padded strap through the wheels will work, but the nets over the tires are much better way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The car was left in gear (low/reverse) and parking brake on?
Yes; car in 1st with parking brake on.

What's the context? Why did your Elise need to be put on a flatbed? (Sorry if this was explained elsewhere and I missed it).
On flat bed because engine wouldn’t stay running for more than 5 seconds.

Well I personally would not have them tie off on the suspension, but that's just me. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially for a long ride. Preferably use the tires as a tie down point, as they are used to the abuse and not as fragile as the suspension components. I would have your guy verify nothing was tweaked when they were torque that down. How did they hold the front, suspension as well?
front was held by the towing eye in the front grille.
 

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Those (known as "J" hooks) are ONLY for tube axels. If I were you, i'ed have where they put the hooks inspected and likely replaced. The alloy is not designed for force in that direction.

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Note, Nylon Straps. I could post some pictures of other vehicles which state J hooks, or T or...
 

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What part are they actually hooked to?
If it was right in the corner (which it seems to be). Then it will be perfectly fine.
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But if it was somehow in the middle of the small tube, and they cranked it down real hard, then maybe not.

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From a historic Lotus perspective. Lotus has never made anything heavy, rather the term "add lightness". While close to the mount may be fine for a F150 or most USA vehicles.
Don't think it applies here.
Also called point loading, if all the force (which it would be) under braking in the truck, the force would be applied at the point of the "J" hook. Sure that's only 1000lbs (never engineered at that point), how about a hill, or harder braking. Post it on Seloc and see what the experts say!

Any tower not carrying some simple wheel straps $10 is out to lunch to begin with. Try looking up towing for 30% of the vehicles on the road. Yup, wheel straps.
I'ed be pissed, and expect an inspection.

Based on the photos provided, the "J" is near the wheel, or outside of wishbone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’m going to have the whole rear suspension looked over, but I guess worst case is I have to buy two lower rear control arms? it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever
 

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Plated wishbones will fare better than painted ones. I would have insisted on straps. I even keep two with me in the car that are small light but can handle load and distribute it better just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
From a historic Lotus perspective. Lotus has never made anything heavy, rather the term "add lightness". While close to the mount may be fine for a F150 or most USA vehicles.
Don't think it applies here.
Also called point loading, if all the force (which it would be) under braking in the truck, the force would be applied at the point of the "J" hook. Sure that's only 1000lbs (never engineered at that point), how about a hill, or harder braking. Post it on Seloc and see what the experts say!

Any tower not carrying some simple wheel straps $10 is out to lunch to begin with. Try looking up towing for 30% of the vehicles on the road. Yup, wheel straps.
I'ed be pissed, and expect an inspection.

Based on the photos provided, the "J" is near the wheel, or outside of wishbone.
excuse me for being naive, but wouldn’t having the car in 1st with the parking brake engaged on the flatbed take some of the force away from the braking of the truck?

What do you think I’m looking at here worst case? A bent lower control arm?
 

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excuse me for being naive, but wouldn’t having the car in 1st with the parking brake engaged on the flatbed take some of the force away from the braking of the truck?

What do you think I’m looking at here worst case? A bent lower control arm?
Yes, you could probably have skipped the straps and been fine, but that’s obviously I’ll advised, haha. While I do agree that the driver made a mistake and put the worst kind of load on a suspension arm, I really doubt any harm was done. I’d still check, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it quite yet.

the tow hook is also not suitable for holding the car on a flatbed, especially if the winch cable was at an angle and not horizontal. Check the surrounding crash structure for damage, but again, don’t stress about it. Just cover your a$$.
 

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The suspension arms bend very easily, there isn't much to them. I'd also be worried about tying down to the front tow mount, not sure if it should have downward pressure.

You're probably totally fine. Just things us Lotus owners worry about. I've been towed many times. Props to the driver for not scraping!
 

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I am sure you dont want me to go on about front tow hooks either. They are not for loading the car up a 15degree deck.
The reason zero clearance deck trucks are out there are for sports cars. Because, the forces almost double after 7degrees. Most if not all tow pins on cars are alloy, and they do break. There have been 100’s of issues the last 15 years. The “tow hooks” are mainly for flat towing or less than 7degree loading.
The reason any compedentdeck truck carry’s and uses
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Floating wheel chock. Used for loading and unloading.
 
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