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Okay, had the car jacked up. HOW THE HELL DO YOU TURN THOSE [email protected]?!? :)

See, there is not a lot of room for a large breaker bar. In fact, on one bolt it is very tight and I can barely get a 3/8" ratchet on it.

So who has been successful doing this?
 

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Just a suggestion, but have you tried a ratcheting box-end wrench with a pipe? Something else to try might be a knuckel on a convetional ratchet, but sounds like it might be too tight? I have a similar problem on a Miata (when not up in the air) and I use a pipe on a ratcheting box end wrench to get the job done.
 

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Well you can have Shinoo come over with that Kung Fu grip of his...

Randy I just did this....I used a socket with an allen head tip on a 3/8 drive ratchet with a longish handle. The rear bolt has to come out all the way and the front can just be loosened when playing around Since the shims have a through hole in the back but a slide out on the front. Loctite is important here when you wrap things up...

Up front my car has one 3 mm thick shim, one 1 mm thick shim and one 1 mm thick shim / ABS bracket. So that is 5 mm of shims. Looks like I should be able to hit in the vicinity of -1.4 to -1.7 maxed out but we'll have to see about that. As well as what the car wants. For now I just yanked one 1 mm LHS shim as my camber was a bit off of the stock setting at the corner. So now I am in spec. When I get a sense of the car with the AO48s I'll start to do more. I think the car should respond well to toe changes front and rear. My rear toe measured at greater than spec toe in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
IMO, to be SCCA stock legal, you have to leave the one shim in that also functions as a mount for the ABS connectors.

I looked at it and it seems doubtful I am going to get a full degree of negative camber which is unfortunate for the Hoosiers.

Hmm... shinoo... yes, good idea. I gave up and will give it at a try tomorrow at the autocross. Robert is bringing some persuasion in the form of a hammer.

Any idea what the torque settings are for these bolts?

OFL... I sent George a PM.
 

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Here are the torque settings from the S1 manual ...
 

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>>IMO, to be SCCA stock legal, you have to leave the one shim in that also functions as a mount for the ABS connectors. <<

Oh yes for sure! It would be nice if Lotus provided an alternate ABS wiring bracket or suggested something else in the service manual. Arno suggest that each 1 mm shim makes a .25 degree change. Maybe some upper or lower arms run shorter or longer than others and so are still stock.

How much negative camber did your MR2 like? I understand the NSXes don't require a great deal of negative camber...maybe the Elise won't need as much as other cars or other things can be done to deal with the issue.

BTW Pat suggested that he thought the Elise should be driven in the way his 93 MR2 liked, something to do with how you steer entering a turn in an aggressive, decisive fashion.
 

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More from the S1 manual ...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Aletes.

Stan, I ran -2.7 and if I could, I would have run -3 degree on each side on my MR2.

Perhaps the Elise will not need it, but we definitately know that the Hoosiers need more. I am guessing around -2 to reduce outer corner wear.
 

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>>>Stan, I ran -2.7 and if I could, I would have run -3 degree on each side on my MR2. Perhaps the Elise will not need it, but we definitately know that the Hoosiers need more. I am guessing around -2 to reduce outer corner wear.<<<

Then again MR2s are strut cars. I can only get about -2 1/4 on my STX E30 M3 and it wants a bunch more! Not enough camber is added as the suspension compresses on most strut cars.

I just checked setups on S2000s in their auto-x setup FAQ thread in the autocross forum at www.s2ki.com Jason Saini runs about 1/8 toe-out up front with 1.5 degrees neg. camber on the double a-arm S2K along with a big front bar. 03 and 04 titles in B stock. Some other guys wind up at -1.75 degrees. Out back they use about 1/4 inch toe-in and about a half degree more camber than up front. S2000 have a higher CG, more weight on the front of the car and a more even weight percentage F/R and double a-arms all around so maybe it will turn out okay with more setup and testing time. Fingers crossed!
 

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Keep in mind that if you are changing your ride height by more than approx. 1" that you need to loosen up all of the wishbone pivot bolts then set the ride height and then tighten the bolts again.

Let me just say this - getting to some of those bolts to loosen them is a complete PITA.

I would also recommend replacing the bolts discussed above (the ones that hold the camber shims) with stronger bolts. At least on Exiges these bolts are only rated about 8.5 if I remember right and several people have sheared these when running slicks. I have replaced mine with 12.9 strength bolts.
 

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It's not legal to machine any metal off either side, is it?

What if lotus put out a service bulletin to that effect? Would that give us legality? Would think this could be an easy thing for them to add to the book.

Cade
 

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>>>I would also recommend replacing the bolts discussed above (the ones that hold the camber shims) with stronger bolts. At least on Exiges these bolts are only rated about 8.5 if I remember right and several people have sheared these when running slicks. I have replaced mine with 12.9 strength bolts.<<<

I just inspected some bolts that had failed on the rear of an Exige. They exhibited signs of metal fatigue on one portion of the cross section. And the rest of the bolt showed the sudden snap which occurs when the remaining cross section is no longer sufficent for the experienced loads.

The failed bolts were 8.8s. The US cars use grade 10.9 bolts which are about 25-40% stronger than 8.8s depending on how you look at it. Note that when you change from 8.8 to 10.9 or 12.9 the tightening torque needs to change too. Otherwise you'll wind up with a weaker setup! There is a bit of a balancing act going on here...8.8s are less strong but they tend to bend instead of suddenly snap. More is not always more.

Also, the loads in the back of the car are likely higher since there is so much more weight back there, and the spacing of the two bolts on the upright is much less than at the front of the car. Narrow spacing increases the importance of the installed tension achieved by the fasteners. Remember that a properly torqued bolt has a large tension on it and is actually slightly longer than when uninstalled. They are stretched like springs. If the loads the assembly sees are less than the tension can handle, the assembly will be stable and long lived.

If you're changing bolts I'd do whatever Lotus suggests, which may very well be to use 10.9s torqued to a higher amount than 8.8s. Don't overtorque bolts either. The torque is calculated to achieve the desired installed tension the design requires and can handle. If the uprights and related parts are the same on your Exige and the 111R, then this should be okay to do even without contacting Lotus, since 111Rs use 10.9s. Use the proper torque and thread locker. The bolts are also cheap and readily available from many sources so it may be a good idea to replace them on a schedule or whenever the bits are reassembled. We are talking about pocket change dollar amounts here for some peace of mind and safety.
 

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>>>It's not legal to machine any metal off either side, is it? What if lotus put out a service bulletin to that effect? Would that give us legality? Would think this could be an easy thing for them to add to the book. <<<

It's not legal unless the manual states that such a means or others are okay if needed to achieve wheel alignment goals. Some cars use crash bolts that can be put onto cars that have never been hit in order to achieve more favorable high performance alignment results. Noone seems to have the manual at the moment but the S1 manual doesn't seem to suggest such an option FWIW.

Anything that would stick the lower part of the upright/ hub carrier outward or the upper part inward would increase negative camber. About 1/4 to 1/3 degree per millimeter change at the connection. So things like eccentric a-arm to frame bolts could do the same thing. Machining the upright or the steering arm piece would add negative camber but could only be done in stock class if it's in the service manual. Lotus could come out with a "crash" steering arm with a few mm less thickness.

It's early days yet and the ideal alignment settings are still to be determined as far as Autocross goes.
 

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Stan

You must be located near HRM?

Good points on the strength of the bolts.

I will contact Lotus and see what they say about using 10.9 vs 12.9.
 

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Stan, thanks, good gouge. Happy to know there may be some options available... some sort of work around will be beneficial for those of us who will be autox-ing. Can hardly wait for mine so I can look for myself.

Cade
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We maxed out our camber this morning by pulling all the shims out.

Some notes. This is not easy. You have to use a allen drive and a large enough wrench and various extensions...and a hammer. Remember you only have to remove the rear most bolt and loosen the front one.

One rear wheel bolt was very difficult to get to. We could only put the allen drive bit in it and then turn it with a small 8mm box wrench, hooked to a larger wrench for leverage.

There are not the same number of shims on each corner, it looks like Lotus used what they needed to make it to spec. One corner had 5, one had 2.

We removed all the shims.

Basically, we need more testing. But we think that the front still wants more, but it's a lot better. Tire wear on the new Hoosiers was pretty even. We think the rear may have too much. We had higher temps on the inside of the rear tires than the outside. The amount of camber on the rear we got was pretty visually obvious. Near negative 2. Wish we could have got that on the front.

Next... to the alignment rack.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Next... to the alignment rack.
Don't forget the ballast weights.

Elise ride height and alignment numbers are only valid with 70Kg of ballast in each seat and with 1/2 tank of fuel.

Bye, Arno.
 
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