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Discussion Starter #1
I keep reading rumors and reports that the US specification LSS is somehow composed of cheaper or inferior parts to those used on ROW cars. This is apparently based on a report by someone attending the LA autoshow that they examined the suspension of the LSS car and saw that it did not have a threaded spring perch.

However, another poster mentioned that the cars at the show did not represent final product and were not necessarily even drivable. This leads me to believe that the suspension on the car at the show may not be the real deal. Perhaps only the wheels were changed for the show?

Could someone from Lotus please clarify weather the LSS we are getting is in fact different from what is available in the rest of the world and weather threaded adjustable dampers are included?
 

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I am not Clyde, but...

There is some confusion because the rest of the world does not have a standard vs Sports Suspension option. There is an adjustable damper option for the Elise, but it is not being offered to the public here in the USA as a bundled option. It may not be offered to the public in UK, I don't know. It's more of a motorsports option.

You will see that option defined as "Dynamic Suspension" or something like that. It uses adjustable struts.

The Sports Suspension does not use adjustable struts, it uses revalved Bilsteins and different spring rates, stickier tires with wider fronts, different rims, 5mm lower ride height, and different alignment(geo) settings. Still street stuff, but designed for better track performance and for the driver who knows how to handle mid engined cars and does not mind the harsher ride.
 

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Randy- Thanks for the info, 5mm isn' t much, about 1/4". Lotus has noted the sport packages has adjustable ride height any ideas of the range and method?
 

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I think there is more confusion about adjustable ride height, and it might be on my end. :)

As I understand it, even the non-Sports car is adjustable. According to Nick, the car has 5 (? I took notes, left them in a pile here somewhere)... ride settings that one uses a movable clip to set. Not threaded perches.

The settings are 5mm apart. The LSS is one setting below the stock suspension. You can go another 1 or 2 slots lower, but Nick said you would be riding on the bump stops and creating some odd handling characteristics. Been there, done that on the MR2 Spyder.
 

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Thanks for the clarification Randy, I am STARTING to understand now. I still don't understand the purpose of adjustatable ride height via 5 positions.... what do you use that for????

Jose Soriano
 

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Amahoser said:
Thanks for the clarification Randy, I am STARTING to understand now. I still don't understand the purpose of adjustatable ride height via 5 positions.... what do you use that for????

Jose Soriano
You can use the ride height adjustablity to change how the car handles....You can even use it to corner balance the car for your weight...Ride height adjustability is nice.
 

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In practical terms, the "spacer" system that Lotus is using (as I understand it) won't be very useful for corner balancing. First, the 5mm increments are pretty large, and second, disassembling and reassembling to add or subtract a spacer is going to be a royal PAIN compared to rotating a threaded collar. Lotus's system appears to be aimed at addressing ride height, but not corner balancing.

(On the plus side, corner balancing may be less of an issue than with some other cars- the manufacturing specs on flatness for the chassis are extraordinary!)

-Knute
 

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elise77 said:
You can use the ride height adjustablity to change how the car handles....You can even use it to corner balance the car for your weight...Ride height adjustability is nice.
I understand corner balancing but with only 5 positions, what good is it? You can't adjust conerweights with just 5 adjustments.

So I can adjust ride height.... but back to my question.... what for?

Jose Soriano
 

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Amahoser said:
So I can adjust ride height.... but back to my question.... what for?
I'd guess...driveways. If you're forced to content with sharply angled driveways, it'd be nice to have that kinda of adjustability to tweak the car to your lifestyle.
 

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Does it really use spacers? My Bilsteins have a groove machined into the body of the shock, where a snap-ring sits. The spring perch rests on the snap-ring. This is apparently a pretty common arrangement for Bilstein (and for Koni), and they can machine additional grooves to change the height of the perch. That's what I'm imagining for a 2-position or 5-position adjustable spring perch. It won't be as hard as taking everything completely apart, but you will still have to compress the spring to get some slack under the spring perch. Whether it's possible to do it with the shock still on the car is another question.
 

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Exactly. It is a snap ring arrangement.
 

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Found my notes....

C-Clip Adjustment
5 positions
5mm changes
LSS is one slot below stock or 5mm lower
Can go 10mm lower than LSS, or 15mm under stock, but you may get handling problems from being on the bump stops.

By my math... that means you can also go one slot, or 5mm higher than stock too. In case you want that Elise Rally car.
 

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Randy Chase said:

You will see that option defined as "Dynamic Suspension" or something like that. It uses adjustable struts.
Hi Randy,

Does this "Dynamic suspension" have to be ordered along with sports pack? Have any idea how much does it cost? Also is it single or double adjustable?

Thanks,

Hung-Jen
 

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I think Dynamic Suspension is probably only a Lotus Motorsports option and will not be available on a stock Elise as we can order it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So if you wanted to go the full 15mm under you would probably need to increase spring rate? Or are these positions not useable?
 

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Nathan968 said:
So if you wanted to go the full 15mm under you would probably need to increase spring rate? Or are these positions not useable?
I would think you would need to do a lot of tuning which would include increasing spring rate to keep the car off the bump stops. You may also have issues of tire fitment/clearance.

Consider that one of the philosophies of Lotus handling, is to allow softer spring rates, or built in compliance. It works. The LSS car is pretty low.
 

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It's really easy to go too low on ride height as far as handling is concerned, for the following reasons:

Bump steer - can affect front and rear ends - most suspensions will introduce some bump steer at the extreme ends of their travel limit.

Suspension bottoming - as good as it is to get the roll center low, all the benefit goes out the window when the suspension bottoms out. The spring rate goes to infinity, the grip disappears, etc.

Randy has a good point in discussing compliance. If you have to increase the spring rate to keep off the stops while lowering the car, you're compromising the ability of the car to generate grip. In my understanding, the ideal setup is the softest one that will still maximize contact patch throughout the range of travel the suspension will experience on the track. Softer suspension = less shock on the tires = more grip. The only reason we make cars stiff is to reduce body roll for the reason of - you guessed it - maximizing tire contact patch. A well designed A-arm suspension (as on the Elise) will do a great job of allowing some body roll and keeping alot of tire on the ground.

Jeff
 

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RE: Tripledigit's post immediately above.

A real-world example: We had a group drive a coupla years ago with some NSX's and S2000's. One of the S2000's had just completed some major mods including being lowered by a claimed 2 inches. Within 10 miles of our drive, we hit a 50-mph curve. The S2000 in question hit it a little fast, the car got squirrely ...and he smacked a telephone pole, breaking it in two. The driver was okay, but if he had had a passenger, it would've meant a trip to the hospital or worse- the pole obliterated the passenger-side door, pushing it in over a foot. (NOTE: an S2000 directly behind him made the corner just fine)

Morals of the story: 1. Lowering doesn't necessarily improve your handling. You need SOME "give" in the suspension to handle well.

2. Know your driving ability , your car and your mods- especially new mods- before you get going really fast. Learn your car's limits gradually.
 

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The same bilstein arrangement is used for many applications. On the A4 it is impossible to compress the spring and change the ride height while the strut is on the car. It has to be removed.
 
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