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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everybody,

After reading the latest "should I get the LSS?" question, I've re-read most of the old posts on the subject.

I still had an unanswered question, for those who've driven BOTH suspensions (Randy? anybody?):

Generally speaking, do narrower wheels/tires feel "lighter" or "quicker to respond" when changing direction? Does the steering feel more "nimble"? Please excuse my inability to describe this, but I've had cars in the past in which the steering lost alot of "feel" when I went with wider wheels/tires. Although I'm sure the absolute-grip level increased, the cars' "reactions" seemed moe dull.

Does this make sense? Has anyone else experienced this with their cars? Most importantly, does anything like like this happen when switching the Elise from the Standard Suspension to the Sport Suspension?

Please discuss... :)
 

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I have a base suspended car that I switched to LSS. I have both sets of springs and both sets of wheels/tires although my sport wheels are aftermarket. I have switched back and forth several times and have about 7000 miles on my Elise. Many autocrosses too, using both suspensions. If you search you'll find PICs on this site. The sport tires are much wider up front and a bit narrower out back than the base stuff.

The base tires provide a lighter steering feel and are much quieter on the highway and have better ride characteristics. Both setups provide lots of feel and are extremely responsive and well behaved without major vice. The sport setup does not dull anything. The sport setup is more forgiving when you enter a turn too hot...less understeer in that sort of driver error situation. It can reach oversteer more easily too. But in general both setups are quite neutral and you can get the car to over or understeer with either setup. Most of the ride/handling changes between base and sport are tire related. The spring and damper revisions are fine tuning only - 10% spring rate changes.

The sport option basically give you the Exige suspension. The base suspension is no slouch at all..in my tests we could do steady state cornering just over 1 g and reach cornering transients of about 1.15+ gs. You can't really do much of this on the street! So a lot depends on how you'll be using the car. If there were two Elises, one with each suspension on a twisty road, the better driven car would easily pull away from the other - the nut behind the wheel is super important.

Ideally try to get some drive or passenger time in both variations. Should you wind up choosing one and then desire the other, it's very simple to change over to the other and not that expensive. You are not locked in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, Stan. I've enjoyed your VERY informative posts in the past. Keep 'em coming!

I was basically fishing for confirmation my "grip versus light feel as it relates to tire width" theory. I must admit that my experience with such evaluations is limited, yet the difference was pronounced in the cars driven. These cars were not of the Elise's cailber; such changes were the result of aftermarket wheels/tires (+1") on mass-market cars.

Thank you for your insights.
 

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Stan, the LSS and base steering brackets(?) are the same height? If so, makes even more sense to get the base if one is interested in highend shocks, and even lighter wheels.
 

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>>Stan, the LSS and base steering brackets(?) are the same height? If so, makes even more sense to get the base if one is interested in highend shocks, and even lighter wheels.<<<

Yessiree! Confirmed by examining cars, the service manual, and from Lotus themselves. They did not need to change the rack height (affects bump steer) since the base and LSS suspensions have near identical ride heights. Were the sport version to be say, lowered an inch, then the rack would need to be repositioned.

You can get the LSS barrel springs for about 200 bucks. For SCCA stock class autocross it's cheaper to skip the LSS, add the LSS springs, aftermarket LSS sized wheels, and fancy shocks to the car in terms of base VS LSS bits.
 

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Does anyone have a rough $$$$ amount for just swapping out the standard tyres & rims for the sports set, leaving suspension, ride height, etc. as-is, just for shits and giggles?
 

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Goose said:


Does this make sense? Has anyone else experienced this with their cars?
Certainly. And you can feel it even more when I run 205s on the front.

However, I think the difference in turn in is very small that most of us will not notice it. I think you will feel more turn in difference just because of tread compound. Also keep in mind that lighter rims/tires (like the lighter LSS rims) will make the steering feel more nimble, so it may be a wash.
 

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Stan, the standard set of tires are no good enought on a track: after few laps on Misano and Vallelunga circuits with my 111R the tires losts the grip on the rear and i can't do nothing except going less fast to get the car in control.
Have you tested A048 on track circuit for long time? are the 048 more stable in grip?

I wanna buy a second set of tires only for track use, but i'm gonna spent my money only if Yoko are better.
For g data for standard set with 175 front you have read 1,15g, and for the 048? wich is the peak?
 

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Iceman, I am not Stan... but the A048s felt great for 5000+ miles and then 50 laps at a track over 3 miles long and higher speed.

Very soon after though, the tires became crap from heat cycling.

Today they were swapped out for a set of Falken Azeni tires as my street tire.
 

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"Today they were swapped out for a set of Falken Azeni tires as my street tire."

Randy, I'll search the site, but if you haven't posted your thoughts on the Azenis I'd love to hear them. I'm getting a base car with LSS, and have been concerned about tire wear. I've been getting 12,000 street miles and ~45 70 second autocross runs on them on my Miata. I'd imagine they'd do even better on the Elise.

Right now we're trying out a street tire class in the Rocky Mountain SCCA region that's modeled off of the LA group's SK1 and SK2 classes (I forgot the region name). I would guess that the Elise in SK1 on Azenis would be more dominant than the S2ks were in BS!
 

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Randy Chase said:
Iceman, I am not Stan... but the A048s felt great for 5000+ miles and then 50 laps at a track over 3 miles long and higher speed.

Very soon after though, the tires became crap from heat cycling.

Today they were swapped out for a set of Falken Azeni tires as my street tire.
Randy,
Are they mounted on the LSS wheels and how is the frwy ride quality conpared to the 048's.
 

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Rich said:


Right now we're trying out a street tire class in the Rocky Mountain SCCA region that's modeled off of the LA group's SK1 and SK2 classes (I forgot the region name). I would guess that the Elise in SK1 on Azenis would be more dominant than the S2ks were in BS!
Yup. :)

The plan for 2005 is to run a street tire class in Los Angeles and run Super Stock nationally.

One note... these Azenis are heavy!
 

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drosen said:
Randy,
Are they mounted on the LSS wheels and how is the frwy ride quality conpared to the 048's.
Yes, they replaced the worn our A048s.

I have only ridden on surface streets and they feel okay. I will take them on a 300 mile jaunt tomorrow (Thursday) to Pasadena. I will report what I think afterwards.
 

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I have done the same conversion as Stan, and I don't want to go back to my AD07s!! :( I tend to push my car a bit, and the AO48s are much stickier. I don't notice a change in the feel of turning (except more grip) but the 48s are definitely more suseptable to driver-induced oversteer. The 48s are on the lighter SSR rims, so that might be a factor, too.

I need to switch back. The 48s are probably only good for 6K, the AD07s I'm guessing at 18K. Maybe after the Club111 event this weekend.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Yup. :)

The plan for 2005 is to run a street tire class in Los Angeles and run Super Stock nationally.

One note... these Azenis are heavy!
Yep, and they're loud, terrible in the rain below 1/2 tread, and stiff. Probably not as bad as the A048s by any of those measures, but worse than any other street tire than I've driven.

Please post your autocross results and thoughts in addition to thoughts from street driving. I may replace the A048s with Azenis also when the time comes, and will plan on using them in both places.

Thanks!
 

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FWIW the ST crowd in the SCCA who must run street tires have the AD07s on their list of potential great autocross tires. Grass Roots Motorsports magazine is including them in a 225/45/17 autocross group test over the next few months.

Yoko is introducing the tire in a wide variety of sizes as one of members in their new max perf lineup. Many, many sizes will be offered.

The tire is quiet, decent riding, seems to wear well and is pretty grippy. The 175/225 AD07 setup on the base car is unforgiving when you go into turns too hot...the 195/225 sport setup with the A048s provides some more corner entry options to the experienced driver with lower penalty for error but more of a chance for oversteer if you are not experienced. The A048 is a noticeably firmer and noiser tire than normal street rubber. They can sound like you have loud snow tires on for example and much of the stiffer LSS ride is related to these tires. In autocross when datalogged with high tech equipment I have found the AD07 shod Elise to be able to hit around 1 g steady state and over 1.15 gs for transients. That is pretty darn good for a "base" suspended automobile!

One interesting option some may wish to consider is to put the new 205/45/16 AD07 on the front of your Elise. This would be a cheap, easy way to get something midway between the base and sport setups. Lotus may disagree here!
 

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Here is an AD07 Elise g-g diagram showing tight autocross lateral and longitudinal g-forces when driven by a well known National level driver as well as the author. BTW you can see that I tend to brake too hard and reach lower cornering gs compared to the more capable driver. Come on Spring time!
 

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300 miles today on freeways with Azenis. Not noticeably different than the A048s as far as ride or noise.
 

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Most of the ride/handling changes between base and sport are tire related. The spring and damper revisions are fine tuning only - 10% spring rate changes.
After having had the opportunity of driving two Elise's, one with the base suspension and the other with LSS (both with 048's) for more than 1000 miles, I can tell you that the LSS setup is significantly stiffer/harsher riding than the base suspension. That extra 10% is quite noticeable when you do an A/B (back to back) driving comparison between the two different suspension setups. The differences could not be attributed to the tires in our comparo. ;

Just my 2 cents, FWIW.
 

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Jack said:
After having had the opportunity of driving two Elise's, one with the base suspension and the other with LSS (both with 048's) for more than 1000 miles, I can tell you that the LSS setup is significantly stiffer/harsher riding than the base suspension. That extra 10% is quite noticeable when you do an A/B (back to back) driving comparison between the two different suspension setups. The differences could not be attributed to the tires in our comparo. ;

Just my 2 cents, FWIW.
Stan is still running the standard shocks, so is basing his comments on a partial conversion to the LSS spec suspension. I'm not surprised that the springs don't contribute too much to the difference, but I would expect the LSS shocks to add a noticeable bit of harshness.
 
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