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Slowly working away on ground-up restoration of a '66 Elan Series 3SE DHC. Just wondering what experience you all have with CV rear axle conversions in place of the rubber doughnuts. I purchased a set of doughnuts quite awhile ago but from what I have read so far, best to dump them and convert.

I take it there are a few key suppliers but mainly from UK or Australia. Any US manufacturers?
 

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Sorry for the late reply. Have not been thinking Lotus lately so didn’t see your post.

Ray at RD Enterprises in PA has a nice kit that I used on my Plus 2. If you go to his site at rdent.com you can see pictures under Elan Parts. I think Dave Bean sells the same kit. JAE may list it as well. Can’t recall who actually makes it, but they don’t sell it directly.

The kit uses VW bug CV’s, so replacement boots or joints are easy to obtain locally. The kit also includes new diff output shafts, which is a bonus; my originals were showing evidence of twisting. The outside spider needs to be slightly relieved by chasing the three holes with a drill; think this is just because they were not made with sufficient precision to accept the CV bolts rather than rubber.

Although not an issue with my longer Plus 2 axle length, the Elan can have issues with the CV locking at full droop. Guys either install limiting straps or I believe limit the shock travel somehow. The guys on the lotselan.net forum can give more details.

I understand the Australian version does not have the CV locking issue. Not sure where the CV’s are sourced, but apparently they operate OK at the greater angle in the Elan. When I was looking they were quite a bit more expensive than Ray’s, but if you factor in having to limit your suspension travel, maybe it all comes out even. I don’t think the Australian kit includes the new output shafts?

The other option is from Spyder Engineering in the UK. Their system retains the inside doughnut each side. I believe they maintain this puts less stress on the diff by providing some cushioning. Believe the original output shaft and spider are used. Not sure if this system has CV locking issues or not.

The other kit I have heard of was supplied by Susan Miller in the UK. I understand she is no longer supplying them due to quality control issues with the CV’s that were used? Never really followed up due to high shipping cost, etc.

I really like CV’s much better than the doughnuts, particularly starting off on hills with the heavier Plus 2.

HTH

Stu
 

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Ray at RD is a terrific vendor.

But, when I restored my Elan (see "Restoring the Elan"), my race car mechanic said he very much agreed with keeping one rotoflex per side.

So, along with the Spyder chassis, I ordered their conversion kit too.

Much nicer to drive and I never felt the rotoflexes.
 
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