The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,664 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
...or at least I'm sure that some egotistical "I'm the bottom line on motorsports" type person will tell me so.

Anyway, here it goes...

For the past couple days, my car has felt off balance in left turns (pushing where it would normally be loose). Today while washing it, I stepped back and noticed that it seemed as though the car was tilted slightly to one side. Is it possible that my suspension got stuck on a higher setting on one side somehow without being manually adjusted?

Flame at will, I don't care - though if anyone has an honest answer that they can word in a way that wouldn't be condescending, that would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Mike,
Did you measure the variance in distance, ie the top of the wheel arch to see if it is actually lower on one side?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
I'm not much of a mechanical expert either (i. e. I'm better at breaking things than fixing them...), but:

My first instinct when a car doesn't turn the same in both directions would be an alignment problem. But if it was fine until a few days ago, and you didn't hit anything, that seems unlikely.

Check the tire pressures, if you haven't done so already.

Measuring the ride height, as Chris suggested, sounds like a good idea. I find it easiest to measure from wheel arch to center of wheel.

You could also try to push each corner down with your weight, let go, and see what happens. It should return to the original height quickly, and not bounce up and down for long. And of course both sides should be the same.

Then I would probably jack the car up, and visually inspect the suspension. Just look at everything carefully, and see if anything looks loose, or otherwise out of order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
Is the car shipped with spacers in the springs?

The S2000 had many issues early on of the shipping spacers (rubber items placed in the springs so that they could not compress during shipping) not being removed during PDI.

Jack up each side and pull the wheels and you will be able to see where the perches are set for each wheel and look for anything else that looks funny.

As someone mentioned - check your air pressure as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
MikeAR303 said:
For the past couple days, my car has felt off balance in left turns (pushing where it would normally be loose). Today while washing it, I stepped back and noticed that it seemed as though the car was tilted slightly to one side. Is it possible that my suspension got stuck on a higher setting on one side somehow without being manually adjusted?
Look under the seat on the low side and remove the three or four bars of gold bullion that were left there.

kbob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
MikeAR303, most pavement isn't perfectly level. It might be an optical illusion. Zvezdah's suggestion to measure from the bottom of the wheel to the top of the wheel arch is a good one. This will tell you if there really exists a different in ride-height from left-to-right. If there is, bring it back to Lotus and have them solve it. That's what warranties are for. (Could it be that someone set one side at the LTS ride height and the other at the LSS ride height?)

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,293 Posts
ConeFusion said:
You could also try to push each corner down with your weight, let go, and see what happens. It should return to the original height quickly, and not bounce up and down for long. And of course both sides should be the same.
I would not recommend that as you are more likely to break or crack a clam. When I first got the Elise one of my friends tried that on my car and it did not move much and it certainly did not bounce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Mike, the height setting is difficult to change. The Elise spring perch uses a mechanism that is commonly used on other cars with just one height setting.

There is a groove that goes all the way around the shock. A tight-fitting metal ring snaps into the groove, with the inner half of the ring sitting down in the groove and the outer half sticking out beyond the surface of the shock. Then the spring perch, which has a hole that's exactly the same diameter as the body of the shock, slides down over the shock body until it rests on the metal ring. Usually there is a small shelf cut into the spring perch to fit the metal snap ring, so that when the spring perch is in place, the snap ring cannot expand/open and leave the groove in the shock.

Then the spring sits on the spring perch, with the weight of the car on it. And even when the shock is fully extended, there is still some static force on the spring by design, to keep the stack of parts from rattling around and coming unseated.

It's more likely that something in the suspension got bent than the spring perch slipping down a notch. If it slipped, I'd expect it to just fall apart and slide to the end of the shock rather than reassembling itself at a lower setting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,664 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I checked tire pressure on all four corners and it checks out fine.

I'm going to call the dealership today to schedule an appointment to get this, some paint problems, and some other various annoyances checked out... so I'll let you guys know what I find out when I bring it in.

I second what Patricko said about cracking a clam when pushing down on the car. I don't even think I weigh enough to cause the suspension to budge on this car :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Mr Roboto,

How many miles do you have on the Elise. Maybe it's a matter of driving her to loosen up some tight bits. Just a guess.

Did you measure the difference yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,664 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
huggy bear said:
Mr Roboto,

How many miles do you have on the Elise. Maybe it's a matter of driving her to loosen up some tight bits. Just a guess.

Did you measure the difference yet?
Couldn't find my tape measure yesterday, but I'm stealing one from work to use today - so I'll do that when I get home.

Just over 2,000 miles on it now :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
why wouldn't it meat? say the slant is 5 degrees between the left and right side. If the car is low on one side it'd still measure low wouldn't it.
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
If the ground isn't level, then the car may lean a bit and throw off the measurements. Probably not very significant with a stiffly sprung car like the Elise.

On the other hand, if the ground isn't flat then the suspension will conform to the shape of the ground and you'll get funny measurements on at least one corner. You won't get useful information from height measurements if you park with one wheel in a pothole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
As stated - it's got to be very level for this car since it is so stiff.

One wheel up or down will also effect the other wheels.

In setting ride height on this car you are dealing with millimeters - imperfections in the floor make a big difference.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top