The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stan or anyone that has done this, can you give me a quick rundown on the steps?


And more importantly for me, do you think this can be done without removing the front rims? :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,941 Posts
>>>Stan or anyone that has done this, can you give me a quick rundown on the steps? And more importantly for me, do you think this can be done without removing the front rims?<<<

I'm stuffed...but anyways...it's not complicated but there's a bunch to do.

Drop/end links come off easy.

Ya gotta yank the front rims so that you can access the bar mounts though. They use allen bolts and the clearance is not huge (lower a-arm is nearby) so you may have to play around here. I used some long ball ended allen wrenches and some hex cut short that I inserted into a ratcheted open end wrench. There are some tool clearance holes you can use too. The FSM says that not only do you need to remove the front undertray, but you need to remove a riveted on alloy closing panel that is attached to the crash stucture in order to remove the bar. This is not hard to do but you have to drill out the rivets and be able to rerivet them later on. Again riveting is EZ but you need a rivet gun and rivets.

After you have gained access the rest is easy. At least you don't have to remove the front clam!

I changed my bar mounts to poly, added grease fittings to the bar mounts and drilled stiffer end link holes into the bar. All of that can be done by just pulling a wheel. I guesstimate that the bar is acting something like 40-60% stiffer and that more can be done without lifting an inside front tire. HTH.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Okay... so the problems for me is this. I need to get the bar off today. I do not have a spline adapter for the rims. Do you think not removing the rims makes this impossible, or just more difficult?

I will also need to be able to drill out the rivets and the re-rivet the panel, is this what you did Stan?

And it sounds like I might need a trip to a tool store for those allen bolts.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,941 Posts
>>>Okay... so the problems for me is this. I need to get the bar off today. I do not have a spline adapter for the rims. Do you think not removing the rims makes this impossible, or just more difficult?<<<

Well as long as you can get under there, you should be okay. Luckily the bar lives down low, pretty much at the same height at the lower a-arm. In fact one of the two bar mount bolts on earlier Elises also retained that end of the a-arm! If I were you I'd get the car on ramps or on a lift so that you can see what I mean about accessing the allen bolts for the bar mounts. And then get tooled up. Look for those closing plates they mention after you unfasten the underbody panel.

>>>I will also need to be able to drill out the rivets and the re-rivet the panel, is this what you did Stan? And it sounds like I might need a trip to a tool store for those allen bolts.<<<

No you can access the bar mounts well enough through the wheel well, so I did not need to do this. The drill-out-&-rerivet thing comes from the FSM but I have not done this as my stock bar is still in place. Maybe there is a work around. Rivetting is easy, Sears and other places sels the stuff, it's just unfamilar to most of us. The tools are not expensive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Documenting...

Removing endlinks is pretty easy, even with wheels still on the car.

Jack up car from one side using jack support label. Use jackstands or some other method to insure you do not become a statistic.

Crank the steering wheel full over to allow access to the back side of the tire.

Use a 17mm wrench on the locknut on the heim joint on the endlink. Use an 18mm open end wrench on the same joint, next to the rubber boot, to stop the threaded rod from spinning. The threads on my rods were rusty, so you may want to use a little WD40 first.

I decided it was worth removing both ends, but you might be able to get away with leaving the endlink connected to the car, and only remove it from the bar. I am replacing and upgrading my endlings so that was not an issue.

Under the locknuts, there is a flat washer.

With both ends of the endlinks no longer connected, it can be easily wiggled out and removed.

Next... removing the bushings!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It appears the next step was actually, get a cup of coffee. Maybe a nice toasted bagel. Vacate the office so the maid can clean it. Get a call from the bank telling you that your wire transfer to UK did not go through because the exchange rate moved more and now you need to spend more dollars. Drive to a different bank to get cash to deposit into first bank. Drive to first bank and deposit cash.

Forget you have no swaybar connected and practice a drifting exhibition at the intersection . :eek:

Slink down in seat and hope nobody noticed. Drive home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, the top bolt in the bushings is easy, though it takes some elbow grease and a 6mm allen wrench (you can not fit a socket driven allen wrench). Lotus conveniently placed an access hole for an allen wrench to go into. I think there is some permanent type loctite on the threads. To break them loose, I placed that 17mm closed end wrench on the end of the allen key and used it for leverage.

After getting a bandaid for my hands, I put on some mechanic gloves. You might want to put the gloves on earlier.

It takes a number of 1/4 turns with the allen key and the closed end wrench on the end, until I could get to the point that I could turn it with just the allen wrench.

Eventually, the top two bolts came out.

The bottom bolt uses the same size allen key, except it does not fit due to an interference with the arm right next to it. You will have to make a custom allen wrench with a very short arm. Working on that now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found I can get the bottom bolt out using a hex key cut to .75" long max. But it involves a LOT of 1/4 turn, which on my back and in a cramped space, suck dead bunnies up a straw.

I don't know how Stan did it with the ratcheting open end wrench. I don't have one and that might have helped. I am finding the ball end to not be useful as the angle is too great from the control arm being in the way.

But now we are faced with a long swaybar, with bends on the ends, trapped by the riveted in panels.

This has to be the hardest swaybar removal I have ever done. Argh....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For me, the answer is that yes, you have to remove that riveted plate. I dremeled out the three rivets, in very cramped quarters. Then the bar came right out.

Forgot to mention, that I removed the front undertray also. 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 8mm bolts hold it on. Then it slides forward down, back... and off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
Randy, I can appreciate all your sweat and hard work,but I have one burning question....................why the hell are you doing this........do just have something against sway bars........?!?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,941 Posts
Randy...I used a piece of hex stock maybe 1/2 inch long...one end fits into the fastener...and the other into one of those closed end ratcheting wrenches Sears sells...makes it pretty easy...once ya got it going.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Stan said:
Randy...I used a piece of hex stock maybe 1/2 inch long...one end fits into the fastener...and the other into one of those closed end ratcheting wrenches Sears sells...makes it pretty easy...once ya got it going.
Oh, that would have been awesome. I must get one for installing the new bar.

pianomaniac, yes. The stock bar is too flacid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,150 Posts
I'm watching in horror as Randy describes this process. :huh:

I think I'll act like the sway bar is jussssst fine, at least for another year. If you guys deem it a huge improvement, I may venture into the masochistic project.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would not be doing this if I did not think it was a good improvement.

The main question for you to consider, is if you are getting too much inside rear wheel spin? If you are, that is costing you time. If you are not, then there is no reason to upgrade.


Also, a lot of this that was a pain, was the exploration of the process. With Stan's help above and my experience, I think I can figure out some easier ways to do this, or at least document exactly what needs to be done.

I am creating a doc with pictures now. And if the vendor decides to sell this swaybar mod, I can seel including a custom hex tool with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Hey Randy,

You haven't disclosed anything about the new sway bar. I take it this is the one you contracted from the guy out of Florida? How long did it take to get it, and who supplied him with the guinea pig elise?

Gil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
True that I have not talked about it.

The guy in Florida is still a possibility, and one I will look into. John at Saner (Florida guy) has done good work in the past.

The new swaybar is being made this weekend, which is why I needed to donate mine. I might be getting two different new bars made with maybe 50% more stiffness and 75-100% more stiffness (tubular) and with multiple adjustability using new endlinks.

The guy doing it is a pro race car tuner and is located about 45 miles north of me. The advantage is that I can tune this bar. If it is too soft still, we can get one made stiffer. If it is too stiff, we can get one made softer. I really think this will be a key to the Elise's set up for autocross.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,150 Posts
I look forward to your "how to' manual on this. I will say that I experience some inside rear spin when coming through a fairly tight turn carrying a lot of speed. I had to get off the throttle and let it settle to get grip on the next straight. However, I'm not a good enough driver yet to determine if that's me or the car. Probably me :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,150 Posts
I'm watching in horror as Randy describes this process.

I think I'll act like the sway bar is jussssst fine, at least for another year. If you guys deem it a huge improvement, I may venture into the masochistic project.
__________________
Jer-
I have to laugh as I'm 1/3rd of the way done with this project tonight. It's a pain, but Randy and Stan have paved over a number of issues. I will post my success. Although I'm not using the Blackwatch Bar, the process and trials appear to be the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Surferjer said:
I have to laugh as I'm 1/3rd of the way done with this project tonight. It's a pain, but Randy and Stan have paved over a number of issues. I will post my success. Although I'm not using the Blackwatch Bar, the process and trials appear to be the same.
Jer,
Which bar are you using? What is the difference from the one from Blackwatch.

Solo2Elise
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,150 Posts
Solo2-I will post more onfo after it's in and tested Please bear with me. Thanks!
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top