Re: [DML] Lotus Esprit Rear Suspension
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Re: [DML] Lotus Esprit Rear Suspension


Suspension bushings are wear items.  They aren't meant to 
last forever.  Also, the compliance of the bushing (the ability of the 
bushing to allow movement) is part of the suspension design.  The
hardness of the bushing is figured in as part of the spring rate of
the suspension.  

>From the description of your lower shock mount, I would guess
that somewhere along the line, your shocks were not replaced
correctly.  I suspect that the nuts on that lower bolt were not 
torqued to the right amount, allowing the bottom of the shock 
to move too much.  This prevents the bushing from working 
as it was designed to work, and concentrating any impact 
energy into the joint between the shock and the hub
carrier.  This is what would cause the bending.  Another
possible cause is that the replacement shock didn't have
the correct inner diameter on the lower mount, allowing
too much movement.  If the shocks are original, then 
as you noticed, the bushing will eventually fail, causing
the same problems.

The shock will not bend if everything is mounted 
properly.  The top of the shock is clamped to the 
frame in two donut shaped bushings, which allows
the top of the shock to pivot, preventing any 
bending in the shock body.  A common problem 
with shops replacing shocks is improperly torquing
the DeLorean suspension when putting things back
together.  The bolts/nuts have to be tightened 
while the car is on the ground or supported on 
a lift by the tires.  If the suspension is tighetned
while the wheels are drooping, the bushings will
fail very quickly.


-------------- Original message from "Tom Niemczewski" <dmctom@xxxxxxxxx>: -------------- 

> Jake 
> Thanks for the encouragement ;) I'm working hard to make it a reality... 
> As I have stated in my previous post (the very long one) by saying that this 
> joint doesn't work I didn't mean that the suspension or the car doesn't 
> work. It was an exaggeration to make my point. But when you think about it, 
> this joint truly doesn't work. It just crushes the bushing and bends the 
> shock. There is no real movement in this joint. The front lower shock mount 
> joint works great... the rear doesn't. 
> I hope you understand what I'm trying to say here. 
> Jake, does this joint work just fine on your car? Are you sure? If you are, 
> I can change your mind ;) Jack up the rear of the car and remove the shock 
> from the bolt that supports it at the wheel hub. Examine the bushing 
> carefully. Now, it doesn't matter if the shock has been on the car for 27 
> years, or 27 days. (Although, if you have not replaced the shocks since new 
> it might be a good idea to think about replacement now ;) ) You will notice 
> how crushed the bushing is. On top of that, most of the long support bolts 
> that I've seen where slightly bent at the point where they exit the wheel 
> hub mount. On my car the bend was so severe that I had to cut those bolts in 
> order to remove them from the hubs. Both of them! 
> Ok, my car being driven first in New Jersey and now in Poland (with a few 
> years in Florida) has probably seen more rough roads in it's life than 
> average DeLorean does, but doesn't explain the bad design. Crushed bushings, 
> bent support bolts, bent TABs... it should NEVER happen! All this leads me 
> again to one conclusion - very poor design by Lotus. 
> The suspension should allow free movement throughout the entire range of 
> travel with rigid bushings (metal tubes). The bushings are there to cushion 
> vibration (to make the ride smoother) and to allow for some controlled 
> movement as to avoid failure. In case of the DeLorean the rear shock would 
> crack/bend/snap if the bushing was replaced with a rigid one. 
> Please, give me some credit if it doesn't make much sense... English is my 
> second language! That's why I'm taking a bunch of pictures... a picture is 
> worth a thousand words and it will help greatly in trying to explain my 
> ideas ;) 
> Take care, 
> Tom Niemczewski 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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