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Lotus Elise - NITRONS - Whats your setup
|Just bolted mine on, standard 1-way adjustables with 325/400 springs.|
currently setting up ride heights etc.
interested in what other people have settled on for the road
-what ride height
-what damping settings
thought a thread with feedback from other nitron users might be useful for others as well as myself.
|Garzie S1 111S|
|What is preload please - never managed to work that out?|
I've fitted Nitrons at 325/400 but now need to get it set up. I need to book in for a Geo.
|preload is how much compression the spring is under with the car in its resting position. affects ride height |
best to make sure you set the desired ride hieght before you have toe and camber set
|Garzie S1 111S|
|Ride height should be 110-115 front and 120-125 rear|
These are the setting I've settled on after a lot of playing around -
Toe -0'15" Toe OUT Total (minutes)
Camber -1.0° ±0.2°
Castor +3.8° ±0.2°
Toe +0'18" toe IN per side (minutes)
Camber -2.0° ±0.2°
Damping settings, start in the middle (usually with the rear one or two clicks harder) and have a play. Remember always to count the clicks from FULL HARD.
|Oh, and those geo settings are done with the car laden with 1/2tank of fuel and weight in the seats. If you drive the car on your own more often than not just put the weight in the drivers seat (equal to your weight). If you normally have a passenger then put a 75kg weight in each seat|
|cheers Rob |
appreciate your comments - here are my geo settings
Toe -0'14" Toe OUT Total(0'07" side)(minutes)
Camber -1'08"L 1'02"R
Castor 20° +3'42"L +4'03"R
Toe 0'31"L 0'30"R Toe IN(minutes)
Camber 2'07"L 2'08"R
all measured on decent 4 wheel laser alignment rig with me and half tank of juice in the car
based on what i read on here and otherplaces i went a bit more agressive on the rear toe - also based on whats in teh archives - i started with 6 turns of preload on the rear and 1 turn on the front.
strangely ride height is around 95F/100R, (was at 140/140 with old Koni's)
was expecting 110/120 - bit supprised about this
be great if anyone can shed any light on it
car has later type( welded ) rear shock upper mounts
damping currently at 19 clicks rear 20 front - from full hard
also fitted the eliseparts steering rack raising plates at the same time, replaced track rod ends and checked out the balljoints and rack for wear while i was at it. all good
drives well - in fact good on smoother surfaces, front feels a bit bouncey on more uneven ones - rear feels harsh on broken ones.
cant fault the nitrons - they are worth every penny just to look at the amount of engineering in them - but setup neeeds work
bit pi55ed i did not look into the ride height more carefully before having the geo - was short of time - think i now need to raise it and have the geo done again
would appreciate as much of your thoughts / suggestions as you have time for
eg any idea how much my toe will change if i jack it up to 110/120
good luck at the races!!!!
|Starters you need to change the ride height, the Nitrons off the shelf aren't designed to run that low and you'll spend most of your time on the bumpstops. Changing the height by 15mm is going to have an effect on toe and camber so you're going to have to reset it all unfortunately.|
Looking at your settings, they all look pretty even which is the important thing. Castor is a bit out but I don't think you'll get much closer than that because the adjustments you can make aren't that accurate. Rear toe, some people recommend half a degree per side as you've got. Personally (and this is my personal feeling) that is to much and can "push" the front. Likewise to little and you get snap oversteer. 18"-20" is the sweet spot for my driving style.
Don't get weighed down with the preload thing, just concentrate on getting the RH correct
|>>damping currently at 19 clicks rear 20 front - from full hard <<|
Mine only have 13 clicks from one end to the other ???
|Newer i.e. less than 3 years have 22 clicks|
|cheers Rob |
reckon my rear toe will decrease when i crank up the RH - so may well aim for more like you suggest
just weird that with the preload suggested from one of the old hands on here - car ended up so low - any idea how many turns you have on - or how much thread showing
wanto make sure i havent some how got an older or custom set of nitrons - before i pay for another geo
will talk with the nitrons factory today
BTW - 26 clicks on my nitrons
|Think I've got about 25mm of thread showing, but that is a guess as I've haven't looked for a long while|
|for those that are still interested i found this in the Archives.|
seems Nitron have changed the kit sometime in the last couple of years - looks like it was early to mid 2004
now designed for a ride height more like 110r 100f/
i havnt been able to contact the factory for confirmaion ( my fault not thiers )
archived posts below ...
Posted 25 May 2004 at 06:57:39 UK time
Just ordered some nitrons to replace my Koni's.
Anyone know of instructions for fitting them?
and what exactly is a GEO setup?
Posted 25 May 2004 at 07:20:01 UK time
I'll also add I am running a 1997 S1.
I have been reading through the archives and come across a couple of horror stories, needing brackets to some guy drilling holes in his mounts :/
Any calming advice gratefully received.
Posted 25 May 2004 at 08:24:02 UK time
Don't panic. With Nitrons the only bracket that you may need to change will be the rear upper. The design of these was changed at some point, which I believe is identified in the workshop manual by the chassis number. However by looking at the bracket you can tell if it's the old design, or the new one. The new design has small reinforcing plates welded across the top and bottom, and rather than simply having washers under the bolts has a rectangular spreader plate, through which both bolts pass. The old design has neither of these. If you still have the old design you should really replace it as it's too weak. The stuff about drilling holes is a complete red herring, so ignore it.
It took me about 3 hours to fit dampers to my 99 S1, some people, such as Bruce, claim to do it in an hour, but he's had some practice. The only fiddly bit is the upper from mounts, I think it's easier to fit the bottom mounts first then the uppers, which have two spacers/washers either side (that's either side of the shock, not either side of the car) rather than the one used everywhere else.
The only special tool you'll require is a torque wrench, I'll assume you have a socket set. I put thread locking compound on the bolts, which is a bit belt and braces, but is what Lotus recommend.
A geo set up is a geometry setup. This is about exactly how the wheels are aligned, and is critical to how the car feels to drive. This is something best left to someone who knows what they're doing.
Posted 25 May 2004 at 08:44:32 UK time
The holes only need to be drilled on some early cars when fitting the brackets for S2 suspension so you don't need to worry about this at all.
As a 97 your car should have the older type rear mounts (unless it has had LSS fitted at some point) so if you do a lot of trackdays you might want to consider changing them as Ian says above. I've got a set of the S2 rear mounts on order as they should be the same dimensions as the early S1 mounts but stronger (they should fit as Lotus supply them with the Bilstein S1 kit now)
New South Wales
Posted 25 May 2004 at 23:37:48 UK time
I would not attempt to put S2 brackets onto an S1. Lotus claim they changed the suspension mounting points and this may or may not be one of the changes.
As belt-and-braces Buckle said, there are two brackets that apply to early/late S1s. It's not an S1/S2 change. It was changed around 1998, with the change to barrell springs. They are different dimensions too. The later bracket puts the shock mounting point higher, effectively giving you a lower ride height if you don't change anything else. Of course Nitrons give you the flexibility to adjust for this.
I don't believe the older bracket design is strong enough for road use, let alone on the track. You have the perfect excuse to change them now.
Posted 25 May 2004 at 23:53:53 UK time
The part no I have is from the Lotus Bilstein S1 kit, it just happens to be the S2 part as well. I'll know for sure on Friday when they turn up at the dealer.
The latest standard Nitrons are shorter, there is some stuff in the archives about this and Nick P went to see Nitron after buyign some and ended up with a car running at LSS heights (100/110) as this is what Nitron say the demand is for.
The latest rear Nitrons will run out of droop travel if you try and run the rear much higher than 110mm with the later S1 damper mounts, this is why I am so interested in changing the brackets although I am running 100/110 at the moment with no problem, I would just like the option in case I find I have clearance problems.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 08:19:44 UK time
That's an interesting comment about droop & ride height. I put Nitrons on my car about 2 months ago, and find the 110/100 ride height to be too low. I spoke to Nitron about this and they came back with 120/110 as the prefered height. Was intending to try that over this week end.
Nolan. I think you mean rebound travel, not droop.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 10:15:03 UK time
I'm pretty sure I mean droop :-)
It would be interesting to see what Bruce thinks as he must have fitted some of the latest Nitrons.
It would be good to get a definitive solution here for the archives/FAQ as there is a lot of contradictory information about.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 10:29:15 UK time
The ride height figures are from Guy Evans at NITRON, looking at the email in another window right now.
Droop/sag/rebound travel? OK with too much preload (to increase ride height) you will end up with no droop. Which will mean there is no rebound travel available.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 11:37:02 UK time
Let us know how you get on at 120/110, you obviously have the later rear damper mounts so I will be interested to see how it goes.
This is an extract from a mail from Nick P regarding his experiences with this which led to him visiting Niron who were mose helpful (I hope he doesn't mind as he doesn't seem to be around)...
> Essentially for the last 6 months the dampers have been
> shorter, intended for a lower ride height which is
> apparently what most people buying the Nitrons are
> running. With the help of Nitron I have now set my car
> up to run at LSS ride heights, ie 110/100 laden and at
> this height the dampers are perfect
So this is all a bit confusing...
FWIW I am getting an absolutely superb ride from the dampers at 100/110 but would prefer to run 10mm higher all round for clearance.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 13:47:58 UK time
I will be fitting mine tomorrow and have got the new and old rear brackets, which ones should I use to get the highest ride height. I would like to have the ride height at about 110/120, I won't be able to get my car up to my house if I go any lower.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 14:20:48 UK time
Good question Johnny. I get the impression that 120mm may only be acheivable with the old style brackets. But those brackets may not be strong enough!
I can't get to my car to check this until the week end, so for now that's all I can say.
If you are able to get 120/110 please let me know.
By the way, have you decided where to get the geometry set at? I have booked my car into R&P Woods in Newcastle. Speaking to them on the phone they appear to be pretty switched on; even the woman on reception know at least some of the ins & outs of Elise suspension.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 16:58:31 UK time
I'm going to Horizon http://www.british-cars.co.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=lotusbbs&exiturl=http://www.horizonmotorsport.co.uk/
They aren't local but I'm staying with a freind who's not too far away from them and they are getting very good reports from people on here and Seloc.
Posted 26 May 2004 at 19:34:39 UK time
Hi all. After visiting Nitron (who were brilliant) i concluded that :-
1. 120/110 is about the limit, following which you run out of droop at the rear.
2. The older mounts make things worse as the mounting point is actually higher, meaning for a given pre-load the ride height is lower.
Im now running 110/100 and its great !
Posted 26 May 2004 at 23:20:42 UK time
Nick - Isn't it the new brackets (mounting points) that are 10mm higher and therefore worse?
Which brackets did you use when establishing the limit of 120/110 ride height?
Posted 26 May 2004 at 23:32:45 UK time
Stu is right. I have a set of each in the shed.
To quote the service manual:
"In June '98 at approx. VIN W 3580 .... blah .... and revised rear damper chassis anchor brackets with repositioned (10mm higher) samper pick up holes."
Posted 27 May 2004 at 00:30:51 UK time
Sorry, quite right, I remember now.
I decided to stay with the newer ones because they are apparantly stronger. I gather the old ones can buckle under certain conditions and was advised that if I wanted higher ride height, the dampers could have 'an extension' added. In the end I didn't need to do this to achieve a 120/110 ride height.
Posted 27 May 2004 at 15:27:05 UK time
Mines a 99 elise and I have used the rear brackets that I needed for the S2 kit as this gives me a higher ride height. I'm not sure exactly what my ride hieght is now but its defintely lower than when I had the S2 stuff on at 120/130.
Posted 29 May 2004 at 07:02:21 UK time
How did the geo go for you? were you pleased and how much did it cost?
I'm looking to change to Nitrons - to try and improve the crashy ride as much as anything - are you happy with yours please?
Posted 29 May 2004 at 09:54:25 UK time
Ian got his geo done at F1 in Newcastle which now charge about £65/hr so I guess it wouldn't have been too cheap for a full geo and corner weighting.
Posted 29 May 2004 at 12:53:03 UK time
I've got the new S2 brackets now and it does look like they are a viable option if you want some more height at the rear.
I've uploaded some photos below, they are pretty much the same dimensions as the original S1 brackets but thicker metal and with reinforcing tabs top and bottom.
Part No's are:
A117D0077F - Rear damper bracket
A111D0125F - Throat Washer
The brackets and throat washers toghether cost me approx £16.
|Garzie S1 111S|
|update - spoke to nitron - very helpful |
had logs of all the shocks sold - were able to confirm the spec and the preload they are sold with from the serial number.
which has put my muind at rest - as i now know that the parts are latest spec standard elise 1 way adjustable nitrons - so any difference in ride height must be down to the car
i can only conclude that if you fit these to a S1 car at 140F/140R measured with standard Konis - then it will end up more like 100/100 with the nitrons.
this is a bit low for my liking - however i checked the rear and have approx 50mm of droop - and so have some room to raise them to at least 110 with preload adjustment.
will check out the fronts to check droop and see if i have room to raise this also.
still interested in setup others are using with NITRONS
|Garzie S1 111S|
|Are you sure it's got preload adjustment? This how a lot of shocks are adjusted for ride height. Unless you can alter the length of the shock then you have no choice. The springs you have are constant rate not progressive rate yes? The preload should not have that much effect as long as you don't have one extreme or the other. ie so wound up they can't move or so unwound that the spring is hardly compressed at all.|
This may be why it feels a bit bouncy. Screw in some ride height and the springs will probably be compressed just the right amount.
|hi Pete |
thansk for your post
the standard nitrons have one adjustable spring platform, you cannot change the overall unladen length of the shock - but you can adjust where within the suspension stroke the car settles, when at rest. as you say - by winding on more preload you can raise the ride height - or wind some off to lower.
my issues mostly stem from my assuming factory set preload would give me 110F / 120R and taking it straight to geo without checking properly.
i think i can get to close to my ideal without topping out - but will have to have geo done again
still interested in other nitron users ride height/ preload and damping settings
|Garzie S1 111S|
This thread was discussed between 07/02/2006 and 17/02/2006
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