Winter project...... Suspension.

Topics relating to the Lotus Exige S2 (series 2)
johnfishcurtis
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:59 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

This winter I would like to remove the wishbones and clean them up.
Not looking to replace all the bushes or ball joints, just remove the wishbones, strip, paint, put back.

Not done this before, so after some tips.

Any special tools needed?
Will I need a geo settup afterwards?
Is the toe link kit worth fitting? I only do brisk road driving, no track days.
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Fonzey
Posts: 1188
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

It's easy enough, if you're keeping bushes and BJs in place you won't need anything special. I'd look at keeping the wishbones attached to the uprights and removing each corner of the car in one big unit. If you try to remove the BJs from the uprights to properly separate, then the chance of nicking a boot is fairly high depending on how seized they are.

Leaving bushes/BJs in limits your options for treatments/process for cleaning them up - but a good wire brushing on a drill, some paint on rust convertor and a half decent paint job should be possible.

I'd at least reconsider doing the bushes/BJs because they're not THAT expensive in the grand scheme if you go for OEM equivalents and fresh items can really make a great change to the car, even if you think it currently feels 'fine'.

In theory if you remove the corners as a single piece, you'll not have to get the geo looked at because you'll be leaving the track rod end attached, and the camber shims will not be touched - but you will need to make careful note of the caster shims. I'd probably take it for a geo check at the very least once you're done.

Toe links I'd take into consideration once inspecting your current ones. If they're anything like worn, then get an aftermarket kit on - don't replace OEM for OEM (IMO). They can fail on the road, but very rarely on S2s it seems.
johnfishcurtis
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:59 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

That's great, never thought of removing the corner of the car as one unit, wishbones, uprights, hubs etc.
The wishbones aren't that bad, but I would like to strip, treat and repaint.
lotuslee
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:58 pm

I have done loads, best solution as Fonzy says is replace the ball joints £32 per corner. You dont need to replace the bushes as these are general fine and can stay in wishbones. I tend to get everything shot blasted and zinc primer painted then tip coat with Rustoleum paint have a look at my thread as on with a suspension refresh at moment on my own car.
johnfishcurtis
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:59 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

Cheers, I'll have a look. :thumbup:
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Fonzey
Posts: 1188
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Just reliving my memory of doing it before, the only bit I would consider awkward is getting the caster shims back in at the end of the job. I ended up glueing the shims together (with nothing strong, just some random PVA to give them enough adhesion to keep them together when sliding them in) and then greased the outer edges and sort of poked them in with a large flathead and a few taps with a hammer. @lotuslee might have some better hints/tips but it's the only part I'm not really looking forward to when I do my Exige.

Oh, and a few socket extensions are handy for the footwell bolts to save you bending yourself in half.
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Type116
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 3:18 pm

we do a very reasonably prices suspension refresh service. Although in honesty, usually the stuff which comes to us has new everything.. some pics to show the finish :)

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We also supply the entire contents of the suspension too, ball joints, track rod ends, toe links, camber shims, abs shims, full bolt kits for everything..

possibly something you might be interested in :)
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Fonzey
Posts: 1188
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Is that Zinc plated Chris? Do you topcoat it with anything?
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Type116
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 3:18 pm

Its zincnplated and then baked for 10 hours and then gold passivated
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johnfishcurtis
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:59 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

Ooh that looks good.

I'll get the suspension removed and have a look at its condition.
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