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Hi

I've recently purchased a series 2 111S and the suspension seems quite crashy over pot holes and rough roads. I think it is on the original dampers and is a 2004 with about 57,000mls. Having not driven an Elise before I wasn't sure if the suspension is shot or the bushes or its just what to expect.

I'm thinking they need replacement but didn't want to spend £1000+ if it's not going to make a lot of difference and I have read mixed messages in forums. With some saying that shocks probably would need replacement at this kind of mileage and new ones were like light and day between worn ones at similar mileage, where others have commented that suspension is crashy and probably won't make much difference.

Any opinions welcome as I didn't want to spend with no real gain. Also nitron street series dampers seem cheaper than bilstein and get good reviews. Gaz shocks gold seem cheaper still but get mixed reviews.

Don't intent to track, so interested with other people's experiences for road use.

Many thanks

Steve 

 

 

 

Edited by Steve_1970
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Congratulations on the purchase Steve.  Pictures of said 111S are compulsory...!

Experience or comparison is your friend here:   It's a bugger if you don't know how it should feel or how much better it should / could be.  I'd suggest a ride in someone else's car or have them ride along in yours if you want to understand how good, bad yours is.   (I resent putting a disclaimer in here about adhering to covid rules and distancing...that should be a given)

There's lots of similar questions on here and plenty of good advice  - I tend to search via google as well as the forum's search engine.  Worn bushes will make just as much difference to the ride as worn shocks and or springs.   You may find ball joints are worn / split boots but it not you can just stick with your shocks and bushes.

For what it's worth (and as it happens its worth about a £1K).  If new suspension is needed My advice would be new Bilsteins and one of the OEM-esque bush kits from say or ES motorsport..or the superpro bushes kit.  For road use you won't be disappointed.   It's advice I've been given from people like Ollie and Phoenix Motorsport or Paul and PJS.    I changed both shocks and bushes in 19 year old car with 28K on the clock.  They were past their best.  The difference was pleasing...more controlled, damped, solid, responsive to steering inputs...but its an Elise...so it will always feel raw; I'd hesitate to say 'night and day' for that reason, but definitely worth doing.

let everyone know how you get on

MrWill

 

 

 

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Hi, I am also a new owner of a 2004 111R and having the same thoughts and being the only Elise I’ve been in, I have no idea if all is as expected. I am looking to book it in for a service at either PJS or Gav at Unit 4 following the information on this forum. I’m hoping they can then advise on the feel of the car.

Brian

95A33AE4-6A3A-4B88-90F2-C486DCC99CF2.jpeg

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Thanks, everyone loves the colour, not seen any others this burgundy red. What is doesn’t show is the very bad paint blisters on both doors - another job for later in the year.DCCB717B-50C9-4D8A-A2B5-0D1F1B84FD87.thumb.jpeg.69386fd47384c745560e00786ed19a7f.jpeg

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many moons ago I had a newish S2 111S with only 20K miles on the clock and as you describe, the suspension was rather 'crashy'. Perfectly ok on minor ripples/bumps/undulations but sounded terrible on potholes etc. During my search for that car I drove 2 or 3 other cars (all 111S) and they all sounded the same. This was a time when they were all pretty low mileage.

EDIT: Later I had a 2006 Sports Racer 111R (with Exige S2 shocks/springs) and that was slightly better but still rather crashy.

No idea if you can improve matters with different shocks, all I can say is that I think the suspension geometry of an S3 Elise must be very similar to yours but the ride (lack of crashiness!) is far superior, so it must be possible!

Edited by duncx
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10 hours ago, Betts said:

Hi, I am also a new owner of a 2004 111R and having the same thoughts and being the only Elise I’ve been in, I have no idea if all is as expected. I am looking to book it in for a service at either PJS or Gav at Unit 4 following the information on this forum. I’m hoping they can then advise on the feel of the car.

Brian

95A33AE4-6A3A-4B88-90F2-C486DCC99CF2.jpeg

very nice:wub:

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One of my friends has offered me a set of nitrons and when I asked how they compare to the original billies, he said 'night and day on good roads but a bit crashy on pot holes', so a bit crashy seems the order of the day with Elise's!

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I would say get a specialist to look at it first (I use Gav at Unit 4 but PJS are also very good). They will tell you if any bushes and/or balljoints are knackered, plus your steering rack as they can knock. If any of those are faulty then replacing them will make the car less clonky/bangy.

New dampers might make a bit of difference but beware things like Nitrons have MUCH stiffer springs and make the car overall much harsher. They are great on track, obvs, and good on smooth roads and if you are driving really fast but on bumpy roads, in the wet, when you are driving slowly and sensibly, i.e 90% of the time standard Billies are best. The Lotus ride and handling guys know what they are doing. You can get them reconditioned by the way. 

 

You should also know that all early elises clonk and boing in potholes - it's because the ally tub acts a bit like a drum. I think Lotus figured out how to quieten it down a bit on later cars but you may have to learn to live with it to some extent.

Good luck!  I hope you enjoy the ownership experience.

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On 12/03/2021 at 20:26, Broadside said:

One of my friends has offered me a set of nitrons and when I asked how they compare to the original billies, he said 'night and day on good roads but a bit crashy on pot holes', so a bit crashy seems the order of the day with Elise's!

I'd say nitrons are definitely night and day even on a rough road but it will massively depend on the cars Geo setup, spring ratings/helper springs and the shocks valving etc.

I've had a couple of Elise platform cars and had nitrons of one form or another on most the cars. My S1 for example when I first got it had nitrons with 700lb rear and 550lb front springs with 150lb helpers front and rear. It was utterly sublime on a smooth surface. Felt like going off road if you ran over an ant. I swapped these 475 rear 400 front with no helpers this made the car ride beautifully on all surfaces.

OP - Give Randy at Hoffman's a ring he will be able to help you figure out a setup that's suitable for your needs.

Edited by Alex B
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