FITTING NEW SUSPENSION TO THE ELISE (LEDA)

Fitting new suspension on the Elise is a fairly straightforward process. Each corner of the car consists of a shock absorber and a spring, held in place by a single bolt top & bottom, attached to mounting brackets.

Removal & fitting is as easy as removing these bolts and reattaching the new components. You will also need to adjust the camber angle if the car sits lower than before. Do do this you will require shim plates, which are attached to the xxxxx by two allen-key bolts.

Removing the old suspension (the following details the front suspension, but the rear is almost identical)

1. Start by jacking the car up at the correct jacking point. Use a piece of wood to spread the load. I've started with the front in this photo.

Remove the wheel.

2. Undo the bolt holding the top of the shock absorber to the upper bracket. You will need two 17mm spanners to do this (or a pair of mole grips on one side, like I did). The nut holding it togther is a nyloc nut, so some force will be required to remove it.

3. Undo the lower bolt in the same way you removed the top.

4. Once you've undone both top & bottom nuts, widthdraw the bolts. You may need to support the wheel hub to ease removal for this.

 

5. Pull the top of the shock towards you, away from the bracket. It should now pivot in the lower bracket.

6. Pull the shock upwards away from the lower bracket. The rear shocks may have some resistance, if it won't come loose by hand, then a few taps on the shock from below should free it up. Once free, remove the shock completely.

7. Attach the new shock at the top bracket. You may need to support the wheel hub to align the bolt holes. Make sure you fit the bolt with all washers - two on the outside of the bracket, and on the front you will need to fit the two spacer washers as pictured.

8. Attached the bottom of the shock to the lower bracket, again using a washer on the outside of the bracket (one each side).

9. Once fitted, tighten all nuts and check. If the new suspension is rose-jointed, ensure it can move around freely.

 

 

Camber adjustment

 

Camber adjustment on the road wheels is necessary to alter the angle of the wheels to compensate for the lower ride height. I fitted 1mm shims to all four corners as a starting point; only a full geometry check will show whether this is sufficient of not. More detail on camber adjustments can be found in section DE of the service manual.

I recommend using the shims available from Race-Speed - these allow you to fit them without removing the ball-joint plinth completely. You can buy packs of shims in various sizes for accurate adjustment. In the photo, the longer shim is for the front, the shorter for the rear.

A single 1mm shim will alter the camber angle by approximately 0.3 degrees.

1. Loosen the allen-key headed bolts holding the ball-joint plinth to the hub carrier. Access is quite fiddly, so this make take lots of small turns to loosen the bolt enough. Once you have enough space, insert the shim into the gap and tighten the bolts. That's it!

 

 

Before

Before (rear wheel)

After

After (rear wheel)