|The Europa Side - Adjustable Front Camber|
By Don Nester
Chapman Report Dec 1978
Locating Lotus parts requires perserverance and a long distance WATTS line. In my recent search for a left door window, I exhausted west coast sources and finally located the window at Lotus East on the east coast. The moral of this story is that if your local Lotus dealer tells you a part connot be acquired, you might be wise to check all possible sources yourself.
Changing the subject a bit, Europas, like all other cars, require some level of maintainance. As would be expected, the front suspension has to be adjusted occasionally to correct for misalignments which are caused by those unexpected road hazards. Also, as would be expected, Chapman in all his wisdom did not provide all of the alignment adjustments. To be specific, there is no camber adjustment for the Europa.
The identification of alignment problems in usually made visible by strange wear patterns of the front tires. Of course the best way to determine if you have alignment problems is to have a qualified front end shop check it out.
As with other cars, front end alignment consists of adjusting the caster, camber and toe-in back to factory specifications. The alignment for toe-in is done last and is accomplished through adjustment of the standard tie rod end adjusters. The caster adjustment is accomplished by shimming the upper ball joint between the A-arms and the ball joint. The camber adjustment is accomplished by modifying the upper A-arms.
In order to make the camber adjustable on Europa front ends, the upper A-arms must be modified. The modification consists of elongating the 2 mounting holes for the ball joint in both A-arms. This process is most simply accomplished by totally removing the upper arms and then carefully filing the holes oblong with the arm secured in a vise. The following shows this modification:
Note: After modification, washers must be placed between the A-arm and the ball joint and the ball joint mounting bolts to evenly distribute the bolt forces on the modified A-arms.