Lotus Elan

Elan S4 rebuild - my story chapter 2

PostPost by: seniorchristo » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:27 am

Congrats on getting the windshield tightened up. You and Drew got a lot done after I left! :lol:
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:28 pm

I read everything I could about the Elan steering rack during the past week because I felt something was just not right with it. The car seemed to wonder in the corners and mainly on right hands turns. Very strange. During my readings someone mentioned you can't take the rack out of the car without the body off or cutting into the fiberglass body.......neither which I wanted to do.

I had copied a number of write-ups and showed them to Drew when he came over. We checked all the usual things, balls joints, tie rod ends, suspension bolts tight, steering coupler tight, steering wheel shaft tight. Everything was in order. The we decided to remove the ball joints and the rubber dust covers off the tie rods to check if the proper limit bushings where in place. Yes, confirmed they were all there and the right sizes. We did notice the right side of the rack was not completely against the chassis when bolted down. Took note of that.
dsc08185.jpg and
Left side steering rack bushing and nut

dsc08181.jpg and
Right side steering rack bushing


Decided that it looked like the rack would easily come out so we removed it. No issues, came right out.
dsc08193.jpg and
Removing steering rack

dsc08194.jpg and
Steering rack removed


We went over to Drew's shop as he has more table space and bigger vises to disassemble the rack. We took everything apart and cleaned all the parts.
img_7264.jpg and
Rack end nuts where torqued very very tight

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Washing all the parts

img_7280.jpg and
Steering rack and all the parts


The rack was in very good condition. But it was evident that someone had taken this apart and not reassembled correctly. The preload was wrong and two washers were in the incorrect location. The pinion gear and rack looked almost new. Typical of the work that Drew and I do, we are going to replace bushings and a grease seal, media blast the rack tube and repaint it then reassemble correctly. More parts to order.
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:43 am

My parts to rebuild my steering rack arrived and after reading the shop manual a few more times, Drew and I proceeded to put it back together installing a new bushing, grease seal, washer and removing a few too many shims that were in the wrong places and several that were not needed. Someone before me had attempted to rebuild this steering rack and they assembled it incorrectly. As I mentioned in a previous post, the steering was not precise and it bothered me, so we took it apart to find out why.

img_7334.jpg and
Media blasted steering rack

img_7336.jpg and
pressing on the steering rack bushing

img_7344.jpg and
assembly of the pinion into rack

img_7346.jpg and
Tie rod end cup

img_7350.jpg and
precise measuring of each shim

img_7351.jpg and
Installed tie rod ends

img_7352.jpg and
assembled steering rack built to spec


After we got the entire rack back together and in spec with the factory tolerances, we masked off the parts to be left unpainted and painted the rack black. After it dried we went back to my shop to install in the Elan.
img_7353.jpg and
Steering rack repainted and ready for re-installation


Drew and I went for a drive. First I drove. Very carefully I must admit to ensure everything was secure and working well. Then Drew drove, and he thrashed the car though the gears and around the corners. A very invigorating drive I must say. Yup, we built it right ! We were both smiling......
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:01 am

After our test drive we checked the tow-in and noted it needed a small adjustment. Made a few notes for work to be done next week to finish everything. Minor detail stuff to be completed, but we are almost there. I think I'll bring it to LOG36 with my S1. Anyone else coming with a pair of Elan's ;-)
img_7355.jpg and

img_7357.jpg and

img_7359.jpg and

img_7361.jpg and
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: benymazz » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:55 am

I have to say, I enjoyed reading this entire topic. One thing though, if you ever do an engine rebuild again something my father did was put a stripe of blue masking tape on each spark plug wire, corresponding to each cylinder. i.e. 1 stripe for cyl 1, 2 stripes for cyl 2, etc. You probably either A. already do something like this or B. the leads come with markings already on them, but I just wanted to share something that might help you in the future :) .

Regards,
Ben
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:23 pm

Thanks Ben, all plug wires are now appropriately identified!
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:28 pm

image.jpeg and


I use cable ties (an idea I pinched from another Member)

Regards
Richard
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PostPost by: DrinkMan » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:38 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:
image.jpeg


I use cable ties (an idea I pinched from another Member)

Regards
Richard



I'm cheap. Cable ties on 1, 2, and 3 only. Saves 4 ties. :D
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:59 pm

DrinkMan wrote:
richardcox_lotus wrote:
image.jpeg


I use cable ties (an idea I pinched from another Member)

Regards
Richard



I'm cheap. Cable ties on 1, 2, and 3 only. Saves 4 ties. :D


and I thought I was cheap!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
just don't confuse that with the dizzy lead !!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
TED
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:11 pm

My list to complete the S4 is getting shorter, but as usual something comes up that creates an addition. More on that in a bit.

The horn didn't always work consistently. Drew rebuilt the horn cap and we traced a few wires just to confirm everything. Horn now works everytime you push the button.
dsc08195.jpg and


I knew I had a vacuum leak somewhere as the head lights wouldn't stay down (after the car was shut off) for longer than 5 minutes. I used a stethoscope to identify the leak, or so I thought. At first I thought it was the vacuum canister itself. I had a new one (which was meant for my S1) so we installed it. Nope, that was not the problem. So Drew and I un-installed it and reinstalled the original. That meant the switch itself was the culprit (I knew it wasn't the chassis reservoir).

I had read the head light vacuum switch was repairable and it seemed simple enough. I had a beat-up spare in the box of parts that came with this car so Drew & I took it apart and methodically cleaned and straightened everything out to confirm a good seal. It actually an ingenious design but not the easiest to disassemble and keep the parts intact.

dsc08199_edited-1.jpg and


Once we confirmed that we could disassembled and reassemble the vacuum switch successfully and it worked, we took the original one out of the car, took it apart, repaired it and re-assembled it and installed. Twelve hours later it was still holding vacuum. Success! (Drew is starting up a headlight vacuum switch repair business, send him your non-functioning and leaking switches).
dsc08200.jpg and
Inside of Repaired headlight vacuum switch


I installed the chrome "beauty rings" on the steel wheels, painted and installed the front wire grille inside the cowl and then took out the musty, dirty soft top to clean and install.

Drew and I spent about an hour cleaning the soft top and were proud of the work we had done. When it came time to install the top, the front leading edge had a bunch of snaps that we had no idea how they attached. Completely stumped and after a couple of responses to another post I made about S4 soft tops it was determined that this top is clearly non-standard and completely unusable. Gotta wonder how it ended up this way?

dsc08213.jpg and
Soft top has wrong leading edge attachment


Off came the top. Luckily I have a brand new tonneau cover that needs to be fitted with the snap attachments. Will work on that next time.

Well, the S4 is virtually finished and ready for its first public appearance at LOG36 in a couple of weeks. Its been a great project and it turned out to be a really nice car.
dsc08218.jpg and

dsc08219.jpg and


Time for some driving!
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:10 pm

Congratulations on getting it done!
those beauty rings/rim embellishers really make those wheels POP!!!
see you at LOG! :D
TED
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:36 am

Thanks Ted!
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:12 am

It's been great reading about all the work that you guys have done. You made it through quite a few challenges, and your attention to detail is impressive. Thanks for sharing all the pics and descriptions.

And look at the end result - what a well sorted, beautiful car - well done!

Rich
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66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:23 am

Thank you Rich. Hopefully we have motivated a few people to move their restoration projects along. Great to have these wonderful sports cars back on the road!
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: ken ob » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:07 am

I wonder if you and Drew would consider moving near to me ?
It's only one ocean and several thousand miles ! :lol:



Ken
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