Lotus Elan

speedo angle drive

PostPost by: RichC » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:05 pm

hi folks,
am I right in thinking the only solution is a complete new angle drive component?
we've looked at trying to pull the cable stub out of it & removing the circlip (hidden from view in pic) with a view to replacing the little piece of square drive. Haven't found anything to match it looking thru car junk in the loft .
I'm a little concerned as to how and why the cable got twisted so much as the speedo cable spins freely and the angle drive seems well lubricated and free spinning....I can only think that maybe the worn internal drive mechanism of the angle drive may have locked up momentarily , maybe at high speed ?
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lotus speedo angle drive 001.JPG and
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:34 pm

That's the bit that usually fails. Apparently it's called a quill and is available from Caterham Cars.
elan-f14/speedo-cable-t23468.html
I repaired mine with a piece of suitably sized steel (wire nail) filed square - that's unlikely to fail again !
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:55 pm

Salut

Same thing happened to mine - but it was after a gearbox rebuild, so there was a ready-made excuse.

The old broken cable is a bugger to get out - in my case anyway. I ended up drilling and taking out some sort of plastic grommet/outer seal at the same time. I tried just push fitting the Caterham quill, but it didn't work. I didn't investigate any further because either the quill needed glueing in with epoxy, or it wasn't long enough. As I didn't have a non-broken original to check with I bought another. ?70 for a new Smiths unit from a guy on eBay. A few weeks after SCParts were offering a replacement for ?50:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Elan-Au ... 1216wt_698

A nail is obviously the cheapest, but I wonder what would happen if the angle-drive seized - maybe the plastic gear drive thingy in the gearbox would strip?

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:24 pm

vernon.taylor wrote:A nail is obviously the cheapest, but I wonder what would happen if the angle-drive seized - maybe the plastic gear drive thingy in the gearbox would strip?


Good point - hadn't thought of that. :shock: Maybe not such a good idea then.
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PostPost by: sveris » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:28 pm

I'm not sure how common it is with the Elan gearbox, but the Europa gearboxes have been known to end up with stripped speedometer driven gears. But the reason for the problem is almost always due to the angle drive seizing from lack of lubrication.

When the angle drive seizes, the speedo driven gear stops spinning. However, the worm gear on the primary shaft of the transmission continues to rotate. The worm gear is manufactured from a harder material [by design], so the driven gear is sacrificed.

The Europa gears have been NLA for decades, so I had a few batches reproduced. Here's what they look like:

Image

So, make sure the angle drive is lubed and kept in good repair. HTH.

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:49 pm

sveris wrote:I'm not sure how common it is with the Elan gearbox, but the Europa gearboxes have been known to end up with stripped speedometer driven gears. But the reason for the problem is almost always due to the angle drive seizing from lack of lubrication.


Does that mean that the angle drive quill does not fail first then ?
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:35 pm

oldelanman wrote:Does that mean that the angle drive quill does not fail first then ?


Well, a quill is more likely to fail than a big fat nail.

Not sure about the availability of the drive gear - Burton have some lsited in their catalogue for the bullet 'box - but not for our 2000E box (could be wrong here about the type of 'box we have). Are they the same?

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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:27 am

went for simple solution ...
a lot cheaper than the ones advertised on ebay (no surprise there)
http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/Item--i-120694

I can investigate sourcing a quill at leisure & then maybe I'll refurb the original as a spare
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PostPost by: worzel » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:06 am

Hi

Anybody know what the thread size/type is on the right angle drive?- I'm referring to the "collar/sleeve" that screws to the box rather than the part to which the cable is attached (although they're probably the same I guess).

Thanks

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:53 am

Salut Rich

That doesn't look like the right one. Our Lotus requires a bigger collar (and bigger price) - same size as the speedo cable (the smaller collar is for Triumph, etc.) - I made the same mistake.

Maybe if you go direct to SCParts they'll do it a bit cheaper.

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PostPost by: dlbutler » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:01 am

Most likely cause of the break: speedometer needs lubrication, speedo cable worn out and/or needs lubrication.

To repair: buy a speedo cable for a Cortina. The cable screws directly into the gearbox, so it is the correct size. Dismantle the angle drive, determine the original length of the old quill, drill out the old quill from the bit that holds it, solder/braze the new quill that you cut from the Cortina cable, reassemble. New Castle Brown Ale Time. :)
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PostPost by: bill308 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:10 pm

Just want to caution you guys that aside from the physical connections, the gear ratios vary by angle drive model/part number. The Lotus one I believe is rare and common only to one model of Morgan IIRC. After a search, I purchased a complete angle drive from SJ Sports Cars.

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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:44 pm

OK thanks for the advice !
I've called Susan Miller and she's kindly putting the correct angle drive in the post to me ?30 exchange .
I'll be calling rimmer bros ...
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:17 pm

As previously mentioned the collar that mates to the aluminium piece is bigger on the Lotus than it is on the spitfire/AH model (also supplied by Moss Motors in the US) $48. The collar can however be changed with correct one from you old drive. It takes a little work, but I managed to complete it in about an hour.

I not sure about the different gearing. I guess i will find out when i get it back on the road.

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:10 pm

When I changed mine I was advised not to drive - though I can't see what the problem would be if the retaining fork is still in place and the oil seal OK.

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