Lotus Elan

Diff Mounting Nuts

PostPost by: Stuart+2 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:18 am

Hi fellow forum members,

My diff failed on my way to work last Friday (driving the +2 to work is my Friday treat).

I'm having some bother locating the chassis mounting nuts that are, according to the manual, beneath the fuel tank. I have the seat back off, but there's loads of sound insulation to get through to even think about finding the nuts.

Any tips on the best way to get at these would be appreciated.

Cheers
Stuart - Sydney
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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:35 am

Once you dig through the insulation there should be able to access the nuts; maybe some PO has put extra insulation in. If the bolts have been put in from the top it's a problem.
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:57 am

I found that i had to undo the fuel tank mounting straps and then had just enough movement to raise the tank slightly allowing access to the diff bolts.
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:31 am

Yep as Steve has suggested, remove the parcel shelf and the panel in the boot that hides the fuel tank and loosen the straps - you should then be able to carefully lift the tank up just enough to get to the nuts/bolts without damaging the fuel line or causing it to come adrift. You'll also need to get under the car to stop the bolts from spinning - helps to have assistance or a hand set of mole grips... As per the workshop manual the diff will only come out from the LH side of the chassis and if I recall correctly you'll need to undo the lower wishbone on this side to get at it. A set of hefty levers may help the process!

Hope all goes well!
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:42 am

I managed to get an open ended spanner on the nuts and then cable tie it to the tank straps to stop it from turning whilst undoing the bolts from underneath...

John :cry:
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:37 pm

While you?re down there, but not to hijack your thread? :roll:

When you disconnect the torque rods please note the hardware. Again, ?according to the manual?, there are four cup washers on each diff torque rod, one fixed and three removable. They are described as, in order of installation, the fixed washer welded to the rod, the rubber bush, a cup washer with a large hole, the diff ear, another washer with a large hole, the second bush, a cup washer with a small hole and the nut. Was your diff installed with all of the cup washers described above?

When I disassembled mine the two inner (large hole) washers weren?t installed, but there is evidence of them wearing on the diff ear at some time. What?s the point of the metal to metal contact from these two additional washers? I?m thinking that the PO (or his trusted agent, :twisted: ) actually had the right idea in leaving them off. Unless someone has a compelling reason for their existence, I?m tempted not to source and install them.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:14 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:I managed to get an open ended spanner on the nuts and then cable tie it to the tank straps to stop it from turning whilst undoing the bolts from underneath...

John :cry:


Use a tapered toothed bread knife to clear a path in the insulation into the nuts. Fit a flat 9/16" ring spanner over the nut, and secure it to a bit of flat bar with tie wraps to prevent it moving (or request SWMBO to hold the outer end of it)

Having removed the inner rotoflexes, remove the bolt from underneath with a 9/16" socket on a long extension.

To replace the nuts, it's easier to just have the bolt protruding just about 1/8" to start the nut on the thread.

( Just swapped my diffs last Wednesday :mrgreen: )
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PostPost by: Stuart+2 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:16 am

Thanks Steve, Craig, John, Bud & Sean

I've only just got under the Elan today. As my daughter would type, OMG.

The circlip that holds the diff output shaft was hanging free because the alloy lip that it clips into had been fractured.

I pulled the shaft out - snapped. The shock forced the shaft sideways, terminating my alloy housing in the process.

Thank God for alcohol.

Cheers
Stuart - Sydney
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:39 pm

If it is just the circlip groove which is broken you can probably get it welded up, I have done it with both the tank in place and lifting it, certainly much easier if you can lift the tank.
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PostPost by: Stuart+2 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:58 am

Bud

To respond on your torque rod query - my components are the same - no cup washer at the lug.

There is some abrashion there that does suggest that something harder than polyurethane has been up against the lug. I did note that the bushes had squished through into the lug - no problem - but maybe the cup washer was there to prevent this.

In any case, better without them, particularly in the brave new world of polyurethane.

Cheers
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:05 am

I think it's a bad idea to leave out those inner cups. They are there for two reasons - to centre the torque rod through the hole in the lug and to provide a hard surface for the bush to work against. Without the cups you are likely to end up with oval holes through the lugs and wear to the bush seat particularly with poly bushes if they are harder than the original rubber. The anti-roll bar end bushes are exactly the same set-up and the consequence of leaving out the inner cup is more obvious there.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:43 am

I have just fitted new bushes and cup washers as they were missing (the inner washers that is). There were wear marks on the rods themselves from where they pass through the diff as just the bushes alone were not enough to centre the rods.

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PostPost by: Bud English » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:49 pm

After my (slight?) hijacking of Stuart?s thread, I got off my butt and searched the forum about this. My bad, as my grandchildren say? There is quite a lot of information on the subject and a bit of disagreement.

I too decided to source and install the washers. I will actually attach them to the diff ears with a suitable adhesive as some have suggested. If nothing else they provide the proper spacing of the whole assembly. If bonded in place they also provide some wear protection to the aluminum ears.
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PostPost by: Stuart+2 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:21 am

Thanks Guys.
Diff out. Remaining piece of output shaft removed. Totally twisted and trashed!
Parts ordered. I'm reconditioning the diff while it's out then installing billet steel output shafts.
Bud - I always loved the prototype +2's 4 tail lights. I couldn't help but notice the photo of your car appears to have them. Looks brilliant. Well done!
Cheers
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:52 pm

It?s heresy I tell ya?. That's a future mod courtesy of photo shop. They are C5 corvette tail lights and will be installed recessed as they are on the corvette. That and fabricating some internal boot hinges will clean up the back end to my liking. I haven't sorted out what I want to do with the fuel filler. Once you've decided to go Zetec, it's a slippery slope.
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