Lotus Elan

Quite a moment!

PostPost by: JJDraper » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:26 pm

This was not how I planned the morning to go...

The threaded portion of the axle clean sheared off.. Fortunately I was only doing around 10 mph.

Makes you think.. after the implication sinks in. I was just about to head off down a busy dual carriageway.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: elj221c » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:37 pm

Ah, yes, seen one of those before except it was on a 26R at Thruxton.

I thought Spyder used a non Lotus outer shaft?

Evidence of water ingress and fretting.

Looks like a poorly fiited hub....

At least no serious damage done to you or the car....
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:53 pm

Evidence of rust & rust colored undergarments I bet....
You were lucky Sir!
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:16 pm

Like it....

John :lol:
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PostPost by: 512BB » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:06 am

And what about the other side Jeremy, is that ready to let go as well ?

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PostPost by: elansprint » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:58 am

Jeremy glad you are OK could have been a lot worse ? Hope the car is not damaged looks like there is no radius from axle to thread but cut square this happens quite a bit on Stags.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:02 am

Had the same thing on a Europa Special. I was driving at speed on a dual carriage way and the car was rear end steering. I got home, jacked the back of the car up thinking a wheel bearing had gone and the wheel, hub and end of the driveshaft with the nut came off in my hands...sat down and had a cup of tea and a smoke, I didn't smoke but felt the need at that point.

Glad you are ok and the car doesn't look too damaged.

A mate of mine tells the story of how he was driving his Mini at speed on the A 1 when a wheel overtook him, he thought 'oh look some fools lost a wheel', the next thing he remembered was waking up slumped over the steering wheel with a policeman gently shaking his shoulder saying 'are you alright son?
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PostPost by: peterako » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:18 am

:shock: Eeek!

As if Elans weren't low enough as it is....

It's going to take a few minutes (and perhaps taking up smoking) before I can drive my +2 with intent again...... :?

Glad you, and the car, are safe though Jeremy!

Nice wheel(s)!!
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:56 am

Blimey O'Reilly... wouldn't have thought that bit could go like that ! Glad no injuries !!

Had the front trunnion on a Herald go on me many years ago. Had been doing 70 on the A46 only minutes before.

Weird what goes through your head though.... Can still remember thinking that I had somehow put the front left down a big pot hole, wondering why I hadn't spotted it and why were there fireworks under the car.
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PostPost by: peterako » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:41 pm

Don't get me started on Trunnions......or Steering Racks

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-elan-f19/embarassed-but-alive-t14676.html :shock:

Perhaps I need a drink now too..... :roll:

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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:57 pm

yes trunnions ....
Old grease & age were the most likely culprits.. Regular attention with oil should prevent it happening on the +2
I just read the saga of the steering column
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:30 pm

Update - Car was trailered (courtesy of the AA) to Northampton for repairs. The recovery guy had a nifty plastic 'shoe' that fitted under the upright and allowed the car to move without any further damage ( a couple of guys in a van helped me move it to the reasonably safe position in the picture by lifting the corner and pushing!). I had the original alloy uprights (cracked & scrap) from before the Spyder RSC conversion, so the spare axle and hub have been used for the repair, now completed. 24hrs & back on the road, as currently it is my daily driver.

I will have to have a think about the cause of this before spirited cornering.

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PostPost by: archigator » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:33 am

"You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel."
(Apologies to Kenny Rogers)

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:22 am

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:41 pm

Gary, you made the day brighter! Thanks

I've now had a chance to examine the parts and reflect on the failure and discuss it with the mechanic(s) Ken & Neil. I (and you) need to know two things - why did it happen and what can be done to prevent anyone else having 'a Moment'.

The 'What'
Firstly, it is clear that the threaded portion of the axle was cracked for some time, probably due to some stretching force. I understand that this is unlikely to have been over tightening, as the thread would have stripped first.

Secondly, the remaining shaft probably reached a point where the clamping force of the nut was reduced enough, due to stretching, for the hub to fret very slightly. This probably took a long time, with the final phase taking place over a week or so. The force on the nut/shaft in the final phase reached a point where cornering caused the shaft to snap and forward motion ceased shortly thereafter..

The 'Why'
Thinking back over the last few years, I had an 'off' (I still say there was mud on the road) which resulted in the car mounting a curb, and the inside of the rear wheel clouting the said curb with enough force to smash the wheel & bend the hub. The repairs were carried out by insurance and I was not directly involved, but I think the hub was replaced, but the shaft deemed to be OK, because there was no run-out (not bent). I think it was this incident that caused the initial crack on the shaft, even though there was no visible damage. From then on, this event was going to happen sometime, even though the accident was around 4 years and 25k miles ago.

Lesson learnt - Any serious clouting of a wheel - I guess enough to bend the hub - should be cause to scrap the axle, or at least get it crack tested.

I intend asking the repairers if they can remember exactly what they replaced, as if I am wrong, I will have to look for another explanation. I attach the pics of the parts for interest/comment. Any alternative scenarios welcome, in the interests of preventing this sort of thing happening to anyone else!

Jeremy
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