Lotus Elan

Wheel Came Off

PostPost by: MartinH » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:46 am

On holiday in France heading over to ile d'Oleron on the west coast. We had been touring down the N10 but decided to make up some time and got on the A10. After a peage(toll) stop and accelerating hard I felt a bit of rear wheel steering and then the car slammed down on the drivers side rear, the wheel came off and overtook us. Fortunately we managed to coast/grind to a halt on the safety strip without too much drama (we thought). We had been doing 130 KMH. The wheel ended up on the safety strip about 200 meters ahead of us. The rear suspension dragging along the tarmac sent a shower of sparks on to the tinder dry grass and set it on fire. Once stopped I had to run back with the fire extinguisher carried in the car to put out the roadside fire.

Then back to recover the wheel and assess the damage. The hub shaft has sheared at the hub end. I am assuming this is just metal fatigue brought on by a combination of age and some level of aggressive driving on the track days we do. The car has a 145 BHP 1700 twin cam, and I use Michelin XAS tyres which are very sticky when hot.

I have replaced the inner output shafts after one broke on a track day, driving to the pit lane. I have Sue Miller CV joints, but have never thought about the hub shafts. Does anyone have any guidance/advice/experiences to share about replacements shafts. I will do both of course and presume there are some soild billet types available. No doubt there is an element of price/performance in the choice but given what I use the car for they will need to be strong.
A few photos to share.

Thanks
Martin
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PostPost by: TBG » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:04 am

By a lottery ticket..................!! :shock:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:11 am

TTR sells shafts that don't break in my experience. I did an original shaft in my Elan about 25 years ago on the race track and changed them both then, no problems since. At least you don't have the hassle of removing the hub to replace the shaft. You may also need a new hub if the taper is damaged.

They usually break at the big end of the taper near the bearing I have not seen one fail at the nut end like yours.

cheers
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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:21 am

Must have been loose on the taper for some time! the nut does not hold the wheel on.
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PostPost by: MartinH » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:35 am

Is there any possibility that the failure at the nut end could have been aided by over-tightening the KO spinner?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:41 am

My sympathies. I had pretty much the same thing happen not long after I bought the car. Mine went on the A1 near Peterborough with a friend of mine - a traffic cop! - in the passengers seat. The scars on the bottom of the strut are still there.
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PostPost by: 661 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:49 am

Blimey, not seen that before.
At least you came to a controlled stop.
I hope you get home safely.
Looks like you'll have plenty to do in your 2 weeks quarantine :D

The TTR 26R S2 set up I have looks unbreakable................( but see the threads on it's quirks, wont go with your Sue Millar shafts). They may do billet outer shafts for the standard style hub setup, which would be the easiest way to go. ( ? need new hub and carrier???)
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:52 am

When I was rebuilding my struts I seriously considered seeing if it was possible to fix a ring of nylon (or similar) to the bottom of the strut to act as a sacrificial "skid" if the shaft broke / wheel came off etc.

Easier slide and less damage.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:47 pm

A cut down motorcycle racer knee slider would probably be suitable material. :lol:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:24 pm

69S4 wrote:A cut down motorcycle racer knee slider would probably be suitable material. :lol:


Exactly! Even give some tasty sparks. How to securely attach however?
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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:51 pm

When you say overtightening what torque are you using?
From the picture it looks like a conical failure from the last thread.
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:55 pm

UHMW would make the best rub/ skid plate... 'Ultra High Molecular Weight' polyethylene. It will resist wear better than Nylon or polyurethane. How you mount it is another matter.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:52 pm

Do you intend to do this on a regular basis?

John ;-)
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:57 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:Do you intend to do this on a regular basis?

John ;-)


Indeed!!!! :D
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:39 pm

MartinH wrote: Does anyone have any guidance/advice/experiences to share about replacements shafts. I will do both of course and presume there are some soild billet types available. No doubt there is an element of price/performance in the choice but given what I use the car for they will need to be strong.

Thanks
Martin

I have TTR F1 billet shafts with no keyway. Seem to be the best (strongest) option available. Paired with CV's (from Dave Bean). No mating problems.

I have 26R hubs, so you need to verify that the TTR shafts work with standard hubs.

I see Matty also has shafts (Quaife).

None are cheap.

Just be sure to lap the hubs/shafts carefully to ensure a proper tight fit.
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