Lotus Elan

Steering Impact Clamp

PostPost by: steve71 » Sat Mar 26, 2005 9:30 am

Hello Everyone,

I have just returned from a brilliant days drive in my fathers S4 FHC, which he happily lends to me. He is a fine man. :)

We are having a problem where the inner and outer steering shafts slide towards each other till the base of the steeringwheel touches the outer column (and just for a laugh the hornpush popped out last weekend when I went to toot another Lotus driver).

I am siding the lower shaft as far down as possible, sitting the top shaft so there is about a 10mm gap between the base of the steering wheel boss. I then tighten the clamp bolts as tight as possible, followed by tightening the grub screw and locknut as tight as possible.

This holds the shafts in place for about 3 hours driving before the top shaft starts to slide down.

Am I doing something wrong? If not is there a better sort of clamp to use?

Steve.
'71 Sprint DHC
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PostPost by: Dave_Newcastle » Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:18 am

I have the same problem and have never been able to sort it out . Any help from others much appreciated

Dave

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:43 pm

Steve,

Try changing the tightening sequence. First, snug up the two clamp bolts, but don't tighten them completely, just enough to get things lined up. Then tighten the grub screw, then snug up the large nut that holds the grub screw, then reef down on the two clamp bolts. Hope this helps.

By the way, if you're trying to get the steering wheel as close to the dash as possible, this can only be accomplished by shortening the tin steering column (the one with the two bushings in it) and machining a new clamp cut out in the upper (hollow) steering column. The end result is that the car seems much roomier and access is much improved. Good luck!

Frank Howard
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PostPost by: steve71 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:05 pm

Hello Frank,

Thanks I'll give that a try.

Steve.
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PostPost by: steveww » Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:17 pm

I have already tried do the grub screw first then followed by the two main clamp bolts. Sort of improved it but it not really cure the problem :angry:

I pulled out the inner column and degreased it and the other part of the column that it clamps to. Put it all back together again and so far this appears to have done the trick. :D

The problem would appear to be that the clamp is supposed to slide but only in event of a crash :o The extra grease was causing it to slip when not crashing. B)
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PostPost by: lotus026 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:28 pm

Yes, you're correct on the only sliding when it's impacted thing; I'm in the US and several of my cars that I've worked on have very similar steering columns. I've never had a problem with any of mine slipping when I was driving them, but then I started out knowing that the slip shaft wasn't meant to be greased - so the times I've had them apart I was careful to not use anything more than a light film of oil the keep rust at bay.
Dave
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PostPost by: steve71 » Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:49 pm

Thanks for the advice. We pulled the shafts out and found that the lower one was slightly bent. We straightened it and cleaned off the grease, there was quite alot on it! The shaft has stayed in place for a few drives now so things are looking good.

Thanks,
Steve.
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