Lotus Elan

Taking the collapsable steering column apart

PostPost by: paddy » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:58 pm

Thanks :)

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PostPost by: davidj » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:51 pm

One of the first jobs I did when I purchased my +2 was swap from the solid column to the collapsible because I thought it was safer!

You live and learn (hopefully!)

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PostPost by: alaric » Tue May 05, 2009 9:50 pm

Ok so I've had the column apart and now managed to get it back together with the bushes installed. How depressing to realise that you're a complete idiot and have not realised that if you put both bushes into the column then you can't slide the inner in 'cause of the steering lock!!!! That's why I couldn't take it apart in the first place and was the reason for the thread. So, the dear old manual would appear to be rather loose with its description, as I don't think it mentions this - just says pull the inner out!

So, for future reference, when you pull the inner out of the column, the lump welded onto the inner shaft that locks the steering will foul on the upper bush, and the only way to remove it is to pull hard bringing the upper bush with it. When reassembling, put the lower bush in first, then slide the inner column in, slide it well past it's correct position to clear the position of the upper bush, then push the upper bush in with the aid of a suitable socket and the old bush. I removed the indicator and headlight stalks to enable access to the bush as I pushed it in. What's really needed is a 30mm piston ring compressor to pre-compress the bush before pushing it into the shaft. I couldn't find one and so fed it in with the aid of a screwdriver to avoid damaging the rubber dowels.

So, now I'll be able to refer back to this when I next need to replace the bushes. I had to remove the carefully inserted lower bush to get the inner installed - as I said, idiot!

Feels nice now though.

All the best.

Sean.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed May 06, 2009 4:54 pm

Sean,
I don't have a 30mm compressor either, would a jubillee clip do?

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PostPost by: alaric » Wed May 06, 2009 6:05 pm

Hi Mike. I tried a jubilee clip but they don't have a smooth internal surface, so'll damage the bush as you push it into the column. I looked in vain for a small enough exhaust clamp as these are a closer resemblance to a piston ring compressor.

All the best.

Sean.
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PostPost by: alaric » Wed May 06, 2009 9:26 pm

Hi again.

Sorry but the questions just keep coming at the moment - I have a couple of weeks off work to get the restoration moving on - I want the car on the road - and keep getting stuck on wondering what goes where.

I've put the column back into the car, attached it to the bracket that bolts through the bulkhead, and engaged it into the steering rack, but now find that the middle U bracket, which bolts directly through the bulkhead, has a gap. There must be a spacer that needs to go in but it's 3 years since I took it apart and I can't remember. If anyone has a piccy of the column brackets I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

Sean.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Thu May 07, 2009 9:26 am

Hi Sean,

Do you mean this (the lower) one?

Mine has two halves to the bracket and also has three washers on each pin to space it from the fibreglass. Don't know if this is usual or if there should be a proper spacer..

Hope this helps.

Robbie
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bracket_1.jpg and
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PostPost by: alaric » Thu May 07, 2009 9:46 am

Thanks Robbie that's really helpful. I wasn't sure if there was a purpose built third part to the u bracket that I'd mislaid. I will need roughly the same sort of spacing that you're showing in your pic (watch those apostrophes!). I have loads of washers that'll do the job - I guess it really needs shimming at this point to ensure there's no stress on the steering shaft once bolted up - that could cause a breakage in the collapsible type as others have mentioned - so I'm sure that your setup is normal.

Off to the garage again then!

All the best.

Sean.
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