Lotus Elan

Steering Knuckle Joint

PostPost by: gordont » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:51 pm

does anyone else find that the bottom heater hose rests against this (and gets slowly eaten away)?

Appears I may have the larger UJ so guessing from the posts I can get any small 9/16 UJ and swap it? Is there any way of keeping the hose away from the UJ?
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:01 pm

gordont wrote:Is there any way of keeping the hose away from the UJ?

Convert the car to left hand steering.:wink:
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:46 am

does anyone else find that the bottom heater hose rests against this (and gets slowly eaten away)?

Appears I may have the larger UJ so guessing from the posts I can get any small 9/16 UJ and swap it? Is there any way of keeping the hose away from the UJ?



You could possibly mount the radiator a little higher if you have sufficient clearance under the bonnet. On my S4 with the original type of coupling there is enough clearance to comfortably get your finger in between the coupling and the bottom hose.

On the question of which coupling to use I personally favour the original design with it's rubber bushings. Since our cars generally do very limited mileage these days I don't think the durability of the item is really an issue. The all metal U/J is more suited to modern offset columns where a significant amount of articulation is required. In the case of the Elan where the column (if correctly fitted) is aligned with the rack input shaft this degree of flexibility is not required. Also the all metal construction of the joint does not offer any isolation of the column from the road shock and vibration transmitted through the rack which is afforded by the rubber bushing in the original joint - albeit probably only slight but maybe worth considering. As has been said previously, the original coupling can be repaired and replacements are still obtainable so I don't see the need to "upgrade" to a U/J. That said, either type will do the job and it's a matter of personal choice which one you go for.

Regards,
Roger
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PostPost by: andyelan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:02 am

Hi Everyone

I find on my Plus 2 that it's necessary to lift the radiator as much as possible before tightening the fixing screws and also be very careful with the orientation of steering joint clamp and hose clip positions. If I do that then the steering joint will just clear the radiator hose, it's still very tight though.

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: hatman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:59 am

gordont wrote:does anyone else find that the bottom heater hose rests against this (and gets slowly eaten away)?



Yes, to the point where I was alerted to the fact by steam coming from the footwell (which I initially took to be smoke :shock: )

Sorted it by cutting out a length of the hose and inserting some domestic heating copper pipe, clamping the cut ends of the hose on to it with jubilee clips. Gives enough clearance next to the clamp and, even if the clamp were to catch it, it ain't gonna wear through the copper tube. 8)
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PostPost by: terryp » Sun May 13, 2018 12:56 pm

Thought I would revive this thread.
I rebuilt my Elan about 4 to 5 years ago and have done just over 4500 Miles.
I used the original sort of steering joint but the steering has been getting vague.
I have just removed the knuckle and cannot quite believe the amount of movement.
With the joint in a vice and with a rod through, at 6.5inches (13inch steering where) the movement is about 80mm
So I am going for the UJ type.
Could it be that modern rubber just can?t hack this type of joint anymore?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:05 pm

I've probably replaced half a dozen of the original type ones over the years - usually just before or just after an MOT test. :( As you've found it's always the rubber that fails but even with no rubber left the two halves can't separate, it just leaves you with a awful lot of steering wheel free play.

I have taken them apart and replaced the rubber bits with sections cut from fuel hose. The one that's in the car at the moment is one of those and its been fine for years but it's just starting to show some wear now. I tried taking a spare one apart a few months ago but the bolts sheared off rather than undoing and for the amount of time / effort it'll take to fix it it's easier to buy one of the UJ ones.
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PostPost by: terryp » Sun May 13, 2018 3:46 pm

I know it?s safe, but just seems such an awful design. I also had the problem of the jumper wire terminal slightly compressing and the locktited bolt and thus the joint becoming ever so slightly loose. Hopefully with the UJ no jumper wire will be required.
Cheers
Terry
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun May 13, 2018 7:40 pm

gordont wrote:does anyone else find that the bottom heater hose rests against this (and gets slowly eaten away)?

Appears I may have the larger UJ so guessing from the posts I can get any small 9/16 UJ and swap it? Is there any way of keeping the hose away from the UJ?


I have a piece of big fat yellow plastic pipe slipped over the lower water pipe to protect it from the steering gear. The wall thickness of the pipe is about 1/4 inch.

I think it's a piece of gas main supply pipe, discarded by the workmen when they upgraded the gas supply in our street some years ago.

By gas I mean cooking/heating gas in the UK sense, not USA liquid fuel.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: terryp » Mon May 14, 2018 7:18 am

Luckily no radiator hose on mine, just have to remove the alternator! (LHD)

Hopefully UJ will arrive this week
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Mon May 14, 2018 2:46 pm

Another advantage of the U-joint is the fact that even when new, the original joint has a tiny bit of play (which only gets worse over time) while the U-joint always has zero play. Further, the ground jumper wire can be discarded when upgrading to a U-joint. Colin would have approved!
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 15, 2018 9:16 pm

I?ve fitted the uj type on my Plus 2 and there is clearance between it and the bottom hose. When fitting the bottom hose it?s necessary to twist it clear of the column before tightening the hose clamps
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PostPost by: terryp » Wed May 16, 2018 5:43 am

Here is my new one!
img_20180515_150102.jpg and
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Wed May 16, 2018 12:19 pm

The one on the left is also used on the Triumph 2000 and 2500's from memory with the correct diameter and spline count.
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