Lotus Elan

How to stop steering pivot point play?

PostPost by: billwill » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:43 am

An extra query as I too might need to replace uprights.

Can one re-use the stub axles from worn uprights or do you have to buy new ones and are these the same as the Triumph parts too?

I think I read that stub axles have to be lapped in, is that correct or was that rear axles.
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PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:20 pm

Hi Bill

It should be OK to use the existing stub shafts with new uprights assuming, of course, that they themselves are not worn, it shouldn't be necessary to do any lapping either (Trumph, Lotus etc would never have done so when the cars were in in production). The only problem these days might be if modern reproduction uprights aren't made to the same accuracy as they used to be or if there is any damage to the taper on the old stubshaft.

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:22 pm

billwill wrote:An extra query as I too might need to replace uprights.

Can one re-use the stub axles from worn uprights or do you have to buy new ones and are these the same as the Triumph parts too?

I think I read that stub axles have to be lapped in, is that correct or was that rear axles.

The uprights are Triumph Spitfire for the bolt-on hubs and GT6 for the knock-on hubs. From memory the Spitfire stubs are 1/2" UNF fixing to the upright for the bolt-on hub and 9/16" UNF for the knock-on hub. If the stubs are in good condition, I can see no reason whey they should not be re-used.

Only the rear hubs need to be lapped.
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PostPost by: paddy » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:25 pm

I've never tried to get the stub axles out, but I guess they need a pretty heavy duty press and/or a lot of heat.

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:01 pm

bcmc33 wrote:Only the rear hubs need to be lapped.

Having said that - I think I'm wrong. :oops: :roll: :oops: :roll: :oops:

I'm now looking at pictures of the parts I plan to buy for when I refurbish the front hubs/calipers this winter, I will definately do some lapping of the stub axles to the uprights before bolting them up. Maybe I will get new stubs from TTR just to play safe.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:32 am

paddy wrote:I've never tried to get the stub axles out, but I guess they need a pretty heavy duty press and/or a lot of heat.

Paddy


I'm cringeing now but, when I had to fit new uprights to my first Plus 2 (about 13 years ago), I just whacked them out with a big mallet! :oops: I did protect the threads with a nut though.

Then I just torqued them back together with the new uprights, bought from Paul Matty incidentally.

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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:05 am

My S2 failed an inspection in 1988 when I bought it. He was talking about play in the inner ball joint of the tie rod which had a tiny amount of lateral play. It only shows play when jacked up by the crossmember because the suspension is in full droop. When it is on it's wheels there is no perceptible play.

Ever since then I always jack it with the correct jack (on the suspension) and it has passed happily for 22 years. I tell garages not to jack it up by the crossmember because it is a vacuum tank (true).

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:40 am

Robbie693 wrote:I'm cringeing now but, when I had to fit new uprights to my first Plus 2 (about 13 years ago), I just whacked them out with a big mallet! :oops: I did protect the threads with a nut though.

Then I just torqued them back together with the new uprights, bought from Paul Matty incidentally.


Hi Robbie,

I don't see a problem with that at all - if the upright is scrap anyway and you protect the threads what harm can it do ? If it is stubborn then by all means use heat and/or a press but otherwise it's not necessary.

I also don't think it necessary to lap in the taper, unlike the rear hub it doesn't transmit any torque so provided it is clean on assembly and torqued up correctly it will be fine - at least I hope so as that's what I did too!

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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:06 am

Hi Roger,

Well it's good to know I hadn't made a bodge of it! I seem to remember jobs were tackled on that car with enthusiasm but little know-how. This was pre Lotuselan.net. I am much more cautious about working on cars nowadays, not sure if that's because of age or too much knowledge - mostly picked up on here..!

The car was fine after the upright job, at least it was until it was written off 3 years later, so my methods must have been ok :)

Thanks for confirming this, as it gives me confidence for the time I have to do it on the present car.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:13 am

It's good to know that they can be whacked out of the old upright (the copper wheel-mallet seems just the right tool) and then bolted into a new upright.

Just been looking at Kelvedon's prices for uprights :( ?91 + VAT each ??


Is that typical, or are Kelvedon's higher quality racing ones?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:33 am

billwill wrote:Just been looking at Kelvedon's prices for uprights :( ?91 + VAT each ??


Is that typical, or are Kelvedon's higher quality racing ones?


CN list them at ?70 and Canley have them at ?80 both prices including the VAT so it looks like the Kelvedon ones might be "special"

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PostPost by: gerrym » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:02 pm

Hi, on the subject of the Uprights, Canley Classics list and have confirmed that they stock the undrilled variety.

Quoting them, the uprights are machined in Coventry, forged in Turkey and are of good quality.

Apparently, the racers use the solid undrilled variety and they never snap but sometimes do bend (at the top of the trunnion threads).

So given that a bent upright is infinitely preferable to a snapped upright, would it be possible to use these on a road car? I'm thinking along the lines of a brass trunnion with the grease fitting at the bottom of the brass trunnion.

Must be missing something, could someone tell me what?

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PostPost by: elanman999 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:32 pm

Gerry,
One reason the racers want undrilled ones is so they can turn the lower section down and use a Rose joint as the botton pivot. Not all of them use the trunnion. Have a look around the paddock of a classic event.

But all this talk of snapping off at the top of the thread, has this ever happened without an accident to cause it? If you have an accident in an Elan there are a lot more things to worry about. Just IMHO.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:37 pm

gerrym wrote:I'm thinking along the lines of a brass trunnion with the grease fitting at the bottom of the brass trunnion.


I suspect that the plug in the bottom of the standard trunnion is too thin to take a grease nipple so you would need to make up something thicker and solder or braze it in. You would also need to be sure that the nipple didn't contact the bottom of the upright or it might cause the steering to lock up or at least restrict the lock.

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PostPost by: gerrym » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:09 pm

John, yes they do occasionally snap in "normal" service. Reports in this forum for example. Plus google for Triumphs as well

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