Lotus Elan

Steering Column Baulkhead seal

PostPost by: gwiz22 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:16 am

Has anyone with a Plus 2 had experience of replacing the seal in the bulkhead where the steering column passes through? The one I removed is shown on the left of the picture, held in place with a flat metal plate and pop rivets. I asked Sue Miller if she had a replacement and she sent me item on the right in the picture. This rubber is much thicker (4mm).
Could someone with a Plus 2 advise me which one is correct.
Also shown is a picture of the bulkhead area where the steering column passes through.

Many thanks
Steering Column Aperture lores.jpg and
Steering Column seal lores.jpg and
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PostPost by: peterako » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:07 am

:shock: There's supposed to be a seal on the bulkhead for the steering column? :shock:

You mean I can get rid of that nasty cold winter draught on my feet now?!

Now I just have to sort the draught from the wheel arches to the dash near the eyeball air vents......

Sorry, not sure which is the correct one as I never had one.

But Sue is very rarely wrong.
It would be worth giving her a call to discuss.

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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:06 am

?!? Me, too - I've only ever seen hastily applied mastic (is that English - I mean the silicone type sealants that come in a tube and you apply with a pistol) type materials.

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PostPost by: carrierdave » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:19 pm

It looks to me to be the gasket from the GT6 mark III. Have a look at the link below. I was going to use this but ended up crafting my own from a piece of rubber

http://www.canleyclassics.com/?xhtml=xh ... iagram.xsl
Last edited by carrierdave on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: andyelan » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:30 pm

Hi Graham

I would say the one on the left is the correct although when I replaced the one on my car the rubber was missing and only the metal plate remained. Actually I made my own seal from out of some 2mm rubber sheet I had and had no real problems fitting it except that, because it isn't split, the steering collumn had to be disconnected at the rack joint so it could be threaded on. I found the trick is to cut the corners off the rubber so its clear of the fixing screws, that way it finds its own centre when the steel plate is tightened up

Do make the effort to fit this seal though. It makes a significant difference to the amount of fumes and oil vapour getting into the cabin. Remember the hole for the steering column is right behind the engine breather pipes.

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:47 pm

gwiz22 wrote:Could someone with a Plus 2 advise me which one is correct.

Your original item on the left is correct.
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:49 pm

Hi Graham,
My 1972 S130 uses the seal shown on the right of your photograph. It sits in a metal plate which is rivetted through the bulkhead. If you look at piss-ant's thread entitled "anybody recognise these S1 orS2 parts", in the Elan section, his photographs show the plate.

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:13 pm

Mine had the item on the left as well. I also fabricated a replacement from rubber sheet. IIRC the lower hole is for the handbrake cable?
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PostPost by: Gray » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:24 pm


I think all 8 Elans (S3 to Sprint) and + 2s (early to S130) I've had have had the one on the right.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:24 pm

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PostPost by: jono » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:32 pm

Caterham sell a large grommet with a hole through the middle which does this job on a seven - same column so should work fine on an Elan.

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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:21 am

What a response in just a few hours. Thanks to everyone who responded. It looks like there is no exact definitive answer. It seems like the seal can be what you want it to be as long as it seals up the hole for water and wind ingress.

I think I'll cut a new one out of rubber sheet (maybe two layers) and hope it does the trick.

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PostPost by: Donels » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:58 pm

Resurrecting this old thread.
Just checking all holes and fittings prior to painting, assuming the paint shop will reopen after the Covid shutdown!

Check fitted the bulkhead seal for the steering column and got puzzled by its' apparent strange fitting. As noted in this thread it has two holes apparently for the steering column and handbrake cable, except.......the handbrake cable is too big to go through the holes, see below pics.

01D30154-600D-44C0-BE66-FE7AF11B3C93.jpeg and

I checked the alignment with the existing mounting holes and the handbrake cable did not go through the plate and it is a crap alignment with the steering column hole.

6822B05A-A95C-497E-B3E0-86BCEAD4E769.jpeg and

I reckon the best solution is to slot the handbrake hole to allow fitment over the cable, reposition and drill new mounting holes. Has anyone else come across this?

E93691A5-E65C-4751-A4E3-21DE3973150B.jpeg and
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:15 pm

from memory, disconnect cable at handbrake, the nipple end is fed through the plate from the engine side. the threaded part shown goes to the chassis somewhere around the starter motor and is the adjuster. The handbrake has a pivotting, removable holder for the nipple.
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PostPost by: Bud English » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:28 pm

That's correct. There's a threaded barrel fitting welded into the triangular section of the riser below where the motor mount is bolted to the frame.

The brake cable is installed front to back in the car with the sheathed section towards the front. The cable goes through the barrel fitting from the front and the nipple shown becomes the adjuster as described. The sheathed section of the cable runs from the adjuster, back towards the bulkhead, and through the plate shown (needs a grommet) into the cupped end of the hand brake. It's shown in section JF of the Parts Manual.

Took me three edits, but I think you'll see what I'm trying to describe. It's not very well documented in the manual.
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