Lotus Elan

Steering stiffer in one direction than the other

PostPost by: ianf » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Hmm wonder if PO set it up offset to " take up" wear in the centre of the rack - might explain light / heavy side?
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:12 pm

Maybe

I will see in a week or so when back on the road.

Refitted the rack and have centralised the steering properly.

If I have more problems I will consider getting the rack reconditioned.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:19 pm

Regarding the bottom trunnions, the manual tells you to fill them with EP90 gear oil, not grease. You need a grease gun filled with the oil so you can pump it in through the nipple (zerk). I'm in the process of building up my first Elan chassis and that is what I read in the book.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:45 am

Hi Mike - don't always believe what you read in the "book" about oil versus grease. Search the archives here and you will see what I mean.

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PostPost by: Johnfm » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:48 pm

So, all back together with new bushes, new ball joints, new tie rod ends , new ARB bushes.

Properly centralised the steering rack.

Used the string method to check toe - set it to 2.5 mm each side.

Steering still heavier to the right than to the left.

Will grease trunnions this week - but other than that, can't think why. Maybe a bent wishbone or something? But I checked them all when I hade them off. Seemed ok.

A real head scratcher! I think I need to drive someone else's plus 2 to see what a proper one feels like.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Is the heavier feeling with the wheels in the air, or when on the ground and stationary or when driving the car or all 3 situations?

If you have not dismantled and cleaned and checked the trunnions you certainly need to do that. When you re-bushed the suspension I presume you had a good look at the arms and checked the arms in comparison with each other to ensure nothing was bent

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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:58 pm

Just wondering of you've tried swapping the wheels right to left? Ya never know........!
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PostPost by: elj221c » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:23 am

Johnfm wrote:Will grease trunnions this week - but other than that, can't think why. Maybe a bent wishbone or something? But I checked them all when I hade them off.


Regarding the trunnions. Have you had them apart? If they haven't been lubed regularly water can get in and rust the vertical link. The transition between the thread and the rest is the usual failure point.

Is it possible that they have been screwed onto the vertical link too far so that it binds up on lock?

It's a long time since I did my last rebuild but I seem to remember screwing the trunnion up as far as it would go then backing off one turn.
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:13 pm

I will jack it up and test 'in the air' in addition to on the road.

When I removed teh wishbones I measured them to check that the offsets etc were as per the dimesnioned drawings in the manual. All seemed good.

If it was a trunnion, wouldn't it be tight in both directions?

I will go back to basics - check tyre pressures, check rack etc.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:03 pm

If you have a bent upright or damaged trunnion it may only be heavier in one direction if it has affected the caster or king pin inclination or it is binding only over part of its movement

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PostPost by: Johnfm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:23 pm

How is castor best measured?
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PostPost by: AHM » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:31 pm

Johnfm wrote:How is castor best measured?

With a castor gauge!

But first, as castor is not adjustable on the elan you are looking for something that is worn or bent. Start with the lower wishbones.

The one in your nearside photo looks a little twisted.
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:11 pm

Castor gauge?

What's wrong with a plumb line and protractor....

Will have another look at the wishbones.
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