Lotus Elan

Steering Column Bracket

PostPost by: William2 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:09 am

Am I correct in saying that on an S4 Elan the only support bracket for the outer steering column is the one that fastens to the dashboard. Also, where it goes through the bulkhead there is a flat rubber seal and metal plate fastened in place with 2 nuts and bolts?
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:54 pm

No there is also a pressed metal bracket and clamp.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:19 pm

Here's another item that I need to know about, and hopefully any answers will help William2 as well. Here are two photos. One shows the column that came with my '71 Sprint. As you can see it has the lower support that bolts through the fibreglass bulkhead, and another support connected to the column steering lock. Is this supported by the dashboard? The photo of my dash shows two small holes either side of the column cut-out. I would need some extra bracket to connect this to the column.

I didn't realise there is meant to be a metal plate at the foot of the column where it goes through into the engine bay. Can anyone supply a photo of that please? And photos of how the column is supported on a Sprint with column lock would be appreciated too. Thanks.

Mike
Attachments
Column Brackets.jpg and
What does the bracket on the lock attach to?
Dash Steering Holes.jpg and
Does it attach to the holes beside the column cut-out?
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PostPost by: William2 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:50 pm

My car is missing this lower bulkhead clamp. Can anyone tell me if it is a Lotus part or Triumph? I couldn't find it when I searched Rimmer Brothers for Triumph parts.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:48 pm

William, this drawing shows the bracket you need, but I don't know where you can find one. http://www.lotuselan.net/wiki/HB_-_Steering_-_Column.

The top mounting in that drawing is nothing like my car's column. The workshop manual, parts book, and even the Buckland manual make no mention of the type of top bracket on my column. Help, someone please?

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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:42 pm

Further investigation using the attached drawing (which isn't in my Lotus workshop manual), tells me that I am missing the cast metal bracket that supports the upper column and bolts in three places to the dashboard. I read that this is an unique Elan part. Does anyone know where one might be obtained?

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column dash.jpg and
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PostPost by: William2 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:01 pm

This lower steering column metal clamp is still a bit of a mystery. If you look at Rimmer Brothers steering column breakdown parts pictures it would appear that it is only fitted to Vitesses??
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:56 pm

William2 wrote:Also, where it goes through the bulkhead there is a flat rubber seal and metal plate fastened in place with 2 nuts and bolts?


Correct, here is a picture from the Rimmer Brothers website:

ColumSeal_RimmerBros.JPG
ColumSeal_RimmerBros.JPG (15.53 KiB) Viewed 1358 times


I just bought the seal from Matty, so they are available.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:21 pm

TroonSprint wrote: As you can see it has the lower support that bolts through the fibreglass bulkhead, and another support connected to the column steering lock. Is this supported by the dashboard?

Mike



Very unusual, I have not seen another column with that bracket just ahead of the steering lock. Are you sure it's off an Elan?

Here's a picture of a late column (with it's proud owner Bill), same as mine without that bracket.
LateSteeringColumnAndBill.jpg and


So as you have learnt there should be a large Lotus specific die casting screwed to the back of the dash with 1 large & 2 small through screws. A Triumph piece attaches to that trapping a spring clamp & wiring channel. My car was originally missing the later 2 parts & I could move the column up & down.

Here's a picture of all of the components (taken from another posting on here):

Elan column clamps - left spitfire right.JPG and


Ignore the clamp in the upper right, that's the donor Triumph Spitfire setup. As pictured the left hand side of the cable shroud goes to the front & hooks into the shroud that the indicator stalk & headlight switches are housed on. Quite a nice design in all.
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PostPost by: William2 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:09 am

Rimmer Brothers no longer stock the lower clamp bracket. As far as I can tell it is only available from scap Vitesses.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:23 am

Thank you Phil. I knew someone would come up with an answer. I think the cast support in your picture could bolt directly to the bracket on my steering lock instead of to the U-clamp. It seems to be at about the right distance from the steering wheel. Here is a close up of the bracket which is clamped round the steering lock assembly. Can you measure the width across the bolt holes on the casting, then I could see if the spacing is the same as on my bracket.

What is the function of the spring clip inside the fitting in your picture? As well as the cast bracket, I am also missing the cable channel. The PO spends his winter abroad, but hopefully he will be home soon and I can get him to search for the missing bits.

I don't know how I would ever be able to complete this car without this forum. There is lots of information that simply isn't to be found in the parts book, workshop manual, or even Buckland's manual.

Mike
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Column Clamp.jpg and
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:12 am

The bracket looks to fit the ignition lock well, never seen one like that before... but it is a lotus! The bracket & clamp to the ignition lock look too well made to be home made.

I am travelling at the moment but will measure the centre distance of the bolt holes Friday for you.

The Spring clip stops the column rotating; having said that if that bracket bolts to the bottom of the die cast bracket there is no way the column can rotate, so maybe you do not need it. Only thingI do not see if it bolts direct to the dash bracket is any rubber isolation, so vibration may be transmitted to the dash. Maybe you still need the U clamp & it's rubber isolation?

Both the Spring clip & the wiring shroud are available new, took some hunting down, but I sourced both. Let me see if I can found where I got them from.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:54 pm

Phil, you are a star. That measurement will be very helpful as will the supplier for the wiring channel. Building MGBs and Midgets, which is what I've done up to now, is a breeze compared with this little vehicle.
Safe travelling.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:39 pm

TroonSprint wrote:...as will the supplier for the wiring channel.

Mike


I got the cable channel freom Spitbits (spitbits.com) in California it's Triumph part #611369L for a mere $10.50

TroonSprint wrote:.. Building MGBs and Midgets, which is what I've done up to now, is a breeze compared with this little vehicle.
Mike


Yes, but this time you'll have something worth having! :twisted:
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:28 am

Pharriso wrote:
Yes, but this time you'll have something worth having!
Well I certainly hope so. I've never driven one but I am assured that I will love it. Mind you my last MGB GT, the one I've kept, has a 200bhp fuel injected V8, fully independent suspension, 4-wheel discs, 5-speed box, cruise control, power steering, etc, etc. So its no slouch, relying on loads of torque, not revs. What I expect is that the Elan will be completely different with a revvy engine and much lighter to handle. Sounds like fun.

Phil, if you can measure the cast column support bracket (which I imagine isn't easy), could you tell me the distance between the U-clamp holes, the distance from those holes to the back of the dash, and the vertical distance from the centre of the column to the lower holes in the dash that hold the bracket. That way, if I can't source a cast bracket, I could get out my welder and fabricate one to suit.

Many thanks,
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