Lotus Elan

steering rack joint

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon May 25, 2015 2:06 pm

rdssi, do you have a link to the Brammer supplier?
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon May 25, 2015 2:23 pm

I fitted one to my car from a triumph parts supplier with no issue (once I'd cleaned it up a little).

So suspect this is either an incorrect part or our quality control. I'd contact the part supplier before spending too much more time in it.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon May 25, 2015 2:33 pm

rdssdi wrote:Captain obvious.

The present new coupling was purchased from a Lotus parts supplier.

I was wondering if the orientation of the coupling on the spline may contribute to the slipping. It may be that the pinion "flat" must be exactly aligned with the coupling opening.

I am grasping at straws here.

Bob.


In my experience, the pinion flat needs to be aligned exactly with the coupling opening or the bolt won't go through the bolthole as it fouls on the pinion.

As others have noted, it is surprising the spline is not a tight fit. I have found I need to prise the fitting apart slightly with a screwdriver before I stand a chance of removing the spline from the pinion.

It does sound as if you may have a dud.
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon May 25, 2015 3:29 pm

The cross bolt went through without difficulty so I should assume the coupling was oriented properly on the shaft.

It would be likely that I would be the sole customer with a problem. Therefore the issue for the supplier is how do they get me to shut up and remain happy.

I am wondering if the pinion spline has been compromised. I can get an old rack and I will measure the spline diameter and compare with mine.

I will be in the shop tomorrow. I will get the car on jack stands and remove the coupling. I will try to tighten the bolt assuming it may have worked "loose" as the part settled.

Bob
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon May 25, 2015 4:40 pm

I was curious so I went to my shop and put the front of the car on jack stands.

I removed the safety wire. I tightened the nut. I was able to get 1 or two turns. It took effort but I do not believe enough to be stretching the bolt. I am using a grade 8 bolt that I drilled the head and end of the shank, after the nut of course, for safety wire.


The ground wire terminal was crushed. It may have been a combination of the soft ring terminal crushing and the coupling settling. The column is secure. I will take the car for a ride tomorrow to see if it again loosens.

I should have soldered each end of the ground wire to hardened washers. That way the fitting will not want to spin or be crushed like the ring terminal which is so malleable.

Bob
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PostPost by: gherlt » Mon May 25, 2015 5:29 pm

@Mike/Elancoupe:
I am with you, the supplier should be aware of the problem and have a look at its source.
And ship you a correct one.

Rainer Brammer:
He does not have manufacture nothing, he is just careful with his sources.
And, he accepts return without any problems or hassles.
phone +49 2104 15777 (English no problem)
[email protected]
website: http://lotus-ersatzteile.com/

And please note that I have no interests or implications other than I made the web site for him and consider him as a good friend.
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1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: gherlt » Mon May 25, 2015 5:29 pm

And just in case, please describe that you have this problem and want to be sure that the part is the correct one.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon May 25, 2015 5:45 pm

I have the one that is all metal so it doesn't have any ground wire on it and there have been no problems with electrical continuity. I did have to retighten mine I think about four times going about two turns each time. I would get it tight with no fore and aft movement and then drive it 40 to 50 miles and find looseness again. Now with a couple hundred miles on it I have not had the problem again and I do like the steering feel versus the rubber insert ones. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon May 25, 2015 5:51 pm

When you were under there could you tell if tightening the bolt completely closed the gap in the joint? I would expect that it shouldn't if the part is correct. You wouldn't want that to be the tightening limit rather than the clamping of the two parts.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon May 25, 2015 7:21 pm

Here is what it looks like, no sliding.Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon May 25, 2015 8:16 pm

The flat or cut out groove must be aligned with the opening in the clamp for the correct sized bolt to fit through

regards
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon May 25, 2015 9:34 pm

My memory is that the bolt is a 1/4-24. I would have to confirm that. Might be 5/16. In any event it fits properly.

General consensus is that some of the couplings require re-tourquing to remain tight.

Time will tell if my coupling will begin the fore and aft movement after a few miles driving.

It is possibly the metal is softer than originally used and it needs to be retightened as it compresses.

Anyway, it seems my problem is solved and I wish to thank all who participated. I will contact the vendors I queried about this so they may have a bit of information to use.

I have had luck with Steve at SJ Sportscars. I believe he services Lotus as well as sells parts. Gives him a good knowledge base. If I ever get to the UK I will have to visit.

Bob
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue May 26, 2015 12:54 pm

While I suppose it could be the case that the clamp is supplied opened wide enough that it needs to be torqued more than normal to tighten it, I would strongly recommend for anyone who has needed to re-torque this part that you consider whether it is correct. If the hole size is larger than the splined shaft, heavy tightening may permit you to clamp it on top and bottom, but it will not be a proper fit and may eventually work the splines and lead to a lethal situation. :shock:

As others have noted, the fit of the original part is snug. I would expect little to no play with the pinch bolt tightened only finger-tight. Identified axial slop is an indication the part is wrong. Vertical slop (relative to the rack) is an indication that the pinch bolt may be the wrong diameter (too small).

Note that while the original Spitfire/Herald rack was sourced for all Elans and the Europa, new replacement racks are not compatible. I'm wondering if this could be one of the changes introduced in those racks and now considered "standard" by some suppliers?
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