Lotus Elan

Steering rack slipping

PostPost by: oakleydad » Wed May 27, 2015 7:14 pm


While turning the steering wheel today on my 69 Elan plus 2 while stationary and engine off, I heard a "clicking" noise from the vicinity of the steering rack, and the wheels didn't turn. I have had no problems with steering up until now. It sounds like the pinion isn't engaging with the rack, is that possible, and is there an adjustment to fix it ?

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PostPost by: ericbushby » Wed May 27, 2015 7:45 pm

Check that the universal joint between the column and the steering box is not loose and slipping on the splines. This seems more likely to me.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Thu May 28, 2015 7:34 am

Yep, universal joint.
And don't even think of driving it.........
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PostPost by: gherlt » Thu May 28, 2015 8:24 am

The other possibility is the that the pinions of the "inside bar" (A) of the rack and pinion assembly do not engange well (or are worn) with the piece (B) that is turned by the steering wheel. Sorry I have no idea about the names of these pieces.

In my case the small piece (pushed by a steel spring) presses B against A was worn. Exchanging that small piece solved the same problem. The symptoms in my case were sometimes clicking, "jumping pinions", especially in center position.
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu May 28, 2015 8:44 am

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PostPost by: reb53 » Thu May 28, 2015 8:53 am

I would have thought if the pinion was wearing so badly, or was slowly moving away from the rack, the steering, prior to the weird noises, would have been alarmingly horrendous.
As in, huge amounts of slack. White knuckled, wide eyed stuff.
When the universal started to loosen on my car recently the slack was barely half an inch.
Tightening the bolts sorted it.
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