Lotus Elan

More steering lock on one side

PostPost by: EPC 394J » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:32 am

A garage rebuilt my steering 11 months ago.

Since then I have been concerned with the fore and aft movement (1/2" or so) of the steering wheel/column. I tracked this down to an insufficiently tight pinch bolt on the steering coupling. (column to coupling)

So I jacked up the front of the car, to gain access from below, and haven't really been too successful, as the clearance between the bottom radiator hose and the coupling is insufficient, causing interference. I have read here that I will need to lift the radiator. Fair enough.

However, whilst I was listening to the graunching of the coupling on the hose circlip, as I turned the steering wheel, I couldn't help noticing I have more lock to the left than the right!

From wheels straight ahead, I have just over one full turn of the steering wheel to the right, before I hit a hard stop. (about 30* of road wheel deflection.) But from the same, straight ahead position, I have almost one and three quarter turns of the steering wheel to the left before a soft stop as the left tyre hits the anti roll bar! (About 45* of road wheel deflection) :shock:

If anyone can help with advice to correct this, I really would be very grateful! :cry:

I'm guessing the rack wasn't centred before fitting, but I don't know how easy that is now to achieve?

Edited to add:

Oh, while I'm here. The steering column doesn't run directly fore and aft. The right hand side of the wheel is a little further away from me than the left, as the steering wheel is slightly further outboard than the rack to column coupling! (if you see what I mean) Is that normal for a Plus 2?? :?:
Last edited by EPC 394J on Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:39 am

If the rack is that far out then one sides extension and t-r-e must be on the end of the thread?
Just get the wheel central in travel an reset the rest to be equal.
The column runs at an angle so the wheel is not square to the dash.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:25 am

"a soft stop as the left tyre hits the anti roll bar! "
sounds to me like they have fitted only one spacer on the rack..

John :wink:
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:34 am

Listen to John above as he is usually right, but just in case, this is how I would go about adjusting it.
It is a while since I had mine out, but I don`t think the rack can be in the wrong position because it has to line up with the steering column. (mine is a series 3 Elan)
So;-
Turn the steering wheel left and right and find the mid position of the rack.
Disconnect the steering column at the universal joint and replace it with the steering wheel central.
Now check that the indicator cancelling is also central in case the steering wheel has been moved on the column top splines. If so correct this first.
Next, adjust the track rod ends so that each wheel points forward. A straight edge from the back wheels works well or a piece of string.
Finally adjust track rod ends for correct toe in.
Hope this helps and let us know how you get on.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:52 am

What John said is very true. I thought you meant re-assembled to the car rather than rebuilt the rack but if they did that's also likely and a bit harder to fix.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:31 am

When I say a garage rebuilt my steering, this is what I mean:
image.jpg and
image.jpg and
image.jpg and
image.jpg and

Any clues?

Many thanks

Andy
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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:14 am

Hi

Rack looks to be in the wrong place it needs to be central relative to the mountings.
You will then need to readjust the tracking. With the rack not being central I would have thought there would be a lot more adjustment on one side, although may be masked by extension piece adjustment on the Plus 2.
A lot easier than correcting a rack with the wrong stops, etc.

Cheers Gray
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:32 am

Looking at my bills, the original steering rack was retained.

Looking at the hand scribbled notes in my Workshop Manual that accompanied the car, it looks like the PO may have re-assembled the rack at some point.

(Until last May, the car had been off the road for 28 years!)
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PostPost by: dougal9887 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:09 pm

The rack is mounted correctly, offset to drivers side. Sounds like a spacer missing.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:53 am

Thanks very much indeed for the information. Very much appreciated!

It would really help me if someone (maybe more than one?) could tell me, what's the normal lock to lock, number of turns of the steering wheel on a Plus 2?

Many thanks

Andy
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PostPost by: dougal9887 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:23 am

Just short of two and a quarter turns.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:09 am

Just short of two and a quarter turns.
Dougal.

And I seem to have one and three quarters from lock stop one side, to tyre contacting the anti roll bar, on the other side.

Mmmm. :evil:
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PostPost by: Mick6186 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:49 pm

The rack looks to be mounted incorrectly. The mounting brackets should butt up against the flange on the rack. The passenger side appears to have a gap between the bracket & flange so one of the mountings may be in the wrong place. I seem to remember that my chassis has more than one set of holes for the mounting brackets!
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:01 pm

I think that your rack has been connected to the wheels without it being centralised as the symptoms you describe show more travel on one lock than the other. Also it looks like the nearside (non drivers) mount is incorrectly positioned; it should butt up against the 'stop' on the rack. If the mounting doesn't match up with the second set of holes in the chassis, then there is something wrong; possibly the wrong rack. However that's not he end of the world :D

Firstly a standard Plus 2 rack should have 2.7 turns on the wheel, lock to lock. To check this, disconnect the track rod ends and wind the rack from lock to lock. Then centralise the rack - this should take 1.35 turns of the wheel, if not position it a halfway between the locks. Note that the standard Triumph rack has 3.5 ish turns lock to lock. If you have 3.5 turns then the Elan steering rack spacers have not been fitted; and I guess if you've got between 2.7 and 3.5 turns then one of the spacers has been omitted.
However if you've got 2.7 turns then you can now centralise the wheels independently of the rack, and adjust the track rod ends on the rack to fit the centralised rack to the new centralised position of the wheels.

Hopefully that should cure the problem, or at least indicate that the centralising of the rack is not the problem.
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:17 pm

The rack clamps do not look original, if these are not correct sizes it could also affect rack location.
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