Lotus Elan

Steering column bushes

PostPost by: el torro » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:54 pm

Trying to replace these,they do not fit over inner column,do you remove plastic inner bit over metal outer under rubber,I am soaking them in oil overnight to see if it helps,just seems a very tight fit ,thanks for any pointers
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:58 pm

Could you be more explicit. I do not understand what you are doing. The bushes are plastic and rubber. The rubber section has locating lugs that engages in holes in the outer tube of the the steering column assembly. You should not need to soak in oil, the grade of rubber may not be oil resistant. I don't think you can change these bushes without dismantling the steering column assembly

The steering column consists of a central shaft that connects to the rack, an intermediate tube that fits inside the plastic part of the bush and an outer tube that goes over the rubber part of the bush, and attaches to the dash board.

You need to remove the central shaft and intermediate tube so that you can then get the old bushes out of the outer tube. The new bushes push into the outer tube, make sure that the lugs on the rubber section of the bush are in line with the holes in the outer tube so that the lugs can spring into the holes as you push the bush into place.

Some people have reported doing this work only to find that the new bushes are no better than the ones they had to start with. I had this problem. My solution was to have the intermediate tube hard chrome plated and ground back to a size that fits the new bush.

Richard Hawkins

Hope this helps

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PostPost by: el torro » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:33 pm

Bushes fit inside outer tube but are very tight where inner coloum goes through them,I will try and emery paper inner coloum , I have everything out of car apart from lower coloum that goes into steering rack,old bushes look like some previous owner had similar problem as they were bodged and very slack,I am getting very frustrated as I am trying to finish restoration shortly,thanks
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:20 pm

I don't recall anyone having trouble with tight bushes.

Do you have the correct parts?

When you fit the bushes into the outer tube do the lugs on the bushes pop into the holes in the outer tube?

If it helps I can measure the various components on my column, as it is out of the car.

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PostPost by: el torro » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:43 pm

Yes got them from well known supplier,have a better look at them tomorrow,inner coloum might need light cleaning rubbing down etc,thanks will post outcome
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PostPost by: el torro » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:09 pm

Just measured new bushes 19mm internal diameter,inner steering coloum is 20mm diameter as we're old bushes,no longer serviceable,question non collapseable diameter of coloum is 19or 20 mm,mine is collapseable 20mm diameter,according to parts info elan and +2 are same part
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:29 am

Just measured the diameter of the outside of the steering shaft on my 1973 Plus 2 at 19 mm which would fit your new bushes fine. i wonder if different diameters were used at different times for you to have a 20mm one?? I have always assumed they were all the same.

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PostPost by: el torro » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:40 pm

Yes strange,the original bushes were nylastic ne120 whitch might as well be hens teeth,thinking of getting inner coloum to local machine shop and getting it adjusted to fit new bushes,just hope they can do it quick?
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:09 pm

I fitted these, a lot easier to bore out 0.5mm than machine the column.
http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/Item--i-209423UR
Don?t think I paid that much for them though.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:01 pm

My bushes measure 19.3mm before fitting. My shaft when ground to fit the bush measures 19.22mm. I can't comment on a 20mm shaft, I thought they were 19mm or 3/4inch. Some cars have a steering lock, perhaps they are different?

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PostPost by: el torro » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:10 pm

Yes car is 1973 s130/5 with steering lock,getting quote from machine shop next week and make my mind up ,I really need to finish car as soon as possible it has been on the go for 3 years on and off due to various other projects and commitments
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PostPost by: l10tus » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:48 pm

I purchased a new bushes from Susan within the last year.

I trashed the old ones getting them out, using whatever means to knock them through the column tube, they stuck in place to start with, but soon shifted with a suitable drift and hammer.

As previously suggested, make sure you tap in the 'ears' that stick out into the location / anti- turn holes of the column tube, in order to release the old bushes.

It's only a thin gauge tin tube, so go carefully ! (In fact it's only just capable of retaining the metalastic bushes with any degree of strength !)

My solid steel steering column shaft passed though the new bushes quite nicely - a snug fit.

There's hardly any pressure forced onto them by the thin tin column tube, so the steering column inner shaft should just slide through, a nice tight 'running' fit, ( use some lubricant - I used Copper ease, but the new bushes are Teflon coated, so shouldn't really require any)

My car has a steering lock, so I don't think that has any bearing on the issues you are having.

The only thing I can think of is that: If the new bushes you have purchased were sourced off of Ebay, were they perhaps replicated by a Far Eastern source, without correct tolerances?

This is normally a 10 minute job, once the steering column has been removed!

Best of luck.

Regards,

Phil.
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Sometimes my Lotus makes me cry.
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PostPost by: el torro » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:04 pm

Final fix steering coloum inner top reduced to 19mm so that new bush fits well,bottom used original bush again a good fit,realigned steering wheel to outer coloum clearance so that horn does not go off all the time,all connections checked on dip switch/ flasher and indicator switch,now just to reinstall remembering to fit bulkhead gasket this time,fell like I have gone backwards to go forward again but quite satisfying and keeps old brain cells working I hope
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:10 pm

I still don't understand why you had a 20mm diameter shaft in the first place. Do you believe the shaft was original to the car?

Doers anyone know if the Triumph steering columns came in different diameters ? i presume if you searched the Triumph forums or Ritter's you would find out .

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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:02 pm

Hi,
Triumph used this column ( top ) in later models, it has a larger top portion at 7/8 inch with a 3 / 4 lower, also has larger steering wheel spline at 3 / 4 x 48 against the 5/8 x 36 of an Elan wheel. Likely increase in top section diameter to accommodate steering lock.
FWIW
Ron.
s1030069.jpg and
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