Lotus Elan

Steering Wheel Repairs

PostPost by: Rob P » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:43 am

Having searched the forum unsuccessfully I thought I would ask the question and see whether this is a possibility.
I have a Chapman Steering wheel on my Elan S4 which is of the plastic covered type, I have looked into having it covered and Len Chandler is the man to go to and I have all his details, however, I am partial to the plastic covering and as such wondered if there was any way of repairing this in a satisfactory manner before going down the leather route which is what Len will provide.
Any guidance would be appreciated, even if it is a quick response saying that it isn't possible to repair the plastic :-)
Pictures below showing damage.
steering-wheel-1.jpg and
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:16 am

Hi Rob,
I can't comment about the original wheel plastic, but if you do go down the leather route, I can highly recommend the covers made by Mr Steering.
I have just done my wheel and it looks and feels superb!
Here's a link to a previous post -
lotus-talk-f50/steering-wheel-cover-happiness-t30499.html
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:13 pm

Similar to the early 60s Mustangs, you might look at what some of those people are doing, although repros are readily available, but I think when I've looked there is much about building it back up with black epoxy and then sanding it down. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:00 pm

I've made enquiries with regard to reproducing the plastic coating on steering wheels and from what I can gather it probably wouldn't be cost effective even if it could be done. It would need a high frequency welder designed to get Into the small Andre's around a steering wheel. These machines have to be in a properly protected area as the waves it produces can apparently adversely affect aircraft*. So that adds to costs.

Bit of a concern when you realise where Peter aspiring alls factory was located.
Steve

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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:58 am

Here's what I was referring to, just found it in the Eastwood.com catalog. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Rob P » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:13 am

Thanks for the responses guys will take some time to explore the options but looking more likely to go down the leather option.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:55 pm

Steve,
just a correction regarding emissions from RF welders.
Having spent 46 years in the high frequency heating business including plastic welding, let me assure you that the emissions from these machines are usually controlled and measured, and are only allowed in frequency bands which do not cause interference with aircraft, TV or radio equipment.
There is a problem with them in that each weld shape has to have a special tool made to the correct profile of the job which makes the cost of this process prohibitive unless it is for repetitive work.
It is quite common for small businesses to run a small welder in the garage with no known problems.
Some machines made back in the 50`s and 60`s do not comply with the current legislation.
Hope this clears it up.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: Rob P » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:18 pm

Well after a sort conversation with Len Chandler I dropped off the Wheel at his home on route to the Goodwood Members meeting, Len did the business and even managed to bring the finished Wheel to the Event on the Sunday so I could save on postage.
Len has made a wonderful job of the steering wheel and I would thoroughly recommend him to anyone needing this type of service in the future.
img_3174.jpg and

img_3175.jpg and


I chose not to have the tabs on the spokes but these could have been added if I had required them. Personally I prefer the wheel without. I can't wait to get this back on the car and take her for a spin 8)
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:38 pm

is that not a +2 wheel with the 4 holes in the spokes?......
or did the tabs cover the 4th hole?.......
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PostPost by: Rob P » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:51 pm

theelanman wrote:is that not a +2 wheel with the 4 holes in the spokes?......
or did the tabs cover the 4th hole?.......

Tabs covered the forth hole originally, came with the car and I'm told was the original wheel hence the early reluctance to change from Plastic cover to leather
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Last edited by Rob P on Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:48 pm

Easy to tell. The Elan is 14 inch diameter, and the Plus 2 15 inch.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:41 am

I am always looking for things definitive regarding Lotus because they're so much possibility out there but I was struck by the 14 versus 15 comment on the steering wheels (Mark?) and my S3 wheel (bought in 72, it's a 67 S3 DHC titled 68) and on my 89 purchased 72+ 2S1 30, (titled 73) both have 14 inch steering wheels and I don't believe either were swapped?? Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:50 am

I've posted this before, but it might help again.

As usual, nothing can be absolutely definitive with Lotus, I do know there are exceptions, but they tend to be in handfuls of numbers.

[attachment=0]2014 Oct Elan Steering Wheels.pdf[/attachment]

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PostPost by: Rob P » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:01 pm

trw99 wrote:I've posted this before, but it might help again.
As usual, nothing can be absolutely definitive with Lotus, I do know there are exceptions, but they tend to be in handfuls of numbers.
2014 Oct Elan Steering Wheels.pdf

Tim


Thanks Tim, useful info which I hadn't seen before

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