Lotus Elan

In and out play in steering wheel

PostPost by: davie489 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:17 pm

Hi chaps
Got an annoying 1/4 inch play in and out on the steering wheel... had a quick look but cannot see anything loose or anything to tighten. I have an early plus 2 ", any ideas ? Thanks
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:01 pm

Check the universal joint at the bottom of the steering column, there is about 1/4" of movement on that. Then check the collapsible joint part way up the column. Torque setting for this should be in the manual.
Last but least likely, the nut in the steering wheel.
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:03 am

If you have a solid early steering column, there will be no sliding joint to check - I would have a look there anyway.

It could also be a loose pinch bolt at the bottom of the steering column where it connects to the rack. It is possible to pull the steering column right out if this bolt falls away, leaving you without steering!

I would check this urgently if the car is on the road.

Cheers,

Dave Chapman.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:13 pm

Just a few thoughts on this matter.

Image

Looking at the diagram of the steering column, item 1, you can see that at the lower end where it fits into the flexible joint, the 'flat' on the shaft is about 1/4 to 1/2" long, so if the pinch bolt of the universal joint is not done up tight the shaft can move up & down a little.

At the top end of the shaft you see a long flat which is the column collapse area. The pinch clamp (3,4,5) should be highish on this area but should slide to the bottom of the flat if your body impacts on the steering wheel. If the pinch bolt is not pressing on the shaft properly it may slide UP & Down a little and worst of all might gouge a quarter inch groove in the shaft

Furthermore I recall that early flexible joints were not bearings, but merely a flat disk of rubber (a sort of miniature doughnut See 9 below)).
This had a small amount of up & down flexibility but is not a problem.

Image
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PostPost by: jono » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:52 am

This happens on mine from time to time - I nip up the pinch bolt on the rack joint and all is well again.
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PostPost by: davie489 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:28 pm

Thanks for the replies ! Nothing seems loose and still struggling to sort it. It seems to move all the way down to where the column meets the rack by everything is tight. Will look further into it when have more time .
Cheers
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:22 pm

PM sent.
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PostPost by: davie489 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:39 pm

Finally come to the conclusion the car is trying to kill me!
Wheel coming loose in fast lane of motorway last month and today the wheel and shaft came completely off the steering rack!
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:19 pm

davie489 wrote:Finally come to the conclusion the car is trying to kill me!
Wheel coming loose in fast lane of motorway last month and today the wheel and shaft came completely off the steering rack!


It would be more accurate to say that you are trying to kill yourself!

One of the first replies to your original question advised urgent attention......

As it happens tonight I intended to ask how the matter had been resolved, your post above explains it quite well.

Seriously I suggest that if this car is new to you, that you get it checked out generally.

Please take care.

Ian
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:22 pm

davie489 wrote:Finally come to the conclusion the car is trying to kill me!
Wheel coming loose in fast lane of motorway last month and today the wheel and shaft came completely off the steering rack!

Losing the steering connection is the worst possible thing to happen, I am glad your Ok.

The rack pinion shaft and steering shaft both have grooves in them that the pinch bolts for the couplings fit in so it is impossible for the shafts to come off if the bolts are present. ??

cheers
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:32 am

Rohan, unless undersize bolts are fitted. Either way, something is wrong and it's no the car's fault if it's incorrectly assembled.

Some columns have a flat rather than a circumferential groove, and only the tightness of the pinch bolt can prevent a half-inch or so of play. A little loctite can help, the kind for splines.
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