Lotus Elan

Lock stop conundrum

PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:50 am

Gents, I've had a bit of a weird thing happen with my S4 steering, I seem to have lost a lock stop !
This has happened suddenly without anything on the steering being touched. All was well & as it had been since I last had the steering/suspension geometry checked & adjusted a couple of years or so ago, but now, for some reason the R/H tyre is rubbing on the anti roll bar on full right hand lock & I can feel no positive solid restriction. Continuing to 'force' the steering just deflects the tyre & pushes the anti roll bar over a little. Full left lock comes up against a positive stop, as full right used to do, & the tyre is just shy of the ARB, not much clearance, but enough. My first thought was that the ARB had moved across somehow, but it is still central, & if I forced it across to clear the R/H tyre, it would then cause the L/H tyre to rub. If I remove the R/H wheel, the steering will then turn considerably more & finally hit a solid stop, but with the wheel on, the ARB is preventing it getting anywhere near this point. Previously, I had always had a solid lock stop on both sides, & neither tyre had been able to touch the ARB. Has anyone ever had a lock stop extension tube break up or escape somehow ? Looks like it's going to be a rack removal & strip, but any ideas welcome.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:57 am

Tim, Sounds like something isn't right in the rack itself doesn't it - the only thing I can think of is the actual rack mount being loose or moving somehow but that ought to affect both sides. Little bit of spannering coming your way I think.
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:44 am

Should be able to just pull back the boot and check stops.
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:34 am

Sounds like your whole rack has slipped sideways in its mounts.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:41 pm

I wondered about the rack moving, but think the flexible joint would prevent it moving, and/or the steering wheel would end up closer to the dash on one edge.
Has the position of the steering wheel "spokes" changed when driving straight ahead ?

am also assuming (I'm sure you feel it) that the road wheel is properly secured on the hub & hasn't been bent
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:45 pm

Its very simple, they have adjusted the tracking all on one track rod and it sounds like by a large amount. They may have been smart (or dumb!) enough to recentre the steering Wheel on its splines, bet you can see spanner marks on one track rod only.

I doubt that your vehicle was a long way out before unless someone had been meddling with it so I suggest you check the track, preferably yourself with some old school optical guages after calibrating them, a simple thing that garages should do every time but I have never seen them do.

TBH it sounds just like the universal Fast-fit scam of a free tracking check, they find its OK (if they have calibrated their guages) then Wind on several turns on one side making it scrub and in your case hit the inner wing on lock, they can then charge you for the "correction" and know that you will be back in short order with worn out tyres whereupon they can sell you new ones and redo the tracking because "it was a mile out mate" just like they said the last time.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:44 pm

Thanks for the replies & thoughts chaps. I should have clarified in my earlier post that the rack mountings are still secure, the rack has not moved & steering wheel is still spot on centred. The car still drives & handles just as it did, it's just that I now have far more right hand lock than I did, this is all that has changed.
Chancer, I wish it was that simple, but having been in the motor trade virtually all my life, I wouldn't let a 'fast fit' outfit anywhere near anything as important as suspension/steering work, in my experience, many of them can hardly be trusted to pump a tyre up properly :lol: .
No, the geometry check was done by a trusted & professional colleague & myself, over two years ago, & one of the reasons for doing it was to ensure that everything was centralised correctly, the other reason was that I had replaced all the rear A frame bushes & wanted to make sure the 4 wheel alignment was all good. There was no contact between tyre & ARB on either side then, I have had no unusual tyre wear, & when MOT'd at the beginning of August, there was still no sign of contact, & you could feel both sides contacting the lock stop before it got that far.
A quick check with my trusted Dunlop optical tracking gauges suggests no change in the front tracking, at least, but now, it's as though the 1.75 inch tube added to the left hand end of the rack to restrict the steering movement has disappeared, hence asking if anyone had known one to break up & escape somehow. I Can't see how it could though.
As Steve suggests, it looks like a little spannering is coming my way :? .

Cheers, Tim
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PostPost by: 661 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:03 pm

Whip the boot off and have a look at the stops. There should be a metal stop, well pictured in the Buckland book.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:19 pm

I'm glad that you are competent and experienced Tim, sorry for teaching you to suck eggs, I can see why you are mystified, you wont be able to rest untill you whip off the gaiter and I'm sure all will be revealed, probably a PO bodge, maybe a jubilee clip instead of the correct lock stop which has lost its grip or a material which has degraded and broken up.

Will be interesting to learn.
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:20 am

Tim,

As stated, whip off the boot to see. I have seen (vertical) split tubes retrofitted and tack welded back to save putting sleeves on and having to strip the rack. Many rack guys don't know about the specific rack tubes. May be this and they have split and dropped off into the boot. Just a thought.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:01 am

Hopefully I'll have a little spare time in the next day or two to investigate further. Will let you know what I find.

Thanks all, Tim
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:28 pm

Well on investigation, there is no lock stop on the left hand end of the rack. All I found was some broken shards of metal laying in the gaiter, so I guess they were what is left of whatever it had as a lock stop. Everything else looks in perfect condition, so I'll make up a new spacer tube & fit, & all should be well again.

Cheers all, Tim
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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:27 pm

Someone on here found a clip on plastic end stops that were purpose made.
Save a lot of work especially if you need to re-shim the ball joints.
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