Lotus Elan

Modification I presume?

PostPost by: bitsobrits » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:54 am

Cleaned up my old steering coupler to use for turning the rack while checking bump steer. Was surprised to see a solid steel disk instead a flexible disk. So is this a modification or were they made this way originally? Certainly seems well done, with tight tolerances yet able to handle a fairly large angular deflection.
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Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
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Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:53 am

There are little tapered rubber washers on the bolts/ steel plate. Originally, the rubbers were replaceable, but finding them today would be the problem. I had a source20 years ago, but probably not today.

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PostPost by: S2Jay » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:45 am

p1190868.jpg and
Steering column coupling, S2 Elan.
I found a similar item during my current ongoing rebuild. This is from 26/5009, S2 DHC LHD. Uncertain of initial buyer, but has been in U.S. since at least 1984 & possibly since 1966.
The rubber washers can just be seen in the close up. Some cracks also visible, but not looking too bad for 51 years. I am hoping not to need to dismantle, if only to for the original safety wire work.

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:47 am

The rubber bushes are still available if you want to restore your coupling - Canley Classics list them ....

ITEM NO. PART NO. DESCRIPTION PRICE UNITS AVAILABILITY QTY REQ ORDER QTY
14 108977 RUBBER BUSH COLUMN JOINT ?1.99 EACH IN STOCK 8

herald1200_plate_u.jpg and
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:49 am

There should also be a wire braid going from one side to the other to earth the Horn. Because the original will not earth with the rubber bushes.
Modern replacements are all metal so no earthing problems.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:00 am

I took one of those off my 1973 +2 130/5 and will be replacing it with a proper universal joint, when I reassemble the front suspension. Mine does not seem to have much flexibility in it and is not able to clamp on the steering rack input shaft spline properly, despite the bolt being torqued right up.

I have to say, the bushes look cheap compared to the U/J (which was ?20). That said, I chose a U/J because I hoped it might make the column fit a bit better.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:45 am

In my opinion the original joint is just a coupling which provides some insulation from vibration and shocks transmitted from the wheels through the rack, it was not designed to cater for misalignment of the column. Whilst a universal joint can be used and will accommodate some misalignment it may tend to be notchy as U/J's are designed to be used in pairs. This will probably not be noticeable if the misalignment is small and steering inputs are slow.
I think that the recent use of a single U/J in this application may have more to do with availability rather than offering an improvement over the original set-up.
Just my opinion ....

Edit:- I see the original type of joint is still available from the "usual suspects"
Last edited by oldelanman on Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:04 am

I'll try it and we shall see... At least the bushes are cheap if I want to revert to the original coupling. That said, my column is so out of alignment that I need to try something different to sort it out.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:58 am

Having one of each on my two elans personally i prefer the UJ, yes it feels a little harsher going over pot holes etc but the stock type rubber bush version doesn't seem to last very long before it gets a bit 'loose'.

In my opinion it's the rack mounts that make more of a difference, i fitted solid mounts and really didn't get on with them so went back to Rubber with the UJ which in my opinion is the best set up.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:08 pm

Thanks Chris - it's what I will be fitting (new rack rubbers too).
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:59 pm

One thing you might want to look into is fitting some bracing around the Pedal box / Steering column. I found i had a lot of flex in that area on my +2 and ended up making some thing similar to Mr Murray's diagram below which really helped.
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:30 pm

Interesting stuff. 6 Elans later I'm still learning...
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:47 pm

I did think of that - there is already bracing around the edge of the pedal box (by means of aluminium angle bolted to the underside) that interferes slightly with the clutch and I know the steering wheel and handbrake are a bit wobbly.

However, I think it might be prudent to have it on the other side of the bulkhead in the engine bay (if possible - have not looked yet), because it would be easier to fit and there's something between your knees and it in the event of a frontal collision. This may or may not help.

Could you post a picture of your strengthener please, so I can see it in situ?
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:35 pm

I found the same flexible foot box problem in my P2. Took a sheet of .060" 4130 and filled the whole underside of the box, with a cutout for the pedals and holes drilled to sandwich the fiberglass between the box and the new plate. My plate does not go back to the rear steering shaft mount, but does include the lower bracket. Problem solved.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:59 pm

that lovely drawing motivates me to ask: this looks like the kind of mod only a +2 needs O R has anybody seen something like this for a smaller (called b...) elan?? sandy (PS i know legal FIA 26R parts!)
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