Lotus Elan

How many turns does a trunnion need to be screwed on?

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:17 pm

Just had to remove my hubs, calipers etc to replace the dust seal on top of the trunnion as mine have perished and split.
Simple question, when screwing the trunnion back on, how many turns should it go on?

I counted mine off and it was 15 turns so have put the new seal on and threaded it back on 15 turns. The dust seal is jammed hard against the upright now but I have at least 60 degrees turn in each direction so is this correct. There is nothing in the workshop manual that I can see to tell you how many turns to screw the trunnion on and in the dimensions page of the manual the distance from top of the upright to the centre of the trunnion bolt hole is not defined. The wrong distance will affect the suspension geometry.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:23 pm

Far as you can as long as you have an easy 1/2 turn in each direction.
Ensure both are the same length if possible.

Other opinions may differ! :)
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:57 pm

vincereynard wrote:Far as you can as long as you have an easy 1/2 turn in each direction.
Ensure both are the same length if possible.

Other opinions may differ! :)


I have the same opinion, you want the greatest engagement possible. I turn them in until the the seal at the top is obviously deformed and then back off to get the easy 1/2 turn in each direction and confirm that the seal is still in firm contact, top and bottom.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:01 pm

I agree 100% with the above advice. But wanted to add:

While you are in there, check the condition of the kingpin (threaded bit at the bottom of the upright) for pitting, rust, etc. Replace if damaged. Lots of discussions about stress risers leading to cracks then catastrophic failure of this highly stressed part of the suspension.

Also, check the joint free play. Does the trunnion rock at all when screwed in? That's a good indicator of wear, though some tiny amount is acceptable.

Obviously, clean out any old lubrication (not saying which, don't want another debate!) from the trunnion / kingpin and relubricate on assembly.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:14 pm

Thanks all, that is basically what I have done. These parts are effectively new although over 30 years old, as I started the renovation back in 1985, but am only just finishing it, in that time the car has been pushed in and out of the garage a few times but never driven, so the parts are as new except for many of the rubber parts which have perished, hence today?s job. I actually have permanent grease nipples fitted to the trunnions, or should I call them oil nipples!
Unlike poor Jon B, everything came apart easily as I had used a graphite based grease on all the bolts and bushes. Will copiously re coat and oil on reassembly.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:05 pm

Bigbaldybloke wrote:..poor Jon B..


Yes, poor old me... :(

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:44 pm

Bigbaldybloke wrote:poor Jon B,


Wasn't there a BeachBoys song with that title?
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:06 pm

No, it was "The Sloop John B" I believe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloop_John_B

..as my Beach Boys loving father often points out.

They have an ornamental model of a schooner hanging on the wall in their bathroom, lovely little thing, with "The Sloop JonB" written on its hull.. I thought it was rather funny..
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:09 pm

Cough cough..

Anyway, like I said, screw the trunnion all the way in then back it off just enough so it can turn 180 degrees in each direction without binding.

Cough cough.. :lol:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:38 am

JonB wrote:No, it was "The Sloop John B" I believe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloop_John_B

..as my Beach Boys loving father often points out.

They have an ornamental model of a schooner hanging on the wall in their bathroom, lovely little thing, with "The Sloop JonB" written on its hull.. I thought it was rather funny..


FYI - I've been told by Mr Pedantic that a Schooner is not a Sloop. (Some sailor type stuff about the number of masts and sail layout!)
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:07 am

vincereynard wrote:FYI - I've been told by Mr Pedantic that a Schooner is not a Sloop. (Some sailor type stuff about the number of masts and sail layout!)


Who's Mr Pedantic, Vince? He's right, but my mum just wrote it on the model for fun...
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PostPost by: pauljones » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:11 am

Just my 2 pennies int pot,

A Schooner is two or more masted, the fore mast is smaller and rear most masts are taller. Not to be confused with a ketch, where the front mast is taller than the rear mizzen.
A Sloop is single masted and will only have a single Forsale,and Main Sale. Generally the mast may be forward of center.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:10 pm

JonB wrote:Who's Mr Pedantic, Vince? He's right, but my mum just wrote it on the model for fun...


Popeye. He recons a schooner is like a sloop that's had a cargo of spinach. Toot Toot.
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:33 pm

Hey, where's BBB gone?

"Ah-harrrr-harrr-harrrrr..... me laddie!"

Not joining us in the "ahh-harrrrrrs", BBB?

(with apologies to Black Adder)
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:57 pm

Still here and all at sea again!

Went to refit hub and couldn't find my tin of grease so went out for lunch and collected a new tin while in town.
Hub and bearings re greased and refitted. bolted on new caliper then found they were metric, no problem, can easily make up new pipe with metric fitting to screw into caliper. Of course metric calipers have 3/16th diameter pins and i'd been supplied with green stuff pads with 1/4" holes so phoned up to get them exchanged - no problem there.
While I was in a phoning mood I rang Spyder to see where my new thicker lock rings for my Minilite wheels were, they cant make them for me!
They offered to machine a bit off each hub so the spinner would screw on further, but that would mean removing all my hubs front and rear and sending them to Peterborough. I declined that offer as I have a lathe myself plus a pair of spare front hubs, so will be machining them down myself. While still in a phoning mood I called Kelvedon for a new set of front wheel bearings and decided to treat the car to a pair of new cross drilled and grooved discs while its all apart. So thats the front solved.
The back is more of a problem as I know for a fact the rear hubs are absolute b*tches to get off, all sorts of heat and pullers last time i removed one to replace the bearings and i doubt it will be any easier after sitting there unmoved for 30 years. So bearing in mind Jon B's escapades I may well try in situ machining somehow or see if a local machine shop can make me some thicker lock rings.
I can't believe that I'm the only person that's had this problem, but Spyder say all lock rings are the same as the set they gave me that are too thin.
Looks like a trip to Spalding tomorrow for bearings and discs, then at least I can get the front finished.
In the meantime a nice Kenwood DAB radio has arrived, its only about 4" deep so will fit easily. Again not straightforward as it need a special aerial with both analogue and digital outputs and a power supply, so thats more cables to run before it goes for trimming!
I want to get it to the trimmers by mid April as we are off on a cruise then - see I managed to get it back to the nautical theme!
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