Lotus Elan

Track rod ends

PostPost by: JimE » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:26 pm

I bought a couple from Kelvedon for my Elan and found that what they had sent me had slightly less depth of thread and a little longer than what was on the car so wouldn't fit. I thought they might possibly had been more suitable for the wider track +2. When I spoke to Kelvedon Parts, they said that what they sent were suitable for all Elans and had no previous queries, but offered a full refund. The ones on my car were definitely shorter. As they had only been on the car for only a couple of years, with minimal use, and little or no wear other than split gaiters, I swapped the gaiters over from the new ones. But perhaps someone could enlighten and let me know where I can get the correct ones for the future. Jim
Last edited by JimE on Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: RichC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:49 am

forgive me if you've already tried this, but have you slackened off the lock nut and tried screwing the new track rod ends further along the thread than the old ones were?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:57 am

Interesting. I've just replaced both of my track rod ends as well but I bought them from Matty's. Mine were the same length overall as those on the car (one of which almost certainly was a 60's original complete with grease nipple) but the "ball" bit was larger and the threaded part shorter.

The biggest problem though was that the depth of thread was about 3mm less so even fully screwed on the wheels were toe'd out. After some research here I ended up shortening the track rods by a similar amount. It sounds like there are a few different designs of track rod ends floating around the suppliers.
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PostPost by: JimE » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:10 am

RichC, yes I tried that and Stuart, so it's not just me then. Jim
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PostPost by: tonyr27 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:16 am

No it's a common problem, I bought some from Sue Miller that had insufficient depth, I ended up buying some from a Mini specialist for about half the price.
The amount of parts myself and friends have bought over the last couple of years from main suppliers that aren't fit for purpose is becoming a concern.

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:51 am

Yes but it's not so much that there's not enough thread but that they're too long.
There are any number of TRE that meet the generic thread/cone spec but we need to be c92mm long overall.
I found the Moog RO ES 0545 met that spec others may but I rang a lot of suppliers to check sizes after I got a pair too long from a normally very good supplier advertising specifically for elan.
Edit
The Moog spec shows two lengths (72/17) and I think the first is centre line to end and the other could be centre line to back of taper.
Anyway this part is significantly short than many of the generic GSJ158 parts available.
Last edited by MarkDa on Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: tonyr27 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:20 am

The Triumph Spitfire track rod ends are slightly longer than the Mini items, maybe this could be the problem.

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:40 am

You should be able to get a pair that fit delivered for less than the shop price for one at usual suspects.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:46 pm

Not sure if it's a factor, but there are at least two different Spitfire steering racks. The newer ones made in South America are generally considered unsuitable for all vintage Loti. Could it be that you're getting ends for same?

I had good luck with British Parts Northwest, I think in Vancouver BC. Inexpensive, right parts, and they put a chocolate bar in with the order. :)
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:02 pm

ooh i wouldn't want choc bars in the post at the moment .... we're in a heat wave ! yesterday was warmest april day for 70years . they say it was 28.8degrees in northolt nw london airfield.... happened to be in london gridlocked traffic for 3.5hrs yesterday with 30.5 degrees on the scale without airconditioning ...
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PostPost by: jono » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:59 pm

...does anyone know where I can buy replacement dust boots for trackrod ends?

One of mine is split but the joint is fine

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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:11 pm

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