Lotus Elan

adjustment of rack on S2

PostPost by: wolfchen » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:14 pm

I had quite some slop in the steering,so I replaced the flex joint with a UJ fro RD enterprises there i still some free movement in the steering wheel and I believe that it's the rack itself, can the free play in rack be adjusted ? workshop manual isn't very clear on this point to me.

I did search forum but did not find direct answer

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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:25 pm

You can adjust the pinion pressure pad. Remove the 1 5/16" cap nut, and remove the shims. Tighten it down to remove all play. Measure the gap between the cap nut and the rack housing, and make up a shim pack equal to the clearance plus 0.004".

If the rack is worn it will always be looser around the straight ahead position, and will bind on lock. :)
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:21 pm

[quote="Foxie"

If the rack is worn it will always be looser around the straight ahead position, and will bind on lock. :)[/quote]

Yes, what is the play like when not straight ahead? Turn the wheel a half turn or more and check it there. If it feels good then removing shims will probably jam it on turns.

I once asked Miles Wilkins if rmoving the pinion and rotating it half a turn would reduce the play and I think he said he had once done it successfully. But it's a lot of work.

When my original went loose I bought a new Herald rack but it was incredibly stiff and I took the pressure spring out and reduced the clearance to minimal but it soon went loose. For three decades I have been using a second-hand +2 rack (without the end spacers) and it still isn't too bad..
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PostPost by: wolfchen » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:38 pm

so it seems that the play in steering cannot be adjusted away ,nor tolerated. I understand that the rack is the same one used in a triumph spitfire I am considering one of two courses.

1.- purchase a new pinion gear from Moss Motors and install it in my existing rack

2.- buy a new triumph rack from same source and use that. Moss wants $180 for new rack, Dave Bean Lotus wants $500 USD, what is the difference ? Is there something I am missing ?

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:13 am

In my opinion, if your rack is badly worn, replacing just the pinion may improve it but may not remove all the freeplay and you might be better off going for a complete new or reconditioned assembly.

The Triumph rack is modified for the Lotus application by the addition of internal spacers to limit steering lock and also has shorter track rods. The parts can be transferred from your old rack but obviously the new rack would need to be dismantled to fit them.
steering-rack-lock-stops-001.jpg and
S4 rack spacer
steering-rack-lock-stops-003.jpg and
S4 rack spacer
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PostPost by: joe7 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:02 pm

Had a similar problem with some play in the steering. Checked everything out and discovered that my new u joint was a bit loose on the splines. Had to really apply some torque to tighten it up problem solved.
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PostPost by: wolfchen » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:15 pm

tighten u joint, that will be my first effort , workshop manual says to cut front sub frame to remove steering rack clamps ?
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:20 pm

As usually most wear takes place in the straight ahead position you should be able to determine if its pinion or rack wear by turning the steering wheel one complete turn this brings the pinion to straight ahead position but on a different part of the rack.
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