Lotus Elan

Steering vibration

PostPost by: seniorchristo » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:26 pm

Since rebuilding my steering column recently I've picked up a vibration through the steering wheel which also seems to resonate into the dashboard. Replacing the column bushings eliminated most of the up/down and side to side play, but now that the column is tighter and more "secure" is it just transmitting the vibration better? If I take the car out of gear at 60 mph the vibration almost goes away so I'm guessing it's being transmitted through the motor mounts. I must say the steering column bushings were more along the lines of something I would expect to find on my daughter's Barbie Jeep! Talk about saving weight! Any thoughts appreciated.
Chris :)
Last edited by seniorchristo on Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:29 pm

Hi Chris,
As the vibration is reduced if you knock it out of gear I would suspect something in the drive train is to blame. Maybe worth checking for loose rear wheels, loose driveshaft bolts, failed rotoflex coupling, loose diff flange bolts and worn propshaft U/J's
Roger
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:10 am

Even out of gear, the propshaft, driveshafts and rotoflex are all still turning at roadspeed, so unless it is a problem that only manifests itself when the drivetrain is loaded, this is unlikely to be the cause.

Is the vibration dependent on engine revs - do you feel it if the car is stationary in neutral and you rev the engine?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:33 am

Andy8421 wrote:Even out of gear, the propshaft, driveshafts and rotoflex are all still turning at roadspeed, so unless it is a problem that only manifests itself when the drivetrain is loaded, this is unlikely to be the cause.


Chris said the vibration is reduced when the drivetrain is unloaded, I wouldn't rule it out without checking.
Roger
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:32 am

Chris,
Another thought...... do you have solid steering rack mounts &/or metal/metal U/J fitted to the column? Any chassis vibrations will be more likely to be transmitted up the column and into the dash. Not the cause of the vibration of course but maybe why it is more noticeable.
Roger
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:11 am

Thanks for the input. I?m not sure whether or not the vibration is RPM dependent. I don?t recall whether or not the vibration was present while the car was stationary and engine revving. If the vibration was present while stationary than that would eliminate driveline cause. I don?t have any special column u-joints or not stock mountings. It is a very ?tight? vibration with the steering wheel only moving fractionally. Unfortunately I will be away for 10 days but will research more when I get home.
Thanks
Chris :)
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:24 pm

Just in case, I assume you've already checked that the steering column does not contact any engine related element (on my car it is very close to the alternator)...
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:06 pm

I've recently re-bushed my column and also getting a vibration on the steering wheel that wasn't there before.

I've not investigated yet, it very noticeable on my car as it makes my horn button ring/holder* buzz which is quite loud. I am running a u joint and poly rack mount bushes. So could be a transmission from front wheel or chassis/engine. Will report back once I've done further testing but that could be a while.

* This is a DCO (Dubious Current Owner) made piece that just a thin sheet Ali fasten via to the wheel via the wheel mount bolts and hole with lips bent over for the horn push. I should probably see if I can find a purpose made item for this but I like the added lightness of the current solution!
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:51 pm

If it?s through the steering and dashboard then it?s most likely to be wheel balance etc rather than drive train, unless as stated, the steering is contacting the engine, etc. If it?s the drivetrain then it should be obvious through the gear lever.

Wheel balance induced vibration will be at worst at the critical speed of the wheel, which is around 60mph or so for 13 inch wheels. If you knock it out of gear at this speed the vibration will reduce as the speed reduces, and the wheel speed moves away from its critical. So my guess is wheel balance now made obvious by the tighter bushes.

Dave
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:09 pm

Donels wrote:If it?s through the steering and dashboard then it?s most likely to be wheel balance etc rather than drive train, unless as stated, the steering is contacting the engine, etc. If it?s the drivetrain then it should be obvious through the gear lever.

Wheel balance induced vibration will be at worst at the critical speed of the wheel, which is around 60mph or so for 13 inch wheels. If you knock it out of gear at this speed the vibration will reduce as the speed reduces, and the wheel speed moves away from its critical. So my guess is wheel balance now made obvious by the tighter bushes.

Dave


+1 When I have any vibration, first check is always wheel balance.
Mike
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