Lotus Elan

Seems like a weird amount of oil

PostPost by: tdskip » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:44 pm

Doing more cleaning and noticed that the u-joint here looks surprisingly oily. Don?t think it should look like that, no?

Can?t remember any of my Triumphs have a steering column that gunked up...

Thanks!
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:06 pm

Very odd indeed. Should be dry.
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Formerly:
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PostPost by: benymazz » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:06 pm

Nobody's said it yet, so I guess I will: don't question it, and look on the positive side: it's preventing rust! Those steering column U-joints need all the rust prevention they can get... although the oil is probably wasting the rubber. Quick story: I had to upgrade mine from the rubber bush type to the real U-joint type last winter and I ended up cutting the pinch bolts and the old joint itself into about 7 different pieces with a die grinder to get it off. What a disaster.

I also thought I lined up the column correctly with the rack when I put it the new joint back on (there was no alignment flat on the rack like there was on the column so I had to make an educated guess) but alas I was off by one spline... so now "straight ahead" is actually some small number of degrees (6?) off of center on the steering wheel :roll:
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:14 pm

I fitted a U-joint just today and had the opposite experience: the old flex-joint came off fairly easily but the new U-joint required lots of toil and effort and hammering. It's probably never going to be able to come off now, so I hope I got the alignment right! I did actually make a punch-mark on the rack housing and on the column to help with alignment so with any luck that paid off.
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PostPost by: Donels » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:26 am

Maybe the PO coated it in grease for the above reasons? The only other source of lube is either an from the rack or an oil leak. Neither look obvious so maybe it?s deliberate.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:59 pm

Good morning and thank you for all of the responses.

What do you all think ? should I just clean it up some and leave it alone?
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:18 pm

I have seen three different Triumph steering UJs. The first had a rubber/fabric disc sandwiched in the middle, the second a metal disc with rubber inserts (that I think you have under the grease), the third a 'proper' hook type universal joint. I would imagine the rubber inserts are well on their way to being perished by now and your joint (and steering) may benefit from a replacement.

I did come across this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRIUMPH-STEERING-SHAFT-UNIVERSAL-JOINT-UPGRADE-SPITFIRE-GT6-TR6-TR5-TR4A-TR250-/162823606997

..which looks a thing of beauty. No idea if it is mechanically sound, but it looks great.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:07 pm

Looks to me like the DPO had just finished filling his trunnions with EP 90 and figured to get rid of the rest of his devil's mix on the steering column. Overall, I agree that there's probably sufficient rubber down there that this kind of lubrication was a very bad idea safety-wise.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:22 pm

Just took another look at your photo and you definitely have the original rubber/fabric doughnut down there. Covered with moly grease or whatever that gunk is, it should not take it long to rot to the point where it separates easily when stressed. Say, back up out of a tight parking space, pull forward, drive off, and hit that hard left-hander at speed... :shock:

Perhaps the DPO felt he was adding a preservative, but I wouldn't bet my life or my passenger's on that being the case.
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