Lotus Elan

Steering becomes hard to turn when dash gets hot

PostPost by: andyhay » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:23 am

Hi All

I have a very strange niggle with my car. When the car is parked in the sun and the dash and steering column cover get hot (Australia - so they do get hot) the wheel becomes very difficult to turn. It becomes very unpleasant to drive and I have to really wrestle with it. As the steering column cover cools down the problem goes away. Could it be the upper bushing becoming sticky as it gets hot?

The issue only occurs after the car interior has heated up - can drive on a 38 degree day with no symptoms, its only after direct sun hits the dash and steering column.

The car is a 1968 Elan +2 with the older non collapsible steering column.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Andy
andyhay
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 47
Joined: 03 Feb 2016
Location: Australia

PostPost by: 2tmike » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:59 am

Outside chance, direct sun on steering wheel spokes warming the inner column up and expanding it a little...but then its quite a chunk of steel to heat up so a fair size heat sink....
Elan S4
Gt4
MR2turbo
2tmike
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 72
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Location: Devon

PostPost by: JonB » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:33 am

Maybe try some insulation round the bush location. Just a bit of foam wrapped round it. Experimenting might help narrow the cause down.

Is there any noise when it?s tight? I?m thinking that the steering wheel could be fouling the column housing slightly.

Here in the UK it?s been raining more or less constantly for weeks. Mind you, I wouldn?t like to drive a Plus 2 in the Aussie heat. It?s bad enough in our mild summers! Have you got A/C?
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:42 pm

Hi
A dose of WD 40 down the steering column via the indicator switch for an immediate solution.
any further problems would require shaft removal

Good luck
Regards

John

+2s130 1971
User avatar
Hawksfield
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Location: Hartlepool Teesside

PostPost by: Jentwistle3 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:25 am

WD-40 is a crappy lubricant. Get yourself some Gibbs Oil
Jentwistle3
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 98
Joined: 03 Dec 2011

PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:48 am

That sounds weird! Suggest hitting it with freeze spray in specific areas to try and isolate where the problem is.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/freezing-spray-can/p/NA1000
1970 Ford Escort Twin Cam
1972 Ford Escort GT1600 Twin Cam
1980 Ford Escort 2.0 Ghia
Peugeot 505 GTI Wagons (5spdx1) (Autox1)
2015 Honda City 5spd.
2cams70
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 920
Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Location: Australia

PostPost by: Donels » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:45 pm

I suspect you were close first time. The nylon bushes in the steering column are a close fit. If the outside temperature is 38 C, and sitting in the sun I guess internal temperatures could get 10 - 12 C hotter or more. Coefficient of expansion for nylon is about 100 and for steel its about 10, so the clearance between bush and steering shaft could be zero, with the bush binding the steering shaft. Once it cools the clearance is back and it frees off. The simple solution is a sun shade in the screen I would suggest.
Elan +2
Elise mk 1
Donels
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 316
Joined: 10 Sep 2016
Location: Tamworth

PostPost by: Chrispy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:41 pm

No trouble with my 67 +2 in Brissie.

I got sick of the heat and put in AC though!
Chris
Elan +2 #0245
Exige S2 Supercharged
Chrispy
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 297
Joined: 29 Oct 2017
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPost by: 2tmike » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:01 pm

Relative expansion of the bush and inner column works in the opposite way that might be expected.... The column od gets a bit bigger with temperature but the hole in the bush also gets bigger and because of the difference in expansion coefficients between steel and plastic the increase in column diameter is less than the increase in the hole diameter so the gap increases ....it's one of those things that's counterintuitive but wins a few bets:)))
If it is an expansion effect it needs the inner column to see more temperature than the bush which really means heat transmitted from the wheel or the rack.
Perhaps the original idea of the bush just getting sticky when warm is right and wd40 the answer....unless there's any snake oil left.....
Elan S4
Gt4
MR2turbo
2tmike
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 72
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Location: Devon

PostPost by: andyhay » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:30 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions. Sounds like the first thing to try is getting some lubrication on the upper bush.

I like the idea of using the freeze spray to narrow down the problem. As an aside there is absolutely no play in the steering column - doesn't even wiggle a bit so the bushes are obviously a tight fit.
I'll give lubrication a try and report back. I have WD40, Silicon spray and singer machine oil at hand - which would be the safest bet?

Regards

Andy
andyhay
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 47
Joined: 03 Feb 2016
Location: Australia

PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:58 pm

I guess I'll throw my 2 cents in here. I agree the column and shaft expand at the same rate and the gap between the 2 will increase. However what will decrease is the gap between the bush and shaft due to the different coefficient of thermal expansion rates (10 to 1 noted above). The nylon can't expand beyond the ID of the column because it's the weaker material so it expands into the only place left, the clearance to the shaft.
Scott
45/9011
Hawkestone, On, Ca
snowyelan
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 228
Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Location: Hawkestone, Ontario, Canada

PostPost by: oldelanman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:32 am

For cars fitted with the Triumph column ...

The original Metalastic column bush has a split nylon inner sleeve inside a rubber outer body so I think it unlikely that any thermal expansion would cause the shaft to bind. Replacement bushes that I have seen have a longer nylon inner sleeve without a split so are perhaps more likely to give problems with thermal expansion. In either case if the bush is not fitted correctly, with the rubber lugs located in the holes in the outer column, the column is likely to be a tight fit through them. I would check that both upper and lower bushes are installed correctly before trying anything else.

steering-column-bush-new-vs-old-002.jpg and
steering-column-002a.jpg and
Lower bush locating lug
steering-column-003a.jpg and
Upper bush locating lug


Edit:-
This info will not apply to cars fitted with the Ford column .. see Brian's post below.
Last edited by oldelanman on Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Roger
S4 DHC
oldelanman
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1661
Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Location: Dorset UK

PostPost by: ncm » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:40 pm

The car is a 1968 Elan +2 with the older non collapsible steering column.

Early +2 column is Ford based and uses felt bushes like these https://www.smallfordspares.co.uk/produ ... -felt-bush , not the Triumph rubber/nylon items being discussed above.These were fitted to later cars.
See also parts book in wiki http://www.lotuselan.net/wiki/HB_-_Stee ... olumn_%2B2 (item 4)
Brian.
ncm
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Location: Derbyshire

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests