Lotus Elan

Elan steering

PostPost by: lotus66 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Hi all, Lotus steering question: Have a 71 Elan just out of long term storage. Very orig, NEVER hit very straight. Rebuilt the entire front suspension from new tires in. All lined up, balanced, repaired by true Lotus guys. Got on the road and the steering was not centering as it should. Rechecked alignment, balance everything. Determined the rack should be rebuilt. Done, again by a Lotus guy. All finished, still really bad centering. Got the steering wheel straight and all tightened down. Wheel now rubs the column, will not self center and the wheel will move off center, from the two spokes at 9 & 3 to a roughly 1 & 7 position during a hard left turn. But the car will continue straight. Fewer turns to left lock than right lock. Figure it's the column but what bits? It the S4 all Herald or is it Spitfire? Anybody out there will any ideas? Bueller? Bueller? Thanks Jim [email protected] or 240-626-9032 in Maryland
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:54 pm

Check front caster angle.

These cars do not self centre like modern cars.

Check tyre pressures against the spec in the user manual. They run surprisingly low pressures (again, compared to modern tyres).

Fewer turns left to right lock from centre? Adjust the flexible joint in the column (detach column, rotate, refit). Do the indicators self cancel where expected? If not the wheel is not on straight with respect to the self centre clip on the column. remove, rotate, refit, then get your front toe in reset with the steering wheel straight ahead.
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PostPost by: Donels » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:18 pm

Lubricate the trunnions with EP90.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:48 am

Fewer turns left turn to right turn usually means the rack has not been properly centred. Each tie rod end should be screwed onto the tie rod the same number of turns. Attached them to the tie rod arms after doing this. Turn each tie rod an EQUAL amount a little at a time until the wheels are approximately parallel and straight - you can measure front and back of the wheels with a tape measure to get it roughly correct. If necessary remove the steering wheel and reposition so it is centred. Drive straight to a wheel alignment shop and then get the toe in set accurately.Very often wheel alignment shops just set the toe in without ensuring the rack is properly centred first.
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PostPost by: lotus66 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:30 pm

Thank you !!!
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