Lotus Elan

Steering UJ stuck on shaft - advice please?

PostPost by: HJF » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:34 am

As per my other post, the rack is now out of the car awaiting my new one arriving. Decided to replace the aged UJ but it is well stuck on the end of the lower steering shaft due to corrosion. My plan then is to loosen the impact clamp just inside the cockpit and slide it down and out to remove the clamp on the bench. I think the shaft will just (hopefully) slide out with the UJ on the end without fouling the body. Worse case is hacksaw the shaft and fit a new one, if available, and new UJ. I’ve done a full steering system overhaul before on a Caterham (identical configuration to the Elan) but because the nose comes off it was no problem.

Any comments gratefully received before I embark on the next phase of project creep.

Harry
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:54 pm

Sounds sensible.

Make sure to split the clamp rather than loosen the tensioner screw. That way it's just a simple unbolt rebolt job and you don't have to try and set the tension correctly.

While you have the lower column out, consider refreshing the bulk head rubber seal it passes through. It's probably not sealing anymore. This will probably require a bit more work removing carbs to get access but might good time to do it.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:41 pm

You need to remove completly the 2 bolts in the UJ.
If after the UJ will not slide off Rack Shaft use Fox Wedge to open split in UJ.
Alan
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PostPost by: HJF » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:09 pm

Yes, bolts out and rack side came off fine. Column side is the problem. Already tried knocking wedge in but no luck. Don’t want to use too much violence whilst still in situ.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:15 pm

A fox Wedge will open the Split in the UJ no problem then it will not be stuck on the Splines.
The only thing that could get distorted is the UJ and that's ready for the Trash Can.
Alan
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:21 pm

Harry,

Before cutting anything make sure you have a replacement. I had a similar problem, but could not get the column half of the joint off. I can’t remember whether I cut the joint whilst still in the car or if I got the shaft out and then cut the joint, but I had to cut the joint longitudinally before I could wedge it apart enough to come off.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: HJF » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:06 pm

Richard,
Yes, that’s where I am at. The column is in the car and the rack removed but the uj is stuck onto the end of the shaft. Tried wedging the joint but no luck. Have thought about cutting joint but not ideal at the moment.
Since my last post I have removed the column clamp in the footwell. I expected the lower inner column to now just slide out as it did when I worked on both mine and also a friend’s Caterham suspension and steering which was an identical setup. To my surprise it is still gripped tightly by the outer, upper tube, not certain why.
I have got to the point where I think I will just put it all back together for now leaving the UJ where it is. It’s not loose / sloppy so does not really need replacing. I simply thought while the rack was out I would replace it. As usual a simple job quickly escalates so I just need to know when to draw a line under things.

Harry
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PostPost by: HJF » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:23 pm

Update
Had a brainwave re stuck lower shaft. From inside the car with clamp removed, I put a wrench on the visible flat portion of the lower rod. Held the wheel still and turned. This freed the rod, waggling it free, then it just pulled all the way out of the car just clearing the lower valance. Basically, slight rust was causing the lower rod to stick in the upper tube and so pulling wouldn’t work.
With it out was able to give the UJ a good hammering and off it came and the rod splines still in good condition. Means I can properly rebuild my steering rather than leave just the UJ in place.
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