Lotus Elan

S3 Pedal Box Alignment

PostPost by: simonriley11 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:55 am

The brake pedal on my 1966 S3 RHD DHC appears to be a bit stiff and on first use will occasionally stay down leaving the brakes on. Up to now it always releases with a quick pump and is fine for the rest of the journey but obviously something is not right.
I would like to check the alignment of the bush in the aluminium housing (attached to the body) on the RH end of the pedal shaft by loosening the two bolts - however are the nuts captive as they look very difficult to get at.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:17 am

Good morning Simon,
I`ve been there when I took the pedal assembly out to bend the clutch and brake pedal to the left so that I could drive comfortably with my big feet. Now I can just press one pedal at once!!
I seem to remember the nuts are not captive and the whole bush mounting can be moved to permit alignment.
I tied string to the spanner for when I dropped it. You may need some spare nuts as well. Some bad language may be involved doing that job.
The top of the horizontal tube has some oil holes in it. You could try that first.
Getting the bush back in the best position was difficult. A friend managed to remove the pedal assembly without disturbing the bush, which was a much better idea.
Good luck
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:16 pm

simonriley11 wrote:The brake pedal on my 1966 S3 RHD DHC appears to be a bit stiff and on first use will occasionally stay down leaving the brakes on...
I would like to check the alignment of the bush in the aluminium housing (attached to the body) on the RH end of the pedal shaft by loosening the two bolts...


are you 100% sure this comes from a pedal axis misalignement? agreed, this specific part is tricky to reach, and all the rest being in decent condition (other side aligned, lubed...) and pull back spring in place, one could check the pedal independantly from the hydraulics : an other likely cause would be corrosion of the master cylinder, causing the piston to stay stuck at a given location past the tight spot... and something you'd want to remedy before a leak.
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PostPost by: elans3 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:01 pm

I'd concur with the above. Check master cylinder first....
Current :- Elan S3 DHC SE S/S 1968,
1963 Alfa Giulia Ti Super Rep.
Previous :-
Elan S3 DHC SE SS 1968,
Elan S3 DHC S/E 1966
Elan S3 FHC Pre-Airflow 1966
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PostPost by: Billmack » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:14 pm

My bet would be on cleaning and lubing the pedal shaft. First try oiling the holes mentioned earlier and exercising the pedal. Repeat a few times if no joy remove the assembly disassemble clean and relube.The cylinder itself being stuck would not produce this symptom as the pushrod is not attached to the piston.
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PostPost by: simonriley11 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:31 pm

Thanks for all your help so far.
After I posted my question I decided to disconnect the pedal from the master cylinder pushrod. I found that the pedal was stiff so I lubricated all the moving parts I could see (I haven't looked for oil holes -I will have a look tomorrow) and also I found that the return spring was providing no tension with the pedal in it's 'off' position. I suspect the spring is either incorrect or has stretched in the past.
I made up a small bracket and attached it to one of the steering column bracket bolts which extended the spring by about 1/2 inch - so having now re-attached the pedal to the master cylinder the spring returns it correctly.
I suspect that a stiff pedal due to lack of lubrication and a non working return spring were the cause of my problem.
Thanks again - Simon
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:33 pm

Simon,

Gad to hear you have solved your current problem. I believe you can remove the pedal assembly by slackening the bearing at the right hand end of the shaft. The nuts are not captive. I made the mistake of removing the bearing, and found this an extremely difficult thing to put back together, I broke a rib whilst leaning on the sill. This job may be easier if you are left handed.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins
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