Lotus Elan

steering coupling refitting problem

PostPost by: checkrail » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:28 pm

Hi, I am trying to fit a new column to rack coupling it's an original type with the rubber inserts bought from Sue.
Well greased it slides up the column but it will not drop down onto the rack splines. It's going slightly out of square as it touches them however much I try moving the column. I've tried fitting the rack end first but the column splines just bind even tapping down with Mole grips.
I have run a fine file round the leading edge. Two days underneath the car is enough.

Once again thanks for any ideas, John.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:18 pm

It sounds like your inner steering column is not correctly lined up with the rack pinion.
Before you try to fit the new coupling check the alignment by sliding the lower section of the inner column down until the end touches the end of the rack pinion and then nip up the impact clamp to ensure the two halves of the inner column are in a straight line. You can then see if the column and pinion line up. If they don't you can adjust the angle of the column by adding or removing shims between the lower column mounting and the bulkhead bracket.

Steering column 002.jpg and
Shim here to adjust column alignment
Roger
S4 DHC
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PostPost by: checkrail » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:40 pm

Thanks for that Roger, mine is a +2 , I guess your photo is of an Elan, but no matter at the moment I have my lower column bracket removed. I will reconnect it and see what happens, I know it had thick packing washers each side.

John.
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:31 pm

I agree with Roger. Try releasing all of the steering column locating bolts to allow the column to move, then fit the coupling and see what shims etc are required to align it.
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Elise mk 1
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:40 pm

When refitting mine (u-joint style) I had similair issues but was able to get it fitted by manually pulling the column to a location I could get a small amount inserted into the coupling. Then I set the column up so a could push/knock the steering wheel down and it would push the coupling on.

It was a bit of a pig and I suspect this is easy with the u joint style coupling as it due to being able to adjust the joint angle.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: checkrail » Sun May 16, 2021 2:02 pm

After hours and hours trying to align the splines squarely I gave up and bought a u/j all metal one. It slipped straight on no problem except one of the clamping bolts needed some persuasion to line up.
Plenty of clearance by the bottom hose, I had to realign the steering wheel but that came off very easily --- for a change!

John
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