Lotus Elan

two MOT failure questions please...

PostPost by: phatmendus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:08 pm

hi all,

so for the first time since the rebuild my elan has failed its MOT. a couple of points arent a big deal, however two points of failure are of concern, and I want to ask the general concensus on them.

so the first one is the steering wheel column. they failed it saying there was too much movement in it when tugged up and down, however it has always been like that and on studying the manual i cant see that any bracket is missing, and it is tight. It is the collapsable type steering wheel i think, on a 71' plus two s130. my question is are your elans steering wheel and column solid or somewhat flexable when heaved up and down? I really cant see how to rectify this failure point as the correct fittings are all there and tight, and to top it off the same garage have never failed that item for the past 5 years!

The second point, is more of an annoyance really. this time they have also failed it on the number plate on the grill. Fairly standard i think, but they say it is now not allowed and i have to change it! really annoyed.... is this right? It looks like im going to have to get a modern one to put in the hole, which in turn will restrict airflow into the radiator! arghghg!

anyway, any thoughts please?

cheers

Simon
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PostPost by: rocket » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:39 pm

Hi simon,

My car passed a month ago with numbers on grill as you have.Steering column has some play in it,always has,always will i feel.Seems to me it depends on the testers general attitude on these matters...Have you had the car tested at this garage before?


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PostPost by: phatmendus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:05 pm

same garage as i have done for 5 years, but different tester! i may try a bit of reasoning, but seems he is being rather pedantic really.

oh well!
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:16 pm

I can't find anything saying that the letters on the grille are legal. Everything I can find states that for historic vehicles the numbers can be on a black background. Having said that, I haven't seen anything saying that the requirements have changed recently.

My steering column has some slight play in it, despite having new bushes, because there is some wear in the column itself.

I haven't had problems with either in any MOT. I think would be looking for a more relaxed tester :)

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PostPost by: bob_rich » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:04 am

Hi

The up and down play in the steering wheel may only be that one of the bolts in the flexible joint between the rack and the lower column need tightening. this can allow the column to move but it cannot become detached as the bolt traps the connection. I had this once (On a lotus 7) and the guy just tightened it up --- no fail or advise form. similar thing could happen I think if the collapsible steering column joint is a bit loose. Get somebody in the car to do what the tester did then look around with a torch to see what moves.

hope this helps best of luck

Bob
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:23 am

Hi Simon,

Re the number plates, I am under the impression that, if the vehicle was fitted with that arrangement when it left the factory the it should be eligible for an mot today. Lotus only changed to a normal plate at the front in 1973, so if you take evidence to the tester that that was how your car was made (brochures, road tests perhaps) he should pass it.

Hope this helps, I'd take it somewhere else though.

Cheers

Robbie
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PostPost by: Steve G » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:29 am

The guy is obviously a fascist who probably has a performance chart on the fridge door for his wife's cooking. He's also wrong, if the registration numbers had been stitched to the headlining when it left the factory and was approved then you could do that. He also probably hasn't been laid in while. Take it somewhere else.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:35 am

They are stricktly speaking illegal, as are the stick-on numberplates on the front of an E type. However, 40 years of acceptance has deemed them fit for purpose, and a recognised exception to the rule. You could take this up with VOSA, and you'd have a strong case to get this git moved off doing MOTs until he has further education.

Or as others have said, find an MOT tester that understands the purpose of the rules rather than just applying them blindly.

Mark
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PostPost by: phatmendus » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:05 pm

thanks for the advise everyone. glad you all seem to think the same as me. I will prob. have to take the hit on the test fee and just find someone else to do it.

all the best

Simon
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:09 pm

Simon,

Traditional number plates for vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1973
Vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1973 are allowed to display traditional style 'black and white' plates i.e. white, silver, or grey characters on a black plate.

The characters size must meet the dimensions in one of the two groups below:

Group 1 Group 2
Character height 89 mm 79 mm
Character width (except the figure 1 or letter I) 64 mm 57 mm
Character stroke 16 mm 14 mm
Space between characters 13 mm 11 mm
Space between groups 38 mm 33 mm
Top and bottom margins 13 mm 11 mm
Side margin 25 mm 11 mm

It was accepted that the white letters on the grille with everything painted black behind the grille complies with the regulations. So make sure that there is nothing behind the grille that cannot be seen as black.
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PostPost by: phatmendus » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:16 pm

thanks for the info Brian,

My plate is exactly as described, the bits behind it all blacked out with the standard type etc. its just a massive annoyance that the bloke wants it changes, and to top it off, he also expects me to weld some more brackets around the steering shaft to re-inforce it! madness!

ill sort something out, but its a pain as its my daily car. oh well.

cheers
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:29 pm

Hi

I remember the front no plate being discussed here before, have a look at elan-plus-f13/front-number-plate-t14935.html

It's 4 pages long; I can't remember the outcome but may be of interest?

Jason
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PostPost by: moonlander » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:28 pm

Hi Simon

When I bought my +2 in 2003 the previous owner gave me an additional front number plate (standard black letters on a white background), and said he fitted it just for the MOT. Which I have been doing every year without any problems, apart from if you drive too far the engine gets a bit warm.
This year I completely forgot to fit it before the MOT, and the car still passed with flying colours.

Good Luck

Graham

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:39 pm

phatmendus wrote:steering wheel column. they failed it saying there was too much movement in it when tugged up and down, however it has always been like that and on studying the manual i cant see that any bracket is missing, and it is tight. It is the collapsable type steering wheel i think, on a 71' plus two s130.

Simon,

When you say 'up and down' I assume you mean vertically. This can only be bushes - how much movement is there?
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PostPost by: phatmendus » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:26 pm

yes I mean vertically, but the amoutn of movement is very small, more like your forcing it against the natural resistance/springiness. It has never changed over all these years, but im going to look at it anyway and see if i can tighten it up at all!

Simon
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