Lotus Elan

Early +2 steering column.

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 16, 2017 7:40 pm

I'm finally rebuilding my Plus 2 chassis no. 50/0143 after 30 years off the road, a couple of house moves and a couple of false starts. Some bits seem to have gone astray and for some my memory and the manuals are not 100% clear. The area I'm working on now is the brake pedal box and steering column and handbrake. Does anyone have pictures of how the pedal box and column supports inside the car fit in, showing the mounting brackets for the column and handbrake in particular. The original pedal box was missing so I have obtained a later type plus a strengthening plate for inside the car from Spyder, and have made an adaptor plate to enable the later pedal box to be fitted. I have the original steering column and what looks like one support bracket but it's not clear if I have everything and how it all goes together hence the request for photos if anyone has them
Thanks
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PostPost by: ncm » Wed May 17, 2017 4:20 pm

this is a picture I posted some time ago http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/6381/0/bracket.JPG. I would not claim that this is the original set up as there is a bill in the history for a replacement pedal box..
Let me know if you need anything more specific .

Brian.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed May 17, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks Brian, I'll have a trial fit of the column and handbrake tomorrow, there are some brackets in amongst one of my box of bits that look similar.
Simon
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun May 21, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks for the info and photo, column now installed and the car has working steering for the first time this century! Handbrake trial fitted and final mounting brackets in production. Pedal box now fully installed and piped in too.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:56 am

Although I have fitted the steering column, I'm now having second thoughts as to whether it's in the right position. I have the solid one piece column so the inner column is fixed once it is attached to the rack, but the outer column can be slid up or down the inner column over a range of several inches. Should it be hard up against the back of the steering wheel boss, slid right down so that the bottom bush is just on the large diameter part of the shaft or somewhere in between. If I had the column surround that might be a guide, but at the moment it's one of my missing items. Currently I've set it sort of mid way as there are some fine splines / serrations on the shaft just below the steering wheel boss so I've assumed these should not be in the top column bush as they would wear it?
Any pictures or measurements would be really useful if anyone has them.
Thanks
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:26 pm

I just set the clearance on a later two piece column yesterday. I set mine with just enough clearance so the wheel will not rub on the indicator/light stalk covers.
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PostPost by: ncm » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:00 pm

Hi Simon, on my car the outer column is set towards the lower end of the inner shaft. I would have thought that the correct position will be dictated by the indicator/dip switch position relative to the hole in the shroud, that in turn being positioned by the available space between the dash and steering wheel boss..see below.

Brian.
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p6130229.jpg and
p6130227.jpg and
p6130223.jpg and
p6130220.jpg and
p6130219.jpg and
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:21 pm

Thanks Brian, with those dimensions and by fitting the indicator switch I can work out where to put the outer column. Without the column surround it was difficult but with the dimensions from your photos I can now finish this task, just need to locate a new or good used column surround now!
Thanks
Simon
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:02 pm

If you need the felt top bush for the steering column, I still have one or two available.

They are larger than required, and have to be cut down on two sides to fit.

PM me if you would like one.

Dave Chapman.
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PostPost by: ncm » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:25 pm

Early Cortina/Corsair :wink:

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PostPost by: ncm » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:58 pm

Currently I've set it sort of mid way as there are some fine splines / serrations on the shaft just below the steering wheel boss
Back again..Something else you will need to look for in your boxes of bits is the indicator cancelling cam that fits on the splines below the steering wheel boss.



From memory it is a black plastic ring..

Brian.
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PostPost by: bill griffiths » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:28 am

I have, I hope, first read all relevant posts without becoming wiser or even better informed.
If I have missed the answer, I appogise!
I have never needed until now to determine if the early steering column is designed to be supported as it passes through the firewall.
Should there be there a self centering bearing of some sort, or is there only a need there for something that avoids ratles and the ingress of water?
Assuming the latter, presumably it is sufficient that the the whole column is only really supported by the inner being fastened to the universal, and the outer by the U bolt and spacers half way between the wheel and the inner side of the firewall.
Still happily pursuing re assembly of my replacement car, pulled apart three owners and 20 years ago!
Regards,
Bill
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:43 am

Bill,
There is a metal plate that screws into the bulkhead (from the engine side). This holds a rubber "gasket" in place, to seal out the weather (if you are lucky).. I also used silicone sealant. I cut my own gasket and made it a pretty tight fit on the column outer tube. Neoprene might be a good alternative here. The upper end of the column is held in place by a couple of long bolts, some clamps and lots of shims, passing through the mounting bracket. I will take pictures this evening as my car is devoid of dashboard [and many other parts] currently.

Adrian
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:06 pm

I originally posted this in 2004. The purpose was to stiffen the steering column and brake box mounting, by widening the support base, and tying both column and box together. I fitted a length of 1/16" x 3/4" x 10" angle across the full width at front top of the footwall in the angle with the bulkhead. This is drilled to take the pedal box front bolts on the right, and a 1/4" unf bolt on the left, with a large dia washer on top. A strip of 1/16" x 3" across the rear top of the footwell is is welded to the main steering column bracket and also drilled to take the pedal box rear bolts.

A brace bar 18" length of 3/4"" box section runs from the top column mount to the front angle. Lugs are welded to this to tie in to the column brackets, and it is bolted to the front angle at the bottom.

The steering column is much firmer, and the pedal box does not flex under pedal pressure.
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PostPost by: bill griffiths » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:09 pm

Thanks, Adrian. That confirms my suspicion and is most comforting.
And the addition of a little stiffening might reduce the feeling of slackness that I recall on occasions when hard pressed, for example on highly competitive sections of twisting closed roads in the 6 day 1,200 mile Targa Tasmania events (in which my previous Plus 2 was several times campaigned with considerable success.)
Regards
Bill.
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