Lotus Elan

Picture of earth strap on steering coupling

PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:52 pm

Can someone who's radiator is out please take and post a picture of the
earth strap that grounds their steering column enabling the horn to
function. I don't have a star washer to connect to and have tired to
run a connection from the twisted wires that run between the bolts on
both sides of the coupling, but just can't seem to get a good ground.
Thanks. Dan 70 S4 SE
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PostPost by: steveww » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:16 pm

You will need a jumper over the steering column UJ and a jumper from the
steering rack to the subframe. Typically the rack jumper goes from the
oiler nut to one of the mounting bolts. You should use some washer type
terminals rather than just twisting the wire around the bolts.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:04 pm

I've got a good jumper from rack to subframe. Without pulling the
radiator, I can't get to the bolts to loosen them, so was trying other
options. I clamped a wire between the two wire ends that are under the
bolt heads, but that didn't seem to work. Shouldn't that work? Dan


You will need a jumper over the steering column UJ and a jumper from the
steering rack to the subframe. Typically the rack jumper goes from the
oiler nut to one of the mounting bolts. You should use some washer type
terminals rather than just twisting the wire around the bolts.
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PostPost by: "Roger Sieling" » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:14 pm

Dan,

The next place you need a separate ground wire is around the rubber
steering rack mounts, so that the wire goes from the bolt on the cast
part of the steering rack, IIRC in the top of the big hex cap and around
underneath to the nut holding the U-bolt down which retains the steering
rack to the chassis.

Roger
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PostPost by: "Jon Eckman" » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:38 pm

Juat a thought, but are you sure there is good contact on the horn button end?
"Jon Eckman"
 

PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:36 pm

Took it all apart, everything looks good. Horn hasn't worked since I
bought the car. The PO said that he thought it was because the wire on
the steering coupler disappeared one time when he pulled the engine. Dan
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PostPost by: poiuyt » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:35 am

Before you start taking things apart, take a length of #10 gauge wire
and strip an inch or so from at each end. Put a hose clamp around the
steering shaft just above the u-joint and just below and clamp the ends
of the wire under the clamps (make sure there is no paint or other
insulation on the shaft). Be sure to leave a loop of wire between the
clamps to allow movement so the wire won't break.

Should work fine.

Steve B.
Steve B.<br>1969 Elan S4
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:22 am

Another simpler alternative is to replace the factory joint with an all metal
U-Joint, available at most Lotus parts suppliers. If you do this, a jumper
ground wire is not needed at the joint. It's only necessary between the rack
and the chassis. Or, as another alternative, yank one off any small Japanese
car like a Protege, Corolla, or Civic. They use a 13mm steering column so the
joint will clamp right on to the 1/2" Elan column however, they use a
different number of splines. It's something like 24 vs. 32. Some may frown on this
modification because of the different number of splines, but there is no way
the U-Joint will let go once you have reefed down on the clamp.

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
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PostPost by: "geoffsearle" » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:54 am

Frank

On my Europa I actually went the other way - from a metal UJ to the
disc type because I could feel half a degree of play at the steering
wheel rim from the joint when fitted, which messed up the steering
feel. I know it may have been a rogue part, but it could be an issue.

Geoff
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:18 pm

Geoff,

If you had play in the wheel caused by the all metal U-Joint and the joint
was clamped tight at both ends, the play could only be coming from a worn out
joint. Despite the fact that the spline count is not correct, I have zero play
in mine.

Frank Howard
'71 Elan S4 SE
'74 Europa Special
Minnesota
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PostPost by: "geoffsearle" » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:09 pm

Frank

The joint I had was new, which is why I qualified my remark with the
possibility that my UJ was faulty. However the disc type of joint
cannot have this problem and I found it to give better feel. I don't
know if anyone else has had this problem.

Geoff
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PostPost by: frearther » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:33 pm

I have the metal U-joint, and everything is quite tight. I like it.
And there's no continuity problem, as mentioned.

Art
26/4934
Art Frederick
S2 Roadster, built in 1965, registered in 1966, No. 26/4934
Nothing else of interest at present
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:45 pm

Geoff,

It's funny that you said that because when I bought my car in 1987, I drove
it from Elgin, IL to Minneapolis, MN, about a 300 mile trip. All the way home
I noticed that there was quite a bit of play in the steering. Upon closer
inspection I found that the rubber washers in the original disc type joint had
worn out. Nobody sells replacement rubber washers so I fabricated my own. They
lasted until a few years ago when I replaced the entire original disc type
joint with an all metal one that I yanked from a small Japanese car, probably a
Corolla, a Civic, or a Protege. The joint came complete with a rubber boot to
protect it from the elements.

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:08 am

I decided to rebuild my coupler and Spitfires use the same coupler so that
Victoriabritish.com (Kansas, USA) stocks the cone-shaped rubber pieces which fit
great--they're about $3 each, you need 8 or you can buy the assembly new for
$43. At the time I also purchased a new ground strap jumper but don't remember
if there or Sports Car World. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:24 am

The rubber pieces weren't available in 1990 when I rebuilt mine. I made
some up using fuel hose and a bench grinder to make the radius. Took
about half an hour. Done 25000 miles since then and still no slop.
There's nothing special about the rubber.

Peter
66S2

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