Lotus Elan

CC signature wheel rebuild?

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:52 pm

Out of my 70 s4. As the PO must have used the steering wheel to help exiting from the convertible élan.
The signature Colin Chapman steering wheel is broken. Because it is wrapped in leather, it is still all there. It is cracked/broken above/between the 3 & 9 o’clock metal arms/spokes.

My hope is to cut away the old material, and get into the guts. I suspect, I will find a broken metal ring covered in foam? Maybe someone has pictures or description please.

My repair would include reinforcements around 3 & 9 o’clock, not sure what material yet. Though I suspect some decent metal put though my roller to match the curve of the center. Most likely reaching from somewhere below to above the spokes.
Baltic birch or some high phenol plywood, cut out with temmil/circle jig. Router or carve out recess for reinforcements. Epoxy together with some angel hair mat. Possibly screwed/bolted most likely not rivited. Wood cleaned up, and possibly adding finger grips but i doubt it (probably small if any).

And stitched/glued covered with leather.

Any thoughts/comments appreciated please
W. Kootenays B.C. Canada
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
h20hamelan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 163
Joined: 25 Sep 2010

PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:25 pm

Where are you?

Recently someone posted on this site about replacement steering wheels, the company making them is jacobengineering.co.uk in Gloucestershire UK. The price quoted for a leather Elan S4 steering wheel is £415. These wheels look excellent on the web site.

Richard Hawkins
RichardHawkins
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 588
Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Location: Lincolnshire U.K.

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:35 pm

They are spot on as he has the original designs (he owns the Springall name) and he borrowed my S4 wheel to check that his new wheels are absolutely perfect. He's making the wood rim as well now, and they are stunning!

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2762
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: reb53 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:31 am

When I re-stitched my wheel some years ago I posted some photos here, they'll give you an idea of what to expect.

lotus-suspension-f42/redoing-steering-wheel-t23420.html#p149681

Cheers,
Ralph.
reb53
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 734
Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Napier New Zealand.

PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:13 pm

OP be careful where and how you repair. If it is the outer ring then just welding up would probably be fine, if it’s where the rim meets the spars then I believe they are designed to break on impact for safety. Bypassing this could cause serious injury in an accident.

Mark at Jacobs is a really nice guy see what he can sort for you.
Steve

Silence is Guildern; Duct Tape is Silver
User avatar
elanfan1
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1789
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Location: Cardiff in Welsh Wales

PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:43 pm

For future reference, does anyone know of someone here in the US that restores steering wheels? Using the same steering components as the Elan, my Elva Coupe has a near identical wheel as my S2. The wheel is delaminating and now is as good a time to start the first component of the restoration.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Lotus is a life sentence with no parole
prezoom
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Location: Escondido, California

PostPost by: mgourwcg » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:42 pm

A tip, when buying the leather to stitch onto the steering wheel ensure that the maximum stretch is longitudinal and the minimum stretch is across the wheel. Leather does stretch easier and longer one way.

When stitching you may find that the longitudinal stretch can be trimmed better when you come to the end ie come to where you started.

Hope this helps :D
mgourwcg
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 31 Dec 2010

PostPost by: AlanG » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:04 pm

Sorry to hijack this thread but should my 72 Sprint have a CC steering wheel?

Alan.
AlanG
New-tral
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPost by: EPC 394J » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:09 pm

I’m no expert on Sprints. But having followed this forum for a while, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear the answer that comes back, to be something along the lines of........ It depends what Lotus had lying around at the time!

Do you have reason to think your steering wheel is original?

If you do. Then it probably is?
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Plus 2S

BLL 315H in white.
EPC 394J
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 07 Feb 2014
Location: Caistor, Lincolnshire

PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:01 am

Alan, yes you should have a signed wheel I believe 1972 would have been the pvc wheel with the largerflat boss. I good condition as pvc damage is effectively irreparable will be very hard yo find and very expensive.

Many have been recovered in leather and in the circumstances tends to be an acceptable replacement.
Steve

Silence is Guildern; Duct Tape is Silver
User avatar
elanfan1
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1789
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Location: Cardiff in Welsh Wales

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:07 am

My Sprint (71) has a plastic covered CC signed wheel, complete with what I assume is a soldering iron or cigarette burn in the plastic.

From the previous comments, am I right in assuming the only option is to recover in leather?

Apart from the originality issue, to be honest the plastic is pretty nasty, I would imagine a leather wheel is much nicer to hold.
Andy8421
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 231
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:52 am

Andy - YHM
Steve

Silence is Guildern; Duct Tape is Silver
User avatar
elanfan1
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1789
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Location: Cardiff in Welsh Wales

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:53 pm

Andy8421 wrote:My Sprint (71) has a plastic covered CC signed wheel, complete with what I assume is a soldering iron or cigarette burn in the plastic.

From the previous comments, am I right in assuming the only option is to recover in leather?

Apart from the originality issue, to be honest the plastic is pretty nasty, I would imagine a leather wheel is much nicer to hold.


Andy, leather is much nicer as you mention, and I found the plastic one a bit dangerous as it is quite slippery if you have any moisture on your hands.

Plastic was used on the non-S/E S4 and all Sprints (as far as I know), so it was just a cost-saving I guess. Covering in leather is the only way to go....and a much better option.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2762
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests