Lotus Elan

Steering column bracket thread

PostPost by: JonB » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:02 am

Hi

What size is the steering column support bracket thread? I need to get an extension machined up because my lower bracket no longer reaches the holes in the body. It’s the Triumph part, for a late +2.

Thanks
JonB
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:29 am

No longer? Why not?
Can't you rotate the rack to get it to align or is the existing thread shortened for some reason?

I seem to remember they were standard 1/4 UNF nuts.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:37 pm

Hi Vince

No, it can’t be rotated (I think you mean “raised” by the way). The new dash doesn’t have enough clearance and I don’t want the column fouling it, as that would crack the lacquer (which happened on the original dash). The options are to cut the new dash, raise the steering rack or adapt the lower steering mount. I’ve chosen the third as the lesser of all evils..

Cheers
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:52 pm

No I mean rotated! As in loosen the rack clamps and turn the whole assembly.
Rack and steering column. You cannot raise the rack without affecting the geometry.

However if the dash has insufficient cutout - that won't work!

Back to Plan C.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:06 am

You seem to be getting close to where you started with this car - just getting the indicators to self cancel you said!
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:42 am

Ha ha! But they do, now, and with a pleasing action since I restored the switch.

:D
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:52 am

vincereynard wrote:No I mean rotated! As in loosen the rack clamps and turn the whole assembly.
Rack and steering column. You cannot raise the rack without affecting the geometry.

However if the dash has insufficient cutout - that won't work!

Back to Plan C.


You can’t rotate the rack as it has a flange welded to it (below, ringed in red) that sits flat on the chassis spacers. You could fit a washer or two on one side of the clamp but this would raise the rack and affect the geometry.

9e4a87aa-5b42-4d4b-8f17-10f1dc675e1c.jpeg and


Correct me if I’m wrong - I’d like to be, in this instance. Maybe there is a bit of fettle room?
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:11 am

Would installing a UJ help with improving the angle?
Or is it 'simply' that the only line between the rack and clearing the dash necessitates a bigger intermediate spacer?
If so presumably this is down to a fundamental body-chassis alignment that you'll have to live with.

I think that the answer to your original question is, as suggested already, 1/4" unf.
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:37 am

MarkDa wrote:Or is it 'simply' that the only line between the rack and clearing the dash necessitates a bigger intermediate spacer?
If so presumably this is down to a fundamental body-chassis alignment that you'll have to live with.


This.

Keen readers of my meandering prose (drivel?) might recall the picture I posted of all the spacers fitted to clear the old dash (viewtopic.php?t=40777&f=36&start=60#p286368). What I'm not sure about is whether the new dash has the same cutout and dimensions as the old one - meaning by that, if they were identical I should have been able to reassemble the column as it was. But then again, I do recall some tension in the shaft. I think I'll have another look at it...
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:53 am

Looking at the lower bracket in your old thread I note that it has a notch - could this be for cables?
Suggesting that it's an upper bracket?
In which case everything on your car may be correct except that bracket?
Are all my questions an answer? :D

Looking at rdent parts list the bracket is simpler and is fixed with through bolts thereby not requiring much more than simple spacers.

http://rdent.com/manuals/plus2/steering/hb.htm#050H6005

The 2 seater has a bent metal hanger with single bolt through the scuttle could something similar be used with your current bracket - perhaps with two holes?

http://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go& ... n.net&txt=

Last radical thought - Is it even supposed to have a lower bracket?
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:29 pm

Thanks Mark for your comments and suggestions.

The prize, however, goes to Vince. As it turned out, and despite what I said in my earlier post, you really can rotate the rack slightly in its mountings without raising or lowering the rack itself. So I've done it!

img_6136.jpg and
Upper bracket, 1 washer required.


img_6135.jpg and
Lower bracket, 8 or 9 washers required, but the nuts in the engine bay are "full thread".


img_6134.jpg and
Dash clearance ~5mm all round.


img_6137.jpg and
Lower column, which was derusted and sprayed.


img_6138.jpg and
And of course the gaskets and other waterproofing paraphernalia!


So, much fettling and adoption of the "Lotus position" later, I have a nice rock solid steering wheel (bar the flexing of the column itself) and it's not wobbling as before because it's got new bushes installed. Quick test of the indicator... yep, it self cancels! ;)

We move on now, to the anti roll bar, which needs new bushes. Oh, and a spray paint job too...
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:45 pm

Well done. What's my prize? A guided tour of Spyder perhaps?

I thought the Lotus Position was digging a hole and emptying your wallet into it!
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:09 pm

A tour of Spydercars. :lol:

Anyway, roll bar and drop links are coming along nicely.

80d6a1df-7bdb-4142-9fe8-bada8d9a2368.jpeg and


96267593-599c-4883-9599-05b7ef7af99b.jpeg and


They got primer, then this matte black “no nonsense rust proof paint” from screwfix. Will be finished with some Plasti-Kote gloss black. Such a pity none of the “usual suspects” are open on a Monday, or I’d have ordered the new bushes.

Vince, I’m leaving the roll bar off the car as I think it will make fitting the engine child’s play. In fact we may be able to fit engine and box from underneath as a unit.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:26 pm

From underneath? Certainly a novel approach!

How are you going to connect the prop shaft?
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:31 pm

From underneath is a theoretical approach. May not be viable! As regards the prop shaft there are two options. Bolt it up at the front as the engine and box are fitted (with the shaft not connected to the diff) or pre-fit the front bit and guide the splined joint together as the engine and box are going in.

Actually there is a third option but that entails pulling the diff. Which I need to do at some point but not now.. :?
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