Lotus Elan

Plus 2 steering column

PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:00 pm

I’m doing the final strip out prior to the car going off to the paint shop in a couple of weeks. With all the dash out, it is apparent how much the steering column moves when one levers on the steering wheel (in the way one might when getting in and out of the car). The column is of course only fixed up towards the top and it is noticeable that there is flex to the engine bay bulkhead where the bracket bolts on, probably not surprising. Why, having got the inner steering column all aligned with the rack, should one not fabricate another column bracket down the bottom end near the column impact clamp as arrowed in the photo below. The bracket could be made shimable to facilitate any subsequent height adjustment to the rack.

583e4ee7-6fc7-4878-a5f1-6963863e8218.jpeg and
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:18 pm

The earlier Ford type column [early +2, solid non collapsible shaft] passes through a plate/seal arrangement at the bulkhead, this may add a bit more rigidity. I'm not familiar with the triumph type so unsure if this has the same. Also, would this alter the collapsible nature of this type ?
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:28 pm

My car also has the plate /seal (not fitted yet) but I would have thought it would need to be a pretty rigid seal to prevent column movement and of course this seal acts on the inner column and again I’m guessing but if were too rigid a fit would add some friction to the steering. I’m happy to be corrected by someone on these points.
There would be no issue with the collapsibility of the column as it is the inner column that collapses.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:27 pm

I can only be sure of the earlier, Ford type...
there are a couple of inner seal / bushes which support the shaft within the outer column "tube". If these are worn or not correctly positioned then there will likely be a lot of movement at the steering wheel.
The plate & seal that I refer to acts on the outer column tube only. It seals the gap at the bulkhead. I put a fairly rigid piece of rubber sheet in here and the gap isn't particularly large.. Yet to tighten the upper clamp as the dash is not in the car.
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2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:51 pm

I replaced the bushes in the outer tube so it's not these. The movement is of the whole column. On my Triumph based steering it's only the inner column not the outer tube that passes through the bulkhead seal. I take it you don't see the movement on the column I describe.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:25 pm

The 2 seater Elan does have a lower bracket which attaches to the bulkhead - looks to be an original Triumph part. It should be possible to make up something similar for the Plus 2.
steering-column-002.jpg and
2 seater Elan lower bracket
steering-column-brackets.jpg and
Elan parts diagram
triumph-vitesse-steering-column.jpg and
Vitesse parts diagram
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:52 pm

Thanks Roger, that gives me a bit more confidence about fitting something. It makes sense for me to do it before spraying as I will need to drill a couple more holes in the engine bay.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:28 pm

The collapse column should have upper and lower mount. Sounds like lower one might be missing...
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Plus 2 should have lower mount? The manual only seems to show and upper mount.
15385851826273452103206239403133.jpg and
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PostPost by: Bud English » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:59 pm

You might want to check this out: lotus-suspension-f42/early-steering-column-t39454.html?hilit=brace#p277024

My car had something like this installed when I bought it. It's not nearly as well done and will be replaced with what is described in the thread referenced.
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:16 pm

Thanks Bud, these posts seem to suggest that the problem is not just in my imagination. Looks like I have a bit of fabrication the welding to do.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:51 pm

I just finished a refresh of my column. There is a lower mount, I had to get the assistance of my wife to get it fitted again.

You can also find threads discussing the washers that for between the mount and body on the forum.
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:50 pm

Here’s a picture of the lower mount. It’s a u shaped bracket that bolts through the footwell top.
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PostPost by: NYK » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:05 pm

Thanks, I've now made up something similar with a reinforcing bracket that is bonded in to the central tunnel one end and picks up the bolts from the pedal box at the other end, so should be very rigid.
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