Lotus Elan

early Plus 2 steering column

PostPost by: bill griffiths » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:59 am

Seeking words of wisdom.
Some recent great kindness from members has caused me to take a little time off and with renewed enthusiasm I finished most of the wiring and started to fit the steering column.
But it doesn't fit!
Perhaps the cut out for the upper binnacle under the speedo and tacho is not deep enough, although there is only about 7mm between the top of the cut out and the bottom of the chrome bezel around the speedo!
Or perhaps the rack is somewhow too low?
Even after slightly enlarging (deepening) the hole through which the steering column passes through the firewall, the limit of adjustment is quickly reached because the inner shaft comes in contact with the chassis a few inches aft of the universal joint.
I am obviously missing something obvious!!
Regards
Bill
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:11 am

Could you post a couple of photos please?
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:13 pm

There should be quite a few spacers at the dash end that drop it low enough for the binnacle to fit.
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:38 pm

Quite a lot of the inner column shows at the rack end. Unfortunately my car is covered up to protect during some work on the house, else would take photos.
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:24 pm

i presume you have the original one-piece steering column and not the later 'safety' one ?
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PostPost by: ncm » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:18 pm

I posted a couple of pictures showing the fit of the column and shroud in my early plus 2 in this thread :-http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=39454
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PostPost by: bill griffiths » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:02 am

firstlotusdash.jpg and
s1.jpg and
w1.jpg and
Thanks for your help.
The column is original.
I can't lift it higher at the steering wheel end because then the upper binnacle will not fit under the dash
where it is relieved for the purpose.
Pity the universal was not just a little longer and the inner shaft a little shorter as it would have provided more tolerance!
I shall attach a photo of the point of contact of the inner shaft with the chassis.
I seem to recall on my destroyed car that there was perhaps 1 or 2 mm clearance, but here none at all.
I am tempted to use a dremel to relieve the very small area of contact by a few mm.
Probable more sensible that machining the matching area on the inner shaft!
Attached also is a photo of the steering wheel which came with the car.
And one of that fitted to my first Plus 2.
Anyone want a free Momo? And anyone know where I might buy a original replacement?
Regards,
Bill
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PostPost by: geni » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:18 am

yes pour le momo gratuit
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:17 am

Spacers.

viewtopic.php?t=40777&p=285082

I had the same problem on a late Plus 2.
Late 1972 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Unit 50/1115L
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:28 pm

Bill,

There is a company here in the UK jacobengineering.co.uk who make replica steering wheels. I have no direct experience, but one of the contributors here who uses the name "elanintheforest" speaks well of the company. I have just looked at their site, and a plus 2 wheel is £525. Contact is [email protected]

Hope this helps

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PostPost by: bill griffiths » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:01 am

sc1.jpg and
sc2.jpg and

Given that the dashboard seems to be in the correct position and of the correct dimensions, I can see no explanation other than that the rack is somehow out of position.
The engineer who rebuilt the chassis before he sold me the car tells me he obtained and fitted aluminium
spacers in lieu of the rubber ones, and took care to set it up with shims, I expect to avoid bump steer.
I shall attach two photos.
One measures the vertical distance between the top end of the flexible coupling where it is entered by the inner shaft, and the body.
Bodies differ as all of us who have ever been to the beach well know, but the fastening to the off side front tower is close and so there might be expected to be little likely discrepency.
If adjusted for the error of parallax the vertical distance is almost exactly 2 inches.
The other photo shown the coupling and inner shaft in plan.
If anyone with an early Plus 2 with the one piece column can conveniently check and let me know of any obvious differences I would be most grateful.
Regards
Bill
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PostPost by: normanjsmith » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:10 am

I'm also in the colony (northern NSW ) and have an early +2 (1072) On my car the vertical distance between the body and the coupling is also close to 2". Under the dash, there is a pack of four aluminium spacers between the column and the steering mounting bracket. Total thickness of the four shims is about half an inch.
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PostPost by: Donels » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:25 pm

Looking at your photo the column appears to be in the wrong place, being too low and offset to the left, from the seat. From what you state the problem appears to be at the rack end.

There are two sets of holes for mounting the rack, for LH and RH applications. Have the correct holes been used? The rack also need to be shimmed correctly to get the correct geometry and avoid bumpsteer. Is this correct? Are the aluminium mounts fitted by the PO correct?
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PostPost by: bill griffiths » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:21 am

Thanks, All, for your help. Finally got there, complete with minimum clearance above the chassis where shown in my earlier photo. The limiting factor I think is the binnacle. Perhaps some dash boards on early cars had the cut out for the upper half of the binnacle effectively higher, along then with the speedo and tacho as well.
I have one inch of spacers where Norman has half an inch. An extra height of the binnacle of say a quarter of an inch might account for most of Norman's shortcoming! Regards, Bill
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