Lotus Elan

Wobbly Steering Wheel

PostPost by: tdafforn » Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:40 pm

One of the failure points on my MOT was "too much movement of the steering wheel"
After Chatting to the MOT guy for clarification he said he thought the wheel moved too much in the plane of the wheel itself.
I have finally got 'round to looking at the problem, and the only movement I can see (which is about 1/4 inch at the rim) is coming from the flex of the upper steel mount and seems to be inherent in the system. The movement is certainly greater than our modern Eurobox, but is it too much for a lotus?
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Tim
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PostPost by: roadterror » Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:08 pm

The 'movement' can be reduced by adding additional braces for the steering column. Have a brace installed between the original one and the firewall on mine. Certainly helps! Of course fibreglass still flexes so.....

Cheers,
Brian
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:25 pm

Tim,
I assume that the +2 has the same crap bushes in the column as the 2 seater. I have just replaced the bushes in mine and it has made no difference whatever to the amount of movement (about 4-5mm at the rim).
I was rather pissed off by this because it is a complete bastard of a job to do if you have a steering lock fitted.
Ian Phillips has fitted roller bearings in his column, incidentally.

Pete
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PostPost by: tdafforn » Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:29 pm

I am pretty sure they do have bushes (The item is the same as the one I used to have in my triumph spitfire). I had thought they might be the trouble but looking carefully at the column as I wobbled the wheel it did seem to be the mounting flexing..
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Tim
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PostPost by: steveww » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:29 pm

Go to an MOT station that understands classic cars :o
Seriously I was with a friend of mine when we went to get his MGA MOT and it failed because it had wooden floor boards. Hmm that is how they used to build them - doh. Took it to a different MOT station and it passed first time :D

In another thread someone said never trust your car to anyone younger than the car. There is a lot of wisdom in those words.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:09 pm

I agree, most of the oiks working in garages these days have no knowledge of proper cars having been brought up on grotty euroboxes.

The old Triumph column always has a bit of movement in it!

The flexy fiberglass is a design feature :D

I wonder what the tester actually thinks will happen as a result of the movement on your column?

Find a sensible tester
John

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PostPost by: rickf » Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:43 pm

I was able to reduce the movement on mine by tightening the brackets, but there's still some movement left. The steering column on mine does seem to be mounted at an angle though, so that the left hand part of the wheel is farther away from the driver than the right hand part(LHD). I moved it as far toward straight as I could but the edge of the wood facia prevents it from moving to completely straight. Is this a normal condition? Should I just widen the notch in the facia for the streering column? I think I can get it pretty straight that way, but it will be offset a little toward the center of the car. Could the problem be at the forward end of the column?
Cheers,<br>Rick<br>1972 Elan +2
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PostPost by: worzel » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:06 am

Had a similar problem with a sprint. Appears to be linked to the fact that on the 2 seater at least the factory bracket which is very flimsy bolts to the fibreglass over a relatively small contact area and is not very well designed. I made up another bracket to replace this which uses 2 halves bolted together inside the car and which is then bolted to the bulkhead. the only real problem I had was working out the angle of the bracket so that the contract clamping surfaces exactly matched the slope of the outer column. By using this I don't really need to fasten the column to the dashboard as there is absolutely no flex in the whole column now. this has been in my car for some fifteen years and there is still no movement. Another plus is that since the dash panel no longer flexes the creaks/rattles have gone. Cost of the bracket - my time plus welding- about ?4. Hope this helps.
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PostPost by: freddy22112211 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:20 pm

Hi Blackwell,
Drawings?
Gordon
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