Lotus Elan

Steering Rack Questions

PostPost by: Elanman99 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:18 pm

The pinion of the steering rack in my S4 is worn and I have been unable to source it (or any other parts) so that I can overhaul the rack myself. I have been told that the pinion is totally unobtainable. What I can't understand is how several companies are selling 'reconditioned' racks unless that just put new gaitors and a coat of black paint!

I know the Elan steering rack is a modified Triumph Herald unit and brand new ones of these are not much more expensive than recon units. Apart from the 'lock limiting' spacers does anyone know what other modifications are done to the Herald rack?

Ian Phillips

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68 Elan S4 DHC. Built in a weekend from a kit (just like the advert said)
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:01 pm

Hi Ian
The Herald/spit/gt6 rack tie rods are also about a half an inch longer than the ones on the Elan. Just get a good used Triumph rack and swap the tie rods and limit stops. End of problem, or am I missing something?
Gary
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:06 pm

Good point Gary, I was discussing my (inadvertant) fitting of a Spitfire rack with Ian last week-end, which may have sparked this posting, and I forgot to tell him that I had to circumcise the track rods in order to get the toe-in to acceptable angles!

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:19 pm

Hi Pete
There is not enough thread on the tie rods to "Circumsize". The threads are rolled and more cant be cut because the tie rod diameter is smaller than a 1/2 unf die and will not cut into the tie rod. If you do try and "Circumsize" tie rods the jam nuts will not jam as there will be no threads. just switch tie ros and save yourself the agreevation (been there done that).

Gary
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:26 pm

I do believe that JAE has reproduced the correct tie rods for the Elan.

I was sold a "replacement" rack by a reputable parts seller about 10 years ago. It was visually similar to mine, but had incorrect tie rods and no steering stops. I attempted to change over the stops and tie rods, but found that the internals of this particular rack would not allow the stops to work. The threaded area of the rack where the stops fit over was physically too large.

Needless to say, this particular part was sent back to the seller, who was "appalled" that it was not right.

Inspect any replacement rack carefully!
Mike
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:59 pm

Spyder do an alternative rack for Elans. I think you also need the appropriate clamps. It might be worth a look if you are stuck.
John

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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:58 pm

After making a few phone calls today I chickened out of getting a reconditioned rack, since several of the places I contacted wanted my rack in advance I presume I would get it back with the same (worn) pinion.

I made an executive decision today and ordered a brand new Spitfire rack with the intention of transferring the lock limiting devices and outer rack arms from one of my old racks. I still have to solve the problem of getting shims and lockwashers as in effect I will need to strip and rebuild the new rack.

The over the counter price of the rack (from Moss) is ?109 so its about twice the price of a recon unit.

Ian Phillips
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PostPost by: BillGavin » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:20 pm

The tie rods from MG Midgets with the Triumph-based rack are the correct length for the Elan. That's from about 1971 to the end of production in 1979. The housing is only slightly different to the Elan version, and the rack itself could probably be used, but it is a bit less in length. The pinion shaft is of larger diameter, so that won't fit unless you change the splines on the column.
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PostPost by: bvt » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:31 pm

there was details somewhere i read of the use of a Rover 100 LHD rack!!!!

any ideas????
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