Lotus Elan

Gotta Junk Steering Rack Pinion?

PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:30 pm

Lee Chapman's source for having new steering rack pinions made in the UK has apparently flaked out permanently. It's too much work for him to track down another source so I've volunteered to try and find one in the USA. I'm desperately in need two LH ones right now but both of mine are still in service. You can help me by giving me an old junk wornout or broken one. One you don't want returned would be perfect! LH or RH it doesn't matter. Please contact me offline.
Thanks,
-Keith
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:36 am

Moss Motors lists a pinion for the rack of a Spitfire for $33.95 and as far as I know it is the same part as the Elan. It has always been my understanding that the differences between the rack of a spitfire and an Elan are on the ends of the rack and the tie rods not the pinion.

Then again I haven't had my Elans rack out when I had a spitfire rack around. Maybe this winter...

rob
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PostPost by: type26owner » Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:47 am

Rob,
If it were just that simple it would be very,very nice. Go ahead and assume they are interchangable just like I did. BTDT. I had to send it back. I can modify almost any anything at anytime if it's possible but couldn't get that rack to fit or use the pinion. It's been several years ago so maybe I've forgotten something so go for it. Let me know how you fare please on this engineering exercise. :rolleyes:
Regards,
-Keith
p.s. To a fellow C5 owner let me give you this heads up. At 60k miles the differential output shaft seals wear a groove into their sealing surface. Trouble is that sealing surface is the intregal to the CV joints. It took my breathe away when the price to replace those CV joints was quoted to me. Lost the CV joints seals, the seal between the tranny and dif and warped the brake rotors in just 15 laps at Thunderhill. Had a bad Corvette experience that day. :(
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:06 pm

The triumph rack was used and something like $10 so I figured if nothing else it was something to compare to and I can always give it to one of my spitfire owning friends. I don't need it now and don't anticipate needing a rack for a while so it was an investigative purchase to begin with. I need to adjust the bump steer some time at which point I may or may not take the rack out so I could compare then.

If it take 60K miles to have a problem that gives me another 6 to 8 year before I have to worry about it, so I won't worry much. My Corvette doesn't run on the track and only gets autocrossed when the Elan isn't feeling well and it is a champ event so running my future father-in-law's Alfa won't get me points. after all I bought it for my highway/long distance car, since I already have the Elan for fun and the Fiat and Rustang for commuting.

Rob
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PostPost by: type26owner » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:57 pm

Rob,
IIRC, the Elan rack and pinion has a different gear pitch so it's special to Lotus. Why, I can only guess it was cost related. The Elan wheel track is also two inches narrower then the Truimph so to get the bumpsteer solution back to near zero the rack housing was shortened. The tie rods are shorter also. Like I've said that was along time ago I looked into this so I reserve the right to be totally wrong due to a fading memory. :huh:
Regards,
-Keith
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