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Old Mole's Practical Hints...... - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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molemot

Old Mole's Practical Hints......

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Monday was a very spring like day here in the middle of the Mainland..the snows had gone, the canal was water rather than ice, the birdies were noshing their birdseed; the Mighty Currant was beaming down...how can it be that hot from 93 million miles?...and they say global warming has to do with driving down the shops and termites farting.... but I digress. Anyway, the day seemed auspicious, the Runes had been satisfactorily cast...it was time for The Lotus to make her 2010 debut!! Fired up on the button, having checked all the fluid levels and found nothing had leaked out during the cold bit....backed out of the workshop, up past the Gendarmerie, and off we went. Initially it was more than a bit vibratory; diagnosed that as flats on the tyres due to being parked immobile for months...and in a couple of miles, things had warmed up and all was smooth once more. Did about 30 miles; a nice drive, let down by excessive brake pedal travel and somewhat wobbly steering...also the brake and throttle alignment didn't seem conducive to heel and toe changes. Got back to the workshop and put her away; then did some thinking.

Brake pedal travel; thought there might be a stuck piston somewhere, probably the front. So, today I descended to the workshop and started to suss it out. The brake problem was, indeed, a stuck piston; once I had removed the LH front wheel I saw that the outer brake pad had about 1/16" clearance to the disc, whereas the inside one was measurable with a feeler gauge! So, out with the outer pad and apply the brakes...there was a quite loud CRACK! as the piston started to move, and I pumped the thing out about 2/3 of it's travel, so that the bit of the piston that was wetted with brake fluid moved through the seal,thus lubricating it...then got my giant wrecking bar and levered it back again. Repeated the operation - this time without the CRACK! - and all was smooth movement once more. Reassembled it and the pedal travel was much better.

Whilst I had the front in bits, so to speak, I adjusted the wheel bearings...they were new about 3000 miles ago and needed to be taken up half a flat. New cotter pin and get the cover on and the wheel....then repeat the whole schlemiel for the right hand side. A good hard pedal resulted! Feeling slightly smug, I then contemplated The Steering. Adjusting the wheel bearings would have made a bit of a difference...but wobbling the steering wheel from side to side showed quite a bit of lost motion. Was now the appropriate time to change the bottom steering U/J? Could the steering box be on its' way out? Yuk....sounded like lots of fannying about. And it was such a nice day, too....!! I sat there being my usual procrastinating self...twiddled with the steering wheel...and finally realised that it wasn't just sloppy in rotation, but in and out too!!! Could it be? Grabbed the handy socket set, prised out the horn button and found the wheel securing nut was loose...a bit of a turn with the socket on the securing nut and the steering wheel was nice and firm and wobble free!! Wunderbar!! I love it when you can fix things for no cost....

What else needed attention? Hmm..the brake pedal and the accelerator didn't line up nicely for heel and toeing; but they used to...what's happened? Grovelled about in the footwell and finally found the bit of 1/2" neoprene tubing I had put over the throttle stop so that the pedals lined up!! Slipped it back on and we were back in business..I must do something more permanent and less inclined to fall off!!

Since it was approaching Cocktail Hour I called it a day and went back upstairs...turned on the newly commissioned heat pump system and it decided I needed cooling down..quite right, too!! Now in a very equable cost effective 20 deg C. Next stop...the tall rum coldies!!

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That sounds like a great start in the driving season, nice first drive and some smaller initial problems solved, good base for calling it a day. Should stay this way all the year!

Thanks for sharing the tip with the brake, think it is quite common and a good exercise for everybody.

My start is still on hold, unpacked the Loti from the winter cover and found the reworked split rim which I got back from repair in January leaking even more than before, flat front tyre! Back in the shop now.

Cheers, Rolf

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