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Steering play 1990 Turbo SE - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Harald/Austria

Steering play 1990 Turbo SE

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Good Morning and Happy new Year!

 

I am on the final Works an my Turbo SE , one of the things i have to check is the Steering Play,

 

I have no up and down Play at all just a left and right Steering Wheel Play.  I can turn it very easy with just two Fingers and it appears before the Wheels move. The Esprit is a NO Power Steering Model.

 

For me it feels it comes from the upper Section like from the U-Joint (s) , or are they Bulletproof so the

Steerinng Rack is  known to fail?

 

 

The Car was very hard holding on the Road when i get her i have  always to correct to stay on the Road ..

 

Are there any known faults ?

 

Kind regards

 

Harald

 

 

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The steering shaft u-joints HAVE been know to loosen. Several owners have replaced them.

 

 

That said, there are kits to repair the inner tie rod ends available from the Usual Parts Sources, so I would not discount that as the cause of your steering slop.

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I had the same trouble on mine and was fairly convinced it was the UJ's. When I got the UJ's off the splines they were perfect and all the play was from the inner and outer collapsible column. I cant explain it very well but with the steering column pulled out of the top UJ the splined part slides in and out of a sleeve which I seem to remember is of triangular shape. This was where my play was and other than packing it with grease it wasn't enough to worry about. It doesn't seem to show this in the manuals. What is very important is to get the correct orientation when refitting (30 degrees back from straight ahead). Mine had been wrongly fitted and when I replaced it in the correct position it improved the feel no end. This, and a trip to a local company to have the suspnsion set-up (toe-in etc) on a 4 wheel laser machine for £54 has transformed it. regards Roy.

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Both the steering column UJs & the rack are prone to wear, you can get replacements from here

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Have someone wiggle the steering within the area of play as you look at the wheel and steering rack - have the wheels oriented so you can see all the parts. Could be track-rod ends, the rack itself or one of the 2 U-Joints.

 

Mine originally had 1 cm of play at the steering wheel due to deterioration between the upper UJ shaft and the lower UJ - the splines on the shaft had worn (probably because it wasn't properly tightened on replacement of the rack) and was impossible to eliminate.

 

A tiny bit of play also seems to come from the UJ's themselves upon replacement - I have about 1-2 mm at the wheel now. Annoys me to no end but I suppose it doesn't get much better than that.

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First of all : Thank you for your help! 

 

i guess i should check the U-Joints first.  I make a short Video today :

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nyFvSX8pK8&feature=youtu.be

 

any comments welcome!

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Harald

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Wow! That must be terrifying to drive right now! I mean the SE likes to find ruts in the road at the best of times but that must make things so much harder :o

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The steering shaft u-joints HAVE been know to loosen. Several owners have replaced them.

 

That said, there are kits to repair the inner tie rod ends available from the Usual Parts Sources, so I would not discount that as the cause of your steering slop.

This is correct.  The UJ's loosen on X180s and SEs with no power steering.  The steering rack was off a Ford Escort Mk 2 / Capri and wasn't designed to turn 215/60/15s.  Always turn the steering wheel when the car is moving.

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With the front wheel off you can get a spanner or grips on the lower UJ joint and hold it tight to stop it moving. Moving the steering wheel now will indicate where the play is, either above or below this locked point.  Taking the drivers seat out will also make life (and your back) easier.  Roy.

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Hello Roy,

 

your Tip was the golden Goal!  :clap:

 

Had the Wheel off and the Car at the Lift.( I was sitting in the Car) A friend grip   first under the lower U-Joint = Play like  before....

Than he grip above the lower U-Joint = NO PLAY.

 

By the Way , while have the left Wheel of i found the Bleeding Srew for the Radiator i am searching for Hours before... :thumbsup:

 

Thank you very much for your Support!!!

 

Kind Regards

 

Harald

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Good Evening,

 

i got my Parts together  now, does anybody knows what is the better Way to replace the lower UJ from the Esprit ?

 

Unscrew the Steering Column from Inside the Car and pull it up or umscrew the Steering Rack ind pull it dowb?

 

Thank you!

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Either way works. Id go for pulling the rack upwards from inside the car - that way you don't have to loosen the steering rack at the wheels which involves having to fiddle with those annoying metal brackets holding it to the chassis, although you might have to loosen up the upper UJ to get the necessary movement.

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Ok, i will do it from the inside. I have a full Workshop with a Carlift and tought from the underside is more Space for woking.

 

Either Way. Thank you very much!

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Seriously, it's not a problem either way. I removed the entire system and replaced the rack and both U-joints a year ago or so. I did it from below, and its a comfortable job. The only annoying part for me was putting the rack back, because you have to threat the screws through two loose brackets which are slotted into channels in the chassis - doing all that at the same time was a bit annoying, but with two people or maybe some cable ties I'm sure it's no problem. 

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Exactly, that was one of the first lessons i learn when working on the Esprit - 4 Hand are better than 2!  First time 

i need it when replace the Gas Struts of the rear Deck... :-)

 

Kind regards

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Good afternoon,

 

so i get under the Esprit yesterday and fix the Problem of the Steering play as shown in my Video above. I like to share the procedure maybe it is helpful for sombody .

 

I remove the tie rod ends , the 4 Bolts from the Steering Rack and the lower bolt from the lower steering U-Joint .

 

Than i pull down the whole Steering Rack till it slips out from the underside of the UJ.

After that i take out the whole Steering rack to have more Space.

 

I take out the Upper Bolt of the UJ then. UJ/Steeringshaft was alittle rusty and the UJ itself doesnt came ouur easy so i speay it with WD 40 and wait for about 20 mins. Then i pass a belt trough the middle of the UJ and pass the beld also trough 2 Holes in the lower frame  so that i have a kind of a loop whrere i can get trough with a wodden slat , i use that Construction as a lever aktion and the UJ cames of easy that way. 

 

Reasembly Note : Fit the new UJ first on the Steering Rack bEcause there is only one Position where the lower Bolts get trough. and it is tricky to find when the UJ is already bolt on the upper side. The upper UJ Bold can get trough in any Position.

The upper and lower UJ Bolts have differnt lenghts - make shure the shorter is on the upper side if you use the longer on the upper side it can get in contakt with the firewall.

 

Tip:I use a Steering Wheel to Clutch Pedal  Anti Theft Device to keep the Steering Wheel in the middle position all the Time..

 

So after finished i lift the Car down and.................   No Steering Wheel play anymore !!

 

Thanks to Roy for guide me in the right Direction..... The old UJ shows no play when i inspect it after removal the are much more Force on it than you can produce with your Hands or even a Screwdriver. Roys test is the only Way to go !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-17146-0-22941900-1426438337.jpg

post-17146-0-67905300-1426438367.jpg

post-17146-0-00991600-1426438404.jpg

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With the front wheel off you can get a spanner or grips on the lower UJ joint and hold it tight to stop it moving. Moving the steering wheel now will indicate where the play is, either above or below this locked point.

 

 

Thanks, Roy, that helped me, too... although my free play seems to be in the rack on my '89 SE.

 

Question: apart from the tie rod ends, are there any replaceable items inboard of these (other than rack)? My local suspension specialist seems to think the tie rod ends are ok, but there is something moving inboard of this.

 

The parts manual doesn't seem to show any replaceable items.

 

Cheers

Ian.

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Steering rack rebuild kits are available, I bought mine from JAE in California.

 

Rack rebuild images

https://picasaweb.google.com/116113253735518541549/SteeringRack?noredirect=1

 

P5260133.JPG

 

All of the white plastic parts come in the rebuild kit.

P5260134.JPG

 

P5260136.JPG

 

The white plastic ball joint cushion, black plastic cage, metal locking collar and metal cup all come in the kit.

P5260137.JPG

 

You press the pin in to lock the new cup and collar together.  You have to drill the original pin out.

P6030083.JPG

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the rack assy has a cup the engages the rack gear to the pinion.  the cup is plastic and there is a strong spring.  if the cup or spring is worn there is too much lash resulting in play at the wheel.  normally, this should not happen, but twice on my rack I have had to replace the cup.  it's a quick job, just 2 bolts, the rack remains in place.

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Brilliant, thanks guys.

 

Cheers

Ian.

 

(EDIT) Just looking at the parts at Lotus Marques:

 

http://www.lotusmarques.com/parts/catalogue/lotus/46-esprit-parts/305-esprit-steering-rack-parts

 

What are the items referred to as "Inner ball joint nylon cups"? The part that Chris referred to?

Edited by Qavion

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no that is the "plastic ball joint cushion" noted in Travis' pic.

the pic that says "white plastic parts" shows the cup, spring and cover plate I was referencing. 

in USA, JAE sells a "steering rack rebuild kit" that contains all these parts that are not listed individually.

I don't know what Travis' experience was, but mine and a few  others who have rebuilt the rack, did not

find fault with the track rod plastic cushions

Lotus Margues does not list the cup and spring for the rack and pinion lash

an easy way to tell if this is culprit is to remove the gasket from the coverplate and reinstall the coverplate

if the play is no longer present, the cup (and spring) needs to be replaced

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The white plastic thing with the spring is the inner ball joint nylon cup.

But you can't replace it without potentially destroying the black plastic thing, and the lock collar and metal cup.

 

P5260137.JPG

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Thanks again, guys. It looks like it would be better to do the whole rack. I see both JAE and Lotus Marques have the kits, but JAE seems to have a bad rep on this forum (?). Looking at Travis' guide, it looks like a bit of manual dexterity is required (drilling and such). It may be better for me to send the rack to Lotus Marques (relatively closer to me). They seem to have redesigned the parts (at least on the earlier Esprits).

 

http://lotusmarques.com/parts/news/1102-lotus-esprit-steering-rack-pinion-bearing-conversion

 

http://lotusmarques.com/info/technical/30/452-esprit-steering-rack-overhaul-service

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Guys, I've just starting to pull the steering rack out of my car and am having difficulties (trying to leave the steering wheel attached to the universal joint).

 

1) I can't get the tie rods to separate from the wheels. I've tried hitting the ends of the bolts with a rubber mallet to no avail. Is there anything else holding these together. Is it just friction? Do I just need to hit it harder? :)

 

2) I can't get the spline of the steering rack to disengage from the universal joint (even with the clamping bolt completely out). Again, is it just a matter of persistence. The car has not driven on salty roads, so there is very little rust on the car.

 

Thanks for any advice

 

Cheers

Ian.

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