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Steering play 1990 Turbo SE - Page 2 - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Steering play 1990 Turbo SE


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1) there's a special tool for this, like a little clamp/vice with a bolt which you screw in - it pops the track rod end out with a dramatic bang. I would not use a hammer.

2) it might need a wee bit of persuasion. Wd40 and maybe a suitably sized screwdriver or chisel to help pry open the joint a little.

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Tie rod- loosen the nut most of the way, hit the side of the ball joint on the side with a hammer. Should loosen. Don't hit the bolt, you'll bend it.

U-joint spline- pry it apart a bit with a screw driver or pry bar, use something like WD-40.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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yeah for the tie rod ends, if you are not replacing them, just unbolt the steering arms from the hub and leave the tie rod ends attached, pull out the whole assy.  of course, if you are rebuilding the rack, you will have to unscrew the tie rod ends from the track rod anyway, so you could just do that in situ and leave them attached to the steering arm.  an alignment will be required if rebuilding the rack for that reason.  tie rod ends are cheap though, no reason not to replace them

 

turn the ujoint so that you can see the split, stick a large screwdriver in it and twist to open clamp a bit

chris

90SE

just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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I gave up on the left hand ball joint/tie rod and went with Chris' suggestion.... not that it was easy to get the bolts undone on the steering arm :P I noticed the rubber was split on the ball joint, so I will have that one replaced by the experts.

 

Rack now on its way to Lotus Marques :)  (unfortunately our local Post Office doesn't handle items as long as this, so it went by courier)

 

Thanks, gents!


P.S. Unfortunately, the modification for the rack, described on the following link, isn't available for the SE

 

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents.....  Whilst waiting for my refurbished rack to arrive, I thought I'd get my head around the re-fitment instructions in the manual and on the forum.

 

The instructions say to start with the upper UJ pinch bolt horizontal. What position should the steering wheel be at this point in relation to the upper UJ pinch bolt? I have a spacer between the (Momo) wheel and the column (I have long legs) which has been on/off many times and the relationship between the steering wheel and the pinch bolt has probably changed many times over the years

 

Should the steering wheel be approximately 30 degrees clockwise during initial set up to compensate for the 30 degrees anticlockwise that the wheel has to be turned during final installation (I have a right hand drive car).

 

Is this offset required because of UJ geometry or because of steering rack geometry?

 

Thanks!

Cheers

Ian.

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Offset is needed due to the UJ geometry.  If you get it wrong the steering tends to feel stiff and a bit lumpy.

 

I would not bolt the steering wheel to the column during alignment.  Just push it over the splines with the column in the straight ahead position and the UJ without the 30 degree offset and keep it level.  The turn the wheel to get the 30 degrees and fit to the lower joint.

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Hey,

 

The steering wheel position is irrelevant at this point as it will have to be reset after fitting the new rack anyway. Just follow the illustration in the service notes and refit the wheel afterwards. I usually just do a quick run on a quiet road in order to center it properly. 

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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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.

 

Do you have any parts removed from the Lotus? Maybe emissions related stuff?

 

Rich

1990 Lotus Esprit SE (Got Milk Parts?)

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Rgingfool35,

 

Thanks for the tip. I'll check with Tom on my LotusTalk group account. If you have any items that you don't need and want to sell please keep me in mind.

 

 

-Rich in Carlsbad

1990 Lotus Esprit SE


Rich needs a factory Cat and EPBV (Exhaust Back Pressure Valve)

Thanks for the post Carbuff...very much appreciated.

 

-Rich in Carlsbad

1990 Lotus Esprit SE

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Someone else who failed emissions due to a high flow cat? I did so this Saturday.... Had to scramble to borrow a factory cat... Blah!

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents, I've just got the steering rack back from the workshop (interstate) and it doesn't seem right.

 

The rack was supposedly centralised prior to delivery, but I assumed this centralised position would allow you to instantly fit the lower UJ on the rack with the pinch bolts in the correct orientation.

 

SteeringRack.jpg

 

The UJ will only fit on the spline in one position because it is keyed. If I rotate the spline so that the pinch bolts are correctly oriented as shown in the picture, the centre position is lost and, as far as I can see, the steering will probably turn more way than the other and I've run out of toe-in adjustment (not enough threads in the track rod ends). The key in the spline was so far out, I had to turn the rack through almost half a turn to get it in the right spot.

 

Can I change the relative position of the spline and the rack? i.e. by pulling the coverplates off the central portion and repositioning the pinion? Or would I have to send it back to the workshop (at great expense)?

 

rack.JPG

 

Is the steering centralised when the pinion is in the centre of the serrated section of the rack?

 

Thanks !

 

Cheers

Ian.

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Hi Ian,

 

I believe it's important to just get them in the correct relative position to prevent fowling against the chassis and/or bodywork. Initially yes, the wheel will turn more one way than the other - which is why you refit the steering wheel to find a true center. 

 

I don't know if you have the same rack as I do but you must have some crazy toe-in by now if you've used up all the thread. 

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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If the upper u-joint is keyed by the pinch bolt, then go ahead and fix that and re-index by the lower splines...  I've only removed the lower splines, haven't removed any of the u-joints, but that should be all you need, assuming the upper u-joints are re-assembled as shown.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Thanks, gents..... After 4 hours of fiddling, I was able to reassemble the steering parts so that rack and lower UJ were in the correct orientation...  with equal steering movement in either direction.. and plenty of thread on the tie rods for adjustment.

 

Regarding the toe-in... I don't know how many threads on the the tie rod corresponds to degrees of toe in, but I was really at the limit with that weird offset. As I was winding the locknut to its limits, it stopped on the rack short of the end of the threaded section. Perhaps the thread is tapered here.. or maybe it was because of the paint in the threads. I've noticed that workshops like to paint parts in black to improve the appearance, but some of this comes off during installation... making the car look messier than bare metal.

 

Now to put the rack back in the car :vava:

 

Cheers

Ian.

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Gents...

 

With the rack installed in the car, are there any easy ways to check basic toe-in alignment before putting the wheels back on and taking the car out on the road (to the nearest wheel alignment shop)? I don't trust my eyeballs. There still seems to be too much tie rod adjustment required.

 

Thanks

Cheers

Ian

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I put the wheels on and duct tape 6ft straight rods (Home Depot 1/2" aluminum angle last time) horizontally across the entire tire, so that the ends stick out past the nose of the car

center the steering wheel and adjust one tie rod end until the alignment rod is parallel to a rear tire (need a longer straight rod held or taped to a rear tire so that it extends fwd to the front tire alignment rod)

I just eyeball the front/rear parallelism.  the human eye is exceeding good at detecting parallelism BTW.

and then adjust the other front tie rod until its alignment rod is parallel to the other alignment rod.  eyeball or measure distance between alignment rod ends and alignment rod separation at the front of the tires and adjust until the two measurements are equal.

that gets it good enough to drive it to alignment shop

chris

90SE

just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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More confusion. After I put the rack back in the car, there still seems to be way too much toe-in adjustment required on one side.

 

I'm wondering if my earlier assumption regarding the position of the rack during installation was wrong.

 

Looking at the following diagram..

 

SteeringRack.jpg

 

... should the rack be centralised at this point? Or do you just turn the lower UJ and the rack to get the lower UJ in the position shown?

 

I spent a day trying to alter the relative position of the pinion and the rack so that when the rack is centralised, the lower UJ is positioned as in the diagram. This may be wrong.

 

On a properly set up car, with the steering wheel straight ahead, what position should the upper UJ (in the footwell) be in? (as shown in the above diagram?). Lotus position required -_-

 

Thanks!

Ian.

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The-u-joints don't matter, except when it comes to binding.  They should allow easy rotation to limit in both directions.  If they bind, then you have to adjust them.

 

To centralize the rack, you have the splines at the rack, or the splines at the wheel.

 

Disconnect the spline at one end, centralize the rack, re-attach the spline.  Perform alignment.

 

I measured the ends of the rack from the edges of the tube IIRC, but you could also measure the travel of the tie rod each way and then find the mid point, and then attach the spline.  then perform final alignment.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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yes the method works with different track widths

 

just get the ujoints attached and locked down so that they don't bind.  it doesn't matter about the ujoint positions as long as you can get to the bolts to tighten them.

adjust the wheels parallel to each other as I described such that you are satisfied with equal tie rod adjustment.

count the turns each way of the wheel until it stops.  if equal each way, remove steering wheel and replace it so that it is centered

chris

90SE

just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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All from memory so could be wrong i'm not near my manual. Did it a long time ago.

 

1 - centralise rack

2 - align U/J's as per drawing but do not connect upper and lower U/J

3 - apply offset (from memory 30 deg, ie 3 splines) between the two U/J direction depends on LHD or RHD (see manual) keep rack centralised

4 - connect upper and lower U/J

5 - remove steering wheel with hub and reposition the steering wheel in straight ahead position

Esprit Freak

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2 - align U/J's as per drawing but do not connect upper and lower U/J

 

 

This is the part I'm not sure about. Moving the lower U/J moves the steering rack (and decentralises it). I'm not sure if this is ok, or whether the lower U/J should already be in the right position with the rack centralised.

All the other steps are straightforward.

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