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Elise Mk1 steering rack rebuild

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Hello everybody,

I'm trying desperately to get my 1999 Elise 111S on the road this year. Currently doing a suspension rebuild. Just started thinking about the steering rack. 'Slight' play in the o/s inner joint has come up on the MOT's as an advisory on and off since 2003!! It was never really noticeable enough to do something about it. However, I now have the car in bits anyway so now seems like a good a time to sort it out.

This will be a Titan rack and I see that you can get a rebuild kit and track rods. I wonder if anybody here has done this job successfully. I could do with an exploded diagram so I can see what the bits in the kit actually do. Which bits wear? My rack wear feels like inner ball joint rather than the rack itself. Can these be re-shimmed like in the old days? Any help or advice appreciated.



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Hi Mike

Did exactly this on my 97 s1 last year. Did myself an injury grovelling upside down under the dash other than that it's pretty easy and straightforward to do with a bit of engineering knowhow. 

Inner joints wear and eventually clonk. If your rod ends flop about then it's too loose.

Helpful hint when removing, mark up central position on uj's and shaft makes easier to put back right (I still was one notch out).  Remove the bolt from the lower steering column uj as there's a notch in the shaft and it won't slide off other wise.

The inner joints are actually adjustable (bought replacement metal ones but stuck with original plastic ones) you drill the pin out ensuring not to go to far as its just drilled into the thread. The nut then unscrews and it comes apart.  When reassembling I set the correct preloaded using weights on the end, you just tighten the nut. Once correctly set you must reinsert a locking pin. I made a couple myself from Stock bar and grinder, bash in and peen the end.

The next adjustment is the rack friction itself, just adjusted by tightening and locking off I used a pully, weights and gravity to set the friction within the limits.

All of this assumes the rack and pinion are good in the first place which they probably are. When I first removed mine it felt quite notchy but a bit of fresh grease and working back and forth and it was smooth.  (If I remember right theres little holes at each end of the rack these must be clear as these need to let the air flow freely between the bellows)

Hope this is of help.       


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On 27/03/2022 at 07:47, stevensr34 said:

Well, here's the exploded diagram for the rack:



Part no. 5 which is a plastic up is the usual culprit. I believe replacement phosphor bronze ones can be bought from an online parts retailer, which in theory should last a lot longer.

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