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Simon Hough

Elise S1 (others?) Rear track rod end failure

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Hi All,

Just back home from a fab week in France, watching the Le Mans Classic and then relaxing !

Anyway driving the Elise around the rural roads of France didn't work out this time as the day after arriving one of the rear track rod ends failed. So just looking around the web it appears this doesn't look like an isolated incident effecting just myself. Many of the other failures are being reported after reports of hitting pot holes. I can remember hitting a large one back in April which probably caused a weekness in mine to finaly go. (Looks like it wasn't down to the extra weight Eddie and I where carrying as a result of all the cheese consumption, as first suspected !!!!)

Anyway, if any of you have hit pot holes in your Elise over the winter / spring, then would be worth giving your links a once over as has been suggested by others experiancing the same problems.

Many thanks to Eddie and Martin for advice and rescue last Friday, very much appreciated ! Hopfully the car will return home early this week so it can be fixed for Silverstone next weekend.

I am going to replace the complete arms left and right as a precaution so have been looking at Elise parts kit verses origional. Any comments ? I don't want to be in the scenareo where the arms become over strong and transfer the load into the chassis mounts. What do the race cars use ?

Best regards


Simon

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Further research into my problems and some very scary stories. So So pleased me and Eddie where only doing 20 mph and it didn’t happen on the motorways on the way down with Marie as passenger

A quick google search of "elise toe link failure" brings much information on the subject, VX220 guys also having the same experiances

Found a videos as well

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2285160065724541747#


The S1 elise had a recall on this part so will be checking to see if my car had the recall, but from what I can tell the official line is check the toe links regularly for wear and bolt torque. But then how do you account for a hairline fracture ?

The standard set up (after recalls for Early S1) should be ok if well maintained and possibly regularly replaced ? However there are strong recommendations to anybody with upgraded elises or track / hard driving to switch to a stronger set up. My Car is over 11 years old and on original parts so age may also plat a factor.

There are 4 upgrade kits I am looking into, Elise Shop, Elise Parts, Official Lotus sport one and Nitron. All kits are sold based on experiences of linkage failure and putting components in double shear by using extra brackets. Doing the maths, the upgrade kit is about the same price as buying all the standard parts ( a slight saving can be made of the standard bits by using rover equivalents)

I am no expert on the subject I just post a considered overview of the findings so as to help you all not suffer the same incident and hopefully not a high speed ! For me going for an upgrade is good on 2 counts. (a) it is about the same cost as replacing the original items and (B) it will physiologically give me back confidence knowing that a "better" part is fitted.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Simon

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Hi Simon, shame you didn't make it around in the Elise and had to slum it in a hire car and a bloomin Jag! Still as you say, it could have all been much worse.
Can't give any pointers on the problem, it seems like you have it covered anyway but I'd of thought both Martin Edwards and Allon White are you best places for advice. I'm with you, replace it all properly and whilst about it have a good look at all your suspension both front & back.
Hope it all goes well and is sorted soon.
Cheers, Tim.

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Thanks Tim ! Mag looks good but may not have time to read this week as the car has just arrived back.

No damage during transit so all good. Parts ordered from Elise parts so hopfully will be here by Thursday. Going to give it a good wash tonight and get it up on the jack stands, and get some penetrating oil on the bolts, then Wednesday night remove the faulty / broken bits so Thursday I can get the new arms on. Will not have time to track it before Silverstone, but should be able to do a good approximation by measurement. Silverstone is only 20 mins up the road so can take it easy, will be a good test to make sure all is ok with the other bits before it is tracked. Pointless paying out for alignment if something else needs changing !!

So fingers crossed will be at Silverstone on Saturday as planed !!

I will post some pics of the failure in a day or so

Cheers


Simon

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