One more reminder to tighten your suspension bolts - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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One more reminder to tighten your suspension bolts

This past weekend the two upper control arms bolts sheared on my right rear corner. It sent me into an immediate high speed snap spin. Looking at the parts, I think one of the bolts had started to back out, setting up a vibration and shear forces.

No serious damage to the car, but on several of the other corners it would have likely resulted in a rollover. I got lucky, and it'll be back together this weekend if I can get the right fasteners. While I'm at it, I plan to dissasemble the entire suspension and put it back together with Locktite. Also thinking seriously about safety wire.
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:39 AM
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I had exactly the same thing happen this last summer.

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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:42 AM
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Really??? Is this a common problem?
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffersonRaley View Post
This past weekend the two upper control arms bolts sheared on my right rear corner. It sent me into an immediate high speed snap spin. Looking at the parts, I think one of the bolts had started to back out, setting up a vibration and shear forces.

No serious damage to the car, but on several of the other corners it would have likely resulted in a rollover. I got lucky, and it'll be back together this weekend if I can get the right fasteners. While I'm at it, I plan to dissasemble the entire suspension and put it back together with Locktite. Also thinking seriously about safety wire.
I had it happen in my 190s this summer. Very violent spin!!!!
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:45 AM
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Could you illustrate the area that we should be checking, and give the correct torque setting plz.

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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by zygotesoup View Post
Really??? Is this a common problem?
I think it is, if you had someone move/change the bolts and not use loctite.

AND... you are not in the habit of checking them.

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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:50 AM
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If it's the bolts/nuts I am thinking about, Don't the nuts have folding tabs over them?
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 06:52 AM
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Yeah, any pics or a write up would be great. Are you talking about the bolts that attach the swaybar to the endlink??? And does this come from normal driving or track/autox?
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 07:10 AM
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Yes, the bolts & nuts have locking tabs, but I found that on my car they were not very well bent over and their locking ability was in question. The torque on my bolts was still fine though, and I bent the tabs further to ensure they did their job.

See this thread for more information on this control arm issue:
http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40858
Pictures from my car (poorly bent tabs, but no failure) are in post #31.

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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 07:28 AM
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Bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffersonRaley View Post
This past weekend the two upper control arms bolts sheared on my right rear corner. It sent me into an immediate high speed snap spin. Looking at the parts, I think one of the bolts had started to back out, setting up a vibration and shear forces.

No serious damage to the car, but on several of the other corners it would have likely resulted in a rollover. I got lucky, and it'll be back together this weekend if I can get the right fasteners. While I'm at it, I plan to dissasemble the entire suspension and put it back together with Locktite. Also thinking seriously about safety wire.
Hi Jefferson, are you talking about the upper hub carrier bolts or the control
arm bolts? Is it a street car or race car? Thanks in advance.
Cheers, Don.

Last edited by Donelise; 11-14-2007 at 09:10 AM.
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post #11 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 07:32 AM
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Good question. I jumped to the assumption it was the same hub bolts that I sheared. Maybe not.

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Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 07:38 AM
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He is either talking about the upper control arm MOUNTING bolts, where the whole shebang mounts to the chassis, or he is talking about the hub carrier bolts where the camber shims go.

In either case it's happened before.

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post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Mine were the upper hub-to-arm bolts. But that is really irrelevant. The point is to check and Locktite all of them if you track your car (whatever car that is.) I got lazy, and it almost cost me my car.
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post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 06:05 AM
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Please make sure you are Torquing them to spec, not just tightening them.

m
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post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 06:20 AM
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Glad you and the car are alright. I'll be taking an extra careful look over my Cartoon Car before I head to MSR this Saturday. Thanks for the head up...

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post #16 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
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Please make sure you are Torquing them to spec, not just tightening them.

m
I still wonder how people actually do this. One of my projects this winter will be to look at this, one bolt at a time, to figure out what sort of tool is needed to actually gain access to every bolt to torque them. I found that common tools are inadequate for the task, there just isn't adequate access to most.

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post #17 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 06:58 AM
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I've started to ask my dealer (Rothrock) to check/tighten the suspension every time I have it in.

I just had them do this again today, when they were putting my snows on. I was feeling the back end wiggle a bit more than I remember when it was new. Could be normal -- I know the front end will tramline, but shouldn't the back end be pretty stable? Has anyone who's had a failure experienced this?

In any case, Rothrock checked/tightened it for me for no charge (still under warranty), and on my drive to work it did seem tighter.

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post #18 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 07:26 AM
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you can upgrade them to 12.9 from 10.9 did mine and Jack's, a while back. carl
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post #19 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jayhart71 View Post
I just had them do this again today, when they were putting my snows on. I was feeling the back end wiggle a bit more than I remember when it was new. Could be normal -- I know the front end will tramline, but shouldn't the back end be pretty stable? Has anyone who's had a failure experienced this?
Snows?


Might check the rear toe - the back end will wiggle around a lot over uneven pavement if the rear toe is off.

torque (trk) n. - an excuse for the lack of momentum.
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post #20 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 08:13 AM
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Snows?


Might check the rear toe - the back end will wiggle around a lot over uneven pavement if the rear toe is off.
Thanks for the tip. When I change back to street tires in the spring, I'll have Rothrock re-align front and rear. Didn't want to mess with it now, since it'll probably get messed up over the winter anyway.

I'll be posting a review of the snow tires in the next week or so. I had them on for 2 months earlier this year, and thought I'd get re-acquainted with them before posting. Will be my first somewhat useful post!

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