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post #121 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by turbophil View Post
This is a metal on metal item that doesn't "settle in" over time like pistons rings do for instance...
Unfortunately, sometimes the OEM toe-link ball joint does "settle in" - there is sometimes too much galvanizing in the "groove" that the ball joint fits into. Even with proper torque, the joint can loosen a bit over time. If you torque your toe-link ball joints and find them loose (at least if more than once), then you should probably remove the toe-link ball joint and clean out the extra galvanizing from the groove so it will fit better and not "settle in".

If your toe-link ball joint remains tight, it probably doesn't have the "too much" galvanizing in on the sub-frame groove.

There is a thread around here somewhere with a good explanation and some photos of the problem..

Note that not all cars have this problem - only some of them...




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post #122 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by davecarama View Post
FYI, in case you don't want to look, don't have a Nm wrench, whatever:
60 Nm = 44.253728956681634 ft#

My tq wrench only goes to tenths though



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post #123 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:19 AM
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post #124 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by turbophil View Post
Ya, pretty sure Lotus doesn't have the best practices for ensuring proper tq at the factory...
Tell me about it. My front lower ball joints were torqued to *maybe* 10 ft-lbs. I doubt they loosened up with use.

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post #125 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 02:03 PM
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Am I missing something? Is using lock-tite not an option here?


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post #126 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 02:09 PM
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Better to use nyloc nuts, IMO, and check the torque when you do your oil changes (provided you don't track the car). The panel is off and it's easy to do then...It's not a great application for a thread locker, IMO... or just replace the system with more robust hardware and basically forget about it...

TP


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post #127 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 04:25 PM
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Am I missing something? Is using lock-tite not an option here?
No, loc-tite isn't an option. In the case of the galvanizing compressing (mine had this), it isn't the nut coming loose that is the problem. The material between the head of the stud and the nut is compressing, creating a loose bolt. You have to tighten it each service interval (7500 miles) to keep up with the compression. Eventually, it fully compresses, but I still check the torque every service interval even after over 4 years and 52,000 miles.
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post #128 of 173 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 03:00 PM
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Here's a good one!

Replacing some toe-links today on a client's car with ours... This car sees a handful of track events a year... has about 40K miles...

I was a bit surprised when I saw these. Passenger side was OK. Drivers sid....um, not so much. The stud is worn down by 18% all the way around

Nicer yet, is the massive indentation it left in the flange surface on the frame. The pictures don't capture the depth of the indention very well, but it's pretty amazing in person. One more track event would have been the end of the line for this lotus. Fortunately, we caught it when we did...

Anyway, thought I'd add a couple more scary pics to the thread...

Best,

Phil
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post #129 of 173 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 05:59 AM
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The stud doesn't look worn down but rather necked down from going past yield. This is a classic "reduction in area" used in material testing and specifications. It is due to "elongation" when a specimen passes yield point. As the area of this bolt decreases due to this phenomenon, the per-area load goes up and leads to tensile failure. The depression in the washer shows that the stud was bending back and forth. The preload that Lotus recommends (including increasing the specified torque value) is to maintain a clmap load that always overcomes the tensile load cause by side load on the ball joint. If this side load ever produces a force between the stud and the washer that is higher than the preload, the stud moves and the load is concentrated at exactly the area where the breakage occurs. This slight movement causes a condition where the stud will eventually fail from metal fatigue. There was a photo on one of these threads that showed the fracture. It was a classic cyclical fatigue failure. Lotus' claim of soft galvanized coatings that could brinell certainly would have contributed to the situation but only if the preload was not high enough originally to overcome cornering loads. If preload was high enough, there would never been enough movement to allow the stud to bend, which is the actualk cause of the brinelling, not simply the stud sinking into the coating like in quicksand. The photo above is amazing in that it shows the part on the brink of tensile failure. I work in failure analysis a lot and love to see a part that almost failed but didn't. So much easier to analyze failure when you also have unfailed samples.
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post #130 of 173 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 05:59 AM
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The stud doesn't look worn down but rather necked down from going past yield. This is a classic "reduction in area" used in material testing and specifications. It is due to "elongation" when a specimen passes yield point. As the area of this bolt decreases due to this phenomenon, the per-area load goes up and leads to tensile failure. The depression in the washer shows that the stud was bending back and forth. The preload that Lotus recommends (including increasing the specified torque value) is to maintain a clmap load that always overcomes the tensile load cause by side load on the ball joint. If this side load ever produces a force between the stud and the washer that is higher than the preload, the stud moves and the load is concentrated at exactly the area where the breakage occurs. This slight movement causes a condition where the stud will eventually fail from metal fatigue. There was a photo on one of these threads that showed the fracture. It was a classic cyclical fatigue failure. Lotus' claim of soft galvanized coatings that could brinell certainly would have contributed to the situation but only if the preload was not high enough originally to overcome cornering loads. If preload was high enough, there would never been enough movement to allow the stud to bend, which is the actualk cause of the brinelling, not simply the stud sinking into the coating like in quicksand. The photo above is amazing in that it shows the part on the brink of tensile failure. I work in failure analysis a lot and love to see a part that almost failed but didn't. So much easier to analyze failure when you also have unfailed samples.
Excellent and thorough!

Nitron are releasing a super trick toe link upgrade. Even lighter and with finer adjustment. We'll have them soon.


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post #131 of 173 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by shinoo View Post
Excellent and thorough!

Nitron are releasing a super trick toe link upgrade. Even lighter and with finer adjustment. We'll have them soon.


Our RTVbrace and RTDbrace remain safe, cost effective, & proven solutions.
Shinoo, it looks like the inner joint is mounted to a new brace that's bolted to the subframe... it looks like the subframe needs to be drilled to accept the bolts? I do like the idea of replacing the outer joint...
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post #132 of 173 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 07:27 PM
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Good call

The stud is about .04 -.05 longer than it's supposed to be... So you're right, there's a good bit of plastic deformation. Judging on the wear pattern of the hole (before we drilled it out to AN7) and stud currently, it's evident that a good portion of the stud was simply worn down as well... Nevertheless, I overlooked the most obvious.

Thanks for your input, sir!

Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdonovan View Post
The stud doesn't look worn down but rather necked down from going past yield. This is a classic "reduction in area" used in material testing and specifications. It is due to "elongation" when a specimen passes yield point. As the area of this bolt decreases due to this phenomenon, the per-area load goes up and leads to tensile failure. The depression in the washer shows that the stud was bending back and forth. The preload that Lotus recommends (including increasing the specified torque value) is to maintain a clmap load that always overcomes the tensile load cause by side load on the ball joint. If this side load ever produces a force between the stud and the washer that is higher than the preload, the stud moves and the load is concentrated at exactly the area where the breakage occurs. This slight movement causes a condition where the stud will eventually fail from metal fatigue. There was a photo on one of these threads that showed the fracture. It was a classic cyclical fatigue failure. Lotus' claim of soft galvanized coatings that could brinell certainly would have contributed to the situation but only if the preload was not high enough originally to overcome cornering loads. If preload was high enough, there would never been enough movement to allow the stud to bend, which is the actualk cause of the brinelling, not simply the stud sinking into the coating like in quicksand. The photo above is amazing in that it shows the part on the brink of tensile failure. I work in failure analysis a lot and love to see a part that almost failed but didn't. So much easier to analyze failure when you also have unfailed samples.


Phil: NASA 2012 and 2014 TT1 Central Champion, 2005 GG Elige, Rev400, 485+whp REV X

2011 Pearl White Evora, BOE Skunk Works 6 SPD 435WHP || 2014 Black Evora Skunk Works IPS 390WHP|| 2011 White Evora Skunk Works IPS 390WHP || 2006 CO Elise, Rev400, Steet Car

____________________________________________

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post #133 of 173 (permalink) Old 11-01-2009, 05:43 AM
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Point of reference, at 5500 miles my '08 Exige's toe link bolts needed tightening to bring them to the torque specs.


Click links to see my 2008 Lotus Exige-S 240 , '99 M3, 505rwhp '89 Mustang ( sold) , '05 WRX STI ( sold) homepages or here for my spin compilations (ispunuwin & ispinuwin2!)!
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post #134 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 05:52 AM
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Shinoo, it looks like the inner joint is mounted to a new brace that's bolted to the subframe... it looks like the subframe needs to be drilled to accept the bolts? I do like the idea of replacing the outer joint...
Andy, we will have the upright pin upgrade for your RTDbrace. This way you can strengthen the toe link to the upright and not have to completly replace your current kit. Once advantage that our RTDbrace has over the new Nitron kit is the additional subframe stiffening we provide with the central brace.

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post #135 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 02:19 PM
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Andy, we will have the upright pin upgrade for your RTDbrace. This way you can strengthen the toe link to the upright and not have to completly replace your current kit. Once advantage that our RTDbrace has over the new Nitron kit is the additional subframe stiffening we provide with the central brace.
When will a RTD kit be available with the heim joint in place of the outer ball joint, how much will it cost, and how much to upgrade for current owners?
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post #136 of 173 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 06:41 AM
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I just got my RTD Brace in. Does anyone know where a reputable alignment shop in NJ is? I want to put the Brace on sometime in the next few days, but only if I have a good shop I can take it to get it aligned.

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post #137 of 173 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 07:02 AM
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When will a RTD kit be available with the heim joint in place of the outer ball joint, how much will it cost, and how much to upgrade for current owners?

We have RTD & RTVbrace Upgrades available now in two flavors:

-Aircraft steel: Nitron S99 Pin

-Titanium: Nitron Ti Toe Pin


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post #138 of 173 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 07:23 AM
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Isnt that near tensile failure simply the result of a significant over torque condition at some point?

Seriously, my car is small
07 Exige-S, "Landshark"
05 Saffron Yellow "bumbleBee", on to a new owner
Also:
84 930 turbo, 06 WRX Wagon
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post #139 of 173 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 11:04 AM
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What a great thread, but I feel like I should have bought a 6 pack first! But hey, lots of intelligent observation and assistance.

Shinoo -We spoke a few days ago, I'm just about to take possession of an 05 Elise and we discussed your Triology of Terror.

That should narrow me down to about 1,000 people ;-)

I'm sold on the RTV brace, will order once I get the car. Thanks for the help. In the meantime, I'll torque to the 60 nm, use the special lock washer and loctite til I can rassle up a friend to help with the install. Anything else bandaid wise? What's your thought on just replacing the oem ball end / shaft nut and properly retorquing as an interim approach? At least that way we know the ball end shaft & threads aren't beat up.


As for the baffled oil pan, I'll do that too later, before I hit other tracks. Luckily the local track's longer high g turns are lefties, and the slower / low g turns are the righties.

Thanks for your expertise and guidance, I didn't realize, but do now, how committed you are to the cars & the community.

Last edited by GTI-Guy; 05-15-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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post #140 of 173 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 06:20 PM
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LOOSE TOE LINKS!!!!

Wow, I thought this only happens to the "other guy", but I was doing some other stuff and checked the torque on my toe links...and they were $#%ing loose! Less than 10k on the car! Track day in two weeks could have ended very very badly.

Thank you for this thread.
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