Toe link failure at 107MPH (jalopnik link) - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Toe link failure at 107MPH (jalopnik link)

Just thought I'd share this with the community if ya'll haven't seen it. Jalopnik posted a video of a lotus cup car in England that experienced a toe-link failure () at speed on Donnington circuit.

This Is What Happens When Your Suspension Fails At 110 Miles Per Hour


Definite code brown. Hope the kid (ya, he's like 17yo) is ok.

~Matt
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 06:09 PM
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That's a hard hit!
Always check torque on toe links, lugs, brake fluid, etc......

I had my pedal go straight to the floor at 120 mph going into a 90 degree left hander. Thankfully there was runoff. Scared the crap out of me.
Fluid was in car for 6 months.

I don't take that chance anymore.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 06:15 PM
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Would be interesting to hear more about this failure so that we can all take precautions to avoid it. I can't imagine this car was improperly prepped or didn't have toe-link upgrades, but you never know. So if they did everything "right" why did it still fail? Fatigued parts?

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 06:21 PM
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The car didn't seem to be under much lateral load... I think he really broke it when he drove over the rumble strip... over, and over...
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 06:35 PM
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re: Driving a cat at the track

We should all be smart and prudent and check our cars before we take them to the track. It is worthwhile to have a good mechanic run a check, also.

There are enough things that break unexpectedly to have 'guaranteed' incidents.

Nobody is immune from foolishness or being a little too frugal.

I am writing this to make sure it sinks deeper into my mind...

I have been racing for 20 years. On my Lotus, I used hub bearings, I found in the shop. They were there. They were free! They were used... I put them on the rear. The play seemed OK. One came loose at 100mph. (This is not as bad as a tie rod, since it just becomes loose, not come off.) I found out that my safe test track had an old concrete structure in the grassy infield (It is built on top of WWII training airport in Canada), as I sailed by it at 60.. Nothing was hurt, except my pride and the front splitter. Could have been much more interesting.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 07:26 PM
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I like that passenger seat.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 09:48 PM
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the crashing sounds felt like they kept going and going.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 10:03 AM
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I'm a firm believer in regularly checking all suspension hardware for proper torque both before and after a track day. I never found any problems but at least I look. Most of my suspension has been upgraded to help avoid failure. It breaks my heart to see something like this happen.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sturgeongeneral View Post
I'm a firm believer in regularly checking all suspension hardware for proper torque both before and after a track day. I never found any problems but at least I look. Most of my suspension has been upgraded to help avoid failure. It breaks my heart to see something like this happen.
Taking this thread on a small tangent, am very willing to move it to a separate thread if it proves not to be small.

I understand torquing bolts, the whats and whys.
I have been playing with the caster on my Elise and for the love of Lotus, how do they expect you to properly torque the upper a-arms? There is no way you can get a torque wrench on these nuts/bolts. I am relying on years of experience, and blue loc-tite.

Now back to your regularly scheduled tread.

Apexes are a lot like relationships. So tough to get right, so easy to see where they went wrong.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_porsche View Post
Taking this thread on a small tangent, am very willing to move it to a separate thread if it proves not to be small.

I understand torquing bolts, the whats and whys.
I have been playing with the caster on my Elise and for the love of Lotus, how do they expect you to properly torque the upper a-arms? There is no way you can get a torque wrench on these nuts/bolts. I am relying on years of experience, and blue loc-tite.

Now back to your regularly scheduled tread.

You use a 3" extension and a 3/8 torque wrench with a regular 17mm socket and you should be able to do it just fine.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 01:59 PM
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Driver is very fortunate the car spun enough around to make contact with the barrier at the rear of the car rather than hitting at the front.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 07:59 PM
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I had a rear link failure, but at a lower speed. Managed to keep the car on the track. I have a very good shop/team looking after my car. No one is really sure why it happedned as I had a complete tear down earlier in the season and everything had been checked.

http://youtu.be/uy8x7UPTGa4

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackpenquinn View Post
I had a rear link failure, but at a lower speed. Managed to keep the car on the track. I have a very good shop/team looking after my car. No one is really sure why it happedned as I had a complete tear down earlier in the season and everything had been checked.

http://youtu.be/uy8x7UPTGa4

Was that the stock setup or an upgraded aftermarket setup like Sector111 or BOE?

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 05:09 AM
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Off the top of my head I can't remember. I purchased the car from another member with last year being mt first year with it. They did upgrade it afterwards and there was talk of having some custom parts made, but the guys have switched form being a Ferrari IMSA team to a Nissan GTR team, so I think they are busy enough.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 01:42 PM
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much poo hit cloth that day.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 02:00 AM
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Saw this on Youtube too. Here were my comments,, I dont think it was a Toe Link failure..
Cant be sure without being in the seat, But I noticed allot of jerky motion of the steering wheel by the driver, Also I never advise going completely over the rumble strips either, guaranteed he picked up a coating of dirt and rocks on that drivers side rear tire, Hot rubber is like glue.. Seemed to me he unsettled the car when he turned hard right then quickly left which would create immediate snap oversteer. Broken toe link is allot more severe usually and looks and sound like this...
https://youtu.be/8odtKj7aXFM?t=27s
and here..
Im just glad he is ok. We can learn allot from crashes like this., Ive had a couple myself. 

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 05:47 PM
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I am glad the kid is OK. Looked like that wasn't too bad a crash considering the speed. Could have been much worse. Good reminder for those of us that track occasionally what can happen out there.

Stay safe everyone.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_porsche View Post
Taking this thread on a small tangent, am very willing to move it to a separate thread if it proves not to be small.

I understand torquing bolts, the whats and whys.
I have been playing with the caster on my Elise and for the love of Lotus, how do they expect you to properly torque the upper a-arms? There is no way you can get a torque wrench on these nuts/bolts.


Adjustable Torque Wrench Adapter | Motion Pro

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 08:44 PM
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Wow. I am just imagining the math to determine the actual torque value applied using this setup.

Apexes are a lot like relationships. So tough to get right, so easy to see where they went wrong.

The secret to a long life is ------- not dying.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 09:55 PM
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There are calculators available online if the math scares you.

A quick google search brings up a few, including this one that also has lots of explanation with it: Torque Wrench Extension

That said, torque=force x distance. A measured wrench length and a spring scale works fine, or if you are like me and do a lot of mechanic work, you can get close enough by hand. I find that I can torque stuff within about 10% of the spec by feel all day long (based on comparison to a torque wrench). Torque wrenches are usually accurate to around 5%, but the difference in clamping force between a dry, oiled, or rusted bolt can be 30-50%. In other words, precise torque values aren't as likely as you might think.

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Last edited by pwildfire; 03-24-2015 at 10:10 PM.
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