Little clunks in steering - NOT the steering rack thread - Page 5 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #81 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 02:46 AM
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The OP described my sounds to a t.
It's on my carlift now and i'll be checking it later today.
It has been getting a bit more pronounced of late.
More later, sam
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post #82 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 06:57 AM
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Would it be worth my time to hire someone to get in there and tighten my suspension and steering? I have been holding out on buying a new rack, but I am driving my car daily again, so I am a little worried.
I had a little clunking in the front, I ended up taking of the front wheels and suspension and tightened everything down, clunks completely went away. This should be part of routine maintenance. You should do this before considering changing the steering rack.

2005 Krypton Green Lotus Elise
1993 Black BMW 325i
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post #83 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:15 AM
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I am slightly excited (in a strange way) that my car was found to have 'non fully tightened' bolts on the bracket. I hope when I get the car back tomorrow that it solves the problem!
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post #84 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:17 AM
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I am slightly excited (in a strange way) that my car was found to have 'non fully tightened' bolts on the bracket. I hope when I get the car back tomorrow that it solves the problem!
Wouldn't doubt that was the problem, GL!

2005 Krypton Green Lotus Elise
1993 Black BMW 325i
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post #85 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:48 AM
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Worth using a paint marker on these bolts (or anything else you torque) so that next time, you can just make a visual inspection.
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post #86 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 10:03 AM
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Sure enough, mine were loose.
We'll see if the clunk is gone.
Sam
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post #87 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 01:30 AM
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Finally found the noise from:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...7/#post1615285

S240 Exige S with BOE FW300 + over 40 mods
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post #88 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:33 AM
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The bracket bolts were not up to torque but that didn't fix the clunk.
Sam
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post #89 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:31 PM
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I should mention that the clunking can be felt through my steering wheel. I'm still going to try to tighten everything down, though.
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post #90 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I do recommend upgrading the bolts to class 10.9 and increasing the torque in order to reduce the possibility that they ever come loose again. The dealer doesn't check these bolts during a normal service, and possibly doesn't even check them if you specifically ask to check all the suspension bolts (because you need to remove the shock/spring unit to access all of them). See post 14 and 59 for the higher class bolts. I used a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to trim the 30mm length bolts I bought from the auto parts store down to the same length as the stock bolts (about 25 mm).

I think the real problem was the factory didn't torque them properly. Even the standard bolts with the standard torque didn't come loose again after I torqued them properly when I checked over a year later.

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post #91 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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I should mention that the clunking can be felt through my steering wheel. I'm still going to try to tighten everything down, though.
Just about any clunking coming from the suspension can be felt through the steering wheel. The steering is very sensitive on this car.
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post #92 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 11:28 PM
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Worth using a paint marker on these bolts (or anything else you torque) so that next time, you can just make a visual inspection.

Ha, your Nitron is different from mine. If you get the nitron from Sector111 you get the short upper front spacers and need to use the original stock spacers together with Nitron's short spacers.

If you get the Nitron spacers kit from UK, you get the longer version as the picture.

Which the whole front upper will only have 2 instead of 4 spacers.
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S240 Exige S with BOE FW300 + over 40 mods
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post #93 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 08:34 AM
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Ha, your Nitron is different from mine. If you get the nitron from Sector111 you get the short upper front spacers and need to use the original stock spacers together with Nitron's short spacers.

If you get the Nitron spacers kit from UK, you get the longer version as the picture.

Which the whole front upper will only have 2 instead of 4 spacers.
Sector111. Never noticed this.
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post #94 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 04:18 PM
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OK, so here's my theory. I'm getting the same clunking. At least it sounds similar. And it only starts after the car has been driven a bit. Stop and go traffic is the worst.

So I took off the left shock and checked the bolts holding the upper bracket (since I replaced the LSS shocks with Nitrons, I actually installed and torqued to bolts myself over two years ago). Bolts were tight, no sign of movement. Checked the ball joint nuts, upper and lower control arm nuts, sway bar links, all tight.

Took it for a drive and the clunking starts again. So, I'm thinking... what does it sound like and when is it happening?

Conclusion: the sway bar bushings have dried out (i.e. lost their lubricant), and the sway bar is "sticking"... whenever the suspension height changes, the bar should rotate, but since it's sticking, it doesn't move until enough torque is on the bar to "unstick" it from the bushing. When that happens, it makes a noise, and the force on the sway bar suddenly changes, sending a pulse through the steering to the steering wheel.

So, I sprayed a generous amount of all-purpose silicone lubricant into the bushings (you can reach them if you turn the wheel extreme left for the left wheel, etc.)

I vaguely remember this happening a few years ago, and I tried the same trick... seems to have kept the clunking at bay since then.

Note, there are lots of things that can go clunk... check your suspension regularly, especially if you track. But in my case, I'm pretty sure it was the sway bar bushings... that might explain the temperature sensitivity as well... the bar is steel, and expands more than the nylon bushings, making the fit tighter as friction or ambient temps cause the bar to heat.
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post #95 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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I had the same thought about the sway bar bushings regarding my residual temperature dependent clunks, and sprayed silicone lube on them, but maybe I didn't spray enough. I think I'll try again and be more aggressive about getting lube in there, or I might try removing them and putting some thick silicone lube in them.
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post #96 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 09:55 PM
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I had the same thought about the sway bar bushings regarding my residual temperature dependent clunks, and sprayed silicone lube on them, but maybe I didn't spray enough. I think I'll try again and be more aggressive about getting lube in there, or I might try removing them and putting some thick silicone lube in them.
I'll do some testing by going for a drive to create clunk then lube liberally.
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post #97 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:04 AM
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Someone should invent a multi channel sound recording system that you can plug in at least 10 microphones. Those microphones are so small that you can stick on the suspicious place and record the feefback when test drive.

This will save us lots of time.

S240 Exige S with BOE FW300 + over 40 mods
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post #98 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:43 AM
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I think I originally diagnosed my sound when I was doing a corner balance on the Exige a couple of years ago... typically you're repeatedly jacking one side of the car up and letting it down, then bouncing the car to release any "bind", while adjusting spring collars. I kept noticing a distinctive clunk when loading and unloading the front suspension... eventually I isolated the sound to the anti-sway bar bushings.
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post #99 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:57 AM
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Someone should invent a multi channel sound recording system that you can plug in at least 10 microphones. Those microphones are so small that you can stick on the suspicious place and record the feefback when test drive.

This will save us lots of time.
Not 10 microphones, but yes, it's in the market already for us technicians.
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post #100 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 12:09 PM
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OK, drove the same roads today... ambient temps around the same. Almost no noise at all, and... unless I'm mistaken, when it rarely did make a noise, the radiator fans were on (meaning the water temp was over 205F or so). Again, that would square with the reports of it only happening on hot days, after the car had warmed up, and at least for me, in stop and go traffic.
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