Little clunks in steering - NOT the steering rack thread - Page 8 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #141 of 282 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 04:02 PM
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Supporting this theory, the part shown in post #115 is not the one peice welded element visible in my video.

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/1621730-post115.html

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post #142 of 282 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 04:28 PM
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Ah a possible cheaper solution... Elise Parts - Steering & Suspension - Steering - Steering Universal Joints

Except it's UK so shipping may be an issue.... Last time I ordered a 20 dollar part from elise-shop that fit in a small envelope and weighed a few grams, they wanted 50 bucks for shipping it.

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http://www.the111shift.com/p/the-build.html

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Last edited by fsparv; 09-14-2011 at 04:32 PM. Reason: vendor confusion... oops :)
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post #143 of 282 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fsparv View Post
I've had a slight clunk/play for a little while, and yesterday my mechanic identified it. Today I found this thread and took a video of it:

Looseness in lotus elise lower U joint - YouTube

As the video clearly shows, the U joint is wearing, and the rod nearer the driver is moving more than the far end. At the steering wheel this creates about an eight to a quarter of an inch of play (measured on the wheel outer circumferance). The play is best observed if you move the wheel with just your pinky finger lightly applied (in otherwords no real force needed). This probably also makes it more difficult for me to make smooth adjustments while auto-crossing, as each transition from clockwise to counter-clockwise input is allowed to accelerate unhindered


It seems that this is only sold as an assembly at lotusgarage

Lotus Garage - Rack & Pinion, & Lower Column

And it's not particularly cheap.

Any ideas of how to fix this, or comparisons with your vehicles are welcome

eliseparts.com sells the intermediate shaft joints in 3 diferent packages. AND it's way cheaper than lotusgarage.com.

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post #144 of 282 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 05:46 PM
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My mechanic mentioned that he believed that this part maybe was changed in 2006+, but he didn't sound 100% sure. I'm curious if anyone with a car that is later than 2005 has had any issue with this joint getting worn (not a loose nut on the attach point which isn't the same as my problem).

Also, do you autocross? I would have to guess that autocross on Hoosier A6's is about the maximum wear on this part possible...
There is definately 2 different joints/shaft setups, but I don't know whitch setup belongs to witch model years. My car is a 07 Elise and it has a separate joint and a joint welded to the shaft (2 pieces). Some cars have the 3 pieces setup, the 2 joints being separate from the shaft.

My car had both joints loose at 11500 kms of street use. I just replaced the whole assembly 2 months ago. Unfortunately, the whole steering column has to come off. Maybe you can get away without removing the steering column if you unscrew the steering rack, pushing it forward in order to get some play so you can get the intermediate shaft out at either end, but i doubt it.

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Last edited by impulsiv; 09-14-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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post #145 of 282 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fsparv View Post
Ah a possible cheaper solution... Elise Parts - Steering & Suspension - Steering - Steering Universal Joints

Except it's UK so shipping may be an issue.... Last time I ordered a 20 dollar part from elise-shop that fit in a small envelope and weighed a few grams, they wanted 50 bucks for shipping it.
Nice find. Even at $50 it still is a good deal cheaper than buying the entire assembly from the dealer. The picture you posted is of the upper joint, I believe mine is in the lower joint just like yours!

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post #146 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 03:27 PM
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Update: swapped out base suspension shocks with LSS shocks that I picked up from a fellow LT-er, put in upgraded bolts on the upper shock mounting bracket and de-shimmed the front. As far as I can tell the clunking sound is gone. Not sure if it was the shocks or loose upper brackets. No longer have to crank up the radio to keep my sanity.

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post #147 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 05:28 PM
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Furthering the U-joint problem, my steering wheel developed a very slight amount of play. You could feel slight clunking through the steering over bumps.

This time it was the upper u-joint. After some swearing and contortion of my body, I was able to tighten the bolt/nut. Problem solved.
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post #148 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 07:27 PM
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Update: swapped out base suspension shocks with LSS shocks that I picked up from a fellow LT-er, put in upgraded bolts on the upper shock mounting bracket and de-shimmed the front. As far as I can tell the clunking sound is gone. Not sure if it was the shocks or loose upper brackets. No longer have to crank up the radio to keep my sanity.
I found the holes for the damper mounting bolt in the upper bracket on one side were elongated. The local Lotus parts guy said he'd never sold a new one - that really surprised me.

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post #149 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 08:35 PM
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Re, the vid. Wow, that is a lot of clunking. Not what I expected...

Anyone try moving the steering wheel (while unlocked) when the car is parked? Every few quarter turns of the wheel a snap or similar sound can be heard. Almost like a gear is slipping a tooth and settles in the next slot.

Initially I thought the wheel had play when driving, but it's tight.

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Originally Posted by spdracer35 View Post
Thanks for the info in this thread. I have only had my car a few months, and thought the clunking was a little abnormal. I wasn't sure if it was just me being paranoid that there was a problem. Today I checked the bolts. Sure enough, the two bottom bolts were a little loose, the passenger side upper bolt was fairly loose, and the driver's side upper bolt was really loose. I couldn't believe it. The steering feedback feels a lot better now.

As stated before, every owner should perform this check.
these are the shock mounts?

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #150 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 09:38 PM
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Re, the vid. Wow, that is a lot of clunking. Not what I expected...

Anyone try moving the steering wheel (while unlocked) when the car is parked? Every few quarter turns of the wheel a snap or similar sound can be heard. Almost like a gear is slipping a tooth and settles in the next slot.

Initially I thought the wheel had play when driving, but it's tight.
I just did this today while tightening my U-joint and that's definitely not normal. Standing outside the car, moving the wheel even the slightest little bit will cause the tire to move, so that should be your test for play. I also held the u-joint while rocking the wheel and could feel some rattle.

Definitely worth checking your shock mounts. And paint marker the bolts so you can check them with a visual inspection.
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post #151 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 07:08 PM
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what/where's the U-joint?

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #152 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 09:28 PM
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what/where's the U-joint?
Read a few pages back.

Lower u-joint
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/1621730-post115.html

Video of lower u-joint
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/1641790-post138.html

As you can see from the attached diagram, there are two u-joints:
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post #153 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 06:43 PM
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I looked under there and saw one by the pedals and the 2 more at the top...now I see in the drawing.

I moved the steering wheel until I heard the click. Gear wasn't slipping, couldn't tell at the very top though. Irrelevant really, because the clicking I heard was coming from behind the wheel, somewhere in the steering column under the gauges. It's possible this is where I'm hearing that loose rattling sometimes. So looks like suspension is fine, steering rack is fine and the u-joints are fine. I need to see the next drawing from the upper u-joint to the steering wheel.

Pretty weird. I'm still going to have all the suspension stuff tightened down, and AFA play, I'll have to raise the car up or something (or just drive around) to check that since lots of friction keeping the tires moving at 1/4" turns.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #154 of 282 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 06:49 PM
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What is this spring loaded gear shaft right behind the steering wheel? Maybe it's this part?
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** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

'07 Lotus Exige S310


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post #155 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 05:08 PM
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clunk/creak in front steering

I had this occur this evening on the way home. drove over a chunk of tire at about 30 mph and the creaking sound started right away. I jacked the car, removed the inner fender guards and removed the shock. Confirmed that the suspension traveled freely without noise. Then I checked the shock mount bolts. Both bolts took about 1.5 turns. Reassembled shock and fender guard. Went for a quick test drive and the creaks were gone. Car is actually quieter than ever. I'll do the other side this weekend. Took about an hour, the other side should take half that time.
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post #156 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 08:38 PM
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the sound i described is coming from within the steering column. It's prbably slipping a tooth on the gear or something.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #157 of 282 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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I had this occur this evening on the way home. drove over a chunk of tire at about 30 mph and the creaking sound started right away. I jacked the car, removed the inner fender guards and removed the shock. Confirmed that the suspension traveled freely without noise. Then I checked the shock mount bolts. Both bolts took about 1.5 turns. Reassembled shock and fender guard. Went for a quick test drive and the creaks were gone. Car is actually quieter than ever. I'll do the other side this weekend. Took about an hour, the other side should take half that time.
I highly recommend you replace the bolts. They are NOT designed for the sideways force the bracket put on them when they were loose. The bracket is supposed to stay in place by the friction of the bracket to the frame (when the bolts are tight) so that the bolts only experience a longitudinal force. See an earlier post about replacing with upgraded bolts at a higher torque.
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post #158 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 02:25 PM
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Great thread. I have a clunk coming from the front left wheel, can't wait to check those upper suspension rack bolts. Hope this is my problem. I know the bolt at the bottom was loosed so i guess those are too...

Also have the same problem as shay2nak, it is coming from right behind the steering wheel. By listening to the sound on my video, my Lotus Dealer told me it was the steering rack!?

What do you think?

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post #159 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 02:34 PM
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Also have the same problem as shay2nak, it is coming from right behind the steering wheel. By listening to the sound on my video, my Lotus Dealer told me it was the steering rack!?

What do you think?
I think that's the steering rack. When I had mine replaced, it was nowhere near as loud as the sound yours makes in that video. However, the tone and the way it was induced was nearly identical. There's some other noises coming from the video that are hard to decipher, but I definitely heard similar noises when moving my wheel back and forth. It was fairly erratic, and the same motion wouldn't always produce the "clunk", and it felt in the wheel like there was some amount of binding or energy being released when the noise would occur.

If you go with a new rack, I highly recommend the QR rack sold by Sector 111 and perhaps others. I have been very happy with it - the tighter ratio is noticable and appreciated.

Good luck with the sorting.

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post #160 of 282 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 02:43 PM
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I highly recommend you replace the bolts. They are NOT designed for the sideways force the bracket put on them when they were loose. The bracket is supposed to stay in place by the friction of the bracket to the frame (when the bolts are tight) so that the bolts only experience a longitudinal force. See an earlier post about replacing with upgraded bolts at a higher torque.
More or less good advice for any suspension bolt that has been driven while loose enough to tighten by more than a small fraction of a turn.

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http://www.the111shift.com/p/the-build.html

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