Those Rear Toe-Link Nuts Are Scary - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Those Rear Toe-Link Nuts Are Scary

Bought my 06 Elise a month ago and Iíve learned a lot from this board. Just want to say thanks to everyone who stresses the seriousness of the rear toe links and the frequency which the nuts get loose.

I have 22k miles and probably just performed the first transmission fluid change, used MT-90. Everything went fine and I checked the rear toe links since I was there. The driverís side wasnít too bad, about a half turn loose from 39 ft-lbs. But the passenger side was scary. It had 5-10 ft-lbs on it and took 2.5 turns to get it right. Would have been a mess if it let go. If you are new to Lotus, change the oil and check your toe links.

Also installed the Sector 111 shifter brace and Stanís mod. Shifting is must nicer.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 04:49 PM
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You should probably replace the one that was very loose. With the torque that low, it was probably sliding and putting sheer stress on the bolt (stud), which it isn't designed to take. The bolt may be damaged, and could break at a later time.

You used the old torque setting. Lotus changed it to 44.25 ft.lbs. (60 Nm). You need to tighten them to this new setting.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 05:04 PM
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toe link torque

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
You should probably replace the one that was very loose. With the torque that low, it was probably sliding and putting sheer stress on the bolt (stud), which it isn't designed to take. The bolt may be damaged, and could break at a later time.

You used the old torque setting. Lotus changed it to 44.25 ft.lbs. (60 Nm). You need to tighten them to this new setting.
Thanks for the update on the increased torque requirement. Mine were close the first time I checked them - not much more than half a turn to get 39 ft. lbs. They have remained tight each time I have checked on each oil change.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 05:16 PM
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My experience with the toe link bolts/nuts (on two cars) is that the nuts will back off over time... until I put Nord-Lock washers between the nut and the subframe. I've done this on my Exige (with the Sector111 RTDBrace) and my 2-Eleven (with the factory track brace). In both cases, I've had no problem with the link bolts/nuts backing off after installing the Nord-Locks. I still check them before every track event though...
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 09:14 PM
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The problem with the nuts losing torque was tracked down to poor galvanizing, not the nuts backing off. There is a thread on it somewhere at this site. The galvanizing was uneven and was crushing slowly over time, thus letting off tension on the bolt. Hence, Lotus also changed the checking of the torque to every service interval instead of just the first one, in addition to increasing the torque value.

I also put on Nord-Lock washers pretty early, but the bolts would still lose some tension for about the next 3 service intervals after I put them on.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 06:14 AM
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Would anyone have a picture to show those who are not mechanically inclined?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
You should probably replace the one that was very loose. With the torque that low, it was probably sliding and putting sheer stress on the bolt (stud), which it isn't designed to take. The bolt may be damaged, and could break at a later time.

You used the old torque setting. Lotus changed it to 44.25 ft.lbs. (60 Nm). You need to tighten them to this new setting.
Thanks, do you know the part number for the bolt? And will I need an allignment after changing it or is the movement limited? I took a good close look at the nut and did not see any evidence of it sliding. The color and dirt around it was consistant. But it looks easy enough to replace. I'll increase the torque next time I am under there.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
You should probably replace the one that was very loose. With the torque that low, it was probably sliding and putting sheer stress on the bolt (stud), which it isn't designed to take. The bolt may be damaged, and could break at a later time.

You used the old torque setting. Lotus changed it to 44.25 ft.lbs. (60 Nm). You need to tighten them to this new setting.
This is correct - it the toe-link ball joint / A-arm bolt was loose, then it is probably "stretched" and needs to be replaced before it fails.

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The problem with the nuts losing torque was tracked down to poor galvanizing, not the nuts backing off. There is a thread on it somewhere at this site. The galvanizing was uneven and was crushing slowly over time, thus letting off tension on the bolt.
Here's the link: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f91/...ck-pack-26652/




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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks, do you know the part number for the bolt? And will I need an allignment after changing it or is the movement limited? I took a good close look at the nut and did not see any evidence of it sliding. The color and dirt around it was consistant. But it looks easy enough to replace. I'll increase the torque next time I am under there.
Go to lotusgarage.com, and you can find the part number, and even order it. Or, you could splurge and upgrade your whole toe-link setup with kits from various vendors (Sector 111, Blackwatch Racing, some Australian company, others). If you use it with the standard tires (not racing tires), then you probably shouldn't upgrade the toelink. Better for it to break if you hit a curb than to bend the frame. On the track, it is a different story.

I don't think you have to redo the alignment if you make absolutely sure the link length doesn't change. However, if you have not had an alignment yet, I would recommend one. The factory alignments have been poor. My factory alignment from the factory was pretty far off in toe, and caused excessive tire wear.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 12:20 PM
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What size Nord lock washers are you guys using?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 06:51 PM
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when in doubt, change em out. These parts are flight critical. Yeah they could have just backed off or worked loose, but they could be stretched out and in the process of failing, you just can't tell without doing a lot of expensive analysis. You can replace the suspect parts with any number of factory or aftermarket replacements for less than your what your deductible would be if they were to fail while cruising the back roads (or worse, while being thrashed on track). Personally, I'd rather err on the safe side.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 06:57 PM
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Yea, just had it replaced on the driver rear. That sh!t was scary when it happened on the pway. Very scary.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
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What size Nord lock washers are you guys using?
You might want to PM Shinoo (owner of Sector111)... he was packaging them with the RTDBrace and giving them out as promotions some time ago.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 07:25 PM
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Also might check with Turbophil from BOE Fabrication. He has a set of toe links, though I don't think on his website. Put some on my car last year and still as tight when I checked em last weekend.

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