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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm looking at the various kits out there to upgrade the rear toe links on an '08 Elise SC (non-track package).

I'm looking at the 1/2 and full BOElink, the RTD2 and the DS Brace. I realize the DS Brance and 1/2 BOElink kits use the factory ball joints and the full BOElink and RTD2 give you SREs for the knuckles.

My car will *most likely* only be street driven....I may eventually track it, but for now, that's not the plan.

My question is: How long do the Spherical Rod Ends (SREs) last compared to the factory ball joints?

I've run quite a few SREs in my past on 4x4 vehicles...from steering linkage to suspension links themselves....though most were MUCH larger than 7/16" bore x 1/2" shank, like the BOE kit uses. For reference, I run chromoly body 78K lb RSL rated 1"x1.25" rod ends on my links for my buggy. They hold up well if you get good quality ones.

What I'm unsure about are the options for the Elise kits to replace the outboard end of the link from ball joint to SRE.

How many miles on average are you guys seeing before needing to change them out for ball joint and SRE?


I don't like the fact that the RTD2 kit doesn't have a safety washer with the SRE mounted in single shear....but that can be remedied pretty easily by buying a couple of safety washers. I'm also kicking around the idea of welding a small capture to the bottom of the forged knuckle out of 4130 or cold roll 3/8" or 1/2" plate to make the rod end sit in double shear.

What I'm really trying to determine is whether or not at $70 a pop, the factory ball joints last 3.5 times longer than the SREs since Summit has FK rod ends (FKB-RSMX7T) 7/16"x1/2" for $20 each at the over 23K lb. RSL rating.

The factory shank on the ball joint looks pretty small....anyone know what the metric shank size is? I'm guessing it's 12mm or so. Moving up to a 1/2"-20 would make the shank significantly stronger....though to really tell, you'd need some real numbers from destructive testing for the factory ball joint.

As always, thanks for any insight you can provide.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Let me rephrase:

Has anyone had to replace their factory ball joints at the knuckle for the toe link due to wear or breakage? How many miles were on the car?
 

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Seriously over thinking this, particularly for a street car. The DSBrace is plenty to prevent a problem. Building the toe links like a Mac truck will lead to a destroyed chassis if you ever slide into a curb or something.

I have the DSBrace with the OEM track brace which is probably overkill, but I'm 90% track right now. I believe I'm the only person running this setup, but I saw it as solving a perceived shortcoming in both solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Seriously over thinking this, particularly for a street car. The DSBrace is plenty to prevent a problem. Building the toe links like a Mac truck will lead to a destroyed chassis if you ever slide into a curb or something.

I have the DSBrace with the OEM track brace which is probably overkill, but I'm 90% track right now. I believe I'm the only person running this setup, but I saw it as solving a perceived shortcoming in both solutions.
I was told by another forum member these parts were failure prone and a fairly serious safety issue....I don't have the car yet (it should be here Friday), so I'm just going off what people are telling me.

Thanks for the heads up though....I tend to build everything overkill. Sounds like I might be better off just running the ball joints. It definitely would make life simpler.

Sean
 

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Yes, you should definitely do something about the toe links, even if it just means torquing them in the course of routine maintenance. Just about any solution is better than ignoring them, that's what I was trying to convey.
 
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