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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I figure I would start a post/blog about my suspension overhaul. It’s probably old info for some people but maybe not for others, I figure it couldn’t hurt :)
I’m trying to get all this done before the end of the month, we will see if that happens.

History:
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07exige S with about 35k miles.
It’s seen the track a few time but it is mostly a weekend car for the canyons.
I purchased some new suspension from Blackwatch Racing and I figure I should take the opportunity to thoughly inspect the rest of the suspension components.
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so I notice the OEM bushing are migrating badly, so I said to myself I’ll just order everything, assuming other components are in the same state.

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So, here is what I purchased:
  • Penske NA
  • spitfire toe link kit (from GRP)
  • Elise shop a arm bearings
  • Elise shop adjustable ball joints
  • Elise shop sterling rod ends
  • s111 drop links
  • all new hardware for suspension, uprights, bearing pack, and calipers.
  • I have the old s111 bbk and relocated front calipers to the rear, so a bit of time on McMaster and I got those bolts as well.
I also have the syspack to install. (I purchased proper grade hardware for it)

Since I have everything apart I figure I should clean and paint the rusty bits, so I got the por15 system in black. There are better options for refinishing but my budget was stretched with the penskes and I will need new tires soon, so paint will do :)
I decided on these parts after spending a lot of time shopping. The penskes are a no brainer in terms of quality, I wanted to give them equal(ish) quality components to hopefully work best. I’m actually excited about the spitfire toe link, it’s the only kit that has a warrantee on the bearings, and it has well documented engineering and hardware. The ball joints can adjusted for tension after installation, allowing for less resistance in the suspension travel. I had the same thought on the wishbone bearings, they do offer a more rigid solution, but they also will not have resistance through the suspension travel. None of the bearings kits sold have a documented bearing manufacturer, so they are most likely a generic parts bin kind of thing. Assuming that the bearings will need to be replaced at some point, and the quality is going to be similar between the kits, I got the cheaper ones form lotus shop (exchange rate is good)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Disassembly:
For reference, I have take both clams off, done the oil pan (twice), oil cooler relocation, cam filters/seloniods, front to rear brake relocation.
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Tear down was relatively straight forward. I did struggle with getting the ball joints out of the uprights.
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I was using the ballon joint tool incorrectly you can’t just crank down on the bolt, rather tighten it down then smack the upright with a hammer, the shock wave will pop the upright out. This was easy for the lower joints as they connect directly to the upright. The top ones have the steering arms or the camber plates, which absorb some of the shockwave. So you have to hit it harder :/ I tried this with the assembly in a vice, it wasn’t easier.
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Interestingly, the toe links and steering joints didn’t even require the tool, I just unbolted them and they came straight out...
I forget to loosen the axle bolt when the car was on the ground, and I already took the calipers off. So I improvised.
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I picked up an open boxed electric impact wrench at harbor freight for $45, made short work of the nut.
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all of the stuff is off, I feel accomplished :)
 

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I am for certain following this thread. I see all this in my future. I hope you document it as well as your willing. Enjoy the tinkering.Thanks man!
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Fi


Thanks San :) I fixed it
Cool. I am looking forward to your updates to this thread. I have the BWR Penske DAs, and I'm afraid to look at the state of my other suspension parts, as I may have to upgrade them as you're doing.

San
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some noteworthy things I noticed when looking at everything closer.
My lower front drives side rear (does that make sense?) bushing and bolt were corroded.
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None of the other ones were so I’m note sure if it was a failure of the coating or if there was water intrusion?
The car haven’t left SoCal, and I have only been caught on the rain once, so I’m assuming it’s from car washing, if it is water. It’s not too bad but it’s interesting that is was only one that was this way. FWIW, it was much harder to remove...
Overall it looks like a California car, not much corrosion, only a few minor parts on the a-arms
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another interesting note on the a-arm bushings. It appears that with the migration of the bushing, it’s defiantly contacting the frame, but only in the rear.
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vs the front portion.
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it also appears that it is the whole bushing that is rubbing on the frame, not just the outer portion of the a-arm. I check the suspension torque about once a year, and I have never had a loose bolt...
Others owners have mentioned that the bushings on the a-arms are installed from the same direction vs from opposing directions. That was the case for me. My 07 is an early build (pre bumpers) so I wonder if any later years have this issue...

My car is getting very dirty through all this
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Discussion Starter #8
Old Ball joints:
Two of mine had some cracks in the boot, the rest appeared fine. Once I got them apart, some of them were a bit on the stiff side.
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I would say that none of them were failed, and honestly are most likely totally fine. But, seeing how I got new ball joints, which happen to also be adjustable, I should end up with a smoother operating setup.
I started the cleaning process on the uprights. Angel grinder, wire brush, and some scotch bright took care of em. They were in good shape, just some surface rust.
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a note on wire brush attachments. Don’t get cheep ones, I got some from harbor freight and it was a bit on the dangerous side. The crimp on them is poor, the speed rating is correct but they just don’t hold up, rather it ends up shooting the wires like darts. Notice my shirt...
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But the end I got thing’s shiny.
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Holy smokes those uprights look pretty! I have done this a few times and been too lazy to clean them up so nicely! Good stuff! Are you gonna coat with something to prevent rust? You mentioned painting earlier, did you mean just the wishbones or the uprights too?
 

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I, too, recently had my suspension overhauled after finding play in the stock inner toe link. Turns out stock wishbone bushings were all knackered, so got them all replaced with Nitron bearings.
Car was at 44,000 miles with LOTS of track miles.

Car feels all nice and tight now. Drive like new! Almost feel like it should've come with bearings from factory, though I do feel more highspeed oscillation or... boinginess for lack of better words. That should be taken care of easily just by turning up the damping to account for the lack of friction in the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@thebuzzard yes I’m m planning on painting the uprights and a arms.
I spent some more time cleaning, this time the bearings.
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interesting note: there was enough corrosion on the anointing surface to most likely cause runout.
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So a bit of time with a paint scraper and more wire wheel time...
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It’s better now but not perfect. I have had stering wheel shimmy at speed. If I take the wheel off and remount it goes away. I’m wondering if this has an influence on that?
The rust was also present on the back of the rotors.
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for the record, I have the s111 cup disks which are hard anodized, so cleaning was easy.
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my rear rotors at the giro disk units (front ones for the brake relocation). The anodizing on those is not as strong, so I ended up scraping off some of the protection :( so those will have to be watched carefully for corrosion.
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So this time I’m using anti seize...
Another interesting note, it’s a bit hard to see in the pics but the rear giro disk iron surface is aging very well, the back side has no corrosion. The front cup disks, which I’m on a second set (replaces at the same time I installed the rears), Have rust on the back side. These are manufactured by giro disk as well, so I wonder if it was a bad batch of zinc coating? The corrosion is not structural in any manor, just cosmetic. FWIW, I have been very happy with them, both of them.

car is getting dirtier....
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Can you weigh all the suspension parts individually and post it here?

Thanks.
 

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If you have the time, sending the uprights off to get coated in Yellow or Clear Zinc would look great and hold up better than paint. The Yellow zinc is what we use on the brackets for the Penskes. FWIW.
 

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Great thread- I'll be watching this, too! ( I hope I'll be able to put another 10k miles or so on before need to do this...)
 

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Had the pleasure of meeting the OP at one of our local SoCal car meets (when it was Lotus marque day) literally right before all of this COVID madness began (mine’s the racing green Elise just a few back from his).

Have fun with that suspension build, man; looking forward to seeing her all refreshed and cleaned up at the next meetup... hopefully sooner than we all think.

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I know you said your budget was "stretched" but man, you really should have used this as your chance to powdercoat everything gloss black. When I overhauled my suspension 6 years ago I did this, and it was completely worth it. On top of that, it's way more durable than paint. This is especially true for the OCD track junkies that clean and inspect their entire suspension after each weekend. The gloss coating makes cleaning a breeze and it looks incredible!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have been going back and forth about painting vs powder coating and nickel plating. I’m still not committed fully to painting, though I have all the equipment/stuff to paint... At this point I have cleaned and degreased the suspension.
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Interesting that the a arms have a date scribed in them.
Even after a wire brush and degrees there is still staining on the a arm, I wonder what from?
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Any keen observer will notice that the rear upper a arms are missing from these pics. Currently I have the brake line running through the a arm to my relocated caliper, which has to be disconnected to fully remove the arm. I had a hell of a time getting all the air out of the system when I Installed the caliper, so I’m hesitant to go through that again. I can do the bearings in situ, but painting or coating would be, dificult...

never a dull moment, stay home and play y’all
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I decided to paint...
assuming I do it well it should hold up fine. If it’s ends up failing In a few years, I do something different when I have to service the shocks...

Etching:
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I got set back by the rainy weather so I started to work on the rear toe link install.
To install the bracket properly, I had to remove the exhaust.
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test fitting the alignment.
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And then it was time for bed...
Things are going slowly, but I’m still having fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A bit more progress..,
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Spitfire bracket installed.
Drilled and coated the holes...
A cool thing about the bracket design is the fact it buts up to the subframe flange, reinforcing it.


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I started panting a few of the smaller parts to get a feel for it. Spent a long time masking everything to make sure I didn't pant on any mounting surface.

I started to weigh some stuff as well.
The scale is set to lbs,
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Note: my steering arms are shaved for more camber.
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No boot, not sure how much that changes the measurement.
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Track pack toe link

That us as far as I got for today :/
 
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