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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching for an answer to this since I have had the car and the more I read the more confused I am getting....

I am getting a knocking noise from the front of my car when the car has warmed up. For the first few miles of a journey there is no knocking at all.

Once the knocking starts it is considerably audiable and when concentrating you can feel it through the car and steering wheel.

If the car is left for an hour or so the knocking noise goes away. I have taken it to a garage and they couldnt find anything. They checked the rear struts and toe joints but nothing was found.

When the steering rack fails, what are the first signs of failure? I just hope I can find out the cause without getting all the rod ends toes etc changed..... and I do hope it isnt the steering rack!

I hope someone can help :wallbang:

Chris
 

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My steering rack is starting to make noise as well... but it's very intermittent; sometimes it seems really bad, other times you can't hear it at all.

I think that's just the nature of the rack and pinion. It is made up of two gears that are supposed to mesh with very little play; if one or both of the gears are worn more at a certain place than another, then the knocking could be very localized to certain steering positions... so subtle that you might not even realize it. It's also more likely to knock when there are no side loads to force the gears into consistent contact, i.e. when the steering wheel is straight and the road is just slightly bumpy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will pay more attention to steering angles, though I am sure it makes this noise when going in striaght lines as well as cornering.....

Something is telling me it isnt the steering due to the timing of it - only when hot / been driven long distances
 

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I will pay more attention to steering angles, though I am sure it makes this noise when going in striaght lines as well as cornering.....

Something is telling me it isnt the steering due to the timing of it - only when hot / been driven long distances
There really isn't anything in the steering system that "heats up" with use. I can't imagine the viscosity of the grease in the rack or ball joints changes much during a long drive. :shrug:

Is there any chance that the noise you're hearing is your brake pads rattling? For example, does the noise go away if you lightly step on the brake?
 

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I have similar noise when heat up, mine is on the left front:

1. Tried so many diagnostic, can't find it.
2. Tried to tighten all the bolts and nuts can't find anything loose.
3. The steeling doesn't loose nor have play, but from time to time I feel small click.
4. My left front brake pad always have big click noise once a while, so I put those copper stuff on the pad back and it only helps a bit with the big click noise.

So what it will be? Damper? Ball Joint? Bushing? Spacer for the dampers? .....

May be something loose in the front clam -eek-
 

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If you haven't read the following thread, you should do so. I recommend you check the bolts that are recommended (some of which you have to remove the spring/shock unit to access).
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f91/little-clunks-steering-not-steering-rack-thread-78381/
I even found that my shocks were giving some of the clunks (described later in that thread).

The purpose of that thread is to describe problems and fixes to suspension clunks/clicks/etc., before jumping to the conclusion that it is the steering rack. (Of course, it may end up being the steering rack, but you should check the other stuff first.)
I did get rid of most of my clunking problems, but I still have some residual clunking on hot days. I will next be looking at A-arm bushings, ball joints (again, but they seemed fine last time I checked), and steering wheel-to-rack linkage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ive got my car being looked at today, I cant understand how it only appears after long drives which would suggest it 'heating up'.

A very interesting post on the knocking noise. Though with this would you not hear it right from when you start the car up? Could the oil in the dampener change viscosity which then stats the rattling?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had my car back from the garage, they tightened the boths on the suspension bracket though this didnt seem to solve the problem. my next route will be to check out the brakes, I will get a set of those rubber pads to dampen the noise. Hopefully this will work..... I just cannot come to terms that is is only when warm? The only part of the car to get warm is the brakes? watch this space > > >
 

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I had my car back from the garage, they tightened the boths on the suspension bracket though this didnt seem to solve the problem. my next route will be to check out the brakes, I will get a set of those rubber pads to dampen the noise. Hopefully this will work..... I just cannot come to terms that is is only when warm? The only part of the car to get warm is the brakes? watch this space > > >

According to dealer and they also show me the design defect from Lotus that will also cause some front end noise it is able the same area across the front end as the suspension:

- Take off the front clam;
- Take away all the plastic that cover between the raditor and the wind shield, you will see the A/C exchange unit, heat blower..... which are only bolt on with one slim AL strip, no damping material.... and you can shake it move it, whatever you like.-eek-
- Dealer mentioned, they saw some car didn't ever bolt on, you flip the car and it will drop off..:panic::panic:

It is a joke. Those GB weekend car builder :mad:
 

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I had my car back from the garage, they tightened the boths on the suspension bracket though this didnt seem to solve the problem. my next route will be to check out the brakes, I will get a set of those rubber pads to dampen the noise. Hopefully this will work..... I just cannot come to terms that is is only when warm? The only part of the car to get warm is the brakes? watch this space > > >
Did you ever find a resolution to your problem?
 

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I had an S1 and now a 111R. On a hot day after a long trip the suspension makes a really loud knocking sound from the front. Both cars did the same thing and pretty sure it is normal. I am talking about the same thing? It is quite loud.
 

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I've read all 14 pages of this thread, and a few others. In my 05 Elise (2ZZ, 20K miles, Sports Suspension and wheels) I have the dreaded and mystical clunk (clack?) in the left (driver's) front, that doesn't appear until I've driven for a while. I live on Maui, so, I can't say it's outdoor-temperature-related, but it definitely doesn't happen until I've been on the road for 30-40 minutes. After a couple hours of sport-driving mountain/curvy roads, it is very noticeable at speeds from 0 to 25 MPH. I don't know if that's because I can't hear it at higher speeds. I can feel it (just slightly) in the steering wheel with each clunk, less so as speed increases. Once it starts happening, then at slow speeds it happens when I'm initiating a turn, or when there's any suspension movement, even if going straight. At rest, there is no clunking when turning the steering wheel lock-to-lock, and the steering is tight, whether stopped or moving. There is no visible or detectable play in the steering.

So far, I have replaced ball joints, outer tie/track rod ends, and installed Inokinetic steering arms. I've properly torqued all front suspension bolts, including the upper shock mount brackets.

I've torqued both steering u-joints and the four rack bolts (with thread locker). The inner tie rod ends are tight and move smoothly in all directions. Based on other research (
), to check the inner tie rod ends, I've released the outer tie rod ends, and put my hand into the bottom of the steering rack box channel underneath the inner rod end and pressed upward while moving and pressing down on outer end of the rod. I've pried on and pushed around the sway bar end links and they move smoothly. I haven't found anything that's even slightly clunky.

Yesterday, I swapped the shocks left to right to see if the clunk followed, and took a 40 minute drive. The clunk remained on the left side, but had definitely improved. Then I read that we should pre-load the shocks before torquing, so, I did, and re-torqued them. I went for my usual 2-hour drive today, and clearly, the clunk takes longer to show up, and is not nearly as bad as it was.

So, apparently, whatever is causing the clunk is still there, still needs to be run-in a while before it shows up, and was improved by properly mounting and torquing the shocks. I'd still like to know what's causing it, but I'm going to live with this for a while, and see if it worsens over time. It it does, maybe it will be easier to detect. If I need to, I'll go for a long drive before getting up on my mechanic's rack, so he can take a look while its happening.

Sounds like I might be down to: control arm bushings; inner tie rod ends (available at Seriously Lotus and as a kit); sway bar end links. I know that the car only has 20K miles, but it also has spent 14 years in Hawaii...so any rubber parts may have deteriorated.-rod

If it is an inner tie end, does anyone know if they typically fail catastrophically, or will more likely just deteriorate gradually with increasing clunking?

Thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences and knowledge.
If anyone has any thoughts, I'd really appreciate it.
 
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