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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

Driving my car 800 miles home I think that I've discovered, among other issues, a bad rack. I read through all of the other threads, and checked other things tonight, like shock bracket bolts, ball joints, etc. and everything else looks ok.

The symptom is a lot of clunking over uneven pavement, and a loud bang that seems to come from the center of the car over bumps. The steering wheel has more play than I remember in my 5K miles elise (this exige has 54K).

I took this video with my son lightly moving the steering wheel back in forth. during the middle, after you see my lovely hand, I grabbed the rotor and was wiggling it back and forth - you can really hear the clunk and see the play in the rack. I am noting that it doesn't seem to be the fastening of the rack, I wedged something in there against it to "still" it and there was no change - it seems it's on solid but is failing, seemingly just inside the boot which is twisted to hell. I don’t think this is a TADTS situ, but a real failed rack. Any thoughts?

 

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I remember with my OEM Rack + with my current 1 week old Titan QR rack, I had/have a similar noise. I think that is the gear lash/allowance from the rack & pinion. Yours might be a little louder. Hard to tell but since I just got a brand new TitanQR & still have a similar sound doing the same exercise, I believe that might be a normal attribute.
 

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i think it's just the rack. The boot is twisted, so someone adjusted it without fixing the boot. possible it hit something and damaged the rack. got re-aligned and this is what you end up with. get the rack replaced and go from there. I don't think it'll be cheap, but I've never looked it up, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys

Yeah the boot was all twisted up. Over my gravel driveway it sounds really bad, but on smooth roads it feels very connected. My feeling is just that there is some play in there that when the wheels can move it does, and being that the whole car is one aluminum box it resounds. Anyone know the effort in hours to replace the rack? Is it a day, 2 hours, etc?
 

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Anyone know the effort in hours to replace the rack? Is it a day, 2 hours, etc?
I was told it is a 4 hr repair job from a Lotus dealership.

If you do it yourself be prepared for a full day or more of work. I haven't done it but I am told it isn't super easy. Right now I am debating if i am going to fix mine myself.
 

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If you are getting a lot of rattle up front on your gravel drive, it may be possible that the noise is in fact coming from your upper or low a-arm bushings. I had my rack replaced and still had the same noises and the majority of the noises ended up being the upper bushings being badly worn in my upper a-arms. I replaced them and it eliminated the rattles. However now I suspect its time to replace my lower bushings as a similar rattle is back and its over a year later. I only hear it when driving over stamped concrete.
 

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If you are getting a lot of rattle up front on your gravel drive, it may be possible that the noise is in fact coming from your upper or low a-arm bushings. I had my rack replaced and still had the same noises and the majority of the noises ended up being the upper bushings being badly worn in my upper a-arms. I replaced them and it eliminated the rattles. However now I suspect its time to replace my lower bushings as a similar rattle is back and its over a year later. I only hear it when driving over stamped concrete.
I too was thinking this. I actually have a long report on the "Not the Steering Rack Thread" which delves in further. Might be good reference for the OP to check this out in his research:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f91...ng-not-steering-rack-thread-78381/index9.html
 

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IIRC is $2k worth of parts.
 

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Not sure about OEM part cost + OEM rate; but if you dont mind going with an upgrade and IMO a better solution/quality build, you can get a TitanQR steering rack or competitor product from Eliseparts/Eliseshop for around $700-800.

You can pick up the bumpsteer kit from Lotus for like $8

Labor, in all honesty should only be around 2-3 hours tops; whatever that rate translates to at your local Lotus specialist.

The final cost would be alignment for front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well, it's done and fixed. Rack - $700 from Sector, about $500 in labor and $175 in alignment. Not too happy about a $1400 repair I was not expecting when I went to pick up a "no issues" car 9 hours away. I won't buy another without a PPI!
 

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I did it myself like 2 weeks ago. It took a friend and I about 4.5 hours from beginning to end. It actually wasn't too bad. The hardest part was getting the toe links to separate out of the steering arms. Took 15min of hard hammering before they were free! I should also note that when you are aligning the steering wheel take your time and do it right. It might add 10 more min, but it makes a huge difference having a straight steering wheel.

In the end it cost me $800 with an alignment... So not too terrible.

I should note that we did have a lift making the work easier!
 

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Did it fix the problem? I'm contemplating an upper wishbone bushing replacement to alleviate my similar noise, so I'd like to hear if a new rack did the trick.
 

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Sounded like a lot of crickets to me.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, I had posted that it fixed the problem :shrug: No crickets here ;)

My point in not doing it myself was the distance I would have to drive needing an alignment and the potential to screw something up very integral to my survival!

$500 is about 1/3 to 1/2 a day of my time at work after taxes. This would have been a full weekend project that would have kept me away from the family and unsure of the outcome. The guy that did it was walking like he had a degenerative disk and had several mean looking cuts on his hands.
 

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You can drive a car without an alignment! You just will have more tire wear until it is aligned. If you put it back together in such a way it is dangerous to drive to an alignment shop I suggest you don't change your oil! A little measuring is all that is needed.
 
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