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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of replace all my Lotus Elise control arm bushings, which one are the best?

Rigth now I am between this options
-Inokinetic Uniball
-Inokinetic Monoball
-Nitron Wishbone Inner Bearing Kit

any advice or new option would be great.

Car is 100% track focus
 

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Here are my thoughts... take 'em with a grain of salt.

What's wrong with the stock ones? They're relatively stiff, there are no moving interfaces to wear out, they're robust against dirt/debris/moisture, they do a better job isolating high frequency vibration and they generally last quite long. Their torsional stiffness rolls up as part of the total wheel rate. They probably have a bit of hysteretic damping.
 

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The UNIballs are recommended for the track only cars (like yours) as the bearing is the largest. MONOballs are a great alternative and raced in Lotus Cup by us and many other competitors. The bearings are US made so long term availability won't be an issue.
 

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You want to swap to the Eliseparts T45 arms and their larger NTM bearings. The stock wishbones are floppy noodles. I have 2 years on mine beating them mercilessly and they're still tight. Beyond that I like the EP tuning bearings
 

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kfennell: for track only, right? I imagine we wouldn't need that for a mostly-street car that sees some autox/track time?
Yes track only for the full setup, but consider changing at least the lower rear to T45. The bearings setups aren't that great on the street as the dirt can cause them to wear faster, but I would say the T45 bearings I have are pretty dirty but no wear.

As far as ride quality its a wash. They are harsher for sure. For me it was OK I cant say whats OK for you. Id rather have a car with penskes/nitrons and bearings then new Track Pack shocks and new OEM bushings as my daily driver.
 

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I guess this is the first I hear of the stock A-arms being insufficient so I am kind of surprised. I'll do some reading. But without hijacking the thread too much, my own imminent suspension refresh will include the inokinetic monoballs.
 

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kfennell: for track only, right? I imagine we wouldn't need that for a mostly-street car that sees some autox/track time?
OP car is "100% Track Focused" Yeah no need for a street track car though.
 

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Yes track only for the full setup, but consider changing at least the lower rear to T45. The bearings setups aren't that great on the street as the dirt can cause them to wear faster, but I would say the T45 bearings I have are pretty dirty but no wear.

As far as ride quality its a wash. They are harsher for sure. For me it was OK I cant say whats OK for you. Id rather have a car with penskes/nitrons and bearings then new Track Pack shocks and new OEM bushings as my daily driver.
I also recommend the T-45 rear lower arm my bearings haven’t worn at all.It’s a little harsh as I have the complete suspension but I still like driving on the street. The t45 lower arm eliminates the stupid toe links.
I agree with jdawson about the stock bushings for street cars. The reason they fail is the chamfer on the control arm is too big and it allows the arm to move sideways and beat up the bushing.Maybe a washer could be put in the big chamfer to prevent movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The UNIballs are recommended for the track only cars (like yours) as the bearing is the largest. MONOballs are a great alternative and raced in Lotus Cup by us and many other competitors. The bearings are US made so long term availability won't be an issue.
:
The UNIballs are recommended for the track only cars (like yours) as the bearing is the largest. MONOballs are a great alternative and raced in Lotus Cup by us and many other competitors. The bearings are US made so long term availability won't be an issue.
PM sent
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You want to swap to the Eliseparts T45 arms and their larger NTM bearings. The stock wishbones are floppy noodles. I have 2 years on mine beating them mercilessly and they're still tight. Beyond that I like the EP tuning bearings
Do you got the full 8 ? or just the rears or fronts
 

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My 2c.
All but one of the bearing kits that I have seen come with no name bearings in them. The hats or adapters are all basically the same. The cost of the kit is in the bearings. High quality bearings, like from SKF are better then the cheeper alternative. In a nutshell, the teflon lining that is applied to the cheeper units is basically spray painted on. The skf units have a fabric media that hold the lubricant. This is also realized in the load capacity (thrust and axil) of them
Like all things, you get what you pay for.

FWIW...
Wishbone bearing kit — HPE

SKF

Suspension overhaul
 

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There are others with MUCH more experience with these cars than myself and I have been lucky enough to be able to hear their thoughts on this.

What I have been told.: The spherical bearings WILL also fail on track over time. It is not just dirt on the street that causes failure. The abuse on the track will cause them to fail over time. How long....depends on the tracks you are running.

I was advised to go with bushings from Blackwatch. The irony is I bought them assuming my car was stock at the time. When I got my arms off and pressed out my first one, I realized my car already had these type nylon bushings with steel inserts. At that point, I swapped the rears anyway because I was already apart. BUT, there was ZERO play in the bushings on the car. So I left the fronts alone.

Freds kit is made a little differently than the one that was on the car. I like Freds better the way the washers seat. But I can assume there are some miles on the ones on the car and the guy that had it before me tracked it. I am guessing they have 15-20k miles on them and NO wear or play.

So take that as that. I know some preach the spherical, but some that truly run these cars say they have longevity issues on the track. I therefore went with the kit that Fred sold.
 

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I used the self lube bushing from BWR and they are so much better that the three different sets in my car and half of those were shot.
 

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I'll admit I know little about my Esprit and admit I know almost nothing about your model......but I like solid bushings. It's what I did with the MGs years ago. I'll let the other portions of the suspension absorb the energy (like they're designed to do), thank you. Plastic, of whatever material, will eventually be a problem long before any solid bushing would fail and be less maintenance. For most street speeds (unless one really likes potholes) and street surface textures, the difference of force absorbed by a non-solid bushing is really not that protective of any other structure IMHO. As to a bushing's minor deformity (especially the front) at speed / in a corner, the steering feel will be better with solid.
Ok, now y'all tell me I'm wrong and for well explained reason please so I can learn maybe more.
 

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Do you got the full 8 ? or just the rears or fronts
How fast do you want to go? But the main one is the lower rear. I forget if you HAVE to buy the upright or not to use them I think you do, so then it becomes a $10k+ operation. Its a HUGE difference in the drive though on track. No more wobbly sets or direction changes, Everything is so crisp.
 

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Gas Bicycle part Paint Auto part Cylinder
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Define "best"? because best doesnt mean anything.
Are you responding to what Krule said.He very accurately explained the bearing situation. I never use no name or Chinese bearings.Many aftermarket parts come with cheap bearings.Elise parts T-45 arms come with quality bearings which is why they are so expensive. I have not seen quality rod ends on aftermarket parts yet. I pay $57 each as opposed to $20. The ones Indy cars use are over $100.
As far as dirt and contamination is concerned on control arm bushings I use a simple Teflon seal that keeps everything clean.This is overkill for most people.It was easy for me to do and I need things to last as I don’t have time to tear down my suspension.
 
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