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Drop link arms - prone to failure?


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I have a hollow rattle sound under my feet, normally I would associate with drop links.

Are the drop links on the Evora a weak point? The car has only 39000kms. I would have thought the links should last longer than this..?

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I should have carried out a google on this subject before posting. I see that the drop links are rated as rubbish by many.

I just took a front wheel off and sure enough, it does not take much shaking to feel they are shot. Not good for a car with 39k kms. I do not know why after all these years of Lotus getting top class chassis' onto the road, they do not concentrate on getting the little things right.

Concensus is that many are using 'Whiteline' drop links - does anyone have any comments?

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Thanks for the confirmation Gavin!

Do you know if anyone makes de luxe models (I shall replace front and back I think) that I can fit and forget? Some post on google suggest Whiteline, but they say they have never listed the Evora as such, although Lotus may use any one of a number of size links. Do you know whose links are used?

I see the ARB bushes also come in for criticism. I have ordered two sets of Powerflex purple. If these fail, then there is certainly something wrong!

What about the rest of the bushes/ball joints? Are there any surprises here that I have yet to see?

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I am in the middle of a suspension refresh on my 2010 35k miles Evora NA.  The car was serviced in July and they noted that the lower ball joint on NSF had some play in it which was again picked up on the MOT as an advisory last month. You cant replace just the ball joint so you have to source the full wishbone which comes compete with the bushes and ball joint. I sourced mine from ES Motorsport, brand new for £200 and not the £550 + vat that Lotus want!

I had previously bought very cheaply 4 x new shocks and springs from Lotus Motorsport when they were selling off surplus stock so I am replacing these at the same time. I have never had any problems with the ARB drop links and they show no signs of wear at all, but since I am doing a refresh thought I may as well replace these also at £20 each from Elise Parts. I have also gone for the purple Powerflex ARB bushes so I will end up with pretty much all new and shiney suspension for small outlay. The original shocks are still in great condition with no leaks but there was no point in leaving my brand new ones under the bench any longer!

I have been quite pleased with the condition of the suspension parts coming off the car with very little corrosion - much better than Elise suspension!

So to recap, the only thing that was worn was the NSF ball joint. I had not heard any probs with the ARB drop links before this thread but the ARB bushes do wear when the grease dries out and this will be my first time with Powerflex bushes and the 4th set for the car in the 9 years that I have owned it.

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On 04/12/2020 at 09:58, Whitey said:

I am in the middle of a suspension refresh on my 2010 35k miles Evora NA.  The car was serviced in July and they noted that the lower ball joint on NSF had some play in it which was again picked up on the MOT as an advisory last month. You cant replace just the ball joint so you have to source the full wishbone which comes compete with the bushes and ball joint. I sourced mine from ES Motorsport, brand new for £200 and not the £550 + vat that Lotus want!

I had previously bought very cheaply 4 x new shocks and springs from Lotus Motorsport when they were selling off surplus stock so I am replacing these at the same time. I have never had any problems with the ARB drop links and they show no signs of wear at all, but since I am doing a refresh thought I may as well replace these also at £20 each from Elise Parts. I have also gone for the purple Powerflex ARB bushes so I will end up with pretty much all new and shiney suspension for small outlay. The original shocks are still in great condition with no leaks but there was no point in leaving my brand new ones under the bench any longer!

I have been quite pleased with the condition of the suspension parts coming off the car with very little corrosion - much better than Elise suspension!

So to recap, the only thing that was worn was the NSF ball joint. I had not heard any probs with the ARB drop links before this thread but the ARB bushes do wear when the grease dries out and this will be my first time with Powerflex bushes and the 4th set for the car in the 9 years that I have owned it.

Any link at all to the wishbones? I can't see them on the ES website.......

Thank you!

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On 07/12/2020 at 23:30, Whitey said:

Best to just ring them. They did advertise them via eBay and had a few.

Thanks for that. I managed to find them on ebay and although the pictures look good, they're all listed as used which is a bit strange.....

Will give them a call.

Cheers

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ES bought a number of pre production Evoras from Lotus which they were not allowed to sell as complete cars but they are great for "as new" used items - just check you get the correct one (s) as there were various changes early on, but you'll prob be ok with a 13 S.

They're very helpful and all their stock is carefully labelled as to what it is and what it fits.

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On 09/12/2020 at 20:37, Whitey said:

ES bought a number of pre production Evoras from Lotus which they were not allowed to sell as complete cars but they are great for "as new" used items - just check you get the correct one (s) as there were various changes early on, but you'll prob be ok with a 13 S.

They're very helpful and all their stock is carefully labelled as to what it is and what it fits.

Useful stuff! And explains a lot of their stock.

Thank you.

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Reality sets in - European owners note!

Ordered four drop link arms to be a Christmas project from RRC in France, only to be told Lotus not showing stock for one arm, but they suggest I continue with my order as is because after Dec 31, they might have to charge a tariff and mess around with VAT and carriage...

This is the first time I have met the consequences of this idiocy called brexit! Then it got me even more angry that the straw haired liar might have me both ways - of course, I have a British car in France and a German car in the UK😀

Let's hope they pull off a deal !!

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  • Gold FFM

I think this is the Whiteline post link on Lotus Talk, a largely US based forum:

https://www.lotustalk.com/threads/help-finding-rear-sway-bar-drop-links.379602/#post-5123290

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Thanks for the link!

Adjustable links are the way to go of course - I have never known a stabilser bar be perfectly aligned so that in the steady state, a little bit more spring is on one wheel.

I just wonder if this part is good for front and rear. As I need one more link (too late to stop my order now) I might buy a set from Whiteline and be sure they fix front and rear and post back. They are nearly double the cost of the Lotus ones, but maybe they last twice as long😀

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  • 1 month later...

I have gone ahead and made up a set of drop links using rose joints and a turnbuckle off the shelf from McGill Motorsports. They are from their 'ultra performance' range.

As my annual mileage is not great, it might be a while before I can come back and say these are an improvement. If anyone else wishes to follow the same route though, the parts you need, per link, are:

FromMcGill, per link:

1 x RH Rose joint, XMRM12x1.75, £9.60

1 x LH Rose joint, XMLM12x1.75, £9.60

1 x Turnbuckle, TURNKIT-M12-N70, £5.83

2 x Dust cover, SEAB2, £6.38

2 x M12 x 45mm bolt with nylocs.

Cut 10mm off each rose joint. remove 19mm from each end of the turnbuckle (you will need a lathe for this), join them together and you have a fully adjustable link suitable for front and rear. 

Add a set of purple polybushes and you have something beefier than standard and hopefully longer lasting.

 

IMG_3028.jpeg

Edited by Pacederon
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On 16/12/2020 at 09:10, Pacederon said:

Reality sets in - European owners note!

Ordered four drop link arms to be a Christmas project from RRC in France, only to be told Lotus not showing stock for one arm, but they suggest I continue with my order as is because after Dec 31, they might have to charge a tariff and mess around with VAT and carriage...

This is the first time I have met the consequences of this idiocy called brexit! Then it got me even more angry that the straw haired liar might have me both ways - of course, I have a British car in France and a German car in the UK😀

Let's hope they pull off a deal !!

Ordered 2 Front drop links from Elise Parts along with Purple ARB bushes for the front and rear and 2 Rear drop links from DeRoure ... all here within a weekish... Just took a bit of shopping around .. The fronts if ordered from DeRoure effectively from lotus, were out of stock so just ordered them along with the Powerflex bushes from EP.

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I had two MOTs inside a week this year. The first was at a local place who gave an advisory for slight play in both front ball joints and then failed it on headlight aim 🥵.  Lesson learnt and clean MOT history gone I took it up to Silverstone for service and MOT.  They use a place down the road who passed it but gave an advisory for rear offside drop link, no mention of the bottom ball joints at all.

Silverstone themselves checked and said everything was fine so perhaps play is a case of TADTS.  Regardless I'll do both rear drop links given how cheap and hope the wishbones don't suddenly become a fail.

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  • 2 months later...

1500 kms later ( where 1000 of these is motorway driving...) and I have a rattle starting on the drivers side front, the rattle indicative of drop arm links. Surely the cheap links Lotus use should last longer than this, no?

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