Lotus Elan

vertical link failure

PostPost by: rdssdi » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:28 pm

I was reading about Triumph Spitfire vertical link failures. Apparently it is caused by a stress riser created when corrosion forms at the top of the portion of the link that threads into the trunion. It usually fails at low speed with sharp turn angles. Although this is not always the case.

It appears one or both of my links may have a small patch of old corrosion in this area. As since I restored the car they have been properly cleaned, painted and lubricated it is not presently active rust.

I will thoroughly clean and inspect and replace if deemed necessary. Therein lies the difficulty. How much corrosion is likely to produce a failure? Considering the potential for disaster any corrosion should scrap the part.

I understand that my +2 uses the GT6 links with the larger bearings and a different stub axle.

Has anyone replaced their links with the new Canley (UK) "trunion-less" vertical links? Worth the cost?

There is also the issue of current new vertical links with regard to quality and whether all the usual suspects (Rimmer, Canley, Moss etc) sell the same part.

Bob

1969 Elan +2
1968 TVR Vixen (possibly the 1968 New York Auto Show display car)
1963 Jaguar MK2
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:39 pm

rdssdi wrote: I will thoroughly clean and inspect and replace if deemed necessary


Bob,

Some things I remember from the archive:

1.0 Ref: Inspection - elan-f15/crack-testing-uprights-t20576.html

2.0 Ref: Triumph failure: have a look at the photo that I put into another thread: download/file.php?id=11921

Plenty of lube apparent, no excessive corrosion and still a fatigue failure. Suggestions on here have pointed fingers at kerbing damage starting it (but no doubt any pitting from corrosion would cause a stress raiser)

3.0 gerrym reported on his use of Canley undrilled uprights:

elan-f15/front-suspension-uprights-lube-oil-drilling-t22088.html

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:15 am

As I completed my restoration years ago my memory is lacking. I do now remember having the vertical links crack checked at a facility that performed magnaflux testing.

While that is assuring, assuming my memory is accurate, a small area of old corrosion might be an issue.

I will inspect them and make a decision. I am rather tempted by the new trunion-less links but will investigate further.

I believe that the Spyder two ball joint uprights are for bolt on wheels only.

Bob
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:27 am

Bob,

Have just noticed the other cars in your stable.

Maybe the TVR (Vixen) world of vertical links has more to offer?

(A friend had an upright fracture on his V6 Tuscan...heavy old lump up front wouldn't have helped the cause much!)

Hope you don't have double the trouble!

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:53 pm

The TVR also uses Triumph links.

They are installed opposite sides than the Lotus and Triumph applications. The theory is that when cornering the inside front corner will be "lifted" by the threads turning in the trunion. I doubt it is of any assistance and may lead to premature failure.

I believe that the Vixen uses a drum brake triumph Herald link and they modify (by drilling holes) the attachment plate allowing discs to be fit.

I will disassemble the left side of the +2 this week and get a closer look. I also have to replace the rear suspension top spring abutments. At least one has a worn center and is able to rotate. I assume this should be rectified. It may also be the cause of an occasional rattle I hear from the rear but I am uncertain.

Bob

1969 Elan +2
1968 TVR Vixen
1963 Jaguar MK2
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