MOT advisory - toe links

MOT tester has advised my rear toe links could be failing.

With the rear wheels off the ground, holding the wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock and wobbling, there is definite play. Possibly 1mm of movement along the toe link back and forth.

Is this the start of a failure of something?
Should this be addressed before I do any driving?

I’d be looking into upgraded toe links myself, if the MOT is suggesting they’re worn… anything suspension-related is critical and you should make sure it’s 100% before driving it around. I’m sure you could limp home and back to the garage, but treat it with caution until resolved :+1:t2:

Cheers Matt, that is my concern.

The play is only noticable when the wheel is off the ground.

I have spoken to my independent Lotus specialist, who advised I check if the toe links are rose jointed inboard, as Lotus did this as an upgrade on some cars. If they are rose jointed, slight play is normal.

I need to check … and know what I’m looking at.

Not sure I agree with this :thinking:

Toelinks are a known failure point across just about every generation of 4cyl Elise. Due to age and mileage it’s more common on S1s but the issue was never properly resolved within Lotus.

Spitfires or some other aftermarket would be a good fit and forget, but there are arguments to say just keep it OEM and keep an eye on it. If you get another 20(?) years out of them, it’s hardly a poor investment.

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I agree with Kyle

Plus if you are going on track I would be upgrading the links anyway.

Its a lot cheaper to change the links that the consequence if something happens.

A couple of observations, firstly play is not acceptable regardless or wether you have the OE style ball joints or rod ends and regardless if they are OE or not, there is a large difference in risk though.
It is very unlikely you will get a rod end to fail to the extent the ball will come out of the housing so even with severe damage the link itself should remain attached and therefore control of the wheel remains.
This is not the case with ball joints which can fail in two ways, the most common is failure of the threaded spigot on the housing, this is caused by high friction which partially binds the housing to the extent that the spigot bends, this normally results in stress fatigue or in the worst case a single event failure though this is rare.
The other issue is that the ball joint liner can become so worn or even displaced that the entire housing can detach from the ball. In both the above cases the link will be free to flail around and toe control will be lost, unless you very lucky and/or skilled you will probably lose control of the car.

If you are tracking the car then aftermarket toe links are recomended especially the best ones!

Just in the process of replacing both mine exige and Elise s1. To me it’s a no brained, had the squeaking after lotus in the peaks so this sped up the replacement program