Install The Sector111 D Sbrace Rear Toe Links on a Lotus Elise & Exige
The repercussions from rear toe link failure on these cars is a little scary to say the least. The inner toe link's ball joint design is vulnerable to high forces and vibration.
It's been concluded that the vibration applied to the inner bolts can loosen the nuts which contributes to compromising a high stress point on the inner ball joint.
Sector111 addressed this problem in their entry level DSbrace. It replaces all components known to fail and re-designs the mounting mechanism for the inner joint all while losing 1lb. of unsprung weight.
The new kit uses a high strength Aurora joint, a DSbrace bracket that reduces the load applied to the common failure points, and incorporates 3 separate locking components to ensure the bolts do not loosen.
While replacing my ball joints and bushings, this was a no-brainer upgrade for saftey and stability.
Remove the Rear Diffusor
Remove the 9 x 8mm bolts along the trailing edge of the diffuser
Remove the 2 larger 14mm bolts at the center of the diffusor and set it aside.
Remove Engine Undertray
Remove the 11 x 8mm bolts along the sides and trailing edge of the undertray.
Remove the 2 larger M8 / 5mm allen screws in the center. Some cars have regular 13mm hex bolts.
Slide the diffusor forward to remove, and set it aside.
Remove Stock Toe Link
Try not to change the toe link length as you're removing it, we'll need it later.
Remove the 15mm Inner toe link ball joint.
The nut is located on the front side of the rear subframe. If hold the ball joint pressed against the frame, it won't rotate as you loosen.
Remove the outer toe link bolt. I believe this is 19mm
Separate the ball joint using a pickle fork or tie rod separator.
Measure and record the length of the toe link from the center of the ball joint pin on each end.
Remove the lower 8mm bolt attaching the heat shield to the frame.
Install Sector111 DSbrace
Assemble the main link rod of both toe links. Apply anti-seize to the threads of these adjustable parts.
From inner to outer, each side should consist of:
- Aurora joint
- Jam Nut
- Toe link rod
- Jam Nut (not included, re-use from original or new ball joint)
- Outer ball joint. (not included)
Set the new toe link to the same length as the original by rotating the center link.
Hand tighten the jam nuts when finished.
Getting them as close as possible to the original measurement will help you drive the car to the tire shop for an alignment without any extra tire wear!
Install the outer ball joint and tighten to 41 ft-lbs.
Test fit the the DSbrace bracket to the frame.
The angle of the ear on one of mine needed adjustment as it didn't match the frame's angle. It wouldn't sit flat.
To make adjustments, we took the brace off the car and used a hammer to bend it a few millimeters.
Lay out the inner joint's frame brace as shown below.
From the front to back:
- Lock Nut
- NordLock washer
- Car Subframe
- Slotted frame adapter (fits into the slot on the frame
- Aurora joint attached to the toe link
- Smaller custom spacer
- DSbrace bracket
- NordLock washer
Install the whole inner assembly on the car. Make sure the slotted adapter fits into the frame correctly. Just hand tight for now.
Install the 2 smaller bolts for the DSbrace bracket. Just Hand tight for now, we're making sure everything's lined up before we tighten the large bolt.
Torque the large inner assembly bolt to 44 ft-lbs.
Re-install the 2 small DSbrace bracket bolts with Blue Locktite.
Make sure to attach the heat shield using the inner-most bolt. Re-use the washer that was originally used here. Some bending of the heat shield may be necessary.
Torque both small bolts to 7 ft-lbs.
Perform a rear toe alignment.
If you need to drive to a shop for this - make sure all the jam nuts and fasteners are torqued to spec!