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Rear Tie Rod ends

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by hcsharp, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    One of my rear tie rod ends appears to be worn out. I know of at least 2 others who have had to replace theirs. I first noticed the car darting around a little bit and began checking things on the front suspension where I suspected the problem was. But everything in front was tight and it was a few days before it occurred to me to check the rear. I'm curious if anyone else has had to replace these. Tomorrow I'll check with Tesla for replacements.
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Oh yuck, that is terrible. Am I correct you have less than 50k miles on your Roadster? You also seem to be one that goes out of his way to take care of it.
     
  3. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Yeah, and I just read on the Lotus Talk forums a couple of horror stories of what happens when these fail and let go. Wondering if I should be driving my car...

    Does anyone know if they are the same as the Elise inner rear tie rod ends?
     
  4. Mark77a

    Mark77a Member

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    I had mine changed at the last service. The play in 1 joint was pretty minimal... I could just feel it by holding the rear offside wheel at 1/4 past 9 position on flat ground and REALLY rocking hard.. I could then, just detect a tiny bit of play. But this did not effect the handling - the play would need to be MUCH more to effect the handling.

    They changed both sides and checked alignment - but apart from eliminating the slight 'click' and miniscule play I don't notice any change.
     
  5. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #5 Jaff, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    Henry, I had to replace my tie rods around 60,000 km...the car was performing very poorly at highway speeds...it felt like the belts in the tires had shifted, or that the wheels were loose.

    Going down the highway, you could feel the back end drifting out...scared the H outta me.

    I drove in to my local SC in Mississauga...Eli, the service mgr test drove the car, then put it up on their hoist...by applying pressure to the top, then bottom of the rear tires, he could actually move the tire in and out (changing the camber)

    It took a few days to get the new tie rods sent to Canada, and installed...after their replacement, it felt like I was driving a brand new car!!!...confidence restored in full!

    I only know of one other owner who has had to replace his tie rods...he described to me the same scary feeling of the rear end drifting out...pretty sure he had over 40,000 miles on his car.
     
  6. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    The outers are the same as the Lotus. The inners are different-they are a heim joint where the Lotus uses a regular tie rod with a long stud. The problem with the Lotus was with the inner joint.
     
  7. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Thanks for letting us know the difference between the Lotus and the Roadster. Lotus had a recall of the inner joint and added a brace. I ordered the Tesla rear inner tie rod links and the long bolt that goes through the upper wishbone. I've been informed by a couple of seasoned Roadster techs that the inner toe link is made for racing and the rubber seal is not as good as a regular tie rod end like what is found on the other end of the tie rod. There's no easy way to grease it. Wiztecy greased his with a syringe. Has anyone else tried that?
     
  8. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    The parts arrived at the end of last week so I spent the weekend installing them. Just for fun I cut the old one open and it was damp and full of rust.
    PartsRearInnerToeLinks.JPG

    You'll notice the long sharp needle with a grease fitting on one end. No, I won't be shooting up lithium [grease], although it might help some of my joints on damp days. That's actually the only way to grease the inner toe links (pictured). You don't insert it through the rubber boot by poking a hole in it. You push it in between each rubber seal and the metal. It takes four hands and makes quite a mess.

    If you do this it helps to measure your whole tie rod length before you start so you don't have to do a rear alignment when you're done. I measured the distance from each tie rod end to the rod where the jamb nut butts up against it using calipers.

    Only one side was bad but my car is handling much better now. It's especially noticeable on highways or any time you're going fast.
     
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