Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Lotus Ball Joint Unconstructed
The Lotus variants use a standard automotive sealed ball joint to connect each of the wishbones to the uprights. Ball joints are a great solution as they allow movement in different directions - the suspension can go up/down and the joint can go side to side to allow the wheels to be steered. We cut one open to see the internals(see above). The Lotus ball joint features a ball stud that moves along a plastic internal 'bearing'. A rubber boot keeps the lubrication internal so the ball and bearing don't freeze. This type of design is preferred on street cars since they have good performance and are well protected from the elements which results in a long life.
We've developed a spherical bearing conversion kit we call the MRbearings. We tested it last year in our race Elise (Art Car) and introduced on our Blog: HERE. This solution is in production now and will soon be released. We like the performance it delivers but also like the fact that we don't need to use a ball joint separator to disconnect the uprights or run the risk of tearing the rubber boots on the ball joints. This is a track focused solution that won't likely have the street life of a standard ball joint. But you already knew that...