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Old 04-19-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
mav1c
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Default Caution to anyone running the MSI non-adjustable tubular lateral links

First, let me say that TIC customer service has been great regarding this issue. I sent an email explaining to TIC explaining the incident and failure, and received an email back from Tony at TIC very quickly. He's been great to respond and assures me they'll do everything they can to make this right for me, as well as work with MSI to determine the cause of the failure.

I am creating this post because I do feel that anyone running these rear lateral links should know of a potential failure. It hasn't been determined if this was a single flawed piece, and if it turns out to be, I will update this thread at that time. For now, if you are running these lateral links, go give them a good inspection, especially around the welds where the endlink mounts are.

I purchased these lateral links from TIC, with the TIC bushings, late in 2011. I ran them all last year (8 events) and one event this year without issue. They are installed on my 2006 STI track car. This is strictly a track car and is not driven on the street. The car has RCE T2 coilovers (600/500 lb springs), Whiteline 24mm sway set on the stiffest setting, Kartboy endlinks, and 255/40-17 Nitto NT-01 tires. This has been the setup the whole time the the MSI lateral links have been installed.

Now, what happened. This past Monday I was at VIR for the Audi Club HPDE. It was the last session of the day, and while traveling through the Uphill Esses at around 110 MPH, something in the rear suspension broke. This caused me to lose control of the car and sent me into a long slide off the track. Luckily, the way it happened, I stayed on the pavement for a good distance. With the brakes locked up, I was able to scrub enough speed and not hit anything when I went off track. After collecting the car back up and being waved back on track, I quickly realized that something was definitely broken. I pulled off into a safe area (South Paddock Pits if you know VIR), and after the session was over we were able to get out and look under the car. What we found was a broken left rear lateral link. Pretty clear to see in the pics. Oh, and I had a fellow NASIOC member as a passenger. This could have been very, very bad, so I consider us lucky.



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Last edited by mav1c; 04-19-2013 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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It just so happens I was in the car when this happened, and it was quite a ride. When we got out of the car to see what was wrong, the first thing I looked at was to see if a tire had gone flat. With that not being the case, my very next thought was to look at the lateral links and see if one had broken near a weld. Sho'nuff...

I'm no expert on welding, but my understanding is that chromoly is particularly succeptible to embrittlement in the HAZ near the welds.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
mav1c
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Yes. Pat spotted the breakage right away, and yes, he was in the car with me.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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oh damn..
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Wow taking note...

Thank you for posting!
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
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Hopefully an isolated incident. Ive had these on one of my subies since they came out, looks like its time for an inspection.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #7
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Thank the Lord for small favors. MAYBE the fact that you had 2 people in the car might have equalized the weight enough to keep you from going onto the roof. Good info to know about.
Thanks for posting the photos and info.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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what was the response from tic and msi??

i'm assuming it's still ongoing and they'll probably chime in themselves

but damn
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #9
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That's typically where the stock ones break. At the welded sway bar tab.

Perhaps a clamped on tab would lessen the stress and heat applied to the area, but I'm no engineer.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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Questions: I don't see this particular lat link design listed on the TiC site for sale - discontinued or one-off product? Why aren't you using the factory STi aluminum lateral links? These are the 95 shore graphite-impregnated urethane bushings?

MSI is always touted as making superior products sooo...maybe because race car?
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:26 PM   #11
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kartboy ftw!!!
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
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damn yo, I bet that wa s scary. they gunna repalce that?
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightcrawler60 View Post
damn yo, I bet that wa s scary. they gunna repalce that?
Hey dawg

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Old 04-20-2013, 12:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru3169 View Post
what was the response from tic and msi??

i'm assuming it's still ongoing and they'll probably chime in themselves

but damn
Both TIC and MSI have offered replacements and/or equivalent cost part or reimbursement. They've been great and quick to respond. I think both TIC and MSI are eager to get the broken link back for inspection.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-man07 View Post
Questions: I don't see this particular lat link design listed on the TiC site for sale - discontinued or one-off product? Why aren't you using the factory STi aluminum lateral links? These are the 95 shore graphite-impregnated urethane bushings?

MSI is always touted as making superior products sooo...maybe because race car?
I got these because at the time I was planning on getting stiffer bushings for the stock aluminum lateral links. They had just come out and offered lighter weight, and the stiffer bushings already installed, so I got them.

And yes, obviously some extra strain being on a track car, but that's really what they're marketed as being great for.

There had been no offs or incidents while these were installed. Just hard track driving.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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I wanted to chime and let people know that we are actively working with Tim to resolve this issue. Any suspension failure on track is a very serious issue and not something we take lightly. We have had failures on our race car before of some products and know how dangerous an event it can be. We are anxious to get these back to MSI to inspect so appropriate action can be taken.

We sell many parts to people who track their cars and do everything we can to make sure the products are worthy of such abuse. It cannot be stressed enough that anyone who takes their car on track inspect all suspension and wheel components often. Not all problems will be found before failure but if it can be its worth it.

Tony
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
I got these because at the time I was planning on getting stiffer bushings for the stock aluminum lateral links. They had just come out and offered lighter weight, and the stiffer bushings already installed, so I got them.

And yes, obviously some extra strain being on a track car, but that's really what they're marketed as being great for.

There had been no offs or incidents while these were installed. Just hard track driving.
Understood on the preinstalled bushings. I've done a dozen sets or so of Grp N bushings in stock aluminum STi links and it never gets any more fun . Nonetheless they are great combo but a race car might want something different.

I don't see the links you have on the TiC website, just the WRX style endlink mount, so maybe the newer sets have already been improved.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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WOW.

That chromoly tubing is surprisingly thin...
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Both TIC and MSI have offered replacements and/or equivalent cost part or reimbursement. They've been great and quick to respond. I think both TIC and MSI are eager to get the broken link back for inspection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
I wanted to chime and let people know that we are actively working with Tim to resolve this issue. Any suspension failure on track is a very serious issue and not something we take lightly. We have had failures on our race car before of some products and know how dangerous an event it can be. We are anxious to get these back to MSI to inspect so appropriate action can be taken.

We sell many parts to people who track their cars and do everything we can to make sure the products are worthy of such abuse. It cannot be stressed enough that anyone who takes their car on track inspect all suspension and wheel components often. Not all problems will be found before failure but if it can be its worth it.

Tony
sounds great

still a super close call, glad no one's hurt.. i remember dunk posting his coilover snapping in half and that got me too
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:29 PM   #20
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Edit: I'm retarded

Last edited by vision.dynamix; 04-20-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:39 PM   #21
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It's all in the OP.

And am I alone in thinking that the point with the highest loads should be a little stronger than the rest of the link? All it would take is a little gusset or two where the endlink tab goes.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
And am I alone in thinking that the point with the highest loads should be a little stronger than the rest of the link? All it would take is a little gusset or two where the endlink tab goes.
Perhaps the modeling (assuming this was done) didn't reveal this to be a weak spot. Difference between weak spot and area of highest load.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Difference between weak spot and area of highest load.
not in this case.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #24
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The design and breakage of the lateral link is just like the factory 03-08 forester link. The break happens right around the weld, snaps clean.

Compare that to the steel 04 STi link and its tab design that has proven to be a great budget upgrade that holds its strength.

The difference is a single L-shaped tab bracket vs two L-shaped brackets butted against each other.


Either way, this will be handled and redesigned I'm sure! If this were some fly-by-night AP like company, the OP would be screwed. But instead its a very capable and reputable paid of vendors. :-)
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:18 PM   #25
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Thicker tubing would probably solve this.
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