Hey All,This weekend I decided to install a front splitter ( from Elisepower) and see what difference, if any it makes to the ride and handling. It took longer than anticipated, but pretty straight forward in complexity. Anyway, these are the steps taken.
1. I decided just jack up the car pretty high and placed a couple of safety supports. It was pretty tight ( being a lardy type of chap) but manageable.
2. Since the splitter itself sits directly under the front of the car, I decided to use sticky domestic door seals (or draft excluders) to run two lines either side of the holes to provide a sealed joint.
3. Then, I removed the plate under the front of the car. About 11 bolts to remove. I had an issue with one of the clips inside the clam moved and dropped in. It was an absolute bugger to get it out, tighten it then find a way of replacing it. 4. I then placed the splitter under the car, whilst ensuring that it is correctly alligned and secured it in place with a support (Box) and tape. 5. Marked all the holes with a marker 6. Drilled. I used the smallest drill bit I had first, then enlarged the hole with a dremmel.6. Bolted the splitter into place. The recommendations are that the receiving nuts are bonded onto the clam. I chose not to do this as if the plastic bolts break, I would have to access the underside anyway.Note that I screwed two screws into the underside of the number plate plinth. This is to stop the spliter from deflecting too much downwards at high speeds. This will do for not until I come up with a better solution. Metal cable perhaps?7. I put everything back as original ( full of fun and games due to rust), then dropped the car back down. Replace the number plate, then tried to get out of the garage.I just managed to without hitting the floor as there is a step into my garage.
7. I put everything back as original ( full of fun and games due to rust), then dropped the car back down. Replace the number plate, then tried to get out of the garage.I just managed to without hitting the floor as there is a step into my garage.
Now for a test drive
This entry was originally posted on the forum linked below.
Source: S1 Splitter
Now, this next step is something that will put off a lot of people running with a Stark conversion. To get the charger to fit, it was necessary to cut the bulkhead a bit to get by-pass valve to fit.
The cut is only about two inches by four inches. I used a dremel to cut the bulkhead, but I am sure there are better ways of doing this. Its not the neatest of jobs, but it will be covered up so not too bothered.
Now everything is ready for the charger to be dropped into place.
It should be highlighted that the placing of the charger into location, on a car that is on axle stands, with the boot lid still in place, on your own, is a big ask. The charger is 15kg or more and to lift it clear and drop in place is no easy job. I managed it because I am so fit
So, fast forward a few days and several attempts to place the charger in place. A swear word here and there and...
Perfect fit and all aligned...
Carefully and gradually bolt the manifold in place. I ensured that the manifold went in as evenly as possible...
Tighter than a tight thing!!
Once In place, from under the car, I bolted the support onto the engine block. Now this should be able to take majority of the loads and the engine moves and worked hard.
Now, the installation is ready for the fuel rail and vacuum hoses.
At this point, the car is pretty much prep'd and ready for the installation of the actual supercharger.
To re-cap, we have in place:-
1. All fuel lines
2. Swirl Pot
3. In-line fuel pump
4. Uprated pressure regulator
5. Secured the fuel filter in place
6. Changed the injector harness/ connectors
Left to do:-
1. Remove the original intake manifold
2. Make modifications to the bulkhead
3. Drop the charger in place
4. Drive belt
5. Go for a drive!!
So, as explained, I went for the Jackson Racing supercharger with the DC5 manifold. I had the option of going with the EP3, which would have fit onto the car a lot easier due to its orientation. So, I have just set myself a bigger task for greater power gains - I hope.
Brackets - more of which to come...
And this is how not to install it. On the serious note, I did this for some sanity really. I needed to check that the measurements gave me some hope that the thing would fit on the car.
Now that the fuel rail and the injectors are out of the way, we can start working on removing the old manifold...
Remove all the connectors from the throttle body, marking them if you wish. The throttle body is held in place with two bolts and two nuts. Once removed, you can gently tap it free using a small screw driver. The gasket tends to hold the TB in place.
Note: The IACV heater coolant circuit will have to be disconnected and in doing so, you will get the coolant running all over the place. I used an old pipe to re-direct the flow into a bottle.
The manifold is held in place with a combination of bolts and nuts. Due to space restrictions, I opted to remove the studs instead of unbolting the bolts. For this, its easy to use the two bolts method, whereby you tighten two bolts together and un-do the bolt that is behind ( the reverse is also true when it comes to bolting the stud on.
After 30 minutes of unbolting, away it came! I must say, the manifold turned out to be a lot lighter than I thought.
The location all ready to receive the new parts!!
It is advisable that you check and correctly tighten all the bolts and if you feel appropriate, check the oil levels. Now, I didn't check the oil level on mine and I really wished I had. Lesson learned!
The first this I did was to change the HUGE standard pulley with a smaller 3.4 inch one. Once you un-do the main bolt, make sure that you take care to remove the pulley - DO NOT bash it with a hammer!
Out it comes...
A quick comparison between the two pulleys...
All bolted in place now and looking good.
I checked the bolts under the charger and mounted the support brackets as this would be almost impossible to do once the charger is on the car...
The pictures say it all. Looking good and fully secured now...
Starter Motor Modification
The supercharger will not clear the starter motor completely and you will have to make some minor modification.
Firstly, all wiring mounts have to be removed and thrown away. These are no longer required and if left in place, they would clash with the charger.
The main earthing cable coming out of the starter motor will have to be bent round and in-line with the black water pipe.
Note: Don't make the same mistake as I did and tried to fit the charger before making the changes. I did this and the wire got cut and shorted the earth. The cable started to heat up and almost caused a fire!!! Be warned!!
Now nicely modified and out of the way.
Once the cable was out of the way, I then had to remove the bit that held one of the wiring mounts on the starter motor. I have been told that in some cases, it is not necessary to remove this nodule, however in my case, I had to get it removed.
So out with the hacksaw...
All done and clear now...
Now, due to the type of mounts I have on my conversion, the engine sits very tight against the builkhead, so much so that I had to removed the insulation to make enough room to accommodate the charger.
The standard Honda injectors are not large enough to deliver the required amount of fuel once the supercharger is installed. As such, they will need to be replaced with larger sized ones.
Now, I know there may be some complex calculation that one could go into, however after some research, it seems that people have gone for:-
600cc - Seems normal low boost operations
630cc - Seems to be the mean
700cc+ - For extreme application
As for me, due to my setup and standard exhaust manifold, I have chosen to go with the average - ie 630cc injectors.
The installation starts off with the stripping down of the bits and bobs connected to the manifold.
1. Engine cover,
2. Engine cover mounts
3. Earthing bolts
4. Then un-clip the wiring harness connectors from the injectors. Make sure that you pull out the retaining clips first before pulling free.
5. Un-clip the wiring harness channel off the manifold mounts
6. Unbolt and remove the bolts holding down the fuel rail
Fuel Rail Removal
Before attempting to remove the fuel rail and the injectors, you will need to ensure that the pressure on the system has been released.
Firstly, open the fuel cap to allow air into the tank and remove/ unclip the fuel hose connected to the fuel rail.
Note: There will be a lot of fuel in the fuel rail and as such make sure you have a lot of rags about. It could get everywhere if not careful.
Once the fuel drips stop, you are now ready to remove the fuel rail.
1. Remove the spacers and retain them for later use.
2. Carefully lift the fuel rail off, slowly and gently ensuring that you do not force anything or break the injectors.
3. Once free, you will note that each injector has a retaining clip that can be pulled of to free the injectors from the fuel rail.
4. Once again, it is necessary to point out that you will need to be careful and gentle during this part otherwise you run the risk of damaging the injectors - especially if you plan to sell them on.
5. Once all the injectors are removed, you can set the fuel rail aside - covered to keep it from dust.
Fuel rail removed...
The installation is pretty much the reverse of the removal, however there are some considerations.
1. You will need to ensure that the seals are a good fit, so use a bit of engine oil on them. Just a coating is more than adequate.
2. Re-use the spacers when bolting down the fuel rail
3. Once gain, gently does it or it could end up being very expensive for you!
As the larger injectors do not share the connectors with with the Honda OEM ones, you will need to get the appropriate connectors and swap out the ends.
I am sure that there may be other short cut way of getting them replaced, however, I chose to completely remove the original items, including the pins and replace them with the new ends.
1. To get to the pins on the OEM connectors, you will need to first remove the centre cap. I used a small screw driver to prise the cap off.
2. Once removed, by using a small screw driver, press down on the pin and gently pull the wire out at the back. The wire should come free.
3. Remove the pins by cutting them off the ends of the wire. At this point, you may chose to remember which order the wires lined up. Looking at the diagram, the injectors are wired in series, so the order does not seem to matter.
4. Connect the new pins and grip in place
5. Place the boot over the wire. This will then cover the ends of the connectors and keep dust and rubbish out.
6. Push the pins into the new connectors. You should hear a click sound once in place.
7. Pull the boot over the connector and tape the bottom end with electrical tape
Once all 4 are done, clip them on top of the injectors and job done!
When considering the fuel line runs, you need to take into account the locations of all key components, the fuel flow direction and access.
The engine supply will pretty much run:-
Main fuel tank -> Swirlpot -> in-line fuel pump -> T piece (Engine/ return) -> Fuel Pressure Regulator -> Swirlpot -> back to the main tank.
As I had already chosen the location of the Swirl pot, it was then pretty obvious as to the runs I needed and location.
Note: Looking back, I wish that I had used better connectors as the normal push-on and clips approach, works well under normal circumstance, however because I kept the clam on, it proved very difficult to lean and reach across to get the pipes fitted.
I would further add that you should always measure twice and cut once. Be sure!!
I was able to re-utilse majority of the original pipes, however In some cases, I had to use new. In time, I will replace them all so as I end up with a uniform look.
Fuel Pump Location
Whilst thinking about pipe runs and location of the key components, I had to make a decision on where the fuel pump should be mounted.
Now, on this, majority of the conversions seem to mount the fuel pump on the builkhead and in some cases share mountings with the Swirlpot.
In my case, due to the large Swirlpot, I had to come up with a different solution.
After some head scratching, I ended up with using the original fuel filter housing, modified to allow the in-line fuel pump to fit comfortably in side it.
The fuel pump fit pretty well in it and a couple of zip ties and all is good. All fittings added to the fuel pump (including the banjo fitting to give a 90 degrees outlet)
This was then to be mounted on its original location on the aluminium mount by the connectors etc.
Note: I decided on ensuring that all mounts were sitting on rubberised washers which will go some way in reducing vibrations and fuel pump noise being transmitted into the cabin.
The location seems to work pretty well and secured.
Just a quick note on this. I decided to retain my original high flow fuel filter and relocated it against the bulkhead. As its not particularly heavy, I used industrial strength Velcro to hold it in place. It held very well.
The photo below shows the final location...
So, when it comes to fuel pumps, there are two well documented approaches.
1. Replacing the in-tank OEM pump with one of the uprated ones
2. Install an in-line, engine bay mounted more powerful fuel pump
There are pros and cons for both approaches, however the I decided to go for the in-line route as I believe it to be a lot simpler and should there be any failures, it would be easily accessible.
After some research, I decided to go for the Bosch 044 series, which seem both powerful and reliable.
The pump will be run directly from the raw feed from the battery and triggered through a relay by immobiliser managed supply.
This way, it ensures that the fuel pump gets good feed from the battery and not use original wires that my be too thin to take the load.
I crimped the connectors and fitted a heat shrink tube to keep everything in place and well supported. Those Hondas have some vibrations on them.
Heated up with a match!
20 minutes later and the loom was complete...
For supercharged K20, you will need to run the fuel at 3.5bar as opposed to 3.0bar for NA setup.
As I already had the Webber FPR, I chose to change the internals for the one I had, rather than buy a replacement.
This, in fact was pretty straight forward.
1. I first removed the regulator from the car.
2. I then removed the retaining circlip on top of the regulator.
3. Once free, I simply pushed the internals (valves) out through the top.
4. Installation was pretty much the reverse.
This whole job took about 10 minutes end to end. Pretty simple.
Once back on the car, I could workout the layout of the rest of the installation.
I chose to start the work on the fuel system before tackling the supercharger.
1. Fuel hoses
2. Fuel pump ( Bosch 044)
3. Wiring/ cables
5. Swirl Pot
6. 3.5 Fuel Pressure Regulator
I decided in going for a two litre swirl pot, but I have read somewhere that you can get away with anything down to 0.5 of a litre.
I chose to locate mine on the firewall, lower left hand side of the engine bay, where the charcol canister used to be. This is where I previously installed the fuel filter during the original engine swap.
1. I removed the fuel filter from its mounts and drilled out the rivets holding down the brackets.
2. I then marked the four holes required to secure the new Swirlpot on the firewall.
3. I then drilled out the four holes ready to receive rawnuts (rubber)
4. Once in position, it was just a matter of screwing it in place and job done.
Note: If I was to do this again, I would install some connectors on the swirlpot to allow easier installation of the fuel hoses. As it was, it took great effort to get the hoses pushed in far enough on the various outlets/ inlets.
Otherwise, its looking pretty good and the secured.
I first reversed into the garage, positioning it so that I had clear space and easy access around the car.
1. I raised the car onto two axial stands at the rear. If you opt to do this, you will need to ensure that the car is not too high to allow you to lean over into the engine bay, whilst it needs to be high enough to allow you good access under the car.
2. I then removed both rear wheels and wheelarch liners.
3. I left the jacks ( I have two) in place to act as a secondary support points - just in case
4. I then removed the diffuser and the middle section of the under-tray.
Note: If you choose to raise the car in this way, ie just the rear, please ensure that you have a pair of chocks under the front wheels. The car can move during the installation and this could result in the car coming off the stands.
Anyway, at this point, the car is pretty much ready for the work to commence.
So, after some searching, I manage to locate a Jackson Racing Supercharger from a US based Motorsports supplier, whom after some negotiations, agreed a very good price.
The main kit list:
1. JRSC - DC5
2. 3.4 pulley
3. 630cc injectors
4. Uprated fuel pump (in-line in my case
5. Exhaust Manifold - to remain as is for now 4-2-1 (not ideal, I know)
6. Air filter - K&N Largest I could find
7. KPro ECU
8. New belt (gone for 7PK1200)
Budget target = Less than £3K
So, having run my car with the Honda conversion for a couple of years now, it turns out that I needed a supercharger to be bolted on! Who knew?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I was quite happy with the car as it was and enjoyed every bit of it on the road and on track. I always knew that it will get to a time and I will seek more power, but what caught me by surprise is the fact that this time came so soon.
I think it was all triggered by Dan getting his car 'charged which lead to me having some unhealthy thoughts about doing the same to mine. I fell for it once again!
So, given that I never want to spend more money than I have to, I had to go down the DIY route and source the charger from the cheapest place I could find.
After some research, I ended up setting myself a budget and hit the tinterweb for parts etc. And so the story begun!
As before, doing this type of project, for the first time, with no experience would be absolutely impossible without the support of some experienced heads and the wider car enthusiasts community. However, I will have to point out and thank the following people, that supported me well beyond my imagination.
In no particular order
Steve D (Stormin on Seloc) Absolute rock and his knowledge on this sort of installation is second to none.
Dan (The Man). What can you say about this dude. He took photos of his installation night and day in ensuring that I could visualise certain parts of the installation and rest my worries when I thought I screwed things up.
Dave M (Middo) His guidance on parts, direction on the installation, confirmations and general knowledge was very valuable.
Miles. He was there for me on emails, texts, sorting out contacts, bouncing ideas and thoughts on the installation.
To you all, I salute you and the success of this installation is as much yours as mine.
I thought I'd start a blog about my ownership of my Lotus, so here we go!
Well this is my first Lotus, a silver 2009 Elise S. I only picked it up a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it. Having only had my first elise experience in june last year, it has been a relatively short time from desire to ownership, certainly a lot shorter than other people who have been striving for years! (the benefits of no significant other/kids etc).
After having owned a string of reasonably boring reliable cars (VW Polo, Honda Civic Sport, Honda Civic Type R) OK that last one wasn't boring I really want a car to have a relationship with. The highs, the lows and everything in-between, I might be ready for what it throws at me, I might not, we'll have to wait and see.
I have a few plans for the pair of us and a major goal would be to drive over to Spa for the GP (I'd also love to drive the track, but I don't think I'll be able to do that in the same trip unfortunately!) I'd like to survive the Nurburgring and drive Le Mans Bugatti. Also Italy would be an absolute dream come true. Baby steps, though, so I'm going to stick to the UK for the moment, but some track days are definitely gonna happen, along with some driver training.
Well that's it for now...
Be back soon.....
Like most Elise', mine clonks and bangs with the best of them. Due to years of abuse, the suspension is feeling a little worn at the moment. As we have been having some of the worst weather in history, it is the perfect opportunity to get the suspension stripped and rebuilt.
Now, there are couple of very good blogs/ threads that go into detail as to what you need to do, so I am not going to do that here. I am just going to show you a quick over-view of what I got up to.
Phil's thread as below...
And Martin R's very detailed approach...
As for me, my journey started just before X-Mas 2010 and in pictures, it went something like this...
Got the car up on stands...
I then removed all the bolts and fixings holding the wheelarch lining in place and by twisting it and out a little, I made enough room to get to all the bolts I needed to remove the suspension.
The photos show it best.
Good clearance to the bolts.
Disassembling begins. The only advise I would give at this point is that make sure that you keep all your bolts in a safe place. I use a number of containers that I mark to ensure that I put them back where they came from.
Some really unpleasant looking bits...
A few hours later, all the bits are off the car...
Please note that there a number of shims that you will need to make sure you make a note of and retain. More details on the threads referenced above.
Make sure that you support the brake calipers with some cable ties so as not to stress the brake hoses.
To clean the rust off the suspension parts, I used rust removing goo that you can buy from most motor shops. You simply apply it to the metal, leave it over night, then simply scrape it off with wire brush and wash off.
The outcome is not too bad. Its not as good as say, shot blasting, but it certainly cheaper and quicker.
Once dry, I then applied some rusk killer paint (please don't use the dining room table at Christmas like me - not a good move) and once dried, it was ready for painting.
I painted mine with POR15 and after two coats ( leave it for an hour between the coats), the results were pretty good.
Note that buy some cheap paint brushes for this ( I got mine from pound land) as once used, you will have to throw them away.
Bushes and balljoint go back in using the tools...
Looking good and ready for bolting back on the car...
Re-assembly was much easier as I used new bolts all round.
Paint - POR15
Refresh kit - Seriously Lotus ( http://www.seriously...d-steering.html) - Really nice guys
Bushes - Standard ( I went for comfort)
Jacks - two is good.
Axel stands - four is good
Full spanner set
Balljoint remover ( Thanks Dr.H for lending me yours)
Bush remover ( Thanks Dr.H once again for lending me yours)
Balljoint spliter - the screw one is best
WD40 or any other penetrating fluid
You may deed a butane flame thrower for the rusty bolts
Brushes - cheap ones
Rubber gloves - POR15 is nasty on the skin
I hope this has been useful.
The car feels beautiful now and all the knocks, clonks and bangs have all gone. It feels tight and responsive. £500 or so money well spent.
I am sure with time, I will have to do it again, but as for now, its job done!
What happens when I get bored? I buy something new for the car. Anyway, this time, after getting the inspiration from someone on SELOC, I decided to change my plastic indicator stalks.
Now, if I was to be honest, the original Vauxhall stalks are not too bad. They are functional and work pretty well. However, this is an Elise and if it could be changed, change it!!!
So, I rang up a few breakers yard for TVR Tuscan aluminium indicator stalks and after only a couple of calls, I located one for £45.00 plus VAT. Not bad to be honest.
I was pretty pleased with what turned up. They came full with the switches, which coincidentally are exactly the same as the Lotus ones. Very nice.
Comparing to the originals, they are very close in terms of size and I think look so much better...
So, on with the installation. This is pretty simple. In fact, its probably the simplest thing I have had to do on the car.
I am not really sure if this is what its known as, however its removal its pretty easy and took about 5 minutes.
Just remove all the screws that you can see and remove the top half completely off the steering wheel column.
Be gentle as these bits are pretty flimsy.
Once the shroud is clear, gently squeeze the clips at the top and the bottom of the switch, then slide out.
Be careful not to yank the cables as you do this. After all, these cars are not 'young' you know!
Then, unclip the wires from the switch.
Note: make sure you know where they came from and don't end up in a muddle when it comes to replacing them.
Clip the new one on...
And slide back in place until it clicks in.
Quick comparison photos...
Do the same for the other side.
Once done, remove the rubber boot at the bottom of the original stalks and push them through the new ones.
Then, just replace the shroud (reverse of removal) and job is a gooden!!:clap:
I think they look pretty good. The feel somewhat different to the original ones due to the cut out at the back, but apart from that, I am pretty happy.
I can definitely call this job done!!
Its been ages since I've posted anything on MLOC, in fact September 2009 seems to be my last entry.
I'm still enjoying life with my Elise, a red 58 reg R on a private plate, with a Pipercross kit. I've done just over 13k miles, so am on my second set of rear tyres and heading for my second service.
Having bought the car new from Stratstone Leicester, I decided to try Lotus Silverstone for the first service. They are about the same 35 miles from home and offered a more interesting choice of courtesy car. I was very happy with the Silverstone guys and enjoyed a day in their MX5. However the journey home was a traffic nightmare on the A5, so when it came to new rear Yokos just before Christmas, I swapped back to Stratstone in Leicester. They were really quick and it was good to see Andy who sold me the car again. Also, they are only 25 miles from my new office at Binley Business Park in Coventry.
So, life with an Elise.... We have four cars in the family at the moment. The main family load lugger is a Honda CRV iDTEC auto, a superb family car much maligned in the motoring press, but more fool them. My daughter has an 02 Punto and the gang is completed by my our Toyota Aygo. The Aygo is really the other half of the Elise! It does the town trips and dropping off and collecting of kids when the Elise won'tt do. All in they cars complement each other and I can't imaging many people have a CRV, an Aygo and an Elise!
The best times with the Elise are summer evenings with the roof off on a cross country run. Where it is less good is on a long motorway run. Last summer when it was really hot, I went up to the Peaks with the roof off on the M1 and the wind noise was deafening! On the return trip, the roof stayed off and I came home on A and B roads. That's what its all about.
My original plan was to keep the Elise for three years. I've now started the third year and unusually. I'm not bored. There are still loads of things we want to do with the Elise. I have to try a track day, I want take it to France and the road trip to Skye still has to happen. Family illness played a part last year, so hopefully we can do more in 2011.
Lotus Elise S2
Front Clam Removal
JonS August 2010
Disclaimer: First and foremost, I have to say that this is not my recommendations on how to remove the front clam, this is simply the way I did it using a few other guides and a bit of suck-it-and-see. The guides I found available were for newer versions of the S2 Elise. My car is a 2001 51 plate S2 Elise. It seems that some of the components vary to newer cars (mostly 2004 onwards) so I have done this to explain how I got the front clam off, what tools were used and the order things were done.
Step 1 - Ramps:
4mm Allen key
First off I made up some ramps from some 5x2 inch wood. I did this for two reasons:
1. To help lift the car up to get the jack and a protective piece of wood under the car comfortably; and
2. To help keep the lifting angle down when lifting one side at a time, i.e. lifting the car in two increments helped get the axel stands underneath rather than doing each side in one larger lift.
Take off the top access panels, the radiator shrouds and the lower central plastic grill.
Step 2 - Wheel nuts:
Loosen wheel nuts slightly so they are easier to take off when the car is lifted.
Step 3 - Axel stands:
I cut some more wood to use as protectors for the chassis and so they would sit on top of the axel stand. Lifting the car high enough to get the stands underneath was very nerve-racking.
Once I had the one stand under and lowered the jack, the car was then left balancing on the rear wheels and one stand so I had to do the other side fairly swiftly. Lifting in the two increments helped. Use the wooden ramps then as rear wheel chocks.
Step 4 - Wheels off:
Take out the loosened wheel nuts, remove the wheels and place under the car for safety.
Step 5 - Wheel arch liners:
Both wheel arch liners need to come out, the smaller front one and the larger rear one. There are a number of nuts, screws and plastic screws that hold these in place, see image below, they are all easy to get at with the wheel off.
A number of the plastic screws on both sides had been rounded off over the years so I had already bought a couple of packs to replace them when they were to go back on.
Step 6 - Fuse boxes:
On my car the fuse boxes are mounted on top of the near side wheel arch liner. These need to be removed from the liner but not taken off the car altogether.
Once the wheel arch liners are loosened, pull them down over the brake disc so you get access to above and below the fuseboxes. They are fixed with different sized rawl nuts. As they are in the wheelarch they have just got covered in all kinds of the day-to-day dirty so they were well and truly seized up. In the end I just forced them through the holes from the top and will replace the rawl plugs and fixings with new ones afterwards.
Once the fuse boxes are unscrewed the wheel arch liners should come out easily.
Step 7 - Door hinge cover panels
Next up are the door hinge cover panels, also known as the side indicator panels. Apparently you don't need to remove these panels to take the clam off, but it certainly was one thing less to worry about when lifting the clam off at the end.
These are a little tricky to remove as they are held in underneath within the chassis and on top by the clam itself (see images below).
First you need to remove the forward of the two bolts on the inside of the wheel arch (Labeled #1 below), connecting the panel to the clam. You only need to loosen the rear bolt, DO NOT REMOVE the rear bolt (#2) as it will be extremely difficult to get back in. Careful of the thin aluminum washers, they will fall out once the bolts are loosened.
Unclip the electrical connection to the indicator (#3) and tie it up inside so it doesn't catch anything on removal.
Next, remove the black plastic cover inside the door opening held in by two plastic screws. This reveals another 10mm bolt. Remove the bolt.
Next undo the four plastic screws holding the mud guard on (#1). The guard will not come off as it is fixed to the indicator panel. Finally, remove the two bolts underneath the car (#2).
You will then be able pull the bottom of the panel free of the chassis and slide the top part downwards.
Step 8 - Fixing to base of windscreen A-pillar
6mm Allen key
This Allen bolt is quite tricky to get at and you don't get much turning space. I have a mini ratchet that fits Allen keys so I was able to use this rather than a standard Allen key.
Step 9 - Fixing to lower frame of windscreen
6mm Allen key
Another Allen key bolt that is far easier to access, this is at the base of the screen on top of the clam. There is a rubber/foam washer underneath that will probably be stuck either to the clam or the car, be careful not to loose these at they pack the clam up and help the alignment.
Step 10 - Wiper motor cover
This is an easy one, just two screws to take off to remove the wiper motor cover. This helps you get access to the nuts under the clam shells' spine.
Step 11 - Clamshell spine nuts
These are a little fiddly to reach but with the wiper motor cover off I was able to get the mini ratchet in there with an 8mm socket on. It took quite a few turns to get them off, and make sure you don't drop the washers or the nuts when they come off, as they could fall straight under the heater unit.
Step 12 - Remove windscreen wiper
13mm socket (IIRC)
This is just easy to remove (depending on whichwiper you have fitted). I have the original factory fitted wiper and I had bought a new one to replace it as it was getting a bit rusty and the blade needed replacing as well. Even if you are not replacing the wiper, it may be easer to take it off anyway to get better access around the whole clam.
Step 13 - Front corner fixings to radiator panel
There are two fixings to take out each side for the radiator panel. One attaches to the clam (#1) and the other attaches to the crash structure (#2). Both are fairly hidden, but easy to get at. The first one must be removed to take the clam off, and the other enables the radiator panel to move whilst you remove the clam.
Step 14 - Remove headlight covers
Next take off the headlight covers. There are three screw fixings on the rear of the headlight inside the wheel arch labeled below.
When removing the cover, be careful not to pull any paint off the clam with the rubber seal.
Step 15 - Undo fixing inside headlight housing
6mm Allen key
Remove the Allen key bolt at the front of the headlight housing that fixes the clam to the top corner of the radiator panel.
Step 16 - Remove front section of undertray
To remove the front part of the under tray there are twelve 8mm bolts. Remove all these and slide the tray forward, pivot down and take out backwards to remove.
Step 17 - Unclip all electrical components
Make sure all electrical cables are disconnected. The list is as follows:
Headlights x2 (four wires)
Front indicators x2 (two wires)
Alarm sensors x2 (located at the top of the clam near the inspection panel aperture)
Side indicators (already disconnected in Step 7)
Step 18 - Lift clam clear
Before removing the clam off completely, gently lift each part of the clam so it moves clear and ensure nothing is caught or still fixed.
Watch carefully for any pincer points, and places that have to stretch over other components. One such place is the lower part of the clam spine, this is a particularly fragile point and is prone to fracture. Lift at the two drain ridges in the inspection panel aperture (#1).
When lifting the clam off, ensure you have towels laid on the floor under the nose. Pull the clam forward (#1). Once over the radiator panel pivot the clam up as if it were hinged on the floor (#2) (ie pull it up towards you). This pivoting motion will enable the clam to clear the lower 'wings' of the radiator panel without too much force.
Be sure to clear the lower part of the 'wing' of the radiator panel. This is particularly tight and could easily cause the GRP to fracture.
Also, make sure you have somewhere soft to sit it down.
So, this is what you have left:
So there you have it, clam off and ready for whatever you were going to do in the first place. I'll add add few notes later regarding putting the clam back on, but for now here are a few extra points you should note:
I replaced a lot of the fixings once the clam was off, and copper greased any metal fixings. I bought spare rawl plugs, nuts, bolts, and washers and also replaced old and rusted C-clips around the front under tray. If you ever had to take it off again, you'll be glad you did this.
Once each part was off, I put each set of fixings in a separate compartment of a storage box, in a particular order, so I knew which part they belonged to and what order they came off in.
I stored the clam as you see it above, lying on the grass, covered up in some plastic sheeting, however heavy rain was forecast after a couple of days so I move it to the garage and stored it nose up balancing on my bike and resting on towels at four points. it seemed pretty safe, and I felt much better than nose down as recommended elsewhere. As the nose had been repaired, this was already a weaker point so decided to store it the other way up. This is no way a recommendation, but how I found it best to store mine. You should always try and store it lying flat.
When easing the clam up for the first time, be aware that the A-pillar fixing brackets, seen in Step 8 bend very easily within the large 'blobs' of sikaflex type adhesive. I assume these can move slightly to aid alignment of the clam. Be careful not to move these too much.
You will loose skin off your knuckles, so be ready with a few expletives!
It is pretty much the reverse to refit the clam, but I will add a few notes in due course, of my experience.
Like all Elise S1, my window window seals are looking in pretty bad shape. They are pretty bubbly with internal rust and look well past their best.
So, what are the options available.
1. To replace with the original seals - like for like. This is a pretty good option, except from the fact that Lotus would charge you £75 or so for the the seals alone! (this may even be per side)
2. Replace them with aftermarket equivalent that has been used by others elsewhere - Woolies Trim version seems to do the job for about £20 once you pay for the delivery.
You can get them from here...http://www.woolies-trim.co.uk/p-1259-window-weatherstrip.aspx
So, down to work.
1. I wond the window right down and started by carefully pushing off the clips retaining the seals in place. If you have long nose pliers, this may be a better tool to use as you would be able to ensure the clips do not fall into the door cavity.
2. As I did not have the appropriate pair of pliers, I pushed the clips off the door into the door cavity and retrieved them though the door opening. This required the removal of the internal door card, which was pretty simple and quick.
Note: Ensure that you know how many clips feel into the door cavity and recover every single one otherwise you will end up with even more rattles that normal
Removing the internal door card...
Gently pulling the seal free...
The rust has transferred onto the door...
3. I then very gently cleaned all the rust and glue left on the door with some white spirit and gentle scraping. Make sure that you take your time over this as you can very easily damage the paint on the door.
4. As done elsewhere, I opted to use Velcro as the primary means of holding the seals in place. These can be purchased from various on-line shops, however due to time, I ended up buying mine from B&Q
Looking at the setup, I ended up using the rough side of the Velcro strip on the door, with the softer side to be stuck to the seals themselves.
Carefully measure the length and once happy with your measurements, then cut the strip to size.
Then, taking care and time, carefully apply the strip to the cleaned side of the door.
5. Once happy with the internal strip, I then moved on to the weather seals. I took pretty much the same approach as above and after measuring, I used a combination of a pair of pliers and scissors to cut to size.
Then cleaned the seals with white spirit before sticking the soft side of the Velcro strip to it...
6. The final step is by starting from the front end of the door, is to slowly get the two Velcro sides together, whilst ensuring that the seals are straight and look true when you look down the line...
The end result is pretty good I think...
BE AWARE: That these seals do not push against the window as hard as the original ones, however they touch the glass enough to ensure that water does not end up in the door.
As for me, I am pretty happy with what I ended up with and would definitely recommend it to anyone else on the same situation.
I can consider this job done!
Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, I notice that the nearside driveshaft CV joint boot had given up the ghost. The engine bay was covered by that horrible grease and I could actually see the opening on the boot.
I wanted to try something different from the original boot (that came with the kit), so I went for Hoffman's offering. It was quite expensive, however going by various testimonies, it was worth a try.
I aimed to get the work done in about couple of hours, so reversed the car into the garage and jacked up both sides, removed the undertray, and I was all set.
Before removing the hub nut, knock out the little safety nodule. I used a screw driver and a couple of good whacks with the hammer.
Using a 32mm socket, remove the central hub nut. I really struggled with this as I didn't have long enough bar. With perseverance, the bolt finally cracked and turn. I am still recovering from that one activity! :-)
Once the nut was out of the way, I removed the two bolts holding the hub to the top wishbone and giggled the driveshaft out...
From under the car, I used a small crow bar to jimmy out the driveshaft from the gearbox and with little effort, it came free.
The offending hole...
Looking at it damage, I now think that this was caused by pressure build-up in the boot rather than wear and tear.
The retaining clip has to be removed to allow the tripod to be removed and slide the old boot out...
I must say, the grease stuff is pretty nasty. It took me a good 20 minutes of cleaning with newspapers, de-greaser and brake cleaners, to get to a point where all the old grease was gone.
It is important that all the grease is cleaned up as some don't like to be mixed and may go off.
The build was pretty straight forward. I ensured that the bearings on the tripod go back to their original mount by marking them with a bit of elastic band.
I will let the photos tell the story...
Nice and clean...
Old Vs New...
Looking as good as new...
All back in place again and looking pretty good...
In the end, all the work took about 2.5 hours, including replacement of the undertray and getting the car back on the ground. Difficulty level is probably about a 5/10, but you will need to be methodical and patient as not everything is straight forward.
I took the car for a gentle drive to ensure that all the grease settles in and all is well.
I will report if anything changes, however I hope this lasts a while.
For now, I can call that job done!
On my receint motorway trip, I noticed that my rear windscreen rattled a little with the build up of speed. On closer inspection, it seems that the rubber seals have finally given up the ghost!
So, I purchased a replacement seal from EP (at the Malvern show) and set about swapping it over.
Out with the old
After removing the windscreen from the car ( just popped the roll-bar shroud off and slid the glass out), I simply peeled the rubber gasket off and used white spirit and a Brillo pad to soften the glue.
Old gasket coming off
I used the common garden variety white spirit
The Brillo pad helped getting the White spirit onto the old glue
And finished off the job by scraping the remaining glue with the flat end of a Stanley knife.
I then very carefully stuck the new rubber seal to the edge of the glass. I made sure that the new seal followed the old glue line and therefore guaranteed perfect line up.
Detail of the new seal...
Looking pretty good now and ready for re-installation...
I then re-installed the screen back on the car - pretty much the reverse of the removal.
I am pretty happy with the end finish. Good as new!
Total time taken - 15 minutes.
I am back again.
It was this time last year when I kicked off the Project Elise Type R. A year on, I am still tinkering with it.
Next job, replacing my rusty boot release cable. Now, although you can buy the electric kits from various sources, due to the price, I opted to make my own.
1. Christmas card ( for templating work)
2. Aluminium plate (for mounting)
3. Central locking actuator - 6Kg
You should be able to get all the above for about £20.
Before I started any work, I had to decide the location of the button. There are several options in this, but the one that I thought to be best for what I was looking to do was to place the button on the door jam on the driver side. This would mean that the button could stay 'hot' at all times, but would require the door to be opened before gaining access.
This was pretty straight forward as its essentially two circuits, separated by a relay. One for the actuator and the other to the switch.
Now, I was initially going to use a bit of aluminium I have in the garage, however after a quick chat with a friend of mine, he was up to helping me out with fashioning something in his workshop.
So, by using a Christmas card, I templated my design and measured it up to ensure that the holes and shape worked as I anticipated.
Measuring up against the aluminium...
I am pretty happy with that!
Now, me being me, I couldn't just leave it there. I decided to add a power socket and an LED rechargeable torch for the boot and when you need to see in dark places
Installation on to the car.
I had to remove the rear wheel and wheel arch liner to provide clear access to the route from the boot to the driver door side.
The speaker pod also needed removing by removing one screw and pulling off the velcro.
Drill the hole to the boot...
Removed the blanking plug to the cabin...
Masked the area to be drilled...
Pushed the cable for the switch through. Note the hard protective cover over the cable.
And a few minutes later....
Then installed the setup in the boot, including the isolating switch for the charger. I am quite happy with that.
So, the question is, does it work?
Yes!!! The pull is very positive and with no doubt that it would open the boot even if its a little stuck.
I am going to use the original cable as an emergency release, should anything go wrong with electrical system. Apart from that, I think I can call this a job done!!
It's been some time since I completed this mod, however it has taken me this long to find someone who would do a little logo for me to indicate where the boot release is.
So, thanks to Kosmo (Andy), he was able to get my exact requirements cut and sent out to me. I understand that he is pretty flexible and will be able to pretty much make anything to requirement.
I got it stuck on...
Job done once again...
So, following my on track activities at North Weald, although the track was pretty greasy, it was very apparent that I needed to do something about the front brakes. So, when the sales as Eliseparts came up, I duly reached for the wallet!
Swapping out the front discs is a one of the more straight forward jobs and took me about 25 minutes or so to complete. These are the steps I took.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE APPROACH I TOOK AND IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, PLEASE, PLEASE SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE. THE CONSEQUENCES OF GETTING IT WRONG ARE CLEAR TO ALL
Now that is out of the way, this is what I did:-
These are the brakes bought. They look pretty nice - as brake discs go.
Go the car jacked up and removed the wheel...
I then removed brake calliper of the hub. Just to Alan key headed bolts and done...
Cleaned up the wheel hub with a wire brush and some degreaser...
Cleaned up the discs with some brake disc cleaner ( a pound from pound land )
Good amount of copper grease on the hub...
Nice shiny brakes on. Make sure that the disc goes all the way in. A rubber mallet is very effective in tapping into place...
Calliper back on, with the two bolts back on. I used a bit of thread lock for extra safety...
I repeated the process on the other side. I am happy with that, but will have to wait for some dry weather before getting them bedded in properly.
For now though, it's job done!
I booked myself onto an activity day organised by Car limits. This was my first activity day and I must say, it was excellent fun! The day was attended by all sorts of machinery just having good ol' fashion fun. Loved it!
At this point, I must thank Car Limits for allowing few other people to turn up to have drive my car for charity. We managed to raise quite a bit of money and it all went to a good course.
So, how did the car get on, well I must say it was faultless. It was a pretty cold day, with the dense air, the engine sounded fantastic and delivered good performance right through the gears. In some cases, the car was wheel spinning in third!
Some photos taken by Nigel Goater (of Car Limits)
Some grass cutting (it's not me behind the wheel BTW )
Some action shots...
This is a video of the two timed laps I did...
On my second run, I used a lot more throttle on the straight and you can see that I had to 'balance' the car on the rear wheels by carefully adjusting the steering.
Even with the bad weather, the car still amazes me. More to come
One of the things that I did not get round to was the replacement of the original toe links. After doing some research, there seem to be a general consensus that with the added power and on-track activities, it is advisable to upgrade the OEM toe links.
Having said that, perhaps if your car is only used for the road and they toe links are in good shape, I personally do not see why there would be a need to have them changed. As it happens, mine were completely shot to bits!
If you look carefully on this one, you can see that the main bar is definitely bent...
And this one seems to have had some pretty strong mole grips on it at some point that ended up denting the bar. If you look carefully, the centre of the toe link bar is definitely 'pinched' in such a way that it has created a weak point.
Given the above, it would be suicidal not to change them at this point.
There are currently various options available in the market, the main ones being, Elise Parts, Elise Shop, Spitfire Engineering (not sure whether or not these are the ones being sold at Elise Shop) and now Nitrons. They all vary in price, design, structure and I guess to certain extent, quality. Doing my research, it was apparent that they are all well regarded and work as required and perhaps cost is the key decider.
So what did I go for? Well, none of the above
I am of the opinion that the more options we have in market, the better it is for us owners and introducing these options, it sometimes requires taking a chance. I am also a sucker for trying something new For that reason, I decided to try the kit supplied by Hot Laps.
There has been all sorts of discussions on this kit, but to my mind I rather try them myself and decide from there. After placing my order with Elgan (a thoroughly nice chap at Hot Laps), the kit duly arrived. I must say, my first impression of the kit is that they are very well made and really feel like a quality product.
Some closer details...
In the end, I opted to have Hot-Laps install the toe links for me and after picking up my car during the week, it was duly return just a couple of days later, donning its new bits .
Unfortunately due to bad whether, I am yet to really try them, but for what I see, I am very impressed and happy with my purchase. I am told that there will be a number of upgrades coming up, but for now the offering is pretty good.
As for this particular job, I can call it job done!