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Uprated Toe Links

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

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Gearbox Oil Change

Since about 1000 miles, I have been hearing rather strange grinding noises from the gearbox, when I lift off. This seemed to get louder once the car really warms up. So, I decided to change the gearbox oil and go for something a little different.   Preparation   1. I removed the rear near-side wheel and left the car up on jacks.     2. I removed the diffuser and loosen up the centre undertray. This provided adequate access to the bolts required to drain the oil.     Draining  

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First Service

I can't believe that it's already time for a service. It really feels like only yesterday that the car was finished and back on the road.   Now, I always anticipated that my first service will take a bit longer than normal, mainly due to the fact that the location of the oil filter is not easily accessible and I would have to work out the best way of getting to it.   So, the ingredients.   Silkoline Pro S 5-40 Fram Oil Filter (PH4998) A couple of jacks Ramps A selection of tools for t

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8 Months Of Lotus Fun

I've had my Elise for 8 months now and am up to about 5,800 miles. Its still going really well and I feel very comfortable that it will not bite me unless I do something really stupid!   Had a new hood under warranty a few weeks ago and they sorted a brake recall at the same time. My nearest dealer is in Leicester, 40 miles from work, which is a pain though.   Still not done a track day yet, I guess that will have to be next year now.   The car gets loads of nice comments from all sorts of

Martin G

Martin G

 

Oil Catch Tank

Catch tank installation is one of those items that seem to attract a great deal of debate as of its benefits. If you search around on the internet, there is a great deal of information and opinions.   As for me, its quite simple. The crank case needs venting somehow and I can see three ways of achieving that.   1. Pipe the outlet to somewhere out of the clam. This option is cheap, effective and will keep any oil blowouts way from the engine compartment. 2. Install a crank case vent fil

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Dyno

The car has been running for a while using a very rough map given to me by Steve (Stormin Norman) on Seloc. Many thanks to him for all his help and advice - a very knowledgeable and helpful guy   Anyway, I decided to get the car booked in at WGT in Middlewitch for a dyno tune.     Pip, absolute top man, got working on the car. We had some initial connection issues, but that was resolved by updating the ECU management software and flashing the unit.   Pip worked his magic on the c

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My New Elise

After 2 years away from Lotus cars I have sold the Z4M- a great car- but having previously owned 4 Elises, I had to get back. I hope to collect my new SC on Tuesday 9th June after Carl has fitted Venture shield. I have had protective film fitted to 3 of my cars in the past and it's well worth it to keep the stone chips away, though you must get an experienced professional to fit it. I had to get my last car refitted a week later, as the result was very disappointing. Any way, I found Carl from

Rick

Rick

 

Ecu Cover

When it comes to where to locate the ECU, for what I have seen it varies depending on who is doing the conversion. I have seen them in the cabin behind the seats, inside the wheel arch liner, in the boot and so on.   I decided to mount mine on exactly the same place as where the original one was. This was really driven by the fact that I wanted to ensure that all the original wiring could still reach and remove the any added complication with the loom make-up.   Another word - LAZY!   T

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Exhaust

As I mentioned before, I had an issue with the exhaust system not fitting correctly. This is still under investigation and I am sure that Stark will come up with a solution that is satifactory all round.   In the meantime, I had to get the car finished and back on the road and it was agreed that I would get the exhaust modified to suit, get it back on the road and then take it up to Stark to get it sorted out.   So, it was off to the local exhaust place for the work...     Tacking up f

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Back Again

It's been a couple of months of trouble free motoring in the Elise since my last blog. I've got into Twittering in the meantime (www.twitter.com/martingibbs)   Mileage now nearly up to 4,000, well and truly run in and nicely loosened up. Doing about 250 miles everytime before the fuel light comes on and then it takes about 35 litres to fill up, which is 32mpg.   We had a great day in the Peak District last weekend, blasting about on a Phil & Kirsty style property hunt. Had to keep the ro

Martin G

Martin G

 

Undertray Installation

It has been a while since I last updated the blog due to holiday and work commitments, but I finally managed to get some time with the car on Saturday.   As you know, I still have a number of minor issues that I am working my way through. I will document these in later entries.   For now, I have been keen to get the car bolted together and go for a drive!   Undertray modification   The Stack kit mounts the engine pretty low and as far forward as possible and because of this, the undertr

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Clam Installation

I couldn't wait any longer. The clam had to go back on.   So, I enlisted the help of Carlton X (of the VX220 family) and Jordy (a former MLOCer who sold his S1 following a miss-hap with his cat )   Anyway, the moved the car out of the garage - for only the second time since the conversion...     Great opportunity for the kids to jump up and down all over it. Are you having fun kids?     I guess so then   We first tried fitting the clam back on without taking off the wheels an

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Engine Start

It has been a long journey to this point, but I am now ready to get the beast started!   I first checked over the wiring one more time, just to make sure that everything is where it should be.   TIP: Its advised that you should have a fire extinguisher at the ready just in case something goes wrong. I certainly had mine at the ready   I then connected up the battery and turned the ignition to the on position and run a visual and smell check to ensure that there is nothing unusual happeni

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Heat Shielding To Subframe

The kit comes with a sheet of Nimbus heat shielding, Stark also provide you with a template that can be used to cut the sheet out.   I personally used a combination of the template and measurements that I took myself, although I don't think this is absolutely necessary.   I used a marker pen to detail out the cutting lines and by using a tin cutter, traced out and removed the shape.     I also decided to create a cup to go over the toe link to give them a little bit more protection from

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Wiring Loom

One element of this build that I did not look forward to was the electrics. Unfortunately there is no way round it and the car harness has to be modified to receive the Honda engine's loom.   At this point, I would like to give thanks to Alan Gourlay, who is currently doing the same conversion (posts on Seloc) who help me immensely in guiding me through the wiring loom modifications. To be even more precise, he provided me with his schematic drawings that I then used to create the 'new' loom

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Suspension & Drivetrain Continued

Once the drive shafts were sent back to me, it was time to get on with the rebuilding of the rear suspension assembly.   I must say, the installation of the driveshafts took far longer and was far more difficult than I anticipated.   TIP: Please, oh please ensure that whatever you use to push the driveshafts in is blunt and stays blunt to avoid damaging the CV boots. I didn't and ended up damaging the inner boot.   First though - shocks!   I was in two minds whether or not I was goin

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Suspension & Drivetrain

The project has definitely taken a turn now. Things are actually going back on the car instead of being taken off.   Next job - the rebuilding of the suspension and installation of the drive shafts. Wishbones   The far side side wishbone had to be removed and sent back to Stark for modifications to enable it to fit and not clash with the new engine.     Once the wishbones where off the car, it was interesting to note that the ball joints were completely knackered. In fact, I couldn't

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Intermediate Drive Shaft Heat Shielding

One of the biggest problems with the Honda conversions is the amount of heat generated by the engine. The drive shafts are particularly vulnerable to this, especially the intermediate one.   The intermediate drive shaft sits directly behind the exhaust manifold and as such soaks up the majority of the heat generated by the exhaust pipes.   The Honda engine comes with a standard, black shielding, however given its colour, its always a good idea to try to either change the colour ( powder coa

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Engine Steady Mounts

Now that the engine is settled in and the lower wishbones are in place (covered in a future entry), its time to complete the securing of the engine.   The kit comes with the two main engine mounts at the top, and two steady arms at the bottom of the engine.   First up is the mount that secures to the chassis cross brace, in line with the firewall.   Prior to the installation of the engine, I drilled two holes to receive a 'U' shape bracket to which the arm is secured to...     Now, it

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Sub Frame Modification

Pretty much all the conversion kits require some type of sub-frame modifications. With the Stark kit, the only modification required is the enlargement of the nearside driveshaft hole to allow for any movements whilst the car is in transit.   This is a pretty simple task.   Firstly, I cut a series of cuts a long the area required to be removed...     It should be noted that the reason that I did this was because I did not really want to use a Dremmel on it. If you do, it would be just

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Braided Brake Pipes Installation

We are now getting towards the business end of this installation.   The job on the list for this week, was to replace the original flexy brake pipes with uprated steel braided ones.   Searching through the tinternet, there were several options, I guess ranged quality and therefore price. I chose, for whatever reason to go for these...     I must say, I was quite pleased with the quality and seems to be as good as expected.   At this point, it's worth pointing out that if you don't kn

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Coolant Hose Modification

Following the installation of the gear linkage system, it became apparent that the way I routed one of the hoses, was simply not going to work and in time would end up being an issue.   The hose I am referring to is the one running from the near side chassis, to the engine thermostat. The route I took, placed it in direct clash with the two gear linkage cables.   I must point out that speaking to other people who have installed this same kit, they do not seem to have had any issues. So thi

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Belt Installation

Quick update.   Whilst scratching about on Sunday, Carlton X (A VX220 refugee on here) come over for a nose and to say hey.   Here he is, with his rather bright VX220. His face seems to say ' that's never going to run Bis!' Oh ye of little faith     The belt installation is actually a very simple process.   All you need is a suitably length 14 inch spanner latched onto the pre-tensioner wheel and pull towards towards the front of the car.   What this does, is move the whole assemb

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