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Geal Linkage Installation

As part of the kit, you get two new gear linkage cables and gear selection assembly that is bolted onto the gearbox. Although I managed to get this work done by myself, ideally two people should do this to ease the pain.   I had a cap imposed on me this weekend by the 'trouble and strife', so could only really get this done before I had to down tools for the remainder of the day.   Gear Linkage Assembly   The assembly sent, simply bolts on to the gearbox, with a couple of spacers. Its worth pointing out again at this point that it is essential that you use locktite or equivalent for all bolts to stop them working themselves loose.   This is the assembly.   BTW, this photo shows the installation without the required spacers that push the whole installation to the correct location - this was my mistake at the time, but corrected at a later date.     Once in place, I worked on the removal of the gear selector pins   TIP: It is advisable that this is done prior to the installation of the engine. Unfortunately for me, the engine was already in place. This added to the difficulty as I had to use small saw as opposed to an angle grinder.       Then drilled the holes...     After filing down the surfaces, it was then a matter of just bolting on the linkage rods. These will have to be adjusted later on, so no need to completely bolt them down at this point.     Linkage cables   As I said before, this part of the job is ideally done by two people to ease the pain of fishing the cables through the channels to the in and out of the car.   First job was to remove the old linkage installation. This is quite straight forward and requires a methodical approach, removing a fixing at at time until both cables are completely free and removed from the car.   First job is to unbolt and release the cables running down the centre of the car to give more space to work from. There is a single bolt by the gear stick, then cut any cable ties holding the loom to the car and move out of the way.     After the removal of cross-gate gear linkage cable (the one to the left as you sit in the car), its then a matter of removing the clips and remove the selector arm.     I then placed it on a vice (kindly supplied by Martin R ) and hack saw through the pin...       Then drilled the hole to receive new gear linkage bolt...   (I made a mistake here and drilled a larger hole than required. This was because I somehow looked at the wrong linkage cable and drilled to match. I corrected it by inserting an insert tube)     The said mistake...  

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Geal Linkage Installation Cont...

After removal of the old cables, it was then a matter of fishing through the new cables into the cabin and bolting them in place.   It should be noted that the new linkage come with extremely large sets of bolts that hold the cable into position (the original ones used a clip that you push from the top). I found this to be extremely tight and painful to tighten. I will get further information from Stark as to how best to completely get the bolts secured. As it stands, they are all hand tight only and I used locktite to hold them in place.   TIP: Unbolt the handbrake leaver and push to one side to provide more room to work from.       And bolted to the reassembled cross gate arm and the modification...   Note the filler modification insert following my mistake.     Now bolted. Note that the gear selection cable is also in place...     Gear selection cable being pushed on to the gear leaver...     The cables are then secured to the gear linkage assembly and rods connected.     At this point, it followed about an hour of adjusting all the cables, bolts until full range of movement is achieved and selection to all gears.   I believe that further adjustments may be required at a later date.   For now, I can call this job done!

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Fuel Lines Installation Part 2

Following on from my last entry, I wasn't too happy with the layout of the fuel hoses. Due to the locations of the fuel filter, in relation to the pressure regulator, it meant that some of the fuel lines ended up crossing each other and although functional, it just looked messy.   So after some rethink, this is what I came up with.   BTW, I ended up adding a little garnish by way of gold clip covers that I bought from deemontweaks.   I hope you like the new layout...   Note that I managed to get one on the water reservoir tank       Closer detail...     Fuel supply to the engine...     I think I am done with this now and call it job done!

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Fuel Lines Installation

I have been looking forward to a simpler task all project long and as far as I am concerned, this is it.   So, before we get into it, the question is - were there any Santa's little helpers today? YES!   I was glad to see a good friend of mine that I have know from when he as a little kid ( and now towers over me like a giant! ) who happens to have a pretty nice black CTR.   This is he...     Down to work.   The kit comes with fuel hoses, a fuel filter, a pressure regulator and the associated clips.   The approach should be pretty much the same as the coolant hoses. Measure, cut, install, clip! That simple.   The first job though was to find a mounting place for the bits. People tend to have their own interpretation of what they believe the layout should be, but however you choose to route the pipes, the most important sequence is as follows:-   Fuel should flow:-   Tank - Filter - 'T' off to the engine fuel supply - 'T' off to the pressure regulator - then back to the tank   Mounts   I chose to modify the aluminium plate that used to hold the original air filter and cut it down to a manageable size to allow the mounting of the fuel filter and the pressure regulator.   A bit of dremel work, marking for the holes etc and paint, it was all sorted.             Then it was a matter of bolting the plate back on the bar.     Once I was happy with the location and general layout, it was then down to measuring and cutting...   NOTE: All original connections are re-used for the installation. So, that is two connectors onto the fuel tank, and one connector to the engine (Original Honda part). These must be cut off to release them from the original pipework.     Connected to the pipework...   NOTE: I used waterproof shrink tape to cover the joint for extra security.     The clips were added later.   Notice that for the pipes going back to the tank, you will have to feed through the original rubber grommets. These will have to be expanded to fit the new thicker pipes.     An hour and half later...     Connection to the engine...     At this point, I would like to point out that I am not completely happy with the layout as yet. It is functional and it will work fine, however I think it could be neater. I will have a think and may change it at a later date (well, before completing the project anyway)   Otherwise, job done!  

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Coolant System

Now that the engine is in place, the next job on the list is to get the coolant system piped up.   The kit comes with all the appropriate hoses (you get a choice of Black, Blue and Red) and the associated clips, bends and joiners.   You will note that I have gone for RED! I had a long think about this before I chose and I concluded that its really a matter of taste and preference. I don't really think that there a right or wrong choice here. Alan (The chap who converted his S1 on Seloc with the same kit) went for blue hoses and I think look fantastic.   For those who don't like the look -   Temperature Sensor Adaptor   Before cracking on with the hose installation, there was one little job to complete.   To the left of the exhaust manifold, there is a coolant fitting that needed un-bolting and replaced with a temperature sensor adaptor. This is quite a simple job.   Unfortunately none of my spanners actually fit, so I had to get brutal and use a pair of grips (I believe that is what they are known as ), but 5 minutes later, all done.       I then had to use the thread 'tap' provided...     And then just a matter of screwing in the adaptor...     Job done!     Hose Installation   As mentioned above, the kit comes with all the hoses and accessories required to get the work complete. Its is simply a matter of taking your time, take on one run at a time and ensuring that you cut the hoses at the right places/ length.   The setup is pretty straight forward.   1. Nearside chassis pipe run to the thermostat 2. Farside chassis pipe run to the cylinder head in-take 3. The coolant bottle runs down to small pipe by the nearside chassis and T off to the back of the engine.   That is pretty much the complete coolant system.   One think that is worth pointing out is that the kit requires complete replacement of all the original pipework. Now, I found it pretty tight at the back (between the engine and the firewall), especially where the pipework cross over.   I believe the idea is that since the hoses are made of rubber, then they would be able to absorb any vibration an therefore would be okay in the long run.   I however felt that this was not going to be good enough and decided to utilise the original aluminium pipes to run behind the engine, and secured against the chassis cross beam. This ensured that they were well out of the way and no where near the engine.   In fact, I used one of the original rubber hoses to come up to the cylinder head intake. I was a neater solution and bend route was were I wanted it.   The work took about 2 hours in total, but I think could be done in just over an hour if you had a clear run at it.   Photos to tell the story...   Pipe run to the coolant bottle.       Connection to the nearside chassis.     I used the original hoses to give better clearance to the gear linkage...     The oil return pipe had to be extended and re-routed to avoid cutting the sub-frame. Rubber strips to be added to reduce rubbing...     Pretty in red...     Job done!       .

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Normal Service Resumed

Took the Elise to BT Tyres in Rugby on Monday morning. They had a look at the nail and concluded it was worth trying to repair the tyre, as the only other option was a new replacement, which they said was dealer only.   So, out came the pliers and..... it turned out to be a half inch screw which had gone sideways into the tread block. End result, no air leaking and no puncture and I'm on my way . Three days on and all is well.   Quite impressed with BT Tyres, the blokes there were very helpful, the place was clean and tidy and the stock all neatly racked up. Got the feel they knew their stuff.   The Elise was going really well today. It does seem to have "moods", which is ridiculous, but sometimes, like today, it just goes so well and makes such a fantastic noise. I guess a bit of sun and some dry country roads help!

Martin G

Martin G

 

Nail In My Tyre

Today, Sunday, it was a really warm sunny morning. My son was having his mates round for band practice (3 guitars, drums, noise etc), so we decided to go out in the Elise, roof off and visit some friends.......   So, I thought I'd wash the car first. Good job I did, because I found a nail in one of the rear tyres   Playtime over before it even started.   I think its probably not repairable but I will try and get it sorted tomorrow.

Martin G

Martin G

 

Engine Installation Part 2

Before lifting the engine up into position, the bottom engine mount bracket has to be drilled and bolted.   This is a little awkward as you have to place the bracket into position, mark and then get under the chassis to drill through. As lining up the holes was pretty tricky, I decided to drill a pilot hole then enlarge it to suit, with the bracket in-situ.     25 minutes later - all done.     I bolted the bracket into place and we are good to go for the installation.     Martin and I pushed the hoist into position, with the engine just above the engine bay.   Martin's face say it all - Its never going to fit in there!     Then it was a matter of getting the engine as far forward as possible, in fact it has be be up against the firewall, tilt the gear end down and with a scooping motion, lower the engine into position.   TIP: Prepare yourself at this point for scraps, sweat, head scratching and a colour selection of swear words! It was an absolute bugger to get in   All in position now.   Note that the far engine mount is not in place as yet.     Two very happy guys!     The engine mount simply cups on top of the original Rover hydromount ( I actually decided to buy new one) and bolts to the engine.     Even Little Bis was impressed...     Time to let the engine go to rest in its new home     Job done!  

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Engine Installation Part 1

I have been looking forward to this for some time. The moment when I start heading the other way and install bits back on the car.   As customary, I first like to thank they guys who gave up their time and helped me today..   So, thanks go out to Martin R - Dependable and as reliable as...well a Japanese engine And Jason, my little Nephew (with world's fastest car - 1.6 Nova )   The installation   On Friday, I was relieved to see the delivery van pull up at the house, bearing a box of goodies.     All the bits laid out...     Comments on the quality, service, cost will be covered later on in the project. On with the installation     Martin R pulled up, got the overalls on and opened the boot - it was time to work!     The first job was to prep the engine mounts.   The nearside mount simply uses the old Rover top hat mount, bolted directly to the new bracket.   Prep with Duralac to prevent corrosion...     Bolts the bits together...       Job done!   Next job was to simply bolt the new bracket onto the gearbox side of the engine. This was pretty painful and fiddly as the pre-drilled holes were not quite placed in the correct positions.   With an appropriate drill bit and 20 minutes later, everything lined up as they should and bolted to the end.     It should be noted at this point that the far side engine mount should be fitted once the engine is suspended in the engine bay. This makes it easier to manoeuvre the engine in.   Before installing, there were a couple of things to sort out.   1. Remove the lower engine mount left on the engine. 2. Install the new gearbox hydrophilic pipe on the engine.     3. Install the gear linkage bracket.     Now we are good to go for the installation!

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Sub Frame Painting

I had a long think about what I do with the sub-frame. Looking at it, yeah its dirty, but in pretty good shape all round.   So the options are:-   1. Leave as is - Since I intend to keep the car for some time and the clam is off, it seems a shame not to do something to it.   2. Get it powder coated - Nice idea, durable and good finish. The problem I had with this is that you would have to remove the sub-frame, send it away, wait, wait and wait then get it back and install! Sounded a bit too long for me to be honest and cost more money.   3. Paint it in-situ! This ended up to be my favourite option. It meant that I wouldn't have to remove it off the chassis, it would be immediate and would only cost me a tin of paint. Job done!   So I purchased a tin of POR15, in black and armed with a brush I attacked it with all my might!   Prior to any painting, I spent some time cleaning the sub-frame with brake disc cleaner and removed all debris and oil from the surface. I then gave the whole thing a good going over with a wire brush.   It wasn't perfect, but it was clean and free from the oil.   The start...       Took my time trying not to drip too much and getting into every corner...     Going on nicely...       After 30 minutes or so of painting, the first coat is complete and looking as I hoped. It is suggested that you paint two coats, however if it dries okay, I may just touch it up and leave it as that.   I am quite pleased with this.           Job done!

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Baffled Sump Installation

It seems a long time since the engine removal. I was rather hoping that I would receive all the engine mounts, fuel lines etc during the week, to enable the engine installation to commence. Alas, due to some delays by the supplier, the only things I received this week were some bits for the engine and the baffled sump.   Today I had visits from Martin R and his lovely Wife and Daniel ( the originator of all that I am going through - as he was the first to take me out on a Honda powered Elise!)   And here they are - ready for some action!     So down to work.   The baffled sump is required to stop the oil surges incurring during high G corners that could result in engine oil starvation - which in turn will destroy the engine.   This particular baffle is pretty simple and does not require any welding or glueing of any description.   So, the first this we did was to get the engine on the hoist and lift to a manageable hight.   Then removed all the bolts holding the sump to the engine. There are a number of them and patience is required as it will take some time.   TIP: Please note that there are two deep bolts that we missed completely that also requires removing before the can be released.       Once all the bolts have been removed, then its a matter of inserting a strong screwdriver into the gap and gently push the sump down whilst using a sharp stanley knife to cut the sealant.   TIP: It is advised that you work your way round slowly and try to avoid damaging the engine internals     As it can be seen from the photos that even Dan (an idea a minute as he is known by his mates ) got his hands slightly dirty.     Everything was going so well at this point until we discovered that the sump just wasn't coming loose, despite all our efforts. Mrs Martin R suggested that there may be some bolts that we (I more to the point) missed. Unfortunately, we should have listened to her a lot sooner and save us the sweat and the head scratching!   I have already mentioned the said bolts above! Here is Martin 'discovering' the illusive bolts...     Once removed, the sump pretty much fell off with a little tap using a rubber mallet. Job done - well, half done!       Time to stand back and admire the work...       At this point, the team decamped and said their goodbyes.   Many thanks must be expressed to Dan, Martin R for their support today. Great company, great knowledge.   Next, I installed the baffle in the sump. It was just a matter of pushing it into place. I must say, its real nice piece of work.     I then cut off all the old sealant and cleaned the joint using brake cleaner.     Then using the recommended sealant, I worked my way round the sump, ensuring that there is a continuous line all the way through.     Then it was just a matter of pushing the sump back on the engine block, and placing the bolts back on. TIP: Always use a threadlock (or similar) to ensure that the bolts do not work themselves loose with vibrations.     All bolts had to be tightened in a very particular order to ensure that the sump sits in place correctly.     Job Done!

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Clam And Engine Removal Cont...

This weekend has been a big one. The aim was to get the rear clam and the engine removed all in a day! That is a lot of work to undertake in a single day, but given that the Saturday is the Feb 14th (Something to do with Roses and the like for the Wife), it was evident that I will not be able to spend the whole weekend in the garage.   At this point, I would like to extend my thanks to Phil S - of the famous T-Series conversion. A couple of weeks early, he had offered to come a long and lend his expert, first hand experience in engine removal to me and guide me through the work required.   This is he!     Clam Removal   In removing the rear clam, there are what seems to be endless number of bolts that have to be located and unscrewed.   Tip: I bought small plastic containers from pound land (3 for a pound) and I use them to store all the removed fixings, with a label to make it easier when it comes to putting the thing back together again.     I (We), pretty much followed the following sequence...   1. Removed the passenger seat.   The passenger seat is fixed and to give you access to the speakers/ speaker pod, you will need to remove the whole seat. It is possible to do what you need to do on the driver side by moving it forward as far as it will go.   This was a pretty simple job and 10 minutes later, it was out!     Whilst in there, I removed the centre handbrake covers and the gear surrounds ( after the removal of the hand brake and the gear knob). This is required to provide access for some gearing adjustments at a later stage.   2. Removed the speakers   Once the seats were out, it was then a simple process of removing the two speakers (Hhhhm, Kenwood lightweight, dual mags).     Once out of the way, then it was a matter of removing one bolt from each side holding the side of the clam. Its a little fiddly, but with patience, it straight forward job.   3. Screen Removal   Another simple job. Un-clip the roll bar shroud, remove it, then the glass comes right off. Store safely!!     4. Wheel arch liners   Remove all the bolts holding the wheel arch liners, then carefully remove. This provides access to the remaining fixings. Its actually quite obvious once you see them.       5. Engine Cover Removal   The engine cover is held by 3 bolts and once unscrewed and the cable attached to the aerial unplugged, it just lifts off.   NOTE: There may be few shims used to raise the cover at the hinge. Be careful not to loose these.     Hinge shims...       Good to go...     6. I then removed all the exposed bolts...     There are a number of bolts around the boot area that need to be located and removed.   I had a problem with one of them that was so badly rusted, that it actually spun the base and therefore made it impossible to remove. A hack saw job on it did the trick   7. I then removed the bolts around the filler cap.   Once Phil arrived, it was a matter of gently pulling the 'wings' of the clam away from the car and lift (and back type of motion) and then it was off!   Note: As it transpires, Phil's car was put together differently to mine. The exhaust on mine was actually attached to the clam and not the sub-frame as it is on his car.   Once the exhaust was out of the way, off she came!       It also helps having an understanding Wife! My clam had to be temperarily stored in the kitchen!     Quick refueling...  

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Clam And Engine Removal Cont 2

Engine Removal   With the engine removal, its all about ensuring that all the pipes and cables are detached.   - We had to un-do the water pipes and drain the system into buckets.   - Clip the fuel line and unplug   - Un-clip the gear linkage   - Removed all the wiring   - Undo all the engine mounts bolts   Tip: Phil suggested that we remove the manifold before lifting to ease the removal     Disconnections...     She is ready to go!     Here she comes...     Men at work!     She is clear...           The engine bay is pretty dirty...     My little boy Reece got hold of the steam cleaner and started working hard! Good to see...         Nice and clean! Good work Son!               Considering that the car is ten years old, she hasn't do too badly.       The new and the old!!!     Once again, many thanks to Phil for giving up most of his Saturday to help me.   Other credits go to Reece my Son, and Jason my Nephew.

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Engine And Clam Removal

In preparation for the big job of removing the rear clam and the engine, I started work on the complete suspension removal. Apart from the drive shaft removal, the rest of the suspension assembly can actually stay bolted to the sub-frame and it is not necessary to remove for the installation.   After seeing the state of my wishbone, I decided that this is a good time to remove all rusted out components and get them treated and bushes replaced. Yet more expenses   At this point, I would like to thank my little Nephew Jason who came and gave me a hand for the most of the day and Charlton X (one of our VX220 Cousins) for coming over and observe. Hopefully next time he would actually turn up with a spanner   Okay, with that out of the way, lets get down to what I got up to.   First job was to raise the other side of the car and get it on the axle stand. This only took about ten minutes and the car was nice and secured.   Tip: It is always best practice to either jamb chocks or a bit of wood in front of the front tires. This prevents any forward movement that my occur during the jacking up process. Secondly, most axle stands tend to have metal pedestals that can damage your chassis. A bit of flat wood or as I did, I used a bit of cardboard box.   As a side note, I placed the axle stands on either sides of the sub-frame.   Then we started working on the removal of the hub nut. What a game this was. We firstly knocked the notch out (this pretty much ruined the nuts and replacement ones will have to be bought) then it was a matter of jamming the brakes on and with a long bar lean on it until it cracked! Be warned this was very hard and really required a lot of effort to get it moving.   As a side note, the Elise hub nut can be removed with a 32mm socket.     Once we removed the nuts on both sides, the next job was to remove the driveshaft both sides. This was pretty straight forward.     Note that we released the hub carrier from the top wishbone to make it easier to slip the driveshaft off.   We then concentrated on the removal of the rest of the suspension components. Please ensure you make a note of the number of shims used to pack your suspension. It will make it easier when it come to re-assembly at a later date.       Another wishbone completely rusted and needs renewing. The hubs just need a good clean to get them looking new again.    

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Wishbone Removal

The next job on my list is to remove the rear far side lower wishbone that need to be sent out to Stark for modification.   Its worth mentioning that because this installation is likely to take me 3 months or so, I decided to officially take the car off the road with DVLA and the insurance company. Every penny counts!!   I reversed the car into the garage, placing it in such a way that I have good clearance all round, jacked up the one side and placed an axle stand on the chassis.     I then removed the wheel and started working under the car.   Tip: I have always been paranoid when I work under the car, so I always place the removed wheel in such a way that if the car fell off its stands for any reason, it would provide me with some protection.   I first removed the rear diffuser, then the centre diffuser (this needs to come off to give you access to the gear linkage at a later stage). Easy enough job and only took about 15 minutes to complete.       I was amazed how gunky the centre undertray was! Its was caked in layers on layers of oil.     I will get them cleaned up at a later date.   Before attacking the removal of the suspension parts, I prayed all bolts with Gunk liquid wrench. I guess it's penetrating fluid, but whether or not it has any special properties, who knows. The can said it was for rusty bolts - so I bought it!     Tip: If I was doing this again, I would have sprayed all bolts the day before. However I did take this opportunity to spray all the bolts in preparation of the Clam removal.   Next up - Lower wishbone removal.   This is where the games began. I must admit, this job took far longer than I anticipated and hurt a little bit more that I anticipated!   I decided to get the most difficult parts out of the way first and work my way to the more straight forward bits. The removal of the rear bolt is a right ol' game.   Working from under the car, I couldn't find an obvious way of getting the spanner in behind the subframe to remove the bolt.         After long contemplation and help for the MLOC massive, I managed to get to it by:- I removed the shocks by undoing the bolt at the top and the bottom. Dropped the whole assembly down as far at it goes and supported it with an axle stand. Reached in through the drive shaft opening and with a small spanner (ratchet helps), started working on the bolt. After 5 minutes - all done Tip: You may need to hold the toe link bolt in place by placing a spanner on the opposite side of the bolt - by the actual toe link.     Then it was just a matter of removing the front bolt - 5 minutes tops; The bolt on top of the hub carrier and detaching the brake/ hand brake cables.   I had to cut off one of the cable holders due to rust.       I was a little shocked by how rusty the whole thing was. I inspected the bushes and the ball joint and to be honest, I thing I am going to replace all of them - I mean, its been 10 years now, so I think they are due to be changed.     So the wishbone will be packaged up and sent to Stark for modification. Once they get back, I will get them stripped and overhauled.   Next job - removal of the rest of the suspension assembly on both sides and the clam and engine removal.

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Final Engine Tidy Up

Almost there with the engine prep work before I start bolting on new bits. All these bits are no longer required and can go in the dispose box...         The gearbox bellhousing needs trimming to get it to clear part of the subframe. I used an angle grinder and a metal file to get it shaped to my liking. It took about 20 minutes - job done.     I then hoisted the engine up and drain all the oil out of it. The oil seemed to have a nice brown tint to it that indicating that the oil was quite fresh.   Anyway, it took about an hour to get the last drop out.       After all the striping work, I ended up with about 20Kg of bits off the engine!    

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K20A Engine Prep

Before I started doing anything major on the car, I decided to give it a decent clean. This is only to remove grease and oils that tend to go everywhere.       After 30 minutes or so, job done!       Before doing anything else, there are a number of bits that need removing and either re-used at a later time or discarded. I have already removed the air conditioning pump (off to ebay with that one) and now all these bits, such as hoses, mounts, wiring loom supports have to be removed.     Original driveshafts, including the intermediate one that we will put back at a later stage...       Gear weight cut-off with hacksaw and a steady hand.     All removed now...    

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The Start...

So, a couple of years ago I decided that plan for a Honda conversion on my S1 1999 Lotus Elise. Interestingly, up to that point, it was not something that I really desired until one fateful afternoon when Daniel gave me a pax ride in his car!   What blew me away was the shear difference in pace, noise, acceleration etc. The list went on. I was officially hooked.   Initially I thought about going for a full turn-key solution, however with time, it became apparent that with me the Lotus ownership was far beyond just the driving and the chance to work on the car myself was too good to resist.   Now, I am not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination, however I do know my way around the engine bay and not totally without common sense.   I promised myself that I was not going to blog the build, but what the hell. I will do my best to update the blog as I go a long, but progress my be slow due to my work commitments.   I hope you find the blog interesting at the very least.   Enjoy.

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Pipercross Vis

Anyway, the first service was last Wednesday and I picked up my Elise R (Ardent Red, 58 plate, 1,250 miles) on Thursday afternoon - all sorted, valeted and with a Pipercross VIS292 fitted.   Wow!! . I now have a completely different car.   At normal driving in 30 and 40mph speed limits, you would not know any difference - other than the throttle seeming slightly smoother.   Then under acceleration, particularly in 3rd gear the induction roar is just fantastic - we cannot get enough of it. Andy from Stratstone said we could become addicted and he is right.   And finally when it hits the cam zone at 6,200rpm - its just explosive and...well you really need a track to go any further.   That said, the main thing with the Lotus is the fun you can have at legal speeds, with the roof off and that induction noise.   On Saturday we went everywhere with the roof off, which was great fun. We have at last sorted out suitable clothing - gloves, scarf and most importantly a hat are now left permanently in the car.   We, or rather my wife, added another 150 miles over the weekend - and then came the snow and I've been using our Honda CRV instead (4wd and heated seats).   I'll be back in the Lotus tomorrow I hope.

Martin G

Martin G

 

The New Avenger?

First service this week for my Elise R, at Stratstone in Leicester - more of which later.   Anyway, they had arranged a courtesy car for me and on the basis that the Lotus dealer is part of Evans Halshaw, I envisaged a Focus or a Fiesta or even a new Ka.........But no.   Seems Stratstone used to be a Chrysler dealer until last year and what they had for me was.....a Dodge Avenger!!!! I had never heard of the Avenger (other than the Hillman variety). My guess is that they never actually sold any of these devices and perhaps the only two ever imported were now seeing service as courtesy cars in Leicester. I had the a black one and apparently there is a silver one as well.   So my road test of the Dodge Avenger...   Good points - its very big, has loads of kit and from the website seems to be pretty cheap to buy. The SXT diesel manual I tried has some sort of VW TDI engine and has masses of torque. It also got the thumbs up from my 14 year old son (it looks a bit like a Charger in the dark) and my 18 year old daughter's mates who thought it looked "sick". Oh and the heated seats are manic!   Bad points - everything else. Cheap nasty hard plastic everywhere, handles like a rowing boat. Why would anyone want to buy one?   Still it did the job for a day and a half while the Lotus was being fettled.....

Martin G

Martin G

 

First Service This Week

1,100 miles done now and my Elise R is going very nicely and returning 32 mpg on 95 RON fuel as well.   Anyway, the first service is booked at Stratstone in Leicester on Wednesday. At the same time I'm having a Pipercross VIS induction kit put on, which will be interesting....   Direct Line didn't agree, relieving me of another £80 on the insurance for the next 7 months.....and upping my excess as well.   We are loving the Elise. It may not be practical, but every journey is fun and we actually go for a drive at the weekends and look for the long country route rather than the quick way.   A road trip to France in April is in the planning stage....traveling light with two squashy bags - at least that's the plan.

Martin G

Martin G

 

Camtastic

We've done 850 miles now and have been able to bring the Elise on cam this week. It's a great party trick, but I've only seen the change up lights twice, so some might say I'm not trying hard enough!   Next up is the first service which will need doing soon after 1,000 miles. I'm going to put a Pipercross VIS induction kit on it at the same time, which will make it a bit louder (even louder I should say) and sharpen up the cam change.   If anyone was any thoughts on induction kits I would be grateful for the advice.   Had the roof off this morning, which was great fun, but come this afternoon when my wife drove over to Kenilworth it was bitterly cold again, so we stopped and put it back on.   Life with a Lotus = always looking for the back way home, (could be a start point for a new Ewan and Charley trip, "Long Way Home, 2 men, 2 Elises, 20,000 miles....?").   Traction control now sorted and windows adjusted, plus car washed and valeted while I waited. Stratstone Leicster are good.

Martin G

Martin G

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