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Lotus Elise S1 Honda Conversion

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Lucy lives on!

Lucy lives on!

All, It has been some time since I last updated the blog.  All these years on, the little Lotus is still going strong.  She is now 20 years old and looks and drives as good as ever.  The love for this iconic car remains.   My days of mods and getting under the car every weekend are over I think.  I now simply enjoy the ownership experience and driving!  Oh, I also do a little bit of polishing - just a little. This car is simply pure magic and medicine to all gloominess. 😁
 

New Door Pins

One of the more popular mods over the years has been replacing the original door pins with the slightly thicker pins from either Eliseshop or Eliseparts.   Now, before I replaced mine, I didn't quite realise just how much my doors rattled during normal driving or even worse, when you hit a pothole or something.   This mod is straight forward and took me about 10mins to complete, however I have read elsewhere with some folks taking them as long as an hour to line up the doors.   Note: On

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Led Fog Lights

For some time now, I have been keen to do two things. Firstly, add a bit of symmetry by adding another revers light, and secondly move the fog light to the where the original reflector light is.   What held up things was the fact that I needed a round LED light that would fit the original reflector recess. Anyway, they finally did it.   Credits: Thanks to Matt C for finally finding the right type of LED required for this application. One of the brighter minds   What you need:   1. Dri

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Dash Cam

The popularity of dash cams seems to have increased immensely over the last couple of years, no doubt driven by the Russian YouTube videos and awareness around 'cash for cash' cons.   The range of webcams our there is mind blowing. In my daily driver, I have a Blackvue, wireless version which is probably one of the best in the market and looking at some of the captured videos, it would be hard to disagree.   My Choice   Personally, I wanted to install something that was both small and low

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Lotus Elise Side Skirts

This is a mod that I have been thinking about for a while now. Doing my research over the years, it seems that there several options out there, made from various materials, ranging from carbon fibre to plywood. Now, having choices is a good thing, but one thing I struggled with was the cost. Hence me trying to come up with a solution of my own.   The Design   I was keen to design something that looked good, looked functional ( you can never test these things unless you have a proper wind tun

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Trickle Charger External Port

Like most folks who own these little cars, it sometimes ends up sitting in the garage for weeks on end, especially during the winter months. Traditionally, what I tended to do is lift up the front bonnet and connect a trickle charger every time I suspect that I am not going to be driving it for a while.   This method works well, however it is a right pain in the back side as you would then have to pop the bonnet again, remove the terminal before driving the car out. Over the years I have toyed

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Throttle Pedal Linkage

This is an upgrade that I have been considering for some time now. As most of you S1 owners will know, the original OEM throttle pedal plate and linkage are not the best. I get movements in all directions that has no impact on the actual throttle movement, basically, its bloody wobbly.   In the end, I decided to take the plunge and buy Eliseparts' version and see what I get.     The kit.   The kit itself is pretty basic, you get the control arm, bearings, washers and bolts. That is it rea

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Charge Cooler Installation

Charge Cooling   As per my other blog entries, as it stands the car now runs about 317bhp on the Jackson Racing Super Charger and oil cooler.   I am still running Stark's standard 4:2:1 exhaust manifold as I am yet to convince myself that I can shell out the £1K plus for a 4:1 system (watch this space )   Anyway, as always I try to do something new/ different when it comes to the upgrades, only in name of 'why not'.   So once I decided that I want to go down the CC route, it was a matte

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Side Air Scoops

This is one mod that I have been wresting with for a while. Although I have dramatically changed/ updated my car, one thing that I have been trying to do is keep the standard look.   Unfortunately, with the addition of the SC, the engine bay temps have gone up somewhat and reading through various forum entries, it seems pretty inconclusive as to whether or not the addition of the side scoops actually makes any difference at all.     As the car is far from being standard anymore, I final

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Lotus Elise S1 Headlight Covers

I have been toying with the idea of adding the headlight covers to the headlights for some years now. To be honest, the S1 looks really good both with and without the headlight covers, so it has never been something that I felt strongly about.   Anyway, I finally decided to give it a go.   The Covers   I bought the headlight covers from a chap selling them on eBay. These were originally purchased from Eliseparts and the chap never got round to fitting them on his car.     First step

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Shift Beeper Installation

So, if you follow my blogs, you would have noticed that many years back, I installed a Head Up Display unit to project revs, shift lights, road speed onto the windscreen. This turned out to be a great mod that enable me to read where 'things' were during hard driving.   Downside   Now, I am not sure whether or not this happens to with other, more standard installations (ie shift lights right in front of you), however with time, my brain seemed to completely look through the HUD on the windsc

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Intergrated Key And Alarm Fob

One of the most irritating thing about the standard key is the attached Cobra alarm scrotum. It's cumbersome and it does tend to break off. For years now, a few people have had a go at coming up with a workable alternative that would combine the key, with the alarm fob to have a more integrated key - pretty much inline with most car manufactures these days.   Unikey (I believe produced by Blackwatch racing) was the last real attempt at this, and reading the forums, it seems that they are curre

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Uprated Gear Linkage Assembly

As you may have read on the conversion entries, as part of the Stark kit, they provide you with a gear linkage assembly that bolts to the back of the gearbox. You end up having to remove the Honda original assembly, along with the original selection weight.   I have seen the gear cables being routed in two ways.   1. Through the front of the bulkhead and up between the firewall and the engine   2. Through underside of the engine, then up to meet the gear assembly on top of the gearbox ho

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Jdm Cams Upgrade

One of the simplest engine upgrade is to get the OEM cams swapped out with something a bit more aggressive. Once again, the forums are full of details around which cams are the best depending on what you are looking to achieve.   As for me, Toda A3 is where I really want to end up, however I am advised that for this, I will need to upgrade the springs too. Toda cams are somewhat expensive too.   In getting me on my way, I decided to start off with the simplest cam upgrade. I bought a set

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Oil Pressure Gauge

Some years back, I knocked up digital gauges that I managed to squeeze in dash and covered with sunglasses lens.   I was very keen not to have additional gauges mounted on the dash, spoiling the interior simplicity of the S1 dash. By getting the digital gauge 'hidden' in the dash, they are only visible once the car is on, however they are completely disguised when the car is off. The overall effect is pretty good.   On     Off     When I originally installed the gauges, I run the

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Carbon Lorraine Pads - Cl5

So, nothing seems to divide opinions more that what brake (friction pads) to use for what application. I for one, have tried various compounds over the years and yet to really settle with a favourite.   Of late, I have been running SBS Pros all round and to be honest, I found them to be a big step from the Green stuff I used to have. Once hot, they have pretty good and progressive feel, with very little fade when pushing hard on track. To be honest, the only issue that I have with them is t

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Oil Cooler & Ali Radiator

Time for more installations.   As you may have noticed reading through the installation, I opted not to install an oil cooler and upgrade the standard radiator as part of the original installation.   Apart from time, I really wanted to see whether or not the charger installation would work effectively without having the need to install these two elements - partly from a tech's point of view and cost. Thoughts on the installation   After running the car for some months now and covering ove

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S1 Front Splitter Installation

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

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Jrsc Installation - The Installation Part 2

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.

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Jrsc Installation - The Installation Part 1

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!!   The Charger   So, as

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Injectors Prep And Installation

Introduction   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 stan

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Fuel Installation 4 - Fuel Lines & Pump

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 w

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Fuel Installation 1 - In-Lines & Fuel Pump

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 pow

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Fuel Installation 3 - Fuel Pressure Regulator

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

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Fuel Installation 2 - Swirl Pot

I chose to start the work on the fuel system before tackling the supercharger.   Kit:   1. Fuel hoses 2. Fuel pump ( Bosch 044) 3. Wiring/ cables 4. Relay 5. Swirl Pot 6. 3.5 Fuel Pressure Regulator 7. Fittings   Swirl Pot   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.

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