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Lotus Elise S1 Honda Conversion

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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.    

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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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Window Weather Seals Replacement

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 v

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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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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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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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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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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 own

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The Kit List

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      

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Suspension Refresh

Hey again,   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.  

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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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Supercharger Installation - Intro

Hi All.   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

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Supercharger Installation - Car Preparation

Car Preparation I first reversed into the garage, positioning it so that I had clear space and easy access around the car.   Steps:- 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

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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 b

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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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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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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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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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Rear Wind Screen Seal Replacement

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

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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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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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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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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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