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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. 😁
 

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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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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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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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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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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Aluminium Indicator Stalks

Hey all.   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 call

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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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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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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 li

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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 t

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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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Electric Boot Release

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.   Ingredients:   1. Christmas card ( for templating work) 2. Aluminium plate (for mounting) 3. Central locking actuator - 6Kg 4. Wiring 5. Relay   You should be able to get all the above for abo

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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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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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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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Cv Boot Replacement

Hi all.   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.   The work   I aimed to get the work done in about couple of h

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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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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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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

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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

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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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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 h

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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...     M

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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

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