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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/07/11 in Blog Entries

  1. 1 point
    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. 😁
  2. 1 point
    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 tunnel I guess) and given that this was to go on an S1, it had to look elegant and not over powering. The other design consideration was how much the skirts should potrode out. I really didn't want something that came out so far that I would have to remember that it's there everytime I stepped in/ out of the car. So, it had to be a simple design. With these considerations in mind, I went for curvy lines, taking a nice line to the form of the car, linking the front to the back. Worked pretty well. Mounting This was always going to be a headache. I initially considered using existing bolts, holding the undertray, but I discounted this as this would mean having to remove the side skirts every time you need to remove the undergrays. That, to me, is not going to be practical. So, next was to bolt the boards to the underside of the sills. This seemed to be the best option and the decision was more around whether to go with large bolts, with less mounting points or smaller bolts, but with more mount points, which would inevitably mean more holes to the underside of the sills. After consulting a good friend of mine (its always useful to know an Engineer ) He advised me to go with the larger mounts and keep the number of holes to be drilled down. Material As noted above, the choice is vast and the limit seems to be cost, ie you could end up with very complex shapes and forms using carbon fibre, with the added manufacturing cost or you could go with a simple shape and material. As money always matters, I went for the simpler material. So, what did I end up with. Well, after some research, I ended up with an aluminum composite that is not only very strong, but very light. In fact, each side only weigh 700lbs! I think that's pretty good. CREDIT: Although I came up with the design, using cardboard, I was lucky enough to have had the service's of my Friend's Dad, who is an absolute wizz when it comes to using CAD. He took my cardboard cutout and turned it into a digital masterpiece! Thank you Dad! Manufacturing Or shall I say cutting. I manage to find a good engineering firm in Birmingham who were willing to take the CAD drawing, load it up onto their system and cutout the side skirts to spec. They did a great job. For future runs, I will add the mounting holes now that I know where they should be. Installation Installation is pretty straight forward and it would be even easier if I had a ramp. Anyway, in the absence of a good ramp, I used my trusted jack and pushed the car up enough to get an axial stand under the car, whilst allowing me enough room to work on the sills. TIP: If you are going to use a single jack, please, please ensure that you use axial stands, and get some chocks on the other side, ie on the wheels that are on the ground. I also use a bit of wood to ensure that I don't end up damaging the underside of the car with the jack. Mounting Points As this was the first time offering the skirts up to the car, we (yes, another pair of hands would be advantageous) spend some time locating the skirt board and deciding where best to mount the holes. We ended up with 5 mount points that given the size and the weight, was more than enough for what we are looking to do. We marked the points on the boards, taped them together and drilled the holes. Once done, we then placed the board on the sill, taped it in place and once happy, drilled the sills using a 2mm drill. We had to drill very slowly and deliberately as we weren't sure where the coolant pipes were. WARNING: If you are going to drill into the sills, please remember that you have coolant pipes running through there. My car is also CC, with additional pipes running to the front radiator. Be very, very careful how you do it. You are warned. By taking the drill slow, when it broke through it, it was easy to feel whether or not there was something on the other side. Either way, you would have to be very careful. Then, slowly enlarging the holes by using a larger drill. I finally used a wood tool to curt 16mm hole for the M8 rubber well nuts. (note the jack position and the bit of wood ) Then once all the well nuts were in place, it was just a simple matter of bolting the boards on. The end results - well, see for yourself. I am rather pleased... That is a job well done! Cost Well, I am yet to workout the total cost, however it was significantly less than £200 for the pair. If there is enough interest, I may get a few made (which should drive the cost down somewhat). So, if you like what you see, let me know and I am sure I could sort something out, again, depending on the numbers. Now available on www.111racing.co.uk
  3. 1 point
    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 with various options, bought various connectors etc, considered an external port mounted on various places around the car, but none of them really worked - until I came across this. Before going any further, I must give credit to Matt C (here on MLOC and SELOC) for finding the right type of connector and how best to locate it. All credit goes to him for the idea. What you need:- 1. Trickle charger - there are so many out there, just make sure its one of the more intelligent ones that can switch between charging and conditioning. I previously had a very basic one and after a year or so, it killed my battery. Be warned - stay away from the cheap ones! 2. External port connector. Matt found this on the web and works well. Its waterproof and the fitting is very good. 12v 24v Male Female Din Accessory Power Plug Socket Connector 16A Hella http://r.ebay.com/8gk7Bi In case the link goes out of date, just search for the description, you should be able to find it. (If anyone finds a better connector, please share by commenting below) 3. Tin cutters or similar. You will need to cut a hole on you front grill 4. Glue gun - I will explain below 5. Waterproof connector. There are many options out there to be honest, but you will need a way of disconnecting the external port to allow you to remove/ mount the front grill. This will have to be a two wire connector. Well, that's it really. Preparation I first removed the grill from the car and decided on where I was going to place the connector. This will have to be your choice, but consider:- 1. Visibility from a person standing in front of the car. I really didn't want the port, although covered with a black cap, to be visible from the front. 2. Ensure that there is enough space around and behind the mounting point to receive the connector assembly. You will need some room behind for sure. 3. Protection from elements. So, as this is going to be at the front, it will get wet if its raining, however my logic is that you will give it some protection, say whilst stationary if you place the port higher up, ie towards the top part of the clam. Once happy, cut the hole at the chosen location. Note: Please, please, please note that you will need a hole much smaller than you think. Start small and work your way out. You need it to be pretty tight in fitting as although the connector has a binding nut that goes in from the back, you really don't want to just rely on that. Vibrations etc may work it loose at some point. Once cut, push the connector though the hole and place the nut from the rear. Wire up the back - this will be the run back to the battery. Note: Make sure that the centre of the connector is positive (+) and the the outer case is negative (-). This way you don't end up with grill being live! Make a note of which wire is which as you will need to know this once you complete the run from the battery to the connector. So, the glue. I providing the connectors at the back of the assembly with better protection from the elements and vibrations, I used hot glue gun to hold everything in place and ziptied a bicycle tube to cover the whole thing. Again, if you find a better way of achieving the same thing, please comment below for everyone's benefit. Then all that I did was run the positive and negative feeds from the battery, round the nearside wheel arch and fished it though the bottom of the clam to the vent hole at the front. You may find it easier to use a wire pushed down from the vent opening and then pulled towards the wheel (you can reach in through the liner - no need to remove the wheel) then tape the wires together and pull back through to the front. I hope I explained that well. I then terminated the wires into a waterproof connector and then connected it all together. Job done. I must say, it works really well and now, I just pull in, lift the cap up and connect - job done. Enjoy - again any comments, contributions etc, please comment and share.
  4. 1 point
    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 over 1,000 miles, it is now clear that the supercharger adds considerable amount of heat to the engine. The engines gets so hot that you pretty much feel it through the bulkhead. This resulted in enormous amount of heat soak, especially pulling off the motorway after a prolonged drive. So, would a supercharger installation require an oil cooler and uprated radiator? Absolutely! Especially if you are going to drive the car hard on the road, let alone on the track. So, I had to dig deep and get spending. Kit List I bought all that I need for the water to oil cooler, including the remote oil filter mounts from ThinkAutomotive. Those chaps know their onions and if you discuss with them what you need, they will get the list sorted out for you. The uprated Aluminium radiator came from Eliseparts, including the twin fan mounts and an additional fan (to run in tandem with the OEM one. Acknowledgements So, before I detail the installation, I need to confess that, for once, I did not do the installation. I currently far too much going on at home that it was far easier for me to get someone to do it. After some investigation, I ended up taking the car to Unit 4 garage, in Burton-on-trent (http://www.unit4vehicleservices.co.uk/). Gavin is one of those guys who is completely dedicated to his work and his attention to detail is absolutely amazing. He pretty much looked after my car as if it was his own. I would recommend him with no hesitation. So, to the installation... Arrival I dropped the car off at Unit 4 and explained the required work... The bits to be installed.... Firstly, Gavin removed both clams for ease of access... Oil Cooler As described in the introduction, I purchased all the bits I needed for the installation from Thinkautomotive. I went for the largest Mocal water to oil cooler, braided hoses, remote oil filter housing and all the connectors. Note: It is recommended that when you install up-rated oil cooler, you remove the OEM one. To do this, you need to purchase a shorter bolt from Honda - HONDA part 90015-PH1-013. They retail about £5.00 Challenges: Challenge number one: Is the routing of the new braided oil hoses from the original oil filter position to the remote oil filter mount. This has been done several ways before. 1. Hose to run across the engine, towards the left of the engine bay to a location above the gearbox. 2. Up, then to the right side of the engine bay. This has one draw back - it requires the manifold corner webbing to be removed. This is not ideal at all. 3. Run towards the left, then down behind the intermediate drive-shaft, curl over to the right and into the area above the right hand wheelarch liner. Gavin played around with various options and found the best one to be option 3. This requires that the braided hoses to be very flexible as the radius required are very tight. Challenge number two: Where to mount the remote oil filter housing. Once again, this has been done several ways in the past. These include:- 1. Mounting it on the gearbox. Using one of the bolt holes 2. Mounting it on the clam divider between the engine bay and the boot. 3. Mounting on the chassis, ie drilled directly onto the aluminium chassis in the cavity on the right hand side of the engine bay. 4. Mounted on the right hand side brace. Gavin went for option 4. This location has several advantages. Firstly, it is independent to the rear clam and avoids damaging the chassis in any way. And secondly, it has a slight advantage in the fact that the oil filter will be placed directly in front of the side scoop, that may aid in cooling. The oil take off plate at the original oil filter position... Brace rubbed down and new bracket welded into place... Bracket painted black and oil filter mount placed in position... All plumbed in and looking good so far. Routing under the engine, through behind the intermediate drive shaft... Aluminium Radiator With the additional heat loads from the engine and the oil cooler, I decided to get the radiator upgraded. I opted for the largest Aluminium radiator available, with a twin fans setup. This should be enough to keep the temperatures at sensible levels even after hard track use. All the bits... Old radiator exposed... Old radiator removed...Oh, it was leaking and it was only a matter of time before it completely failed!! Twin fans installed. Note the OEM one on the right. The new fan is a lot more powerful than the original, but I am not sure whether or not there is any science in deciding which one goes first... Note: The new fan comes with a connector, however the best way of providing power to it is by removing the plug and splicing the wires to the original power supply. New radiator installed... After coolant top-up, the car was run to temperature and checked for leaks. Finally After collecting the car back from Unit 4, I went out for drive and the temperature remained in the low 80s in all conditions. I then let the temperature rise to 87 (on stand-still) and the fans kicked in. The air flow through the radiator is immense and reduced the heat pretty quickly. So, am I happy with the work carried out by Gavin at Unit 4? YES! Was the upgrade worth while and the investment? Hell yeah!! Another job done!
  5. -1 points
    I removed the rear clam, I thought this would be quite a daunting task, but it was real quite straight forward othe than a couple of siezed bolts. I started following the guide on seloc but after 10 mins I soon realised that thier guide was based on a S1 so was'nt all that rellevant. I'm not going to start writing a step by step guide on how to remove the clam as It was over a month ago when I took it off! After taking the clam off I made a start on removing the exhaust then onto disconecting the wiring loom, I used masking tape to label up all of the conections as I came to disconect them. After a short while the engine was ready for lifting out.
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