Lotus Elise

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9th April 2012

Well, I've finally bitten the bullet. I sold my Speed Triple, something I thought I'd never do but it didn't seem right to keep it as I only did 200 miles on it last year. I also sold the GT, but I know the new owners well and they'll look after her. Hopefully, I'll see her from time to time. With the proceeds and some money from the sock under the bed, I bought an Elise yesterday. The car's being delivered by the vendor today. I think I'll spend some time washing, polishing, cleaning etc in a bid to become familiar with the car before driving too far.

The car is a 2001 S2 model with a K16 engine with 35000 miles on the clock. There are a couple of upgrades done by previous owners, it has a Janspeed Supersport Exhaust and an ITG Maxogen induction system.

As I get to know the car I'll add to these pages.

   

28th April 2012

First Lotus update. I've run the car for a week and can report just over 40mpg without driving like a granny too!

So far I've taken the tint film off the side windows and that made a massive improvement in terms of early morning visibility. I've booked in for an 'A' service and cam belt change at Lakeside Engineering, taken delivery of a 'shower cap' and today have removed the diffuser and rear mesh grilles.

The diffuser has been DA'd with 240 grit, then wet 'n' dry at 400 grit, G3'd and finally polished with Autoglym resin polish and looks much better. Once I get it back on the car, I may take it off again paint it satin black. The mesh grilles have been grit blasted, etch primed and finally painted satin black.

I've also cleaned all the stainless steel fixings ready for re-assembly tomorrow, hopefully photo's will follow soon.

20th July 2012

Well, it's finally time for a long overdue Elise update. So far I've used the car almost daily for the run to and from work and been to Le Mans Classic in it for a 5 day blokey mini break and I have to report that all is well in Lotus land.

In terms of work done, it had an A service, cam belt change and MoT at Lakeside Engineering with no issues at all and no official advisories. An un-official advisory was that the discs are slightly scored and will need replacing before its next MoT, no surprises there. I've also adjusted the fit of the door windows to stop leaks during the monsoon season - also known as summer. The windows can be adjusted seperately at the front and rear in both up and down as well as in and out directions. I now only have a drip or two through the passenger window to roof gap in extremley heavy downpours when the car is parked up. I can live with that, after all, it's not me getting wet!

I have also taken delivery of a front splitter from John, thank you John. It needed rubbing down and painting and has had about six coats of polish and is now very shiney and slippery. John came over to assist with fitting. Whilst we were attempting the fitting we found a very small crack in the fibreglass under the front nearside of the nose of the car, about 1" from where the splitter would attach. Needless to say, we aborted the fitting and did a repair, my first fibreglass work ever! I went and bought the repair kit and John came over the following day and showed me how to do it. The crack was only about 1/2" long and was an easy repair.

The splitter is still not fitted .... just haven't got round to it.

Next, I removed the Alpine CD autochanger and the control cable. I made a modified cable that plugs in to the head unit where the autochanger used to and presented this to a panel in the car as a 3.5mm socket. I reprogrammed the input of the head unit to give me an MP3 input. Whilst I was at it, the panel I made also has a pair of USB outlets on it for charging phones, cameras, MP3 players - in fact anything USB you like. The USB sockets have pins 2 and 3 linked together to simulate an AC type charger, this means the devices plugged in will charge at 1 Amp, not 0.5 Amp, resulting in a much faster charge time. This proved invaluable at Le Mans. The panel also has a 12v outlet and doubles as a SatNav mount. I think Mr Chapman would have been pleased with the result, one lightweight panel that does three jobs - MP3 in, USB out and SatNav mount.

I ordered a new set of number plates with the GB logo on in preparation for the assault on Normandy, these were duly fitted and look much better, especially as the front plate is slightly smaller.

Also, as a nod to the monsoon season, I bought a new wiper blade and bloody pleased I did too!

I joined Club Lotus and applied for the Goodwood trackday in September. I had an attack of paranoia worrying whether the car would pass the noise limits for the day so Hilary and I had a pleasant trip down to the track and had a static noise test done at 75% of max revs which turned out to be 4800rpm. It passed, the static limit was 98dB, mine was measured at 92dB. I won't find out if I've got a place until August. Dominic's really hoping I get a place as he's nominated as the second driver for the day.

I have noticed that at walking pace speeds I can hear a squeaking and occasional hollow knocking sound from the OSR corner. Looking on the SELOC forum, this is quite common and is attributed to the inner toe link ball joint. The ball joints, which look like traditional track rod ends, dry out due to their close proximity to the exhaust, despite having a heat shield to protect them. Sadly the only remedy is to replace them.

I rang Elise Parts, discussed what was needed and placed the order for the parts at about 2pm, by 9am the following day the parts had arrived. Sterling service, I'll definately use them again.

SELOC wisdom declared that this squeaking and knocking wasn't dangerous so we went to Le Mans like it, you can only hear the noises with the roof off, windows down and a walking pace. Needless to say we spent most of the time going faster than walking pace and with the windows up and roof on.

Andy & John at Club Lotus parking
The obligatory 'Arty' shot

John and Ian in John's Elise S and Richard and I in my Elise ST went to Le Mans Classic, we left on the 9am ferry from Cherbourg on the Thursday and were home by 3pm on the following Monday. A great time was had by all, I'd love to go again next time, we'll have to make some plans. It'd be nice to take more cars next time and hire a house, we stayed in a chateau this year.

1967 Lola T7
1959 Lotus 15
1959 MGA
1960 Aston Martin GT
1964 Lotus Elan??

1931 41/2 litre supercharged Bentley

1937 Delahaye 135S
1931 MG Midget

Walking the paddocks was like Goodwood Revival but more extreeme, more cars, more paddocks, just more of everything - except food and beer stalls.

1934 Austin 7 S
Ferrari 250 GTO's
1964 Ferrari 250 Le Mans
1959 Morgan +4 Supersport
1964 Porsche 904 GTS
1965 Renault Alpine M65
1955 MGA
Dodge Viper

Not much more to say about Le Mans, just look at the pictures and come with us next time. The range of cars is truly immense and awe inspiring .... Alpine, Aston Martin, BMW, Bentley, Corvette, Caterham, Cobra, De Tomaso, Delage, Ferrari, GT40, Jensen, Lotus, Lola, MG, Mercedes, Maserati, Porsche, TVR the list is endless, VERY expensive and VERY exclusive.

Renault Alpine A110/50

 

The Elise performed faultlessly and returned 46mpg, not bad with two fat blokes on board and a boot crammed with luggage. Who'd have thought you could justify an Elise on grounds of economy?

This weekend coming the Elise will be evicting the V8 from the garage for replacement of the toe link ball joints, report and photo's to follow.

 

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