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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/21 4:17 p.m.

As mentioned in another one of my "help me spend my money" thread, I ended up spending all my money on a 2005 Lotus Elise. Well, not all my money, more all my budget.

Managed to get it out of the garage after the E36 M3ty weather over the last couple of days so I had a chance to clean off the road grime. I had it shipped on an open trailer, and it arrived with a bunch of free bugs splattered all over it. Time to break out the Optimum No Rinse and get cleaning:

First order of the day was to put in the pigtail for a Battery Tender. I eventually got it in, but I couldn't tell how old the battery is and the two battery post clamps seemed a little worn. I'll probably put in an Odyssey anyway, just got to figure out which size I need but at least I have the Battery Tender hookup in the meantime:

Oh, and it looks like the Florida and Nevada sun has done a number on the front speakers. Not quite sure how I'm supposed to get them out without removing the windshield though. But either way you can hear them sound bad just from the picture.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the condition of the car. It wears its 70k+ miles well and so far looks like it might benefit from a little fettling, but nothing major. Brake fluid wants to be changed before I take it to the track, as mentioned I'd want a different battery and I'll want to replace the radio with a less early 2000s-tastic one. Oh, and I'm working hard on ignoring that you can get TE37s in the correct fitment. Some red ones would look splendid, but I'd take bronze also.

But of course I say "this is not going to become a project" about just about every car...

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/31/21 5:33 p.m.

Fantastic! Congrats!

demnted
demnted New Reader
10/31/21 6:19 p.m.

Ratcheting bit driver?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/31/21 7:13 p.m.

In reply to demnted :

Good idea, just ordered one off the 'zon. They come in handy anyway.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/1/21 8:23 a.m.

Congrats!  Hope you have an atypical ownership experience based on your previous cars!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/21 3:39 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Thanks, I'm hoping so, too.

And in other news, I spent my lunch break at the DMV and now have a plate for the car. Hoping I can get it inspected in the next couple of days in between bouts of somewhat crappy weather.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
11/1/21 5:03 p.m.

It's a Lotus.  What could possibly go wrong?

I'll admit to wanting one of these since they came out.  At the time they were too expensive, and now the prices are still too high for me.  I should have bought one around 2012 or so.

Enjoy the car, as I will vicariously.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/21 5:13 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Funny thing is, I remember telling my wife that I thought the Elise was too expensive around 2012 and that I'd rather buy an NSX for the same money.

Shoulda bought the NSX...

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/2/21 8:24 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

All of us should've bought NSX's.  Although their performance, especially at altitude, where I live, is underwhelming

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/2/21 9:36 a.m.

This is one of a handful cars I absolutely adore. 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
11/2/21 11:05 a.m.

Take a look at the rear suspension and keep a eye on the trailing arms and bushings.

This going to seem odd, but it can seem colder on the passenger side when going for a fall drive.  Bundle up and enjoy the drive!

CodyD
CodyD New Reader
11/2/21 2:26 p.m.

Great looking car, congrats on the purchase.  The failure points that I'd suggest prioritizing are the oil lines that run to the radiator in the front.  The hose pops out of the couplings and sprays all of your oil over the road and your rear tires.  MonkeyWrenchRacing has the kit listed under the 2-Eleven here: https://www.monkeywrenchracing.com/product/mwr-lotus-oil-cooler-hose-kit-lotus-2-eleven/

The clam hinge kit was was a great modifications if you're willing to permanently modify your shell.  So much easier to work on the engine and rear suspension.

After that you start looking at the https://www.boefab.com/ catalog and it gets really carried away, haha.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/4/21 11:44 a.m.

In reply to CodyD :

I'll have a look at the oil cooler hoses, that sounds like a worthwhile upgrade. And those two websites look potentially expensive.

It's already got the updated end links in the rear suspension. I still have to poke around underneath it properly, but first I have to find a way to lift it. This car is definitely too short to fit on my QuickJack.

Gzwg
Gzwg New Reader
11/5/21 3:54 a.m.

That is a gorgeous Car!

A friend of mine had a similar one (US-Spec that was re-imported to Europe) in Red.

The test drive in 2018 convinced me that I had to get an Elise or at least something Elise-based. Even though I already had a small 2-seater, an Elise just feels so much better to drive..

Took me three years, but in May I purchased my Speedster. The engine is not as exciting as the 2ZZ, but the driving feel is the same. I did 6400 km's in it over the summer. smiley

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/25/21 2:52 p.m.

Finally managed to take it out for a spin this afternoon. Between me traveling and the weather generally not being that great, the car was mostly cluttering up the garage.

First impressions - it's kinda like my first Elise, but not as stupidly noisy inside. You can actually do 55mph and still hear yourself think, which was pretty impossible in my S1. The engine could do with (a lot) more torque, you have to drive it almost like a rotary but without getting much in the way of pleasant engine noises. Sounds very Toyota utilitarian.

Feedback through the butt-o-meter and the steering wheel is insane, it's one of those cars that will tell you if you drove over a quarter or a dime. It definitely also tells you how it wants to be driven - I got the message after running wide on a couple of corners - and that works best with careful inputs. Not that you should be timid, you have to make a decision and run with it, but in cooperation with the car. I don't think trying to wrestle it to the ground would end well, unless "ending well" includes getting your behind kicked into the next county over. While going backwards.

I didn't have a problem putting my MR2 turbo into a controlled slide on the track, but with this car I doubt I have the skills to do that with its shorter wheelbase. Not that I got myself into this kind of situation on a public road, but I did get a glimpse or two of "eh, Senna you ain't". I suspect that before I take this car on the track, I'll have to autocross it a couple of times to get a better feel for it closer to the limit. Especially given how little runoff some areas at Summit Point have, I don't think I want to explore the limits of this car at track speeds, at least not initially.

Oh, and I need to find some sort of gas pedal extension or somesuch, because I seem to have a hard time heeling & toeing it. Either that or I need to stomp on the brake harder than it is advisable on public roads.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
11/25/21 3:09 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Wider throttle pedal is a real need in these cars. I have made several for a customer with a piece of 6061T4 (could use 5052H2) and a couple of 10-32 flat head allen screws into tapped holes in the pedal. I bet one of the Lotus specialty shops sell one too.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/27/21 7:11 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

I'm not sure if it's only a wider pedal these need. Right now it feels like the gas pedal is too low compared to the brake pedal, so I can only get my foot into a position to blip things properly if I were to brake much harder than I find advisable on the street. I think someone makes a pedal extension that also makes the pedal taller.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
11/27/21 8:22 a.m.

Hashtag amazing. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/2/21 10:25 p.m.

And we have video, with some driving impressions by dollar store Capt'n Slow:

 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
12/2/21 10:42 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to TurnerX19 :

I'm not sure if it's only a wider pedal these need. Right now it feels like the gas pedal is too low compared to the brake pedal, so I can only get my foot into a position to blip things properly if I were to brake much harder than I find advisable on the street. I think someone makes a pedal extension that also makes the pedal taller.

I had the same issue with my c6z and just made a 1" spacer out of some scrap wood and bolted it onto the pedal.  
 

you can't see it at all but I wonder if yours would be more visible.  In that case, you'll want to sand it down and throw a coat of varnish on it for class. Haha

Gzwg
Gzwg New Reader
12/3/21 2:06 a.m.

Nice Video!

I guess this has the stock exhaust still on?

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
12/3/21 10:33 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

I was teching cars at the track for a Porsche club event and a guy had a block of wood zip tied to his accelerator pedal.  I made him remove it before I'd let him out on track. 

There are companies that sell pedal covers that have built in adjustable height bits...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 10:49 a.m.

In reply to Gzwg :

Thank you! Yes, it still has the stock exhaust. I don't think it needs anything louder/more aftermarket as is. I'm actually quite happy that it's a little more quiet than my S1. Either that or I'm getting deaf at my old age.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 10:50 a.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to jfryjfry :

I was teching cars at the track for a Porsche club event and a guy had a block of wood zip tied to his accelerator pedal.  I made him remove it before I'd let him out on track. 

There are companies that sell pedal covers that have built in adjustable height bits...

Yeah, no dorifto-spec zip ties for something like that. I vaguely recall seeing a proper pedal extension at some aftermarket vendor, now all I have to remember where I saw it.

lnlogauge
lnlogauge HalfDork
12/3/21 3:20 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

https://www.inokinetic.com/eliseexige/dbwpedals?category=Interior/Safety

track use only though. they fall off if you drive them on roads. 

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