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Old 11-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #521 (permalink)
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:38 AM   #522 (permalink)
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Well, October and November have been a pretty decent month for the car so far really.

The gearbox wasn't able to be fixed in time for the CJC Jerkfest trackday in Taupo, so I was going to give it a miss. I did, however, manage to talk JC into heading down in his S260, so I decided to ride shotgun down with him. I'm glad I did because we had an AWESOME fun time at the track. My father brought MADD E up from Havelock and met us there too. I love spending time at the track with my father, he loves trackdays and even if not driving we always have a great time. I think it's time we both appreciate even more since his accident.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take the Jag out for a session, which was a massive laugh as always!



Here's a vid of me playing around with the old girl, although a slipping clutch meant I was being a bit more gentle than I could have been!


Later in the day, I got to have a couple of session driving JC and Nixx's S260. Was the first time I'd driven their car in any kind of anger and it was really quite lovely. The extra weight really does blunt it a bit, but the extra torque makes it very playful when you want it to be and it's got enough power to be rather nippy in a straight line. Here's some video of my session with JC in the pax seat. A couple of laps from the end I turned the traction control off to have a bit of a play. I bought JC and Nixx dinner that night to pay for the rubber I'd used


I got the gearbox together just before Labour weekend and the car was back running again. This was just in time for me to take it away touring for a week down to Hawke's Bay to visit the folks. The car racked up several hundred trouble-free miles, which was very nice to get under the belt. I was also pleasantly surprised with how nice the car is to tour in (apart from the noise, but I wear earplugs/phones, so that's negated). I'm looking forward to the Christmas Holidays already!

Late in October, issue 192 of New Zealand Performance Car Magazine was released, which ran a feature on my car. This was done at the end of August at a trackday at Hampton Downs and I was quite happy with the write-up and photos.





This weekend I managed to get the car into work and give it a polish and wax after its trip away. I also got JC and Nixx around (now sporting a second Lotus in their family as they could never agree who was going to drive and who was going to pax!) to help me bleed the brakes and clutch.



I've not been happy with the shift on the Quaife box for a while, it's been notchy and getting 2nd gear was sometimes tricky. You know how when something gets gradually worse, you don't realise how bad it gets? Well that's what my clutch is like. We managed to get a bit of air out of the line and the gearshift is back to being like a rifle-bolt! So good!

So, to celebrate, today we made the most of the fine weather and the three of us went on a bit of a blat, joined by Guy and his wife in his custom Type 79 themed 111R. I'd seen guy around a bit since he moved to Auckland a year ago, but had yet to meet him properly. The couple of hundred miles we did today were certainly a good way to meet up!





It was quite cool how we managed a convoy of four; Elises and Exiges in both S1 and S2 variety!

SEXIGE is now tucked up in bed awaiting the next sunny day. I've got a couple of niggles to chase down. The engine and the gearbox both have a weeping oil leak. Nothing major, just enough to piss me off a touch. I also want to head back up to GDS and see Glenn for a bit of a tweak on the tune as it's developed a bit of a hot idle problem where it takes a bit of heel-toe when coming to a stop to stop the engine dying. It's fine when it's idling, but coming down from revs it stalls if you're not paying attention. Other than that, it's plain sailing! Roll on summer and trackdays!
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:08 AM   #523 (permalink)
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Last couple of weeks I've gotten some new Pagid RS14s in the front as the last ones were completely done for, and I'm now shopping for some better brake discs as the EBC Turbogrooves on it are nearing the end of their life. Some AP or Alcon rotors with alloy bells will find their way on there soon enough.

Had an absolute blast in the car on Saturday. Went down to James and Nixx's last Friday night and we were up at sparrow's fart to drive down to Taupo to join in the NZHondas NIMM trackday. We met up with my flatmate and good friend Ant on the way down in his Nissan Skyline and we convoyed down.

Picked up a few nasty stonechips on the way thanks to some rather shoddy roadworks, but these are to be worn as a badge of honour I guess, and when they bother me enough I'll give her a respray in the factory colour

(Photo Credit to Ant)




It was a great trackday with plenty of track time for everyone, so much so that I was rationing petrol by the end of it and sadly nursing a couple of niggles (more on that later).

There were some cracking cars out there though, including Fraser Simpson in his newly completed Super GT-replica Honda NSX. The thing's still being dialled in and is due to receive a couple of turbos in the near future so it's fair to say it'll be quite the weapon when done!

(Photo Credits to Wayne!)




There was also an array of other cool Honda machinery out there including a brace of NSXs and some lovely JDM style Hondas.

(Photo credits to Matt Carter)




I spent much of the day playing taxi to people who wanted lifts, and generally having some fun overdriving the car and sliding about on a track with very little grip, as these vids of the first two sessions will attest!

The first session with Steph riding shotgun:


And the second with Hannah:

It was great fun sliding the car about like a mad bastard, but I managed to get some solo seat time in the third session and get some tidier, quicker laps in:


Sadly, the day didn't go ENTIRELY smoothly. Towards the end of the first session, the speedo died completely. I was just coming up behind JC in the Elise and it just dropped immediately to zero and stayed there. I've had a loose connecton on the LHS wheelspeed sensor, but I thought I'd got to the bottom of that issue, so I'm hoping it's just the same thing or perhaps a dead sensor and not something amiss with the Stack.

The second issue was that I've blown another alternator. Unlike last time where it just died, this time I noticed in the 3rd session that the usually rocksteady 13.9V while running was down to about 12.4V, jumping between 11.9V and 13V. I kept an eye on it for the day and it got no worse, but on the drive home it did get progressively worse with voltage dropping down to 10.7V or so on occasion. At each time I was able to wake the alternator up by changing down into 4th for a few seconds to bring the revs up over 4000RPM, at which point the alternator would go back on charge to about 12.6V.... so it at least got me home, just. I've got another alternator on the way, but given this is the second one I've cooked this year, I am going to have to adapt another one that can better handle the heat and high RPM that seem to be killing mine. I could also perhaps keep the stock one and under-drive it slightly, but really I should look for a better, lighter solution.

The third issue is that there's a clonk coming from the rear suspension I think. Some slack when transitioning on and off the power, like something's loose or moving. It could be a loose engine or gearbox mount or perhaps a toe-link, but I only noticed it as I neared home so hopefully it's nothing major.

Due to these niggles, the car probably won't see the track again until the new year. I want to take her away with me over the Christmas break down-country and want her in rude health by then, so my fingers are very much crossed that it's all minor stuff.

I'll sign off with a few more photos of the day and a couple of vids.

(Photo Credit to Andrew Whalley)


(Photo Credit to Wayne Thompson)


(Photo Credit to Andrew Whalley)


(Photo credit to NZHondas member "colgateam")


"Hello, Apex?...... Yes, I have a long-distance collect call here from George, will you accept the charges?"
(Photo credit to Matt Carter)


Managed a bit better next time around
(Photo credit to NZHondas member "colgateam")


Just to prove it wasn't all drifting and slidey stuff!
(photo credit to Andrew Whalley)


And finally, my favourite shot of the day, captured by Matt Carter:


Which was also captured by Ant's on-board camera as I went past him:


And how it looked from my angle:

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:05 PM   #524 (permalink)
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Great to hear you've been having some fun driving it!
(and don't sweat the small stuff )
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:13 AM   #525 (permalink)
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impressive story!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:53 AM   #526 (permalink)
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Well it's been a little while but SEXIGE is still alive and kicking. I've not had much time (or cash) lately to do a whole lot with it.

It's had a slight metallic rubbing noise from the left rear wheel intermittently and while I initially suspected a knackered wheel bearing, it doesn't seem to be.

I've not had the space at my flat to work on the car and suss it out but hopefully I've the time and space to get to the bottom of it now. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be major, so possibly just a rubbing brake disc or something similar.

I did, however, manage to get the car all shined up for the Club Lotus display at the Ellerslie Concours. A good number of hours went in to clean it up and give it a good going over top to bottom. It was looking pretty sharp on the day and Club Lotus took out the club display award, which was a nice end to the day.



Since then, the car just sat under its cover at my flat as I got on with the other big thing in my life. This last couple of months I've been going through the purchase of my first house.

I'd been looking at buying for a while but with the market being so crazy, I decided to just stay flatting for a while and saving money, but in January a place came on the market that suited me perfectly and was just about in my price range. I decided to take the plunge and on Thursday I started to move in.

You know when you see a house and there's just something about it you love? You can't seem to put your finger on it but there's just something about it that just seems right. I got that feeling about this place.

Here's a couple of photos of the Exige squeezed into its new garage for completely unrelated reasons.









You can kinda tell by the previous owner's enthusiastically-laid rubber that it's just the right sort of house for a petrolhead!

Of course now I've got a mortgage, the fun-budget is a little more restricted but I still plan on tinkering with the Exige, although I'll have to be a bit more measured with how hard I drive it on track as I can't afford to throw money at it as much as I have done in the past.... still, at least I've now FINALLY got the room to do all the work I desire on it!
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #527 (permalink)
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That's going to be sweet, congrats!
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:31 PM   #528 (permalink)
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OMG that garage, its soo big, im soo jealous
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #529 (permalink)
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Nice George - very nice!!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:28 PM   #530 (permalink)
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Now that's a garage!!

Congratulations George!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:12 AM   #531 (permalink)
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Thanks Steve, now youve got a place to stay in Auckland. .. handy to the airport too :-)
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:39 AM   #532 (permalink)
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awesome garage!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #533 (permalink)
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Been busy with house/work stuff of late so not many miles put on the car.

I did, however, manage to track down the source of the grinding noise on the rear (I think) to a rear calliper bolt being sliiiiiightly too long and just touching the back of the brake disc when loaded up. A quick touch with the grinder sorted that out.

This last week, I got round to doing something I've been meaning to so for a while; resetting the ride-height and giving the car a full geo, as the handling suggested it wasn't ideal. I've had the rear suspension on and off a couple of times and while I had an alignment done not too long ago, it just didn't feel right.... so now that I have the garage space, out came the string!



As I suspected, it was a way out, so after several hours of setting up, measuring, adjusting, and repeating, I had it pretty damned close.

The reason for this? I'd been invited along to a trackday by my father as his group of mates was going to one with the Hawke's Bay Car Club at Taupo. My good friend Paul Aston was coming along too in my old Elise, so it was set to be a fun day.

After a foggy drive down, the day was just a perfect late Autumn day. Clear blue sky, little breeze and about 20 degrees. Lovely!

Paul and I were allocated into the fast road-car group, which put us out with a couple of 997 Turbos, a 996 Turbo S, an R8 V10, a couple of F430 Scuderias and a Ferrari F458, among others.

Despite being outgunned under power, SEXIGE acquitted herself well, clearly faster than everything else out there over a lap, even though sometimes the others were reluctant to let the little upstart past!

This was from the first session, and I've got more video to come, but this was the only one where I started from the rear of the group, in the others I tended to just lead out and leave the exotica behind. It's not every day you get the chance to dust off Scuds and 458s!



Managed to clock a high 1:42 laptime which isn't too bad... car has more in it though, especially since my rear tyres have long since given their best!
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:20 PM   #534 (permalink)
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Been awhile since I've checked your thread. Nice to see you enjoying the car, and thanks very much for all the photos and video. Love the footage of the E-type on track as well as your final video here. You were a patient man in that one--I think I would've thrown up my hands long before you did. And congratulations on your house, I mean, your garage, with living quarters presumably attached. Great things happening!
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #535 (permalink)
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Yeah I'm loving having my own space and garage And yeah, it was a bit painful being held up that much, although in the later sessions they let me head off the group so traffic wasn't that much of an issue
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:36 AM   #536 (permalink)
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Well it's been a couple of quiet months for the Lotus over here. I always use it little in the winter, and despite it being an unseasonably warm/dry one over here I've had a bunch of other things on my plate which have kept me otherwise occupied.

Now being a mortgage-slave, I can't really afford to abuse the Exige in the way I'd ideally like to, so I've decided that the Exige will become more of a toy than a track hack and will come out for the odd trackday here and there and also for some road fun. That way I can avoid breaking it and having to sell organs to get it fixed! However, I still have a track-fun itch that needs regular scratching so I've decided to go racing on the cheap, so a friend and I have decided to field a team for the 2kCup here in NZ (2KCup: Race the car, not the Bank.).

This is basically a class for cars valued and purchased for less than $2000, sub 2 litre standard, normally-aspirated road cars. The idea is to basically buy it and race it completely unmodified. Some small modifications are allowed, and any changes to the car are limited to swapping out factory-optioned bits. Engines must be 100% standard, rollcages and race-seats and harnesses etc are optional to try and keep costs down and the cars are all slow enough that they're not really needed anyway.

The sensible cars at the front of the field are SW20 MR2s and Honda Integra DC2s it would seem. Liking a challenge and to do things a bit differently, we decided to go completely left-field and contest it in a Mazda Lantis Type R... which is somewhat boat-like in comparison to the opposition! Our aim, however, is to have the best sounding car in the competition! Such a shame we have to run a stock exhaust system as it sounds hilarious with a straight-pipe!

When we picked her up, she smelled like an ashtray, had various bits spraypainted matte-black, had completely the wrong suspension fitted and even had the remnants of stockings stretched over the lights as makeshift-tints! Beautiful! We christened her "The Cockroach"





We set about tidying her up, getting it road-legal again (another series requirement) and sorting out the suspension:



We also dropped as much weight as we could legally do, by removing things such as the sunroof (as the Lantis-R was available without one), so I decided to turn my hand at making up a carbonfibre sunroof-patch by making up a fibreglass mould:



... and then using it to lay-up a carbon sandwich panel on top of, which turned out pretty passable for a $2k junker!



Initial track testing has shown that while we probably won't be in the hunt for the championship, we're about on the pace of the lead bunch and hopefully can have some good battles.... it's a laugh being on track and not having a care in the world about blowing it up or bending it! It means you can rag it mercilessly!




Of course, having the new garage makes it a hell of a lot easier to do this kind of project and not having to worry about storing the Lotus or having cars in the way of each other when you want to work on one or t'other is nice!

It's actually looking kind of emptyish at the moment as I've suddenly become the focal point for all my friends wanting to do jobs on their various machines!



Back in on SEXIGE, it's still running really well, although I've still got a weeping gearbox casing which will need sorting in the mid-term. Given that the box needs to come out, I've decided I'm going to save up and fit a lighter flywheel and twin-plate clutch since the engine in this kind of tune really deserves something a bit less ponderous than the standard setup, and because I've already had one single-plate clutch fail on me, my trust in it is a little dented. I'll get them sorted out and over here before I pull the box off and apart to get the porous casting sealed up, which should fix the leak. It's only an annoyance value as in traditional Lotus fashion, the leaks always make a hell of a lot of mess for very little oil!

The only other issue I've had recently is a case of running rich and a bit of a hot-starting issue where it's prone to flooding. After polling the sensors it seems that my TPS has gone, as last month I noticed it sitting at 14% throttle on idle, and while it's usually not that bad, a test drive today showed it to be sitting anywhere from 0.9% to 6.2%, which isn't right. I pulled the old one off and have a new one on the way to re-fit, which should hopefully save me the hassle in future of being stuck on a petrol-station forecort rapidly flattening my battery trying to fire it up!

TPS Removed:


And the offending item:


And the car as she sits now:




First day of spring here today so looking forward to putting some miles on her this summer and the odd track outing too
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #537 (permalink)
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Well it's been a while since I've done a proper update.

Had the Exige out on track a few weeks back at the Club Lotus NZ twilight trackday at Hampton Downs. Had a couple of fun sessions, and despite me not driving it too hard and the brakes protesting a little (the discs are well due for replacement) it still managed to lap in the 1:14s easily, within a second or so of my best times.

On the way home the car started making a bit of a jangling sort of noise I knew all too well. I suspected that engine vibration had broken another manifold support bracket but inspection last weekend showed that the bolt that secures it to the block had come out and disappeared. It was about a 3 hour job to replace the bastard because it's probably one of the least accessible fasteners on the whole car! With only minimally skinned knuckles I managed to sort it.

With that fixed, I was going to take the car up to the "Caffeine and Classics" monthly meet up in Takapuna. On the way up there though, I noticed the slight grinding/rubbing noise I occasionally get from the left rear was back and probably worse than ever. Everything felt fine though but I decided to go home. It's one of those annoying problems that you can't replicate on the jack just by spinning the wheel but a half hour of rolling the car back and forth in the garage pointed to it being the left outer CV joint making a little noise.

The CV joints were one of the things I didn't do in the rebuild, I simply cleaned out and re-packed them with grease as well as cleaning up the salt corrosion and painting with POR15, so with all the track abuse I've given it,it made sense that one was likely to be on the way out.

So, with a new CV joint here from EliseParts, I got to fitting.

Here's the old CV off the car and on the bench:



I was going to paint the new CV as I did the old one, but given the car doesn't see a lot of the winter running these days, I figured it'd stay looking okay as it was. It doesn't match the other side now, but I'll probably replace the right hand CV too before long as preventative maintenance.

It all went nice and without a hitch really, which is nice. I thought I'd post up some photos of the wheel well area so y'all could see how the finishing job I did has held up over the last few years. While the car certainly isn't a daily driver it's certainly done a number of trips away and a dozen or so trackdays in the last couple of years, and it's been about 5 years since I did a lot of the initial work on the wishbones etc and they've held up really well I think!







Just need to give everything a quick spanner check and torque up before I take it out for a test drive in the morning. The Club Lotus Christmas Breakfast is on in the morning and the show/shine, so I might head along there to test it out
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