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Old 01-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking to buy, many many questions

i'll start off with these few things. yes i know there is a search bar, and ive been using it for some time already. and i'm 21... now if your just going to turn this into a young kids shouldnt own this car and buying one is stupid please dont bother. ive read almost every one of them.

I understand that you dont simply own an elise because its cool. owning an elise is an adventure, for better or for worse.

- so i'll get to it. I've lived around high maintenance rear engined cars my whole life so i have an idea of how much time and effort goes into keeping them running. But around how much does it cost per month to maintain?

- i'm stationed in texas so one of my biggest fears is weather. from what ive gathered no elise is water tight, no matter what there will always be water somewhere if its raining or wet. what are ways to help prevent this? what are problem areas where water tends to pool?

- what about hot/cold weather? Do elises overheat in hot weather? do they have standing issues in traffic? Aside from tires are there any issues driving them in below freezing temperature?

- no car is without flaws. there were the recalls for the shifter knob, the oil lines, and the infamous red clutch hose, shoddy radiator walls, the ’05 headlights getting “sunburn”. I’ve heard something about cams wearing out is this true? what about other quirky issues that usually require attention to keep the car runnineg smooth, and is there a place to find a diy for all of them?

- i’m not one to put a Gucci folding top on it or lower it and throw oversized rims on it, but I do like to personalize. How well do the stock seats work with a four point harness? Which is more worth while, a clam hinge or a radium clam kit? Which companies make quality products and which ones don’t?

Any insight that can give me more perspective on what owning/maintaining an elise is like is very much appreciated
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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- so i'll get to it. I've lived around high maintenance rear engined cars my whole life so i have an idea of how much time and effort goes into keeping them running. But around how much does it cost per month to maintain?
Depends on the amount of driving you're doing and how hard you're doing it. Once a month at the track would probably do more to the monthly cost than just tooling around town or being in traffic.

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- i'm stationed in texas so one of my biggest fears is weather. from what ive gathered no elise is water tight, no matter what there will always be water somewhere if its raining or wet. what are ways to help prevent this? what are problem areas where water tends to pool?
I think it's going to depend on the car. I have a hard top and a soft top. With the soft top, I get some water leakage around the top of the passenger and driver windows after/during a car-wash and rigorous soaking. Never been in heavy enough rain with the soft top to notice leaks. With the hard top I get the same effect during a car wash but the amount of water coming in (at those areas) is more, so much so that I'll get small pools of water drops along the side sills on both the passenger and driver side. Not a bucket's worth, but enough to notice. You'll definitely want a covered parking spot or garage, or at a minimum a good outdoor car cover.

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- what about hot/cold weather? Do elises overheat in hot weather? do they have standing issues in traffic? Aside from tires are there any issues driving them in below freezing temperature?
I bought mine in the summer time here in SoCal. I remember doing the Oil Sandwich Plate delete about 2 months after I bought it and I remember noticing engine temps creep up 4-6 degrees on average. Highest I ever hit was stop n' go traffic in the Inland Empire on a hot (90+) day and the temp was 216F. Never crept up that high again and on an average warm day in stop n' go the temp is usually 205-208 while stopped and jumps back down to 200, 195 and 191ish when moving. No idea about the tires, mine aren't stock and I've never driven in super icy conditions.

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- no car is without flaws. there were the recalls for the shifter knob, the oil lines, and the infamous red clutch hose, shoddy radiator walls, the ’05 headlights getting “sunburn”. I’ve heard something about cams wearing out is this true? what about other quirky issues that usually require attention to keep the car runnineg smooth, and is there a place to find a diy for all of them?
The Uber Thread has a lot of good info in it. No major quirks to be aware of for regular use, other than the obvious stuff. Keep an eye on your oil level, your coolant level and your engine temps. Let the car warm up a bit (160F or higher I believe) before flooring it to get to the 2nd cam. I've heard the trannies aren't the greatest and should be treated as such. YMMV.

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- i’m not one to put a Gucci folding top on it or lower it and throw oversized rims on it, but I do like to personalize. How well do the stock seats work with a four point harness? Which is more worth while, a clam hinge or a radium clam kit? Which companies make quality products and which ones don’t?
Can't say, I would think you'll have a hard time with a four point harness without modding the seat or going aftermarket. Maybe I'm wrong. Others can tell you more.

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Any insight that can give me more perspective on what owning/maintaining an elise is like is very much appreciated
It's like owning any other car, with the following notes:

1) Don't look directly at it.
2) It can reach dangerous speeds on dry pavement
3) It's made from an unknown green material that fell to Earth from space

Just take it easy on the tranny and the engine if possible, don't lift in a turn carrying a lot of speed, check your fluids often, replace all the crap that usually fails or at least be prepared when/if it does, keep it covered or in a garage, drive smart, stay alive, blah blah blah.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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looking to buy, many many questions

Welcome to the forum, sir.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Link to aforementioned ÜberPost

**Elise/Exige Uberpost READ THIS. Everything you need to know is in here**


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Old 01-24-2013, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Arizona stop and go traffic in major cities will make your temp climb, if it gets too hot, pull over and let it cool. Because the radiator is fragile, my *must stop now* temp is about 205-210 degrees F. Low temps do not seem to be a problem. Maintenance costs aren't scary, it is the semi-random failures which can be annoying and costly. In the past year, I have had 4 things which made my car undrivable.
1. Would not go into reverse, reverse lockout collar separated from sleeve with cable connected.
2. Front to back shift cable broke, leaving me stuck in second gear.
3. Fuse blew which powered Alarm/central lock, the key alone will not get you into the car.
4. Supercharger had bearing failure within a few thousand miles of install, needed replaced.

Expect to go through 2 to 3 sets of rear tires for every set of front tires, this happens to everyone. (I have had to do this)
Learn the tachometer/speedometer reset procedure. (I have had to do this)
Learn the procedure to disarm the alarm without the key fob, for when it's battery fails. (I have had to do this)
Learn the key fob resync process. (I have had to do this)
Learn the key fob programming process (I have had to do this)
Expect a 5 minute conversation when you stop for gas, doesn't happen every time, but it happens often enough.
Bumps in the road will have a chance of making your front turn signals pop out. (this has happened to me).
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you're going to put 4 pt harness in, hopefully its only for show or autox unless you're getting the 'ASM' 4 pts (that ultimately act like 3 pt). If you've got no idea what i'm talking about, google 4pt harness submarining.

Also, if you don't want ppl to make comments or assumptions based on your age, why mention it?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to LT

Some good answers already so I'll just add my 2p.


Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy582 View Post
...
- i'm stationed in texas so one of my biggest fears is weather. from what ive gathered no elise is water tight, no matter what there will always be water somewhere if its raining or wet. what are ways to help prevent this? what are problem areas where water tends to pool?
...
Its built in the UK and copes with UK weather conditions

Mine doesn't leak in heavy rain (so heavy that you have to stop driving)... but they are hand built cars so all different.

If they do leak it isn't significant - I've left mine out in the rain with the roof off ... but it dried out with no issues

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...
- no car is without flaws. there were the recalls for the shifter knob, the oil lines, and the infamous red clutch hose, shoddy radiator walls, the ’05 headlights getting “sunburn”. I’ve heard something about cams wearing out is this true? what about other quirky issues that usually require attention to keep the car runnineg smooth, and is there a place to find a diy for all of them?
...
That red cluch hose was on the original S1 Elise which is not available in the US - so don't worry about that

The radiator plastic end caps are prone to failure - replace when you can.

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...
How well do the stock seats work with a four point harness?
...
Stock Elise seats don't work with harnesses unless you get the harness bar from SSC which is higher than the Lotus one. The Exige seats are designed for a harness and these can also be found in certain Elises.

HTH
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the helpful advice. Assuming you have a place to work and not factoring clam removal, how difficult is engine work? Will I need to be replacing spark plugs, gaskets and what not on a regular basis? Or do they all hold up like you expect with a normal car?

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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imo, the stock car is running on a toyota 2zz with a slightly different tune, so i'd expect it to be maintained like a Toyota Celica, motor-wise. Many folks are over 100k miles now Change the oil on schedule, do the annual brake/clutch fluid, tranny fluid, drive the heck out of the thing. But remember it's a Lotus, so one must be prepared for anything.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Heck, when I got caught in a drizzle with my top off, I just sped up and amazingly, hardly any water got inside and I zoomed into my garage pretty dry. True story. (twice)

As for weather... it's actually pretty good in the heat, never driven in hard rain but did see water pooling by the sill like it was leaking in the gap between the door and body fender. Nothing major, but also saw water seeping in from window/top juncture during handwash.

Other than that, with all the suggestions you have and your background, the simplest thing for you might be to buy a Noble. There are a few in TX and they are easy to register there. Leicestershire FTW!
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Is there anywhere I can find an IPB of the car? Or a cut away with everything labeled?
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You need to modify the seats for 4-point harnesses, but doable, safe (got TÜV in Germany for it) and a easy fix. For harnesses for Schroth ASM, safest option, or go 5/6 point.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You need to modify the seats for 4-point harnesses, but doable, safe (got TÜV in Germany for it) and a easy fix. For harnesses for Schroth ASM, safest option, or go 5/6 point.
Thanks. I mean safety isn't my highest concern, I have no plans of tracking it in the near future, bit a shoulder strap in a fiberglass car with no air bags just doesn't cut it. And besides... I like four point harnesses
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks. I mean safety isn't my highest concern, I have no plans of tracking it in the near future, bit a shoulder strap in a fiberglass car with no air bags just doesn't cut it. And besides... I like four point harnesses
FYI - there are both driver and passenger air bags. Its the law.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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FYI - there are both driver and passenger air bags. Its the law.
Well shows how much I know. Still want them tho. I could have sworn that the steering wheel didn't have one built in? Or is it hidden somewhere?
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I like four point harnesses
Tell that to Madame Helga and the Dungeon of Pleasure.

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Well shows how much I know. Still want them tho. I could have sworn that the steering wheel didn't have one built in? Or is it hidden somewhere?
There is a full airbag in the steering wheel too. Read the embossed letters on the wheel, it will say it right on there that it's got the SRS.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You'll shoot your eye out kid. JK. Welcome. I think you'll find the Elise more trouble-free than the impression you have of it.
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