SSP? SSM? Rev400? Yes.
Last month, I put a Blackwatch/BOE Rev400 on my 2006 Elise. I'd intended on using the car in SCCA Stock category autocross (now "Street") when I bought it ~5 years ago.
The car and I did not get along in Street/Stock. It had all the right bits, it was fast, as demonstrated by JakeD and a couple of other people, but I never really clicked with it. I don't know why.
So, I started thinking about getting out of stock and into SP or SSM. The bulk of my time autocrossing has been in SP - "Street Prepared," which, in a nutshell, allows suspension/wheel/tire/intake/exhaust changes, but not much more.
That said, "Street Prepared" cars lose a lot of "Street" by the time they're competitive; I often refer to the category as "Street Impaired." The Elise can certainly do well in SSP - Ryno has proven that - but SP is a weird category in that you can do a lot of interesting things, but you have to do it the most difficult way possible.
Example - way back, 99ish or so, welded differentials were not allowed.
You COULD legally shim a clutch-type LSD so tight that it was effectively locked, but you could not just weld the damned thing. Stupid; when you shim a clutchpack that tight, it wears out fast. Replacing clutch bits every few events sucks. I like SP as a category, it is fun, in a nerdy way (to really do it right), and that was appealing.
Thing is, taking a stock 06 Elise and making it into a competitive SSP car costs a fair bit. Realistically, the engine piece would cost about as much as a Rev400, by the time it was all said and done - and I'd wind up with less power.
SO....SSM? Huh. I have to ballast the car up. That's offensive, but who am I to talk - I'm not exactly light. Ballasting the car up is nice, I don't have to worry about how light everything is. There's no motivation to remove the AC. I can put a stereo in the car. Huh. Interesting.
Both classes allow cutting the fenders. I'm not quite ready to go there yet, but in the interim, a Rev400 + decent wheel/tire/suspension = a regionally competitive car that's still usable on the street, and if one were to chop fenders, it gets really pretty competitive.
Sounds good. So, off to blackwatchracing.com, ordered a Rev400, surge tank, DMC header, clutch, etc.
I dragged the car to a friend's shop, spent three weekends installing it.
- Fred and Phil's customer service is great. Emails and phone calls answered immediately, any questions I had were answered thoroughly - although I had few, as the instructions are THAT GOOD.
- The kit, instructions and attention to detail are astounding. BOE/Blackwatch did an amazing job. Everything is packaged well, sensibly, the step-by-step nature of the instructions makes it really pretty straightforward. It is a big job, but not really all that _hard_. Just lots of individual steps.
- If you choose to do this, budget extra time. There are all SORTS of things in there that you might find interesting to address while the ancillaries are off the motor. There's a lot more room in the engine compartment with no intake and whatnot in the way. I spent a solid 8-10 hours doing Other Stuff "while I'm in there."
- Buy a clamhinge. I have the Radium "quick" disconnect kit, and it is certainly pretty good, but really, the hinge is the answer.
- One place where Fred and Phil are full of crap is simple - they claim it is possible to do without removing the clam. Bovine feces;). Kidding aside, I'm sure it is possible to install it with the clam in place, but yow, I can't imagine. Take the clam off. Put a hinge on. it'll be better. Even with the time it takes to remove the clam from stock (interior out), I suspect you'd save time overall. I *know* you'd not regret it. I just can't imagine leaving the clam on.
- The instructions are not only good, they're foretelling - just about every not-expected thing that came up was directly addressed in the instructions. The instructions are really good.
- once finished, you get to drive it.
The change in the car's personality is incredible. I really liked the Elise with the stock 2zz, in its own way. It was not overly powerful, necessarily, but it was fun - and not _slow_ if I kept it on the cam. The whole package works.
It works a WHOLE LOT BETTER with a bunch more power. I have no idea how much power my car makes - Fred knows what I'm after, Phil was very communicative, I had confidence that they'd put together the right combination of ones-and-zeros with elevation (Denver), intended use (autocrossing) and fuel - 91 is "super" here at 5200+ feet. If the car ever goes to sea level, it'll do it on a trailer & I'll put appropriate fuel in to accommodate. I never even bothered to ask "how much power."
It is adequate, to undersell it a WHOLE lot. I can't imagine what it'll be like at sea level. When I brought it home, it was raining. I took it for a ride before stuffing it back into the garage. Wheelspin was an issue. HAH! I'll take that.
First autocross outing was amusing; I'd not changed my alignment (rear toe, specifically). It was, well, sensitive to throttle application. Again, underselling it. The car just could not put power down. Again, I'll take that.
The car is fast. I've not dynoed it, I've not taken it to the dragstrip. I've driven a LOT of interesting cars over the years at various autocross schools. It is easily as fast, or in the same ballpark as those cars -
supercharged Corvettes, hotrod BMWs, Nissan GTRs, Porsche turbo things, etc - I've been fortunate, I've driven lots of interesting stuff.
The Elise + Rev400 is an enormously well sorted combination. Not only is it fast - it is, it is a legitimately fast car now - it works. Driveability is not compromised. It starts like a normal car. It idles well. It does nothing weird.
I drove it to work today, and in the middle of the day, I ran an errand. I was halfway to the relative middle of nowhere when I realized how much post-installation work I'd NOT done.
I started it/checked it out/drove it/etc per the instructions. I brought it back in, checked to be sure everything was tight, no leaks, wires and hoses routed correctly, etc.
I've done _nothing_ since, save checking oil and things. I don't hesitate to drive it anywhere. It just _works_. I've been messing with cars for a while, I've made some pretty big changes to various vehicles over the years, and NORMALLY, when I've invaded a car's personal space as much as I did the Elise, there's a teething period of a few weeks where I dare not stray too far, and certainly not without tools.
This thing came out of the box and onto the car, and it could very well be passed off as factory - lots of "modified" cars are big, clunky piles. Fast, yes, refined, no.
So - if you've read this far - two thumbs up. Five stars. Whatever metric you'd like, the combination is great. Zero regrets or complaints.
Last edited by mannix; 06-14-2017 at 07:51 PM.