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post #70 of (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 07:56 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA, Bay Area
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IMHO, the fix should be a MoCal oil/water heat exchanger and remove 30 feet of oil line down to about 2 feet centralized in the engine bay only, then remove those front oil coolers so cool air can actually reach the front brakes.

I look at my Lotus as an ever evolving "Fix" ... don't laugh, I'm serious. Who knows, some day I may reach a point where stuff stops breaking ... probably have about $200,000 invested by then (maybe more).

As for the aftermarket, this IS the perfect car. I mean seriously, what better car could the aftermarket want? A car that has a history of problems and issues for which the aftermarket has solutions. Given the relatively small number of cars produced, the aftermarket for these cars is MUCH larger than I would expect ... a sign perhaps?

But like others here, I too bought my Exige S thinking it was a sorted out and dead nuts reliable $80,000 street car (my out the door price) ... it didn't take long before I realized this is not a good daily driver, nor a good car to rely on, and like others here part of me was sorta pissed off. Then I took it to the track thinking it would kick some ass ... it kicked some ass, it kicked my ass and I walked away about ready to try and sell the thing.

I didn't give up, took it to the track again, blew up engine #1 (fuel starve). Crap, ok that's it, fix it myself and engine #2 lets go on the street!! (7900 rpm valve). By this time one would think it's time to give up and move on. I didn't, I have no idea why, but it sorta became a challenge and I was losing 0 and 2.

So Engine #3, back to the track, radiator hose clamp comes loose - factory tightened - and sends me flying into the wall at Infineon. A few thousand in cosmetic damages later...

The most mod unfriendly car I've ever experienced ... but I kept at it. Lots of electrical issues, so what do I do, pull out EVERY single wire and put in some real MIL spec wire and connectors (Lotus wiring is scary stuff) and replace the sporadic Lotus guages (sometimes they work sometimes they don't).

At this point I finally conceed that this car is never going to be a good street/track car and start my race conversion project -- race only. Did I expect more failures, yes, did I get more failures yes, cam timing gear pins broke (wow, didn't expect that one), lost 3rd gear in the transmission (expected that one) ... and ...

It's been a constant process of fixing failures and I'm not sure there will be an end to it. Now you could argue that it's because I modified it, but I had a lot of issues long before I made any changes to the car (and many of the issues had nothing to do with my modifications). Sure, there are many folks that don't have issues with the car, lucky maybe or they just don't drive it much, never take it to the track, or they are very very gentle with the car ... but it's supposed to be a sports car isn't it?

Other's have suggested that you should expect this from a low production sports car company ... Ferrari, Lambo, others all have the same type of problems. If this is true, which I can't confirm, then I guess I'm glad I only dropped $80,000 on the Lotus and not $300,000 on some other low production sports car. But even if this is the case, it's still not a justified answer to a problem.

Of course 3rd party vendors, BOE, BWR, MWR, Sector, etc. are gonna LOVE this car, it's a virtual black hole of aftermarket solutions.

Should this specific problem been taken seriously, hell yes. But so should have many other problems. Frankly, Lotus response is abismal ... I recall when they (Lotus) called up my body shop repair guy and chewed him a new ******* for "exagerating" the fatory defects in the rear clam. I wasn't even making a claim, just inquiring with Lotus -- this was all out of my pocket (as with everything I've had to repair).

So seeing this NHTSA investigation isn't exactly a big surprise to me, it was just a matter of time that those far less tolerant than I would step in and make Lotus do something more constructive.

If this puts Lotus under or excludes them from the US, then so be it, it's not what I want to see, but this is clearly a case of Lotus making the bed, now you gotta sleep in it. And before you say "well what if the NHTSA decide in favor of Lotus" ... it changes nothing ... being "proactive" rather than "reactive" is a better position for Lotus regardless of this outcome.


"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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