Bringing an Exige S back from the dead -- (re)build thread - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I also decided that I'm going to axe the current exhaust. Not a huge fan of the dual exit pipes and the previous owner tells me its really loud (I wouldn't know, since the engine doesn't run at the moment.) I need the car to be compliant for the strict noise limits at Laguna Seca (90-92db most days) so I picked up the 2bular 8" exhaust posted in the For Sale section. Supposedly, since it exits in the OEM location and is large capacity, it should be OK at Laguna.



The car already has a full 2bular system on it, including the header so hopefully it'll be a direct swap for the 8" muffler.

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2007 Exige S arctic silver (project)
2005 Elise magnetic blue/biscuit
2014 Audi Q5 3.0T scuba blue
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post #22 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 07:48 AM
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Did you buy it via IAA? If so, I bid on this car. I had it inspected, and was told that it had dumped all its oil via a damaged oil cooler, there was none showing on the dipstick, and it ran loud and rough. I adjusted my bid accordingly and obviously didn't get the car. I'm curious as to whether that was accurate. I ended up buying a slightly wrecked Elise with 15K miles for about half of what the silver Exige went for. Before and after pics attached.
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post #23 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by chiarov View Post
The shop where the car was taken post crash says the suspension pickup points and frame are all fine.
Something's amiss here. The PO's damage appraisal stated the front frame (crash assembly) was damaged and needed replacing.
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post #24 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2ZZGE4ME View Post
Did you buy it via IAA? If so, I bid on this car. I had it inspected, and was told that it had dumped all its oil via a damaged oil cooler, there was none showing on the dipstick, and it ran loud and rough. I adjusted my bid accordingly and obviously didn't get the car. I'm curious as to whether that was accurate. I ended up buying a slightly wrecked Elise with 15K miles for about half of what the silver Exige went for. Before and after pics attached.
Nope, I bought it via LotusTalk from this thread:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f231...1/#post5317729

2012 Porsche 991.1S white
2007 Exige S arctic silver (project)
2005 Elise magnetic blue/biscuit
2014 Audi Q5 3.0T scuba blue
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post #25 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Something's amiss here. The PO's damage appraisal stated the front frame (crash assembly) was damaged and needed replacing.
Yes, that's right, the composite front crash structure was damaged and needs replaced. But that's not part of the aluminum chassis where the suspension is mounted. It's a fiberglass (and kevlar?) structure that's glued to the chassis and is replaceable.

This is the piece that was damaged and I've already received a replacement one.



Apparently it's a pain in the ass to remove as it's bonded with something super strong called betaseal but a few folks on the forum have replaced those.

But measuring chassis straightness has nothing to do with that component. Here is the procedure for that, which I assume is what the dealership did and I am planning to re-do myself to check their work:


2012 Porsche 991.1S white
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post #26 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:29 PM
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Nope, I bought it via LotusTalk from this thread:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f231...1/#post5317729
Wow, looks just like one that recently sold at auction. Damage doesn't look that bad. Good luck!

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post #27 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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An update on the engine!

If you recall, when I originally acquired the car, the bolt that holds the cam gear on had sheared off and it was unclear if this was somehow due to the accident, caused the accident, or was just a coincidence.

@munozt dug into it a little bit this weekend while I was busy doing daddy daycare and here’s what he found. Turns out the the camshaft was actually seized, which as you can imagine could generate enough force to break off a bolt when you have a belt attached to one end.





We have a couple of extra 2ZZ heads laying around so hopefully this won’t be too big of a deal but we’ll need to diagnose further as to why the camshaft seized. I’d imagine this is typically because of lack of lubrication, but why wasn’t there enough oil?

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post #28 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to remove the 2ZZ head while the engine is in the car?

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post #29 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 08:43 AM
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Yes. Hopefully the pistons didn't smack the valves.
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post #30 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Yes. Hopefully the pistons didn't smack the valves.
Used a borescope to take a look at the top of the pistons and they look OK from what we could see, so fingers crossed there isn't any damage.

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post #31 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 04:09 PM
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Hi Vince: I was wondering if you and your friend that works on the MR2 would be available to discuss and possibly visit when working on your cams. I want to adjust mine, but not quite comfortable with the procedure. I've adjusted my '69 elan with shims so it can't be that bad!

Please let me know, sorry I don't how to PM you, my previous account under Sosube is Not accessible to me even though I've tried many times to contact the Moderator, no response

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post #32 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 05:03 PM
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Lack of oil because the accident cracked the front oil coolers or lines? I have a pair of coolers and the connecting line if needed

2007 Exige S with almost every track mod...
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post #33 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Lack of oil because the accident cracked the front oil coolers or lines? I have a pair of coolers and the connecting line if needed
I don't think the oil could drain out that fast?! I could be wrong, but according to the previous owner, after the accident the car was pulled to the side of the road and shut off.

Thanks for the heads up on the oil cooler! I actually thought the car was going to need the driver's side one but when we inspected it seems to be fine. Will take a closer look when the clam comes off and may reach out to you if it ends up being bad.

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post #34 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sosube2 View Post
Hi Vince: I was wondering if you and your friend that works on the MR2 would be available to discuss and possibly visit when working on your cams. I want to adjust mine, but not quite comfortable with the procedure. I've adjusted my '69 elan with shims so it can't be that bad!

Please let me know, sorry I don't how to PM you, my previous account under Sosube is Not accessible to me even though I've tried many times to contact the Moderator, no response

Brad
Hey Brad, let me get back to you on that. Our schedule is pretty erratic for this project but maybe we can work something out.

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post #35 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 06:57 AM
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Thx, Brad

Enjoying your project postings, was also looking into the same purchase... want, but too many toys and junk!
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post #36 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 07:46 AM
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I don't think the oil could drain out that fast?! I could be wrong, but according to the previous owner, after the accident the car was pulled to the side of the road and shut off.

Thanks for the heads up on the oil cooler! I actually thought the car was going to need the driver's side one but when we inspected it seems to be fine. Will take a closer look when the clam comes off and may reach out to you if it ends up being bad.
I bought an Elise at a salvage auction after watching the auctions for several months. An inspection of an Exige I bid on informed me that the engine was trashed because it dumped its oil after damage to the front. The inspector is not allowed to tear the car apart, so my guess is that the oil line and or cooler was probably damaged.

I'm pretty sure that the oil pump pushes oil through the coolers, so if there is a breach in the line you'll pump your oil out pretty quickly. After that inspection, I began looking very closely at the pics on IAA, and have seen oil puddles in some instances. For example, this car is clearly dripping oil, and I would be very concerned about whether the engine has been damaged as a result: https://www.iaai.com/Images/EnlargeI...dRecent%3DTrue
It doesn't matter that IAA says that the car "runs and drives," as all that means is that it will start and move if put in gear.

If the cam seized in this engine, why did it happen? Was it oil starved? Were the lines or coolers damaged? Even of the oil wasn't dumped, the line could have been pinched off. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that oil delivery to the cams was compromised by the accident, most likely due to damage to the lines or coolers.

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Edit: I responded while on my phone and didn't realize I was responding to you! In any event, I reread your thread, and noticed that you may be looking for the headlight bucket to repair your clamshell. That side of my clamshell is pretty well intact, and I did not discard it yet. Although I haven't looked at it for a while, I'm almost certain that the driver's side headlight bucket and reinforcing part that goes over the wheel arch are completely intact, and I'd be happy to take a jigsaw and cut it out and ship it to you for the cost of shipping. It's bonded in so you'd have to separate it, and it may be easier to just repair what you have, but this is another option if you like.

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post #37 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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All good points and we will try to investigate those.

Without a time machine, it's impossible to go back and know exactly what happened, especially because when I received the car it was in a partially disassembled state (valve cover off, spark plugs removed, various tubes / hoses disconnected) because it was towed to a dealer and I think the dealer began some initial diagnosis but then gave up once the insurance company got involved.

Probably makes sense to also replace the oil pump while we're in there just to be safe.

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post #38 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 10:36 AM
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I have to wonder if the smart thing to do wouldn't be putting a whole long block in. New warranteed long blocks at 2200 bucks, it doesn't take long to get into engine work to surpass that.

If the lower end turns out to be salvageable great, you can preserve the matching block but mostly no one cares......
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post #39 of 117 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Taking baby steps like a drunk toddler wandering around in his diaper

I remember when my kids were first learning to walk. It was like they were drunk -- miniature, drunk versions of myself. Not super effective, but they got to where they needed to go. That’s pretty much how this project is looking. But baby steps, one at a time, will get it done.

So anyway, I had a bit of time to work on the car today, as mentioned earlier it looks like the head needs to come off to we decided that was the goal for today. Unfortunately, we failed to complete the mission before the clock struck 6pm and I turned into a pumpkin, but we made progress. No, we still don’t know if the pistons decided to have rough, dirty sex with the valves or not. Borescope says no, but didn’t get the head off to confirm yet.

First step was getting the fuel rail and all the wiring off. @munozt had already removed the valve cover and cams.) This was pretty straightforward and involved only minor swearing at the various electrical connectors and inhalation of the sweet smell of 91 octane.

Then the throttle body came off. You can probably tell where this is going as we need to remove the REV300 supercharger that’s on the car so that we can remove the head. We have to undress her one piece at a time. First the buttons on the blouse, then... Oh did I mention we’re doing this with the rear clam on? Yeah so it’s like underdressing a women wearing handcuffs. Probably a poor decision but we don’t have a ton of space in the garage to store the clam at the moment so we’re making due. This is probably a good bit easier with the rear clam off.

The TB has a bunch of oil in it, which isn’t a good sign. So does the supercharger. Hmm.




Since neither of us had been involved in the initial install of the supercharger, it was a learning experience pulling it off but we made it happen. Definitely a job where you want two people as that thing is heavy and awkward during the actual removal process. It’s also a tight fit up against the firewall.



That supercharger sure is a thing of beauty though. @munozt keeps saying we should sell it and just make the car naturally aspirated, using the money to help offset the repairs of the front clam. But after re-reading @Butters and @ChronosWS ‘s threads (1, 2) about their supercharger installs and how awesome the cars were afterwards, I think we gotta keep them. I mean it’d be like neutering the most aggressive bull in your ranch.

It doesn’t help that I drove a friend’s McLaren 570S the other day, so the idea of “less power” isn’t sitting well with me at the moment. I think Colin said less weight, nothing about less power. Besides, I already have an NA lotus elise! (BTW that McLaren was insane, I’ve never felt acceleration like that in my life and I’ve ridden many sportbikes.)



We had some trouble on the pulley side of the supercharger, first with loosening the belt (we ended up removing the entire tensioner) and then later on with the motor mount on that side of the car.

Look at all the space without the fun factory installed:


Here’s another shot from the top, can you spot where the cam was seized?


Not really sure if you can see it in this picture, but one of the coolant hoses was pinched and kinked pretty badly underneath the supercharger.


The other thing we cursed at for while was the motor mount on the passenger side. I lost count of how many bolts that thing has but it was a bitch to remove. Is there some tip or making that easier? We also had to remove the water pump pulley to get to one of the bolts holding the mounting bracket to the head? @munozt tackled that while I unbolted the exhaust header so I don’t really know what was going on there.

Oh during some downtime I started to remove the roof with the plan to take it out to have the headliner re-done while we’re working on the engine, but one of the captive torx bolts’ head (passenger front) is stripped so we’re going to have to revisit that plan and figure out how we’re going to get that out.

I’ll have some parts for sale / trade soon (I’ll post in the For Sale section once I take some pics)

1 - TR Motorsports F1 wheels
2 - Set of winter tires for LSS wheels
3 - Difflow diffuser (trade for stock one)
4 - 2bular dual exhaust exhaust
5 - REV300 supercharger (JUST KIDDING!)

Like I said, baby steps.
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Last edited by chiarov; 06-11-2017 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Added links to for sale listings
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post #40 of 117 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Summer is here, but that means I’ve had less and less time to work on this project -- especially as I get ready for 4th of July tomorrow! But man, I want to drive it so bad. Still a long way to go and in the meantime I still have my blue Elise to keep me happy but the idea of the REV300 kit on this Exige is pretty appealing. So even though I plan to wait until the car is done and then decide which to keep (Elise or Exige S), I’m already getting biased towards the Exige.

Given that the car is located nearly 40 minutes away from my home, it’s hard to just “swing by” for quick little jobs, so I’ve been trying to bring stuff home so that I can do as little projects on the side.

Last week was the hard top headliner. It was sagging pretty bad so I researched a bunch of threads on the forum. I thought about doing it myself and looked at all the different options including spraying it with truck bedliner or plastidip. But I was worried it might look like crap since the front and rear mounting pieces would still be fabric, which wouldn’t match well if the top was just bedliner or painted.

Going the cloth / headliner material route I wasn’t sure I really had the skills for this to turn out nice so I got a couple of local quotes for the work. Being the f*cking silicon valley, everything here is more expensive. So while I was expecting $100-$150 based on other threads here, my first quote was $375-$450! WTF? I finally found a place that did it for $220 and I think it turned out really nice. (If you’re looking for a shop in the area -- Premier Auto Upholstery https://www.yelp.com/biz/premier-aut...rs-santa-clara did nice work for what I thought was a reasonable price.)

I just went with a black foam backed headliner material that was a pretty close match to the OEM one. Not a perfect match, but close enough.



BTW does anyone know if I can just replace the black trim on the sides of the hard top with door edge trim? Is there anything fancy about the OEM stuff? I’m pretty sure on my Elise hard top this stuff goes all the way to the end of the painted part?



Other updates:

Sourced a baffled oil pan from @wirewheel
Sourced a drivers side turn signal from @lotus72Eur
Sold the TR Motorsports F1 wheels to @MrUniverse

2012 Porsche 991.1S white
2007 Exige S arctic silver (project)
2005 Elise magnetic blue/biscuit
2014 Audi Q5 3.0T scuba blue
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