New Elise Owner - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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New Elise Owner

Hi from central PA. I picked up this 2009 Elise almost 2 weeks ago and I have already logged over 600 joyful, spirited miles on it. It has 35K miles, recent oil & brake fluid service, oil line recall done, and aside from some scuffs on the driver's door sill, missing toolkit, a few broken snaps in the trunk liner, it's very clean overall. I do have one question so far: does anyone know what this part is? I found it on the floor, by the rear left corner of the driver's seat.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:25 AM
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Welcome to the Funny Farm!



You should also sign up on LotusPALS (the local Lotus club, Philadelphia Area Lotus Society)

http://lotuspals.ning.com/


Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tengai650 View Post
does anyone know what this part is? I found it on the floor, by the rear left corner of the driver's seat.
That's a shim used between the bolt that holds down the rear track of the driver's seat and the track itself.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:50 AM
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Good for you.



Note to new Elise & Exige Owners:


1. These cars have large (i.e. dangerous) blind spots. Multivex mirrors are NLA, but RLS (Really Light Stuff) offers very good tape-on replacements.


2. The horns are way too weak (quiet). There’s an inverse relationship: smaller the car, louder the horn needs to be.

Get something such as a Stebel Nautilus.

Stock: “Excuse me”


Stebel: “HONK! LOOK OUT!”

Remove the stock horn; replace with louder.

(I drive with my finger on the horn button in any traffic. Iffy situations, my headlights are on.

Stay to the left of traffic, i.e. avoid passing on the right if you can.

Stop way behind trucks, SUVs, etc. Some have blindspots >50’. )


3. The early cars came with misaimed and dim headlights. If you drive at night, convert to HIDs. While better than stock halogen bulbs are available, HIDs throw more light. Stay around 5000k. As of this writing LEDs are not as good.


4. Ensure your car has had the work required by the recall for oil line fittings done. You could lose an engine and/or spin in your own oil.

5. Transmission:

The best transmission lube I’ve found is Redline MT-90 plus a little Power Punch Extreme Gear Oil Additive. (Note that it takes two changes to get rid of the previous lube.)

a) Early cars have wobbly shift towers. Look up Stan’s Mod (bolt and spacer; http://www.billswebspace.com/ShifterReinforcement.pdf) and

And, use:
Re-Enforcer long thru bolts that terminate under car and tie down the tower:
https://www.inokinetic.com/lotus/re-...y=Transmission

These (lube, mods) make a huge change in shifting.


6. As per some engine builders on these sites, wait AT LEAST 20 minutes after coolant has reached full operating temp before engaging cam switchover.

For street cars, consider removing one or both oil coolers. Some cover them. Oil doesn’t get hot enough on street, leading to cam wiping.


7. Rear toe-links can loosen and break with disastrous results. You can check tq periodically, or use Nordlock washers. Best is conversion to better engineered brace, such as BOE’s InoKinetic’s for two examples.
8. While under the car with panel off, look around for hoses and wires chafing their way to failure. That’s how this was found:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f311...-u-tube-47232/

9. The stock radiators are prone to leaking where the end caps meet the metal part. Keep an eye on this. Most of us use single-pass all-aluminum radiators.

10. When your wheel well liner comes loose, skip the lame plastic rivet and use Well-Nuts instead.

11. Life will be better if you disable the auto-arming alarm function on the earlier cars. You won’t have to press a button to start the car. Instructions:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320...ramming-70940/


12. These cars cannot be left off a Battery Tender for weeks at a time. Unless dead batteries are a particular joy of yours. Buy one right away. There are numerous threads here about which ppl use and like.

You NEED a digital multimeter (voltmeter) to work on modern cars. Handy around house too. Get one this week.

13, Some on this site are a bit obsessed with hockey pucks for lifting the car. Don’t use these. Too hard and slippery, generally, and too small a surface area. Use a piece of wood, as your hero does.

14. Visit the Uber Thread

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/e...ow-here-25131/

15. Most parts on the car are made by Toyota and others, so buying things like a/c compressors, engine parts, etc. is wildly expensive when purchased thru Lotus.
Toyota dealers, auto parts stores are way less expensive.

16. The soft high-grip tires on most of our cars lose much of that grip when temperatures drop below 50 F. I know of too many ppl who spun their cars when not remembering this. I use hi-performance all-seasons.

Note that many summer tires cannot even be stored in temps below 20 F.

-----

Plus, “How to bleed brakes”:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...brakes-241138/


How to Search:

For future reference: Don't use the search on this site. Simply use Google and end the search text with "site:lotustalk.com". E.g.
Transmission Fluid change what bolt site:lotustalk.com no space betw site:lotustalk.com

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
Welcome to the Funny Farm!



You should also sign up on LotusPALS (the local Lotus club, Philadelphia Area Lotus Society)

http://lotuspals.ning.com/

Thanks for the tip!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me73 View Post
That's a shim used between the bolt that holds down the rear track of the driver's seat and the track itself.
Thanks for the info. I should probably look for an at-large bolt under the seat too!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glb View Post
Good for you.



Note to new Elise & Exige Owners:


1. These cars have large (i.e. dangerous) blind spots. Multivex mirrors are NLA, but RLS (Really Light Stuff) offers very good tape-on replacements.


2. The horns are way too weak (quiet). There’s an inverse relationship: smaller the car, louder the horn needs to be.

Get something such as a Stebel Nautilus.

Stock: “Excuse me”


Stebel: “HONK! LOOK OUT!”

Remove the stock horn; replace with louder.

(I drive with my finger on the horn button in any traffic. Iffy situations, my headlights are on.

Stay to the left of traffic, i.e. avoid passing on the right if you can.

Stop way behind trucks, SUVs, etc. Some have blindspots >50’. )


3. The early cars came with misaimed and dim headlights. If you drive at night, convert to HIDs. While better than stock halogen bulbs are available, HIDs throw more light. Stay around 5000k. As of this writing LEDs are not as good.


4. Ensure your car has had the work required by the recall for oil line fittings done. You could lose an engine and/or spin in your own oil.

5. Transmission:

The best transmission lube I’ve found is Redline MT-90 plus a little Power Punch Extreme Gear Oil Additive. (Note that it takes two changes to get rid of the previous lube.)

a) Early cars have wobbly shift towers. Look up Stan’s Mod (bolt and spacer; http://www.billswebspace.com/ShifterReinforcement.pdf) and

And, use:
Re-Enforcer long thru bolts that terminate under car and tie down the tower:
https://www.inokinetic.com/lotus/re-...y=Transmission

These (lube, mods) make a huge change in shifting.


6. As per some engine builders on these sites, wait AT LEAST 20 minutes after coolant has reached full operating temp before engaging cam switchover.

For street cars, consider removing one or both oil coolers. Some cover them. Oil doesn’t get hot enough on street, leading to cam wiping.


7. Rear toe-links can loosen and break with disastrous results. You can check tq periodically, or use Nordlock washers. Best is conversion to better engineered brace, such as BOE’s InoKinetic’s for two examples.
8. While under the car with panel off, look around for hoses and wires chafing their way to failure. That’s how this was found:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f31...-u-tube-47232/

9. The stock radiators are prone to leaking where the end caps meet the metal part. Keep an eye on this. Most of us use single-pass all-aluminum radiators.

10. When your wheel well liner comes loose, skip the lame plastic rivet and use Well-Nuts instead.

11. Life will be better if you disable the auto-arming alarm function on the earlier cars. You won’t have to press a button to start the car. Instructions:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f32...ramming-70940/


12. These cars cannot be left off a Battery Tender for weeks at a time. Unless dead batteries are a particular joy of yours. Buy one right away. There are numerous threads here about which ppl use and like.

You NEED a digital multimeter (voltmeter) to work on modern cars. Handy around house too. Get one this week.

13, Some on this site are a bit obsessed with hockey pucks for lifting the car. Don’t use these. Too hard and slippery, generally, and too small a surface area. Use a piece of wood, as your hero does.

14. Visit the Uber Thread

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/...ow-here-25131/

15. Most parts on the car are made by Toyota and others, so buying things like a/c compressors, engine parts, etc. is wildly expensive when purchased thru Lotus.
Toyota dealers, auto parts stores are way less expensive.

16. The soft high-grip tires on most of our cars lose much of that grip when temperatures drop below 50 F. I know of too many ppl who spun their cars when not remembering this. I use hi-performance all-seasons.

Note that many summer tires cannot even be stored in temps below 20 F.

-----

Plus, “How to bleed brakes”:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...brakes-241138/


How to Search:

For future reference: Don't use the search on this site. Simply use Google and end the search text with "site:lotustalk.com". E.g.
Transmission Fluid change what bolt site:lotustalk.com no space betw site:lotustalk.com
Thanks for the info and to-do list!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tengai650 View Post
Thanks for the info. I should probably look for an at-large bolt under the seat too!
It's part number 4.



The only thing I can think of is that it holds the carpet on the rear bulkhead down or it's just an odd shaped washer so that it doesn't get lost when installing/removing the seats.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:59 AM
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I see that one picture is in front of a collision repair shop. I hope that's not related to the car
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I see that one picture is in front of a collision repair shop. I hope that's not related to the car
LOL, no. It has a clean title and was owned by a car dealer on this forum who also owns an Esprit.
Thanks for the parts diagram!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:02 AM
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Sounds as if it came from @carsalesman (as did our Esprit).
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Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:50 AM
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That's a great looking car with the hardtop!

Congrats!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 12:25 PM
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Congrats and welcome! Let me ask you a question as a new owner, this is something I'm always curious about; you were looking for a fun-to-drive sports car, why the Elise? What attracted you?

I'm just curious how people arrive at the decision, given the relative obscurity of the brand, the plethora of used Caymans and cars like the BRZ and MX5 being widely available...

What other (if any) cars did you consider?

I almost bought an Alfa 4C (reliability concerns) and then I considered a Mk1 NSX (still love those) but ended up buying an Elise.

Again, welcome! This is a GREAT community and incredible resource for owners of these special cars.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tengai650 View Post
Thanks for the info and to-do list!
You are quite welcome.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds as if it came from @carsalesman (as did our Esprit).
Yes, it did!
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
Congrats and welcome! Let me ask you a question as a new owner, this is something I'm always curious about; you were looking for a fun-to-drive sports car, why the Elise? What attracted you?

I'm just curious how people arrive at the decision, given the relative obscurity of the brand, the plethora of used Caymans and cars like the BRZ and MX5 being widely available...

What other (if any) cars did you consider?
I'm glad you ask this because it is something I always ponder as well. Initially for me, the first thing about the Elise I fell in love with was the unique styling/size. There is some sort of presence these cars emit when looking at the Lotus in the flesh (not in the same way as a wide Lambo etc...it's different). I remember visiting the dealers back in 2008 just drooling... I don't get the same feeling when I'm looking at a bloated Ferrari (Those are just TOO BIG nowadays). Ultimately, for me it came down to (1) looks, (2) the driving experience, (3) realizing I could possibly buy damn thing!
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
Congrats and welcome! Let me ask you a question as a new owner, this is something I'm always curious about; you were looking for a fun-to-drive sports car, why the Elise? What attracted you?

I'm just curious how people arrive at the decision, given the relative obscurity of the brand, the plethora of used Caymans and cars like the BRZ and MX5 being widely available...

What other (if any) cars did you consider?

I almost bought an Alfa 4C (reliability concerns) and then I considered a Mk1 NSX (still love those) but ended up buying an Elise.

Again, welcome! This is a GREAT community and incredible resource for owners of these special cars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy05 View Post
I'm glad you ask this because it is something I always ponder as well. Initially for me, the first thing about the Elise I fell in love with was the unique styling/size. There is some sort of presence these cars emit when looking at the Lotus in the flesh (not in the same way as a wide Lambo etc...it's different). I remember visiting the dealers back in 2008 just drooling... I don't get the same feeling when I'm looking at a bloated Ferrari (Those are just TOO BIG nowadays). Ultimately, for me it came down to (1) looks, (2) the driving experience, (3) realizing I could possibly buy damn thing!
For me, it was an 'I always wanted one of those (starting with the announcement of the S1 Elise in the '90s) and now I can finally actually afford/sort-of justify one. Even better, the S2 FED car has a Toyota driveline instead of something obsolete, obscure, and English. I was sold on the theory, and that was before I looked at the car in person.

The first time I saw my car it was parked (indoors) in a row with a DB7 DHC, a Gallardo, and a GT3 Carrera. The Elise was a spicy little gem among all the ridiculous excess (in one way or another) of the other cars. It was just as purposeful - just as essentially Lotus - as I'd hoped. The only thing the other cars had that I actually liked better was the buttery-soft leather on the Lambo, but it didn't justify the rest of the 'owning a Lambo' experience.

I've had mine for a little over a year now, spent several hours under and on it (improving, not fixing) and it still gets a smile from me every morning when I walk out to hop in for the morning commute.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
Congrats and welcome! Let me ask you a question as a new owner, this is something I'm always curious about; you were looking for a fun-to-drive sports car, why the Elise? What attracted you?
...
What other (if any) cars did you consider?
Thanks! I always drove something interesting and quirky (vintage SAABs, Land Rovers, etc. over the past 30 years), and I haven't paid a car mechanic since I was 19. I was previously driving a minty 1981 RX7 for the past 8 years. It handled beautifully, and was very light (2,200lbs). However, although it loved to be revved, I frequently found myself frequently reaching for a little more power as time went on. It had a huge sunroof (almost the entire roof), but I also decided that it would be nice to have a convertible. So I started to look about a year ago.

I first considered a Porsche Boxster, but after reading about the intermediate shaft bearing issue, lack of a recall and pricey aftermarket upgrade, I decided to pass. No wonder these cars have almost no resale value. Also, Porsches of all shapes & sizes are extremely common. They're rather ordinary, and kinda boring.

Next was the Toyota MR2 Spyder. I viewed that as sort of a "poor man's Boxster." The funny thing is, it's also the poor man's Elise. It's like an anemic missing link between the two, but still somewhat light and more powerful than a 1st gen RX7. However, it's a bit too cute, and after I saw several high school kids driving them, I decided that I couldn't be seen in such a femmy little toy.

One brief tangent I went on during my search was to go with something vintage. I thought about Triumph Spitfires, pre-'85 Alfa Spiders, and the Lotus Elan.
However, most of the affordable vintage cars are gutless maintenance hogs that don't handle any better than the RX7.

Next stop was the current Mazda MX5. It's a great design, but since it's a current model it's pricey. I figured if I'm gonna shell out that kind of money, let's go with something really interesting, and let's take a take a much larger jump in performance over the RX7. I wanted something more extreme, not just "fun."

So, I revisited the Elise. After doing much homework, I decided that the Elise was the best car for me, factoring in all things such as, drivetrain reliability, styling, handling, price, uniqueness, kerb weight, insurance costs and fuel economy. The only real downside is the parts stream availability and price. I'm so used to having accumulated several parts cars, but a wrecked Elise is about 15-30 times more costly.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tengai650 View Post
Porsches of all shapes & sizes are extremely common. They're rather ordinary, and kinda boring....

...a bit too cute, and after I saw several high school kids driving them, I decided that I couldn't be seen in such a femmy little toy...

...I figured if I'm gonna shell out that kind of money, let's go with something really interesting...

...the Elise was the best car for me, factoring in all things such as, drivetrain reliability, styling, handling, price, uniqueness, kerb weight, insurance costs and fuel economy.
Amen to the above and thank you for the thorough answer. I do sometimes feel the gravitational pull towards some other fun car that I've long admired, an NSX, R8, F430, Cayman, 911, 4C etc...but none of those things deliver what the Lotus delivers for the money. I want to drive and enjoy the car as much as possible and as economically as possible, and that's where everything else in this performance category starts to fall apart. I may finally start doing some selective upgrades now after nearly four years of ownership and spending a bit more time on-track. I think that will reinvigorate my excitement for the Elise.

Enjoy yours!
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 03:22 PM
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Congrats. I think the Elise is the most fun per buck out there. Have fun!
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