Why do so many sell car after major mods - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Why do so many sell car after major mods

Hi. I am new here and I'm looking for a used Elise.

It may be that these cars just get modified a lot,but it seems like there are a lot of cars put up for sale just a few thousand miles after the owner spends $xx,000 on engine mods.

Mostly just thinking out loud here to get my first five posts in...
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I've always enjoyed driving a lot more than wrenching. (My nature and limited resources encourage me to do my own work whenever possible). So I'm thinking I should stay away from the sc/turbo modified cars.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 11:53 PM
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The supercharger kits these days are very reliable. They wake up an Elige the way they should have come from the factory and are trouble free. Don't let yourself think that they will add any headaches.

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I've always enjoyed driving a lot more than wrenching. (My nature and limited resources encourage me to do my own work whenever possible). So I'm thinking I should stay away from the sc/turbo modified cars.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:32 AM
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^ +1

A well engineered, proven, aftermarket SC with aftermarket exhaust installed and tuned by a qualified or certified installer should be be considered a premium on a used Elige. Turns the car into a bit of a beast and is just a ton more fun to drive. Premium aftermarket shocks (dampers) are also a fundamental improvement over stock.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:48 AM
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Having had two Elise and Exige I find the major SC kits and mods designed to improve known Lotus faults from BOE/Sector 111 to be more reliable then stock cars.

But really depends on how the past owner took care of the car. Example my past very modded Elise I changed all fluids, cleaned complete engine and undercar parts, checked torque and replaced any part in question. This was done after each track weekend I took a week of cleaning and the car looked like new. I have also seen other owners cars that are OEM stock that never seen the track and I look under the car and looks like it's never every been cleaned and all corroded with oil leaks.

So I find its more about the past owners care more then if OEM or modded.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 05:12 AM
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Having just done the 300 HP mod to my Exige I can see how some of them might be scared of the car after, it goes from being pretty fast to HOLY **** I need to be careful... Another thing is some people like projects more then the result. Lastly some people have a low tolerance for things not going right. Maybe they got the power adders then their clutch started slipping because they didnt upgrade it and all of the sudden the whole thing is a POS.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 05:20 AM
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I guess I'm on the other side of the fence from these guys. I consider the car to be near perfect from the factory in N/A form, just needing some obvious tweaks (HID's, shifter mods, exhaust, tune, etc.). However, I don't track my car, so my judgement is colored by how I use it, which is as a fairweather friend. Don't take me wrong, I'd love to have a supercharger, but only for the additional low-end torque, and sound, I would never use the increased performance, hence why my car is nearly stock.

In answer to your question; it's my assertion that the more modified the car gets, the better driver you have to be to enjoy it without getting yourself perished. That said, many people buying this car have wallets that outrun their skill, hence the sale.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 05:33 AM
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I'm always surprised how these cars acquire numerous owners and a dearth of miles. I think the mods are incidental to ownership and not a cause of these car's short tenure. Maybe owners are trying to "fix" the car with mods, and when they're done, still find it's cramped inside, hard to get in and out of, and a moving target for everyone else.

TLDR: If you really, really (,really) like driving an exceptionally well-handling car, a Lotus is for you.

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 06:09 AM
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If this is your viewpoint I think sticking N/A or nearly unmodded is the way to go- more power isn't free and often results in more maintenance, although how much is too much depends on the owner.

There may be aftermarket S/C out there that are reliable, but then whoever services the car gets to figure out how the car is different than the way the factory turned it out, which can be a headache (or great if you enjoy tinkering)

My own philosophy, in case you couldn't already tell, is to keep the car as near stock as possible. Changes I've made come in the form of safety, reliability, or efficiency. For sale shortly after lots of changes would be a yellow flag for me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUniverse View Post
I've always enjoyed driving a lot more than wrenching. (My nature and limited resources encourage me to do my own work whenever possible). So I'm thinking I should stay away from the sc/turbo modified cars.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 06:17 AM
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I am surprised at the number of posters who say that third-party supercharger and turbocharger mods are generally reliable. If you found a vehicle modified by BOE (for example), that's likely true. But there are plenty of horror stories on this forum (try this one for example) of supercharger and turbocharger systems ended up being money pits and nightmares for their owners. Any form off power increase above a normally aspirated engine generally comes with more maintenance (and more expense), so if it's pure driving pleasure you're after, staying away from third-party engine mods is probably a good idea.

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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 06:34 AM
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Staying off the Lotus Blogs would help one. I tell myself there's nothing more I want to mod. Then something new shows up, damn. I sold my boat because it was a bottomless pit. And now I have a Lotus, should have kept the boat. I only need one more mod and I'm DONE. Hahaha
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 06:47 AM
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It's a great question!

I think it is like all other consuming passions/ hobbies. It becomes a rabbit hole. An addiction if you will...

The price of poker goes up after a few basic mods. You want to complete the "project" you throw money at it. Then you find that well maybe all that wasn't really worth it and you lose the love.

I came real close... I had a constant 3 year modfest with my car. There were dark winter moments when I questioned what I was doing. What I mean I questioned if it was worth it when my car was in exploded view in my garage and I had to finish what I started.

I think it has something to do with that. Now I am on the other side of it all. Car all set up, running great, detailed out under the covers in my garage. I thought about selling. It just becomes no fun. Some get through it, others don't, but like you noticed it happens a lot...

My car had over $12k in parts before it even got to me. I won't even say how much more is in it now. Enough to keep it cause the cognitive dissonance of selling is too great. For others the cognitive dissonance increases with keeping it after all that work. They know it won't stop, so they get rid of the "problem"

That's my .o2 on it.

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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 07:28 AM
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I think you touched on a great point there; for some it's the modding itself that's the real fun, and when you finally think you're done it's time to move on to another project. This is no more evident than in the Subaru community. Honestly, there are only 3 unmodded Subaru WRX's in the world, and Subaru own's those :lol:.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 07:49 AM
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I've always* held that every modification one makes moves the car further from reliability.

Even aftermarket exhaust systems sometimes have issues like cracked pipes, bad welds, etc. And those have no moving parts.

Shock absorbers are fine, as even OEMs are built by a supplier.

Me, better brake pads, HIDs, tune, louder horn & multvex (for safety).

The darn car is great with no mods, right?


*OK, not always, but theory began while in my teens...when the Earth was just cooling.

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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 08:21 AM
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There are two kinds of people in the world...................


Those who buy a car, play with it and then move on to the next bright shiny thing. Since you are most likely to mod a car when you first get it[as a combination of things, led by not really knowing the car yet] Viola, short ownership modded cars for sale.

The second kind of people buy a car and keep it.

My own Lotus ownership, Exige [2 months and counting], M100[13 years] S2 Seven[18 years] +2[31 years and counting] puts me firmly in the second camp.
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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 08:41 AM
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These are extremely easy cars to modify successfully. Built about as complicated as a world war two airplane. Sure it can be overdone. Plenty people who will never put in what it takes to be a driver try to compensate with performance mods. Then still are average drivers and move on to a GTR or Vette.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHILR8N! View Post
]Plenty people who will never put in what it takes to be a driver try to compensate with performance mods.
Yes and thanks.

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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 09:14 AM
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To answer the original question: There are two different types of modders in any car community: guys who modify for the track, and guys who modify for sake of modifying. You will almost always see the latter sell their car as soon as they are "done." Modding is addictive and they do it to chase the dragon, then move onto the next project. I've seen it a hundred times. Guys who modify for track use tend to hold onto their cars longer, IMO, because they are seeing real (i.e., non-superficial) benefits from modding. Just my $.02
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUniverse View Post
Why do so many sell car after major mods
1. The norm for these cars is short ownerships. Look at some carfaxes from Eliges to see what I mean.
2. These cars are easy/fun to mod and it is very common.

Just because someone is selling a recently modded Elige, doesn't mean they are selling it because of the mods. It could just be that they, like many others, decided the car is not for them.
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 09:32 AM
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You may notice many owners are engineers or people who understand and appreciate the engineering behind the car instead of just people who who make enough money to own one (sure there are some like this, but not as many as you think). Many realize this level of stock performance comes from very smart and well thought engineering rather than just adding displacement, technology, or other things traditional supercar builders tend to do. These owners who understand and appreciate the engineering also tend to think they can continue to engineer it to make it better which is when they modify the car.

This ownership type, the rate at which these cars find new owners, and the ease of modifying them make it not surprising how many are no longer stock.

My personal opinion is similar to what others have said but I'll say it a little different:
A stock Elise is capable of so much and has minimal driver aids so it is perfect to actually learn how to be a better driver in. Driving the stock form is so fun that many people think it will be more fun if they just make it better here, and a little better there, and here too. Modifying it to make it better is easy so when people do it and realize they only only have marginally more fun, they may not see it worth the money they spent. Modifying it to be safer and more reliable for known weak aspects is definitely good but adding performance has to be done right and done because it is needed for competitive use or else the modifier may not see it as worth the money they spent on it anymore.
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