Starlight 05' Lotus Elise Mod Journal! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Starlight 05' Lotus Elise Mod Journal!

So, I got this car just about 2 months ago. Posted a "new here" thread HERE.

I plan on modding this car little by little to make it my own. The previous owner did an amazing job modding the car for power and "luxury" by adding in a lot of sound deadening in the right spots. Being that it is only the touring package on this car, it actually is a fantastic place to be in while doing longer trips. However, I am a guy who really... really... REALLY appreciates a great interior and a stunning exterior, so my plans (which are already in motion) include classing up the interior some more with some leather wrapping and additional carpeting while doing some minor mods to the exterior. So far the tentative list is this:

- Side barge boards
- Leather wrap dash
- Leather wrap side sill
- Additional carpeting on the inside of the side extrusions
- Alcantara accents
- HID high beams
- FastWorks tune
- BOE Intercooler to accent the Rev250 kit
- OR go with a TVS supercharger to replace the M62.

So here is what the car looked like when I picked it up.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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The first mod that I knocked off the list shortly after I got the car was to add some alcantara accents to the carbon fiber doorcard's that were already on the car. The previous owner gave me the stock doorcards, so I sent the insert off to JPM Coachworks and for $80 (for the pair) they removed the old leather and put on some fantastic dark grey Alcantara. I then used velcro to attach it to the doorcards. Was quite happy with how it turned out!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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This next part was a big undertaking. Basically I saw a black McLaren MP4-12C with dark grey wheels and orange brakes, and I was floored. It just looked absolutely stunning. I had always wanted to do orange brakes of some sort on my previous cars, but could never commit myself to doing it. However I decided to give it a shot on the Lotus.

I decided to go with Plastidipping the wheels, as I have always plastidipped a LOT of parts with great success in the past and had just released an "Anthracite Grey" metallic type paint that seemed to fit the bill as for exactly what I was looking for. So the car went up on jack stands, wheels off.

I spent a lot of time cleaning the wheels, using the pre-dip spray. Which was pretty much an alcohol wipe. From there I did several coats in between a 3-4 hour time span. I ended up using 4 cans of paint making four coats total, then one light layer of glossifer to have a satin look to the wheels. A lot of people try to wrap the wheels with cards and whatnot, however with the plastidip, you can simply just peel off the excess paint on the tires without effecting the paint on the wheels. No need to mask off the tires or anything. I took a bunch of pictures of the process since it seems not a lot of people in the Lotus community have taken to using plastidip. The great thing is that if in a few months you get bored, or don't like a particular color, you just simply peel it off and whatever item you painted is left in perfect condition. No need to sand the original wheels or do much prep work beyond really cleaning them!

The wheels freshly cleaned using wheel cleaner and a brush

Prepared the wheels with the Pre-Dip spray, turns out the wheels could get even cleaner!

First coat down!

All done and drying in the sun

Showing how you can peel off the excess
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to only paint the front brake calipers for now. But trying to find an orange that is similar to the McLaren MP4-12C orange brakes proved to be tough. I actually went through three different types of spray orange trying to find the right color. I had to go a slightly unconventional route.

The only orange ceramic based paint that I could find that really matched what is on the McLaren was VHT Flameproof Exhaust Paint in Flat Orange, and because it was a "flat" paint, I used some of the VHT Flameproof in Clear to act as a clearcoat, and put some gloss into the flat color, as well as adding a bit of a dark tint to it. It turned out perfect! To me I think it looks amazing.

First prepped the car, covering up what I could with a leftover plastic sheeting from when I was painting my house.

I didn't get any pics of this part, but I removed the brake pads, and popped the caliper off and took off the rotor. Before putting the caliper back on I wrapped the hub with some grocery bags. Then just threaded the bolt through. Was a surefire way to get complete coverage protection. I masked off the bleed nipple and the brake line running under the caliper. From there I cleaned the caliper as best as I could with brake cleaner and steel wool. I used some of the Pre-Dip spray as the last step as a final grease/wax remover. Then hit it with several coats of the flat.

Then hit it with a bunch of coats of the clear.

Waited several hours for the paint to dry on both the brakes and the wheels, then mounted everything up. (I didn't peel off all the paint on the tires just yet. Was excited to get the car back on the ground)

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 05:50 AM
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Not sure you'll get an enthusiastic thumbs up on all this but why not, it's your car.

What kind of wheels are those? Don't look familiar.

[SOLD] 2005 Lotus Elise, NFB with orange trim N/A+ Nitron DA's+gPan+little tiny Odyssey battery++ Lotus Sport seats+ DBA 5000's/Stainless++Lotus Sport wheels ++ V2 stuff like gas tank, arms ++Track pack harness bar/6pt++2Bular GT3 and sport cat++ quick release and a few steering wheels++ custom rear delete++ Magical Racing mirrors with custom mounts ++ RTD brace ++ toe link upgrade++ other little stuff
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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They are the Mak XLR wheels. Really like them, just didn't like the machined silver face. I've always enjoyed a dark grey/black multi-spoke wheel.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 08:16 AM
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Looks sweet!

05 Elise
56 VW Dune Buggy

GGLC-Sacramento Chapter Membership and Recruiting
[email protected]
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 04:35 PM
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Thumbs up " an enthusiastic thumbs up "

You have my thumbs up on the orange calipers.

I saw them today, and did not know at first what was different about the car. Then, it dawned on me.

Black wheels, orange calipers. Great look. And i'm not normally one for black wheels - in this case, it works quite well.

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