Bare minimum track mods for Stock Elise? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Bare minimum track mods for Stock Elise?

I am in the process of buying a stock Lotus Elise. As a bare minimum, what modifications should I make to safely track her and/or autocross from time to time? Looking for any and all input here.

We are not talking competition race here, just open track days (which I have done before in other cars) and trying my hand at autocross. I have read a lot of conflicting information in the search function as to what is truly necessary and what isn't.

So far, I have the bare minimum as:

1) Rear toe link upgrade or braced
2) Oil pan upgrade to Morosso baffled or similar
3) Racing harness bar / anti-sub install / 6 point belts
4) Proper tires
5) Track brake pads

Am I missing anything?

Thanks one and all for your feedback
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 08:49 PM
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flush some fresh high quality brake fluid in there and you're good to go with the rest of your list. Just make sure you check all the bolts as part of the routine as well.

rightseatdriver.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:24 PM
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6)fix the fuel starve issue
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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ZJChaser - agreed, thanks for the help!

KMT63 - #6 fuel starve solution is to upgrade the fuel tank, correct?
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:37 PM
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What do you mean by "proper tires"? One thing about the stock suspension is that it is optimized for the stock AD07 tires. Once you start using stickier tires, you run the risk of riding on the bump stops and overwhelming the suspension. That being said, AD07 tires are pretty good for a street tire...I would give them a shot at the track if you are sticking with an otherwise stock Elise. Once you start going to stickier tires, then you need to upgrade the suspension accordingly.

With base suspension and AD07 tires, you might not need a baffled oil pan, though I will defer to the experts on this one. Ditto fuel starvation issue. You can literally drive a stock Elise onto the race track from the showroom floor and it will do pretty well.

To all of the above, I would probably also consider changing your battery. The stock battery can leak and you can easily save 10 .lbs by going to a lower capacity sealed unit. This is not totally necessary but is good for peace of mind. Consider getting the car aligned, make sure everything is tightened down, and have fun!
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:40 PM
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Really just #4. Advisedly #1. Helmet obviously.

I ran my stock 2005 for about 12 track days with no fuel issues or oil issues. I had dual oil coolers and LSS.

Stock pads work.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:55 PM
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All the stuff listed only comes into play when you start really pushing the limits of the car. Until then, just keep the fuel tank more than 1/2 full and you'll be fine.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 01:26 AM
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The reiterate, flush your brake fluid bleed them very carefully preferably with a Motive bleeder. The last track day in my Elise was fun until brake fade set in due to old fluid. Flushing and bleeding was something I always took for granted because the Elise has such a capable braking system.

2006 Elise ST (someone else has it now . . . )
2008 Exige S240 ST
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCjohnny View Post
ZJChaser - agreed, thanks for the help!

KMT63 - #6 fuel starve solution is to upgrade the fuel tank, correct?
Add Phil's surge tank....BOE Fabrications, great parts and service!!!
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:02 AM
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All the stuff listed only comes into play when you start really pushing the limits of the car. Until then, just keep the fuel tank more than 1/2 full and you'll be fine.
Of course you have hard data to prove that statement, right? You have logged fuel pressure, AFM and tank float position so you can make that statement?

I have, and my data shows a stock Elise / Exige on stock tires can show a lean condition starting with a full tank of fuel at the end of a 20 minute session.

If the engine cuts out due to a fuel starve issue it has gone way past a lean condition. It has run out of fuel to the engine. At that point it does not hurt the engine a bit. The part that kills an engine is when it starts running lean. getting some fuel just not enough. You most likely wonít feel that when you are driving the car. Well you wonít feel it until you melt down a piston.

I have heard this Ĺ tank folk lore way too much. It is point blank incorrect.

Ok off my soap box.

Ralph Provitz
WHRRI SM Champion
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:16 AM
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Many track days (25+) with stock elise.

Just changed the fluids and torqued the toe links.

No issues in 4 years of ownership.

Drove car to work today.

Will be at Monticello in a month.

The rest is, well, optional, in my experience.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:25 AM
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How about calling Spring Mountain and asking them about what modifications they have done to the Elise/Exige they run there for the Lotus Performance Driving School...

IIRC, other than fluids, brake pads and other "consumables," they haven't changed anything on those cars.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:36 AM
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KC Johnny ... are you in KC or NY? If KC you can have total peace of mind with the BOE's end link solution and get it installed at their shop located in KC. That's one that I couldn't justify not doing.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:44 AM
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My car came with #1, #5 got put in because the stockers wore out. On #2, I just ordered the sector oil pan. You don't need the extra capacity of the moroso, and the "wings" get in the way.

Looking at graphs of oil pressure vs g forces, high g's the pressure drops precipitously even at high rpm's. Apparently this happens in sweepers, and quick left to right manouvers, like a slalom.

You don't need anything upgraded until you go to tires that can pull 1.2+ G's IMHO, if I weren't saving up for hoosiers I would have skipped the oil pan, its pricey.

gm

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:02 AM
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Make sure your battery is well strapped down. You don't want that thing rolling around in the trunk.

Tom
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 38bfast View Post
...my data shows a stock Elise / Exige on stock tires can show a lean condition starting with a full tank of fuel at the end of a 20 minute session.
Interesting data thanks. When you say stock tires, I assume you mean A048s or stickier? Wonder if the same thing would happen on AD07s. Probably a moot issue as most people don't run those tires at the track anyway.
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:35 AM
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I just spoke with Ricardo at Spring Mountain regarding the Lotus Performance Driving School Elises and he informed me that other than "consumables" there have been no modifications to their stock Elises. "These are just like you can buy at the dealer. They only thing we add is our stickers." He did recommend that if you are not checking your toe links after each track day, that you add the S111 brace, but even then their cars do not have the brace. They are just checked each day.
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 09:37 AM
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Hmm, is the oil pan overkill?

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold
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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:32 AM
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Hmm, is the oil pan overkill?
no

rightseatdriver.
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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadDad View Post
I just spoke with Ricardo at Spring Mountain regarding the Lotus Performance Driving School Elises and he informed me that other than "consumables" there have been no modifications to their stock Elises. "These are just like you can buy at the dealer. They only thing we add is our stickers." He did recommend that if you are not checking your toe links after each track day, that you add the S111 brace, but even then their cars do not have the brace. They are just checked each day.
Huge data point there, thanks. You wonder if the issues others have experienced are inherent or just "bad apples."

From what they told you, this tips the scale toward “bad apples.” It's hard to call such a sample size of heavily tracked cars "anectodal evidence."

I’m a fan of both S111 and BOE. Researching each toe link solution, note that S111 recommends replacing their joint every 20ish(?) track days. BOE’s uses a much higher rated heim joint, and no replacement time period is req’d.

Last edited by GTI-Guy; 08-17-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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