So I'm building my Elise for SSM action in SCCA auto-x. I made it 1.5 seasons on the stock C64 before I finally lunched the final drive. After a bunch of research, I decided that an E153 with a Kaaz Super Q 1.5 way diff would be a good choice for a car I still like to terrorize the streets in.
Overall Kit Review: First, I'd like to thank MWR for bringing this to market and allowing dudes like me to do this in my garage without major fab. I'd also like to say that installing this kit was a major pain in the ass. The $2800 price tag suggests (as well as the website) that this is a refined, bolt-in procedure. It is not. The quality and precision of the kit is low. Many aspects required me to break out my drill, file and hole saw... and sadly, my hammer. Meh, what ever. It works. If BOE or BWR offered the kit, I'm sure it would be worth the price. I guess that's what happens when only one company offers a product. They can ask what they want for it. At least my drivetrain should be bombproof.
So here's what came with my kit. It was missing about 6 bolts and the shifter cable adapter bracket. MWR was nice enough to mail the bracket and 4 bolts quickly. Maybe they smoke dope at work. I dunno. Oh, not pictured is the flywheel that is a specialized part. That's probably where a lot of the 2800 went.
First off, I had to drill out several of the holes in some of the mounts since the reused stock bolts didn't fit through them. The front trans mount for example; the two bolts that are reused that go into the trans are too big for the holes in the new mount.
This bolt wouldn't go through the mount until I drilled it out.
Here's an interesting tid-bit: The new mounts move the motor to the passenger side a bit so if you are using a PPE header, you'll need to clearance the subframe. I used a hole saw.
Here's the adapter plate mounted to the motor. One of the bolts didn't align. Matt at MWR said it would be fine missing the bolt. What ever. I'm sure it will be. You can see the starter mounted too. You have to drill out the threaded hole in the starter because you put both starter bolts though the backside now and they sandwhich the block between the starter and the adapter plate. It's a pretty good solution.
This is the new shifter mechanism. The two bolts that hold this to the E153 were not provided. Lucky for me, I've got tons and tons of spare car bolts. You can see the MR2 starter bolts from this side. MWR doesn't provide a blank off plate for this orifice so I created one from some aluminum. I held a piece of paper on the profile and pushed on it with my finger to make a traceable impression.
Blank off installed as well as the missing shift cable mount.
Installing the transmission while the motor is supported in the car by the passenger side mount alone is impossible. There isn't enough room. I had to hang the motor from an engine hoist and lower the whole thing down to assemble then lift. Make no mistake, the E153 is a huge transaxle compared to the C64. So once you get to the point where you're installing mounts install them all with out tightening any bolts down because the mounts just aren't that precise and with no modification, the trans was pushed against the subframe. So out came the drill and file. Maybe this is why people think the mounts are so stiff! I've filed and cleaned up this area since the pic.
Here's a pic of the spot that the bolt hole doesn't align. You have to file down a small tab on the bottom of the block to fit one of the adapter plate bolts. That wasn't too tough. It's only about 2mm of material.
Look in the hole. It's metal where threads should be. hmmm
Now on to the axles. My intermediate shaft came assembled incorrectly. I had to undo a snap ring and swap the spacer and bearings so that the intermediate shaft would get good penetration into the trans. No biggie but still... $2800... come on guys.
Next, the intermediate shaft mount that goes on the block needed ground down on it's mating surfaces because in addition to the thickness of the powder coating, it's also too small to fit the axle. Nothing was easy with this kit.
Why was one axle bolt of 12 provided extra long? I don't know either.
Now, after making sure nothing was making contact except the mounts, the motor is definitely in there pretty stiff. It's slightly stiffer than the full innovative mount kit. It's still not bad though and I'd daily this. I'm pretty tough and this is mainly an auto-x car. I'm sure many would be dissatisfied with how stiff the mounts are. They would probably also be the people who could daily a 300whp car and never break the C64.
The shifter isn't quite right either. On my 2008, I had to remove the block that limits the leftward motion of the shifter... it's the reverse lock out. I'm not sure all the lotus years are like the 2008 so that might not be an issue for you but as it sits in stock form, getting into 1st and 2nd was almost impossible. With the block removed, shifting is ok. I still need to adjust the cables to be 100% happy.
Anyway... if anybody has any specific questions, just post here.