Parts are starting to trickle in for the build this winter.
But just to re-cap the very end of the season before getting into that:
I was so hooked after the last event. I had to do one more before the end of the season.
I ended up doing a high speed autoX the next weekend, and I found a BWR front sway bar used for sale, so I purchased it and installed it before the autoX.
The event was a disaster, but I got a few good photos, and the sway bar while greatly reducing the body lean from the factory Track pack suspension, was way too stiff for the conditions/surface and the car understeer'd heavily.
Installing the BWR bar:
I feel like I could bend the factory bar over my knee. I'm still getting used to how dainty most of the parts are for this car.
High speed AutoX action shots. Can't believe the car is leaning this much with how stiff the new sway bar feels:
Wanted to address that body roll, so I took advantage of the black friday sale and picked up some Penske Double adjustables and some self lubricating bushings. I don't actually know what these bushings are made of, but it's really stiff, stiffer than Delrin it seems:
At this point the suspension will be about as good as it gets on the Lotus platform.
Plan for this winter's build has changed many times, but I think I'm getting a bit clearer on how to get what I'm looking to do.
I drove the car today for what will probably be the last time before it comes apart, and even being away from it for a month, I came back to it and the power wasn't sufficient. I need more power in the car, and the current vendor who installed the TVS1320 and tuned the car is saying that it will take tens of thousands of dollars to get into the high 300s range and I'd likely have to send the car to them across the country.
So it was at that point that I decided I'm not going to move forward with the Rev400 kit (Tvs1320 setup) any further.
I had played with the idea heavily of swapping in a K20 and I'm still not opposed to that, in fact that was my idea before buying the car, was to swap it immediately, but the cost is obviously high, and the thought of the shifter feel being likely worse than stock is kinda hard to swallow after you just spent so much money.
I was a bit lost as to what to do and I still don't have it all figured out, but I started looking at Dyno graphs of some turbo 2ZZs and noticed that the graph didn't look so bad. I started doing some research and I saw some nationally competitive Miatas running Borg Warner EFR turbos. Even the smallest EFR turbo makes 350whp possibly 400 on E85, which is my goal (400 whp when running the E85 map)
If the turbos are responsive enough for AutoX on a motor that's got less head flow, and lower compression than the 2ZZ than the 2zz shouldn't have an issue spooling it either. And it looks like at 3k rpm most of these small turbos make more torque than even the TVS setups.
At least from what the miata guys are saying the EFRs walk all over comparable GTXs in terms of lag and transient response.
So it sold me on the idea of turboing the car.
But of course none of the off the shelf kits fit the EFR turbos, and it's unknown if I can even use an off the shelf manifold because turbocharging doesn't seem to be popular in the lotus community.
So I might use a site like Build Your Own Custom Set Of Headers With Our Header Build Kits - Stainless Headers Mfg., Inc.
to make a custom turbo manifold or there's a local header shop but they don't generally work with stainless. So if I do a sch 40 mild steel pipe manifold I might use them. There's even a Jet hot shop right across the street, 1 mile away.
Still need to figure out mounting.
Still need to figure out Cooling. Air to Water Intercooler
A2W was recommended to me, but I'll need to figure this out as no one seems to have built their own setups for the Elige.
Also need to figure out a plug and play standalone which will run well with an easy way to plug back in the factory PCM and be able to pass OBD2 emissions. The car runs a flashed factory PCM which can be tuned, the only thing I worry about is the secondary O2 cel running without a cat.
Also need to find a tuner locally.
But otherwise it seems like something achievable over the winter, especially if I can find ways to make off the shelf parts work.
We have a very long winter, in which I can do the bulk of the work, and we have a very long cold and miserable spring too, which is warm enough to test the car, but will give me time to work the bugs out before the summer.
The bottom end with lower compression forged pistons is plenty stout, and for the top end, probably just SS valves/valvesprings for safety.
The transmission, not so much. I'm going to replace 3rd and 4th which are the weakest, and I'll still need to be careful.
Depending on the turbo I go with the car will be capable of 400-450 whp with full spool around 3500 rpms.
But wait, there's more
The front clam will be replaced, and the rear clam will be repaired. I haven't found the right shop to paint the car so I'm going to have a buddy liquid wrap it. If you're not familiar with it, look up liquid wrap or autofelx on youtube. This is a bit of a waste of money, but I want an orange car, but I don't want to take the depreciation hit of painting it orange, so this temporary solution will work until I find the right shop.
There's a pretty new and awesome pearl available for liquid wraps, called Tupelo, which is pretty close to what the end result color will look like, but I'll likely tweak it a bit:
It's going to be a busy winter, and right now I'm balancing this with a total remodel of our bathroom which we're working to get finished before Christmas
Bathroom current state:
Stay tuned, things are about to start heating up big time with this build