With LotusF1's permission, the short story:
Many of the Elise Talk veterans here are familiar with the horror story of LotusF1's Turbo Elise. This is the story that started so poorly with a Haas Turbo kit, a privateer's installation gone bad (remember Stan?), then one Lotus shop molesting the car, followed by yet another well known Lotus shop totally molesting the car
, and now the car finally ended up in our shop
First, I must say that we see more and more turbo cars in our shop that have been terribly constructed. I thought I had seen it all, but this car really gets the prize. The shops who touched this car did criminal work at best
The exterior of the car is note-worthy. LotusF1 has done a great job with tasteful accents and has some of the best paint I've seen on an 05. But after that, he relied on shops to do the mechanical work and that's where it all falls apart.
A list to give you an idea:
- The "custom" ECU Tune was just a warmed over supercharger map
- Valve stem seals were not installed on the head correctly
- Cams were not timed correctly when installed
- Wiring wasn't even good enough for an old trailer
- No heat shielding and plenty of heat damage from it
- Vacuum/Boost plumbing was totally incorrect
- sloppy hose and wire routing
- Valve lash way out of spec
- Wiped intake cam
- HUGE exhaust leak at turbo housing due to poor installation
- No boost controller
- Leaks at EVERY hose clamp
- No Catch Can & No PCV. Crank venting open to engine bay = Oily Mess
....and the list goes on...
I asked LotusF1 for a little leeway in the building process to make this a proper car rather than just fixing the essentials. The engine's leakdown numbers were actually not good, but we agreed that doing an entire engine build project was just not in the scope of this project. So leaving the engine and tranny in the car, the head on the motor (to keep any cylinder wall damage out of site and out of mind from both of us!), and the understanding that this is not a track car, but rather a show car and fast weekend cruiser--- he let us do just about anything else
As he said, the car hasn't ran well since 2006, so HAVE AT IT!
Well, we fixed about everything we could. New valvestem seals, new cams, fixed the timing, new tune, all new IC, all new plumbing, all new wiring, new clamhinge, paint work under the clam, heatshielding, etc, etc... While the car was here, he had us install CF seats, and some other CF accents.
We finally have a car that is a blast to drive, pretty darn fast, and looks absolutely killer!
The complete build is in our Rides section here
Some teaser pics below.
Hope you enjoy!