IMPROVED A/C & HEATING SYSTEM - Page 8 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #141 of 186 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 08:45 AM
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Man, that was (one of) best $6 mods I've done so far. Got a 2" roll of Frost King foam/foil self adhesive tape and wrapped the entire A/C duct in front, and drilled out/removed the rivets and the vent cover plate behind the pedals. It took about an hour and scraped the hell out of my forearms from the ragged edge of the front mesh grill. HOWEVER, now, I'm getting consistently COLDER and STRONGER A/C air flow - awesome mod. Thank you very much - just in time for the So Cal muggy heat wave!

Modded but still NA!
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post #142 of 186 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 07:51 AM
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I had planned to do this last winter, but soundproofing and interior work ate up my free time.

So, since I have a simple mind:

1) insulate, insulate, insulate. Access panels and center spline area.

2) Fan off - nothing except what leaks through system

3) Fan on, AC off, recirc off - outside air comes in. Can be heated. Natural "cool" air enhanced by steam heat from front radiators.

4) Fan on, AC off, recirc on - draws air in from cabin footwell vents, but most of that is blocked on US cars. Can be heated. Cooling - not really; again, subject to general conditions,and whatever leaks there are.

5) Fan on, AC on, recirc off - fresh air from nose ducts. Can be heated (when it's cold but damp, reduces condensation). Can be cooled, but difficult because Lotus system not as efficient as big old uhmurrican cars.

6) Fan on, AC on, recirc on - cabin air, not much because of blocked vents. Can be heated or cooled. In theory, will become more humid (many cars have timer on recirc to prevent humidity and carbon monoxide buildup. Lotus probably not that well-sealed.). But, theoretically maximizes AC because not drawing in hot air from outside (see "Max AC" on many cars.)

Need to unblock footwell vents though or flow is limited.

7) If you unblock footwell vents, then outside air is always coming in when system is on? Some goes through heating or cooling devices, but some just comes right in? Is that the downside? I guess this is happening even now, if recirc is off, because they're not completely sealed?
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post #143 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 12:11 PM
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I am guessing to tape the front intake of the Exige I will need to remove the clam?
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post #144 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I am guessing to tape the front intake of the Exige I will need to remove the clam?
Yes
Unless you can get a long nozzle of expandable foam sealant though the grill mesh.
Michael
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post #145 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 12:56 PM
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Just insulated my sills under the carpet today. It got pretty warm on our 4 hour drive in the elise last weekend.
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post #146 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 02:00 AM
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SirLotus:

Of the various steps detailed in your link #8, what would you say is the order from simplest/easiest on up? (That is, if they're not sequential.) I ask as someone who, possessing only modest mechanical skills, prefers to dip a toe in the water rather than dive all-in.

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post #147 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:20 AM
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SirLotus:

Of the various steps detailed in your link #8, what would you say is the order from simplest/easiest on up? (That is, if they're not sequential.) I ask as someone who, possessing only modest mechanical skills, prefers to dip a toe in the water rather than dive all-in.
Then do the things that don't require taking the front clam off. Get your windows tinted...a shop will do that anyway. Blank off the foot wells...that just requires tape and flexibility. Use aluminum tape and not duck tape...it is in the plumbing department at Home Depot where they sell the air conditioning ducts and registers. You can even lay over a piece of aluminum sheet over the vent holes to make a real professional looking job. Insulate/carpet the side sills. Lotus even makes them for hot climates; the RH carpet is P/N A120V4024K and LH is P/N A120V4023K but they only come in black. The LH sill insulation is P/N A120V4015F and the RH sill insulation is P/N A120V4016F. You have to buy all 4 items.

Last edited by <@@>; 07-08-2013 at 03:36 AM.
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post #148 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Lyn Vogel;2252306]SirLotus:

Of the various steps detailed in your link #8, what would you say is the order from simplest/easiest on up? (That is, if they're not sequential.) I ask as someone who, possessing only modest mechanical skills, prefers to dip a toe in the water rather than dive all-in.[/QUOTE

The most effective in order are;
1) Removing the two footwell blanking plates.
2) Blocking up (sealing) the center hood spline
3) Tinting using 3M crystalline including windshield (probably not allowed)
4) Upgrading to the electronic thermostat (could be #1 depending if there is a freezing problem)
5) Insulating main 4" air duct in nose
6) Taping over nose air intakes
7) Insulating side sills
The easiest can be determined by you.
Michael
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post #149 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 05:17 AM
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I am guessing that I need to replace the thermostat, but wanted to make sure that the symptoms I'm experiencing are indicative of the thermostat not working properly and the a/c freezing up.

I had my a/c system recharged and I blocked off the center spline and insulated the 4" air duct. When I start the car and turn on the a/c, it is cool (not icy cold, but cooler than when the a/c isn't on). After I drive around 20 minutes the air coming out of the vents is warm. I wouldn't say the air is hot, but definitely at least the temperature of the outside air.

The car is up to temperature before the warm air starts, so I don't think it's a heater door issue. But, a second opinion would be welcome.

2006 Lotus Elise
2006 330i 6MT ZSP/ZPP/ZCW
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post #150 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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I am guessing that I need to replace the thermostat, but wanted to make sure that the symptoms I'm experiencing are indicative of the thermostat not working properly and the a/c freezing up.

I had my a/c system recharged and I blocked off the center spline and insulated the 4" air duct. When I start the car and turn on the a/c, it is cool (not icy cold, but cooler than when the a/c isn't on). After I drive around 20 minutes the air coming out of the vents is warm. I wouldn't say the air is hot, but definitely at least the temperature of the outside air.

The car is up to temperature before the warm air starts, so I don't think it's a heater door issue. But, a second opinion would be welcome.
If after shutting off the AC for 10 minutes, the air is cold again, then it is the thermostat.
Michael
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post #151 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 07:32 AM
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If after shutting off the AC for 10 minutes, the air is cold again, then it is the thermostat.
Michael
Thanks. I'll give that a try and see what happens.

2006 Lotus Elise
2006 330i 6MT ZSP/ZPP/ZCW
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post #152 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 09:54 AM
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As an FYI regarding SirLotus' excellent suggestions, I have completed the following steps and the A/C in my Exige has improved significantly. I drove the Exige to Phoenix about 1 & 1/2 weeks ago and was comfortable in 105 degree heat with 30% humidity (my third trip there - I roasted the first time before any A/C mods). The A/C also keeps the cabin very comfortable in 90+ degree heat with 80% humidity here in SoCal.

1) Removed the driver's footwell blanking plate (a powered sub-woofer is velcro'd to the passenger blanking plate and the footrest).
3) Tinted side windows using 3M crystalline.
4) Upgraded to the electronic thermostat (required the clam to come off).
5) Insulated main 4" air duct in nose (done without removing the clam).
6) Taped over nose air intakes (did it while the clam was off).

Note: 2) does not apply to the Exige because it has a one piece air defector instead of the Elise's two piece set up.

The upgraded electronic thermostat made the single biggest difference to the A/C's efficiency. The A/C system would freeze up and was pretty useless.

I will likely insulate the side sills per 7) to reduce the constant radiant heat since I live in a warm climate and drive the car to hot climates (Phoenix, Death Valley, etc.).

2006 Exige - Phantom Black

Last edited by Lotusmotion; 07-08-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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post #153 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:42 PM
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Yes
Unless you can get a long nozzle of expandable foam sealant though the grill mesh.
Michael
Thanks for confirming Michael.

What about using the access panel to remove the AC hose and peek down to see if the heater / AC flap is stuck? Will I be able to do this without taking off the front clam?
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post #154 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SirLotus View Post
The most effective in order are;
1) Removing the two footwell blanking plates.
2) Blocking up (sealing) the center hood spline
3) Tinting using 3M crystalline including windshield (probably not allowed)
4) Upgrading to the electronic thermostat (could be #1 depending if there is a freezing problem)
5) Insulating main 4" air duct in nose
6) Taping over nose air intakes
7) Insulating side sills
The easiest can be determined by you.
Michael
I was afraid you were going to say that. I shudder at the idea of altering the bodywork of the car (#1); and I won't be removing the clam anytime soon (#4).

Short of those steps (and assuming for now winshield tinting is a no-go), is it worth the effort to try #2, 5, and 6? Are they effective as stand-alone mods?

Perhaps some improvement will be enough improvement.

'06 Storm Titanium Elise, '10 Velocity Red RX-8
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post #155 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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I was afraid you were going to say that. I shudder at the idea of altering the bodywork of the car (#1); and I won't be removing the clam anytime soon (#4).

Short of those steps (and assuming for now winshield tinting is a no-go), is it worth the effort to try #2, 5, and 6? Are they effective as stand-alone mods?

Perhaps some improvement will be enough improvement.
You have an Elise, no altering the body or removing the clam
If you wish to talk on the phone, PM me with your number.
Michael
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post #156 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 03:50 PM
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Well good news, I just charged the AC at a local shop and now it blows so cold that I had to turn it to fan speed 1 so not freeze to death. When they measured it, it showed I only had .4 oz of freon left in the system!!!

Was beginning to get a bit sad that I needed to pay for a clam off service
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post #157 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 04:42 PM
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Did you have them add dye so the leak can be found in the future when its low again?
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post #158 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 07:10 PM
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Ops... get it right 2nd time around I suppose
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post #159 of 186 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 01:10 AM
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i found improvements in A/C performance by always running fan at full speed instead of slow speed-> full speed. to do that i merged pin 60 /67 on the HVAC fan relay
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post #160 of 186 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 10:21 AM
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Anyone have these pictures? The orignal post link doesn't work anymore.
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