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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #1
So i've started the job but i'm a bit confused on how to get to some bolts and the headlights differ from the instructions i've been looking at (to my knowledge).

First picture: i'm not sure what goes there (it was already disconnected when I started the removal process)

Second/Third pictures: I'm not sure how to disconnect the headlights so they can be out of the way when it comes to remove the clam

Fourth/Fifth/Sixth pictures: I've tried a few different ways to get to these screws but i'm not having any luck. Any suggesitons?

Overall i'm pretty sure these are the last bolts before i'm able to remove the clam. Thanks!
 

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There are detailed clam removal threads. The Sands museum should guide you through most steps with some slight differences for model year. I believe those differences have to do with headlights.
I believe there are few nuts behind the headlamp housing to removed and plug to disconnect which looks like the one in your picture but larger.

To get to the door hinge bolt/nut use a wrench and move a little at a time. That one doesn't need to be removed completely. Be mindful of the shims as they can drop off and get lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are detailed clam removal threads. The Sands museum should guide you through most steps with some slight differences for model year. I believe those differences have to do with headlights.
I believe there are few nuts behind the headlamp housing to removed and plug to disconnect which looks like the one in your picture but larger.

To get to the door hinge bolt/nut use a wrench and move a little at a time. That one doesn't need to be removed completely. Be mindful of the shims as they can drop off and get lost.
Thank you for the reply, I was looking into the Sands Museum guide since I was using a different one but i can't seems to find the steps with the difference of model years for the headlights,
 

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I had exactly the same challenge with my 2007. None of the tutorials deal with the changes in the 06+ cars. The headlights are simple - there are 3 large nuts and one small nut if I remember correctly on each light. Then the whole assembly will just push out. Getting to the connectors can be a real bugger - at least mine were. The turn indicators can also be a challenge - definitely remove the rubber gasket surround first - as some other posts suggest. You should be able to get it out without much trouble, then you can use a spring hook or something to unhook the elastic rubber band that goes over a hook at the front of the lights. If you break the rubber band, you can re-make one using a length of thin shock cord - see my post about this with pictures.

The door hinge 10mm bolt needs a shorty 10mm wrench. I have a short ratcheting 10m box from GearWrench that is really handy and makes this less of a PITA. You WILL drop the shims, so make sure you look to see how many of them were where before they fall out.

And don't forget to remove the center grill! If you don't you'll crack it where the tow-hook boss comes through the grill.
 

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I didn't need to remove the turn signals. You can reach in and remove the bulb assembly. I also had a challenge with disconnecting the electrical connectors for the headlights. The amount of time won't be shared:) but, once I figured out the slight nuance needed I had both sides done in a few minutes. I have an Exige so also some differences as well to the Elise.
 

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I didn't need to remove the turn signals. You can reach in and remove the bulb assembly. I also had a challenge with disconnecting the electrical connectors for the headlights. The amount of time won't be shared:) but, once I figured out the slight nuance needed I had both sides done in a few minutes. I have an Exige so also some differences as well to the Elise.
At least on my '07, the turn signals are also held down to the crash structure with rubber bands, which WILL break when you lift off the clam if you don't remove them first. None of the clam removal instructions I found mentioned that...
 

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I would like to add, the clam must have been removed before because the 2 6mm bolts by the door hinge, should have the washer under the head, not between the clam and hinge cover. That set up is a sure way to break the taps on the hinge cover.
 

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I did my rad this past winter, a tedious job for sure. Be patient and take frequent breaks to avoid frustration anger and all is well. Attached are the instructions I used. I had to slot the existing rad bottom holes in order to get it out. New rad also slot the holes as per the instructions.
Good luck
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #12
I did my rad this past winter, a tedious job for sure. Be patient and take frequent breaks to avoid frustration anger and all is well. Attached are the instructions I used. I had to slot the existing rad bottom holes in order to get it out. New rad also slot the holes as per the instructions.
Good luck
Thank you for the guide! I really do appreciate it
 

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re: rad replacement - somewhere in here there is a post suggesting cutting two slots in the fiberglass to allow a wrench to get straight in to the two rad bolts in the front. I highly recommend this! I used a Dremel tool with a cut-off disc to make two small slots large enough to get my ratcheting box wrench through, and it makes it WAY easier (aka possible). A small strip of gorilla tape seals up the holes after you're done. I was totally unable to contort my hand and wrench to get to those bolts without these slots after many tries. Totally invisible once you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so i've removed the radiator and about to buy a new one (was cracked) + some silicone hoses. Do i need to replace the foam from the old radiator with new foam on the new radiator?
 

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My foam was in good condition and I got it off the old rad without any real damage so reusing it was OK. Your situation may be different. Wise move to go to the silicone hoses, I did too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My foam was in good condition and I got it off the old rad without any real damage so reusing it was OK. Your situation may be different. Wise move to go to the silicone hoses, I did too.
do you by chance know how i'd go about replacing it? it seemed as if it was glued onto the radiator and came off in pieces.
 

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Yes, mine was also glued to the rad but as I recall, I used a heat gun to soften the glue and got them off without too much effort. If yours did not get too mangled, you could piece them back together on the new rad using some silicone or other adhesive.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, mine was also glued to the rad but as I recall, I used a heat gun to soften the glue and got them off without too much effort. If yours did not get too mangled, you could piece them back together on the new rad using some silicone or other adhesive.
okay! i'll try doing that. thanks alot
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm looking at some radiators and i'm not sure exactly what's the difference between these two besides the price.
 

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I'm looking at some radiators and i'm not sure exactly what's the difference between these two besides the price.
Looks like slight thickness difference as well as single vs triple pass. Four vendors on LT in US also sell aluminum radiators and that may save you some on shipping. BWR, BOE, GRP and Inokinetic.
 
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