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2006 Exige
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Discussion Starter #1
hi. i couldn't find a thread that would help me with my issue. i've had this car since 2006 and i believe the only issue i have had with the AC had to do with it freezing up on longer drives. i would have to turn it off for a few minutes and then turn it back on for it to cool again. i never had issues with shorter drives even in the texas summer. recently i started to notice how uncomfortable the temperature was getting inside the car and i thought it had to do with low freon. i had it charged up and now it seems to cool much better but not when idle. the AC is noticeably warmer when the car is not moving. any assistance would be appreciated.

fyi, i have not done any of the AC mods that are in this forum. i've been wanting to try and drill out the panel but i'm just not that confident. i also get lost while trying to understand that whole thread about recirculate this and block that and open this.
 

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Find someone with a cordless drill to remove at least the passenger closing plate

Check to see if your fans are running with the AC on while stopped. By design they should be running on 'low'
If the switch pack module or the wiring is not allowing the fans to run on low, but will run on high, you might never notice except for poor ac performance
 

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Is the rad fan coming on when you turn the AC on?

Is the condenser clean of debris?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i appreciate all the replies. i'll likely be asking a lot of questions.

Find someone with a cordless drill to remove at least the passenger closing plate

Check to see if your fans are running with the AC on while stopped. By design they should be running on 'low'
If the switch pack module or the wiring is not allowing the fans to run on low, but will run on high, you might never notice except for poor ac performance
i've got a drill. just a little nervous at trying to drill out rivets and also i'm not 100% certain what exactly removing those panels do. i believe i understood it to say that it would increase air flow but not necessarily make the air any cooler. but that would be nice as well. but does it also mean it would blow more warm air during the winter with the heater on?

i also read that some of the ac mods work differently with the exige like the passenger foot panel. i believe on my car the top part of it is bent back but the driver side is sealed up. that is the closing plate you're referring to right?

when you say fans, which fans am i looking for and where would it be located?

Have the attached Service Bulletins been addressed yet?
thank you for posting those SBs. i looked through them and i definitely haven't done any of those. the only time i can recall the front clam being removed was for the oil line recall. i would love to be able to fix my issue without having to remove the front clam since the labor cost is so high. but i have a feeling it may lead that way

Is the rad fan coming on when you turn the AC on?

Is the condenser clean of debris?
haven't checked, i'll check that and report back hopefully tomorrow. i just looked it up and if the fan is out, then the front clam has to come off. great.......

i don't know if it is clean of debris. i also don't know where it is.
 

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The biggest problem with the functionality of the Elise/Exige AC is airflow. The AC has a thermostat on the evaporator[the inside coil] that keeps it theoretically from freezing up. Our cars are so airflow limited that they can freeze up with the fan on high. Opening up the airflow allows the thermostat to leave the compressor on longer without freezing the evaporator, allowing it to do more work. More airflow with the same air temp means better AC performance.

Heat is 'easier' as it has a higher temperature differential [180-70=110 degrees, vs 70-32=38 degrees] plus everything, including you, creates heat, nothing creates cold. Opening the recirc covers may increase heat performance but I don't think you will notice

the fans I refer to are the radiator fans, turn the ac on and you should feel airflow out the radiator vents, they are pretty quiet on low.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The biggest problem with the functionality of the Elise/Exige AC is airflow. The AC has a thermostat on the evaporator[the inside coil] that keeps it theoretically from freezing up. Our cars are so airflow limited that they can freeze up with the fan on high. Opening up the airflow allows the thermostat to leave the compressor on longer without freezing the evaporator, allowing it to do more work. More airflow with the same air temp means better AC performance.

Heat is 'easier' as it has a higher temperature differential [180-70=110 degrees, vs 70-32=38 degrees] plus everything, including you, creates heat, nothing creates cold. Opening the recirc covers may increase heat performance but I don't think you will notice

the fans I refer to are the radiator fans, turn the ac on and you should feel airflow out the radiator vents, they are pretty quiet on low.
i read a lot of posts regarding airflow and people having the freezing up issue. i've only really experienced the freezing up issue after driving for a couple hours with the AC running.

so one way to get more airflow would be to remove both covers completely or would bending half of the cover suffice? i've never drilled a rivet out before so i'm trying to understand it before attempting it. if i were to understand it correctly, i'm supposed to use a drill bit that is larger than the head of the rivet. the head being the diameter of the top of the rivet i assume. this is the part that has me stumped. i would drill the head of the rivet to a point the panel becomes completely loose yet the other end of the rivet will not fall through. i've watched some videos of how pop rivets work and i feel like i'm missing something. i would think if i remove the head then the other end has nothing to hold onto.

i'm not too worried about increasing heat during the winter. the part that had me confused was the option of adding velcro to the panels to put them back on if needed.

i will try and check the radiator fans today.
 

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Any drill that is larger than the size of the BODY of the rivet will work. I would use one about the size of the head of the rivet. you just drill the head off. Surround the rivet with masking tape so if the drill slips or any chips twist on the drill they will not scratch the panel.
Drill them both off, then the head comes off you are done, sometimes a rivet body will grab the material right under the head and you may have to pry a little bit, but usually the plate will just fall off.
If you are lucky the body of the rivet will stay in the chassis. Otherwise it will fall into the recirc plenum, but I seriously doubt you will ever hear it rattling around. One day you will have to do an AC condenser, radiator, or heater blower resistors and you can take the opportunity to fetch the rivet stubs out
 

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It is seriously easy to drill those rivets out. I, like you, was concerned about doing it but it turned out to be simple. By far the hardest part was trying to assume the proper position on the driver's side to drill the rivets out. It is a tight fit with myself, the pedals and the drill!
 

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Start small with drill bits. Then increase in size. It needs to be more like 1/3rd the diameter of the head, so start with 1/4th the head. Depth of drilling is quit short. Just below the surface. You do not want to create a larger hole. You want the residual hole to be the original diameter of the inserted rivet.

A good trick would be to rivet a plain sheet of metal where both sides were visible and practice a few times. it is quite trivial once you can visualize it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The biggest problem with the functionality of the Elise/Exige AC is airflow. The AC has a thermostat on the evaporator[the inside coil] that keeps it theoretically from freezing up. Our cars are so airflow limited that they can freeze up with the fan on high. Opening up the airflow allows the thermostat to leave the compressor on longer without freezing the evaporator, allowing it to do more work. More airflow with the same air temp means better AC performance.

Heat is 'easier' as it has a higher temperature differential [180-70=110 degrees, vs 70-32=38 degrees] plus everything, including you, creates heat, nothing creates cold. Opening the recirc covers may increase heat performance but I don't think you will notice

the fans I refer to are the radiator fans, turn the ac on and you should feel airflow out the radiator vents, they are pretty quiet on low.
Not sure if i checked correctly but i believe the fans appear to be working. I first turned off the ac and started the car. I got close to the radiator and didn't hear much or feel anything. Then I turned the ac on and went back and I heard a low humming and I think I felt moving air. Hope that means it is working.

Any drill that is larger than the size of the BODY of the rivet will work. I would use one about the size of the head of the rivet. you just drill the head off. Surround the rivet with masking tape so if the drill slips or any chips twist on the drill they will not scratch the panel.
Drill them both off, then the head comes off you are done, sometimes a rivet body will grab the material right under the head and you may have to pry a little bit, but usually the plate will just fall off.
If you are lucky the body of the rivet will stay in the chassis. Otherwise it will fall into the recirc plenum, but I seriously doubt you will ever hear it rattling around. One day you will have to do an AC condenser, radiator, or heater blower resistors and you can take the opportunity to fetch the rivet stubs out
Noted

It is seriously easy to drill those rivets out. I, like you, was concerned about doing it but it turned out to be simple. By far the hardest part was trying to assume the proper position on the driver's side to drill the rivets out. It is a tight fit with myself, the pedals and the drill!
Thank you

Start small with drill bits. Then increase in size. It needs to be more like 1/3rd the diameter of the head, so start with 1/4th the head. Depth of drilling is quit short. Just below the surface. You do not want to create a larger hole. You want the residual hole to be the original diameter of the inserted rivet.

A good trick would be to rivet a plain sheet of metal where both sides were visible and practice a few times. it is quite trivial once you can visualize it.
Test run would be ideal but I don’t have the tools for it. I appreciate the input.

When I get the nerve to do this, I think I will just rivet out the entire driver side panel and leave the half open passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would do the opposite. The drivers side is complicated by the pedals.
i will attempt the driver side first since it is completely covered unlike the passenger side.

other than the radiator fans, any ideas what else could be causing my particular issue? my ac has worked adequately since new and it's never been this warm in the cabin so i'm sure removing the covers won't solve my current problem.

if it means anything, i always run the ac on speed 2 with recirc button turned on. i've never noticed much of a difference between 2 and 3 so i've just refrained from using 3 thinking it will just cause my ac to freeze faster.
 

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hey bluejae - i remember you from way back from the elisetalk days. nice to hear you still got your Exige.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hey bluejae - i remember you from way back from the elisetalk days. nice to hear you still got your Exige.
Hi! Yeah. I logged in a few days ago and I didn't recognize the updated site. I knew it changed to lotustalk but so many updates. And my sig is gone too. I may have forgotten some of my mods. Lol
 

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This might help:
It's on my list for my Exige.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This might help:
It's on my list for my Exige.
Thanks. I've seen this before but I figured it didn't pertain to my issue since it seems to only happen when I'm idle.
 

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FWIW removing those covers won't solve all your AC woes. It helps with airflow a bit but if you live where it is really hot the a/c just wasn't designed to keep up. I live in Florida and at this time of the year the A/C only helps for about 15-20 minutes and then it is sweating time. Besides the heat and humidity the car itself heats up - the door sills become super hot to the touch and radiate heat. I am hoping to get my windows tinted in the new few weeks - that should help as well.
 

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The compressor/evaporator/condensor are all big enough to do the job.

Think about airflow this way:
Imagine if your fan only had low speed. That is the condition of the stock Elise/Exige AC system.

Airflow is everything. Increasing the airflow allows the compressor to stay on longer and do more work before the thermostat kicks it off.

After doing what I documented in my Exige AC rework thread, I am perfectly comfortable in 95 degree high humidity weather. IF the car is preheatsoaked or sitting in traffic before it cools down, yeah, it is not great.
 

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After doing what I documented in my Exige AC rework thread, I am perfectly comfortable in 95 degree high humidity weather. IF the car is preheatsoaked or sitting in traffic before it cools down, yeah, it is not great.
I wish you lived near me and I could pay you to do some of those mods. They are beyond me! Anyway yeah my last 2 drives haven't been fun but yes the car was already heat soaked. It had been sitting in the sun for a few hours and then on the drive(s) home there was lots of stop and go traffic. The sweat was literally dripping off me. I was super glad my wife wasn't along for the ride. She would've been miserable. Summer really isn't the time to enjoy the Elise/Exige in Florida unless you can get out really early - the rest of the year is ideal.
 
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