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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so I am going to keep a record similar to Patrick's, for a used 2005 Elise experience.

I am using my car as a Daily Driver. It is my only car. The wife has hers to chauffeur me around if need be. I drive all over Phoenix and AZ for that matter for design consultations and whatnot - plus I drive out to the canyons to relieve stress. I'm not planning on selling this car or driving it lightly. I am wholeheartedly intending on keeping it until the engine explodes or falls out. In the meantime, I'm making it livable for the Phoenix area and may try tracking it as well.

Here is the car information as it was when purchased:

- Purchased with 12,405 miles on 12/30/08
- Starlight Black / red leather
- Touring Pack
- Stage II Exhaust
- Upgraded trumpet intake
- No hard top
- The warranty is good on my car until 05/09

Here are the upgrades and miscellaneous things I have done so far - I am rating these on a scale of 1-10, 1 being "I shouldn't have wasted the money" 10 being "EVERYONE should do this.":

1. Sector 111 Shifter reEnforcer - 10
2. Stan's shifter mod - 15000 (this should be this way from the FACTORY):bow:
3. Purchased Jim Clayton's speaker rings for the front - 10
4. R&R'd speakers with 4 new 5.25" JL Audio speakers - AWESOME if you want a stereo - 8
5. HID lights - Great if you drive at night - DDM tuning = $83 shipped - 9
6. Stealth Bulbs from Bane - the simplest cosmetic upgrade is so worth the $25 - 10:bow:
7. Sector 111 Lid Bone - awesome if you use the hatch - 9
8. Used soft velcro on the back of plastic surfaces to quiet the jittery ride - 9
9. Hard Top - purchased used for the looks / weather - 8
10. The Stage II exhaust was killing me. I swapped it out for a stock one because of my driving habits. (this will not be rated as this was a personal choice)
11. 3M Crystalline Tint - awesome stuff, a 10 for the Phoenix area
12. Braille battery and Sector 111 battery holder - 10
13. new "Lotus" floormats - mine were trashed - 5
14. I removed the seats, pulled all the loose change, bolts, nuts, and whatever miscellaneous crap that was rattling around in the tub out. For those buying a used Elise, this is a 10 - I found about $3.00 in change, a nail file, hair, and a slew of rotten nastiness in my car tub, not to mention all the glue and wasted velcro... I used a 3M bug and tar remover to get rid of all the glue, and to clean the aluminum surface as well.
15. While inspecting the HVAC controls for failure, Andy pulled out the HVAC panel. I heard a rattle in the plastic shroud and recognized it as the ONLY remaining rattle in my car that I thought was under the center boards. well, I turned the HVAC controls towards the ground and out popped a small screw and a broken piece of plastic where it used to reside. If you have done the seats and still have a rattle, CHECK THIS! 10,000,000

I still have some upgrades left to do for my own personal gratification:

1. The Viper's A/C mods & insulation **** MUST DO for Phoenix residents.
2. maybe a Stealthbox and amp when I get the itch
3. Black/silver Lotus logos
4. LED tail lamps - I really want these done as I think it looks beautiful.

Brought in for service for a few miscellaneous issues and IOU items on 01/15/09 because of the holidays.

1. Star Shield appeared rippled, the Clam was determined to be defective and is a Warranty item (parts on order)

2. my headlight assemblies are being replaced under warranty (done)

3. alignment is off, they're fixing it for me for nothing (waiting)

4. new tires are being put on (done)

5. there is a strong gas/exhaust smell causing my eyes to water and my throat to get sore (not as strong with the stock exhaust, waiting to see if it is an issue anymore)

6. there is a scent of antifreeze coming from the front of my car when the temp goes above 190 degrees. (waiting for clam removal to inspect further) TADTS ??

7. They are unable to add an additional FOB to my alarm. They are warrantying my alarm as a result.

8. My HVAC is working intermittently - they're replacing the resistor pack when the front clam is removed for warranty work.


I am THOROUGHLY enjoying my Lotus experience! I am so grateful to have my car back today! More to come.

This may all seem like a lot, but the stuff I am mentioning is not really a big deal and will all be taken care of. My Lotus experience has me begging for more, and is a HUGE compliment to my day. I'm kicking myself, HARD, for not getting one sooner. :shift:
 

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5. HID lights - Great if you drive at night - DDM tuning = $83 shipped - 9
6. Stealth Bulbs from Bane - the simplest cosmetic upgrade is so worth the $25 - 10:bow:
Do you have a picture of 6? and is 5 that much brighter than stock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)

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Thanks guys! :D Looks good! HIDs + new turn signal lights! :D

I wonder how much of a pain in the ass the exige will be changing turn signals though. I'll read about it.

HIDs probably are easy to replace though
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So I've been driving around with my new tires and what a HUGE difference they have made.

I'm not talking about a small change, I am talking about a total transformation. I put 150 miles on it during a joy ride last night! What a total bad ass car. I am only 96431 miles away from my goal.

This thing is more fun than any motorcycle I ever owned and I am enamored with it - in spite of the little issues it has right now. The Elise will be in my garage for a long time to come.

-01/22/09 - I am telling you all - right now - I don't care how flawed my car might be right now. I am enjoying my Lotus experience SOOOOOOOOO much. It's a joy to drive it, and I drop my jaw on the ground every time I walk up to it and get to drive off... Heck, I even loved working on it and doing the little mods I was able to do.

Oh, and The Viper is THE MAN - end of story. If you are ever in Phoenix sir, I am buying you a pint or 2.
 

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Best of luck to 100K!

If you're feeling creative about the record keeping/blogging, you could also create a free blog from Blogger or WordPress.
 

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I have the same antifreeze smell when the car gets warm, usually over 200.

I've had the cooling system inspected and pressure tested twice, they can't find any leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have the same antifreeze smell when the car gets warm, usually over 200.

I've had the cooling system inspected and pressure tested twice, they can't find any leaks.
cool... then I'm all good. :cool:

yeah, I met up with a Lotus Talk member with an elise and showed him the car and he drove it and said it was just like his... only he liked the pedals in his 06 Elise better. (and I agreed with him)

Overall, I'm still enthused with the car. As long as the Antifreeze scent isn't a leak, I could care less.

I'm excited to get the new clam and stuff done/repaired. I will find out just WHEN soon enough.

I'm getting prepared to do all The Viper's A/C mods to my car once it gets back from the dealer - possibly before. So far, I have the little drill bit ready and I'm going to Lowe's to buy the insulation and black duct tape, and then to a fabric store to buy some black fabric to cover the insulation. Total cost of all the mods should be about $50 and some time...

Gotta get ready for the Phoenix summer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, what news after passing 14500?

None really - aside from the fact that I am thoroughly enjoying my Lotus Experience.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I purchased a DDM HID kit from DDM Tuning. I went to install it, and found that some splicing might be in order. Normally, I wouldn't mind, but after thinking about it, and looking at my Elise, and thinking some more, I decided to just get some OSRAM Silverstar H1's and call it a day.

Yeah, yeah, I know... there's an OEM plugin kit that's sold here by a forum member. Unfortunately, I don't want to spend $450 for a $100 upgrade. Sucks to be cheap sometimes. I hope the OSRAMs work out well, as I have read some great feedback on them here. Great timing too because the driver's side bulb burned out! Oh yeah, the green light in the dash for the light switch doesn't light when you have a bulb out, by the way.

The gas smell is there - and now that I have spent some more time with the car, I think it's exhaust. I'm going to ask Andy to look it over for me when it's back at the shop as I am getting headaches and nausea at this point when driving with a window down or the top off...

I visited the Lotus dealer last week and spoke with Andy - what a funny guy. He told me that he's replacing the radiator, front clam, heater core, headlamp cover, the resistor pack for the HVAC... All under Warranty. I think that's it. I'll be without a car for a week or so. but after that, I should be golden.

I don't think anyone could have predicted it. My car just needed a little dealer TLC, that's all.

I am hoping that when I get the car back, I can drive it home, change the oil & filter, and then get out for a nice drive. But before that happens, I gotta put some more miles on it.

I'll check back in once the car has been fixed, or in the next 2000 miles, whichever happens first. Did I mention how much freaking fun I am having? I should have done this a LONG time ago.

:shift:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Osram H1's

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I purchased a DDM HID kit from DDM Tuning. I went to install it, and found that some splicing might be in order. Normally, I wouldn't mind, but after thinking about it, and looking at my Elise, and thinking some more, I decided to just get some OSRAM Silverstar H1's and call it a day.

Yeah, yeah, I know... there's an OEM plugin kit that's sold here by a forum member. Unfortunately, I don't want to spend $450 for a $100 upgrade. Sucks to be cheap sometimes. I hope the OSRAMs work out well, as I have read some great feedback on them here. Great timing too because the driver's side bulb burned out! Oh yeah, the green light in the dash for the light switch doesn't light when you have a bulb out, by the way.
Uh, just wanted to give a small tip to those installing the OSRAMS.

Check the fuses under the front hood panel with the manual too. In my case, the bulb and fuse blew and so replacing the bulb did nothing at first.

So I broke out the trusty manual and fumbled around for a bit until I figured out which fuse blew.

Ah, and I was going to take photos of the difference between the stock bulbs and the OSRAM Silverstars, but my car already had them installed! Guess that's why I never really saw how crappy they were...

Nifty.

Going driving now. Nighttime driving rocks. :panic:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
dudes,

just passed 15000 - and I'm going to buy a coupe of oil filters and some oil soon and change the oil in about 500 miles.

the passenger side front oil vent cover fell out - just cosmetic, but a ****ty situation. gotta grab one soon... if anyone has an extra one lying around, I'd gladly take it off your hands.

anyways, no problems to report aside from stuff I mentioned and waiting for the front clam and other warranty stuff once the parts arrive.

also - I Zaino'd the car for the first time this past weekend and I must say that it works like a miracle on this car. the clear coat is freaking awesome on this car.

more updates once the repairs are done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THINKING WITH YOUR DIPSTICK, ARE YOU!???

I changed my oil today. It was the first real maintenance I have done to the car aside from cleaning it. I drove around for about an hour before going back to my garage to dump the old stuff and get the party started.

A couple of words of advice:

1. if you are using Rhino Ramps, great... but use a jack to place one side on at a time if you are alone and are not used to working with them. Don't ask me why, just trust me.

2. don't do this without the drill mentioned in other threads. My forearms are killing me. LOL.

After speaking with Lotus, they said the Toyota Filter for the 2zz engine would work just fine for the car. They even told me that they used to get Toyota filters before they had their own from Lotus... cool. $7.50 for a crush washer and filter instead of $26.

When I took off the belly pan, it was FILTHY on the engine side. I mean absolutely covered in muck. Also, it looked as if the engine was leaking at the base of the oil pan gasket. I will be checking my oil level more often in case and asking Lotus to check it for me. I cleaned the engine side of the belly pan thoroughly with Acetone, which did a great job and removed all the stains on the aluminum without much effort at all.

After reading several oil threads here, I wanted to use Royal Purple, but could not find the correct 5w-40 oil - only 5w-30... so I got the Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck Oil 5w-40 at Walmart for $28.11 after tax. Funny but it says, "official oil of NASCAR" on the bottle.

I can't believe how much smoother the car runs. The first time I hit the second cam I thought something might be wrong with the car as it felt a bit sluggish - almost like I overfilled the engine or something. The second time I hit it, the car came to life as it never has before. I could feel the second cam hit more violently than it usually does. It was awesome. By the time I got home, the engine had smoothed out considerably when compared to how it was before I changed it.

I pulled the pan off when I got home to make sure nothing was leaking. All was well. I waited a few hours after the car had been sitting and checked the oil level again (just in case) and it was faintly sitting right in the middle of the dipstick. I've never seen a dipstick come out with so little oil on it, but it read a light honey color consistently in the middle of the 2 dots, so... I guess this oil is just super light coating or something.

I took my time letting it drain and whatnot, so the whole process took me about 2 hours. I could easily do it again in under an hour. I'm not the most comfy doing my own maintenance, but this was cake.

Car goes in for Warranty work Monday.
 

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Not a ton of replies here but we are reading!

Keep up posted. :up:
 

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Let me know if you want me to pick up a case of Redline oil for you... you've already passed me in mileage so it sounds like you'll be changing oil more often then I do :sad:

That's all I use in my Lotus and I have a wholesale account with them. I also highly recommend their MT-90 transmission fluid.

I'm gonna go buy a bunch of filters also. I'll get you the OEM filter + crush washer for $5 since I'm a nice guy. Just let me know how many you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bane - I'll take 2 of each when you're in town - give me a call or drop a PM. Thanks for the offer sir.

Today, I dropped my car off at Lotus for all the warranty work to get done! WHOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I'm SOOO excited!

They have a list of everything I need to be done. I think everything will get taken care of. I am so glad!

The car is a BLAST to drive. I already miss having it around. The wife picked me up from the dealer and dropped me off at work afterward and I felt like I was missing something the whole way. Thanks to every single one of you that has a photo of the car posted here cuz it makes me feel a bit better every time I see one.

Andy, the Lotus Tech, told me that I might not want to come by when the car is in pieces because it would be disturbing. I kind of laughed at him because he's partially right. I wouldn't care about it being in pieces, but I would want to clean EVERYTHING!

Those guys are Awesome at Scottsdale Lotus. I'm hoping everything comes back in order without any major headaches for Andy.

So for the record they're doing the following:

1. front clam warranty replacement
2. alarm warranty replacement
3. new key and FOB
4. headlight cover warranty
5. alignment fix - they're fixing because it was off when they sold it to me
6. gas smell - I am really hoping to get this particular item sorted out as I could seriously care less about the rest - the rest is just cosmetic
7. warranty the radiator
8. warranty the resistor pack for the HVAC
9. fix the door alignment

Can't think of anything else. Just glad that they've got a hold of it and are going to take good care of it for me. I've every confidence that it will be fixed to spec.

After it gets back, I plan on going on an 800 mile trip here in AZ... going to be a fun little run. I may even get ambitious and try to get it all done in one day. I'll report back with any findings from Lotus on Wednesday - if any - and of course, I will be in touch when I take my trip so I can update folks on comfort and other shiznit.

I'm thoroughly enjoying my Lotus experience! Sucks to be without my car but if that's the biggest complaint I have, aside from the whole gas thing, then I consider that pretty freaking awesome.

Hoping everyone is well. Speak to all my presidents again soon.
 

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Yeah, yeah, I know... there's an OEM plugin kit that's sold here by a forum member. Unfortunately, I don't want to spend $450 for a $100 upgrade. Sucks to be cheap sometimes.
I think you're thinking of the cost from about 2 years ago. I got my 55w kit for $140, the 35w kits were on sale last year for $100. No comparison between the Silver Stars and the HIDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think you're thinking of the cost from about 2 years ago. I got my 55w kit for $140, the 35w kits were on sale last year for $100. No comparison between the Silver Stars and the HIDs.
Ok... can you help me out here with this and tell me which one has the OEM plugin? I thought the only guy who made the plugs correct for the Lotus was selling them here for $450 because it had the OEM Lotus wire Harness connectors?
 

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Ok... can you help me out here with this and tell me which one has the OEM plugin? I thought the only guy who made the plugs correct for the Lotus was selling them here for $450 because it had the OEM Lotus wire Harness connectors?
Sure, here's the link directly to the web site.

Here's the big long thread.
 
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