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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
I at first posted this in the "RULE..." thread which I think was a mistake so I'll repost here. :)

I picked up my 2005 Elise in Nov 2017 with only 12,000 miles on it. It was my dad's; he bought it new and basically never drove it. When it became too difficult for my dad to get in/out and drive the car, we made a deal and I flew to Florida to pick it up and drove it all the way back to California. I flew out a buddy of mine with some frequent flier miles so he got a free trip out of the deal because I wanted the company and help to drive it all the way home! I bought a new stereo head unit and adapter and shipped it straight from Crutchfield to my dad's house, and replaced the original radio in his driveway the day before we left since we needed tunes! We took a week to drive it back, driving 500-600 miles a day and stopping for some extra time in New Orleans since my friend had never been there before. I'd never spent more than maybe 30 minutes in this car prior to driving it literally coast to coast but all 6'3" of me was reasonably comfortable the whole time. It was kind of a blessing that the gas tank is so small because after one tank of gas, which usually took us around 220-240 miles, we were ready to stretch our legs. It was a trip neither of us will ever forget, we added almost 3100 more miles to it, and we got VERY good at getting in/out of the car! :LOL:

I've just this morning finally figured out how to successfully program a second key fob thanks to this site. Having only one fob and one key the whole time on our trip was of grave concern and we protected it like it was a pocket sized Mona Lisa!

My Elise just turned 18,000 miles and since this whole Covid-19 pandemic began, I have pulled the clamshell off to repair the lower lip where my dad smacked it against driveways obviously more than once, and since the clam was off, I replaced the original radiator with a new Koyorad unit with aluminum tanks. She's back up and running now and I feel a whole lot better about the car with the fixed front end and new radiator. It's stuff nobody would really notice (well the lower lip damage was pretty obvious) but it makes me feel great knowing it's done.

Anyhoo, I joined some Lotus forums on Facebook but kept getting directed here for technical questions so it was time to sign up. Thanks for all you guys do for the Lotus community. I hope to be able to contribute as I work on and enjoy my Elise! Here are some pics from our trip to enjoy, and thanks for being here.

20171112_122755.jpg 20171116_094102.jpg 20171117_145533.jpg 20171119_132836.jpg
 

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These are brilliant cars.

You will just love yours.

Note to new Elise & Exige Owners:


1. These cars have large (i.e. dangerous) blind spots. Multivex mirrors are NLA, but RLS (Really Light Stuff) offers very good tape-on replacements.

2. The horns are way too weak (quiet). There’s an inverse relationship: smaller the car, louder the horn needs to be.

Get something such as a Stebel Nautilus.

Stebel: “HONK! LOOK OUT!”


Remove the stock horn; replace with louder.



(I drive with my finger on the horn button in any traffic. Iffy situations, my headlights are on.



Stay to the left of traffic, i.e. avoid passing on the right if you can.



Stop way behind trucks, SUVs, etc. Some have blindspots >50’. )



3. The early cars came with misaimed and dim headlights. If you drive at night, convert to HIDs. While better than stock halogen bulbs are available, HIDs throw more light. Stay around 5000k. As of this writing LEDs are not as good.



4. Ensure your car has had the work required by the recall for oil line fittings done. You could lose an engine and/or spin in your own oil.



5. Transmission:



The best transmission lube I’ve found is Redline MT-90 plus a little Power Punch Extreme Gear Oil Additive. (Note that it takes two changes to get rid of the previous lube.)



a) Early cars have wobbly shift towers. Look up Stan’s Mod (bolt and spacer; http://www.billswebspace.com/ShifterReinforcement.pdf) and



And, use:

Re-Enforcer long thru bolts that terminate under car and tie down the tower:

https://www.inokinetic.com/lotus/re-enforcer?category=Transmission



These (lube, mods) make a huge change in shifting. I also reoriented one swivel joint.



6. As per some engine builders on these sites, wait AT LEAST 20 -35 minutes aftercoolant has reached full operating temp before engaging cam switchover.



For street cars, consider removing one or both oil coolers. Some cover them. Oil doesn’t get hot enough on street, leading to cam wiping.



I use Mobil 1 5W-40 Turbo Diesel oil. 85k miles and fine, but one is not a useful example.



7. Rear toe-links can loosen and break with disastrous results. You can check tq periodically, or use Nordlock washers. Best is conversion to better engineered brace, such as BOE’s InoKinetic’s for two examples.



8. While under the car with panel off, look around for hoses and wires chafing their way to failure. That’s how this was found:




9. The stock radiators are prone to leaking where the end caps meet the metal part. Keep an eye on this. Most of us use single-pass all-aluminum radiators.



10. When your wheel well liner comes loose, skip the lame plastic rivet and use Well-Nuts instead.



11. Life will be better if you disable the auto-arming alarm function on the earlier cars. You won’t have to press a button to start the car. Instructions:



Remote Key Fob, Immobilizer & Misc Alarm Programming



12. These cars cannot be left off a Battery Tender for weeks at a time. Unless dead batteries are a particular joy of yours. Buy one right away. There are numerous threads here about which ppl use and like.



You NEED a digital multimeter (voltmeter) to work on modern cars. Handy around house too. Get one this week.



13, Some on this site are a bit obsessed with hockey pucks for lifting the car. Don’t use these. Too hard and slippery, generally, and too small a surface area. Use a piece of wood, as your hero does.



14. If you are fooling with sparkplugs, remember to slather those tubes in dielectric grease (prevents shorts).



15. Visit the Uber Thread



**Elise/Exige Uberpost READ THIS. Everything you need...



16. Most parts on the car are made by Toyota and others, so buying things like a/c compressors, engine parts, etc. is wildly expensive when purchased thru Lotus.

Toyota dealers, auto parts stores are way less expensive.



17. The soft high-grip tires on most of our cars lose much of that grip when temperatures drop below 50 F. I know of too many ppl who spun their cars when not remembering this. I use hi-performance all-seasons.



Note that many summer tires cannot even be stored in temps below 20 F.



-----



Plus, “How to bleed brakes”:



How to Bleed Brakes


How to Search:


For future reference: Don't use the search on this site. Simply use Google and end the search text with "site:lotustalk.com". E.g.
Transmission Fluid change what bolt site:lotustalk.com

no space betweensite:lotustalk.com
 

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Administrator
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1,511 Posts
Hi all,
I at first posted this in the "RULE..." thread which I think was a mistake so I'll repost here. :)

I picked up my 2005 Elise in Nov 2017 with only 12,000 miles on it. It was my dad's; he bought it new and basically never drove it. When it became too difficult for my dad to get in/out and drive the car, we made a deal and I flew to Florida to pick it up and drove it all the way back to California. I flew out a buddy of mine with some frequent flier miles so he got a free trip out of the deal because I wanted the company and help to drive it all the way home! I bought a new stereo head unit and adapter and shipped it straight from Crutchfield to my dad's house, and replaced the original radio in his driveway the day before we left since we needed tunes! We took a week to drive it back, driving 500-600 miles a day and stopping for some extra time in New Orleans since my friend had never been there before. I'd never spent more than maybe 30 minutes in this car prior to driving it literally coast to coast but all 6'3" of me was reasonably comfortable the whole time. It was kind of a blessing that the gas tank is so small because after one tank of gas, which usually took us around 220-240 miles, we were ready to stretch our legs. It was a trip neither of us will ever forget, we added almost 3100 more miles to it, and we got VERY good at getting in/out of the car! :LOL:

I've just this morning finally figured out how to successfully program a second key fob thanks to this site. Having only one fob and one key the whole time on our trip was of grave concern and we protected it like it was a pocket sized Mona Lisa!

My Elise just turned 18,000 miles and since this whole Covid-19 pandemic began, I have pulled the clamshell off to repair the lower lip where my dad smacked it against driveways obviously more than once, and since the clam was off, I replaced the original radiator with a new Koyorad unit with aluminum tanks. She's back up and running now and I feel a whole lot better about the car with the fixed front end and new radiator. It's stuff nobody would really notice (well the lower lip damage was pretty obvious) but it makes me feel great knowing it's done.

Anyhoo, I joined some Lotus forums on Facebook but kept getting directed here for technical questions so it was time to sign up. Thanks for all you guys do for the Lotus community. I hope to be able to contribute as I work on and enjoy my Elise! Here are some pics from our trip to enjoy, and thanks for being here.
Welcome to LT! Congrats on your Elise and being that it was kept in the family probably still new and your epic journey! Will bring memories for a lifetime. If it wasn't for LT and the knowledge base I would not have felt as comfortable as I did purchasing one.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
OP,
Congrats on the new car!!!
I take it you're pretty mechanically inclined? How long did it take you for the radiator job?
Thanks,
I had the clamshell off in maybe two hours but I also filmed it and was messing around. I haven't edited the film clips yet to post anywhere. It was my first time removing one but I really think that I could have done it in an hour or less if I concentrated on it. The video is going to be really boring if I ever even post it. Really the job wasn't as bad as I thought. Guess you'd call me mechanically inclined since I've owned 60 cars so far in my life and worked on them all! 🙂

I also managed to get the radiator out without removing the shroud but it required surgery... I may post about that too but people are probably going to cringe and hate what I did, however it was a major time and money saver since I didn't crack the AC lines to remove the shroud or the radiator.

Time overall? I didn't do it in one day but I think that you could if you do it my way and are well prepared. Several hours for sure. I also spent a bunch of time repairing the cracked up clam over a few days which was also my first time fixing fiberglass but I'm happy with how everything turned out.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise, Storm Titanium / red leather
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I had the clamshell off in maybe two hours but I also filmed it and was messing around. I haven't edited the film clips yet to post anywhere.
Ooh, please post I’m somewhat mechanically inclined, but I’m even better at following instructions. I bought an ‘05 Elise, pick it up tomorrow. Radiator is my winter project.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I had the clamshell off in maybe two hours but I also filmed it and was messing around. I haven't edited the film clips yet to post anywhere. It was my first time removing one but I really think that I could have done it in an hour or less if I concentrated on it. The video is going to be really boring if I ever even post it. Really the job wasn't as bad as I thought. Guess you'd call me mechanically inclined since I've owned 60 cars so far in my life and worked on them all! 🙂

I also managed to get the radiator out without removing the shroud but it required surgery... I may post about that too but people are probably going to cringe and hate what I did, however it was a major time and money saver since I didn't crack the AC lines to remove the shroud or the radiator.

Time overall? I didn't do it in one day but I think that you could if you do it my way and are well prepared. Several hours for sure. I also spent a bunch of time repairing the cracked up clam over a few days which was also my first time fixing fiberglass but I'm happy with how everything turned out.
For sure you are "mechanically inclined"!! 60 cars and worked on them all, hell yes, definitely.
I debated doing it myself, but in the end, realized my time & space constraints, and especially skill level, and opted to have a shop do it. Knowing me, it'd take me way too long, cuz I tend to work a little bit every day, so the car would be out of commission for weeks. Please post the videos whenever you can, for sure it'll help a lot of people.
Thanks,
 
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