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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #1
Starting out 2014 with a Lotus maintenance/modifying good time!



Getting her up on the lift



Prepping my 4th garage bay for parts storage :)



Front clam removal... believe it or not this is the first time I've ever done this in my 7 years of Lotus ownership. It took me about 2.5 hours and wasn't that bad at all.



Clam off! I had a friend help me move it into the other garage. I don't know how some of you guys do this by yourselves... :UK:



Working on the interior. Clam directions on LT are for NON-TOURING cars. I had to remove everything behind the seats to get at the bolts behind the speakers.



Rear clam off! This wasn't so bad either. It took me about another 2.5 hours.



Everything out of harms way in the other garage. I set both clams down on some foam blocks I had laying around.

After this, I cleaned a little and flushed the cooling system out. I removed the thermostat first in order to circulate as much coolant out as I could. Then I put it on max heat in the cabin. I drained and filled it (with an Air Lift II, best tool EVER!!) four times in order for clear water to come out. I would drain, fill with just distilled water, run the car up to temp, rinse and repeat.

With the final water drain still going on (water was quite hot at this time) I decided to do an oil change. Man I love this lift... it was so easy.



While the rear was draining of oil I decided to go up front and check out the oil coolers with another drain pan I had. I grabbed my 27 mm wrench, mustered up my strength, and forcefully tried to break the lower hose loose.

... it spun with ZERO effort and I smashed my knuckles against the crash structure :thwack: Turns out all of the fittings were barely finger tight and I could loosen them with a crappy harbor freight crescent wrench. -poke-



I'm going to let them drain overnight and get back at it in the morning. It's been a fun day of work so far :D
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice!! where did you get your lift at?
Craigslist actually. I was super lucky to find the exact lift I was looking for (Direct Lift Pro Park 8) at a steep discount.

There actually aren't that many moving parts but I had it looked at anyway. Works great, I highly recommend it to anyone that's doing some major DIY service on their vehicles.

I paid $1600 for it which is a lot less than what this single job would have cost at a shop. Plus I am inherently distrustful of shops since they get paid by the job (and I used to work at one in high school). I have no problem leaving my car up there for 2 weeks while I do things right, be super anal about stuff, and clean everything :up:
 

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Funny about your front oil cooler OEM fittings. The front fittings on my '06 Exige never showed signs of leaking, but loosening them for removal (when I recently converted the Exige to a rear mounted oil cooler) required little effort.

Nice garage set up!
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
sweet.
 

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Puff Daddy
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3,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Funny about your front oil cooler OEM fittings. The front fittings on my '06 Exige never showed signs of leaking, but loosening them for removal (when I recently converted the Exige to a rear mounted oil cooler) required little effort.

Nice garage set up!
I find an odd correlation between the # of hoses that have blown and been extremely difficult to remove and those that have been fine and have been easy to remove. I wonder if they are more prone to failure if torqued too tightly (perhaps putting extra strain on the hose).

My car has over 37,000 miles on it, 29,000 of them supercharged with track usage. I was still on the stock radiator and stock oil coolers without ever having any problems :shrug:

Ok... onto day 2!!

I (thought) I'd spend most of the day today cleaning and setting up my rear oil cooler solution. Instead, way too much time was spent fiddling with the damn radiator. People weren't joking when they say that job is a total PITA :facepalm



Test fitting rear oil cooler, then I decided everything was entirely too messy and wanted to clean it up.



I put everything I could in wire loom and cleaned the area before proceeding :)



Front left suspension. It's pretty nasty.



Ok that's better. I found out the "Nitron" logo is very soft paint. I accidentally got some brake cleaner on the passenger ride side and it took the paint clean off!! So be careful if using brake cleaner if you like the logo.



Back to the rear, I haven't drained my Saikou Michi catch cans in awhile. They definitely do their job!!! I had a ton of oil come out of the can closest to the PCV.

I was kind of bouncing around today, I'd get bored messing with something so I'd go work on something else. Next up was the stock radiator removal...



Holy hell what a stupid design the factory did on this fastening of this thing. I think I entered another plane of existence while sitting there turning the 14 fasteners 1/8th of a turn at a time due to the lack of clearance.



Next to my new ProRad :) The all-aluminum ProRad went it super smooth. I also decided to only use 10 fasteners instead of 14. I thought the "inner" fasteners in each pair of two was redundant, so I did a bit of weight reduction :p



Installed radiator. The factory foam got a little jacked up so I may go buy some more tomorrow. Maybe I'll just use some extra pipe insulation I have laying around (it's nice weatherproof closed cell foam).



Final thing for today, removed the stock oil coolers. Now the brakes will get some nice cool, clean air :up:
 

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Puff Daddy
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3,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This is some pretty spectacular DIY work! :clap:
Thank you :up:

Ok, I'm back at it. Didn't get much time during the week to work on the car due to work and other obligations around the house.



I replaced the stock radiator foam with something better, all of the gaps are sealed around the ProRad now.



After struggling with the oil cooler lines, I decided to call BOE to ask them how they remove them. They said they just "cut and cap". It makes it much easier if I ever wanted to run something up to the front again.





Very clean and not much weight kept



I started to paint the stock calipers. They will be red with the "Lotus" part silver. Should look good next to my Sector 111 red brake lines going in on Sunday.



Custom tool I "made" to install the Radium clam shim kit.



Feeling around in the dark recess inside the chassis. This is WAY easier if you have someone help you (I got the second side done in like 10 seconds with a friend)



Radium shims installed!

Other things completed:

- Thermostat installed
- Coolant refilled and bled
- Rear mounted oil cooler installed, filled, and bled (no pics sorry...)
- Fresh Mobil TDT put in with an American made K&N filter (my last)

Car is running again. I let it idle for 15 minutes or so to bring everything up to temp. No leaks :) I just have to finish the braking system and then I think I can put the clams back on. The interior is next... need to clean, felt tape, install new shift cables, etc.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Bane - what are those brass? caps you used on the oil lines? (Nice job)
 

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I don't know what it is about these cars but I always enjoy seeing threads where owners start taking them apart. Thanks for posting.

As for the radiator, I actually ended up notching the flange on the rearmost bolts on the new radiator so I could get a socket wrench in there. Turning those things a quarter turn at at time to get the old one out was a real PITA.
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #11
Bane - what are those brass? caps you used on the oil lines? (Nice job)
I bought them at Lowe's... it's an "Apollo" brand PEX test plug, 3/4"



Shop Apollo 3/4-in Barb Fitting at Lowes.com

Thanks, it's been a fun process so far!

I don't know what it is about these cars but I always enjoy seeing threads where owners start taking them apart. Thanks for posting.

As for the radiator, I actually ended up notching the flange on the rearmost bolts on the new radiator so I could get a socket wrench in there. Turning those things a quarter turn at at time to get the old one out was a real PITA.
I saw someone else use a 30 degree offset ratcheting wrench. I picked up a 25 degree offset metric set at Harbor Freight for $6.99 (!!) on special and they worked great. I figured if they lasted for just this one job it would be worth it.



4 Piece Metric Offset Ratcheting Wrench Set

The lift really helped the radiator job. I just set it on the lowest lock, sat my butt on the crossbar, and reached inside the crash structure. No awkward angles or laying on the ground :up:
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #12
I changed out all four brake lines and ATE super blue in the brakes/clutch today.

It was absolutely maddening. I was more frustrated with the front brake lines than even the radiator... not sure why the F Lotus would design it this way :thwack:

The rear was incredibly easy. Had that done in about 10 minutes.

Here's some pics of the front:



Even though I drained as much fluid out of the master cylinder as I could, removing this fitting on the driver's side created a HUGE mess. Also, lining it back up through this tiny access hole was infuriating. I spent a ton of time trying to thread the retainer nut as well as the fitting itself with my fingers soaked in slippery brake fluid while cussing up a storm. :sad:



Next up was the passenger side. Even less room, way to run the AC lines right over top of the access hole :facepalm



Beyond mad at the first fitting, I wasn't about to repeat that again so I donned the PPE and decided to make my own access.



This piece was incredibly soft fiberglass. The dremel ripped through it like a cardboard box.



Ah, that's better. Now I can actually service this part :p



All back together. Looks good now :) I think I still have a bit of air trapped in the calipers. Surprisingly, I don't have an 8 mm hex bit so I'll pick one up tomorrow to remove them, tap a few times, and hopefully get the last of the air out.
 

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Good thread. Looking forward to the future updates
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, spent another few (frustrating) hours on the car today.

My factory shift cables have been feeling "funny" lately. It's hard to describe but the car has been tracked it's entire lift and never snapped a shift cable so I thought it was time to replace them.



Center console off. This wasn't so bad. Unplugging the hazard light switch is a bit of a bear though.



Now the frustration starts... I'm not sure why Lotus decided to use 5 different drive styles all in the same area. This is the first time I've got to use this tool which was cool I guess. It's a low profile ratcheting wrench with an offset cruciform (aka Pozi #2) bit.

Keep in mind this area has Philips screws, offset cruiform, torx, hex key, and socket cap fasteners :facepalm



Next was removing the factory attachment point for the cables. Holy crap. They use some sort of hardened steel here so after spending 10 minutes with a hacksaw per the Sector 111 instructions I gave up and busted out the dremel. That worked well but I still had to use a drill with a 6 mm bit to get it to pop out.

The second one I just cut a plus sign (+) set of grooves in it with the dremel then went to town with the drill. That worked much better.

<insert several hours of pulling, pushing, and cussing at cables>



Ta-da! Once they were back in position the hardest part was lining up the "abutment" block that provides the retention mechanism up front. After a bit of fiddling around to fine tune the adjustment of the new cables I can say I'm extremely happy with how it feels.

The shifter is WAY more positive feeling. I love it actually and think it was worth all of the cussing and blood loss (I swear they filed everything to a knife edge on this car).
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #15
Still plugging away on the car. I hope to have it wrapped up by this weekend and back on the road!

I've been tidying up the engine bay by zip tying all loose hoses, cables, and wires together:



Next I started wiring in a SPAL fan on my new rear-mounted oil cooler:



Lotus didn't key these connectors for some reason... so I just marked them with a sharpie as I took them apart:



New switch installed:



I wired it to the front +12VDC plug so I can run the fan anytime:



^ I cleaned up the wire and tucked it inside the loom after the picture was taken.

Here was something I was really surprised by. My Exige has been owned by 2 prominent forum members in the past... and the "Stan" shifter mod was never done!! So I went to the hardware store and sourced the correct parts:



Installed:



Final thing for tonight was to remove the blue tape from the interior (poor attempt at rattle control) and replace it with felt tape:





It took awhile to get every edge but the result looks great. I put some of the interior back tonight and plan to continue tomorrow!
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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really excellent.
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #17
While the clam was off I figured I'd block the front vents per SirLotus' A/C modification thread. There is no other way to do this with the Exige unless the clam is removed.



^ before



^ after

I was having trouble getting all of the air out of the lines using traditional methods so I bought a Motive power bleeder off of Amazon. I also took a picture of a "flipped" caliper since I've never seen anyone post what it actually looks like.



^ You have to keep the pads in the caliper on the rotor (or something of similar width) otherwise you'll push the piston out. Especially if you do this the old fashioned way.



^ Painted the "LOTUS" and the stripes with some touch up paint I had laying around for my truck :) We'll see if it holds up under the heat



^ Lengthened some wires for power to my rear mounted SPAL fan



^ Cleaned up the interior before fully reassembling



^ Interior is done!

... almost there.
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #18
Spent most of the day on the car again today. I started with fixing the front (side) turn signals. The bottom tab had broken off which seems to be very common on Eliges.



^ broken bottom tab, both were like this

I decided to enlarge the hole and set a 10 mm bolt in there with some epoxy.





I used the 60 second "quick set" stuff and boy does it set fast! It also gets burning hot while doing so.



^ both curing

I let it set while I was doing other stuff like putting the clams back on. This is the end result:



^ nice and flush again



^ back side

Next was putting the rear clam on.



Rear clam on, this was very straightforward... or so I thought.

After putting the front clam on near the end of the day I was thinking to myself... hey where is the windshield washer bottle?



:eek: :huh: :facepalm :(

Yep it was wedged down between the frame and the clam, totally inaccessible. So guess what I got to do after having the entire back half of the car put together? I mean I had the fender liners and wheels back on even.

... ripped it all apart again to pull the clam off so I could get the washer bottle out.

It's back together now but I'm beat. I just have some minor things left to do and it should be ready to roll tomorrow.



^ shot of my workbench for good measure.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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very nice - i really like the side marker light fix.
 

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Puff Daddy
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Discussion Starter #20
All done! Car runs and drives great.

Best part: Definitely the shift cable replacement. The car is an absolute joy to shift now and is 100x better than it was.

Things left to do: Coolant has been running a little hotter and fluctuates a lot more than I remember with the stock radiator. I think I have a few air bubbles left in there... It was running at 190 on the freeway, would dip down to 180 at high rpm, and then rise to 196 at idle. It used to be rock solid at 186 with the stock setup :shrug:

I somehow got the ebrake light switch mis-aligned. The "brake" light in the dash doesn't turn off unless I fiddle with it as I lower the ebrake.

Other than that, everything seems to be in order. I drove it around for ~10 miles with all of the under panels missing to see if it was leaking anything and it all looked good :wave:
 
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