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Discussion Starter #1
So, finally after a bunch of dicking around and bad weather, I've managed to take my Lotus "track" car out on a warn dry day. Affectionately know as the "Home Depot" special ( half the bits came from Home Depot and it's orange), I have stripped the car in a manner similar to the Sector 111 Spyder project. So no windshield, stripped interior, no glass, blah, blah. During the build, the majority of the weight savings came from in front of the engine, including, heater core, dash, glass, window mechanisms, wiper motor....basically anything that was excess weight is gone.

Now it became apparent during the build, that the lack of weight on the front might be an issue. This weekend proved it was, but to a lesser extent than I thought it would be. The problem now is understeer on throttle (auto cross) and front brake lock up. I'd love some input on some of the ideas I have to correct the problems.

Understeer:
I'm running the track pack Bilsteins (by choice at this point) primarily for the lower spring rates (along with 205/45/16 and 235/40/17 RE-71). Over the weekend I backe the adjustment to 4 clicks front, 6 clicks rear to induce some oversteer and help get some dive on the front (read extra weight. I am now contemplating disconnecting the sway bar to allow further grip and weight transfer. We ran 10 autocross runs this weekend, with temperatures ranging from the low 70's in the morning to high 80's in the afternoon. During that time, the front tires only got above 100 degrees in the last 2 runs, indicating to me insufficient grip. I've got about 1.2 negative camber in the front and 1/16 toe and about .75 negative rear and zero toe. I'm thinking I can dial out the oversteer with the shock and reduce the risk that way while picking up weight transition. Thoughts or alternatives?

Brakes:
Same issue. No weight, invasive abs and or lock up when it's disabled. Thinking running an aggressive rear pad, with a stock front to bias the braking that way, or a proportioning valve ( haven't figured the aspect of that in combination with abs yet). Again, thought and I put would be appreciated.
 

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RE: Brakes, either more pad in the rear, put front calipers on the rear (with less pad) of best is front calipers on the rear with the manual brake kit from BOE. Given your use it sounds like just more pad on the rear would be good.
RE: Camber: Machine the front uprights to get another few degrees. The rears you should be able to shim out. That will help.

Everything else you need to just start driving better! I don't mean that in a mean way, but think about trail braking better, applying the brakes with less shock and getting on the power earlier to rotate the car a little.
 

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If you can relocate your battery to the front 'boot' cavity that can help. Or place some other ballast in there for your driving events.

If you try different pad compounds, you might want to go with pads that have a flat torque curve like the CLs since you are AutoXing. Getting heat into the brakes/tires is always a challenge with those short runs. You'll need pads that bite immediately without much heat.
 

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Did you also drive the car before all the changes? They tend to be pretty understeer-heavy as it is. My NA Elise will understeer under just about any situation if I want it to, so driving style has a major influence. You may already know all this, too.
 

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turbophil - What are your thoughts on EBC red stuff? Or is the fact that it is not only your list the answer?

I do some street but mostly track (intermediate) with a NA Elise (and drive to the track). I get occasional fade with the red stuff but mostly they hold up well. My only other experience is the stock pads.

Thanks,
Stan
 

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purveyor of lightness
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I have stripped the car in a manner similar to the Sector 111 Spyder project. So no windshield, stripped interior, no glass, blah, blah. During the build, the majority of the weight savings came from in front of the engine, including, heater core, dash, glass, window mechanisms, wiper motor....basically anything that was excess weight is gone.
You can't tease me like that - what's she weigh in that configuration? >:)

And where are the pictures!?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
THanks for all the reply's. There is certainly nothing mean in suggesting improving my driving, although I like to think that I just need to learn to drive differently in the Lotus. I ran a Mk II MR2 for many years, so the driving technique isn't all that different (except the Lotus is faster, lighter, more nimble, 10 times as responsive). I find my technique has always been slightly more "rallyesque", preferring a loose car and tossing it around. That obviously isn't a technique that doesn't work as well in the Lotus.

Moving the battery is on the to do list. I have considered adding ballast, but the thought annoys me after making every attempt at getting the weight down. At least I can add the weight where it's needed. I don't have an actual weight yet (we are scaling and corner balancing next weekend) but the math works out to about 1750-1775 lbs without my enormous ass ballast. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
 
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