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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, my name is Dustin and I have recently wanted to jump into the lotus game. I am a VW GTI lover but have stepped out of the fast game for about 2-3 years now and I want something more fun and eclectic.

I am looking for a used 2005-2007 Elise with a 1.8 motor style either on this site or a dealership. I am just looking the bad parts of the motor, electrical, suspension and whatever happens in that area. Is there any particular website to read into about these problems in general. I am looking for a more tune-able motor, so something that can be pushed extra without significant motor failures.

Nice to meet everyone and any help would be awesome :D
 

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Getting more HP out of a 1.8 Litre 2zz-GE engine may be kinda tough without a supercharger or turbocharger. Normally aspirated, it already produces over 100HP per Litre stock (yeah I know European spelling of Liter). As a point of reference, a Dodge Viper only produces about (depending on year) 71HP per Litre. A Chevy Corvette only pulls 68 HP per Liter. So as you can see, they are already getting a lot of HP out of the engine for it's size. If you want more power, then a supercharger is likely in your future. Google "lotus talk engine problems" or Lotus talk Transmission problem" or "lotus talk electrical problem" (or any other area which come to mind) and read the posts. I think you came to the right place to research. Good luck in persuing your dream.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Im not looking to boost or supercharge it really, just add a few extra little parts for some fun in the future :)

Am I right in saying the motors and cars themselves are quite reliable when properly maintained?
 

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Coolrunning39,
It really depends on who you speak to, and what their luck is like. There are some with over 50k miles, beaten on the track, with nothing more than routine maintenance (and toe links replaced). Other people have been more snake bit. Boutique car, with all that implies for a car which was hand made by Brittish turnip farmers. In my 12k of miles I have experienced: Broken shift cable, Keyswitch which would not go fully off, separated part in the shifter (which prevented the car from going into reverse), Front turn signal popped out from a bump in the road and a recent failure of an aftermarket part (which made the car undrivable). Common problem areas:
There is a current recall warning out for oil lines (actual recall hasn't happened yet).
Toe links may fail with track use, a few have failed with street use.
Transmission likes to be babied, slamming gears may equate to transmission failure.
Factory headlamp adjustment usually needs love (and perhaps some HID lamps).
Various creaks and rattles to track down (remember hand assembled).
Radiator has some plastic parts (like the miata, and may crack with age as plastic does).
Resister pack for AC/HEAT blower exposed to elements, may fail, very hard to get to.
Front Turn signal may pop out when you hit a hard bump (and break plastic tab which secures them in place).
Overall, the ride is so awesome, Lotus purchasers see these issues as quirks, and not show stoppers.
 

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Best bang for the buck is adding a supercharger. Lots more fun and still reliable. Be wary of turbos. They have had reliability issues.
 

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GTI owner here too and Lotus owner as of this next Sunday. I like modding but do not plan to touch the Elise much, at least at first. Lots of learning curve from a front drive, front engine, understeering car. But check out Sector 11. They have a nice graphic on their ˝balanced approach˝ to modding that you can check out.
 
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