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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder how is the durability of the Elise chassis? The Toyota engine should be very long lasting (at least 150k-200k miles I assume). But since the Elise chassis is "glue" together will it able to withstand high mileage? I am thinking since the Toyota engine is very reliable so I might be putting alot of miles on my car.
 

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If my experience is anything to go by, the more miles you put on the car, the faster it depreciates because the market just doesn't like high mileage lotus cars - having said that, a number of people over here who use them as daily drivers have hit 100K miles - no problem (even with the K series rover engine).

Craigy
 

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I dont think you will be getting as high-miles out of the engine as you think. Even though it is toyota, that little engine is under a lot of stress. If you drive it hard, it may not last 200K miles like a camry motor.
 

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All I know is when Lotus was testing the durability of the glue compared to welding points to keep the aluminum together. Under massive amounts of stress the aluminum would give out much quicker than the glue itself.

Neil
 

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Little Bastard said:
All I know is when Lotus was testing the durability of the glue compared to welding points to keep the aluminum together. Under massive amounts of stress the aluminum would give out much quicker than the glue itself.

Neil
Wow. And considering that the glue is even lighter than the aluminum, maybe they should have built this car entirely out of glue. Talk about a car that would really stick to the road...
 

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MW>
I'm told the yota motor in the US test cars has held up extremely when in durability tests.
Chris
 

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Going back to what stuttgart is saying, about the chassis durability, no matter what glue it is, over years it would degrade, who knows what's going to happen 10 years from now.
 

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The first Elise rolled off the production line in 1996, I believe. It's been almost eight years and most of them still running on the worst roads (England) and the worst weather conditions in Europe. I know nothing withstands time. I just think it is no less durable than any BMW chassis. But only time will tell.

Neil
 

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I know there are those who are experimenting with eliminating the aluminum and creating a carbon fiber tub to minimize the glue and to further decrease weight.
 

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cbolz said:
I know there are those who are experimenting with eliminating the aluminum and creating a carbon fiber tub to minimize the glue and to further decrease weight.
I tried a carbon fiber tub - didn't make my baths go any faster.

I'm here all night, folks.
 

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That is what I thought, but the current aluminum tub with its adhesives, is expensive to produce. I heard the figure of $3000. A gentleman has taken his Elise apart and is having it optically scanned with the intent of creating it in carbon fiber. Interesting, huh?
 

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cbolz said:
That is what I thought, but the current aluminum tub with its adhesives, is expensive to produce. I heard the figure of $3000. A gentleman has taken his Elise apart and is having it optically scanned with the intent of creating it in carbon fiber. Interesting, huh?
That is a very bad idea, carbon fiber doesn't have the same properties as Aluminium(obviously), you have to change the design to keep the car structure secure.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Craigy said:
If my experience is anything to go by, the more miles you put on the car, the faster it depreciates because the market just doesn't like high mileage lotus cars - having said that, a number of people over here who use them as daily drivers have hit 100K miles - no problem (even with the K series rover engine).

Craigy
That's good to hear. The toyota engine can easily go over 200k miles so I just hope the chassis can be as durable as the engine (Although I most likely won't put that much miles on my Liz :D). I've own older Porsche 911 with 200k+ miles and the chassis is still very solid w/o a noise when go over bumps, that's also with very stiff struts and torsion bars. So I think a well built sport car chassis should be able to handle stress over a long period of time.
 

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stuttgart said:
That's good to hear. The toyota engine can easily go over 200k miles so I just hope the chassis can be as durable as the engine (Although I most likely won't put that much miles on my Liz :D). I've own older Porsche 911 with 200k+ miles and the chassis is still very solid w/o a noise when go over bumps, that's also with very stiff struts and torsion bars. So I think a well built sport car chassis should be able to handle stress over a long period of time.
On thing I ought to mention is that all elises, new or old make noise when going over bumps. Bilstein shocks as fitted to the euro S2 and US cars are not as noisy as the original S1 koni's but they do still make noise.

Craigy
 

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cbolz said:
That is what I thought, but the current aluminum tub with its adhesives, is expensive to produce. I heard the figure of $3000. A gentleman has taken his Elise apart and is having it optically scanned with the intent of creating it in carbon fiber. Interesting, huh?
A replacement chassis is quite a lot more than that.

I remember a figure of £5000 GBP being quoted. ($8000 US)

The other thing is that replacing a chassis takes a lot of time - normally elises with broken chassis are written off rather than being rebuilt.

Craigy
 

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I don't think you need worry about the durability of the chassis. Ford are using the same technology in the new Aston Martins and they wouldn't do that if they had durability concerns.

Buy it, drive it and enjoy!
;)
 

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Properly designed joints of any kind are designed to "see" less stress than the surrounding structure.

If the adhesive (epoxy of some sort, I assume) were to fail, it would probably be a gradual failure that you would notice and be able to correct (as opposed to a sudden catastophic failure.)

I'm confident that the Lotus folks got it right.

"FederalElise" said:
>>That is a very bad idea, carbon fiber doesn't have
>>the same properties as Aluminium(obviously), you
>>have to change the design to keep the car structure secure.

This is a good point, you cannot simply swap one material for another. Without studying the chassis, I would guess that it can be done in carbon fiber, but will take more effort than just copying the original structure, making a mould, and laying up the carbon fiber. Some engineering analysis needs to be done.

On the other hand, you could probably get away with doing a direct carbon fiber - for - GRP swap of body panels.

T.
 

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cbolz said:
I know there are those who are experimenting with eliminating the aluminum and creating a carbon fiber tub to minimize the glue and to further decrease weight.
I met (probably) those same guys out of CA. They borrowed a friends S1 to take full 3d pictures of the frame. They are also working with Hethel. I don't know how much they expect to gain as 150lbs is not much weight in the first place. It is all those other areas where we end up with 2000lbs that bothers me. If it were my development cash I'd be spending it on a better way to create polycarb clams and spending more on the suspension components and transmission. They are areas whe hundreds of pounds can be lost.
 

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FYI, you can get a full carbon body for the Elise/Exige. The cost is for the Exige one is pretty high ($12K USD unpainted) and saves 128lbs over the stock body. If you also changed out the glass for poly, and put in an Aluminum fuel tank, it would save a total of 169lbs. A FIA approved fuel bag tank would save a few more pounds, maybe 5.

These changes, with the other things you can do to lighten the car, will get my Exige under 1500lbs easy...

Personally, I would not go with a carbon tub. Too stiff, in a minor accident you could break it to the point that it had to be replaced. At least you have some chance at fixing the aluminum...

There is a lot of weight to lose in the Fed car before you get to the tub...

Just my .02 worth...

Roy
 
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