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Good evening all!

I have been in the market for a weekend car for a month or so now. I have looked at a Porsche Cayman S, Audi TT RS, and a Nissan 370z Nismo. The other day, I had the chance to look at an 08' Elise SC for the first time. I immediately fell in love, and have decided that is the weekend car for me! I have just a few questions. I read online that Elise's are very reliable, except for some possible electrical issues. This Elise I was looking at is the touring model. At least I assume it is because of the power windows and cup holder.

The owner listed the car at 12,000 miles - but the odometer only reads 9,000. The owner was very upfront about this and did not hide it at all. He explained the gauge cluster became dim (probably electrical issue) and had to be replaced. I'm assuming since the owner was upfront about this, it's nothing I should be concerned about? The car looks pristine otherwise.

Also, this is more of a curiosity and quite honestly, I feel stupid asking it - does the Elise have to be heel-toed? I know this is probably a stupid question. Heel-toe isn't a new concept to me. Just curious is all.

Thanks guys!

I look forward to becoming a member of the Lotus community!
 

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Welcome. Someone here can answer any question you can come up with. I’ll start.

Just about all Elise have power windows. Surprisingly they are lighter than mechanical.

Cup holders are not factory options. Lotus are proud to not have them.

Let’s see some pictures please.
 

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`08 Elise-SC-220
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(y) Welcome! Well done. That Elise is choice! It's the same year and model as my obsession. I've had mine over 6 years now and she never fails to put joy in my heart and a smile on my face. Treat her well and she will never let you down.
 

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Ill preface this by saving ive owned my Lotus Elise for about a month now. I keep a spreadsheet of how often I drive it. I have driven it a total of 6 times and have yet to engage the 2nd cam. I have owned plenty of JDM/European sports cars (Think 500+HP 93 Rx7's). With those cars I have ALWAYS been somewhat scared to drive, not because of the speed, but because of them breaking down or being unreliable. I have been stranded numerous times in both the Twin Turbo Bmw and Twin Turbo Rx7's. With the Elise I feel comfortable in driving it and not having to worry about it breaking down. Now I may have just jinxed myself but I do feel comfortable driving it. PLEASE do take it for a test drive before you buy it. It is a rough but fun ride. Had I known it was going to be this rough I may have just gotten an Evora, but overall I am happy with it and I am still going to add a Evora to the garage.
 

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Get on that second cam. Its life changing. And do it with the top off so you get it at full volume. You hear it a split second before you feel it. I also waiting a while before I got on in. No reason just getting a feel for the car. Just be forewarned, once you do it you'll never go back.

The first time my 9 year old experienced it I didn't tell him beforehand I was going to do it. When it hit he had a huge grin on his face looked over and said "What was that? I like it."
 

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Plural of Lotus is Lotus
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Welcome. Someone here can answer any question you can come up with. I’ll start.

Just about all Elise have power windows. Surprisingly they are lighter than mechanical.

Cup holders are not factory options. Lotus are proud to not have them.

Let’s see some pictures please.
Actually, lotus does/did make a cup holder for the Elise. I have one and it works fine, except for being a small diameter see part 12..... DeRoure Ltd - Genuine Lotus Parts, Saab Parts, Porsche Parts, Morgan Parts, Subaru Parts
 

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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.



Stock: “Excuse me”





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.





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 to know is in here**



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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Hello and welcome. I was obsessed with Lotus after I drove one, but also considered the Cayman S and TT RS. The Elise was just too unique, pure and exotic to pass up. I've owned mine for four years. I have read about some of the later model cars needing their clusters replaced, maybe I've read about 4 or 5 of cases, not the end of the world. The best indicator of the touring pack is the leather seats. I believe the cup holder was also available as a stand alone option, I think it's cool. It's very 'Lotus' in it's implementation and is just an interesting little detail/conversation starter. Not sure what you mean by does it have to be heel-toed? It doesn't have to be, but it's easy to execute with the pedal placement. This forum is a tremendous resource, filled with incredibly knowledgable and helpful owners.
 

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1258581
 

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I have an '08 SC Elise. Yes, the second set of cams is a thrill, but less so on an SC model than a NA model, because with the SC the incremental torque boast is less pronounced. I prefer the SC over the NA precisely because I don't have to drive it at 6,000 RPMs to feel a rush of torque.

I also have a 2013 Porsche 911 4s which I purchased new. I put 50,000 canyon-carving miles on it for the first 5 years. Then I got my Lotus and I hardly touch the Porsche. The Elise is 1,000 times more fun. Less civilized but SO much raw, visceral, and connected. I can go faster in the Porsche of course, and the electronic nannies can compensate for my poor driving skills, but if you're in it for the thrill of driving, the Elise/Exige is impossible to beat. I will never sell my Elise. It's that good. I keep the Porsche only because my wife will not ride in the Elise (it's hard to look lady-like getting in an out of it).
 

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I also owned a Carrera S and sold after purchasing the Elise. I basically stopped using the Porsche since I only use my fun cars on the weekends. Nothing as raw and connected as the Elige. I recently ended up adding an Alfa 4C and I equally love both. They are very similar to each other. One is Turbo DCT and the other one is SC and manual. Best of both worlds.
 

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So Heel-Toeing is a description of the method used for downshift rev-matching while braking. Modern H-pattern transmissions all have great synchronizers and can easily be downshifted without assistance as long as you are patient with the clutch, allowing time for the car to slow and the clutch to do the work of matching the speed of the engine and transmission. When you are in a hurry, doing spirited driving or especially on the track, rev-matching is critical. It allows you to get on and off the clutch quickly during the downshift without locking up the rear wheels in the process and control braking at the same time. So, no you don’t have to do it, but it would be important for track driving and is a great basic high performance driving skill for anyone to learn when driving a traditional H-pattern car. Once mastered, it’s also fun to do anytime and builds mussel-memory for those times when you do need it. The term Heel-Toe can be a little misleading as it is often done with the left and right side of the foot depending on foot size and pedal configuration. There are a number of good descriptions online. If you plan to do HPDE, teach yourself this skill on the street before you go. Your instructor will be thrilled that you did.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Not sure on any legal issues around the odometer, but either way it is a very low mileage car as a lot of Lotus's tend to be. That isn't always a good thing as it means the car has been sitting for long periods.
My car was similar, 3 years ago I bought my (ex UK) 2006 Elise at 12k miles. I guess because it hadn't had a lot of use after I started using it a few of the 'known issues' started coming up:
steering rack worn - replaced
heater blower resister pack rusted out - updated version install (front clam off meaning 4 hours of labour)
at that time took the opportunity to replace radiator as thats a common fault point eventually
central locking failed (CDL unit on never ending backorder from factory) just gave up and don't have central locking any more.
when the front clam was removed they broke the front oil coolers (the car you're looking at might not have them i think it was a 'sport pack' option) which is common so they needed to get replaced.
nothing serious i guess, but all annoying issues and all due to the fact that the previous owner hadn't done enough miles to hit them before me!

The Elise doesn't 'have' to be heel and toed. it certainly feels smoother to do so, but on the road for me it is just a throttle blip not actual heel and toe as im never going hard enough on the brakes.
In comparison, my old Porsche Boxster did need to be heel and toed. The first time i went into a tight second gear corner and didn't i locked the rear axle because the driveline was so tight. That was the easiest car ever to heel toe though so it was actually i non issue. The Elise isn't like that, i guess the factory clutch isn't tight enough to require it.
 
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