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2005 Lotus Elise
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Hello everyone

Thought I would post up an introduction since I just got my first Lotus the 19th. I've been creeping the site before I made my purchase and this is my first post. I live here in Denver and come from the world of AWD 4 cylinder turbo cars like the STI and Evo. Like most of you I'm sure, I have had a thing for Lotus for a long time and have just recently had the chance to get my own. After searching for awhile I landed on a local 2005 Elise in Aubergine Metallic. Touring and sport packages from what I know and its completely stock supposedly sitting at 12500 miles. I'm hoping to keep this stock for awhile, but I'm sure I will change some things soon. I would be sad to ruin such a car. I cant really leave things alone and I like to play with titanium. If I can figure out this site I will attach some pictures if the Elise and my jealous Evo that I've had the past seven years. The Elise might be getting some love soon since I hear the radiator and oil cooler/lines have problems. I have only driven about 100 miles so far and catch the smell of oil, so I'd like to make sure the coolers aren't already screwed. Thanks for looking and for any future advice I may need for this amazing car.

Thanks,
Eric
 

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Nice.


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 minutes after coolant 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.


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:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f311/cooling-ticking-timebomb-how-your-cooling-u-tube-47232/

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:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320/remote-key-fob-immobilizer-misc-alarm-programming-70940/


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. Visit the Uber Thread

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/elise-exige-uberpost-read-everything-you-need-know-here-25131/

15. 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.

16. 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.

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Plus, “How to bleed brakes”:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101/how-bleed-brakes-241138/


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 betw site:lotustalk.com
 

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2007 Lotus Exige S
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2005 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #5
Super helpful stuff already. Thanks for the Colorado welcome and I'll probably end up meeting some local people at some point soon
 

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Welcome, too cool and too funny!
I bought my 05 Nightfall Blue Elise and kept in So Cal. a bit over 2 months ago and still like to "look". Sadly, due to my fathers death not too long ago I am in Denver to see to that, but my brother lives here and while running errands, I mentioned to my brother "I would like to stop and check out a rare purple Elise I saw for sale in Denver".
When we finally got there an hour or two later and stopped in, the dealer said "Too Late, we just sold it and are cleaning it for the new buyer"!

Dam! What a sweet looking car and with recent changes, I might have bought it! Congrats!

You might like this pic I took!
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #7
It's a small world in the world of Lotus it would seem. That's pretty crazy. Sorry to hear about your father. Thanks for the picture
 

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I have had a couple of these cars down to the bones a couple of time and I have a theory about the perennial oil smell. There are several (like 6 or 7) open holes in the firewall behind the rear speaker panel that are good sources of air from the engine bay. See the bits of black tape (and there are more under the trim just below the window) plus others in hidden spots that can be seen from inside the cabin. I am not sure but it will be interesting to see if this helps.
 

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Haha I have to know how this car works out. I’ve been sending it to a buddy of mine for months telling him to buy it.

Would love to know the condition it is in. I believe it’s been sitting for awhile with very few miles over the last 5 years or so, right?

Anyhow, congrats on the purchase!
 

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Hey man..... Found you post to be a but funny.. I'm also an ex-STI junkie and also a new Elise owner in the Denver area and I saw your car on sale a month ago or so... Nice color!!

I just joined Lotus Colorado but let me know if you want to do a quick photoshoot at some point or maybe I'll see you at local Denver area Lotus events. Perhaps I'll make my own into thread here as well.
 

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Your car has been for sale for a while and wondered why it didn't sell sooner due to the rare color. Beautiful car and color with low miles. From what I remember it was at a fair price as well. It seems that is a common theme, (STI owners that have a Lotus), I know one locally as well that has a turbo elise and has an built STI. It seems that would be the best of both motoring worlds. Have fun with your Elise!
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #12
To the local colorado guy I'm game for meeting up and cruising sometime. I usually turn up to the Lafayette cars and coffee every first Saturday of the month. As for why nobody snagged it for awhile I would assume people were turned off by the accident reported on the carfax and the spongy brakes. When I looked at the clams it seemed to be in good condition and had been fixed back in 2015, so I gave it a shot. Been looking around and so far seems like it's all good. Not sure if it really has 12,400 miles. Brake fluid either shows how it has many more miles than shown possibly having one of the LCD previously installed making it seem like it wasn't driven or the lack of driving has the seals disintegrating into the fluid making it black. The car is stupid clean which would make me think it is low mileage.
 

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To the local colorado guy I'm game for meeting up and cruising sometime. I usually turn up to the Lafayette cars and coffee every first Saturday of the month. As for why nobody snagged it for awhile I would assume people were turned off by the accident reported on the carfax and the spongy brakes. When I looked at the clams it seemed to be in good condition and had been fixed back in 2015, so I gave it a shot. Been looking around and so far seems like it's all good. Not sure if it really has 12,400 miles. Brake fluid either shows how it has many more miles than shown possibly having one of the LCD previously installed making it seem like it wasn't driven or the lack of driving has the seals disintegrating into the fluid making it black. The car is stupid clean which would make me think it is low mileage.
Was that a typo? Or does the car have an LSD and the traction control button by the shifter? If so, now I'm really sad.. -eek-
 

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Dark brake fluid is pretty normal, even after just a year. I've had that a few times with ATE gold. I switched to Castrol and it's not doing it any more. Welcome to the world of rear weight bias, it's a completely different animal. I grew up in Littleton (now Centennial, about a mile from where Ferrari of Denver is now) and also lived in Loveland for several years. Colorado has the greatest backroads in the country. Twisty, often empty, and amazing scenery. I miss that alot.
 

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To the local colorado guy I'm game for meeting up and cruising sometime. I usually turn up to the Lafayette cars and coffee every first Saturday of the month. As for why nobody snagged it for awhile I would assume people were turned off by the accident reported on the carfax and the spongy brakes. When I looked at the clams it seemed to be in good condition and had been fixed back in 2015, so I gave it a shot. Been looking around and so far seems like it's all good. Not sure if it really has 12,400 miles. Brake fluid either shows how it has many more miles than shown possibly having one of the LCD previously installed making it seem like it wasn't driven or the lack of driving has the seals disintegrating into the fluid making it black. The car is stupid clean which would make me think it is low mileage.
So, any reports back on this so far? I see your avatar shows some changes..
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #18
So, any reports back on this so far? I see your avatar shows some changes..
About the cars past? Still have no idea if the mileage is true and not sure I'll ever know for sure. The ignition key is super new and the cylinder is new, so either someone went through a lot to make it seem like less miles or its just fine. Just been enjoying the thing. No issues so far. Yes I've changed a few things up on the car. I made a titanium exhaust for it, some titanium rear opening covers (not super colorful anymore like my avatar suggests) after the exhaust changed to rear exit instead of bottom exit, and have done a few GRP items around.
 

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Good to see you are enjoying it!.. In other news, since you bought yours, I bought a chrome orange Elise with @ same mileage as yours, sold my Nightfall one and added a Persian Blue S240 currently sitting sitting in my fathers garage in Denver, awaiting my return to get it to me in So Cal..

Do you like it better than your Evo? or is it more of a case of it's just "different"

And you MADE a titanium exhaust?? Can you make one to fit in stock location?
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Good to see you are enjoying it!.. In other news, since you bought yours, I bought a chrome orange Elise with @ same mileage as yours, sold my Nightfall one and added a Persian Blue S240 currently sitting sitting in my fathers garage in Denver, awaiting my return to get it to me in So Cal..

Do you like it better than your Evo? or is it more of a case of it's just "different"

And you MADE a titanium exhaust?? Can you make one to fit in stock location?
Awesome! I've seen a local chrome orange around and that color looks great. I haven't really driven the evo much at all since I bought this. I seem to always choose the elise over the other cars since it's new to me, gets the best gas mileage of my cars, and is super fun to drive in.
 
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