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Please note: The excerpt below is not the complete bulletin (I have omitted certain portions dealing with the Lotus BBK and the bedding-in of brake pads)

SERVICE BULLETIN....Date: 15.01.09 ............ Number: 2009/01

Model: Elise/Exige/Europa

TITLE: Important precautions and recommendations for cars used on race tracks or in a competitive manner.

REASON: To highlight to dealers and customers some recommended precautions for regular track users. As stated in the owner's handbook Maintenance Record booklet (page 9) and Maintenance Schedule:

"The Lotus Elise, Exige and Europa, are designed as road going sports cars. It is recognised that owners may wish to use the car occasionally on closed circuit tracks to experience the car’s full range of dynamic capabilities. However, use of the car in a competitive manner, including timed runs or laps, is not endorsed by Lotus. This type of timed, competitive use will invalidate warranty and require appropriate levels of expert vehicle preparation and servicing."

With the increasing use of Elise/Exige/Europa on track days and closed circuit events, it is important that customers who exploit full vehicle performance in these circumstances take appropriate action to optimise safety and vehicle durability. In addition to the proviso above, the following advice should also be observed:

Catalytic Converter (Toyota powertrain)

In order to provide enhanced durability and resistance to fatigue cracking when subjected to sustained high engine rpm, combined with extreme temperature gradients and extensive powertrain rock caused by acute torque reversals, the material specification of the catalytic converter/downpipe assembly has been upgraded. In addition, the length of the 'U' bend pipe has been increased to allow a greater insertion depth into the silencer, the better to accommodate positional tolerances.

Failure of the catalytic converter/downpipe assembly, or of any joint in the exhaust system, could cause overheating of surrounding components or body structure, and initiate a vehicle fire.

Revised components
Catalytic Converter, Elise 111R/Elise R/Elise SC/Exige D120S0002F (Bifurcated downpipe)
Catalytic Converter, Exige S/2-Eleven B128S0001F (Non-bifurcated downpipe)
Catalytic Converter, Elise S C131S0002F (Non-bifurcated downpipe)

Identification
Revised components were introduced on production in March 2008 at approx. '08 M.Y. VIN serial number 1087. To check an individual item, hold a straight edge across the end of the 'U' bend pipe, and extend across to the the body of the converter. Measure the distance from this edge to
the start of the weld bead at the outlet end of the converter body.
Original specification; approx. 30mm
Revised specification; approx. 40mm
See illustration overleaf.

For track use, or if fitting any non-standard exhaust muffler, excluding Lotus Authorized accessory exhausts, only the revised converter assembly should be used.


The following advice, contained in Service Bulletin 2008/07, must also be adhered to:

The slip joint between the catalytic converter outlet 'U' bend and the exhaust muffler is secured by a strap clamp and pinch bolt. This clamp is designed to apply the correct clamping force to the pipe when the pinch bolt is tightened to the specified torque of 54 Nm. In order to guarantee this result, the clamp is for one use only, as some stretching and settling of components will occur in service.

Be aware that the security of this joint is essential to ensure the integrity of the exhaust system, in respect of noise, heat release and safety. Extreme temperature gradients and powertrain shunt (especially with track use), will subject the joint to additional stress, and for cars used on closed circuits or in similar conditions, the Pre-Track Use Check List, LSL520 should be followed, which includes an operation to check the exhaust system for sealing and security.

If an exhaust muffler is at any time removed or replaced, the following points should be observed:

Parts required ... Part number ..... Qty
Clamp, exhaust muffler, Elise/Exige/2-Eleven A120S6000S 1 off
Clamp, exhaust muffler, Europa B116S6001H 1 off

1. Ensure that the clamp (A120S6000S or B116S6001H) is renewed, if necessary cutting the tack
weld (used only to assist factory build) with a precision rotary tool to remove an old clamp from a muffler which is to be re-fitted.
2. Position the new clamp to be flush with the end of the muffler pipe, and orientated with the clamp split equidistant from the two patented joggled seal slots in the pipe. Tack welding the new clamp is not necessary.
Note that all new standard fitment mufflers, and Lotus accessory sports mufflers LOTAC05334, LOTAC05335 and LOTAC05450, are supplied with new clamps tack welded in position. Elise S sports exhaust LOTAC05391 will require a new clamp, A120S6000S, to be ordered separately.
3. Dependent on model, be aware that the optimum position of the muffler may not be determinable without trial fitment of the diffuser in order to centralise the tailpipe(s) in the diffuser aperture (note: access to the clamp is not available with the diffuser fitted). In this situation, the clamp bolt should be only nipped up for the position assessment, prior to torque tightening on final assembly. Achieve the maximum possible engagement of the 'U' bend pipe into the muffler inlet, consistent with acceptable tailpipe position. Assemble the joint dry.
4. Finally, torque tighten the clamp bolt to 54 Nm. From this point onwards, the clamp should be discarded if the clamp bolt is slackened.
5. Manually attempt to slide or rotate the joint. No movement should be possible.

Rear Toe-Link Inboard Joint Torque Check (S/B 2006/19)

The hot dip galvanised coating used on the rear subframe can, on Toyota powertrain cars, result in some initial 'settling-in' of the toe-link ball joint stud with the channelled insert on the subframe (ref. Service Bulletin 2004/09). This process will be accelerated if the car is subjected to track type usage. The torque figure for the fine thread (1.25mm pitch) ball joint stud and 8.8 grade Philidas
nut (A117W3189F) is 50 Nm.
On Rover powertrain cars, no channelled insert was used on the subframe; the orientation of the
ball joint stud flats must manually be set horizontal to provide the maximum diameter for load distribution. For recommended torque figures for the various ball joints which may be found, refer to Service Bulletin 2003/11 Issue 6, noting that the fine thread ball joint (A117D0090S) is supplied
as service replacement, with a torque of 50 Nm (unless using with early non-hardened subframe; 45 Nm)

For regular track use, Lotus recommends that all suspension fixings be checked between sessions, and that the chassis rear brace kit LOTAC05377 (see Service Notes section DH.5) is fitted to spread the load distribution across a wider base and to increase tolerance to abusive driving.

Camber Shimplates (S/B 2008/09)
The shim plates fitted between the steering arms (front) or ball joint plinth (rear) and the hub carrier, are selected to adjust the wheel camber. These shim plates are slotted to facilitate substitution without completely removing both the bolts. For motorsport application, where suspension loads
are substantially increased, a high strength steel is used for the shimplates, and the slots are de- leted to utilise the maximum clamp face area and enhance joint stability. These shim plates have been commonised for all cars from approx. '08 M.Y. V.I.N. serial number 1742, and will require
bolt removal to allow shim interchange when adjusting camber.
Front Shimplate, 1mm D111C0062F
Front Shimplate, 1.5mm B120C0022F
Front Shimplate, 3mm D111C0064F
Rear Shimplate, 1mm E111D0052F
Rear Shimplate, 1.5mm B120D0048F
Shimplate/harness support, 1mm, RH C116C0012F
Shimplate/harness support, 1mm, LH C116C0013F

Notes
- In all cases it is necessary to fit the plate supporting the wheel speed sensor harness.
- The bolts securing the steering arm/top ball joint plinth to the hub carrier were upgraded in March
'04 at VIN serial number 1537 (approx.).
Bolt, 10.9 grade, M10x40, steering arm to hub carrier A117W7211F 2 off
Bolt, 10.9 grade, M10x60, steering arm to hub carrier A117W7212F 2 off
Bolt, 10.9 grade, M10x50, rear ball joint plinth to hub carrier A117W7213F4 off
Earlier type 8.8 grade bolts should be tightened to 45 Nm; Later 10.9 grade bolts to 68 Nm. The bolt grade is stamped around the head of the bolt.
- The thread of both bolt types should first be thoroughly cleaned before treating with Permabond A130 (A912E7033V).
- Any attempt to adjust camber outside of Lotus specification (refer to appropriate service manual) may result in inappropriate bolt thread engagement, and endanger security.
- If camber adjustment is to be undertaken, or if any car is being prepared for motorsport activity, it is recommended to fit the later type camber shimplates and steering arm/plinth bolts.
 

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Somebody should remind them about the lower motor mounts. When these loosen (or, as in my car, the bolts actually fall out), the engine rocks excessively and the exhaust system breaks.
 

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Good info. Jack...thanks.

So how would the dealer know if you tracked the car...I suppose an ECU dump? So if the car is tracked once, and they check the ECU, then your warranty is voided?

Interesting, that they make a counterpoint suggestion, if you DO track the car:
"For regular track use, Lotus recommends that all suspension fixings be checked between sessions, and that the chassis rear brace kit LOTAC05377 (see Service Notes section DH.5) is fitted to spread the load distribution across a wider base and to increase tolerance to abusive driving. "
 

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Somebody should remind them about the lower motor mounts. When these loosen (or, as in my car, the bolts actually fall out), the engine rocks excessively and the exhaust system breaks.
+1

I just found a loose bolt in this very location during my last track prep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Somebody should remind them about the lower motor mounts. When these loosen (or, as in my car, the bolts actually fall out), the engine rocks excessively and the exhaust system breaks.
I think one might say that ..... [cars used on track] "..... require appropriate levels of expert vehicle preparation and servicing...." would cover having the car "nut and bolt" checked on a frequent basis. A lot more than engine mount bolts can and will come loose. ;)
 

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Bump about replacing the shims. Anyone have any data that this is a concern?
 

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All good recommendations.
I have seen compressed shims and only use the high grade Sector 111 race shims now. I have also seen too much bolt wear after a season that I now replace all geometry bolts/nuts after every season.
 

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All good recommendations.
I have seen compressed shims and only use the high grade Sector 111 race shims now. I have also seen too much bolt wear after a season that I now replace all geometry bolts/nuts after every season.
+1

Just replaced the rear shims yesterday. No front shims though... :D
 

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The TSB seems to be directed at the fact that shims are slotted. Never heard of that being a problem...
 

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The TSB seems to be directed at the fact that shims are slotted. Never heard of that being a problem...
It seems that with a softer metal, and slots, the shims are actually deformed under stress, which alters the loads in the cap head bolts, potentially leading to failure.
 

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This is nice info to have, I am just about to remove my camber shims, and I've found an issue in that the camber bolts seem to be very strongly tightened. I'm somewhat afraid that they will strip if I put more force on them. Hard to tell which bolt grade was used while the bolt is still in.

Also the bit about "may result in inappropriate bolt thread engagement, and endanger security" is a bit worrisome. It seems to me that this would indicate either the bolt bottoming out, or that they are just covering their *ss for the bozo that adds positive camber... Has anyone checked the depth of the bolt hole?
 

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Actually there is some very good news for SCCA drivers in this notice. I have understood the SCCA will allow part swaps provided there is a TB from the manufacturer stating the modification is needed for safety.
QUOTE..
For regular track use, Lotus recommends that all suspension fixings be checked between sessions, and that the chassis rear brace kit LOTAC05377 (see Service Notes section DH.5) is fitted to spread the load distribution across a wider base and to increase tolerance to abusive driving.
ENDQUOTE..
This should allow the LOTAC05377 kit to be used in the stock catagory now.
 

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I'm now putting shims back in the rear, apparently the springs are stiff enough that I'm not using the outsides (according to my pyrometer, and yes I have rear toe-in .. 5.25 mm total toe in). I'm wondering if these are sufficient..

Elise Parts - Steering & Suspension - Geometry - Camber Shims

I notice that both these and the sector 111 shims still have slots for easy install. I can report however that the eliseparts ones are not deburred, which is pretty irritating.

Both claim to be stainless, but there are lots of grades of stainless, and I know that the most rust resistant grades ones are often the softest... This makes me worry about the "rust free" claims in the elise parts version.

Any1 know what grade of stainless is used in each? What grade of steel is the "high-strength steel" in the dealer part?
 

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A little research on the web seems to show that there is a lot more to it than simply the grade when it comes to stainless. 316 stainless apparently can have a hardness anywhere from 69-369 vs 119-159 for A36 mild steel...

MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource

So even within that single grade it could be a lot worse or a lot better than the original stock part... sure wish everyone involved would cite actual relevant physical properties rather than vague descriptors such as "mild steel" and "high strength steel" and "stainless"

This site also shows how widely varied "stainless" is.

Stainless Steel Distributor

I'm pretty sure that the Elise-parts shims are 300 series stainless of some sort since they are non-magnetic. I sent them an email and all they said was "lots of people use em for racing, we've had no problems". (and remind me to use 10.9 bolts and thread locker, which I do :) ).

Also I'm assuming that hardness is the right measure, since the issue presumably fixed by the newer shim plates referenced above is that the original parts get deformed in compression and release the pre-load on the bolt.

Would be nice to get a hardness test on all of the available options (original, new dealer, S111, elise-parts) and compare...

I added just one 1mm Elise Parts shim where I needed one and I'll check it after the next event...
 

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The shim is more or less held in static compression. I cant imagine a case where the material strength is critical.

It basically counteracts the tension in the bolts. If the mating area of the shims is say 10x that of the bolts cross section, than the strenght only needs to 1/10 tho of the bolt material. High strenght bolts are ablut 150 ksi. If my estimate of are ratio is correct 15 ksi material would suffice.
 

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And if that were true, it seems that there would be no TSB and no comments that shim compression had been observed... ? Mild steel is probably good enough by your analysis.
 

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Very interesting. I must obtain an original...
 
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