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Discussion Starter #1
Here's something interesting. Go here: http://dms.dot.gov/search/searchFormSimple.cfm and search for "Docket Number" 16341.

You'll find Lotus' petition for exemption from the bumper and headlight laws in the U.S. Note that the petition was submitted on 10/22/03, and revised on 11/25/03 (yesterday). Thats not that long ago, and if the DOT had approved the petition, then the approval would show up in that query. For a past example of this, search for docket number "6092" which was a previous petition of a similar nature. There, you can see the Government's response and grant of the petition. In the past example, it looks like it took about 2 months for the government to approve such a petition.

So, this leads me to think that maybe one of our primary delays to getting the car is that its just not been approved by the government yet. This really sucks, because there still is the slim chance that the Elise petition will not be granted. This would be a terrible loss.

We should follow the example of Roadfly (see the searh results from the above link) and get a group together to "comment" on Lotus' petition in a similar manner, showing our support for Lotus and the Elise in particular.

Steve
 

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I suspect that the reason the cars aren't here yet is that they're driving them around the test track 24 hours a day to see what breaks first. Making a production car is a lot more complicated than making a tuner car. Here are some things that could easily go wrong with this engine conversion:

- Oil starvation. Remedy: Design baffles for pan, then either install them in England (requires disassembly of engine) or negotiate new design with Toyota.

- Excess heat caused by cat. Note in the 2ZZ writeup how they moved it close to the engine to make it warm up faster. Remedy: Redesign body to get more circulation around cat, or redesign exhaust (requires recertification).

- Cooling problems. A 200 HP engine can generate a LOT more heat than a 120 HP engine. Presumably they know how to solve this based on the track versions, but it could require substantial body rework or a bigger radiator, etc.

- Driveshaft problems. They have to connect the new transmission to the existing suspension. Plenty of places for problems...

- Gear linkage problems. Note the issues that Toyota has had with this transmission in the Celica. Maybe there's something lurking in the innards of the shift mechanism that will jump out at the last minute.

Everybody here, I assume, has been involved in car projects or computer projects or house projects or business projects, and knows that it's the little unexpected things that crop up at the last minute to bite you in the a**. I would bet that if you could sit in on a Lotus engineering meeting today you would see a blackboard with a list of the top 20 problems that need to be solved before the car can be shipped.

I just hope they start coming over here before I'm forced to buy an STi to tide me over... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
zvezdah1,

Yes, its obviously a formality, but without it, there's no way that U.S. Customs will let the cars into the country, as their job is to keep out anything that can't be registered here legally. I wonder how much trouble the first few people are going to have with the DMV and their insurance companies, who will probably have no knowledge whatsoever of this car. :)

Dougie,

You've got a lot of really great points, and you sparked my thinking about something: California Emissions. I know this car must pass it to be sold in CA, but will there be issues in 4 years when the car has to be smogged again? I wonder how likely this will be, because at that point the car will be out of warranty.

Steve
 

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slacy said:
You've got a lot of really great points, and you sparked my thinking about something: California Emissions. I know this car must pass it to be sold in CA, but will there be issues in 4 years when the car has to be smogged again? I wonder how likely this will be, because at that point the car will be out of warranty.
I seriously doubt there will be issues. California will likely be the Elise's #1 market in the U.S., and California has the strictest emissions standards. I'm sure Lotus is already aware of that, and has engineered the car accordingly.
 

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slacy said:
You've got a lot of really great points, and you sparked my thinking about something: California Emissions. I know this car must pass it to be sold in CA, but will there be issues in 4 years when the car has to be smogged again? I wonder how likely this will be, because at that point the car will be out of warranty.
I thought I read somewhere that emissions equipment is covered by a 7 year/100k miles warranty by law - can someone confirm this?

Regardless though, it's tough for an unmodified car to fail a smog test!
 

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i wouldnt worry about not being able to pass the smog check if u keep the exhaust stock...i bought an used E30 M3 from someone as a toy car about 2 years back (sold it after a while), and to register it we had to get a smog check done. it was full aftermarket exhausts, piping etc, and i was scared as hell that it wouldnt pass teh smog check. however, it did...i think the person i bought the car from knows the owner of the shop that performed it, but i dont know if thats how the car passed or not...but however it did pass...
 

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Dougie said:
- Excess heat caused by cat. Note in the 2ZZ writeup how they moved it close to the engine to make it warm up faster. Remedy: Redesign body to get more circulation around cat, or redesign exhaust (requires recertification).
Easy option.
Buy the car - take the cat off.
We have cat replacement pipes here that a high % of Elise owners use. We keep our cat clean in the garage and refit it for a day once a year when our cars need to have their exhaust emissions tested.

This:
1) cuts down on heat
2) increase power
3) sounds better

My cat was seen glowing red hot whilst driving through France before I removed it :eek:

Dougie said:
- Cooling problems. A 200 HP engine can generate a LOT more heat than a 120 HP engine. Presumably they know how to solve this based on the track versions, but it could require substantial body rework or a bigger radiator, etc.
Will you cars come with an oil cooler as standard ?

Dougie said:
I just hope they start coming over here before I'm forced to buy an STi to tide me over... :)
What's an STi ?
 

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The car is coming with TWO oil coolers from reports.

Also - there is nothing easy when working on an Elise. FYI
 

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On the contrary!

The Elise is actually quite simple to work on for most jobs and the service manual and parts list are just 1 binder each.

Try that with most modern cars and you have about 3 feet of binders in a row :D

You just need to be aware of it's little 'specifics' and quirks and then most jobs are quite straightforward. Some Lotus oddness and occasional braindead solutions are still around, but not too bad with the S2 onwards.

One word of warning for you guys when you get the car and have it serviced... (this always pops up on european forums too..)

Do *NOT* let any grease-monkey try to jack up the car like a 'regular' car. Major damage can occur.

The Elise has very specific jacking points (esp. when using a 2-post 'arm' lift). If you don't use these then you risk major fibreglass damage or bent aluminium parts.

Bye, Arno.
 

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STi = Subaru WRX STi (new model of their high horsepower Imprezza)

As for the US Elise having two oil coolers, some recent model Toyota motors I've seen use an oil cooler under the filter - using engine coolant to cool the oil. I expect the Elise has this design, and Lotus has added a radiator-style oil cooler as well. the good news is that if they've done this, adding an Accusump (to prevent oil starvation) will be easier - just tap into the hoses going to this second oil cooler.
 

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the twin oil coolers on the elise are forward of the front wheels. the front ducts that were not used on the previous elise are now funcional.
 

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Lotusmonza said:
the twin oil coolers on the elise are forward of the front wheels. the front ducts that were not used on the previous elise are now funcional.
Thanks for the clarification. It'll be interesting to see how this affects oil changes...I've never had a car with an external oil cooler like that, let alone two of them and maybe a dozen feet of hoses connecting it all.
 

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What that really means? Keep some kitty litter handy. :p
 

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Lotusmonza said:
the twin oil coolers on the elise are forward of the front wheels. the front ducts that were not used on the previous elise are now funcional.
Does this mean it is necessary to remove the front clam to change the oil filters?

It sound like changing those filters is going to be very expensive.
 

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There is still only one oil filter. These are oil coolers, much like radiators but for the oil to be cooled instead of water(coolant). The only difference will be the amount of oil used when changing it.
FYI my 2.5L Boxster uses 10quarts of Oil, so I need to buy MORE than one case of oil at each oil change.
 

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adamant said:
There is still only one oil filter. These are oil coolers, much like radiators but for the oil to be cooled instead of water(coolant). The only difference will be the amount of oil used when changing it.
FYI my 2.5L Boxster uses 10quarts of Oil, so I need to buy MORE than one case of oil at each oil change.
Go to a bulk plant and get it by the five gallon bucket. That's what I do for my diesel. That'd give you two changes and something to dispose of the old oil in (on the third oil change obviously;) ) I do mine at the auto hobby shop on the Air Force Base, so they take care of my used oil for me:)
 

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Only problem is that the Box uses Mobil 1 synthetic. I don't think they sell that in bulk. It sucks when you get a $150 bill to change the oil at the dealership. I took mine to jiffy lube once and the bill was still $75. 10qts of synthetic is not cheap!
 

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Walmart normally has Mobil1 in 5qt jugs, for around $18 last time I bought. Target used to have good prices on Mobil1, but the last couple of times I checked it was much more expensive (> $4/qt) than it used to be.
 
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