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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
so I read the mega thread on these cars but still have a few questions.

from what I've seen they are reliable, just need to make sure the oil line recall is done and watch out for cam lobes.

I don't have the space or capability to do my own work but luckily I am fairly close to a good shop in NJ (William Thomas Roadsters) and RS motorsports.

I had been looking at newer cars with warranty such as C7 corvettes, porsche caymans, etc after my Alfa Romeo lease ends in spring/summer. The Lotus has always been in the back of my mind since they are such fantastic drivers and hold value so well. I am a little afraid of high labor costs (see below)

if I happened to have larger issues it seems like the parts are cheap since its just the 2ZZ engine - I see them for $2000 or so, but would labor charges be tons of money? for example how much would it cost in a worst case scenario labor included? like swapping or rebuilding an engine, transmission, clutch etc, if anyone has any experiences here. I even found a labor time schedule and the engi

I know the clamshells are huge $$$ but that's what insurance is for. Basically I want to know what is the worst repair I would be facing lol. FWIW I know since whatever car I would look at would probably be 10+ years old I would have to expect some maintenance costs.

I love the way these cars look and drive. It would probably be a nice weather driver, back roads and autocrosses.

unrelated question, is the traction control option on 2006+ models useful? I know it comes with the LSD, and probably not as advanced as newer traction controls

Random note I posted here way back but I never saw the posts appear and gave up because the forum wasn't working for me. I think this post worked and it appears the forum got redesigned. but hopefully you guys see it this time
 

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Chances are you will not incur any large labor costs as the Elige (means Elise or Exige) is very reliable.

Traction control and LSD are totally separate items. There are very few Elige that actually have the LSD from the factory.

San
 

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TC is your right foot on most Eliges.
 

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A normally aspirated elige doesn't really need traction control or a LSD. You've got 190 HP, a pretty mellow torque curve, decent sized rear tires, long throttle pedal travel, and most of the weight of the car is on the driving wheels. I won't say it's impossible to overcook the rear wheels with engine torque, but it's nowhere near as common as excitement from lifting in a corner.

All eliges come with ABS and it's pretty good for street use.

Supercharged cars can put a lot more torque to the tires, and I'm wiling to believe that traction control makes more sense there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the responses. I found this labor time schedule from an old post and it seems most of the work isn't too long time wise so even if something did come up it wouldn't be that bad especially if I have a good indy.

yeah I wouldn't be looking for a supercharged one just a normal Elise or Exige.
 

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About the only thing that would be costly for an Elise or Exige is collision repair. If you search the forum you will see that some low speed impacts require $10,000 and up for repairs. If you are planning to use the car infrequently and stay well back from other cars at intersections then that should not be an issue.
 

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you ask about cost of swapping or rebuilding a 2zz in an Elige - how much does it cost to have these done in other cars? The c7? or the Cayman? I had a friend who purchased an '06 Cayman and within 6 months the motor was coming out and being rebuilt/replaced for a decent chunck of $$!!! I would see the biggest thing being that the Elige could possibly scare a shop because it looks expensive, the rear clams are decent sized and they just dont know the cars. But they do have online resources that can help them know how to remove the clam and then BAM! it's right there!

these are hand built cars - and from my personal experience, not too tricky to work on (nor do they require alot of work... though I am due for an oil change again...) I've put well over 40k on my car and only issues I've had were oil line recall (not done by any of the previous owners!) which dealership took care of once I got the car to them (approx 1 hr away) and i had to replace a coolant line that had rub through because it fell out of it's little holder clip... but other wise, i check coolant, oil, and new tires and she's a happy little car!

... google exige without clam and you can see the access you have to the engine once it's off...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
you ask about cost of swapping or rebuilding a 2zz in an Elige - how much does it cost to have these done in other cars? The c7? or the Cayman? I had a friend who purchased an '06 Cayman and within 6 months the motor was coming out and being rebuilt/replaced for a decent chunck of $$!!! I would see the biggest thing being that the Elige could possibly scare a shop because it looks expensive, the rear clams are decent sized and they just dont know the cars. But they do have online resources that can help them know how to remove the clam and then BAM! it's right there!

these are hand built cars - and from my personal experience, not too tricky to work on (nor do they require alot of work... though I am due for an oil change again...) I've put well over 40k on my car and only issues I've had were oil line recall (not done by any of the previous owners!) which dealership took care of once I got the car to them (approx 1 hr away) and i had to replace a coolant line that had rub through because it fell out of it's little holder clip... but other wise, i check coolant, oil, and new tires and she's a happy little car!

... google exige without clam and you can see the access you have to the engine once it's off...
Hi,

thanks for the post. I know the C7/cayman/any other sports car really will cost 5 digits for that and that is why I wouldn't own out of warranty. Once I noticed the Elise used the 2ZZ engine that is when it became on my radar.

I have very little mechanical knowledge so wanted to ensure that it wasn't too hard to work on (for a shop, which would reduce what I end up paying for maintenance/repairs). I am within 30-40 minutes of those two shops which are very well known for working on Lotus.

I feel if I can find a nice Elise and budget a few hundred bucks a month for little issues that possibly come up, or not, I would be way ahead compared to buying a new Corvette or something and sucking down depreciation. Also the experience would be much more intense/hardcore which I like as well especially if it will be a toy only.
 

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I say your best bet is to pull the trigger and not worry too much about the issues. I'm guessing you wouldn't think twice about buying a used Toyota Camry for the same money and low miles; that's basically what you are getting into here. You've already found the forums, and YouTube is another wonderful resource. This is a perfect opportunity to learn a bit about mechanics and learn how to do the simple stuff like oil changes, cam checks, pad replacements, fluid flushes etc... I was in your boat not too many years ago, and now some of the most rewarding experiences are wrenching and upgrading this little machine. Jump in with both feet, there truly is nothing like them. It will be the best irrational decision you ever make.
 

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@kittens - i also see the elise/exige being a great car to increase your mechanical knowledge. loads of knowledge available here and youtube as mentioned... and a few hundred a month?!?! that will be more than enough for it! that's closer to my budget for modifications instead of maintenance!

and by all means, post pics when you get your new-to-you car!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks! the main issue is having the time and space. I'm sure I can pick up the knowledge but I'm in a parking garage (very secure, but probably won't be able to work on cars there) and I work pretty long hours. so may still stick with experts unless its a really simple issue.

Now the next task is to find one. lol
 

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thanks! the main issue is having the time and space. I'm sure I can pick up the knowledge but I'm in a parking garage (very secure, but probably won't be able to work on cars there) and I work pretty long hours. so may still stick with experts unless its a really simple issue.

Now the next task is to find one. lol
from what I've seen they are reliable, just need to make sure the oil line recall is done and watch out for cam lobes.
 

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thanks! the main issue is having the time and space. I'm sure I can pick up the knowledge but I'm in a parking garage (very secure, but probably won't be able to work on cars there) and I work pretty long hours. so may still stick with experts unless its a really simple issue.

Now the next task is to find one. lol
Don't be afraid to look at professionaly rebuilt salvage title cars. Insurance companies tend to total them out for relatively minor incidents. Knowing what I know now after years of ownership I would have purchased a rebuilt Exige from Wirewheel.com.
 

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Knowing what I know now after years of ownership I would have purchased a rebuilt Exige from Wirewheel.com.
If I hadn't stumbled over mine practically in the neighborhood, a salvage title Elise from Wirewheel would have been high on my list of ways to get the car I want, often with mods I would prefer already installed.
 

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I bought my 2007 elise with an already installed aftermarket supercharger from wirewheel. I basically got the supercharger for free. They are great to deal with and visiting the shop is super fun. Highly recommend them if you can find something you'd like in their inventory. Also they have a good selection of used aftermarket parts on hand (diffusers, wheel, upgraded toe-links, intakes, exhausts etc) and are willing to customize when you purchase.
 
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