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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!
on 5/13 I plan on flying to Atlanta to purchase my first Lotus. I have read through several of the Roadtrip! threads and have decided I will need to bring, purchase while there, or ship ahead of time a few things, but I have some questions about those items and the route in general.
small scissor jack or similar (any recommendations on the smallest/lightest?)
tire plug kit
spare fuses (does it use the mini or regular sizes?)
AAA membership (any way to get a discount?)
sunscreen
hockey puck for the jack if needed
small air pump with long enough wire (any recommendations?)
10mm-15mm sockets, extensions, and ratchet (original tool kit comes with the car)
tire pressure gauge
fix-a-flat

Am I missing anything? I know some of this is redundant, especially with AAA, but I think I will be in areas with no cell phone coverage and want a backup plan. It also has the hard and soft top, so most of the storage space will be taken. Oh yeah, and my Dad is coming along for the ride :)
The car is a 2005 with original tires and very low mileage. It has been garage kept in GA it's whole life. Should I worry about the tire age? since it has seen less sun while in a garage does the age matter less? It sounds like all recalls have been performed and it was recently serviced at Motorcars of Atlanta.

Finally, any suggestions on twisty roads close to the routes shown below? I know Northern Georgia has a lot of good ones, but most are an hour or two out of the way. any of the 3 routes suggested by Google that will put me close to some drives that I must do?
Thanks in advance!


 

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There isn't much trunk space in the Elise. I would forgo the jack personally. The tire spray should be enough for your trip.

Tires are supposed to be replaced every X years. I'm sure some are going to jump in and say X=5 or X=6. Anyways, I wouldn't push the car very hard on those old tires and would suggest that you replace them once you are home.

Good luck.
 

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That's going to be a heck of a trip, especially with two people!

First of all, make sure the tow hook is present in the toolkit. I'd also be wary about using a scissor jack on anything but the most smooth and level road, and even then it would be a last resort. I believe the lug nut adapter is a 17mm, so bring one of those sockets too.

If the car is on original tires they are well past their expiration date and you definitely need to get a fresh set on there before driving cross country. Bring a rubber hockey puck or wood block with you so the tire shop can use it on their jack. Remember they can only lift one side of the car at a time, placing the jack under the middle jacking point sticker. Do not let them use air tools with the wheel studs, and have them hand torque them back to 77lb-ft.

See if you can obtain the immobilizer PIN from a dealer so you have a way to start the car in case the fob dies.

The Elise has two sets of locks in the door. One is controlled by the CDL and one by the key. If you lock the door with the key, you'll have to reopen it with a key. Same goes for the fob. Just a little tip that may save you from thinking your locks are broken.

Most of the great GA roads are located north of Dahlonega, which is pretty far out of your way. If you do decide to take the detour, here's a really great route that will point you towards Chattanooga at the end.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips so far! I may need to add another day to my drive and try that road out! I am also considering shipping the soft top back home to make at least a little room for other things.
 

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Congrats on buying the car. Were you able to get someone to inspect it? Motors Cars of Georgia does good work, so you should be confident if they worked on it.

I agree with changing the tires before the drive. Why start an epic road trip (with your Dad!) on iffy tires. Your going t have to replace them anyway, so might as well now.

I know some good roads east of I-75 that would put you on 75 just south of Knoxville, but that won't help you. Have fun on the drive!
 

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Definitely add a day and take some detours. It breaks up the drive, and you'll have a blast.

I am nicely 50th percentile (5'10" and 150lbs) and found the '05 seats to be mostly comfortable since the lumbar is adjustable, but the lack of butt padding was killer. For all I know, you are built with your own padding, but if not then you'll want to bring a towel that you can fold up a bit and sit on. My wife and I did detroit-charlotte-detroit in one weekend like that (also with a detour here and there), and it worked out well like that. Just take the time to set up the lumbar juuuuust right before you set off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats on buying the car. Were you able to get someone to inspect it? Motors Cars of Georgia does good work, so you should be confident if they worked on it.

I agree with changing the tires before the drive. Why start an epic road trip (with your Dad!) on iffy tires. Your going t have to replace them anyway, so might as well now.

I know some good roads east of I-75 that would put you on 75 just south of Knoxville, but that won't help you. Have fun on the drive!
I was not able to get anyone to inspect it, so I assume I am buying but I will back out if needed. I have never rebuilt a car or anything, but I know my way around them enough to teach high school basic automotive classes, so I plan on being pretty thorough with what I check on it likely including the cam lobes.

The Tire thing has my head spinning. I know they are old and I will replace them. The guy I am working with to buy this from is selling it for his parents. He lives about an hour from Motor Cars and they close too early for it to really work. I assume tires would be the same, but maybe I could have them shipped to a local tire shop...
The tires have plenty of tread (meaningless with the age), and no cracks anywhere. They have always been in a climate controlled (heated and cooled) garage. Maybe that makes a difference?

Does anyone use a local tire shop for these cars?

I don't want to have to go 50 mph and take turns slowly the whole way home worried about the tires, so changing them ahead makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just ordered a set of new tires to be delivered near where the car is located, and have an appointment to get them installed the evening that I will potentially pick it up.
 

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As someone else said earlier, make sure they only jack one side at a time and use the correct point. Also, make sure they balance the tires very, very well. The front ones have so little weight and so much feedback that you'll feel the slightest imbalance.
 

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As someone else said earlier, make sure they only jack one side at a time and use the correct point. Also, make sure they balance the tires very, very well. The front ones have so little weight and so much feedback that you'll feel the slightest imbalance.
I will make sure to communicate all of this. This car will basically be my mistress, and I want to make sure I treat her right so she performs when I want her to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Using some google skills I have found a few of the answers i am seeking. Here is what I am still wondering:

I have a large air compressor at home, anyone know of a very light and small air compressor to take along? I do not need it to be fast.

Any good/twisty roads after I pass through into Tennessee?
 
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