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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Figured it was time to start a 'build' thread for my car. I always intend to do while I'm in the middle of the build, but end up doing them near the end as I get caught up with the actual build.

I ended up buying my Elise by pure chance. I had no intention of buying a Lotus and wasn't even looking at them. I was actually torn between a C7 Z07 or doing an E30 swap of sorts (either LS or a boosted S54). The previous year I had built a 1M clone with an E90 drivetrain so I was leaning to the Vette, since I was burnt out from the build and didn't want to spend another winter in the garage. After factoring in consumables for track days I was a little bit meh about them.

Facebook Marketplace must have known I missed my supercharged S2000, because it suggested an Elise ad. The owner was 20 minutes down the street from me, and I was having a slow Saturday. I had ridden an Elise once previously, more than a decade ago. This car looked to be rough shape, but it had a lot of the same modifications that I would've done.

The previous owner was the second owner, took care of the car, and was down to earth. Also, despite the go-fast parts (Penske shocks, BOE REV300 Kit, BWR bushings etc), he never tracked the car. The test drive was underwhelming; the car needed an alignment and I didn't really get into it. After 2 weeks of negotiations with the owner and his wife, I managed to knock $6k off the asking price and the car was mine.

Get the car titled was nerve-wrecking as the VA DMV didn't have any appointments for 3 months and I had to mail them the title. Since the car would sit for 2 months, I wasted no time and started to order parts to get the car sorted.

The end goal was to have an OEM+ build. I want a reliable track day car that I can drive to/from the track, beat around without having to worry about it breaking down, and still be able to take to the gym or whatever.

Step One - Identify what's been modified
  • BOE Rev300
  • BOE swirl pot
  • BOE catch can
  • BOE QS exhaust
  • BOE Engine Block-off plates/Cooling U pipe delete
  • EP Tuning Radiator
  • EP Tuning Quick Release steering wheel hub
  • Momo 320MM Steering Wheel
  • Inokinetic ultra disks
  • Inokinetic QWKBLEED SS Lines Front and SS Lines in the back
  • Inokinetic shiftr111
  • Inokinetic Xtender Bracket
  • Inokinetic v2 arms
  • Inokinetic Eliminator V3
  • Inokinetic Shifter Cable
  • SSC Crossgate Cable
  • BWR Harness Bar
  • BWR Control Arm Bushing Kit
  • BWR penske single adjustable shocks
  • BWR Spec 949 Racing 6UL wheels
  • Wheel Studs
  • Radium Engineering Clam Kit
  • GARW dash
  • CL5 Brake Pads
  • Morimoto HID Headlight Bulbs and Ballasts
  • 4 point Takata harnesses
  • A/C, Radio, Airbags, Center Console, Rear Bulk Head, and Seat Belts Delete
Step Two - Identify what I want to change
  • The peeling clear coat had to be fixed
  • Needed to refit all the AC components and get the AC functioning
  • Reinstall all the cluster plastics
  • Get the oil temp and pressure readings on the dash to work
  • Fix leaking driver side oil cooler, perform oil cooler line recall, and address the overcooling issue
  • Upgrade to Rev400. While the additional power is welcome, I wanted the aftercooler more than anything else
  • Radio/Headunit of sorts
  • Fix the other misc stuff that's broken
  • Access Panel Replacement
  • Add missing grills in the front
  • Side Mirror replacement

While I ordered the parts, I set off to address the clear coat issues first.

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Sounds like you are off to a good start. It appears that you got a bunch of nice upgrades with the car. Good luck with the build and take lots of photos!
 

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Agreed, it's a neat starting point and lot of what OP is doing is what I'd choose to do. I like too like the car to be very reliable, have power for fun, and not look tired inside and out. I've never been one to strip down a nice car for max performance, but all my cars are 90% street focused (brakes, tires, suspension, radio still works, AC if I need it).
 

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I like this community. The positivity surrounding posts like this are a big reason I decided to take the plunge rather than some other brands I had short listed that have a community that frowns on DIY'ers "improving" their cars.
 

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2006 Elise Supercharged
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123 Posts
awesome list of parts, what part of the DMV? I usually drive out to Dulles C&C from Fairfax
 

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Great build list and specs...my car matches for about 2/3 of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
awesome list of parts, what part of the DMV? I usually drive out to Dulles C&C from Fairfax
I'm in Fredericksburg, but I usually go to the DMV Select in the Arlington Government Center. Prior to COVID, it took me under 30 mins to Uber from DC to Arlington, get a title transfer/car registered, and then Uber back to DC. I understand that everyone is overwhelmed, but the only reason they processed my stuff is because I kept DMing them on Facebook and Twitter. Their 1-800 number was always busy, but on social media they replied back within an hour, and they actually called me back on the same business day when I complained enough; after that last call I got my title over-nighted it to me via UPS.

I discovered 6 other mods:
  • ACT XT/SS Clutch
  • Fidanza Flywheel
  • Inokinetic Short Shift Kit
  • Inokinetic Trackmounts 2
  • Inokinetic Lidbone
  • LSD in the trans
 

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Now know as the Lotus squeaky wheel within DMV
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While I usually wouldn't start a build with body work, I didn't have much of choice. I didn't want to the car outside my neighborhood without tags, let alone any proof that I owned it, and getting parts from the UK was going to take a couple of weeks.

The peeling clear coat was a bit perplexing given that that car was never repainted and supposedly was covered or parked in a garage for all its life. Regardless, the paint underneath was in good condition so I knew I didn't have to completely sand everything down. I also lucked out in the Saffron Yellow is a flat paint without any metallics so blending was going to be easy.
As I sand away the clear coat, I quickly realized that I needed to paint the whole rear clam if I wanted things to look decent; the clear coat would peel if I breathed on it. That escalated into 'well...I might as well fix any cracks in the clam'. There was one major cracks on the driver side rear; it was right on the boarder of the Star Shield, so to fix it I had to remove the Star Shield. Removing that took paint off without it and after that I just said screw it, lets go all in. The only part of the clam that I didn't paint was the passenger side rear, because I didn't want to remove the Star Shield on that side. In hind sight I should've done it, but I was impatient and wanted to spray it while the weather was still warm.
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While fixing the clam, I noticed the chips on the sills. Once again I took care of that since I was right there anyways.

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All in all it was an easy job and the fiberglass repair wasn't that bad. In hindsight, I should've taken the clam off, and sprayed it off the car, but the HOA would've had a fit with the car being parked outside missing the back half. Secondly, while the finish isn't factory, its 90% there; I could wet sand it and bring out the shine, but my intended use for the car is track days and the to that end I'm satisfied with the results. After this track season, if I keep it, I will pull off everything and give it a complete respray.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise; 2007 Lotus Exige S; 2012 Porsche 991S
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Sub'd excited to see this. Always love a good build thread. But....this seems already like a lot more than "OEM+" unless I'm misunderstanding the definition of that!
 

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2008 Exige S240
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The slash tip exhaust pipe so close to the clam can cause ppf bubbling. I know this from experience with a BOE Silent Touch. The heat singed the ppf turning it light brown. It was a shame because it was new ppf. I later changed to exhaust pipe angle to exits straight out the back like most exhausts. The side exit slash tip looks better though.
The peeing clearcoat is an anomaly. I owned a 2006 Elise that was not garaged and had no peeling issues. My Exige doesn’t have an clear peeling either. Maybe the clam was repainted.
 
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