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2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm in the process of buying my first Elise. It's an '05.

I got a few questions relating to cost. Need to prioritize, you dig?

1) What can I expect to pay to have the seats upholstered? I'm gonna be 50 this year and while I live outside Chicago, my work region is S. Ohio and Kentucky. Rather have softer seats for 6-7 hour cruise.
2) What can I expect to pay to hinge my clam shells?
3) What can expect to pay to redo/upholster the door panels?

Any answers that can give me a ballpark would be greatly appreciated baby!
 

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07 Exige S
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Hey man,

Can't give you numbers, but I would think X hundreds on any of those three projects. Not gonna lie, but I think if you are doing that 6-7 hour haul on the regular you might want to use your daily for that, might be fun the first couple of trips, but you will possibly burn through your honeymoon phase at a much quicker clip than if you saved the car for weekend blah blah. peacb
 

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The issue isn't always the cost but rather the ability to find someone capable of doing Lotus seats.
 

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RE: Clam Hinges

There's only one clam hinge kit on the market that I know of, and it's only for the rear clam.


If you search the site you can find a small number of people that have created DIY front clam hinges but directions and details are scarce.

Good luck!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 

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2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
RE: Clam Hinges

There's only one clam hinge kit on the market that I know of, and it's only for the rear clam.


If you search the site you can find a small number of people that have created DIY front clam hinges but directions and details are scarce.

Good luck!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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If you're planning to spend that much time in it I would probably look at finding some probax seats. Reupholstering and repadding can only do so much. I know a guy who had that done in his 05, I'll ask him how much he paid and see if I can get a picture of what he had done.
 

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2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #9
If you're planning to spend that much time in it I would probably look at finding some probax seats. Reupholstering and repadding can only do so much. I know a guy who had that done in his 05, I'll ask him how much he paid and see if I can get a picture of what he had done.
Dude, you are theee best! Mucho appreciado mi amigo!
 

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I have probax in my Exige, and have done multiple 6-7hr stints in them and I’m 34, and they destroy my back every time. I can’t to the realization that it’s not for me to drive the car that long of distances. The lack of spare, easy of roadside maintenance and lack of creature comforts really made me think differently when out and about, especially the lack of spare and ease of towing.
 

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I had both my seats redone. A few seams re stitched, all new foam, then re glued. The leather itself was fine, so reused. I had some extra foam added in the lumbar area on the drivers seat. I forget the exact amount, but it was around $350 for everything. I had 3 quotes, by the way, and ranged from $250 to over $1,000.

Anything over 1.5 hours and my back is still in bad shape, but better than before.
 

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2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #12
I had both my seats redone. A few seams re stitched, all new foam, then re glued. The leather itself was fine, so reused. I had some extra foam added in the lumbar area on the drivers seat. I forget the exact amount, but it was around $350 for everything. I had 3 quotes, by the way, and ranged from $250 to over $1,000.

Anything over 1.5 hours and my back is still in bad shape, but better than before.
Thanks brother! Sincerely appreciated!
 

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I strongly agree with those above who advise you against using the Elise for those long drives. It's not just the hours, but the condition of the roads where you live. I drove to Indianapolis in my Lotus once and most of my teeth fell out from going over pot holes and junctions on the highways. Plus, with temperatures/snow in the Mid West, you'll probably get to drive the Elise maybe 6 months out of the year? Honestly, live with the car a little bit before you decide to to spend money on reupholstering the seats. If you are going to give the long commute a go, I suggest you go to a hardware store or arts & craft store, purchase some 1-inch-thick foam for under 10 bucks. Then cut it to the form of your seat and lay it on top of the seat. Drive to Ohio, and see if it makes any difference. If it doesn't then you'll have all the proof you need that adding padding to your seats will not make this car feasible for regular commuting.

I'm sure the hinge is a nice thing to have if you plan to do a lot of engine work. Sometimes I wish I had it.
 

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2017 Evora 400
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When I went to LOG26 (Dallas,) on the way back we passed an 05 Elise on the side of the road in Deep East Texas. We turned around and stopped to see what was up. It was a couple from NJ that we had seen at the car wash at the hotel. They hit a pothole. The front wheel was bent or cracked and the tire was flat. As a side note, they thought that if they waited for a state trooper to report the incident, that the State of Texas would buy them a new wheel. OK, y'all can stop laughing now. Anyway, I suggested getting that wheel repaired by someone with a TIG welder and get on back to NJ. Not sure how it all turned out.
 

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2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #15
I strongly agree with those above who advise you against using the Elise for those long drives. It's not just the hours, but the condition of the roads where you live. I drove to Indianapolis in my Lotus once and most of my teeth fell out from going over pot holes and junctions on the highways. Plus, with temperatures/snow in the Mid West, you'll probably get to drive the Elise maybe 6 months out of the year? Honestly, live with the car a little bit before you decide to to spend money on reupholstering the seats. If you are going to give the long commute a go, I suggest you go to a hardware store or arts & craft store, purchase some 1-inch-thick foam for under 10 bucks. Then cut it to the form of your seat and lay it on top of the seat. Drive to Ohio, and see if it makes any difference. If it doesn't then you'll have all the proof you need that adding padding to your seats will not make this car feasible for regular commuting.

I'm sure the hinge is a nice thing to have if you plan to do a lot of engine work. Sometimes I wish I had it.
I may have given the wrong impression. I work from home. But on the rare occasion that I have to visit my region, it’d be nice to roll down I-90 or I-65. This is not a daily or weekly drive.
 

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I have a 2009 Elise SC and while I don't, I could see someone driving it everyday. My experience is that once you are in it, its super comfortable. I tend to drive without the top in the summer the most as it makes getting in/out much easier. Just my two cents...
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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So I'm in the process of buying my first Elise. It's an '05.

I got a few questions relating to cost. Need to prioritize, you dig?

1) What can I expect to pay to have the seats upholstered? I'm gonna be 50 this year and while I live outside Chicago, my work region is S. Ohio and Kentucky. Rather have softer seats for 6-7 hour cruise.
2) What can I expect to pay to hinge my clam shells?
3) What can expect to pay to redo/upholster the door panels?

Any answers that can give me a ballpark would be greatly appreciated baby!
There’s a guy in Detroit who has done work for a number of forum members who does seats and comes highly recommended. I was looking into having a set of exige-style seats upholstered with red leather like my 05 Elise seats, and it was around $600/ea (starting from a bare seat). Redoing door cards was estimated at $450 each for red leather because they require a big continuous piece of leather.
 

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fyi, the BOE clam hinge is not a difficult DYI project. I made my install easier by keeping the battery in the same location & just dislocating it when I want to raise the rear clam, since it's not something I do frequently.
 

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One iconic lotus ownership moment for me was when I met another elise owner at an autocross event and we compared our patio cushions that we put on the seats for the ride to/from the event... #keepitstock but really a 5 dollar Walmart cushion works wonders for long drives.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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I have probax in my Exige, and have done multiple 6-7hr stints in them and I’m 34, and they destroy my back every time. I can’t to the realization that it’s not for me to drive the car that long of distances. The lack of spare, easy of roadside maintenance and lack of creature comforts really made me think differently when out and about, especially the lack of spare and ease of towing.
Really? Interesting. With my probax I've done all day in the car several times without complaint at all. They are obviously not well padded, but the shape is good enough it doesn't phase me, and I usually feel it on long road trips in the minivan so that's high praise to not in the Elise.
 
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