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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm new here because I've never owned a Lotus but always wanted one. I'm focused on finding a '05-'07-ish Elise.
Still shopping, but I called the local dealer and an independent shop that advertises they work on Lotus cars to ask if they could do a PPI when I locate a car. (They both can)

Then a surprise- the guy at the independent shop (which also does all the Italian exotics) mentioned in passing that a clutch replacement on the Elise was $7500 (ouch). I called the local Lotus dealer and he quoted $6500.

I wasn't expecting Lamborghini repair prices. Are these numbers what I should expect ?

thanks in advance
Jeff
 

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2008 Lotus Elise SC and 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C
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You can get a new clutch for less than $2,000 installed!. Look for an independent indy.
 

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The clutch job on an Elise/Exige is nowhere near that much. Expect from a reputable dealer or an indy shop to charge you normal figures....say in the ballpark of a grand or below.

Your mechanic may be thinking of the Evora that requires extensive labor to do the repair job. $4-6k is common since you have to pull the engine to replace the clutch in an Evora.

Even with that said...I'm 50k miles in and haven't had to do it on my Evora. With my Elise and aftermarket supercharger, still rocking the stock clutch with over 70k.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the answers, guys...I was beginning to wonder if I had to re-think Lotus ownership.

Both the dealer and the indy shop told me the rear clamshell has to be pulled to do the clutch on an Elise, and it was 50+ hrs. of labor total. Does that sound right ?
Surely they aren't mixing up an Elise with an Evora (the Evora never came up in our conversations). The indy shop even mentioned and Elise clutch job was slightly more than a Lambo clutch.

That leaves me wondering who to look to in the Houston area for Lotus service however.

Cheers
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for responding. That eases my mind some, although I'm not sure where to go for Lotus service in the Houston area now.

Both the indy shop and the dealer said the rear clamshell had to be removed for an Elise clutch job which was 50+ hrs. labor.

Surely they aren't mixing it up with the Evora, which never came up in our discussions.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm..my quick replies aren't getting posted. I may not know some rule, so I'll try "regular" reply

First, thanks much for the info in your replies.

both the indy shop and the dealer said the rear clamshell had to come off and the total labor was > 50 hrs. The Evora never entered the conversation so I'm assuming they weren't confusing the two cars.

Since then, I've also contacted half a dozen Lotus dealers across the U.S. asking for a ballpark estimate to do an Elise clutch replacement. A couple would not return my calls, and a couple others said they hadn't worked on an Elise for some years and didn't remember what it would cost. I'm in a seemingly endless text exchange with a couple more still trying to get an estimate.

Am I going about this all wrong some way ?

Cheers
Jeff
 

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The rear clam does not need to be removed. You can jack the rear up and remove an engine mount or something to drop the motor some. I've read how to DIY, but it's been a while.
 

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For DIY:

A. You can change the clutch out without removing the clam, but it a real knuckle busting job. Have to remove motor mount and tilt the engine to slide the transmission off. Really a bear trying to slide back in.
B. Removing the clam is really not a big deal. Can even be done by one person if careful. Makes changing the clutch much easier. Also a good time to think about installing clam hinge.
C. In my opinion, it’s easier to completely remove the drivetrain to change the clutch then fuss with it in the car. Can also get to the dreaded u-tube in the coolant system. NOTE: for DIY you need the proper tools; ramps, jacks, jack stands, engine hoist to name a few.
D. The repair quotes seem extremely high, the parts aren’t that expensive even for upgrade clutch and flywheel.
E. Doing it yourself is a great way to learn about your car. Get a manual, go slow, double check each step and get a great sense of accomplishment.
 

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Having now done both, the elige many times.

Elige takes 12 hours your first time if you're not big on working on cars a lot, and about 3 hours your 6th time.

Evora takes 30++ hours and it is what it is. What a terrible job.
 

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Holy hell. At $7000 a pop, I'd learn to do nothing but clutches.

I'd buy a truck, some tools and a portable lift, and drive back and forth across the country.
Do 25 a year and I'd be clearing $175k for like maybe two months of work total, being diligent about scheduling.
 

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It takes a whole week of 8 hour days to do one. I suspect that they also do things like change the water pump while in there. There is also cost for the materials.
 

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Jeff, You can do this. There are many post with a step by step guide. Clam on no problem. There are some tools you will need such as a low lift transmission jack from harbor freight and a good set of pry bars to remove axle. Yes mine took 2 days but most of that time was waste manhandling the transmission to get it back in. With the jack it was 5 minutes. Also be sure to get new Flywheel bolts and clutch cover bolts from arp. Monkeywrench racing sells them.I will try to find the instruction posts. Do it yourself and be assured everything is done correctly Tommy
 

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It takes a whole week of 8 hour days to do one. I suspect that they also do things like change the water pump while in there. There is also cost for the materials.
While my post was kind of a joke, I suspect we're talking about different things since your own post indicated that an Elise/Exige clutch could be done in ~3 hours.

I can understand the Evora clutch being so expensive, given the labor and time required, but for a 3-hour job? Even with the cost of materials, that's still got to be a six-figure salary at $7k each doing just 25 a year.
 

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While my post was kind of a joke, I suspect we're talking about different things since your own post indicated that an Elise/Exige clutch could be done in ~3 hours.

I can understand the Evora clutch being so expensive, given the labor and time required, but for a 3-hour job? Even with the cost of materials, that's still got to be a six-figure salary at $7k each doing just 25 a year.
I think I have pulled the transmission in an Elige more times than everyone else combined.(maybe not but it feels like it).

Removing the clam makes life alot easier, but I've done it both ways. Clam hinge is worth every penny.

Clutch takes 20 minutes once trans is off.

I recommend our lightweight flywheel while you are in there. ACT HD-SS is the perfect stock replacement AND upgrade for the Elige.

My record to take the trans out on the XP Elise, starting with wheels on the ground is 42 minutes.

My record to put in is 48 minutes, but then I saw the throw out bearing and fork on the floor! So now I don't time how long it takes to put in!
 

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I think I have pulled the transmission in an Elige more times than everyone else combined.(maybe not but it feels like it).

Removing the clam makes life alot easier, but I've done it both ways. Clam hinge is worth every penny.

Clutch takes 20 minutes once trans is off.

I recommend our lightweight flywheel while you are in there. ACT HD-SS is the perfect stock replacement AND upgrade for the Elige.

My record to take the trans out on the XP Elise, starting with wheels on the ground is 42 minutes.

My record to put in is 48 minutes, but then I saw the throw out bearing and fork on the floor! So now I don't time how long it takes to put in!
You told me that was round trip in 45 minutes before! I thought that would be impossible! Yeah I can get the transmission out in 42 minutes I bet. Not sure if I could get it back in 48, maybe with an experienced helper.
 

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For the record....

I have been with 3 different Lotus dealers, and we always charged the same..
- 10 hours labor (at $125/hr) - $1,250
- Parts (varies, depending on what you chose) - roughly $1,000
- Transmission fluid - (3 quarts, i usually use MT90 at $15-$20 -bottle) $60.00
Total - Roughly - $2,310.00

Hope that helps.
T.J.
 

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As much as it pains me to say it, removing the engine from the car is the easiest way to do it. You CAN slip the trans off the engine in situ but it requires tilting the engine a little bit which can be a bear, not to mention mating the trans back to the engine. It's certainly possible, but halfway through, you'll be wishing you'd just taken the engine out. For those with AC, this makes things a bit more complicated as you'll have to evacuate the refrigerant and then refill --- something that usually only shops are setup for.
 

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I did this at home in my garage in Feb 2018 - installing the BWR ubertranny (and new clutch/flywheel). Taking my sweet-ole-time with lots of breaks it took me about 17 hours. I did pop my BOE clamhinge to disconnect things up top but it is certainly possible without doing so.

I swear six of those hours was on my back trying to power lift the transmission back up and getting it to align/set properly but that's my fault for not having a transmission jack or a helper.
 
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