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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Just wanted to share our shop Lotus build because we are so proud to finally be Lotus owners, and we couldn't have done this without wonderful customers and vendors to work with.

The below was written by my fiance, Jon. Most photos taken by me :)

Why Lotus?
My first encounter with Lotus cars was when I was 18 years old and I signed up first my autocross in my 1996 Acura Integra with the Golden Gate Lotus Club (GGLC). I always thought they were “cool” looking and after going on a couple ride-alongs, I could already tell how fun it would be to drive one.

In 2010, I got a job working for a Lotus Specialty shop and my desire to own one has been growing ever since. Lightweight, bonded aluminum tub chassis, all fiberglass body, flat under side, mid-engine, high revving; the Lotus has all the traits of a purpose-built race car. Most people would agree that lightweight is key to any performance vehicle. Horsepower makes it faster in the straights, but making a car lighter makes it faster in the straights, corners, and braking. Consumables cost less because the car doesn’t need massive brakes or tires and you have an extremely exciting car to drive that can get over 30 miles a gallon of fuel economy. At 2000 lbs, you’re basically driving a street legal go-kart. And despite seeing so many in our shop at any given time, the car is very unique. How often do you see one on the road?

In September, a Storm Titanium 2008 Exige S40 was T-boned at Laguna Seca coming down Turn 9 and the car was towed to Trackspec for an assessment. The owner wanted us to create two estimates:

  1. To completely fix the car; and
  2. To fix only the mechanical damage and the car would be the “ugly Betty” of his stable.

Depending on the costs, he would decide on which option to go with, or try to sell it as-is. After discussing his options with him, I entertained the idea of purchasing it from him and in the end, we were able to work out a deal that we were both happy with.

12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Photo from the paddock at Laguna Seca after the accident.

The Carnage
We started off by taking the car apart to get rid of the damaged parts. In the accident, the car sustained damage to the rear clam, all the right rear suspension, right rear CV joint, right rear brake line, wheel, exhaust, tail lights, engine cover, diffuser, and some other miscellaneous parts.

Rear subframe removed and waiting for replacement parts

The Rebuild
I was lucky enough to find a matching rear Exige clam in Tehachapi, CA (about 5 hours from the shop), so I woke up at 4am on a Tuesday morning, drove down to pick it up, and made it back to the shop by the afternoon. The clam was used to make molds and then stored in a shed for a few years, so it does need some minor repair and a paint job.

I found a shop on the East Coast that was parting out an Exige, so I was able to get a package deal on the rear sub frame and control arms. The rear toe links were replaced with Inokinetic’s RTD Brace.

Extra TLC
While the car was apart, I decided to do some extra work to it before it made its way back to the track. I replaced all the ball joints, tie rod ends, and replaced the rubber bushings with spherical bearings. The car already has a quick ratio steering rack and Nitron shocks. However, I do plan on changing out to JRZ Suspension coilovers (more info on that below). I also wanted to start fresh and get the car up to date with maintenance, so I replaced the coolant, engine oil/filter, brake fluid, transmission fluid, drive belt, spark plugs, air filter, supercharger oil and inspected the intake cam for wear.

Later, I found that the A/C system had been removed from the car. I plan to drive the car on the street (for now), so this had to go back in. After replacing the compressor, condenser, receiver dryer, and all the lines, I was able to get it working again. Not a very exciting thing to spend time and money on...

The Exige had a Bride Low Max seat which was a little too narrow for me so I sold it and the stock passenger seat. It also had an Alitech shifter, which felt nice, but took up too much interior space, especially for the seats I wanted to install. I sold the Alitech and replaced it with the Inokinetic ShiftR111. The seats that went in are carbon Tillett B6 Screamer XLs with cut edges. These are probably the largest bucket seats you will be able to fit into this car. We ordered the seats from Tim at!

First Shakedown At Laguna Seca
November 18, 2018

Before the car got a chance to get repainted, I decided to put it together and have some fun with it at the track. The right rear coilover and wheel was damaged in the accident, but two fellow Lotus owners graciously let me borrow a set of wheels and Nitron 3-way coilovers. The car was a blast to drive, but very loose on corner entry and not progressive when it broke away. We should be able to dial that out with some suspension tuning after installing JRZ dampers. Considering I only drove the car for 2 sessions, I was happy to do a 1:46. My good friends Graham and Tom also took the car out for a session. Graham was able to clock a 1:44. Very impressive for the first time ever driving a Lotus- Especially one that's tail happy.

View video :
First time driving this car. Tires: RE71R Engine: Stock Suspension: Nitron 3-way

New Shoes
With help from a friend, we got hold of some pretty wheels.

TE37 Sonic 16x8 +25 Diamond Dark Gunmetal
Bridgestone RE71R 205/45/16

TE37 Saga 17x8.5 +40
Bridgestone RE71R 235/45/17

JRZ Coilovers
The Lotus LSS suspension is known to have a soft spring rate with stiff valving, making the ride harsh on the street. Contrary to belief, you can run a stiffer spring rate with better shocks and the car will be more compliant on the street and handle better on the track. For this reason, coilovers are the the best upgrade for the Lotus Elise & Exige, whether you are using the car for street driving or racing.

Over the years, we’ve worked with JRZ Suspension Engineering for different platforms and have had nothing but great experiences. While they’ve been in business for over 60 years, most people seem to think they are only focused in motorsports. Accordingly, their Motorsport Line has been very popular with serious racers. However, not many people are aware that they have also developed their RS Line, geared for those who don’t necessarily race competitively but still want great coilovers for the street or even the occasional HPDE track day.

It only made sense for us to go with JRZ for the shop Lotus.

I chose to trade out the Nitrons on the Exige for JRZ’s RS PRO 3 kit. The main advantage of their RS PRO 3 kit, vs their RS ONE & RS PRO kits, is that the 3-way dampers give you the ability to adjust both high speed damping and low speed damping. Low speed compression controls movement under small bumps, braking, accelerating, and turning. High speed compression controls movement over harsh bumps, like pot holes on the street or berms on the track. Since I plan to track the Exige, and possibly eventually race it, the RS PRO 3 kit was the best choice.

I plan to have the kit installed on our Exige in time for a weekend at Buttonwillow on Dec. 22-23.

Test Day At Buttonwillow Raceway
December 22-23, 2018

Unfortunately, due to holiday shipping delays, we didn’t get the JRZs in time for this event. The bright side is, we would get a better baseline with the current suspension before switching over. On Friday before we left, I spent the morning properly setting up the car with a corner balance, alignment, and base shock settings on the 3-way shocks. I personally like to start on the softer side and work my way up. All of this information was written down on our chassis set up sheet for reference. At the end of the day, we packed up, drove straight to the track, and unloaded everything in our garage.

Day 1
In the first session out, I noticed right away that the car wasn’t as nervous in corners as it was at Laguna Seca the month before. Corner entry felt good with smooth steering inputs. I could get the car to rotate mid-corner by slightly lifting off throttle. However, too much lift, the rear end would come around quick and there was no way to catch it. The car felt stable on corner exit, but did understeer a bit with too much throttle input. I liked the balance overall, but the low speed compression damping felt a bit soft. I noticed this the most in Cotton Corners and the Esses. The car also felt unsettled and too stiff going over the berm at Bus stop and between Riverside and Phil Hill.

Throughout the day, we wrote down notes on the changes we made to the shocks and took some tire temp and pressure data for reference. Between me, Andrew, and Sean who also drove the Exige on Saturday, we got down to a low 2:01.

Video BW 2:01 :

There is definitely some room for improvement in driving, but by the end of the day, we felt that we had the shocks dialed in the best we could. The result was significantly better than where had started off, but we felt that there was more to be desired as far as giving us the confidence to push the car harder on this notoriously bumpy track.

Also worth mentioning…due to cold weather, we decided to bring our hot pot to the track.

Day 2
On Sunday, we were only able to stay until noon which meant just 2 sessions for me. I didn’t improve my time any further, but I did feel increasingly more comfortable with the car and was able to drive it more consistently.

Tom Tang was able to take it out for 3 sessions and it was interesting to see his process for adapting to a car that he is still largely unfamiliar with (the only other time he’s ever driven a Lotus was in this Exige for 1 session at Laguna last month).

Tom spent the first session getting reacquainted with how the Exige drives and its unique handling characteristics. It was quite an adjustment, considering he had just spent all day yesterday working with our customer, Marc David, in his track-prepped E46 BMW M3. If you didn’t already know, Tom runs an excellent driver development program that leverages in-car coaching from both the driver and passenger seat (if there is one), video review, and data analysis. He was able to help bring Marc’s lap-times down from a previous PB of 2:08 to a new PB of 2:01 in just 1 day!

After session 1, Tom came in with a big smile on his face. He said he was “reminded again of just how awesomely light the Exige is” when it came to corner entry and braking. He described how he could “adjust his braking zones back by nearly a hundred feet” because of how little the car weighed. This allowed him to brake deeper into a corner than compared to other cars. However, Tom did describe some shortcomings with regard to the current setup. He felt that the Titan QR steering rack combined with a 300mm steering wheel was a bit too heavy for his preference (something we might look into changing soon). He also complained about how bumpy the Nitrons felt in comparison to the JRZ RS Pro dampers (Marc’s M3 has these) that he was driving on a day earlier. Despite these issues though, he still managed a mid 2:01.

For session 2, Tom decided to make some adjustments to his driving style to better suit that of the Exige and he was able to drop another second. He was also becoming more comfortable in the car; catching slides and getting back to throttle earlier. On his 3rd and final session, he managed a 1:59. Really impressive, considering he was still fairly new to the car and in its current state it is still a bit of a handful.

Ride along with Tom for a sub-2 minute lap around Buttonwillow CW13:

The JRZ RS PRO3s will be installed and set up for testing at Thunderhill with Ongrid Track on January 12th. We are excited about how the new shocks should do a much better job of making the Exige easier to drive at speed and look forward to continuing to develop the platform next year.

not your dad's puns
1,767 Posts
Wow, what a first thread!

FYI your posts were held up in moderation, so they would not have appeared until now. Also, I combined your two threads to clean things up. :up:

All these Elige track videos have me itching for the track again... :cool:

12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JRZ Installation
dec 27, 2018

The JRZs arrived! As always, they were very well packaged. Inside you will find your coilovers neatly laid in expanding foam underneath two foam mats with a signature of the person who hand-built and tested your set of shocks, and another signature of the person who checked off on the complete package for quality control.

The installation was straight forward using all the factory mounting brackets and hardware. Before mounting the reservoirs, I measured and adjusted the gas pressures using our Nitrogen shock filling tool. The gas pressures are set from the factory, but we decided to start out with slightly less pressure in the front dampers. Once the install was done, the ride height was set and I did an initial alignment just to put some miles on the springs to make sure they were fully settled before the corner balance and final alignment.

On the street, the suspension felt great. Even with 450/600lbs springs, almost double the rate from factory, the car still felt compliant, but much more composed.

Corner Balance & Alignment
January 9, 2019

Before starting the corner balance, I checked the ride height again to make sure it was still where I wanted. The springs didn’t settle very much, which is expected of high quality springs, but it’s always good just to make sure.

With the ride height perfectly set, measuring from the bottom of the chassis, the corner balance had a reverse wedge of 46%, which is quite a bit. We usually like to get it within less than half a percent or perfect if it makes sense. Some cars can be difficult to adjust, or they just have too much compliance in the suspension bushings and you could spend hours chasing half a percent. This isn’t always justifiable considering the labor cost to performance gain ratio. For our Exige with spherical bearings on all of the suspension pivot points, and easy to adjust perches, getting a perfect 50% cross weight was quick and easy.

With the corner balance done, final alignment, and some base shock settings, the car was ready for another test day.

Test Day At Thunderhill Raceway
January 12, 2019

The days leading up to Saturday, January 9 looked like we were going to have a rainy track day, but we got lucky and actually had some really nice weather. I was pretty excited to test out the car with the JRZ RS PRO 3 set newly installed. It had rained the night before, so the track was wet for the first two sessions, but dried up right before noon. The only problem was that anyone who went off brought mud onto the track as they came back on, making some sections slippery until it dried up. In the first session I was doing 2:27 laps and in the second session, I was around 2:15. Given the track conditions, I didn’t feel confident that the first two sessions could provide any meaningful data or feedback.

During my third session, I took a passenger out and got down to a 2:10, with some shaded areas of the track still being wet. By session four, I made some rebound and high speed compression adjustments and ran a 2:06. I was hoping to get down to a 2:04 in session five, but ended up getting stuck in too much traffic with two run groups combined for the last session of the day.

Although I did go down in spring rates compared to what was on the car before, the major difference I felt was how predictable and planted the car felt now. When the rear end wanted to come out, it was easier to catch and it was more of a progressive oversteer instead of a snap oversteer. The car was also less unsettled over big bumps and just soaked everything up. Adjustments to the shocks were easy to do without any tools or lifting of the car and each click made a noticeable difference. We definitely need more (dry) track time to really fine tune the shocks.

From how the car was the first day at Laguna Seca, to where it is now, is already a huge improvement. The development of this Exige is moving in the right direction and I’m excited to get more seat time in it to really dial it in and set some decent lap times. Just for reference, watch Graham driving the Exige the first time out at Laguna vs my session at Thunderhill this past weekend. Graham is a highly experienced driver and you can see just how nervous the car was on its old suspension.


12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Wrap Design by Skepple
Jan 28, 2019

When we first acquired the Exige, Victoria and I had multiple conversations about what we wanted to do with it. Our original plan was to keep it street-legal, and just use it for canyon driving and the occasional HPDE events. I knew that it would have a much higher resale value if it was kept street-legal. Plus, being that this is our first Lotus, we liked the idea of being able to take it out every now and then. We also wanted to take it on long road trips and enjoy some of the fun back roads we have here in California.

Well, that idea didn’t last too long. The more I drove it on the track, the more I realized that it belongs on the track. So, we’ve decided to turn it into a full race car build. The class it will race in in still undecided. I know this option will lower its book value, but I see value in building, developing, and driving this Exige as the shop’s race car.

So, first things first. The replacement rear clam was pretty rough looking (hard to tell in photos), so we had to decide whether to have it repainted, or do a vinyl wrap. The wrap made the most sense because it would be easier to repair or replace body panels from damage due to contact on the track in the future.

When we decided to give the car a new look, we didn’t really know what we were looking for. We’ve always worked with one designer, Ryan Barnachea, for all our marketing materials and he’s always just known what we like: clean, fresh, and something that will last over time. But we knew that livery was a different ball game. We’ve also always loved Tom Tang’s liveries that he’s had on his S2000, so we thought we’d contact the guys behind those designs: Skepple. Scott and Adam have been amazing to work with. They are known for some pretty awesome designs, but were also able to accommodate to our simplistic style. After many back and forth emails with them, this is the design we went with:

The car will be wrapped in a base red with accents of silver and black. When it came down to choosing colors, it was a really difficult decision. We didn’t want to invest too much on an expensive, high quality vinyl since it would be a track car, but we also wanted it to be a little different than your average red car. We ended up picking Teckwrap Strawberry, which is a matte chrome red, for the base.

This design makes it possible to make minor changes of the livery without having to redo the entire wrap. It’s a fairly simple design, but still easily recognizable out on track, which is what we were going for. We played with the placement of the logo and decided that is something we will figure out later.

Wrap Install by SFG Wraps
Now that we had our design finalized, we took it to our good friends at SFG Wraps. To make it easier on them, we took apart the car and towed it over. They began to clean the car in preparation for the vinyl that was scheduled to be delivered the following day.

Partial Finish
Feb 8, 2019

There were some delays in receiving the wrap material, and with its first trackday of the year coming up on February 9, time was definitely ticking. The vinyl arrived two days before we had to put the car back together and tow it down to Buttonwillow Raceway. SFG and I decided it would be best to just get the base done, and then come back after the track to get the rest of the design applied. The team at SFG worked long hours to get the base on and we are extremely happy with the results!

This color is pretty interesting! Different angles and lighting will change the way it looks. Indoors, it looks more orange-red, and less chrome. Outdoors, it looks more pinkish red and more chrome. We found out that this color specifically is semi-translucent, which means the color of the paint of the car affects the look of the vinyl as well. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to capture its true beauty via camera, so you’d have to just see it in person.

Weight Reduction
Because we had to take the car apart for SFG to do a thorough wrap, I decided to take out some weight while I was at it. I removed all the HVAC components, passenger seat, factory 3-point seat belts. rear panel, and carpeting. There is plenty more weight to be taken out, but a lot of it will go back in with the roll cage and fire suppression system. The minor weight reduction required a touch up of the corner balance and alignment.

Buttonwillow With OnGrid
Feb 9, 2019

As mentioned above, one of the reasons we didn’t finish adding all of the accent graphics to the livery is because we ran out of time. Priority was to test the car again at Buttonwillow Raceway now that the JRZ RS PRO3 dampers had been installed and we went back to an OEM steering rack. I had driven the car at Thunderhill last month and noticed a big improvement, but it was important for me to have Tom jump back into the car and give his assessment too.

Unfortunately, as beautiful as these photos are -- they don’t truly capture what happened that day. We had been hoping for good weather but by 7am it was pouring rain. Our first session on track had us lapping in the low 2:30s. There were many puddles on track at: cotton corners, exit to the bus stop, riverside to the kink, phil hill, into the sweeper, and entering sunrise as well as exiting sunset. So it was pretty hairy for the first two-thirds of the day.

Despite these less than ideal conditions, Tom immediately noticed that the car was so much better to drive. It now requires significantly less effort and the JRZs do such a better job of soaking up bumps (of which there are many at Buttonwillow) and related bump-steer. If you watch the in-car video comparison between a lap on this date, and back in December it is very obvious that the car is much more composed and settled. Remember, good race cars should be EASY to drive and confidence inspiring! The Lotus has definitely taken significant steps in this direction now, thanks to the RS PRO3 dampers. The OEM rack is also better suited for road-course use, as it’s more progressive and less heavy.

Throughout the day, conditions were constantly changing. Some of the puddles dried up, but then it rained some more so the track always varied between dry and damp sections making it difficult to run a fast lap time. This was also the hardest the car has ever been driven (between the 2 of us we did 10 sessions back to back in total). This meant that IATs (intake air temps) were about 30 degrees hotter than when Tom went sub-2 back in December. The stock ECU pulls timing with increasing IATs and these cars are known to heat soak on the race track. With the intercooler sitting on top of the hot engine and a tiny roof scoop, there isn’t enough air flow to keep the temps down.

Despite all of this, by the end of the day, I had run a 2:02.54 and Tom had run a 2:00.17 which was less than a second slower than his (and this car’s) previous PB for the CW13 configuration. Tom is confident that had weather conditions been better, with cooler IATs, this car can easily do 1:58.x or even 1:57.x lap times as is. This just means that we’ll have to go back and try again soon!

Data Analysis
Below is the GPS AiM data (MPH speed trace) comparing Tom’s 1:59 lap back in December (blue line), and his 2:00 this time around (red line). February was slower through Bus Stop, Riverside, and Phil Hill, (likely wet conditions related), but faster through Off Ramp, Cotton Corners, and Sweeper. The graph also shows better acceleration back in December (related to the IAT issue we mentioned earlier).

AiM's Race Studio software has the ability to break the track up into sectors, and can calculate what the “theoretical best lap” would be by stringing all of the best sector times together. Back in December, when Tom ran a 1:59, his theoretical best was a 1:58.8. This time, Tom’s theoretical best was a 1:57.9. Pretty incredible, considering the weather and hotter intake air temps. For us, this data helps to confirm what we both felt: the car is definitely faster now with the JRZs.

Finished Wrap
After Buttonwillow, we took the car straight back to SFG Wraps to complete the design with the Teckwrap Silver Satin Chrome accents. We are in love with how this turned out!


12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Part 3: More Goodies

It’s no secret that Reverie makes high quality (wind tunnel tested) aero parts for the Eliges and I’ve always liked their front splitter design. Although Reverie’s mounting solution works great and is solid, I decided to attach the splitter directly to the chassis, and not to the front clam. My reason for this is so that we can easily remove the front clam without having to remove the splitter first. This did require cutting the front lower portion of it so that it could just rest on top of the splitter.

Our mounting solution passed the test.

Wiring & Data Acquisition
With the AiM dash logger on the way, I decided that it was a good time to do some wiring work on the car. I started by thinning the chassis harness and removed all the unnecessary wires and modules. This included the SRS, alarm, stereo, and central door locking system. While I was at it, Herb removed the parking brake mechanism and installed Inokinetic’s hand-brake delete bracket option for their ShiftR111.

Switch Panel
Most sanctioning bodies require that the steering wheel lock is disabled or removed, so this was also a good time to wire in the switch panel as the steering wheel lock/key cylinder actuates the ignition switch. If you haven’t already noticed, the interior is symmetrical so that Lotus could use the same interior parts for left hand drive or right hand drive cars. I moved the original switch panel from the driver’s side to the passenger side for the battery kill and fire suppression system switches. Per most regulations, there should be a set of “interior” and “exterior” switches. If the switches are not on the exterior of the car, they need to be at least accessible from the exterior. This allows a safety marshal to shut off the engine or activate the fire system if the driver is not able to in an emergency situation.

I replaced the driver’s side switch panel with a Euro (3 Switch) panel and kept the factory push start button in it’s original location. I also retained the factory light switches, in case we decide to do any endurance racing with the car. In the middle row is the new ignition switch and a fuel pump over ride switch. A fuel pump over ride switch in conjunction with dry break fittings on the fuel lines allows for quick and easy fuel removal. This is convenient for 2 reasons:

  1. To stay consistent and always corner balance and align with the same amount of fuel in the car.
  2. To be able to remove fuel from the tank if there is more than needed to complete a sprint race. (it wouldn’t make sense to carry the extra weight)

In the last row is the CARTEK solid state battery isolator master switch and the AiM data USB port.

The center switch panel contains the other fire suppression system activation switch, windshield wiper switch, and more AUX switches, which will likely be for a Cool Shirt system and helmet blower fan.

AiM Dash
AiM’s color TFT display dash loggers can easily be seen even in direct sun light, so I decided to get rid of the instrument cowling and replace it with an airbag cover. There are menu buttons on the sides of the dash, so those would be difficult to access if it was tucked away behind a cowl.

I started by making a template to mount the dash to the steering column. Once I was happy with it, I made the final part out of a piece of 4mm carbon sheet.

With the dash logger, I’m now able to monitor and log all of the ECU engine data as well as oil pressure, engine oil temp, transmission temp, and fuel pressure from the auxiliary sensors that were installed.

GPS antenna for lap timing and analyzing your line on the race track.

We’ve been working with Jim from West Coast Ravenol and using Ravenol as our main fluid brand at the shop for about a year now. Our E46 330 and ST4/TT4/E1 E36 M3 run Ravenol fluids and have had nothing but great results. It only made sense to partner with Jim when it came down to our Lotus and we expect the same performance, reliability and awesome customer service!

Laguna Seca
march 31, 2019

We got lucky again and the weather was perfect at Laguna. Although all the recent work wasn’t to enhance the car’s performance, I was excited to drive it again just to get more seat time and data from the additional sensors we added. However, the Reverie splitter was something that would change the dynamics of the car, so I was curious to see how the car would feel. A rear wing was ordered to go with the splitter, so I was expecting an “aero imbalance” driving it as is.

It was a 90db day and my car recorded 94db, so I was flagged to pit and my session had ended 2 laps in. In case you’re wondering, the car has a TRD air box, stock SC pulley, stock header, decat (catless pipe), ST muffler, and a 180 degree exhaust tip. Luckily, I brought the stock cat with me just in case, and I was able to put it back on before the next session.

Installing the stock cat did the trick and, the car was good on sound for the rest of the day. The last time the car was at Laguna was my first time driving the car, and my best time of the day was a 1:46.6. In Session two, I managed a 1:46.2, but with a lot of traffic, so I was confident I could lose another second or 2.

What I noticed about the car right away is that it had more on-throttle front-end grip through T4 and T6, which were about 75mph corners. It also felt unsettled coming over the crest of turn 1, which is a slight downhill 100mph+ kink. With the rear wing installed, the car should feel more balanced at high speeds.

By session 3 (my 2nd one of the day), I managed to get down to a 1:43.1. In my last run of the day, I swapped cars with another Exige owner so that he could test out the JRZ shocks. Overall, it was a great Sunday afternoon at the race track!


Parts Finder
246 Posts
I’m thinking of using the AiM dash in my street/track car. Was the install straight forward and get all useful info without a lot of extra wiring ?

3,148 Posts
I’m thinking of using the AiM dash in my street/track car. Was the install straight forward and get all useful info without a lot of extra wiring ?
Aim has published a list of what you get to the dash from each model of ECU anything else would require adding sensors and wiring.

You need to add a switched power for the aim or add a relay controlled by the key. Then you need to add any sensors you may want beyond those ones. I added:

2x Brake pressure
Oil Temp
Oil Pressure
Fuel Pressure
O2 wideband - Also requires its own power
Boost sensor

86 Posts
I’m thinking of using the AiM dash in my street/track car. Was the install straight forward and get all useful info without a lot of extra wiring ?
Yes, like kfennell described, it's pretty straight forward. Even adding most auxiliary channels is just a matter of plugging them into the dash. The hardest part would be figuring out how to tap the sensors into whatever you want to monitor.

12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Part 4: Completed Aero

Part 4: Completed Aero

Difflow Diffuser
The Exige already comes with a rear diffuser, but we replaced it with a larger and more effective Difflow diffuser. A diffuser uses the Bernoulli's principle where it increases the velocity of air underneath the car which decreases the pressure. The lower pressure under the car creates down force. The diffuser also reduces turbulence and drag in the car’s wake by acting as an expansion chamber for the air underneath the car to rejoin the high pressure ambient air. The extra vertical “fences” help guide the airflow and maximize it’s efficiency.

GRP Side Skirts
The GRP carbon fiber side skirts were also installed. In theory, they should help with the aerodynamics by preventing leakage of high pressure air from getting underneath the car from the sides. Plus, they just look good!

Trunk Delete
May 28, 2019
Although there is some weight to be saved by removing the trunk, the main purpose was to free up engine bay space, making it easier to work on. Secondly, removing the turn signal lights and adding grill mesh allows the heat from the engine bay to escape through the rear of the clam. The extra space will also allow me to mount a water-to-air charge cooler away from the hot engine in the future.

Voltex Wing
June 22, 2019

About six months ago, we ordered a Voltex rear wing and we finally received it, just in time for Laguna Seca with Golden Gate Lotus Club! To help reinforce the rear clam, we installed Reverie’s carbon supports. They didn’t quite line up perfectly with the wing mounts since they were designed for the Reverie wing, but the area supported is enough to prevent the clam from caving in.

Tire Change
The RE71Rs were worn out, so we switched over to Hankook Z214 medium compound tires. It’s still a DOT (street legal) tire and not considered a true racing slick, but still a very good tire. This is the most simple change, but will have the biggest impact in the car’s performance.

Laguna Seca W/GGLC
June 24, 2019
On Monday, June 24, we decided to take a team day-off to go to the track with Golden Gate Lotus Club. In addition to drives, meets, and fun outings, GGLC hosts great track & autocross events. Only three run groups, so you get SEVEN sessions! Not to mention, they always offer snacks, coffee, fruits, and sometimes even lunch!

The first session was extremely foggy and visibility was poor, so we were under a yellow flag (no passing) for pretty much the entire session. I was only doing 1:50 laps, but I could already tell that the car was going to be much faster with the new tires and wing.

By the second session, the sun came out and it actually got pretty warm. I was able to push the car more to find the new limit. Not only did I notice the cornering grip was significantly better, but I could also brake much later and harder with the extra grip of the tires.

The wing really settles the rear end down even on lower speed corners like Turn 2, but where I felt it the most was through 4, 5, and 9. It was hard getting used to the fact that the faster I went, the more grip the car had.

The car ran well the entire day and I managed to clock a 1:39.5 lap from my previous 1:43.1. We will need to increase the spring rates a little bit to compensate for the additional down force. The car currently has pretty soft springs (450/600lbs).

AiM GPS speed data comparison between no wing and RE71s (Red), and with the wing and the Z214s (Blue)

Here is the best lap of the day. Sorry, the exposure set on the Smarty Cam wasn’t set up correctly, so the video quality is poor.

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