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Hi all, I am the original owner of a 2005 Elise bought in Hawaii and now thankfully in California. It has only 14,000 miles and is bone stock.

I just sold my Spec Miata race car after 3 years of craziness, I am thinking of track days using my Elise and Caterham. The Lotus and Shelby Clubs have events at Laguna, Sears Point and T-Hill so lots of options there.

Some basic questions:

-What mods would you recommend, starting with exhaust system and minor engine upgrades?

-What suppliers have the best equipment for track upgrades

-I will be towing it on an tandem axle open trailer. What are the best ways to lash the Elise to the trailer, I have a variety of ratchet straps. I have stock wheels, on my race Miata I ran the straps through the wheel spokes which worked fine. I never tried the straps that run over the tops of the tires. Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks

John
 

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-What mods would you recommend, starting with exhaust system and minor engine upgrades?

I recommend you search on the following

#1 shifter mods /stans mod
#2 motor mount inserts example
#3 replacement rear view mirror

If you plan to race it
==================
#1 fuel starvation
#2 oil starvation
#3 toe link brace
 

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Shifter mods, toe links, supercharger, upgraded shocks, and brake upgrade to start. There are so many mods to choose from but these would be a good start. I would also recommend lashing over the top of the tires.
 

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Given you've got track expierence, don't even think of going out on the stock pads, while pretty good, you will roast them and they will fade on you.
Don't use crap brake fluid, you will smoke that too.

I have a small single axel trailer that I tow with, I loop through the wheel spokes, not over them, three sets each side, two on the rear one on the front.
Nothing wrong by going over the top, just wasnt set up for that.
I wouldn't even think of lashing off the control arms.

Keep at least half tank of gas in the tank, this will avoid fuel starving.

Plenty of folks recommend a toe link brace, I run slicks and haven't had any issues without one, just don't be flying of the FIA curbs...

Have the car aligned..., I run -3.5 in the front, to each his own.

Make sure that you're running 195's on the front, else it'll understeer like a pig.

Oh yea, and never lift...

I won't talk about vendors on the forum, PM me if you're interested in any opinions I may have, and I have quit a few...
 

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I also use straps over the tires. My setup is E-Track. The straps have three E-Track connectors: One on the end, one on a sliding pulley, and one on the other end with a ratchet handle. In this way, the ratchet is in a place removed from the tire, allowing full clearance.
 

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...

-What mods would you recommend, starting with exhaust system and minor engine upgrades?
Shifter mods, toe links, supercharger, upgraded shocks, and brake upgrade to start. ...
rotfl When I think minor engine upgrades I think things like a CAI :eek: (you don't need one though)

IMO brake upgrades means pads and fluid. Coming from a miata its unlikely you'll want/need 4pot calipers up front, especially to start. I ran the factory pads my first couple of times out and I was never very confident (full disclosure, it was my first couple of times EVER out on track). Switched up to Carbotech pads on the advice of an instructor (XP10 F, XP8 R) and gained a lot of confidence applying the brakes late.
 

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Welcome to the Lotus fold!

Thoughts, recommendations...

1) I take it you're in NorCal, so the first thing to do is join the Golden Gate Lotus Club (GGLC) :)

2) Do all the maintenance stuff - especially brake fluid, then coolant. I would also suggest going to a good synthetic oil for the transaxle, like Redline.

3) While I never had issues with stock brake pads, it doesn't hurt to change to a good street/track combo. If possible try a bit softer pad for the rear. I don't think you need a race pad if you're driving on the street. You can't get enough heat in them and they'll likely squeal.

4) Ditto on the track/toe rod at the rear. Best to upgrade, but you can just stay off the berms with the stock ones.

5) I suggest staying with the stock exhaust. Not a lot of HP gain with aftermarket, just MORE noise which means you'll have sound issues at Laguna (92dB).

6) Tires are the biggest thing. Decide how fast you want to go and how much you want to spend on tires and get the softest you can for your wallet/budget.

7) If you're doing a lot of track days get a harness.

8) Adjust the brake pedal height so you can easily heel-toe.

9) Start with the stock engine for a couple of events and then evaluate what you want to do with the engine. There are some CARB legal supercharger systems available now. Not a lot to gain from aftermarket air boxes, just more noise.

10) Did I say have "FUN"?

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 
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