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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

This seems to be the forum to ask all my questions so hoping you guys and girls can help with some advice :)

I'm currently driving a 2005 Lotus Elise 111R, mostly spirited road driving but I do a regular track day once a month - all that's available in my area :( when I really get to push her to the limits. The car has 45,000km on the clock and gets regularly serviced.

Don't get me wrong, in stock format she's quick but I'm looking for overall improvements in terms of handling and speed as well as keeping reliability , so here's my list and please feel free to jump in with 'waste of money' vs 'definitely worth it' vs 'have you thought of' plus anything else I've missed off the list. Oh, and I'm generally mechanically ignorant/avoidant!

Budget wise I'd like to keep costs down obviously as I still have labour to add at the end of the day - unavoidable for me!

1. Lotus designed supercharger - the bolt on Eaton (i think it's called) - this was no 1 on my list as I'd like to get some decent straight line speed.
As far as I'm aware this doesn't require any other mods, comes as a complete package with a replacement ECU included? I don't want to go past this to other makes as I really don't want to get oil coolers of whatever needed to run it. In reality has anyone done this and see a noticeable improvement?
Lotus Sport Supercharger Kit (Toyota 2ZZ N/A Cars) - Lotus Sport Parts - Track and Sport parts

2. Shocks - currently I have the Bilsteins and IMHO are pretty damn good but is there an upgrade that won't make the car feel like it's breaking apart and let me corner with a bit more confidence/speed/stability? Not worried about adjustable or the really expensive stuff as I won't be sitting there with a hex wrench doing it. Also, should they be changed with just 45,000 kilometres on the clock - waste of money?

3. Tyres - This is a definite for me, but based out of South Africa I have a very limited range, Yoko's are impossible to find here so I think I'm going for
Michelin Pilots vs Dunlop Direzza if I can find them...

4. Airfilter & Exhaust & Manifold - I see lots of talk about this and am now bamboozled! Is the TRD/Hurricane + Larini Sports + decat with damper + manifold worth the effort and more importantly cost, would I actually see an improvement in speed or is it just the sound/placebo effect? Should I get the complete package or only one or two items worth the actual effort in terms of cost vs performance?

5. Dry sump - a lot of people mention oil starvation and say a dry sump is well worth it as the 2ZZ engine aparently suffers from it, others say just top up your oil for a track day...? Not a performance enhancement but definitely not skimping on reliability - this is my daily driver.

6. Suspension - bit of a topic here but considering the mileage on the car I don't know if it's now time to do a refresh of all the bushes/ball joints/mounts? If so, I'm just getting them ALL done in one go to reduce labour costs. With that in mind if the concensus is yes, is there a place where I can buy them ALL in one big bundle, I don't want to be sourcing for 5 different suppliers trying to work out whats what, and I'd like it to cover everything in one go so I've at least ticked that box in terms of purchase, or is it too soon to do it.
Was looking at this: Suspension Refresh Kit - View all Suspension and steering section - Suspension and Steering

7. Drop link bars - these are relatively cheap if I recall, and if the answer to the bushes is a no brainer then I may as well do them as well. Question, is
this front or rear or both? Lot's of people recommending the rears to be done.

8. Anti-roll bar - excuse my mechanical ignorance on this, but is this on the front/rear/both? And should I get adjustable? Please understand on the
adjustable bit, I don't have tools etc so it will be a once off fit by a mechanic so I'd like to get it right first time.

9. Steering - not sure if there is anything on here I need to change? Does any part wear of it wear out? Happy with the lock-to-lock ratio.

Anything else I might have missed to make a great car feel/drive even better..? I did have a front splitter in mind (to cover up the two small front scrapes i have as my garage is raised) but I think I might have to take her to be professionaly fixed/painted and have the underside protectors I bought off ebay installed instead.

* Brakes - I've already done, braided hoses and Mintex 1155 (which btw give me no fade and I'm really happy with - I much prefer them to EBC red).

Ideally, based on everyone's advice I'd like to source it all from one reputable supplier that can ship to South Africa... and I don't get stung by import
duties, but that's another story. Oh, and if you have links please include them :cool:

Anyways, thank you for all/any responses in advance. Much appreciated. :D

Yuzzy
 

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Here are a few of my thoughts and what I did:

1. I recommend a Katana 2 kit from Sector 111
2. Nitron singles
4. I like the Arquay dual tip exhaust. Great sound and no drone.
5. I at least recommend an oil pan upgrade to a baffled pan
6. Upgrade your toe links at minimum! Additional upgrades do help.

Additionally a fuel surge tank or baffled fuel tank are money well spent. Harness bar and 5 or 6 point harness and a Hans device. I would also recommend looking at Ross Carlson's recent upgrade list. He did go all out, but money he spent was well researched for bang for the buck. Best of luck!
 

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haven't supercharged yet, but it definitely seems like the aftermarket superchargers are way better bang for the buck.
Sector111 has their katana2
Vision Function has their kit
and blackwatchracing/BOE
depending if you want to further upgrade in the future or not, you may want to choose certain more modular superchargers

the toe links are a must (I am a hypocrite and haven't upgraded mine yet)

and one thing that sturgeongeneral didnt mention was a radiator upgrade/oil line recall

a lot of people usually swap out their radiator as the stock ones are prone to fail during their oil line recalls. I didn't and am hoping that my one time leak doesnt become a repeat offender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesome, thanks for the responses guys!

The Katana - is this a complete kit, gaskets, cables, pulleys etc all included in the price? And it use's my ECU which means the garage will need the software/cabling to interface with it etc?
Sector111 Katana2 Supercharger for the Lotus Elise and Exige
Is anyone running it here with a standard exhaust? I'm trying to get best bang for buck and if the exhaust/manifold/decat is included then costs rise significantly...

Oil sumps are not cheap!
2ZZ Baffled Alloy Sump Pan (Sector111 gPan3) 'New design' - Sector111 Products
Elise Parts - Road & Track - Performance - Baffled Sump (Toyota)

Toe-links are just for the rears yeah? I need to find out if I have a cross-brace or not...
Rear Toe-link Outer Joint All Models 2003 Onwards (Genuine)

And when you say Nitron singles do you mean this:
Nitron NTR 40 - (1 way) - Nitron

Radiator recently replaced ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately due to my insurance here only official supercharger is allowed...

Have attached a screenshot of my shopping cart so far :eek:
Do you reckon that covers everything? Especially the toe link section - not too sure if the inner wishbone on the Nitron is fronts only....?
 

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Hey Yuzzy

Where in SA are you? I might be able to help you out with tyres, Well more like point you in the right direction. Can also point you in the direction of one of the Race Mechanics that has made a toe link upgrade kit for us. He also does other upgrades!

Did you go for a standard Radiator? We will probably be replacing my Rad later this year for a full aluminium 40mm core unit.

Are you part of The Lotus Register yet? Think there is a breakfast run still this month...

And we have the skid pan day coming up soon as well as other TLR events...

http://www.lotusregister.co.za/
 

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Grouping suggestions can save money. You talked about headers, decat, intake, supercharger and reflashed ECU. Consider getting a consolidated kit, this way the tune matches your components. The Katana 265 comes to mind.
 

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I have 06 111R and in the last 6 years have done it all. VF2 kit is excellent as was the non inter cooled BWR kit. Now have the BOE Rev 400 kit. I would recommend the Rev 300 as BOE have excellent backup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the responses - will investigate the BOE vs KATANA265 option although I fear the prices might be out of my league :-(
KATANA265
The problem I see initially is the line that says "We reflash your ECU and i'm in Cape Town... don't really want to send it off to the US and wait ages for it come back".
Also, I see the manifold section but will it go on the end of a standard exhaust?

Richard do you have a link for the BOE VF2 kit?

James, I'm in sunny Cape Town and have had no end of grief with trying to find tyres! Tried ATS, Nolan, Hi-Q, Aero-Quip, Tyger Tyres, Speedy, etc... to name a few, the problem comes with trying to find a decent semi-slick or short of semi-slick in the sizes that are ideal.

The vehicle came with 195/45/R16 on the front (far from ideal) which I think is the max width it can take, but after reading pretty much every thread I could find on here there are some people running the 205 on STOCK 5.5" rims (depending on tire manufacturer) but not looking to lose the 'feel' of the car, turn in speed etc and the only one's I can get from ATS are the 205/50/16 Direzza DZ03G. The tyres are definitely the biggest let-down at the moment, the current set are some really crappy brand and just not worthy of being on there.

Tyre calculators are a mare trying to decipher what combo's I should be looking at:
Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference
195/50-16 3.8in 11.8in 23.7in 74.4in 852 0.0%
175/55-16 3.8in 11.8in 23.6in 74.1in 855 -0.4%
185/50-16 3.6in 11.6in 23.3in 73.1in 866 -1.7%
195/45-16 3.5in 11.5in 22.9in 72.0in 880 -3.2%
205/45-16 3.6in 11.6in 23.3in 73.1in 867 -1.7%
205/50-16 4.0in 12.0in 24.1in 75.6in 838 1.7%

Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference
225/45-17 4.0in 12.5in 25.0in 78.5in 808 0.0%
235/40-17 3.7in 12.2in 24.4in 76.7in 827 -2.3%
235/45-17 4.2in 12.7in 25.3in 79.6in 796 1.4%

Pretty sure the previous owner had the same issue as the front liners are shot - got no idea how much they cost to replace yet or where to source from yet in either SA or UK.

I'm off to find a friendly garage this week to hopefully jack the car and see the condition of the bushes/ball joints/shocks etc to see if a suspension refresh kit (500quid) actually is required - the car is 9yrs old pretty much, feels tight to me and the Lotus mechs said it was in excellent condition, but then this is my first Elise and I'm trying to get the factory fresh feel with a half-decent track setup!

Definitely interested in speaking to your friend re Elise Performance parts, the current issue I'm going to have is the dreaded import duties - of which I have no idea how much extra this is all going to cost me... so anything I can buy FROM SA is going to be easier/chaper/quicker overall.

And with the Nitron designed rear toe link kit above does that make a chunk of the suspension refresh kit null and void?!?
A very confusing set of options on this for the layman!!
Suspension Refresh Kit

Did manage to speak to Michael from Lotus Register at Killarney, he took my card and said he'd be in-touch re Breakfast runs ;-) I don't think we have a skid pan here in CPT so suspect ur in Jo'burg?

Yuzzy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry forgot, it was the previous owner that replaced the Rad shortly before selling, so suspect a standard, I can't tell the different visually if it's anything different. ;-)
 

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Yuzzy,
I cheated on the whole ECU thing. I didn't want to install the kit until I had all the other parts for upgrade in hand. I bought an extra ECU (used) and had it re-flashed. This allowed me to continue driving my car until all the parts for the upgrade came in.
 

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Damn, that makes things a wee bit harder since I was hoping you based up here near joburg. For Radiator upgrades (custom made) , Toe link upgrades (custom made), super charger installs (he does not supply the kit but can fit it with ease, he recently completed a supercharged k20 S1), race prep, general servicing and actually pretty much anything you could have spoken to Garreth at Taylon Motorsport, check the links section on TLR website. Tyre wise: JSRacing based at Zwartkops racetrack does the AO48's in Exige sizes, the best we can find currently, maybe they can courier to you? Do not use the 205/50 Direzza tyres, they rub badly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks James :) Got in touch with both of them... Crossing my fingers!
Off hand do you know if a decat pipe like the Katana 265 (I'm liking this kit more and more) is legal in SA?
 

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To the best of my knowledge, Everything is legal in SA. I have seen cars go through Road worthy in a very modified state. I know the cops in the cape are a lot less lenient when it comes to ride height (mainly because of the golf/VW crowd), but I really do not see them checking if you have a cat or not, I doubt they would even know what to look for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks mate - JSRacing came through - woo hoo! Tomorrow I'll transfer the funds and all is good.

On the downside the law here is a nightmare as I require a Letter of Authorization to be able to bring in a supercharger - so I may need to rethink that item :-(
http://www.dutycalculator.com/
http://www.services.gov.za/services...g/Vehicleregistration/letterofauthority/en_ZA

....Or be exceptionally patient and see if one appears on gumtree.

The other items are fine, and carry a 34% import fee - not happy about that one bit!

Still waiting for Gareth to get back to me...
 

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Hi All,

This seems to be the forum to ask all my questions so hoping you guys and girls can help with some advice :)

I'm currently driving a 2005 Lotus Elise 111R, mostly spirited road driving but I do a regular track day once a month - all that's available in my area :( when I really get to push her to the limits. The car has 45,000km on the clock and gets regularly serviced.

Don't get me wrong, in stock format she's quick but I'm looking for overall improvements in terms of handling and speed as well as keeping reliability , so here's my list and please feel free to jump in with 'waste of money' vs 'definitely worth it' vs 'have you thought of' plus anything else I've missed off the list. Oh, and I'm generally mechanically ignorant/avoidant!

Budget wise I'd like to keep costs down obviously as I still have labour to add at the end of the day - unavoidable for me!

1. Lotus designed supercharger - the bolt on Eaton (i think it's called) - this was no 1 on my list as I'd like to get some decent straight line speed.
As far as I'm aware this doesn't require any other mods, comes as a complete package with a replacement ECU included? I don't want to go past this to other makes as I really don't want to get oil coolers of whatever needed to run it. In reality has anyone done this and see a noticeable improvement?
Lotus Sport Supercharger Kit (Toyota 2ZZ N/A Cars) - Lotus Sport Parts - Track and Sport parts
I have this in my car, paid a lot to put it in. It's probably the least powerful, most expensive supercharger, but it's also CARB legal here in fascist California, so it was my only choice. It comes with an ECU.

The car is totally different with this supercharger. There's no kick at 6200 RPM when the 2nd cam kicks in, just lots more mid-range power and a smooth cam transition at 4400. Huge, huge improvement in drivability since you actually have mid-range torque.

Downsides: cost, power level
Upsides: reliability. I have 10,000+ track miles on this. People are blowing up aftermarket S/C engines left and right.

If you go this route, it is critical to have the baffled oil pan, and a fuel starvation fix.

2. Shocks - currently I have the Bilsteins and IMHO are pretty damn good but is there an upgrade that won't make the car feel like it's breaking apart and let me corner with a bit more confidence/speed/stability? Not worried about adjustable or the really expensive stuff as I won't be sitting there with a hex wrench doing it. Also, should they be changed with just 45,000 kilometres on the clock - waste of money?
Nitrons are a million times better than the Bilsteins. I got Nitron singles, and they bought me several seconds per lap on local race tracks. They're also a more comfortable ride on the street! The Bilsteins feel like you're driving on rock, while the Nitrons absorb high frequency vibration, but resist low frequency like body roll.

3. Tyres - This is a definite for me, but based out of South Africa I have a very limited range, Yoko's are impossible to find here so I think I'm going for
Michelin Pilots vs Dunlop Direzza if I can find them...

4. Airfilter & Exhaust & Manifold - I see lots of talk about this and am now bamboozled! Is the TRD/Hurricane + Larini Sports + decat with damper + manifold worth the effort and more importantly cost, would I actually see an improvement in speed or is it just the sound/placebo effect? Should I get the complete package or only one or two items worth the actual effort in terms of cost vs performance?
The air filter helps a tiny little bit, at the cost of letting in more dirt. The stock exhaust is very free flowing, so the aftermarket ones only really save weight, but don't add any power.

5. Dry sump - a lot of people mention oil starvation and say a dry sump is well worth it as the 2ZZ engine aparently suffers from it, others say just top up your oil for a track day...? Not a performance enhancement but definitely not skimping on reliability - this is my daily driver.
Get a baffled oil pan, it fixes the problem completely and is a lot cheaper and simpler than going to a dry sump.

6. Suspension - bit of a topic here but considering the mileage on the car I don't know if it's now time to do a refresh of all the bushes/ball joints/mounts? If so, I'm just getting them ALL done in one go to reduce labour costs. With that in mind if the concensus is yes, is there a place where I can buy them ALL in one big bundle, I don't want to be sourcing for 5 different suppliers trying to work out whats what, and I'd like it to cover everything in one go so I've at least ticked that box in terms of purchase, or is it too soon to do it.
Was looking at this: Suspension Refresh Kit - View all Suspension and steering section - Suspension and Steering

7. Drop link bars - these are relatively cheap if I recall, and if the answer to the bushes is a no brainer then I may as well do them as well. Question, is
this front or rear or both? Lot's of people recommending the rears to be done.

8. Anti-roll bar - excuse my mechanical ignorance on this, but is this on the front/rear/both? And should I get adjustable? Please understand on the
adjustable bit, I don't have tools etc so it will be a once off fit by a mechanic so I'd like to get it right first time.

9. Steering - not sure if there is anything on here I need to change? Does any part wear of it wear out? Happy with the lock-to-lock ratio.

Anything else I might have missed to make a great car feel/drive even better..? I did have a front splitter in mind (to cover up the two small front scrapes i have as my garage is raised) but I think I might have to take her to be professionaly fixed/painted and have the underside protectors I bought off ebay installed instead.

* Brakes - I've already done, braided hoses and Mintex 1155 (which btw give me no fade and I'm really happy with - I much prefer them to EBC red).

Ideally, based on everyone's advice I'd like to source it all from one reputable supplier that can ship to South Africa... and I don't get stung by import
duties, but that's another story. Oh, and if you have links please include them :cool:

Anyways, thank you for all/any responses in advance. Much appreciated. :D

Yuzzy
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Macinr, v useful info!

Going with the Nitrons, rear toe link with brace and the baffled oil sump for sure.
Still hoping to get to the garage this saturday to have a look underneath and the state of the bushes.

Tires i managed to get the Advan AD08's :)

On the supercharger side of things I'm hoping to get a garage to import for me... waiting to find out
 

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I did the SC upgrade using Lotus Exige SC on a Elise R 2009, 7000mls since.
I also added a water2air charge cooler to get more power and durability.
Using a 200cell catalyst and 2bular H1-GT3 exhaust it's fully road legal.
 

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I have this in my car, paid a lot to put it in. It's probably the least powerful, most expensive supercharger, but it's also CARB legal here in fascist California, so it was my only choice. It comes with an ECU.

The car is totally different with this supercharger. There's no kick at 6200 RPM when the 2nd cam kicks in, just lots more mid-range power and a smooth cam transition at 4400. Huge, huge improvement in drivability since you actually have mid-range torque.

Downsides: cost, power level
Upsides: reliability. I have 10,000+ track miles on this. People are blowing up aftermarket S/C engines left and right.

If you go this route, it is critical to have the baffled oil pan, and a fuel starvation fix.



Nitrons are a million times better than the Bilsteins. I got Nitron singles, and they bought me several seconds per lap on local race tracks. They're also a more comfortable ride on the street! The Bilsteins feel like you're driving on rock, while the Nitrons absorb high frequency vibration, but resist low frequency like body roll.



The air filter helps a tiny little bit, at the cost of letting in more dirt. The stock exhaust is very free flowing, so the aftermarket ones only really save weight, but don't add any power.



Get a baffled oil pan, it fixes the problem completely and is a lot cheaper and simpler than going to a dry sump.
Who said the aftermarket exhausts only save weight???
Have a look at this
BOE Fabrication - Lotus Elise, Exige, and Evora Performance ECM Tuning Products
 
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