The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched the forum and I'm finding people recommending replacing the radiator in the Elise. I'm really not finding exactly what the issue is with the factory radiators. My newly purchased 05 has 32k miles and doesn't appear to have ever had an issue. I currently have the front clam off and I know now would be a great time to do it, but I also hate to replace parts unnecessarily.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,051 Posts
The plastic ends develop leaks. Do it now rather than have to do it later. It's a selling point as well. You may want to look at other suggested upgrades/mods with clam off. Louder horn, AC mods and if nothing else make sure drain holes were drilled for fan resistor pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The plastic ends develop leaks. Do it now rather than have to do it later. It's a selling point as well. You may want to look at other suggested upgrades/mods with clam off. Louder horn, AC mods and if nothing else make sure drain holes were drilled for fan resistor pack.
Thank you, all sounds like good ideas while the clam is off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
589 Posts
When I replaced mine I may have overthought the whole process. Below is a table of every drop in radiator I could find 2+ years ago and some specs in you're in to that. It should give you some options to start with.

At the risk of starting a bunch of 'while you're in there' projects, you need to inspect the AC condenser fins. The stock cooling fans mangle the AC condenser fins restricting air flow over time. This is a known issue with the only solution being replacement of the fans and alternative mounting. At ~40k miles nearly 40% (very loose estimate) of my fins were mashed closed plus all the debris that gets trapped in there.

A great solution to these problems is converting from the stock bottom mount 10" pusher fans to top mount puller fans. Whether you opt for dual 10" fans (AC requirement, primary road use), single 10" (somewhere in the middle) or single 8" (90+% track use) is up to you and your needs.

Reference my how to if you need instructions.. Replace the stock cooling fans with dual 10"" pullers on a Lotus Exige

*Edit - apparently you can't copy/past Excel into this forum. This picture is the only way I could get this to work short of retyping everything.

Font Rectangle Screenshot Number
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I replaced mine I may have overthought the whole process. Below is a table of every drop in radiator I could find 2+ years ago and some specs in you're in to that. It should give you some options to start with.

At the risk of starting a bunch of 'while you're in there' projects, you need to inspect the AC condenser fins. The stock cooling fans mangle the AC condenser fins restricting air flow over time. This is a known issue with the only solution being replacement of the fans and alternative mounting. At ~40k miles nearly 40% (very loose estimate) of my fins were mashed closed plus all the debris that gets trapped in there.

A great solution to these problems is converting from the stock bottom mount 10" pusher fans to top mount puller fans. Whether you opt for dual 10" fans (AC requirement, primary road use), single 10" (somewhere in the middle) or single 8" (90+% track use) is up to you and your needs.

Reference my how to if you need instructions.. Replace the stock cooling fans with dual 10"" pullers on a Lotus Exige

*Edit - apparently you can't copy/past Excel into this forum. This picture is the only way I could get this to work short of retyping everything.

View attachment 1306284
Awesome how to write up on the fan change. My list of things to do is growing, but I'd rather take the time to do it now than have an issue later. I bought this car cheap so spending a little extra $ to make it right doesn't really bother me too much. I just don't want to do things that aren't really necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,411 Posts
I think my car had the holes drilled for the drain for the resistor pack. But the resistor pack still crapped out. Look into that mod/repair while clam is off. It's cheap insurance. Also to be front brake lines are a pain to get to with the clam on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
947 Posts
Shameless plug, but I will have a Pro Alloy radiator for sale pretty soon. Its a couple of years old, with less than 4K miles on it. I just need to get it out of the car. 😅
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
589 Posts
@mwehnes - where did you find the ProAlloy for $365? Are you sure that isn’t British pounds or euros?
I had another column in my spreadsheet if the native pricing was not USD. The ProAlloy was 299 pounds at the time I was price shopping several years ago directly from their website. My link is no longer valid, so a lot has likely changed with the price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Don't know exactly what happened, but my radiator burst while on a highway during 90 degree heat in a traffic jam. My local lotus repair guy would only replace it with OEM, unfortunately. It does seem like Elise radiators causing trouble is a thing though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
810 Posts
As a data point in the other direction, I'm now on year 14 and over 15,000 track miles on my original OEM radiator with plastic endcaps. I figure it's held up this long, no reason to mess with it.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,594 Posts
We actually have 3 different radiators at different price points. I've lost the radiator in all 3 of our lotuses right at the 10-11 year mark. If you've gotten 17 years you are truly on borrowed time.

Additionally the main failure mechanism is a rubber o-ring that sits between the plastic end tank and the aluminum core. They just get old and start to leak.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top