Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Another new screen

The front screen has developed another crack on the front left corner so is booked in at RAC autowindscreens....second screen in 2 years!

Its also insurance time again, my renewal is pretty much what it cost last year so its not all bad. The accident and SP30 havent made any difference. I'll still have a scout around for something cheaper but its not a major worry. So much for insurance dropping loads when you turn 25!

Still waiting to fit the new suspension, CAT and clutch hose. D'oh!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

The return!

I collected the Elise from the bodyshop yesterday after having a new front clam, minor repairs to the rear and a full respray. Its looking ten times better now, all the cracks in the gel coat have gone along with all the minor scratches and stone chips. Its looking like new.

I have also fitted some new headlight covers from eliseparts and the old silver front indicators have been returned to their correct orange colour. I'm looking into fitting something like amourfend to the front to minimise any damage from stonechips.

The inside however is in desperate need of a clean.

Heres some pics of the car being sprayed...

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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Squeaky steering

Not been having much luck lately, a new noise appeared yesterday from the front of the car when turning the steering wheel. Didn't seem suspension related. An odd rubbery type sound...







I got it up on axle stands and the noise disappeared when the suspension wasn't under load. I dropped it back down and the noise had gone (!!).

I think it must have been something causing the rack gaitors to rub against the chassis (stone/road debris/etc).

Either that or the Elise got scared of me going at it with a spanner so has decided to fix itself ":-D"

On another note, I'm still waiting for the insurance assessor's report about the damage to the clam but it shouldn't be too long.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Another split clam...double bollocks.

Not having much luck lately - not long after someone went into the rear clam and someone hits the front one as well!

It happened a little while ago so its halfway sorted now, theres a new clam going on when the back gets done. It's also having a full respray so the car should look like new. Every cloud has a silver lining i suppose.

Anyway, the to-do list is growing....

- fit S2 suspension. Need to get the mounting bracket. Gonna DIY this.
- fresh geo
- buy and fit braided clutch hose and change fluid. Clutch is unusable when hot!
- fit CAT - maybe. Dont know if im gonna leave it on or just for MOT
- get some armourfend for the front once sprayed to stop stone chips

Insurance is also due in October so time to start saving for that as well! I got done speeding not so long ago (41 in a 30) so I've now got an SP30 on my license. Hope it doesn't hike my premium too much!

Red clutch hose is the bane of my life at the moment, its near impossible to change gear when the cars had a bit of a thrashing ":'("

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Split clam...bollocks.

Not having a good day today. Waiting at traffic lights...THUD! Get out of the car, inspect rear clam and stare at the vacant face sat behind the wheel of a Discovery..

"Did I just hit you?"
No, my car lurches forward making that noise all the time, you fucking retard!
"Yes you hit me. Pull over."

Pull over and she said
"I couldnt of hit you, I had the handbrake on."
"What, like right now..." pointing at the disco gently rolling down the hill.
"Oh yeah"

How hard is it to not move when the car in front is stood still!!! How these people manage to pass a driving test is beyond me. Anyway, damage doesn't look too bad at the moment, a crack with a load of spider marks tearing away from it....

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Already contacted insurance companies and need to get an estimate. Dont think it needs a new clam, probably just a bit of GRP repair and a lick of paint.

":'("

Thursday, 19 July 2007

New CAT

Since the guy I bought the car off did not supply me a CAT (dick!) I've had to borrow one each year for the MOT. I came across a tidy second hand one for £50 so have bought that ready for the next MOT.

Still finding out about fitting the S2 suspension, looks like I'll need a bracket of some sort. Im gonna try to fit it myself...my biggest DIY job yet. More on that to follow.

Problem at the moment is the dreaded red clutch hose syndrome, in warm weather or after some heavy use, the clutch host expands slightly which causes changing gear to be sometimes near impossible. The replacement steel hose is about £60 and it can be a bugger to fit. Not sure what Im gonna do about this yet, might get a garage to do the work for me.

On a more positive note, I have adjusted the front bonnet so the panel gaps are now even ":-D"

Thursday, 14 June 2007

New suspension

Stumbled across a classified ad today for some S2 suspension at a really good price that I couldn't afford to miss. They're from a 2003 111S and have done 15k miles so should be in good condition.

Just need to get some S2 to S1 mounting brackets, fit them, and a fresh geo ":-D"

Nout wrong with my Konis (not knocking or anything) so they'll be up for sale before long.

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Saturday, 19 May 2007

Bracket done...sort of

After literally hours of farting around getting the stud out of the manifold it turns out the bracket that B&C sent me is the wrong one! Luckily with a little help I managed to weld the old one back together and re-fit it - what an absolute pig of a job, it took hours! Anyway, the original heatshield bracket is back together and back on the car. The rattle has changed but not gone completely. I think the only thing left to do is to completely remove the offending heatshield and re-weld every joint. I'll give this a go when the wounds from the last attempt have healed.

I also had a spare 30 mins to paint the spark plug cover, I used some touchup paint so it matches the body colour....

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Thursday, 3 May 2007

Bracket ordered

Big thanks to Andy at Bell and Colvill for finding the part number for the heatshield bracket (A111S0039F £1.56 +VAT + P&P). It's a special order from Lotus so should be with me by the end of next week.

I also had 5 mins to clean the car today so scraped the worst of the muck off it. I even had chance to clean some of the engine bay - there was a few white splats from the coolant leak last year which WD40 seems to have removed nicely. I'm at risk of becoming a GJOB here (Garage Jewelery Owning Bastard) but I'm thinking about painting the spark plug cover. A few people have done it on Toyota engined Elises and it looks pretty good...

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It would look a little different on the K-series but I might give it a bash.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

I have found the source of all evil!

After spending pretty much all of today working on the car I have finally found whats causing the heatshield to rattle (i hope!). Heres the little bugger....

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Its the bracket that holds the heatshield onto the manifold, right at the back of the engine bay. I'm gonna contact a Lotus dealer tomorrow and order the new one, should only be a few quid.

Heres where it lives...

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It shouldn't be too hard to fit the new one, a case of undoing one of the studs thats holding the manifold onto the engine. The only thing is I'll have to remove the boot lid completely (again)...it makes it much easier to get to.

I also really need to clean the car, its filthy!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Downpipe Done!

Managed to get the new downpipe fitted a few days ago. I was gonna DIY it but after removing the undertray and diffuser I seen how bad the access was so took it to a local garage. Only cost £22 so hardly a massive expense.

Cannot believe the difference in sound, its so much quieter. Starting to notice all the other little squeaks and rattles now though ":-("

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Downpipe ordered

I haven't really found any decent second hand downpipes so have ordered a new one from eliseparts.com.

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I'm hoping it will be here before the weekend but I doubt it somehow. Hopefully it wont be too hard to fit.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Another downpipe dead

As suspected, I checked the downpipe this morning and can see quite a big hole in the rear part of the flexi section which is causing the monster noise. I've placed a few 'wanted' ads on some of the Lotus sites before commiting to buying a new one.

I'm also gonna be brave and fit it myself when I get hold of the parts. The nuts shouldn't be too rusted on since its only been on the car a few months.

Friday, 30 March 2007

My ears are bleeding!

OK, my ears aren't really bleeding but the noise off the Elise has got a bit excessive recently. Sounds like I have a leak in the exhaust somewhere. I haven't had a chance to take a proper look yet but I'm pretty sure the downpipes dead again. I stuck a spare one on from when I had the MGF which has probably been sat in the shed for longer than it should have.

Its probably time to replace it with a new one. I've had around 6 months free out of the old spare part so its not all bad. I'm hoping to take a look at it Sunday to confirm its the downpipe but I'm assuming it has developed a hole/leak.

What to do...I can either stick another downpipe on it (cheapish) or maybe fork out a bit more and make an upgrade out of it. I'm thinking a 4-2-1 manifold and associated downpipe. If I buy the parts new it would be quite expensive but I might just patch the old one until I find a decent 2nd hand 4-2-1 and downpipe...should get a bit more low-end toque that way.

hmmm, decisions, decisions. I'll think more about it when I get the undertray off and see what's wrong and assess my cash flow.

On another note, it looks like I might be getting a new job with an increased commute...then we'll see how good an S1 Elise really is as an everyday motor. Worse case scenario I can either get an everyday motorway hack in addition to the S1 or, more likely, spend more cash on this (or a newer) Lotus.

Minor update - my boat is now SOLD ":-D"

Friday, 16 March 2007

FOR SALE: My boat

The time has finally come to sell my boat. I bought it a year or so ago with dreams of using it as a small fishing boat and for occasional hooning but bought the Elise instead. No second car so no chance of towing it anywhere. Its been sat in my mums parking bay for about a year and shes nagging me to get rid of it so first sensible offer secures. Could also be interested in a p/x for bits for an S1 Elise. Let me know what you have to offer.

Hull is in good condition, no cracks/holes or anything. Has leathers seats and a steering wheel but the inside is a bit tatty - a lick of paint would sort most of it. No motor supplied but these are pretty easy to source. Also included is the trailer, again in good condition.

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/144707.htm

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RAC

The RAC guy came out yesterday and sorted my windscreen out. The rubber surround has been siliconed in and the rear view mirror has been re-attached. All free of charge, under warranty ":-D"

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Nice and shiney!

Finally got around to giving the car a wash and took some pictures which can be viewed in the gallery.

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Friday, 9 March 2007

Back again!

Looks like the server wasn't in a good way so the sites been offline for the past few weeks whilst being re-built.

Anyway, Lotus news - I have done a DIY A service and changed the oil and filter. Surprisingly easy with no major dramas. I even managed to re-fix my rattling heatshield (the nut came loose). Here's my current 'to-do' list...

- Full geo (next week hopefully)
- Re-fit drivers seat (its a bit squeaky, think somethings come loose)
- Full wash and maybe wax (got some free cleaning stuff on the way ":-D")
- Adjust front access panel (uneven panel gap)
- Cut some new wheel arch covers (old ones are getting a bit tatty now)
- Adjust windows (still leaking slightly!)
- Windscreen seal and mirror (see below)

I'm also thinking about getting a re-spray, especially the front clamshell. There's some cracks in the gel coat that kinda spoil it close up. I've been quoted ~£400 from Horizon but I think I can get it cheaper locally. It's not really a major problem but it bothers me.

The other minor thing that happened recently was the rear view mirror - it's fallen off! This along with the rubber windscreen surround has pointed me to the RAC windscreen people. My screen was replaced last year so I don't think they stuck it all back to get tidily. I checked the invoice and all work is guaranteed for 3 years (including seals and leaks) so I have called them this week to sort something out, theyre supposed to be getting back to me. No doubt I'll have to chase them next week.

AA
The financial ombudsman has come back to me saying that can't investigate my starter-motor complaint with the AA, there's some exclusion to the law with regards to breakdown warranties. I right pain in the arse, the only place left to go is the Citizens Advice Bureau. I might make an appointment to see them but I'm starting to lose hope, I might aswell forget about getting the cash back by the looks of it. My renewal also came through this week and I managed to get a discount. They had a different price on their website to the one for renewal, all sorted in a quick phone call.

Although they were a bunch of dicks when it came to the starter motor bill, the service has more than paid for itself (new rad, new coolant pipes etc) so I think it's good idea to re-new. There's also the fact that they will only take on cars less than 10 years old. Mine turned 10 at the end of last year so if I didn't renew then I would never be able to put the car back under warranty with them. I'm sure I'll get my money's worth in the end.

Summers on the way and I've got an itch for a trackday that's begging to be scratched ";-)"

Friday, 16 February 2007

Back online with a new MOT

Due to 'technical difficulties' the sites been offline for the past week or so - basically the CPU fan died on the server ":-("

Anyway, good news, the Elise has a fresh MOT certificate. The TRE was replaced but it knocked the tracking out quite a bit. I've had the tracking re-done but it ideally needs a fresh geo so I'll book it in with the mototec people in Blackwood when I get chance. It passed the emissions test once the CAT had chance to warm up which was a relief.

I've also bought the oil and filter ready for when it stops raining long enough for me to do the A service, I've gone for Carlube 5w-40 so it should be better for engine warm up times. There's also a special Mann filter from eliseparts that has a magnet in it to trap any metal particles in the oil so that's another minor improvement.

Sadly the trackday on Sunday was canceled due to heavy snow...


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Probably for the best really, I wouldn't want to hoon around an icy track!

Sunday, 4 February 2007

MOT Failed

The Elise went in for its MOT on Friday and failed ":-("

Not really anything major, it failed on 3 parts -

- Window washers not squirting any water
- Exhaust emissions massively over on HC and CO2
- Worn Track Rod End

The washer bottle was empty so that explains the first one, the emissions test failed because the car wasn't up to temperature (tested it after 30 mins of hard driving and it should pass). The final point, the track rod end was a little unexpected but does explain the amount of understeer I've had recently. Not an expensive item to replace either - £15 parts and about the same in labour. The only downside is that by replacing the TRE it will put the geometry out so I need to get a new geo done shortly. Apparently theres a place in Blackwood that does a tidy geo. Need to find out the best settings now, I have the settings for a "Waspy" and the standard geo but not sure if thats the best one to use. Ideally I need to find out Horizon's geo settings since I'm used to the associated handling characteristics but I'm pretty sure this is a bit of a 'trade secret'. I've emailed them on the off chance anyway.

The 'A' service is also due so I'm gonna do it myself, already bought the new oil and filter and plan to change it sometime next week.

I'm also attending my first trackday at Llandow on Saturday. I'm not quite brave enough to drive but thought it would be a nice day out and I should be able to blag a few passenger laps to see what the fuss is about. Need to clean the car first, I'm almost ashamed how dirty it is - the salty winter roads have taken their toll.

Friday, 26 January 2007

MOT and Service

The Elise is booked into a local garage to get a new MOT and an A service. I have contacted an oil guru to see if I can get a thinner oil so it warms up more quickly (I mainly do short trips) and have been recommended a decent 5W-40. I'll pop down Halfrauds or a local motor factors to get it. I have also arranged to borrow a CAT for a few days to get through the MOT emissions test. I also need to get hold of a new washer for the sump, an oil filter (Mann W719/15 is supposed to be the best) and some gaskets for the CAT. Most of it should be available at a local motorfactors or the ex-Rover dealer.

The internal heaters are also getting on my nerves, they're not as hot as they should be. I think I'll take the plunge and sort it myself, the Lotus service notes imply its not a difficult job so I'm gonna get my hands dirty.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Rattle sorted...permenantly!

The heatshield rattle that has been on the car pretty much since I bought it has finally gone. I got the car on ramps today and spent most of the afternoon fixing it. There were 2 rivets holding a fold in the metal in place which has a lot of play in them. It was a bitch of a job but i removed the rivets and put a nut and bolt in their place. I cant see it coming loose again.

and..the spray bar rocks ":-D"

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Washer Mod

Ive been having a few problems with the screen washers recently, they're a bit crap and water tends to dribble out of them instead of squirting. There's a simple mod that some Elise owners have done that involves fitting a Peugeot spray bar to the wiper arm. Full details here. I nipped to my local Peugeot dealer today and fitted it this afternoon. Very simple, the hardest part was removing one of the jets to run the tube through the hole. Much better now ":-D"

Its also MOT and service time again. Its only due an 'A' service which basically consists of replacing the oil and giving it a good once over to make sure nothing's gonna fall off. Seems a bit pointless going all the way to Horizon to get this done so I'm waiting for a price off Westtek. My only problem will be the MOT - I don't have a CAT to do the emissions test. I'll see if I can borrow one as they're quite expensive to buy.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

AA Result!

Looks like the AA have come up trumps and have sent me a cheque to cover the new radiator! Yay. The old rad is now on eBay since I have no use for it.

The old claim for the starter motor is still with the ombudsman though ":-("

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Roof fitted

My new roof has arrived and is now fitted to the car. Doesn't seem to have made much difference to the leaks, water is still pissing in ":-(". I think some new seals and possibly cant rail rubbers my be in order. Anyway, whilst I have a spare roof I may aswell send my original roof back to Lotus for a refurb and sell the spare once its back. I'll probably end up keeping the original roof since its a bit easier to fit than the replacement - its probably been stretched over time.

Lotus have quoted £41.14 for the refurb but Im still waiting to find out if I have to go through the dealer, fingers crossed I will be able to post it directly to Hethel and avoid having to deal with Stratstone.

On another note, my touch up paint a wheel nuts have arrived from eliseparts, just need to wait for a dry day before fitting them.

Friday, 5 January 2007

New roof

The roof on the Elise is starting to show its age and the plastic clip has recently snapped, luckily I spotted a nearly new one on SELOC for £250 so that'll be another purchase made. I should be able to recoup most of the cash by selling the original one, i might get it refurbed by Lotus and eBay it.