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Car Blogs



Special entry for Paul...

Posted by LOTUSPOINT in LOTUSPOINT's Blog, 09 April 2014 · 40 views

Hi Paul,
I hope these pictures will help to answer your question...

As original
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After refurbishment
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With best regards

Good Clutch News

Posted by DaveyT in DaveyT's Blog, 07 April 2014 · 32 views

With the lump now out, first thing was a bit of a clean, from this:
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to this:
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Still a way to go, but it's clean enough to work on.

with the ancillaries removed, the next task was to take the clutch & 'box off to investigate the situation:
This shaft (specifically its bearing) was/may still be a source of concern:
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I believe it to be a "floating" shaft, and currently assume that the 3/8" lateral play is meant to be there… off to the manual for the specs.

But at least we can see that the clutch was replaced 30 odd miles and 15 years ago…YAAY
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Engine mounts are a bit past their best, as is this bit of heat shield:
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and she's riding high without the weight of the engine
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... the offending water pump is now ready to go for refurb
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Bit of a delay likely now until the house move is over. Next planned major works beginning of July.

3.15.14 Spring outing

Posted by v8vantage in v8vantage's Blog, 16 March 2014 · 49 views

http://www.thelotusf...attach_id=25971

The seasons have changed for the better and Spring is in the air with dry roads and glorious sunshine. What better day to give "Mario" his first outing this year. It was up early and on the road for a 180 mile round-trip to the cars and coffee get together in Portland. Every Saturday exotics/rare cars from around the area meet for an informal get together at a local coffee shop, it's become a regular fixture around the USA.

http://www.thelotusf...attach_id=25969

This was the first time I had done any distance on the new original shocks and boy does the car ride nicely. Tyres were set to 25 front and 33 rear, the result was a smooth ride and nice light steering. It also seemed to remove the last of the vibration I had all but eliminated last year. I'd also replaced the rear radius arm mounts as they were on their last legs. The left rear drive-shaft was checked for any defects as the right one had failed late in 2013.

http://www.thelotusf...attach_id=25970

The Seafoam fuel additive I put in the tanks at the end of Autumn worked a treat staibilising the 10% Ethanol blended gas and there was no hesitation or rough running during the trip. All the work done over the winter was fruitful and 136S ran effortlessly. A brief stop at the Ferrari/Maserati dealer on the way home finished off the trip nicely.

http://www.thelotusf...attach_id=25967
http://www.thelotusf...attach_id=25968

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Frame ready for the painted body!

Posted by vintaylor in vintaylor's Blog, 16 March 2014 · 58 views

2 weeks to go and I will finally have the lotus body back from paint!

Spent some time building a frame for the body this weekend. The frame was built from wood measuring 3" by 3" all cut to size to support the body from underneath the cockpit.

After previous mistakes I have made sure to get the right set of wheels that can take up to 650kgs in total !

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Choke cable

Posted by Neil Potter in Neil's Esprit Turbo refurb, 02 March 2014 · 67 views

August 2013

The choke cable which came with my car was loose in the dash, and didn't seem to move the cams on the carbs very much even when I held it in place. The light on the dash didn't work either. Hardly an urgent fix, but an annoyance I got round to looking at over the summer.

The cable itself was, I think, original and definitely well corroded. In the engine bay the outer cable had been cut off at some point and a new outer gaffer taped on to the old one. I found that the plastic barrel of the old choke control had broken near the knob, preventing it from being fitted properly using the clip I'd managed to source from SJs (who unfortunately didn't have the control itself). When I removed the control and cut the cable, I found that the inner had rusted and ballooned near the control, making it sticky and adding slack to the whole thing. Full replacement was the only option.

Sourcing parts
It turns out, after a bit of research, that the control itself is also used on late original Minis, and is known as a "ratchet type choke control". Available from the venerable Mini spares community. I think I paid £12.50 for mine from this place or similar. This DOESN'T come with the micro-switch for the telltale light, which the Esprit control has clipped to the control barrel, but it DOES come with a plastic clip in its place. You'll need to swap this with the original microswitch. The only real problem is that the cable the new control is attached to is far too short for the Esprit!

So I also bought myself about 4m of stainless bike gear cable, and the same length of teflon-coated outer cable (Jagwire brand). I think I went for 1.5mm diameter inner cable. The Jagwire outer comes in loads of different colours if you're inclined to have an odd-colour cable in your engine bay. Think I've said it before, but Ebay is an absolute godsend to anyone looking for small quantities of odd things to put on old cars.

Then I had a think about how to connect it all up. Not my area of expertise...

Soldering
I had a think about cable connectors, but didn't think the cable would work properly unless it was one length of inner and outer. Eventually I looked into silver soldering; which is heavier duty than the electrical soldering I'm familiar with. I bought some solder, some flux and a small "creme brulee" blowtorch in preparation.

What I ended up doing was cutting the inner cable on the new choke control at the end of the control rod itself (the metal rod with the cable at one end and the knob at the other, which sits in the holder). Then I used the Dremel to basically gouge out the cable where it was welded into the tip of the rod. I was left with a deepish groove, which could accommodate the new cable. I laid in the new cable and covered it with flux and pieces of solder, and heated it all up. Took a while to get the solder to melt and run properly, but eventually you end up with a strong joint. It needs to be flush to the rod so as to refit to the holder.

Refitting
Once you have the long cable attached to your new control you can go ahead and take trim pieces out to get the outer cable threaded through from the engine bay into the cabin through the bulkhead grommet behind the map pocket. The new outer will run aong the top of the transmission tunnel and down one of the gaps at the bottom corners of the HVAC assembly, into the innards of the dash. After a bit of faffing in the Lotus position, you'll have it somewhere near where the choke control should be.

Now you're on the home straight - just thread the end of the new inner cable through the hole in the dash, into the new outer, and through into the engine bay. I connected the end of the choke cable outer to the end of the new outer with duck tape - not ideal but does the job. You may want to cut the choke control outer down to size so this connection happens where the cable runs fairly straight.

You can now fit the control into the dash and secure it with the retaining clip. This isn't a totally satisfying fixture by the way, the control seems to wobble a bit, but much better than letting it dangle in the hole. There's a blue and white wire with a crimped terminal to connect up to the microswitch.

All that remains is to take up the slack in the engine bay and fiddle with the 7mm bolts on the choke linkage across the carbs in order to fix the inner cable in place. There's also a clamp for the outer. Cap the inner with a crimp-on cable ferrule if you can, will stop it fraying.

Results
All works, and a nice new dashboard fitting. Using the choke does boost the idle when cold starting, but isn't exactly necessary.

But it's still worth doing IMO. If you have carbs in your car you should be rightly proud of the old tech and relieved you won't have to buy new cats one day. You should carry with you the faint whiff of petrol and enjoy the need to balance the carbs every few months. If the apocalypse hits you'll be one of the last cars on the road as the EMP will fry everyone else's ECUs. You should most definitely celebrate all this with a nice new choke control if you need one!

I'll go find me coat.

Damper failed

Posted by andydclements in E 906 return to the road, 02 February 2014 · 121 views

Well, since restoring this car I've not used it much. That's not much for a car that I planned to be my daily driver. I used the red one quite a bit until I finally traced the misfire issues and so had confidence in being able to get to the destinations and return under the car's own power. I used the Berlingo when the weather was cold as it has a heather that is effective in less than 10 mins of engine running. I've now purchased a Signum as I'm ferrying my elderly parents around a lot and they cannot fit in the Excel and my Mother had difficulty getting in the rear seats of the Berlingo, and the Signum is more reassuring to drive than the Berlingo so there's less of a fear issue driving the Signum.

The last few times I drove the gold Excel I noticed a knocking noise on uneven road surfaces. I tried the exhaust, driveshafts,. I tried spacing the damper further from the A arm so that they couldn't possibly make contact.
With the car on the ramps (supported by its wheels) I discovered that the knock was replicated if I merely applied a small amount of upward force to the subframe. I managed to eliminate the body/subframe mounting form the list of options and so remove the damper. On inspection I have discovered that the damper has a knock in it giving circa 5mm of longitudinal movement without dampening, almost as though low on oil I suspect something inside has come apart. As the dampers are probably more than 2 years old despite the low mileage I doubt I'll the the manufacturer to honour the warranty, and without finding purchase info I doubt they'll even agree to assist in the funding of the repair, so I'm going top purchase just one damper (which is something I'd normally not do) on the basis the other damper (driver's side) is very new and has had very little use so it should be a reasonable match to the new one.

Alternator Output in Amps

Posted by Aston in Aston's Blog, 20 January 2014 · 110 views

Gentlemen,

Does anyone know what the factory Alternator output is for a 1990 Lotus Esprit Turbo ? We have one in the shop which is printing Bad out of a Sun VAT 45. It shows 85 Amps with a voltage of 12.95 V with a full load on at idle. I'm guessing the full output would be around 105 - 125 Amps .

Cheers

Lotus Espirit Turbo 1983

Posted by alexander28 in alexander28's Blog, 04 December 2013 · 289 views

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and would like some advice on my new toy which is a Lotus Espirit turbo 1983, the vehicle has not been driven for a few years & was wondering where and what costs I should be looking to pay to get a full service & cambelt done on the car ?, I am based between surrey/west sussex my local garage is main delaer Bell and colvill anyone had any experience ?, also anything else I need to look our for etc, this is the first time I have owned one and am very excited with the project ahead !!, if anyone can shed any light on if there was a limited edition turbo with the black badges etc the former owner told me so !, any help will be much appreciated ??

Cheers

Air Conditioning

Posted by andydclements in G945 LVG returns to the road, 21 July 2013 · 259 views

I still haven't been working on the silver car as such but have been removing the Air-Conditioning from the red car (the AC never worked since I've had it) to provide some necessary parts for fitting AC to the silver car.
That's now all out of the red car,but I guess I'll have missed something and be cursing it after I've sold the red one. What it is that I'll have missed, I don't yet know.

Wheels, I need new tyres for the gold car, it has newly refurbished Speedlines. The silver car has Oz which are in need of a refurb. I could just have new tyres fitted to the Speedlines, or have the Oz ones refurbed and fit new tyres to those, using them on the gold car until it's ready (2015 at this rate). Choices, choices.

Launch Weekend

Posted by Lotus Hedge End in Lotus Hedge End's Blog, 19 March 2013 · 239 views

We are pleased to announce our latest and most excited launch for many years will be held over the weekend of 17th, 18th and 19th of May.

We hope to have a fully-packed three days with final details to follow, however we wanted to start the ball rolling with extending an open invitation to anyone wishing to visit and join us in the CELEBRATIONS whether you be a classic Lotus driver, past owner, future customer, current enthusiast or just want to have a snoop…. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

At the Snows Motor Group we cannot claim to know all there is to know about Lotus but what we lack in experience we will make up in hard work, enthusiasm and our commitment to be the best Lotus dealership in the whole of the UK. We appreciate that we will not be able to get to where we want to be without great customers supporting us along the way and that is what we AND THE BRAND need right now - SO PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD and continue with highlighting GOOD NEWS about our favourite BRITISH car manufacturer to counter those that seem to wish for its demise!

If you intend to attend, please email lotus@snowsgroup.co.uk with an idea of numbers in your party and which day you will be coming to help us gauge numbers.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you in May!

The Team at Snows Lotus Hedge End


PS – New Exige S will be on site over the next few days and on the road, we hope, on 2nd April.

Progress Ahead

Posted by mikeh in 469H mikeh's extreme makeover, 04 December 2012 · 185 views

It's been quite a while since I posted. I had to put this project on the back burner for a while, but I am gearing up to work on it again. A few pictures from awhile back regarding the chassis parts.
I have the engine disassembled and chassis 80% complete. I just placed a huge order from SJ today, so I'll have plenty to do soon. Also, I'm working on the electrical including relay upgrades. I'll get some updated pictures on here soon.-Mike

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Drifting Day at Bovingdon Airfield

Posted by Roz Bennetts in Roz Bennetts' Blog, 01 December 2012 · 621 views
drifting, bovingdon

I recently posted this on my blog but thought I'd repost it here on TLF as I thought it'd be great to organise a drifting event for those of us with rear wheel drive models.
Car Drifting Day with Drift Limits at Bovingdon Airfield


I recently attended a car drifting instruction day with a firm called Drift Limits which took place at Bovingdon Airfield on 25th November 2012.

What is Drifting?
Drifting is a funny word as for me it conjurs up a gentle, pleasant, 'drifty' experience. In actuality, anyone who's ever lost control of the rear end of their car has drifted - and it's not normally a pleasant experience unless you happen to be Stirling Moss.

Drifting is a term that's been coined for the motorsport world where the driver intentionally loses traction of the rear wheels whilst still managing to control the car around bends and so on. These days Drifting is a fully fledged sport in about the same way that Dressage is to equine sports. In Drifting competitions points are awarded for the amount of smoke coming from the wheels, the angle of the wheels, audience reaction and sticking to predesigned course plans. It's all quite showy and rightly so as it's much more entertaining to watch a car hurtling around sideways with smoke bellowing from the wheels than in a straight line. Drifting to that standard is pie in the sky for me - for now at least; as it was for most of the punters who were with me and my friend on Sunday. On the menu for us was instruction in performing Handbrake Turns, J-Turns, Donuts, Linking Turns and there were hot-laps around the track afterwards for those that wanted them.

Here are the photos taken by the resident photographer on the day. In the end there were too many photos to load onto Flickr so I decided to make a showreel instead and took the liberty of borrowing some music from the Kings of Leon to make it a bit more interesting. :-)

I can't seem to post the video so here's the link

I personally feel it would've been better to have had video footage as you don't really get any real feel for the (superb lol!) driving from these stills - apart from the odd puff of smoke from the wheels you wouldn't really know I was drifting. The hosts said they were working on getting the video sorted out.

The Day's Drifting Itinerary First of all there was an introduction and we filled out our disclaimers then we were split into two groups and my group went off to do Handbrake Turns.

Handbrake Turns
Most of us are already familiar with what these look like from movies like the Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood do a neat handbrake turn to park their police car outside their old bandmates restaurant (brilliant scene!). We did them around a cone; first we were shown how to get the car up to about 25mph in first gear and when we reach the cone we would simultaneously apply handbrake, drop the cluch and lock the steering wheel at 180 degrees. It sounds easy but it was probably the hardest part of the day for me.

J-Turns
J-Turns are when you start off by reversing quickly and whip the car round 180 degrees and take off on the same trajectory but facing it head on. They were done by building up to 6000 revs in reverse (this is bloody quick) and when 6000 revs has been reached, dip the clutch and lock the steering wheel. When you've mastered that you learn to apply the footbrake at the last moment to stop the drift and take off in first gear, all preferably in one smooth movement. These were the best part of the day for me as I got the hang of them straight away and they also look great.

Donuts
These were done around a small group of cones and the idea was to drive around them with the car as sideways as possible, (there's a lovely Donut in the promo video below). The idea is to put a 'hole' in your Donut, i.e. not just keep the front wheels still while the back of the car draws circles, that's easy. Instead you apply just enough throttle to lose traction in the rear wheels, start a slide and correct as you go around - quite tricky.

Linking Turns
This is when you're navigating turns at different angles, sideways - and doing it all as smoothly as possible using just the throttle and oversteer. That's the theory anyway, the reality is there's a lot of steering correction to be done but I managed to get the car satisfyingly sideways. :-)

The cars we were driving were Mazda MX-5s - like all drifting cars they're rear wheel drive and have a nicely balanced weight ratio from the front to the back of the car to make drifting easier.

Drifting Schools
Learning how to control a car in a slide isn't a necessary skill to pass your driving test in the UK but it's par for the course in the more northerly countries where they have to deal with icy road conditions routinely. This probably goes some way to explaining why there are so many of these Nationals acting as instructors at the different drifting firms that've sprung up around the UK. If you're subscribed to Groupon or any of the other voucher sites you've probably seen these firms advertising 'drifting experiences'; which is initially how I came to hear about this firm 'Drift Limits' of http://www.driftlimits.co.uk. Here is their short promotional video which gives you a much better idea of what drifting really looks like in action.

Here's the link to Drift Limits video


Drift Limits
Like the other firms in their niche Drift Limits offer beginners drifting events and appear to be comprised of a group of good natured young lads who're trying to make a living from their hobby. Bovingdon Airfield is used for a number of ventures these days (since it ceased operating as a proper airfield); apart from the occasional light aircraft there's a market each Saturday, (a bit naff apparently) and there was an under 16's driving day going on elsewhere on the site while we were there. The Drift Limits facility is run from a couple of Portakabins which may or may not be used for other things on other days, I don't know. I do know however that there's not a female amongst them as there is no electricity to boil a kettle "too expensive", the refreshments (a source of much amusement to my friend Liz) were a packet of Digestive biscuits, a family bag of Hula-Hoops, some Ribena and a big bottle of water. Budgets didn't run to a kettle but with stereo-typical male logic in force a whole room of one Portakabin was devoted to housing a full sized pool table and nothing else. I say all this in a friendly way however as these little quirks were more charming than anything; I politely suggest they might like to pay a bit more attention to these things as they grow their business - and the loo facilities!

For most of us these experiences are a fun day out with the advantage that we might learn to control a sliding car a bit better in future; for me it's that plus I've decided to pursue it as a bit of hobby, as such I've tested out the drifting facilities at Brands Hatch (currently run by Allstars) and I'm off to Santa Pod in a few weeks to sample theirs. In my opinion Bovingdon scores over Brands driving-wise as there's more space to do more manoeuvres, (the Brands Hatch drifting school operates out of a couple of converted parking lots, albeit large ones).

To sum up my experience with Drift Limits: the instruction was good, the driving time in the cars was good too with not too much waiting around and the staff were friendly. All in all, an amazingly fun day, lovely staff, great value and I'll definitely go again.

Black Out

Posted by markjonesx in Mark Jones Blog, 27 November 2012 · 224 views

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The whole photo album, clicky; https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink

Rear boot stop adjustment

Posted by SPADGER27 in SPADGER27's Blog, 13 November 2012 · 154 views

Can any one let me know if there is a certain height the 2 metal bolts/large screw's which lock into the catches to close tailgate should be adjusted to please also the 13mm bolts with lock nuts which are part of the locking plate

More interior progress

Posted by slewthy in Slewthy's Interior resto, 18 September 2012 · 343 views

Much of the interior arrived last month from the trimmer.
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Very happy with all but the binnacle - not trimmed far enough in. To be fair, he didnt have the instruments or details of how far back it should go although he did have the original to copy.
This has been solved by fitting some alcantara I had left over from the sun-visor trim (given to me by Colin Parry - 'Choppa') After rough shaping, the edge was folded and sewn making a very neat looking thing. That now covers the top and bottom of the binnacle inside. Pics not good its all just black and doesnt show very well but for the record,
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Most of the interior refit went well apart from the fact that the old velor was squashed over 25 years or
so whereas the leather wasnt, hence a rather tight fit in places.
The gearshift gaiter was also not to my liking where it pokes through the fascia. This was solved by using a strip of scrap leather, creating a sewn bead and gluing it around the aperture.
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Now just awaiting seats and door cards.

From: Rotary Elite

Posted by Ozlotus1976 in Ozlotus1976's Blog, 30 June 2012 · 211 views

Attached Image As I am making slow progress on my build, the consideration of engines has come up. I've moved away from a V8, just being too heavy for the chassis and too much torque for the drivetrain components. My next consideration was to put in a rotary, specifically a 13b turbo2. Then I found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQl_JvKTWyY&feature=player_profilepage

Do you happen to be on this forum? If not, does anyone know this person / car? I would love to know more about the build!

Thanks!


Source: Rotary Elite

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Stealth Lotus Esprit S4 PBZ.se Edition

Posted by PBZ.se in PBZ.se, 28 June 2012 · 494 views
S4, Turbo, Esprit, Lotus, V8

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Not so long ago, we were approached by a gentleman who is really picky with his cars. He had with him a Lotus Esprit S4 V8 Twin Turbo that he had had some trouble with. Basically... the car (engine) did what it wanted to do rather than what the owner told it to do. Boost was irregular, idle was rough and high and it didn't really feel "crisp". The goal was to get decent amount of power out of the engine, but it needed to be reliable and docile.

We put together a plan and went into production mode.

The engine had been upgraded with forged internals and put together with race specifications. It would cope with more power and most importantly, have good margins to the normal daily power output. The gearbox which normally is the weak link in these cars had also been upgraded massively. This beast could take on almost anything now. And when it did, the driveshafts broke, so they were also upgraded :)

We knew that the turbo pressure hadn't been stable. The engine management was still stock and it wouldn't be able to make the most out of the engine. We decided to replace it with a Haltech PS2000 stand-alone ECU. The boost control was also taken over by the Haltech ECU as well as all the other stock sensors.

The stock injectors are not big enough for any kind of power. Even from the factory, these engines came with two additional injectors in the intake manifold to give enough fuel for the engine. We don't like those type of solutions, we want the fuel to be injected as close to the combustion chamber as possible. We removed the stock injectors and installed 8 new technology injectors with extremely fast response times, making them perfect for idle and normal daily driving. To make sure that enough fuel was supplied, we dropped in two 300L/h in-tank fuel pumps in the OEM fuel pump position inside the tank.


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The turbos were not in the best condition so we decided to upgrade them to a set of Garret T28 dual ball bearing turbos. The installation is tricky since it is very limited space. That limited space also adds to the poor intake, turbo piping and exhaust system flow from factory. There's a lot needed to be done here. We made the custom mounts and then built the rest of the airways to- and from the turbo's in order to create the best possible flow.


Due to the limited amount of space, the turbos' had to be mounted lower than the oil level in the oil sump. That meant that we had to build a complete oil scavenge system that pumps the oil away from underneath the turbo's and route them in a proper way back to the engine, as well as incorporating an oil breather system.


These engines don't have any sort cooling of the pressurized air coming out of the turbo's and into the engine. In this car, the air is directed back to the boot where a dual sided water-to-air cooling system cools the air down to an acceptable level, before being sent into the intake manifold. Here have have also made sure that the air flow and pressure is adequately stabilized between the two engine banks, in order to get an even load on both halves of the engine.


Finally, all the mechanical work had been done. Now it was time to do create the best possible engine calibration with the Haltech ECU. The calibration (tuning) was made in such a way that the car should be able to be used in any situation, from normal driving to the supermarket for groceries, as well as intensive time-attack laps on the track, without any adjustments, buttons, knobs or other tricks. It just does what you want, when you want it. A lot of effort was also put into creating the best throttle response.


In spite of all the power modifications, during normal driving, the engine was running with better fuel economy compared to factory. The new injectors make sure that precise fuel amount is injected as requested and the Haltech ECU works with the factory O2-sensors in order to automatically reach optimal fuel mixture, regardless of ambient air temperature, ambient/barometric air pressure, engine temperature etc...


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Boost pressure has been programmed to follow the throttle pedal with a linear character. Despite other high performance turbo cars, where turbo pressure comes "all in", here, if your driving with part throttle in a turn, you will only get the equivalent amount of boost as that part of the throttle represents. This gives a great driving experience and keeps the driver in control of the situation. Racers know that the key to a fast time at the track is a car that is easy to handle and that follows your commands to the smallest detail.


After tuning, at a modest 0,8bar of boost and pump gas (petrol), the engine made 500hp and 650Nm of torque. If needed, there is easily an additional 100hp to gain with more boost, and if that's not enough, change the petrol to E85 and then there's yet some more :)
The owners first impression:


Car has never run this smoothe, had this crisp throttle response and it's really fast!


I agree, this is a really nice daily driver now and LOTS of fun!

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Elite Exhaust

Posted by Reg in Reg's Blog, 03 June 2012 · 198 views

Can anyone tell me if there is a four branch manifould available for the Elite?

To A/C or not to A/C?

Posted by directordanw in I must be insane!, 15 April 2012 · 210 views

That is the question...

Another good weekend, strip down progressing slowly but steadily. Got two vacuum pods from The Nut - thank you John - which is great. Not only was one actually a block of wood, the other one split in half from rust when I took it out.

Rad fans, radiator and condenser out today. Radiator in surprisingly good nick - considering a lot of the car - would undobtedly benifit fom recoring. But the condenser literally fell to powder in my hands. And that is why I ask the question...

Many people dismiss the Lotuis Elite A/C as poor at best, most successful at using precious BHP from an already old engine. So do I restore the A/C (it's a 503, should have had it) or rebuild without it? What are the implications of not rebuilding with it - I already don't have a compresser and the pipework is kaput. My big question is how would this impact on the heating system, if at all?

Thoughts please?



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