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Car Blogs

Happy Christmas From HiFi Lounge & Highend Headphones!

Posted by Vipers in Vipers' Lotus and HiFi Blog, 20 December 2014 · 5 views

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Hi all,

Both Wendy and myself just wanted to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year and also to thank everyone for their fantastic support throughout 2014.

It really has been a bit of a mad year with quite a few open days which are always great fun, with definitely more to come in 2015, plus Wendy giving up her job as a computer engineer after 15 years to come on board and not to mention launching our second shop “Highend Headphones’, but obviously none of that would be possible without the support of our great customers so a big thanks.

There have been some great new products launched throughout 2014 and with the announcement yesterday of the Devialet Phantom it looks like 2015 is going to be another brilliant year for new kit. Talking of new kit, we have just agreed to bring on a new brand in January, I always wanted to offer 3 Turntable brands at HiFi Lounge so I’m really pleased by the third brand which will be joining Rega and Michell shortly, more news in January.

For a change I won’t go on too long, but once again we want to wish everyone a Great Christmas and look forward to seeing everyone in 2015.

Oh yes, as I mentioned in our last newsletter, we had a very special guest pop in the other day looking for some headphones for his trip around the world next week, we sneaked a few pictures below when he wasn’t looking, luckily we have quite a lot of Christmas songs on our server but funnily enough he just kept listening to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Santa Clause is Coming To Town’ :-)

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Then he caught us looking :-)

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Have a Great Christmas & New Year,

Best Wishes,

Paul & Wendy.

Ea Sports Is To Release Impressive Tiger Woods Golfing Video Game

Posted by Almafutyh in Almafutyh's Blog, 20 December 2014 · 5 views

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Quality Sports Games Created By Ea Sports

Posted by Hihelo12 in Hihelo12's Blog, 20 December 2014 · 6 views

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Posted by Cecilia146zll99 in Cecilia146zll99's Blog, 06 December 2014 · 18 views

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Posted by yokoyama in yokoyama's Blog, 03 December 2014 · 22 views

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Accidentally found some Eclat Sprint wheels...(soooo lucky!)

Posted by LOTUSPOINT in LOTUSPOINT's Blog, 08 August 2014 · 107 views

As written in title, I found some of the most rare factory fitted Eclat wheels.
The problem was, the seller knew that too!

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Even though I had to buy them - and paid what he was asking for :huh:

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And now I' m able to give some new knowlege about these wheels...
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Road trip

Posted by jonny english in jonny english's Blog, 07 August 2014 · 85 views

Road trip 19 Hr drive, 5 day trip through the Canadian Rockies,!
Its amazing how much camping gear you can cram into an elise.

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excel restoration

Posted by john genders in john genders' Blog, 21 July 2014 · 101 views

so 21/7/2014 this is were I stand to date 3 rear brake pipes to fit then the body is going back on then its of to my mates paint booth which I borrowing for a few days for a full inside and out black basecoat and five coats of clear coat, followed by a trip to the upholsters for a full black leather interior in carpets and head liner

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noisy elise above 69mph

Posted by lola in lola's Blog, 16 July 2014 · 98 views

has anyone any idea what may cause chatter noise from under elise caused by chattering between the two floor pans, should these two be connected together in the middle?

More removals

Posted by DaveyT in DaveyT's Blog, 10 July 2014 · 98 views

My anticipated 5 full days of Lotus prep was slightly compromised by the need to investigate an extraction issue in the spray booth, followed by removing the motor and sending it off for a rewind, but we still managed a fair bit of progress thanks to the help available on here.

Firstly, thanks to Giorgio (Ghe67) and Simon (Slewthy), G for the offer of the water pump kit, and S for hospitality and a good look round his nicely sorted '85 s3.

Having had three sets of people look at the pump and variously decline to try and take it apart - the first was going to use a hammer, so I swiped it back pronto, I've decide to leave it to SJs and go with the standard carbon seal.

So with the lump out already, it was off with the cowling to replace the foil lining and allow acces to the tanks. Getting the captive nuts off was much easier with two of us, one working from underneath, then the inside surface were sanded down a bit before epoxying on the new foil lining - following Buddsy's Asda extra thick foil tip.
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Q: anyone omitted the sound proofing on reinstallation? Is it advisable or does it make driving less pleasant? There's overall kilo of weight to be saved here...
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Time will tell if the epoxy withstands heat better than HT contact adhesive, but if it needs doing again, at least getting the cowling off will be easier with the new approach to captive studs:

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A flexible ice cube tray used to mould m6x30 stainless sets set in epoxy should make future removals simple. Each stud will be glued into the channel with PU adhesive.

So with the cowling off, it was time to attempt the tanks. Pretty straightforward from this state, but unfortunately n/s tank has had it (note the dark patches by the top L & R seams where fuel has leaded thro):
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But drivers side is undergoing refurb with rustbuster epoxy treatments
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Waddington airshow provided the entertainment for the weekend, but grabbing the camera in time was a bit of a challenge..
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Bodywork progresses slowly alongside the mech stuff, with the gel cracks being cut back, filled and glassed over with a hard epoxy gel.
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But once coated, it's a 5 day wait before it's cured enough to sand back properly
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Final task for this session was to remove the front bumper before the respray. What a pig! Even referring to previous posts on the subject and the placement of the access grommets etc, the process went as follows:
1 remove bonnet from hinges
2 remove pod to wing pivot bolts
3 cut R clip on inside of bonnet hinge as the straight leg had been bent over
4 slide out hinge pins
5 remove headlight units to get the wiring free
6 take out the grommets & undo the side bumper nuts
7 get the magnetic tool & retrieve the lost washers
8 stand back watch the august OTR date slip to 2015

We're it not for the respray, I'd have followed someone else's idea of cutting a 40mm hole under the bumper screws and getting to the that way. Who knows, I may still do that...anyhow, to the pics
Grommet holes line up nicely with bolts
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1235G indicates that no serious front end damage has ever needed repair
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Laid bare for painting
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Evenings were used to work some leather-food into the slightly dry upholstery. Seat on left has been treated:

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And that's it til October...plenty of bits to source in the meantime

Rear valance mesh

Posted by Neil Potter in Neil's Esprit Turbo refurb, 24 April 2014 · 127 views

April 2014

The mesh at the rear of the car has always bugged me. It's nice, woven steel mesh rather than the cutout alloy stuff. Sadly though, it's not stainless and after 26 years on the car, looks pretty rusty. Originally it was painted a satin black I understand. There are two pieces - one large and one small, either side of the exhaust, though my smaller piece was missing. Both are held in with alloy pop rivets.

Last year I had a go with a wire brush followed by some brush-on Hammerite, which improved matters only slightly and I knew I'd have to revisit it if it was ever to look vaguely smart again.

Sourcing the mesh

I got the mesh from here: http://www.themeshcompany.com. They have a massive selection of mesh in different metals and with different gauges/apertures etc. I'ver lost the receipt, but I'm pretty sure I went for stainless mesh with 3.33mm aperture and 0.9mm wire diameter. Cost about £50 for the smallest available quantity, and as you only need about a fifth of that it's worth a group buy. I still have some left if anyone wants some and doesn't mind picking it up from Oxford!

Shaping the mesh

I removed the old mesh by drilling out the pop rivets using and a right-angled stubby drill bit. I managed to get the rivets to spin before they fell apart, creating scratches around the old hole and leading to me using bigger pop rivets to fit the new mesh.

Use the old mesh to cut and shape the new mesh. It needs two bends, one a right angle and the other about 45 degrees. I used a spare plank to clamp the cut mesh to a workmate, and a mallet to bash the bends into it.

The smaller bit requires the same bends, but from looking at original parts has a curve cut into it to accommodate the exhaust pipe gap, which is then edged with some kind of rubber. I simply cut a straight edge, and it looks OK.

Try fitting the parts to the car before painting; you'll probably have to bend things around a bit more, especially on the smaller piece.

Paint it black...

I looked into a few options for making the mesh the required satin black. I'm aware that it's not particularly easy to paint stainless steel. Tempting as it was to leave it unpainted, it would be quite striking, not quite in keeping with the subtle look of the car and not as Hethel intended.

I looked at chemical blacking, but wasn't sure that the finish would be satin rather than glossy. I didn't go for powder coating in the end, simply for the inconvenience of taking an awkward, sharp bit of mesh to get treated. I thought I'd try etch priming and a spray can of satin black enamel, and see what happened:

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The results, after several coats of the primer and several coats of paint, were quite good, here's my test mesh:

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After a month on the car, I haven't noticed any chips as yet.


This was my introduction to pop riveting. You will need 4.8mm alloy rivets with a much longer shank than you think - the best ones I found were 12mm I think. I went for large flanged ones to hide some of the scratches on the valance, with the result that I have large silver discs to paint over at some point, but actually they don't look too bad.

The most difficult bits are all the lower rivets, as they don't have the outward-facing angle which allows you to get the rivet tool in. It's doable, but only just.

Here's the end result, much smarter if you can ignore my wonky-looking exhaust:

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3.15.14 Spring outing

Posted by v8vantage in v8vantage's Blog, 16 March 2014 · 169 views


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.


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.


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.


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Frame ready for the painted body!

Posted by vintaylor in vintaylor's Blog, 16 March 2014 · 241 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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Damper failed

Posted by andydclements in E 906 return to the road, 02 February 2014 · 258 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 · 216 views


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 .


Lotus Espirit Turbo 1983

Posted by alexander28 in alexander28's Blog, 04 December 2013 · 413 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 ??


Air Conditioning

Posted by andydclements in G945 LVG returns to the road, 21 July 2013 · 390 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 · 353 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.

Drifting Day at Bovingdon Airfield

Posted by Roz Bennetts in Roz Bennetts' Blog, 01 December 2012 · 929 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 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.

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.

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