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  1. The tensioner and cable should sit within the front and rear channels.
  2. Okay, for anyone reading this thread, the key to getting the HVAC panel out is to not remove the two screws under the dash. Leaving them in is necessary - as it keeps the HVAC Panel and its support structure correctly aligned. To remove the HVAC panel, gently apply downward pressure on the top edge of the panel, about a centimetre from either end, whilst pulling slightly forward to unlatch the hidden clip - then repeat on the other side as there are two clips in total. Sliding a credit card into the gap at the top edge might help prevent the clip from re-engaging at this point. Whilst the clips are unlatched, you need to simultaneously wriggle and slide the HVAC Panel housing directly towards the rear of the car - keeping it level throughout. Some significant “persuasion” may be necessary as the HVAC panel is tightly engaged with the support panel; provided that the lower screws remain in-place, with application of sufficient force, the panel will “slide” off the support panel - the latter remaining captive within the trough. Once out, you’ll note that their are two longitudinal slots on the bottom of the HVAC Panel housing that engage (are an interference fit) with the edges of the captive support panel. If you do subsequently remove the support panel, you should note that each screw has a nylon washer/spacer between the aluminium trough and the plastic support panel. This needs to be replaced as found. Replacement of the HVAC panel is essentially the reverse process - aligning the edges of the support panel with the slots in the underside of the HVAC Panel - wriggling and sliding (actually more akin to heavy persuasion than sliding) the panel back into place. Finally, on the top edge of the panel, push back and up to reseat the clips. Having removed the panel, I managed to confirm that the backlight is indeed an EL backlight, positioned on the front side of a thick aluminium plate. All panel switches and rotary controls pass through the backlight panel and the backplate. In my case, reseating the relevant connectors did not resolve the backlight issue - suggesting that either the inverter module, located on the back of a PCB mounted on the back of the aluminium panel, may have failed - or the circuit that drives the inverter from the Instrument Pack is itself faulty. More investigation will be necessary. It is worth noting that the inverter module circuitry and EL backlight are represented as a single “lamp” symbol on the Lotus circuit diagrams!
  3. Thanks for the replies. As I said, all used to work - with variable backlight controlled via the dimmer. Kristof - screws are already out, but nothing budges. Can you expand upon what/where/direction to apply pressure to release the clips? I’m reluctant to get to feisty without knowing the “knack”. From experience, I known that some bits of trim can be fragile. Update - with screws out, the top two clips have been located and unclipped. The panel housing (part #7 in Section 14.05 of the parts list) seems to be somehow fixed to the curved support section (#8) that sits below the control panel housing (into which the two screws, already removed, engage). The parts listing shows the support section and the control panel housing to be two distinct separate parts, but not a clue on how they are fixed together. Unless they can be separated, I can’t see how it will ever be extracted as a single unit - and until its out, you can’t reach the connectors inside the housing.
  4. Yes. It has always previously been lit, with variable brightness - until now! The Lotus circuit diagrams indicate that the panel is fed directly from the main instrument cluster. I am hopeful that it’s simply a dry joint - in the HVAC panel - that can be fixed. However, I have to get the panel out to fault-find - hence my question here...
  5. Hi folks - can anyone provide some guidance on removing the HVAC Control Panel assembly from an Exige S? This assembly appears to be one something that the otherwise very thorough Service Manual doesn’t provide any indication at all as to how it is fitted - or how to remove it from should controls need to be repaired. The heater control panel backlight seems to have completely failed. Despite turning the dash illumination to maximum, to ensure that power is reaching the panel, my heater controls remain as dark as soot. As is, in the dark, you can’t see where the control knobs are positioned.
  6. Don’t forget, the reason for running a semi-synthetic oil is to encourage initial wear and fully bed the piston rings to the cylinders; this maximises compresion and engine power - and reduces blow-by gasses reaching the sump. Changing the running-in oil too early, to a full synthetic, is detrimental to the engine. The manual recomends 1k - 1.5k miles with max RPM being limited to 4K.
  7. The modern VW (TFSI) engines do seem to use a fair amount of oil - requiring regular monitoring and top-up. My Scirocco, from new, has always used about 1L/2k miles. By contrast, the Toyota powered Loti generally appear to be very frugal and not require any topping-up between services. Both my 2010 Elise SC and 2014 Exige have [touching wood] never appeared to use any oil at all between annual services.
  8. Yup - that’s the one. You’ll need to create an account - and part with your credit card details 🙂
  9. Having checked the service notes, you might be able to partially disassemble without complete removal....
  10. You’ll have to remove the entire wing mirror/pylon from the door frame. The only part you can unclip is the mirror glass from the mirror housing.
  11. Check the spade connector that feeds the starter solenoid; these seem to corrode. Speaking from personal experience, having spent some hours testing the battery, circuits and control relays, I can attest to the fact that corroded/dry joint on the solenoid will cause intermittent starting problems. You should be able to reach the solenoid connections through the left side of the engine bay. The solenoid is located above the gearbox towards the firewall.
  12. Another observation within this thread where some contributors appear to advocate unlawful behaviour - display of a malformed or undersize number plate is a greater offence (with higher penalties) than not displaying a plate at all...
  13. I guess the plinth/bracket - and its bolts - fell off as well 🙂
  14. Imteresting. You’ve added-back a few grams of paint that Lotus “saved” in their “lightweight lab” (cost saving). The original Exige pig-snout was intenally painted black from the factory 🙂
  15. It’s a different mointing arrangement. Your Exige has a number plate plinth screwed on below the lower edge of the radiator air intake. By contrast, the 410 has a metal grille incorporating a totally different number plate mounting - and the grille is bonded to the clamshell. To move the number plate, you’d have to improvise an attachment point.
  16. If the high-pitched noise is from the engine bay, then it is likely to be from the throttle actuator (stepper motor) on the throttle body. On most Exiges, the noise from the throttle housing is usually most evident when the ignition is ON - but with the engine NOT running; the whine stops as soon as you turn-off the ignition. Most of us owners have had our hearing so wrecked by the noise from the engine/exhaust (or wind roar with the roof off) that we’re half deaf anyway - or we’re sufficiently old that, due to natural aging, we can’t hear high pitched noise 🙂
  17. All A/C systems will lose some gas over time. If I recall correctly, assuming no faults, Lotus recommend initial re-gas of the system at 3 years - then every 2 years thereafter. If you’ve run 5 years without servicing the system, then you’ve already done well.
  18. Nice car! The Nautilus Blue is a great colour - and the gunmetal wheels set it off far better than the Silver. Aims, Matt and the Tech’s at Silverstone will certainly look after you.
  19. Stewart. Good to hear that you found the drawing useful. By all accounts, the moulding falling off the roof is not an uncommon occurrence. The double-sided tape sticks very well to the smooth roof panel, but very poorly to the rubber seal. The positioning/orientation of the detached seal isn’t at all obvious; the seal, designed for an entirely different application, isn’t intended to be used as Lotus have done. The channel formed by the flexible steel carrier is designed to be pressed into place over a lip - and is sunsequently held in place on the lip by the backward-pointing rubber ridges/barbs - whereas the creative folks at Lotus have instead elected to “stick” the molding onto the roof panel with double-sided tape. With the roof installed, the seal is nominally kept in place by lateral pressure. Once removed, the adhesive on the tape relaxes its grip on the rubber - and it falls off. The squeeking you describe is likely the hard contact points at the outboard rear latch points. Squeeking from these points is again not uncommon - and is relatively easy to fix. If this is the source, simply stck some felt tape on the inside of the roof before fitting. Here is a picture of where the felt (green) needs to be placed:
  20. Not only do we need to consider noise on track, but now on the roads too. This caught my eye earlier today:
  21. Try downloading all the service documentation for your Elise from the Lotus VSIC website ( You have to both register and then purchase a time-limited subscription - but you can download a LOT (if not all) of the documentation for your Elise within an hour (£13). Armed with this, you’ll have all the information that you could possibly need. Hope this nugget helps.
  22. If you install the “comfort connector” directly to the battery terminals of the battery, you can put the CTEK in the weather-proof boot - and simply run a mains extension cable into the boot. There is adequate give/clearance in the boot seal - and gap between the tailgate and clamshell - to accommodate the cable. Doing this allows you to connect the charger when the car is outside. Weatherproof and simple 🙂
  23. This looks like a great project to replace the poor platic OE plate, but I have a question...: If you are starting with a hard-anodised (black) Aluminium plate, and then CNC milling the design, are you protecting the machined surfaces from corrosion? With bare aluminium being a naturally highly reactive surface, any exposed surface will rapidly oxidise to a dull powder.
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