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  • Name
    Paul Sparham
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    Elise S1
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  1. I hope I'm not posting in an incorrect section. My Elise S1 fails to start. The battery is fairly new and regularly charged. The AA could not fault the battery and suggested the starter motor is dying. My usual garage is not currently open but I read that hitting the starter motor can sometimes work, at least temporarily. The trouble is I don't know where the starter motor is in the rear bay. Could anyone tell me where to look (or even better, send me a picture) so that I can find it and have a look. Any responses would be much appreciated. Thank you, Paul
  2. Car failed on the following: Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Nearside Rear Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Offside Rear (inner) Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Offside Rear A garage I spoke to says I need a new set of dampers to address the Rod end ball joint issues. Is this correct? Many thanks
  3. I topped up the engine oil of my Elise Mk1 today with the above oil. I don't have a clue what was already in there except that the oil was changed two years ago by a reputable garage. I'm worried now about mixing oils of varied viscocity. The label on the bottle says 0W-30 but I've subsequently read that 10w-40 is recommended for the K-Series 1.8. Will I damage the engine by topping up with the only oil available at the shop? So far I haven't started the engine in case I've made a bad error.
  4. When I change to full beam the headlights go out altogether and it is alarming to be plunged into sudden darkness - even for an instant. I suspect that the problem is something to do with a fuse. I had a recent breakdown. The AA man tried to get the car started but couldn’t. It turned out to be the fuel pump which was replaced at a garage. The problem with the headlights started after the car was returned. I don’t believe in coincidences and suspect that something was damaged or pulled off either by the AA man or the garage mechanic. All the lights work including the indicators but, as stated, the main headlights go out when switching to full beam. If I flash full beam the lights stay on but nothing else happens. Any assistance would be much appreciated. Paul
  5. Hi - can anyone recommend a battery for a 1997 Elise S1? Many thanks, Paul
  6. SurreyPaul


  7. 1997 Elise - Failed Emissions Test Fast Idle CO = 0.44 (0.30) Lambda = 1.753 (0.950-1.090) Second Fast Idle CO = 0.53 Lambda = 1.222 The MOT tester was not able to say what the likely causes of failure are/were. The car had an engine rebuild including a new CAT in February 2016. Does anyone have any suggestions, please? Many thanks, Paul.
  8. OK, I've just whipped outside and taken some shots. As I mentioned, the car has been hit three times in the past ten years, the last time being in September 2015 when a 4x4 reversed into me. When I lived in Effingham I became acquainted with a drinking companion at The Plough, Martin Sheward, who is a fibreglass and carbon-fibre specialist doing work, amongst others, for F1 teams. Just how he manages each time to restore the bodywork so that it is absolutely perfect remains a mystery - at least to me. The side you see in the picture was smashed up in 2006, but you wouldn't believe it. Constant defensive driving against other, larger vehicles and pothole avoidance has taken some of the pleasure out of owning a small sports car, but I still love it, and the comfort is second to none.
  9. I’ve been posting here awhile but haven’t yet introduced myself. I’m Paul from Surrey with a 1997 Lotus Elise, which was a 50th birthday present from me to me in 1999. Since then I’ve had some happy days at Goodwood and have clocked up over 90,000 miles of driving fun - notwithstanding a few frustrating mechanical problems and heavy expense along the way. Alas, the greatest impediments to driving pleasure these last 10 years are the increasingly potholed roads of Surrey and the proliferation of huge off-road 4x4s, which are now everywhere. But despite being hit three times by Chelsea Tractors on their school run my car has always been lovingly restored and after seventeen years still looks as bright and fresh as when I first bought it. I have just applied the soft top’s annual renovation and polished the body work, leaving it gleaming like a mirror. It also has a new engine supplied by Ivor Searle. All that is required now is some sunshine for balmy summer days and trips to coast and country. I have a congenital back problem and the seat of the Elise is the only one that provides complete comfort so it seems I’m stuck with it until such time as I am unable to climb in ☺ and hope to continue enjoying it for the foreseeable future. Looking forward to receiving words of mechanical wisdom from the gurus here. Paul
  10. Thank you for your replies. Unfortunately I don’t have anything with which to jack-up the rear wheels, but there is no noise that I can hear when driving. I took it for a short run and then checked the heat from each wheel. The rear nearside was very hot. Moreover the copper grease, so evident on the offside, has dried up. I don’t believe in coincidence either. The brakes were fine until I had the rear pads replaced. Now the nearside brake pad is sticking to the rotor (I assume) and the car hardly moves at times. The level of sluggishness, however, is intermittent. When the pads were replaced there was no report that the shims are corroded or the brake hose was worn but something is causing the calliper to seize. I spent a lot of time today researching the likely cause of sticking after new brake pads have been fitted. Many cases refer to mechanics accidentally damaging or twisting the rubber boot around the piston or those around the brake caliper bolts. Perhaps this is the problem, but further investigation from a mechanic is necessary. The garage is about ten miles away. Is it safe enough, if I drive slowly, to make the journey? Or am I likely to cause damage?
  11. I took my S1 Elise in to have new rear brake pads fitted on Tuesday, 5th April at Bell & Colvill in Surrey. Driving back home there was no problem. Using it again on Friday I noticed that the car wasn't accelerating, but the problem was fleeting. Taking it out again on Saturday there was no mistaking the fact that the brake pads are sticking. It's like I'm depressing the brakes and the accelerator pedal at the same time. It was so bad that the car ground to a halt despite not touching the pedals. Obviously I have to take the car back again (if I can struggle there) but I'd like to be armed, if possible, with some advice. Although I might be told that I now need yet more work done (the expense seems never ending) It seems too much of a coincidence that braking was fine before I had the new pads fitted. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
  12. Is it possible to glean something about an engine's history from the reference number? Mine is RS118131. Thanks.
  13. Yes B&C are very good which is why I've used them for 17 years. (Andy even gave me a lift back home on Friday evening, which was a nice gesture). However, I have spoken to Jez at Back on Track (never heard of them before now) and can now rely on a second opinion. Provided that the valves are bent and have not punctured the top of the piston, the engine is repairable. So, there is hope.
  14. The garage has done nothing yet except to tell me what I already knew from the AA. This morning I gave permission for them to strip the engine looking for damage, but was warned that this will cost me money (£468.75 when this was done in 2003). I guess that what I am digging for is whether I'm going to be paying money to be told that the engine is not repairable when that money could be used to buy a new car. Obviously the damage won't be known until it's stripped, but I wonder what the statistical likelihood of repair is, based on experience. My Elise is my only car and I rely on it for my income so can't afford to wait months or even weeks while a suitable replacement engine is found. Thank you. I will call immediately.
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