Quite a few people have messaged me over the years asking about the different mods I have done to the car so thought it was time for a build thread. A little background first. I had 2008 Cayman S Sport which I loved however the horror stories of the IMS issues and other oil related issues scared me from tracking it much. The plan was to find something that both my dad and I could track regularly but still drive to and from tracks without having to worry about trailers etc. This led us to B&C and to Jamie who helped us into our first Lotus, a 350 Sport in Essex Blue. We collected her in June 2016 and haven’t looked back.
After our first few track days we realised the car had so much more potential. Our first step was the brakes, the stock pads just weren’t up to scratch, they overheat so quickly, so they were changed to Performance Friction 08. Next came bigger discs, we opted for the Seriously Lotus big front disk upgrade which combined with the new pads really transformed the car.
We recently added the Elise-shop Aluminium rear brake discs, will report back on how they go.
The next step was to address the handling, most of the forum guys rave about the Nitron 3 way setup, so that’s what we went for. Hoffman’s did the sourcing, spring rates and install along with a track geo setup. I have to say pound for pound this is the best upgrade you can do to these cars, the grip available from a properly setup suspension is incredible. It’s more comfortable on the road than stock but a few clicks at the track and it stiffens right up and the grip is mega.
To compliment our new brakes and suspension some carbon trinketry was required. We decided on the Eltech Italia race front splitter and rear wing. They arrived within a few weeks and the quality was very high. We felt the front splitter needed some extra support so ordered some carbon support rods from a company in the US. We then sourced an aluminum bar and steel bracket to attach it to the front towing post, then cut the hole in the front grill. I drove our car back to back at Spa with a friend of ours 350 (their car was identical in parts and Hoffmans setup just without any additional aero, our aero definitely made a difference both in lap time and feeling. Through the faster sections it just felt more planted, giving more confidence to push on.
The next step was to add a little lightness in the rear by removing the existing battery, there are a number of well tested lithium battery options, but who wants something guaranteed to work, no fun in that. After many hours researching I decided on the Aliant YLP 30 battery sold by Deamon Tweeks. It cost £265, weighs 1.7kg a solid saving over the stock battery and bracket at 19kg. The next problem was how to attach it, the existing bracket is heavy and will not accommodate the new battery so some fabrication was in order. I managed to source an aluminum plate cut to the exact dimensions of the battery, then glued a thin layer of foam for padding then strapped it with two heavy duty Velcro straps. I check it now and again and it hasn’t budged an inch. It is on trickle all of the time in the garage but it has had about 12 days off the charger whilst the car was being transported back from Portimao and sat in a warehouse for a few days, pleased to say it fired up first time.IMG_4728.HEIC
We then enjoyed the car for a few years, taking her to Portimao, Ascari, Spa etc. However, it always felt underpowered and the heat soak at tracks like Portimao and Spa was very noticeable. We had a great day at a LOT Goodwood day, however the clutch let go just after lunch so that was the end of that. The Surrey Exige’s guys recommended speaking to Back On Track in Guildford about a new clutch and having them increase the power. In the car went to Sam and Jez for a new 410 spec clutch, flywheel and Komotec gearbox cooler. The old clutch had shattered, not very impressive given the car had only done circa 5k miles, but the added weight of my 105kg (bulk) ballast probably did not help.
Next step was power, after much deliberation and chat on forums and groups it was down to either the 430/410 supercharger package or the Charge-cooled TVS1900, in the end we went with the SSC CCTVS1900, Komotec y-pipe and manifolds, Moroso baffled sump and SCS Delta ECU. The car was delivered to BOT on March 11th with the hope it would only take 4 weeks or so for everything to arrive, but this was not to be (thanks COVID). The supercharger and original SSC manifolds and link pipe were sent in two boxes, the supercharger sat in the depot in at Sydney airport for over 4 weeks, then enjoyed a short stay in Europe for another week or so and the manifolds disappeared never to be seen again. BOT waited another week or so as SSC said they were en-route, this turned out not to be true so more lost time. BOT then ordered the Komotec manifolds and link pipe, no problem they said, will be with you by next week, sadly this was also not to be, they had run out of stock so had to have them made and shipped – another few weeks lost. Eventually they arrived and the car is off to SCS Delta for fitment of the ECU and tuning on Monday (12th July). Sam and Jez at Back on Track have been fantastic throughout, calmly explaining the situation at each step, despite me calling/texting every other day asking for an update. It was a series of unfortunate events completely out of their control.
I will report back once the car is back from the mappers with hp figures and more importantly what it feels like going from 350 hp (ish) to approximately 500hp!
Some pictures wouldn't post, gave the error that they were larger than 9.77mb, which they aren't. I'll keep trying but any advice appreciated.