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Everything posted by neal

  1. Plus the existing stock of their previous range runs out, e.g. Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 fronts, Toyo Proxes T1-R rears.
  2. It's becoming tricky to get the V8 sizes if you want them to match front and rear. As a result of endless trend of larger rims and lower profile tyres, when the manufacturers release their new range they drop these old sizes. But if you change to the S350 sizes (235/40/R17 and 295/35/R18) you can get Bridgestone Potenza RE050A or Michelin PS2 but will pay a lot for a set of four -
  3. The Fireblade 7 would runs circles around a 1.8 Zetec both in terms of acceleration and handling. It would be more than a match for anything up to a well tuned 2.0 XE.
  4. In terms of useability a bike engined 7 has a much more sensitive biting point on the clutch and a much lighter flywheel. So you need to be very precise with the clutch and throttle to pull away smoothly. Otherwise you'll: a) stall b) rev the nuts off the engine but not go anywhere c) disappear in a screaming cloud of tyre smoke Of course with practise it should become second nature, but it you're struck in traffic or pottering around town a car engine is easier and more forgiving.
  5. Certainly the ECM can be reprogrammed using the OBDII port. After all that's how Lotus provide the S350 upgrade. But it can't be done with the standard OBDII protocol. It would have to use Lotus's own proprietory 'back door' protocol to access the ECM at a lower level. Of course if someone has cracked that then it would be possible.
  6. Mine was an early pre-litigaton narrow bodied Westfiled with a 4.5 gallon fuel tank - you'd have to be taking to really easy to scape 100 miles out of it. But that was part of the fun, blasting past a load of traffic then pulling into a garage further down the road. One of the cars I overtook would pull in behind me and be baffled that it only took 20 quid to fill the tank to the brim! But you don't want a 16 gallon tank in a 500kg car. That's like carrying around another person all the time.
  7. I owned and used a Seven as my only car and daily commute for five years - sun, rain or snow - so it can be done. But a windscreen and sidescreens make a huge different to the comfort factor especially on motorways. Often the bike engined sevens only have a small aerofoil which helps a little but realistically you'd have to wear a helmet to avoid going deaf and blind from the wind buffeting. Another thing is that no matter how fast it feels you will inevitably want more power as some point. But unlike car engines, bike engines are pretty much tuned to the max out of the box. So although you may pick up a Fireblade engined car for a bit less, in the long run it's a false economy - try to stretch your budget to a Hayabusa to start with. You can pick up a second hand Westfield Megabusa for close to 10k these days. Best place to look is here: Then factor in a few hundred quid for a windscreen and sidescreens and you'll have many happy hours motoring. For a summer blast around some B roads nothing can beat the raw nimble experience - not even dare I say it, an Esprit
  8. Six long hard years. But worth every penny!
  9. neal

    LEF Track evening

    In general evening events are less desirable than day events and sessioned events are less desirable that open-pitlane events. So I think LoT would have problems filling the remaining spaces if it were a sessioned evening event. Unless they did it for a seriously knock down price. But it's really not a big deal if we have to share an open-pitlane event. It's more interesting to have other cars out on track to see how they compare (even within the Elise/Exige world these is a huge variation between say the S1s and the Honda supercharged conversion S2s). Plus out of all the track day clubs, the LoT members are the most courteous - the fast cars aren't aggresive in trying to get past you and the slow cars pull over and let you past quickly. The other thing is that an open-pitlane event would be much better for the Esprits with overheating brakes. Whilst the lightweight Elises can go around all day, an Esprits might only last ten minutes before the brakes overheat. If it's a sessioned event you would have to come in an let the brakes cool and then wait for the next Esprit session. So you could lose up to half the available track time. But if it's open-pitlane you can go out immediately again once the brakes have cooled.
  10. neal

    LEF Track evening

    I'd certainly be interested. Brands noise limits are: Indy day - 105dB Indy evening - 102dB GP day - 101dB GP evening - unavailable They're less strict than some tracks (particularly on the Indy circuit) so if you're around the 102dB limit, it should be okay. With a V8 you should just about manage 102dB with a sports exhaust but straight pipes would be pushing it. Obviously it would be great if it were Esprits only, but it's not the end of the world if we have to share. It's open pit lane so won't affect your track time and Brands Indy is pretty hard on the brakes anyway, so you'll probably find these overheating is the limiting factor. Also, the seriously exotic track cars don't usually attend track evenings so there shouldn't be anything else too intimidating. One thing though, track day insurance (if it's included with your road policy or as a one off policy to cover the event) usually only covers events which are organised by a recognised track day outfit (and some are even stricter - be sure to check). You mentioned LoT - would they organise it for us? Or could we go through MSV directly - I know they organise events for clubs? Also, they could provide instuctors for people to book sessions with.
  11. If you're interested I'd strongly recommend a couple of books: Very good biography Detailed account of the 66/67 attempt at Conniston. Also includes an good explanation of what happened by Ken Norris (the guy who co-designed Bluebird K7) - simple physics, no theories on hitting debris, engine cut-out, etc. Even though I was very young, I too remember the Anthony Hopkins drama Across The Lake. Shame it's not been repeated or released on video/DVD since. Apparently the BFI hold the rights. Plenty more info here:
  12. Gordon Murray will not be happy! Not only is the F1's successor a turbo, but it must be running serious boost to manage 160 bhp / litre. I assume they're using some very clever variable vane turbos or the lag would be terrible. Ideally it would have an anti-lag system but that would be prohibitively expension on a car costing a 'mere'
  13. Last I heard: There is the restoration site but it's not really up to date:
  14. So are you saying the 550 Maranello wheels have the same PCD and hub diameter as the stock Lotus wheels? Not that you're likely to get a set cheap on ebay (unless the donor car is now up on bricks!) but I'm interested in options to increase the brake disc diameter, particularly the fronts (320 - 330mm is about as far as you can go with the standard 17 inch wheels).
  15. Happy birthday Mike - keep working those engines!
  16. I've only done this my Alfa but do you have a space saver wheel (i.e. spare)? Because these are just pressed steel they usually fit around the hub. So you can put the spare on and still get at the wheel nut with your socket. If that's the case put the spare on and lower the car back onto the ground. Then with it in first gear and someone standing on the brake pedal, give it a go.
  17. That would explain why the S350 lower front spoiler is missing from you car! Mine's a little lower than stock, approx 165 mm, and the bottom of S350 rubber lip is only 50mm or so off the ground. If fitted, yours would be practically scraping along. Machining the platforms would be a lot of hassle so I reckon someone has fitted shorter springs, or softer springs of the same length (though the second option would be a bizarre way of lowering a car since obviously it could bottom out onto the road!)
  18. When people think of Top Gear most just consider the cars and the presenters. It's easy to forget just how fabulous the production is - sweeping landscapes, great camerawork, editing and fantastic soundtracks. Also, with the massive choice of cars available these days it would be impossible to focus on everyday cars. Even if you were to concentrate on a single class of car you still wouldn't be able to cover all the main players in a TV show - even magazines struggle to do that. And it would be hideously boring for everyone not wishing to buy that class of car in the near future. So they have to focus on supercars since everyone can enjoy them, even if no one can afford them. But you can't just focus on supercars since by their very nature they're aren't many around. Plus they wouldn't seem super for long if they were going through five a show. Which is why they need the 'challenges' with lots of cocking around. I agree that, particularly with this series, they've forcing it more or rehashing old ground rather than just being spontaneous. But there have been some great moments this series, e.g. James trying to quietly park his teenagers car with the stereo banging away. But my favourite has to be their challenge of who can sit in a car for longest in the baking sun with the windows up, aircon off and heating on full. Clarkson bottled it at 62'C - probably cost them 10p to film but was simply inspired.
  19. Gatwick to Heathrow is not that far by road. Unlike the train into centre of London then out again and you'd have to haul you cases around the tube. Plus it would be 30-40 quid per person. So I'd go for the coach or taxi. Since there's two of you, you might find a (pre-booked, non airport) taxi not much more expensive than two tickets on the coach...
  20. Yep, almost certainly clockwise to stiffen. But to be sure turn both fronts fully anticlockwise then bounce one of the front corners hard. If it goes up and down like a Caddilac when you release the corner, you know they're at their softest setting. Similarly if you adjust them to the hardest setting it will be much more difficult to push the corner down and when you release it, it will return slowly to to the level position without overshooting.
  21. I'd certainly recommend Sinclaire's, used them exclusively for a few years. Because of the track day tole, they've done some major work on my V8, e.g. new engine, new gearbox, new turbos (twice), new radiator, etc. Plus all the usual servicing (including cambelts).
  22. thats a great shot EBORA. I think the Evora is a car that looks far more stunning in the flesh and some photos don't do it justice but I like that angle you've captured there.
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