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Everything posted by Paul_D

  1. I never drove my Exige 410 on track without harnesses, but I imagine it is hard work due to the cornering and braking forces. It feels so much nicer compared to driving all my previous cars on track with normal belts. At the end of the day, HANS is his choice. Plenty of people use harnesses without HANS, and the Schroth harness for the Exige / Elise do have ASM technology which makes them act slightly more like a normal seat belt in an accident. It's designed for anti-submarining, but it does have the advantage of reducing the 'snap' of the head to a certain extent. Any particular reason why he's reluctant to use a HANS device? Too much faff? Feels too restricted?
  2. Had a trip over to @Hangar 111 for an alignment check and adjustment today. The main purpose was to get a bit more camber put on the front for less understeer on track, but it's always good to have the settings checked on a car you've bought. Arrived first thing and they got the car on the machine. Despite only being a couple of years old, the rear toe links were seized and were therefore a bit of a pain. As for the settings, well the initial settings were pretty much as you'd expect apart from one front toe was quite a way out. The car had way more toe out than you would expect. Here are the initial and final results: On the drive home the car felt completely different. I had assumed the amount of 'wandering' and steering wheel tugging around over poor surfaces was just how this car was. Obviously that wasn't true, because on my 40 mile journey home I didn't feel it do that at all. The car just felt planted and stable, and I didn't need both hands on the wheel to keep the thing from darting around all over the place. In conclusion, I highly recommend getting your alignment checked out, even if you want standing settings. You never know had bad it is, and how much it's affecting the drivability of the car.
  3. Wow, that’s going to look pretty extreme. I can’t wait to see it all finished. I haven’t been so excited for new videos to be uploaded this much since Project Binky the mini!
  4. I read Jason Plato's book this week. He said he met Michael at the Race of Champions. Thought he would be quite boring. They ended up drunk and ripping peoples clothes off them together...
  5. If anybody is thinking about an LED upgrade, I've just done a short write up on the Philips Ultinon Pro 9000 bulbs.
  6. Yesterday I had a go at addressing one of the few things about the Exige with is sub standard - the headlights. After looking at some threads on here, I decided that I wanted to give LED bulbs a try. I know there are cheaper options available from a few places, but I wanted to play it safe with something from a known manufacturer. After a bit of research I purchased a set of these: My thinking is that they should have hopefully developed them to have an OEM type beam pattern, and the 5 year warranty gives some peace of mind. These newer versions do not have a separate ballast box to worry about. Fitting was fairly straight forward with two points of note. If installed straight out of the box, the bulb will be in the wrong orientation. The light should be shining left / right and not up / down. As you may be able to tell from the photo above, the bulb have a little allen bolt which you screw in, and can then rotate the holder until the bulb is aligned as required. The second issue once fitted is that the dust cap no longer fits. A larger one from ebay has been ordered to try and resolve that. So how does it perform? I took some photos of the car parked in front of my garage with the OEM bulbs. This was mainly to get a record of the original beam pattern as much as to try and record the brightness. The bulbs were then fitted and I took a second set of photos. The car had not been moved, and I used an app to lock the exposure and shutter speed of my iphone camera to try and get as fair a comparison as possible. Here are the results; Conclusion: I'm very happy with them. Hopefully you can tell from the photographs that the brightness is much increased, but the beam patterns has remained identical to the OEM bulbs. The only downside is the cost. They were £137 which quite frankly is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for the some headlight bulbs. Can you put a price on being able to see where you're going though?😁
  7. I wouldn’t worry about looks, you can’t see them when you’re driving the car can you. 🙂 (and they still look better than my track exhaust add-on!)
  8. Hard to think what colour would look good on the calipers without knowing the car colour. I do think yellow looks good on black, green or blue cars. What is the logo choice between? AP Racing or Lotus? Or a custom Logo? I’ve always preferred to see AP Racing / Brembo on brakes than the manufacturer. It just instantly screams ‘decent brakes’ to me. Although perhaps that stems from having a couple of BMW M3’s that just had an \\\M logo on the brakes…and were crap.
  9. Just finished watching the video. Fair play for managing to do all that in a garage so small. I’d be getting so frustrated at the lack of space. (which is why I decided I’d never even bother trying to even get a car inside my garage)
  10. The exhaust is working well so far. No issues at all, and it’s proved to be effective at Snetterton and Donington. I’m at Cadwell in a couple of weeks so we’ll see if it does the job there as well. If it works at Cadwell too, then I’d also be confident if I tried Silverstone. Brands Hatch could be borderline? And I imagine Bedford might be a struggle.
  11. Another video, this time following Viren in his Exige 350.
  12. The AIM MX2E records two brake channels that can used. ECU_BRAKE_SW# and ECU_BRK_LIGHT#
  13. Wednesday was another track day, this time at Donington Park on the National circuit. I'd only been here once before, and it was about 6 years ago so I was basically starting from scratch again. The day was really (too) busy, with lots of very fast cars there including a couple of full on touring cars. Paul O'Neill of BTCC was in the garage providing coaching for one of the guys. Had a brief chat with him as I was packing up at the end of the day. Really friendly nice guy. Because of the amount of traffic it was really hard to get a few clear laps and find the flow of the circuit again. I definitely need to start experimenting with damper settings, as the car felt like it was rolling around a bit too much through Craners and some others. Made friends with a very nice chap called Viren, who had a black 350 which was fitted with an Alias23 induction kit. To be honest, there wasn't much difference in pace in a straight line. Overall it was a fun day but I know I can be a lot smoother and faster there, so I'll definitely be going back. Oh, and the bolt on (ugly) exhaust did it's job again as I didn't have a single warning all day. Some photos from the day: A short video showing a couple of clear(ish) laps.
  14. Is there any reason to think that it wouldn’t just be a plug and play upgrade like the non FE AIM dash? I’m assuming the connector plug is the same, and also that the information from the ECU isn’t changed on the final editions.
  15. I think the only way you’d get a weird error code on anything to do with that part of the exhaust is if you left the vacuum solenoid valve electrically disconnected, as it detects the open circuit. It sounds like quite a difficult diy project, but would be interesting to see how it turns out.
  16. Well I suppose it is below the surface out of view like a submarine... 🙂 Yeah, I have been busy. I made the decision to do all the mods I want to do as early as possible and then just enjoy the car. I've fell into the trap before of delaying things I want to do, and then you're not getting your moneys' worth out of them before you sell the car.
  17. Do you mean take a the Lotus Track exhaust and modify it so that you can open a valve to completely bypass the muffler? I can't see any reason why that would throw a code, but I imagine it would be horribly loud in 'bypass' mode.
  18. Nice video George. I’m really looking forward to the videos documenting the next stages of modification.
  19. Had some bits turn up today, so got another little modification done. This one was back to the practical rather than cosmetic side. Now I've got a few track days booked, the wheels will be coming off quite regularly for tyre and brake inspections. Based on that, a stud conversion seemed like a good idea. I've looked at some stud conversion kits previously, but a lot of them seemed to be quite long and didn't look particularly nice. I ordered a couple of individual studs in different sizes first to have a play and see how they would look. After the test I decided to go for it, and ordered slightly different sizes front and rear. Overall I'm quite pleased with the look, but obviously the main thing is how much easier it is removing and refitting the wheels now. Studs fitted: Front wheel: Rear wheel:
  20. Another little cosmetic mod carried out this weekend, and one which some will like and some won't. I've always felt that the end plates on the rear wing let it down slightly. I wish they were made out of carbon fibre like the rest of it. They just seem a bit of a cheap after-thought in a way. I kept looking at photographs of the cars with the union jack decals on the end plates, and although I generally liked them on other peoples cars I wasn't sure if they would suit mine. I definitely didn't think the full colour version would work, and even the greyscale version seemed like it might stand out and be too obvious. Then I saw a instagram post (by jcxmig) who had a monochromatic version, and I got me thinking about different options. I had a chat with Dan at Divinehandcrafts, and he said could do a 'blackout' version which has a black background and then the flag in a single colour. To make the design as subtle as possible, I asked for the flag to be in the darkest metallic grey that he offered. The decals are now applied, and I'm very happy with the result. The effect varies depending on the ambient light, and it's definitely quite subtle in darker conditions.
  21. Part Number: A138M0088F Description: SWITCH-EXHAUST BYPASS
  22. A few of the official MSV photographs from Snetterton:
  23. It was just the drive-by noise readings I was worried about really. I know I’ll always be able to pass the static test using another little trick I’ve got up my sleeve if absolutely necessary… I started off in Sport mode for a couple of sessions, then used Race mode for the rest of the day. I didn’t use normal mode at all because of the lower Rev limit and I thought the electronics would be too intrusive.
  24. On Wednesday I finally made it on track, after missing out a few weeks ago due to food poisoning. It was then nearly 8 weeks for the next available date! The weather forecast kept changing daily, but luckily when I arrived I was greeted with this weather: I just love how purposeful the Exige looks, especially at certain angles. The drivers briefing is still being done online before the event, and with no static noise testing either I probably could have had another 30 minutes in bed. I got the car in the garage, unloaded all the tools, and fitted the towing hook ready for action. After letting the initial flurry of cars die down when the track first opened, I headed out. Wow. This car really feels good round the bends and on the brakes. I was grinning from ear to ear inside my helmet....well, for a little while anyway. Coming up to the second hairpin I saw a load of smoke in the air. My initial thought was that somebody had massively locked up or something and it was tyre smoke. As I slowed for the hairpin the car suddenly felt very strange. I was steering left to go in a straight line. I was convinced something had broken or was loose. I pulled straight off and checked the car over. Everything seemed fine. I then found out that the smoke was from a Megane blowing it's engine, and the contents of it's sump were on the circuit just before the hairpin. I felt a bit stupid when I realised I'd just been sliding on the oil, but I was only braking very gently in a straight line and it didn't feel like sliding. I then went out to have another try and that's when I got black flagged for noise. The add-on exhaust sorted it, and thankfully that was almost the last of the drama for the day. First impressions of the car are that a) It's brilliant, and b) it's going to take me quite a while to master it. It became very clear I'd been spoiled by using 'flappy-paddle' cars on track, and driving a manual on track again felt surprisingly difficult. I immediately decided that I wasn't even going to attempt to heel and toe today, and that I'd just start learning the car itself. Over the course of the day I felt more and more comfortable and the car impressed further. I definitely don't regret my decision to get it. The official photos from the day have not been published yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing those. Hopefully there are some nice shots. The AIM dash was brilliant, and it's nice have the data logged so that you can make fancy videos afterwards. This one is my second fastest session, with the best lap starting at 9m30s into the video: And this video was mainly because I wanted to play around with the RaceRender software and add a rear view: I went through two tanks of fuel, and the car was quite low as I pulled off after the final session. I had a couple of full petrol cans with me, so I put 5 litres in which I thought would be enough in total to get me home. I was wrong. I embarrassingly spluttered to a halt just 1 mile from home, after a 45 mile journey. Thankfully I had the second can in the boot, so it wasn't a major issue. Amazingly, not one person beeped or gave the 'w**ker' sign to the idiot with the sportscar stood at the side of the road who'd ran out of petrol. I called @Hangar 111 during the week for a quick chat. The car is now booked in to have the alignment checked and tweaked next month when I can make it over to them. Will be doing the usual of trying to get some more camber on the front. In conclusion - I love this silly car.
  25. There was obviously one other thing to address before my first trackday...noise. It was quite obvious from reading the forums that a standard 410 is unlikely to pass the noise tests. The problem is that I really like the standard switchable exhaust, and didn't want a quieter one fitted all the time. I also didn't want the hassle of swapping a quiet exhaust onto the car for each track day. That only really left me the option of some sort of temporary 'bolt-on' type device such as this: , although that seemed like a lot of money for what it is, and I couldn't find any reviews of its effectiveness. With that in mind, it was time to see if I could cobble something together myself. What we need is: A universal silencer, a 90° bend, and a reducer. I painstakingly ground down the narrow part of the reducer until it slid perfectly inside the existing tailpipe. Then all the parts were joined together. I fabricated and attached a bracket to the underneath of the silencer, and the whole lot ended up looking like this: To attach it to the car, you simply slide it inside the existing tailpipe, and the secure it in place using two springs in holes on the flat metal bracket. It ends up like this: So, now that we've established that it looks rubbish, how does it perform? I was at Snetterton on Wednesday, but unfortunately they were not doing static testing in the morning. I would have liked to have got a reading with and without the silencer fitted. Initially I went out on track without it fitted. Predictably I was black flagged as soon as I started getting up to speed. The drive-by limit was 92dB, and I was apparently hitting 95dB. I fitted the silencer, and was made to do a static test before I was allowed out. This test was conducted in the pit lane while the circuit was live, so that may or may not have influenced the readings. He did two tests with the engine at 5000rpm. The readings were 104dB and 101db. I then went out on track and had no more problems for the rest of the day. So all I can say for definite is that it reduced the drive-by value by at least 3dB. So in summary: Pros: (1) Cheap - Total cost around £100 (2) Very quick and easy to fit - Literally 30 seconds. (3) Straight through silencer - No restriction Cons: (1) Looks sh*t. (But you can't see it when you're driving, can you) (2) Total effectiveness / actual noise reduction still unknown. I'm at Donington Park in three weeks time, so we'll see what happens there.
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