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Exige Cup260 - Restoration and some tweaks


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Drive home was good, exactly how I expected it to feel

It feel so light compared to the 350, despite being only a few inches smaller it felt much smaller - back to the B-road blaster that I missed

Engine felt good, pretty much noise free (apart from a badly adjust roof)

Happy days


A proper clean (you can't not clean a new car):


I then started to go through some of the 'unique features' of the car. I found this wiring after trying to make sure my Accusump preoil the engine as it didn’t appear to be.

No one seemed to know what it was, so I thought I'd find out as I didn't want to just tuck it away. I seemed to have: a connector that just looped itself back, a connector that I could select one or two feeds by flipping a connector, a random lead I had no idea what it did and a fuse for something

So after searching to death on the internet I started to piece it together, I'm putting this here in case anyone else follows the same confusion

In the end the leads turned out to be (from top)


  • Loop back to immobiliser (for the cup260's they put it back here, I presume to link into the cut-off switches, which I don't have)
  • Fuse for Immob and Interior light (relocated from front fusebox for reasons unknown)
  • Another link to immobiliser, you can invert the connector putting it in bypass this was to allow FIA compliance for the battery cutouts fitted to some cars
  • Earth for accusump (not been connected for a while it seems)
  • Rear 3rd brake light connector (left over from Elise loom, they have an extra connector where we have our 3rd brake light

Tidied it up as an interim, but not too much as I know that the clam will come off later…


Result, Accusump now working! Pre charged to 20 PSI and it now fills, and discharges when the fuel pump is primed exactly as needed

I found info on the Accusump a real challenge, but got there in the end

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Right, the downsides:

I already knew the splitter had been repaired, fine from a distance but was not perfect, good to keep as a spare but I knew a new one would be ordered



 Paint had plenty of stonechips, but nothing odd for a low car that has been on runs with other groups for the past few years.



I started planning out the suspension refresh. The arms were filthy by I knew under there would be surface rust, and the bushes whilst seeming OK would need a refresh soon as they were 10 years old.

Faced with the option of leave as is run it for a few years in its grubby state or make mint and get it exactly as I wanted. I was all set to say that I was going to do the former, not worry and just enjoy it as it was already grubby.

I then started the deep clean underneath so see what I was really dealing with. Wheels off liners out I scrubbed and rinses for a few hours. Tons of mud and crap were all over the drive. 

I would like at this point to show you a gleaming set of suspension, but in reality what I found under all the years of mud  was this:



 That’s right, surface rust over all the wishbones but also subframe. On  the Cup260 the subframe is not galvanised, it was essentially painted to save weight and I presume an early owner was based near the coast (found more clues later) and it just had salt hanging around it. Leaving that mess above. It was only surface rust and much could be chipped away but it looked hideous and I knew it would need sorting long term...

I was gutted at this point and felt a right idiot, I should have scrubbed under the dirt when looking at it and not got all excited. I had planned for it to be a bit of a job, but this felt like it would become a career. Lesson learnt, but I knew that I was now going to have to throw some cash at this…

Now had to work out what to do next. I put the car away thinking I'd made a terrible mistake and grabbed a bottle of rum…

Trying to be positive the non steel bits were cleaning up great, but I'm clutching at straws to be positive 

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Back in 2012 I bought a 2007 2-11 which I had stripped and completely refurbished and resprayed. The wishbones looked far worse than that! It’s only surface rust though and following refurbishment they looked like new again. It may take some effort to get it immaculate but it will be worth it, that’s a fantastic and rare car and will only appreciate in the future.

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@Neal H Yep I know everything is fixable and to be honest it could be ignored at that level as its just surface rust. 

Wishbones  were already expected no matter what I was finding as it 's a ten your old car, the bad bit was the subframe needing to come out. You could treat in situ and cover it up, but not really my style to cover up a problem, I either fix properly and make it better than new or annoy myself  until I go with the fix properly option

This threads is in catch up to the current time, so I know we're  well on the path to recovery, its not going to turn into a sob story!


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On 08/01/2021 at 17:27, MrP_ said:

So I thought I'd do a bit of a thread on my resto build of my Exige MY10 Cup260 - on the v6 area we had a build area, but its not something that seems to be here so I thought I'd just put it here. Its always useful for other owners to find what has been done before so they don't need to repeat the same mistakes. 

It's going to be pretty long so will come in chunks.Mods please feel free to move if there is a better place!

First few posts set a bit of scene, so please forgive the wordy elements  - what turned into a pit of a tart up, has turned into a rebuild with no end in sight… 

Anyway long time Exige/Elise owner: Elise Sport160, Exige S1 x2, Exige S2 x 2 and an Exige Sport 350 - there was a bit of gap between the S1's/S2's and the S3. I built the S3 into exactly what I wanted (thread here):

And for whatever reason I never really gelled with it, I loved it and it was a great car - but for me an Exige needs a delicacy about it, and the extra weight of the v6 just lost me that connection. But this isn't an s3 vs s2 debate so I won't dwell on it too long! At the end of lockdown a chance to sell came up to a very enthusiastic owner and it seemed like the right time, deal was done and off she went




So whilst good, I had no idea what to get next. Tried a GT3, lovely but too fast on the road, but I will get one on day though. Atom was always something I fancied, but I tried one and it was clear it was not something I would use enough (couldn't take wife or kids on a day out sort of thing), S1 Elise to get back to basics, Caterham, anyway lots were suggested, but nothing was fitting the bill. The Exige is pretty rare in that its fun, connected, but still practical you can drive on the motorway in the rain and its fine - not many fun weekend cars do that without being in the supercar category.

So after all that I just thought why not get an S2 again, it was always my favourite and the one I have in my head in terms of feel - so why not just get another one and build what I want. Build it as a keeper and with the demise of the petrol car it would be a possible keeper for life - so I started looking… For those of you that have tried to do the same recently, the number of Exige S2's on the market has shrunk massively, and their price increased massively.  So kept waiting for the right one to come up whilst working on the build I would do once I found the suitable car, nothing menta or cutting edge, l just building exactly what I wanted: Roughly these were:

 - Mint bodywork, which I suspected would be a full respray

 - Plenty of carbon: Big scoop roof, access panels, boot lid

 - Decent manifold, sports cat, exhaust

 - 260 map, TRD etc

 - 3way suspension, full refresh suspension on bearings , forged wheels

 - Decent interior, retrim throughout, carbon seats


After looking at a couple of cars (just due to lack of volume) it was becoming clear that my version of a well looked after car, and everyone else's seemed wildly different so I thought I'd give up on my idea of an S2 and that would be that. Then a MY10 Cup260 came up, I car I meant to buy but moved to the states, and frankly had never seen one come up for as long as I can remember. Long story short: got tempted, wife told me to have a look, we trotted off to have a look.

For those that don’t know the Cup260 was a pretty special model with some of the following features:

 - Carbon Roof

 - Carbon tailgate

 - Carbon access panels

 - Carbon parts in rear clam

 - Carbon side ducts

 - Carbon splitter

 - Carbon spoiler

 - Carbon Dash/Vents/Side sills

 - Carbon Seats

 - Forged wheels (lightest at the time)

 - Lightweight subframe

 - Lightweight flywheel, uprated clutch

 - Lightweight bulkhead (no window)

 - Lightweight supercharger pipes

 - Accusump

 - Additional sheer panel to increase lateral stiffness

 - Ohlins 2 way remote reservoir dampers

 - AP 4 pots

+lots of other bits


Found it looking like this:






Pretty good for a 10 year old car, felt pretty special but still the S2 that I remembered. I had seen several people refer to the car in question as 'mint', 'immaculate' etc so went with high hopes - it was not beaten up at all, but plenty of stonechips, suspension needed a refurb (but pickup points all good just normal lotus suspension).

Eventually we came to a deal with me knowing I would be essentially taking on a project. The car was loved and it was used, it was not kept in a bubble, but I know that I want my cars mint so pretending that I wouldn't go down that route.. It certainly was a world away from immaculate in my eyes - a winter project awaits

For a cup it’s a slight more road spec, so doesn't have external cut-offs, or A-frame but does have Airbags and a Radio. Apparently if you wanted the radio you had to have the airbags at the time (loom change) and you lost the external cut-offs. They also deleted the A-frame as you can't fit the cage that attaches to it with the airbags. 

As said deal agreed and after checking for really serious damage I was on my way, ready for a deep clean and see where we were

Downsides were mainly cosmetic so in a heart over head decision I went for it….


Been on a few runs with your new 260 always looked stunning and like you say the previous owner was not scared to use it congratulations on your new purchase. Looking forward to seeing the results of your refresh. A very special car👍


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Right time to fix all of this...

After a good clean I could really assess the paintwork: overall, its a car thats been driven but not abused.

Stone chips all over the front, sills more than chipped, most of the lacquer was missing, stone chips on lower edge of all door, arches chipped to buggery, odd chips to the rear clam, and someone had burnt through the lacquer on the driver’s door polishing out a stone chip I presume.

Various not great pics:






None of this really fazed me as this bit was in the plan to fix and fix properly, and with paintwork being my thing I knew that I had to get it perfect - the only way would be a respray, the sheer volume of stone chips meant that it would be beyond viable to touch in. In my head I was now thinking of taking it from good to perfect, just need to find the right bodyshop.

New carbon splitter arrived though - so I'll mark that down as progress!


I also started playing with a bit of paint correction, just to see how correctable the non chipped paint was





Nothing special and a long way from being refined, but gave me a bit of confidence if I couldn’t get the Bodyshop sorted I could refine the paint pretty quickly

50/50 of wing, most of the carbon is in good nick. Clearcaot is much the same as paint hardness wise, which is different to the Sport350 as Prodrive made the carbon for those, so the clear is much harder than the lotus paint




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Lovely car and a great thread, I will be watching with interest :)

Like Scotty I know the car (and previous owner) well, it's been on quite a few of the MLOC runs in the Peak District, it's been well loved but used as intended!

One question, when you have it in truly perfect condition will you be brave enough to drive it? I hope so :thumbup:

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@duncx cheers! Of course it’ll be used, she’ll share run out duty with the M5 (an epic mind blowing car in it’s own right) but track days will be all Cup this year I’d imagine.

 She’s going to be a long way from a daily but that was never the aim, I’ve got another car more suited to manky conditions 😁

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That explains the coating of cow dung I kept finding! That really is the gift that keeps giving !

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Fantastic as always Paul, really great to see all the hard work paying off and if anyone can return a car to factory/brand new it will be you bud.

the difference in those wishbones, shocks a etc is amazing, any news on the rear subframe?

keep up the good work, looking forward to hearing more.


looking even more forward to a run out in our favourite roads...if I can find a car 😂

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@DMH83 yep subframe all sorted and recoated, reinstalled job done on that one, plenty of ACF on the inside too so should be good for a while yet 😀. Thats the rouble with Lotus only coating in the first place and a bit unique to the Cup260's so not just a unique issue with this that is now in the past, thankfully!

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All good on the drive home everything feeling very OEM despite the changes to bearing over bushings etc

Noise acceptable but needs to bed in. There is a bit of an increase in engine vibration due to the mounts, but this will fade with time. But its really very marginal, wife couldn't feel a difference in harshness so overall that seems good

Overall happy with the transformation, as I say felt OEM but tighter and crisper if that makes sense. I was pleased that I kept the same dampers as it was less of a variable change, although I am already eyes alternative 3 way setups over the 2 way Ohlins I already have…

Down side was the heater was stuck on hot, so that’s the actuator gone! Sods law and may be do to it being disturbed. On the plus side I actually had a spare from the past, so it was clam off time again - not many pics of the change out as I was swearing too much, but another chance to clean up under the clam

Turns out it was just a connector that had worked loose, frustrating to remove the clam to get to it, but at least I know clam off is under an hour, clam on around the same




Clean Up:




Back On:





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@philcool I know of a few people that have shuffled it out on there own, but I personally never risk it. It needs to slide forward then flip up from the back before ending up nose up. Its got quite a bit of flex, but if you try and lift from the centre spine there is little strength and suspect it would snap!

For me, I have me one one wheel arch and one other person on the opposite to remove, and then to put back on the same again - both helped by having a spotter that can have a look on why its snagging on something, kids actually become useful at this point!

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Chassis clean up next. I've never had to overcome a large amount of dirt on the chassis just a bit of mud etc. But this car had this strange black film all over it. 

As mentioned before it also had a really sweet cherry smell on the fabrics. So the air freshener combined with this black stuff made me think that  one of two things had happened:

  • Someone smoked in the car then the carpets were coated with air refresher causes the dye to leak onto the chassis
  • Someone left a window open, and it got wet causing the dye to leak, then it was air freshened to  hide a manky smell

Either way I had to get rid of the manky look, kill the sweet magic tree minicab smell and make it look better!

First thing, rip out all the interior and expose what we have. Nothing wsa rotted or anything, it just looked a bit manky!

As an example this was the footwell divider - the blue/black stuff wasn't coming off with cleaner, so I needed to go abrasive


This was after a magic sponge, with the majority of the black stuff coming off


Then a hand polish with Menz 2500, then Menz 3800


In general things were pretty dusty but still just dirt


Ripping off the velcro that held the mats, it was becoming clear that this car had a home by the sea once, plenty of sand from the beach. The subframe surface rust, and then sand all over the interior  - just further clues. Either way slowly getting rid of all the evidence


Anyway, before:





Chassis now looking cleaner!



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