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Hi All,

Ive recently purchased a Lotus elise s2 after years of wanting one. I would like to know about the handling, even though it grips the road like glue, I am finding that once I hit [the legal limit] mph ssshhhh, I seem to have to really hold on to the car, even on the straight. It feels quite unstable and twitchy. Is this normal at such a speed?

Can you give me some ideas of what I am to expect as to the cars capabilities. I dont want any sudden suprises.:)

Yes I am a lady driver, dont hold that against me though :)

Many thanks x

Edited by Kimbers
safety reasons.

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Vanessa

Congratulations on the car and welcome for the forum.

Might be worth checking the tyre pressure are correct if the handling seems a bit twitchy at speed.

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Aero matters. I owned an Exige for a couple of years, during that time I took the driving courses at Hethel and I did find the Elise's front much lighter than the Exige at speed. If the tyre pressures are all right, maybe you should consider a front splitter.

Good luck with the car!

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Get the car's geometry and dampers checked at a reputable dealership/specialist. along with your tyre pressures.

I assume these high speed runs you're doing are on private grounds, a racetrack or in Germany somewhere?

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The only thing between the car and the road are the tyres, how old are they? Had this problem on my VW, tyres looked fine but when mechanic put the car on ramp and span each wheel, both rear tyres were slightly warped. After new rear tyres fitted the car was fine. Worth getting them checked by a proper mechanic...not a qwik fit fool.

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Theyre new tyres. Nah Kwick fit couldnt even get car on the ramp. Useless, lots of garages couldnt fit tyres for me they said they couldnt jack it up.

What tyres are best for all whether types? especially wet conditions as Im not liking aqua planing done it 3 times in my Mg. x

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Hahahah Welcome

Am liking the kisses at the end of the sentences!!! Only a woman!! lol

Buddsy :stuart: xx

Some more kisses for you Buddsy, as you seem to like them so much....and I'm not a woman..!

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XX X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

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Haha Buddsy and Chris

Hi Vanessa. I have the Exige and there are several things to take into account driving a pocket rocket from driving most other cars.

1. Theres no powersteering. Feedback from the road goes directly to the steering wheel. You can feel each bump on the road but you will also feel the camber of the tarmac and such things as tram lines where heavy trucks have sunken the road. You can get an overload of movement making you over compensate.

2. The direct and very sensitive steering means that a minute input from you becomes quite a marked movement on road.

3. Any slight imperfections in the tracking, tyre pressure or balance can upset the car more so than a normal car.

My Suggestion is to check pressures and see if they are right. Have the tracking done if you still have an issue. Do some long runs and get used to the way the car feels when it Tram lines or a road changes camber.

Hope that helps.

No Kisses from me, I'm bashful. :blush:


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Thats great, thanks.

Ive just had the tyres balanced (as i felt slight wobbling in steering wheel) and had to have a load of weights put on the passenger front wheel. Surely thats not right, the garage didnt say much just that it needed a lot more on the passenger side as opposed to drivers side.

Its definitely different to others car to drive. What tyres are recommended, everyone says different ones. As I only use the car to pose of course and our good old British weather, Im looking for the safest regardless of price.

Awwwwwwwwwww no kisses for me lol x

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The best tyres for dry weather driving and track use are the road legal semi slick AO48's (though some use the Toyo 888's apparantly). I think they look great on the car too. I do believe you can get them on the Elise as well but I could be wrong). Speak to your local Lotus distributor to get the full spec.

Mine were new 4000 miles ago and I must admit that they are getting a bit low now so don't expect them to last for long.


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http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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Those Toyo 888s are great in the wet as well as good weather, I had some on an Excel.

Re the weights, I assume they balanced them when they fitted them, in which case it's worth having them checked again after a few hundred miles as the tyres tend to adjust their shape compared to when they were new.

I'd go with the others, steering alignment (all round not just the front) could be the cause and is worth having it checked, just needs to be a decent firm. maybe the locals on here can give some recommendations.

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The car is very sensitive to geometry changes. I would recommend getting the geometry checked. (4 wheel alignment) it's not that expensive and the car really should handle like it's on rails

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Hi Vanessa

I'm a lady driver too but have an Esprit (pictured left). All the guys have given you great advice :)

If the problem still persists then you might think about getting your wheels dynamically balanced (the wheels are balanced while they are still on the car).

It cured my 'wobble' at 70mph.

Had it done at Vibration Free near Bicester. Got the details if you need them.

Welcome and don't be shy to put these guys in their place.

Sue x

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Hi Vanessa

If the wheel needed more weights on it this could be an indication that it has been knocked & also put out of alignment (doesn't take much). As others have said its worth getting the geometry checked, there are a number of good places depending where you are.

:) x

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To http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/37108-advise/

Dec 2011

These are my experiences of S1 Elise handling – the principles are the same for the S2 etc.

Tyres – stick to Lotus approved roads tyres – forget track day & ½ way tyres.

Tyre pressures are very important. Start by setting them cold to the manufactures pressures - always use your own tyre pressure gauge – some of the most accurate are the traditional “pencil” type; avoid cheap digital gauges - my favourite is a round dial gauge with a rubber hose and bleed nipple.

I’ve experimented over the years with various rear engined cars and found that lowering the rear pressures (try 2psi at a time) reduces throttle-on understeer and made the car more stable. (this is the opposite of most tyre guides). The difference is in throttle response, power can be applied much earlier and with a lot more confidence.

You will find the pressures increasing considerably when hot, and I set pressures to be as near as possible to my preferences when hot. On the road I use 23/25 hot (book 23/27 cold) which means slightly different cold pressures summer and winter.

Geometry is also very important and needs to be checked regularly – the Hunter computerised laser alignment system is one of the best. http://www.alignmycar.co.uk will find a local place with a Hunter alignment system who will provide a setup sheet showing castor, camber and toe for typically £35.00.

The variable is quality of the operator and believe me it can vary a lot – I’ve had mine set up by 4 different people and have now leaned how to check it for myself! There’s good data from Lotus in the workshop manual (available as a PDF on line) and recommendations on SELOC etc.

When I bought the car it had aftermarket fully adjustable dampers set to full hard, and the ride height at race spec. - maybe OK for driving on a billiard table but not good for the usual B roads I use. First I had the ride height raised to 115/120 (standard is 130/130) and the geometry to standard road spec. (if the car is lowered fit steering rack raising plates to reduce bump steer - a very cheap and effective modification). Also have the corner weights set by someone who really knows what they are doing.

I tried every combination of damper settings but couldn’t find a comfortable road setting so eventually I lashed out and fitted Nitron Single Adjustable units + Eibach springs.

What a difference! Compliant at all settings and still drivable on full soft (most adjustables seem to be undrivable below 1/3 hard) and still comfortable on road at 10 clicks out of 22. On track they are simply superb without rattling your fillings.

I do a lot (pardon the pun) of track days but apart from sticking to standard geo settings if you only use it on the road, the same principles apply.

I also do a lot of road miles both in the UK and Europe, preferring minor roads when possible, so my set up is a compromise between road and track, biased towards handling. Toe in is probably the least varied setting from standard, but the rear MUST have toe in for stability, if it is set with toe out as one “expert” set mine you’ll soon realise why!

The book recommends slight toe out at the front for better turn-in, but I insist on zero toe, mainly because any operative can understand zero toe, but very few can set a slight toe out accurately. Apart from ruining the handling, (the car will tramline a be very “darty”) excessive toe-out will rapidly ruin your front tyres and make the car unstable under braking.

Caster is effectively fixed but camber is a whole new subject. For pure road work I’d stick to standard settings but for track work I like to increase it to -1.5 deg front and -2.5 deg rear. This is quite easy to do yourself (1mm shim = 0.3 deg.) using a Gunson Trakrite Camber gauge costing c.£30.

This gives a big improvement in cornering, makes the car really dig in under power through bends and in fact I prefer it like this on the road as well. I’ve no way of proving it but my gut feeling is that this (and having the corner weights set) also gets rid of the snap oversteer.

The handling now is superb, very stable and very comfortable over high road mileages and is probably the least tiring car to drive that I’ve ever owned.

Of course all these ramblings are just my opinion but it works for me and may help you form your own opinions.

Jim

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