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Mattmahope

"Hopeless" Exige 350 Sport

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Hi everyone!  I bought my red Exige 350 Sport in Feb 2017 having traded up from a VX220 Turbo that I had (and loved) for about 4 years previously. Some pictures of the Lotus attached.  It's far from hopeless, unlike it's owner!

Currently my Exige is completely standard but I have a serious tinkering itch that needs scratching since I do love a project.  The first thing I am hoping to sort (with some help from the warranty) is the clutch.  It makes a rough rattling noise like an old diesel at idle/crawling speed, which I have been told is not normal and is not the cables.  The car is going to Hanger 111 next month and the plan is to replace the clutch with a bigger unit (probably from the Evora 400) to fix the rattle and also get the car ready for future power upgrades.  At the same time, I am going to have them put in a Quaife LSD.  All the reports of people running an LSD are very positive and, as with the clutch, it should help put the extra power down in due course.  The big question in my mind at the moment is whether to go for the KT shorter gear ratios at the same time as the box is opened up.  The general view seems to be that some of the ratios are on the long side (especially 5th and 6th) and I tend to agree with that, especially having now gone out on the track at Hethel.  However, my car is around 80/20 road/track usage, and I do quite like the long 6th gear for motorway/RN/autobahn cruising, as boring as that is.  With that in mind, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts/comments on the following:

1. Clutch.  Evora 400 or KT upgraded clutch or something else entirely?  Is the clutch in the Exige 430 Cup the same as the Evora 400?

2. LSD. Anything in particular I need to watch out for/consider here?  Any tweaks to counter potential understeer?

3. Gear ratios. Keep standard or go for KT shorter ratios?  How annoying is a shorter 6th for motorway cruising?

Thanks!

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Hi Matt, as you know I have the Quaife ATB, also fitted by H111. Regarding your 2nd query, I was concerned by potential understeer and experienced some on my first outing, which was immediately sorted by replacing an aging pair of front tyres. I have since experienced that any subsequent understeer that can be track or condition specific can be improved upon with tweaking of my adjustable dampers, and as always, careful monitoring of tyre pressure and/or driving style. I don't feel the car is really more understeer lead than when the car had its standard open diff.

Undoubtedly, such suspension will I'm sure appear somewhere along the line on your car's upgrade path, and should be considered with your usage.

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Hi Arun, thanks for the comments.  I do indeed know about your Quaife - your posts are an inspiration! And yes, suspension will feature at some stage, but need to put that off for a little while yet.  Trying to limit the work until the car is actually out of warranty...

Edited by Bibs
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KomoTec Close Gear Ratios is highly recommended - remarkable improvement in all gears, not only 5th and 6th. My  Exige Sport 350 feels much more  powerful. The range of each gear is a little shorter then in the KomoTec graph, e.g. 4th gear goes to 189 - 6th gear hits the rev limiter at 276 which is absolutly fine with me!!

 

The only drawback: significantly more gear box noise

 

I would not recommend the LSD if the profile is 80% road use - I assembled the Drexler LSD concurrent with the Close Ratio and really had to get used to it, in my view the Exige was easier to handle without the LSD. My profile is 85% track / 15% road use Edited by Wilbert Camshaft
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On 28/08/2018 at 10:07, Mattmahope said:

Hi everyone!  I bought my red Exige 350 Sport in Feb 2017 having traded up from a VX220 Turbo that I had (and loved) for about 4 years previously. Some pictures of the Lotus attached.  It's far from hopeless, unlike it's owner!

Currently my Exige is completely standard but I have a serious tinkering itch that needs scratching since I do love a project.  The first thing I am hoping to sort (with some help from the warranty) is the clutch.  It makes a rough rattling noise like an old diesel at idle/crawling speed, which I have been told is not normal and is not the cables.  The car is going to Hanger 111 next month and the plan is to replace the clutch with a bigger unit (probably from the Evora 400) to fix the rattle and also get the car ready for future power upgrades.  At the same time, I am going to have them put in a Quaife LSD.  All the reports of people running an LSD are very positive and, as with the clutch, it should help put the extra power down in due course.  The big question in my mind at the moment is whether to go for the KT shorter gear ratios at the same time as the box is opened up.  The general view seems to be that some of the ratios are on the long side (especially 5th and 6th) and I tend to agree with that, especially having now gone out on the track at Hethel.  However, my car is around 80/20 road/track usage, and I do quite like the long 6th gear for motorway/RN/autobahn cruising, as boring as that is.  With that in mind, I'd be very grateful for any thoughts/comments on the following:

1. Clutch.  Evora 400 or KT upgraded clutch or something else entirely?  Is the clutch in the Exige 430 Cup the same as the Evora 400?

2. LSD. Anything in particular I need to watch out for/consider here?  Any tweaks to counter potential understeer?

3. Gear ratios. Keep standard or go for KT shorter ratios?  How annoying is a shorter 6th for motorway cruising?

Thanks!

20170514_111455.jpg

20170514_111612.jpg

media4CGUGJGL.jpg

mediaSZEJS4VG.jpg

20170514_111712.jpg

Hey. Great looking car! The red and black look really good together. 

The clutch issue you mention, sounds like it could be a similar issue to mine. I had a post a few weeks ago. Could you have a listen to the video and let me know if it’s the same issue as yours?

thanks 😀

 

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Mine too makes that noise and I was in touch with Bell and Colville and Lotus before my warranty ran out. Still waiting to hear from Lotus.

 

I too came form a VX220 (supercharged) and though I haven't done too much to my car, a geo, better tyres (Michelin CUP 2'S in my case) and a bigger front anti roll bar have improved it a lot for me.

My next thing will be better brake pads.

Great colour (mines the same Ardent red I believe) .

Martin S

 

 

 

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ifs its a chuntering/rattling sounds at low speed pulling away in 1st/2nd its the clutch rattle which varies between cars but most (ExigeV6 and Evora) do it to some degree.  Mine has since new in 2013 and still does 18K miles later. Interestingly Evora GT430 and Exige 430 Cup I have driven didn't do it. Evora 410 Sport do it slightly. Heat makes it worse in my experience.

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Wrote this in the other thread too;

This happened in my V6 as well. My technically ability to describe something is somewhat limited but I likened it to the sound of dragging a tray around under the car. I thought it was gearbox and had been told the exposed gearage (like yours) sorted this.

Happens in the GT430 at low speed too i'm afraid.

Ho hum. Doesn't bother me as I'm used to it.

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All V6 and Evoras make this car from the manual gearbox :(   

Drove me mad on my first Evora as I used it as a daily driver so was often at low revs, Don’t notice it as much in the Exige as it’s a weekend toy, so only go out for spirited drives , so not so apparent.

Must admit it was bliss not having the noise from the Auto in the Evora 400.


Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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On 28/08/2018 at 11:07, Mattmahope said:

Currently my Exige is completely standard but I have a serious tinkering itch that needs scratching since I do love a project.  The first thing I am hoping to sort (with some help from the warranty) is the clutch. 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have the same noise issue with the clutch (which apparently is not an issue). Please let us know if warranty has worked for you.

Thanks

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Will do.  I find the noise incredibly annoying and have been told by someone who drives a lot of Exiges that the noise mine is making is significantly worse than what would be considered normal.

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Will try but unlikely to be driving the Exige for a couple of weeks unfortunately (work, family - usual boring stuff...!)

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Car is now booked in at H111 next month to install the 430 clutch with Quaife diff.  Have decided not to go for the shorter ratios in the end as I do want to be able to use the car for longer journeys and I appreciate having the long 6th gear for cruising.  The future power upgrades will no doubt more than make up for the current spacing and, contrary to what others may find, I actually quite like the longer gearing on track and just leaning on the torque out of tight turns rather than having to snatch upshifts on exit.  I also feel that with the intake/exhaust mods that I hope to do in the future, the car may well become unbearably loud on longer journeys if you throw shorter gearing into the mix as well, particularly since the feedback is that the revised cogs themselves generate quite a bit of noise.  Feeling confident that this is a good solution that should work for me.

Striking the shorter gearing off the list frees up a little cash to get some other bits and bobs done instead.  High on the list is a larger fuel tank as the current range is frankly pathetic.  From the other projects here it sounds like the 60l Pro Alloy tank is the way to go: http://www.hangar111.com/shop/lotus-exige-v6-fuel-tank-upgrade/651-elise-exige-2-eleven-340r-high-capacity-alloy-fuel-tank.html

Any reason why I should consider the 54l tank instead other than to save a couple of kgs?  Anything I need to consider or should get done to the fuel system at the same time?

Also thinking of replacing the standard radiator with the Pro Alloy twin-core fast-road/track day 45mm core: http://www.hangar111.com/shop/lotus-2-eleven-engine-tuning-parts/205-elise-exige-alloy-radiator-uprated-twin-core.html

The uprated radiator should avoid any risks of the standard one failing and provide extra cooling, which again I hope will be useful when the power upgrades come in time.

If anyone has any "must do" mods that would be top of their list, please shout.  Would be interested to see if there is anything else I should be considering at this stage.  My current strategy is to keep the car as standard as possible for the time being, while building a really solid platform for more major future upgrades once the car is out of warranty and once funds allow.

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

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@Mattmahope I'm asking out of personal interest having recently bought the same car...

Are your planned mods warranty friendly?

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I guess it depends what the warranty claim is for.  I think as soon as you make any changes at all there is a risk to the warranty, but if the mod has no impact on the item that you are claiming under warranty for, my understanding is that Lotus are usually fairly reasonable - although that should never be taken for granted of course.

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I would be going for a gearbox oil cooler before worrying about changing your radiator.  It’s standard on the 380 and those that track their cars a lot see them as a good addition 

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Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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Thanks Dave.  Yes, that's definitely on the list as well, although might be one for the next round of mods since I am not currently tracking the car as often or as hard as I plan to in future.

Do you know what gearbox oil cooler the 380 uses?

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Lovely car. I had this noise, B&C, and Lotus engineer confirmed it as normal, no replacement clutch as it would make the same noise ( be interesting to hear what the H111 clutch is like rattle wise.

Lotus engineer told me the engine was not made to work with a manual, as a result, the rather larger than normal conversion plate creates this rattle, and there is no fix, some are louder than others, mine supposedly a quiet one. Interestingly I am 4k miles in, and don't hear it now!

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I'd like to know how that occurs. I am not an engineer, but i can't see how that would happen?


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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