What do I need to look for when viewing an S1 Exig

Hi, my first post on Exiges.com

I’m looking to sell my S2 elise and get an S1 Exige as I want a more track oriented car. What do I need to look for when viewing an Exige?

Any special “design features” that I need to be aware of or recalls/issues I need to check have been done?



Are you going to use it as a daily drive or track focused ?? - Honda power later maybe

  • Recalls for ECU maps, brake pipes / battery acid spill
  • All can suffer the infamous 5500 stutter which can be almost impossible to eliminate can be a real misfre becuase coils fail or water in the plugs, crap leads or can be loose wires, chafed wires and dodgy wheel speed sensor on drivers side.
  • Sometimes they dont start at all can be simple to fix like a new ( higher amp/h battery ) as the ECU needs acertain voltage to kick it awake or can be fuses, relays or combination of all of them randomly
  • Throttles can stick - sometimes wide open at 120 mph are fully closed or anywhere in between no official recall but worth checking …
  • Throttles also dont always fully open becuase cable or linkage is adjusted wrong or falling apart
  • clutch can be spongy - no red hose just a pipe on teh union at slave cylinder can develop a small crack
  • Clutch relaesase bearings can fail - but then lifes like that
  • Alternators fry quite regular and a right pain to change ( dont I know )
  • Air con can be a con or can work - roll a dice …
  • Air flow can be an issue - sometimes Lotus left a lot of holes in the car that lets air in - search on Uldis for a good description of what thats all about
  • Body work can and does get a hammering from stones, aside from the chips parts can get worn away - the sills especially and look at the spoiler, its low and can get damaged by small animals etc
  • Oil cooler pipes can leak
  • Wheel arch liners can be rubbed away front and rear, front drivers side has a nice design feature, teh oil cooler pipes run over it so you can rub into those …
  • The standard suspension has a nice sound bite called the “yip” - quite normal and some like to keep it as a feature - Nitrons eliminate it as do Ohlins but dont fit anything else really …
  • Wheel bearings and ball joints fail - but this is all Elsie stuff so thats quite normal.
  • Anti-roll bars rattle and knock a bit and spending hours shaving the nylon blocks cures it … for about 5 miles
  • Spotlamps get smashed and are real pain to change unless osmeone kindly did it before and cut holes to get them out .
  • Headlmap covers fall off and get misty and dirty etc
  • Toe links can fail when on 48s and on very hard track use, but so can the rose jointed version when not fitted/checked correctly so …
  • Engine covers delaminate and are very expensive
  • Wheels are not easy to find and can be knocked about so check carefully - also they are not easy to balance so check any vibration etc
  • Tyres, 39’s were OE and are … er fing expensive but ok in the wet and dry but not so good on track - 48’s win over everything else ( maybe ) - and are relative cheaper
  • Brakes - standard ones are just crap, at least have decent pads but good fluid, STST hoses and decent disks make them really good - same as Elise
  • You know engines are a lottery - some last ok, others donts - its that simple - well maybe not thrashing it cold, changing oil very very regular etc helps …

OK someone else can fill the missing bits in so just consider what you want it for - Road or track etc and the best examples are often not low milage ( IMHO ) but ones that have been tracked and well cared for.

Oh Welcome BTW

Nice one Andy - you & Jude had words this weekend?

Nice one Andy - you & Jude had words this weekend?

Mmm well Saturday was spent fitting new springs and setting up, Sunday an alternator change, today was Bedford and I’m trying to do the UK 2006 budget now … remind me … whose this Jude fella

Thank feck I never knew all this before I went and bought one two months ago

Hopefully as they say ignorance is bliss.

Don’t worry we’re here to help and your car may have had fixes already.


Thanks Andy, that’s a long list

Was going to have a look and test drive one at Nick Whale yesterday but they couldn’t do a test drive for me.

Will probably try my S2 up for sale private, then buy an exige private.

I want it for track days (got the bug after Donnington with L-O-T) and MLOC runs. Will be getting a SC Honda put in next Autumn/Winter but until then need to make sure the VHPD runs well and I don’t end up with a dog that’ll eat into my Honda money putting basic things right.
Oh and no fires due to the brake pipes rubbing either


Oh and no fires due to the brake pipes rubbing either

Things like that dont happen surely

Good to see you have the Exige bug, test drives eh?
Also good to see you have seen sense and you are selling that S2 of yours and going back to a real car, the S1

Make sure its in Orange but dont get a Honda yet or you will make me jealous!

Or just come and buy mine! Great rates for club members

Thanks Andy, that’s a long list


and they use oil, esp if you track them, so keep a careful eye on them.

The footwell floors corrode if you don’t lift the original pvc stuck-down cover (but thats the same as elise)… so does the boot floor if you don’t dry it or remove the foamy liner.

a lot of them leak when it rains - but so do elises.

if you leave it out in the rain the engine bay gets soaked and water can get into the plug-wells resulting in misfires… seal the plug cover with weatherstrip worked for me and Uldis.

the engine hatch doesn’t have a ‘stay’ lots of solutions from using a stick to fitting gas-dampers

same as an elise, but its worth getting regular geo checks because they are very sensitive to minor changes. they are also pretty sensitive to tyres/pressures but Andy covered that earlier - lots of people are happy with Toyo’s as an alternative, but i’d stick with OE yoki’s if you want the best from the handling.

you can’t listen to the radio/cd/dab/mp3… but who really cares

can’t think of anything else at the mo’

ps… its an awesome car