S1 Exige Conversion

Topics relating to the Lotus Exige S1 (series 1)
ortope
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:40 am

Very nice job.
To complete the job you will need the two stickers that cover the recess' bottom.
RH B111B0790F
LH B111B0789F

There would be, as far as I know, also a variant with a lateral hole in the recess to
let the air evacuate.

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Have a nice day

P.s.: If you don' t find the stickers I will soon have some replicas made. :thumbup:
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deggles
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Leeds

You can make your own from stonechip vinyl, I did the front ones on mine a while back, got the stuff from these guys via eBay: :thumbup:
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Edit: Jesus, I've just seen the price Lotus want for stickers :crazy: :lolno:
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jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I'm going to leave the fog/reverse light areas clean of vinyls and won't be cutting any holes, but all personal preference.

I also have bought a sheet of stone chip to make my own front intake vinyls, not only to save money but also because I've never seen an Exige with vinyls that fit well (in my opinion), which is extremely noticeable on lighter cars. I bought enough so that if I did change my mind about the fog/reverse light bits needing the vinyl I have it ready to go.

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Not the best images but you get the idea that the stickers are smaller than perhaps they should be leaving gaps around the edges.
Last edited by jamesjeffery on Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Numberplate lights were sorted through a near identical method to the fog/reverse lights, with a few tweaks here and there.

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I'm reusing my current ones but will clean them up a bit.

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Unlike the fog/reverse lights where you could get away with just drilling 2 fixing holes, as the numberplate light housings go up into the clam the larger holes needed to be cut. I measured the length of the inner housing and the width. 60x17mm was needed but I'd allow a touch more tolerance as the rubber edging should cover everything if the hole is a little bigger than needed.

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I needed to find the centre of the recess so got the tape measure. 100mm so found the half way mark and measured 30mm either side of it.
I guessed a bit with how far away from the numberplate face the light would sit and decided on 30mm for the furthest edge of the hole from the vertical face.

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I then found that a roll of electrical tape is 18mm, perfect size to give me my tolerance.

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I measured out a 60mm length and I had my template for the required hole.

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Template in place and much easier to follow than just pencil lines.

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I used a combination of disc and drill bits on my dremel to cut the shape of the tape. I went a little off-piste with the cutting as it was hard to see cutting with your head upside down, but no harm done and the other side was neater.

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Not the prettiest hole and still a touch too small so I took some files and opened and cleaned it up.

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I opened and smoothed the hole a little and now the light sits nicely with no nasty tension on it. You can also see 2 small indents into the clam either side of the hole which mark the position of the fixing bolts. These were made by carefully using a drill bit through the housing fixing holes like how I drilled the fog/reverse lights. Once the marks were made I removed the housing and continued through the clam so not to damage anything as it is almost impossible to get any drill or dremel perpendicular to the surface.

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A quick test fit and even without the rubber edging no gaps or holes were showing.

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I originally planned to use the same M4 spire nuts as on the fog/reverse lights for the numberplate lights, but the tolerances didn't match as the holes for the numberplate light are too close to the main housing. I will either just use a simple nut and washer or cut the spire nut in half and bond it to the underside of the clam so the light is easily removed with the clam on.

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I popped the rubber edge on and realised how dirty they were and placed the new M4 button head holts through. Much better looking than the Phillips head screws used previously.

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Another test fit and very happy with the outcome, just need to try and bond/glue the spire nut (I suppose now more like a captive nut) to the inside.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Filled the gearbox back up using the stored fluid from the driveshaft swap.

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I decided to refill through the conventional method and cracked loose the refill plug

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I bought a 300ml syringe to pump it back in. I would say I wish I had a larger gauge pipe as it took a while and a fair amount of pressure to get the thick oil back in.

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Nice and easy to suck up with minimal mess and waste.

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Tucked the pipe into the refill hole and began squeezing. Took about 7 pumps I think to refill.

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I managed to squeeze my hand through the subframe and tightened the refill plug up.

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I then took a long extension and torqued the plug up to 45nm.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

A downside of having the rear clam off and a car cover is that after a windy night the brittle heat shield connected to the boot floor has cracked and split.

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It won't be problem when the clam is on but to help strengthen and secure it I decided to brace it.

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I found some Meccano strips that would be perfect to brace it and pop rivet on.

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I drilled a few holes where I thought would be the best to strengthen the crack and pop riveted the strips on.

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Hopefully these will secure and stop the split from growing, at least until the clam is back on.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I will start off by saying DO NOT try and short cut this job. As you'll see I went all around the houses just to end up doing what I wanted to avoid.

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I sourced a solid small bore manifold and think it'll be a much better fit for my engine set up than the large bore Janspeed flexi I have currently. Although my head is a Vulcan head (near identical to a VHPD) as far as I'm aware it hasn't had any additional porting, so the large bore is probably not the best option. The small bore should match the port size much better and the longer pipe sections replacing the flexi section should improve torque a little bit.

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First step was to remove the sports cat. Pretty much a decat pipe with a bit of baffling in the middle.

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Next step was to remove the flexi section. Nice and easy with just 2 nuts to undo and it slide through the hole and away.

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Although it fit through the gap between the heat shield and brace bar, I would have to remove one of the fixings on the brace bar to allow the solid one to fit before bolting it back.

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To save the fuse blowing in the alternator I found the fuse and removed it. As a bit of extra protection I also disconnected the battery.

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Before I went too far I tested to see if any of the manifold nuts would be a pain. Thankfully as they were recently put on when the Janspeed went on they all came loose fine and left the bolts in the head.

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Next up was to remove the nimbus heat shield. His was new on when the Janspeed went on and fixed up 4 bolts, 2 at the top and two at the bottom, which were only accessable from under the car.

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With the heat shield out the way I took the 5 manifold bolts off and put them somewhere safe.

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I then unplugged the lambda sensor. The new manifold had a sensor with it that was pretty new so not going to bother swapping them over.

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I removed a couple of bolts for the throttle cable and moved it to the side to get a bit more clearance.

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I was hoping to avoid taking the engine mounts off, but I just couldn't get the clearance. I started with the lower engine stay bolt which let me rock the engine back and forth a bit, but it wasn't enough.

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I supported the engine underneath while I undone the RH side engine mount. This allowed me to pull the engine back a bit, but still not enough to give me clearance. I also removed the alternator in a failed attempt to get the required clearance.

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In the end I decided the only way I was getting the manifold out was to remove the oil filter. I don't have any oil here at the moment so wanted to avoid this, especially as the oil in there is less than 300 miles old. I placed a bucket underneath and removed the bleed bolt on the sump. Once that was drained I removed the oil filter and let the remaining oil in the drain out.
All this fuss could have been avoided if I'd just made the decision to remove the oil filter. I honestly don't know how you'd get the manifold out without removing it. Don't do what I do and try to take short cuts because it won't work here, or certainly I couldn't make it work.

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With the manifold off I was able to measure the size of the exhaust ports. Being a metric person I don't really know inches, but I believe that's how exhausts are measured.

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What I was happy to learn was that the new manifold would match the exhaust port so there would be no nasty step either too small or large.

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The Janspeed manifold may have been better if the exhaust was ported more, but I'm confident that I've made the right choice for this engine and head.

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Here's the hole I would have to fill with the new manifold.

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I got all new gaskets ready to put everything back together.

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I got the new manifold most the way, but had to drop one side of the brace bar down to allow the manifold up into the gap.

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I got the manifold onto the studs but couldn't get it sitting flush on its own, so I had to use the nuts to pull it against the gasket.

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I torqued them down to 45nm in the order shown.

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I popped the heat shield back on along with all the other bits and bobs I removed to get the proper position on the manifold for the next step.

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The manifold didn't come with a fixing for the back section, so I had to make one. It is very DIY and bodge but I am hoping it will do the job. It would give me some adjustment room if needed. I had to drill the rubber mount lower because of the length and the gauge of the L piece.

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I mounted the rubber to establish where to drill the mounting holes on the exhaust. I finished it with loctite on the threads to help secure everything. I'll have to see if it actually works and is strong enough, but it was a very cheap way of sorting a bracket.

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To finish everything I had to put the cat back on. To seal the gap I bought some exhaust paste to go with the new gaskets.

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With not having any oil to fill the engine back up with I couldn't start it to hear what it sounds like or to cure the exhaust paste, but I'm happy I don't have to do that job again for a long time!
Last edited by jamesjeffery on Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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andybond
Site Admin
Posts: 1501
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:16 am
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You are commitment personified with this project!
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thommo
Posts: 4734
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Lancs

More great work. And well documented. Must be very satisfying to se such steady progress.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Well I wish it would be going quicker! Don't want to miss out on driving it in the spring but need to get it to the body shop as soon as I can. That should be most of the more mechanical bits done before the bodyshop anyway.
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