S1 Exige Conversion

Topics relating to the Lotus Exige S1 (series 1)
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I had almost forgotten about the bother bits of bodywork I'd have to sort, being so tied up with both clams.

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I started with the bonnet as it was already off the car.

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Taping up was relatively easy other than right up to the edges and under the lip to cover all of the grilles. The grilles are in really good condition and so don't need any spraying or refurb.

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All taped and ready to sand. There are a few stone chips that will need filler but most will be covered by primer.

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I also taped the under side and will ask for this side to have a spray of base coat (no primer) to hide the respray.

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I sanded with 320grit to get the key needed for the primer to grab hold.
I also need to key the doors and sills but it is much easier than sanding right back.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Due to the larger width Exige wheels along with the 255 rear tyres, they came very close to rubbing against my handbrake. I decided to create a bit more distance between the two.

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Here was the before. There was probably only a few mil between the wheel and cable.

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After loosening the 10mm nut in the bracket I twisted it and then tightened it back down.
It is a little more kinked than before but I'm confident it won't affect its performance and getting the clearance was more important as I leave the car in gear on any type of gradient.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

To complete the exhaust manifold swap I had to get a new oil filter as I decided to go to a thicker oil.
I bought a new 5l bottle of 10W50 to replace the 10W40.

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I didn't get anything fancy and just bought a £5 Rover part.

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I noticed it didn't have any indication marks on it to help with the install tightness, so I marked 1 through 4 at each 90 degree mark.

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I lubed the rubber gasket part with the new oil before hand tightening it onto the thread.

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Once it was snug I noted the number on the filter, this time it was 4. Once snug you then have to rotate it another 3/4, which is where the numbers come in.

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In my case the final number I had to rotate to was 1. It is important not to over tighten them. Most filters seem to have this number system already on them, but it is a bit of guess-work to decide when it is 'snug'. You can see between the two images the rubber has been compressed but not squeezed to death.

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I noted the amount of oil that was drained from the engine at about 4 litres, so this is what I would put back into the engine.

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I always do a little tissue ring around the oil filler to catch any spills.

The car took the 4 litres and I fired it up to circulate the new oil and saturate the new filter. I was a bit concerned when smoke poured off the engine and manifold but confident it was just excess oil burning off the surfaces. I let it get to temperature and gave it a few blips to hear what it sounded like. I can't really tell much of a difference which was good but on tick over it might be a tiny bit quieter. I kept it running until the smoke finally stopped, which should also have been long enough to cure the exhaust paste too. After all this I checked the oil again, where the level was perfect.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

All genuine rear clams have these little packer items to raise the rear grilles up off the clam.

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My clam obviously didn't have any so I had to sort my own.

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You could leave them off and just have a hole, but personally I think the gap around the fixing pins looks crap.

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I sourced these small rubber bungs to do the same job.

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I originally tried to push them through the underside of the clam, but being soft rubber they just wouldn't do it. So I cut them in half and would just slide them onto the fixing pins.

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So much better than before and keeps the grilles up from just resting on the clam.

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I definitely didn't have to do this stage, but looking at the grilles again made me realize I could improve them. I took my dremel and ground the extra material down so the outer edge was much neater. These will get a fresh coat of paint when putting them on the finished car.


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jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Along with the bonnet, doors and sill, there were are few other bits that needed sanding to be prepped for primer.

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The engine bay finisher panels needed the surfaces keyed so I took some 240 grit and gently went over them. The 320 grit was taking far too long and I was told 240 would be fine, especially as I was doing it by hand.

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Not only did the surface get keyed, it also took out the high spots and left a better surface afterwards, so a win win.

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Ready for primer. A few areas needed a bit of filler to take out the low spots sanding wouldn't, but everything is nice and flat.

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I also sanded the engine cover frame down too and filled any imperfections. The frame is less visible than the finisher panels so didn't spend as much time getting them perfect, but should still look great once finished.
Last edited by jamesjeffery on Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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andybond
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:16 am
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You must have spent hours hand sanding?
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

You have no idea! All of it has been by hand except for the dremel bits 😭
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thommo
Posts: 4734
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Lancs

Steady progress!
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Hoping for a big push in the next week or so. Work wants everyone to take 5 days off between now and end of April so will set a few aside to blitz through the car and get it (mostly) out of my hands.

When it does go to the Bodyshop I'll likely have to run down the primer etc to get the 'mates rate' so I won't be completely free from it, just a pain it is 30 miles from where I live with lockdown.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Been slowly but surely finessing the rear clam while it is off the car. The main area of focus has been neatening up the edge and correcting any inconsistencies.

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The main surfaces I'll leave for the body shop, but I think the edge and inner surfaces may not get the same attention.
I took out the high spots and filled the low to get it nice and smooth. I know a lot of this isn't seen for the most part, but when the doors are open etc it is on display so I'm happy I spent the extra time to sort it.

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Again, these areas aren't really on show, especially the rear light recesses, but I wanted to get them consistent and level.

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I will be making my own extension pieces for the wheelarch areas, but as you can see these areas even with the wheels on I tidied them up.

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I've got the driver's side left to finish but everywhere is filled ready to sand down. I found a slight crack in this area of the filler, so to be safe I ground it out and refilled. I think it might have happened pulling the top of the clam outwards to get the roof off once with the clam still on, so I'll be avoiding doing that again.

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I could have left these areas near the wheelarches as they're likely to get chewed up a bit anyway with stones off the tyres, plus they're aren't really seen but as I had the filler out there was no point missing it and doing it half arsed.

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When transporting the clam back home from Wales the rear clam had to go on the roof of Dad's van. Although we did our best to protect it I think this was when the tips by the diffuser got chipped. I built them up ages ago with JB Weld to get them strong but will probably need some more filler once this has been sanded back. I also added some dolphin filler to areas where there were saw marks and cuts etc.

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I decided to flatten off the brace piece for the tailgate latch to make it a bit neater. Same process of taking out the high spots and filling the lows. Should look more like plastic when it is sprayed.
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