S1 Exige Conversion

Topics relating to the Lotus Exige S1 (series 1)
jamesjeffery
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Driving home after fixing the ECU I noticed that there was a slight petrol-y smell. Upon further inspection I noticed that there was petrol dripping at quite an alarming rate from the fuel line into what I believe is the fuel rail. I was quite lucky as the engine block was covered in petrol and smoking pretty badly close to catching.

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When we were at the track after testing the fuel pump was working it was really difficult to get the O-ring and pipe into its housing. In the end we got it as close as possible and used the bolts to pull it in. This must have been slightly misaligned and pinched the O-ring, causing this split.

I didn't have any spare so measured the split one (8mm inner diameter and 4mm cross section) but decided to order some new ones with 1mm smaller cross section to avoid the super tight fit.
There was no snagging with this new smaller size and so far no leaks. Perhaps the old O-ring was too big to start with but I'll definitely keep an eye on it for a while to see if I need to go to the larger size.
Dunc
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:25 pm

Wow that was super lucky, could of been really bad. Glad you’ve sorted it.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Small update but I noticed that the bonnet hinge bolts had broken through the paint and had caused some cracking. Not the best pictures below as I had to pump the exposure up but they show the damage caused over the past year or so.

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I decided to avoid making this any worse by using larger washers to spread the load a bit better. The original fittings did have washers on them, but I used a small size to keep them hidden from sight as best I could in the drainage channel.


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Bit of a fiddly job as I didn't want to take the whole bonnet off as they aren't the easiest things to put back together on your own with the packer plates/bolts/holding the bonnet piece etc.
Got there eventually doing one side at a time and now there are much larger washers on there. I might have tightened them up a bit tight as there are a few new cracks, but hopefully these are just surface cracks in the paint.

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After the new fittings I decided to adjust the actual bonnet as well as I was never overly happy with the placement, being too far back and creating a large gap at the front. I slackened off the 3 securing bolts just enough to push the bonnet further down and nipped them back up.
Trial and error eventually got the shut lines looking good, but I never pressed the bonnet fully down as last time I did that when first assembling everything the release got stuck and it was a right pain to get open again.
I then adjusted the release spring and went for a test and the bonnet popped open perfectly.

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Much better spacing and it also hides the fixings in the drainage channel much better than before.
Next small job is also on the bonnet.
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thommo
Posts: 5035
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Lancs

Steady progress :thumbup:
Exige S1 No: 139
jamesjeffery
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Little weekend job I'd been meaning to do for a while and adjusting the bonnet gave me the push to finally do it.

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Hard to show on pictures and looks worse in person but the bonnet grilles aren't in the best condition, with areas of blue over-spray, chips showing the silver underneath and just generally looking a bit tired.
I had masked up the grilles pretty well before it went to the body shop, but after being left around the shop etc I think a few areas of tape might have torn and let the blue through in strange places like the middle of the grilles.

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I had some delicate surface frogtape and decided to mask up the edge, folding the tape under as best as I could to allow me to spray right up around the edge to get all the blue over-spray tucked up. I used a manky old towel to cover the radiator and other components, which would save me from taking the newly adjusted bonnet off the car. The towel also highlights the numerous silver marks much clearer in this photo.

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There were also a few blobs of the adhesive that had been sprayed, so I would hide these with new black paint too.

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I added a bit more tape to expand the area of protection as I found I was getting a bit close to the paintwork when I had the can really turned to spray up in the edges. I used the same matte black spray paint I had used for many other areas on the car (spoiler supports, discs etc).

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2 coats and I'm happy with the finish, much more uniform finish and no more over-spray and chips.

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I was a little concerned that the finish was matte because all the other grilles are gloss, but I think matte works better against the radiator shroud thing as that's a fairly dull finish. I might spray this piece the same black at some point... we'll see.

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The blobs of adhesive are almost invisible now whereas they really stood out before. In all a good hours worth of effort.
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andybond
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:16 am
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Looks like a tidy job that!
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thommo
Posts: 5035
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Lancs

Good effort!
Exige S1 No: 139
jamesjeffery
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

This isn't going to be a full post but the first stage of oil cooling is complete. I wanted to incorporate a bit of safe-guarding for the oil temperature and initially wanted to use an air to oil cooler in the right hand intake. However, many people pointed out that without decent airflow (mounted in the nose is best) they're not actually very efficient. Also mounting in the nose means super long hoses and potentially lots of oil left in them during changes, so I went for a different route.

I picked this laminova up from eBay pretty cheaply. It is a Rover part from the KV6 that uses the coolant to cool the circulating oil, so unlike the air systems this would provide constant cooling whether the airflow is good or not. Other parts I'll need is a sandwich plate between the oil filter and housing for the braided hoses (with built in thermostat to ensure the oil isn't overly cooled), an oil temp sensor and I've also bought a different vauxhall wiper that has the rear wiper function I will hook up to a relay to switch between coolant and oil temp displays on the Stack unit, perfect for trackdays as I can easily flick between the two without having to hold any buttons on. I didn't want a separate gauge for the oil temp as I like how clean the dash is and I couldn't use the spare Peugeot switch for the temp display as it is already being used for my manual fan.

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The unit came pretty grubby and full of old crappy oil, so would need a good clean up.

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Taking it apart was fairly easy, only tricky part was getting the gasket pieces off without bending/ruining them. I couldn't pull or twist them off so in the end I got a flathead screwdriver and carefully prised them off. Ideally I wouldn't reuse a gasket but I imagine it is unlikely I'll find new ones.

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Finally the central radiator piece was removed. This has lots of fins just like a radiator to dissipate the heat, but it was also full of crap. I was amazed how much oil actually washed out of this.

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Tough to photograph but the unit was also full of crap and grit, probably never opened and cleaned out. Hopefully it never gets this bad when I have it installed.

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I spent a good couple of hours with an old bucket and lots of hose water to clean out all the crap and old oil. I got as much as I could out the radiator part but it was just never ending so had to stop once it looked as clean as I was going to get it. Everything else cleaned up well.

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The main unit cleaned up well but the outside had a fair bit of crap plastered on it that was too tough to remove with the brushes I was using, so I got my dremel and went over it with a wire brush. I think the unit is under the engine in Rovers so is in the firing line for all kinds of dirt and crap. Left side is where I'd cleaned, right is still dirty.

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All taped up and ready for paint.

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I usually like painting things black to hide them, however I thought it would be better to go with silver so I could spot any oil leaks easier, hopefully there won't be any to spot. I was initially going to spray the pipe outlets to match but the can ran out (only just managed one coat for the main unit) and also keeping them bare metal would guarantee no paint chipping off and going into the coolant.

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I initially didn't want to use the original o-rings and bought some new ones. I bought some that had the same cross section at 3mm but testing them I wasn't confident they would properly seal. So I bought some 4mm ones that I hoped would also help with sealing the unit with the old gaskets as these slightly protruded above the clamping surface.

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However, when putting everything back together I couldn't get the coolant outlets to seat. I saw the originals were almost square cross sectional as opposed to circular, so I had to reuse them. Not the end of the world but using new would have been better.

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The unit is now all back together and ready to be fit in place. I really cranked down on the bolts as tight as I could to compress the old gaskets as much as possible.

I plan to put the unit along the engine bulkhead just before the coolant pipe goes into the RH sill off to the radiator. This position also means I only need very short braided hoses to connect the unit to the sandwich plate. Hopefully less old oil remains in the system during changes too. I did think to place the unit after the radiator as this would make the system more efficient at cooling the oil, but then the oil would heat the coolant before it entered the engine, which I think could cause problems and also would need much longer braided hoses and I don't fancy relocating the thermostat.
I'll eventually get around to putting it on the car but I think it wont be a straight forward thing to sort as it requires both coolant and oil to be drained, the coolant pipe to be cut to make room for the unit, cutting and building the braided hoses at the correct length, probably a shorter oil filter (Renault 5 turbo I think), then all the work to get the temp sensor sorted and the stack reading etc. I think this might wait until after the season's trackdays are done so I can tie it in with the normal fluid changes. I would reuse the coolant but reusing oil I'm not so keen, which is a shame as it is pretty fresh so hesitant to do the work now and miss the nice weather.
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thommo
Posts: 5035
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Lancs

Scrubbed up well!
Exige S1 No: 139
jamesjeffery
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

After spraying my front grilles I thought it would be best to sort the radiator shroud to match.

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The fixings I used after the conversion were rubbish and cheap plastic fasteners that went in fine, but then wouldn't unscrew, so in the end I had to use my dremel to but them out. This caused lots of small indents by the fixing holes which I wanted to sort before spraying. Also over the years the shroud must have had things dropped on it or rubbed in certain areas as it had some reasonably deep grooves and dents in it which I also wanted to fill.

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During my build the best thing I used to fill these kind of indents was upol dolphin filler and as my old one had very much gone off, I ordered a new pack and filled in the imperfections.

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I used some 240 grit glass paper to sand the filler smooth and applied some more where necessary. I also went over the whole shroud with the 240 to create a surface the paint could bite to.

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I didn't have any primer so laid a thick layer of the Matt black paint to act as a kind of primer, sanding it back with some 240 and then some 400 grit ready for the final coat.

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The shroud has come up well and I think was well worth doing. I let it cure over night before fixing it back to the car.

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Unfortunately I only had the same box of cheap rubbish fixings to secure the shroud in place, so rather than using the screw type fixings that would cause me the same problems again if I ever wanted to remove them, I went for a slightly different 'push in' pin type.
However I could only seem to get the two side fixings in fully (maybe the filler closed up the middle holes a little) so the middle just have the main base of the fixing. They still hold strong and it isn't going anywhere so they'll do for now.
The bonnet has just caught the edge of the shroud but when it is shut the places you can actually see look much better.

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Another job done and now the shroud and grilles colour match and look nice and fresh.


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I also noticed that my tailgate hinge had got some weird kind of osmosis going on, strange as it has only been on the car less than a year.

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As I had the spray can handy I decided to remove the tailgate and give the hinge a quick sand and blast of paint. Hopefully this paint will protect against the white staining coming back but time will tell. For now though it looks how it is supposed to.
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