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Thread: Lotus Elise...2005-6

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Lotus Elise...2005-6

    I'm in the market for a Lotus as described in the title....I've always had older Brit cars (the last one when on this site a '56 TR3 smallmouth) but am in that 'I really want to drive it worry free' mode and am intrigued by the chassis on this car married to a Toyota drive train....

    Any suggestions of what to look for or owners comments would be appreciated....thanks

    BTW, I'd posted in the TVR section as I had an option on a beautiful total rebuild 2500 M...but just couldn't pull the trigger on a car with 154 HP and that mech period (154 because the 6 had been done by Savanah Racing)...it was a fantastic build but I just want something a bit more carefree at this point...like a lot of you I do my own wrenching.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Well, I've been looking and found the oil coolant line issues....cam lobe problem....oil U tube rubbing wear...leaking radiators and blower motor issues.....anyone have anything to add?

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Wish I could help but I've no experience with 'em. Only thing I'd be wary of would be one that has had body damage. Lotus themselves say that makes it "unrepairable".
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
    '78 Alfa Romeo Spider-undergoing surgery: O=\*/=O
    '84 300D Turbo-"Diesela"-Now my Daily: Oo|≣|oO
    '02 Toyota Camry- SWMBO's 'new-to-her' Daily. <sigh>
    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Yes, if serious, as it has a carbon fiber/aluminum monocoque frame so any damage to that makes it a goner....front / rear clamshell damage is usually cosmetic if a fender bender (with no fenders)....otoh that is basically the same deal with my older 911 tub...if seriously damaged Hagerty writes it off....and pays the full agreed price.

    I've found an excellent Lotus forum source so pretty much have everything I need...appreciate the info tho...and would still like t hear from any owners.

  5. #5
    Luke Skywalker Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Well, I have had my 2005 for 12 years now, am very unlikely to sell it, and it has been the most reliable car I have owned. It has never failed to start, nor failed to proceed.
    In those year it has had replacement rotors and pads, tyres a-plenty, rears particularly don't last much more than 10,000 miles. A new steering rack and pinion, the oil lines replaced under recall, and that's about it.
    The body is vulnerable, I wrecked a rear clam by reversing into a flower bed in a parking lot one dark and rainy evening. It was replaced under insurance. The front gets chipped and battered by stones, so every so often I sand it, fill it and paint it. It doesn't stand really close inspection, but it's OK from 6 feet. It's a driver, not a show car.
    I replaced the seats with those from a 2006, they're more comfortable and just as supportive. There are many people ready to buy the old ones to put in Miatas! My wheels are from an Exige 240, still Lotus but wider rims. Cuts down the understeer and improves transition. I run Bridgestone RE71 tyres.
    You may deduce I'm a fan, and you'd be right. An Elise is as much fun as you can have in a car by yourself. I can always back it up with a trip in the Elan or Europa if I get bored, which isn't likely.
    Oh, and I'm 76, 6'00", and 230lb. Still limber enough to get in and out.
    Roger
    Ancient Briton
    '67 Lotus Elan S3
    '72 Lotus Europa TC
    '05 Lotus Elise

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    Luke Skywalker Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    Wish I could help but I've no experience with 'em. Only thing I'd be wary of would be one that has had body damage. Lotus themselves say that makes it "unrepairable".
    Not body damage, but damage to the aluminium chassis, if it gets distorted or suspension mounts torn and the like. Lotus would rather you buy a new chassis.
    Roger
    Ancient Briton
    '67 Lotus Elan S3
    '72 Lotus Europa TC
    '05 Lotus Elise

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger
    Lotus would rather you buy a new chassis.


    I'm sure they would!

    Starting to look into a Spyder space-frame for the Elans, Shipping here to the colonies from Old Blightey is about as expensive as the frame itself. I've been told if I purchase one of each, the shipping would be only slightly higher than if just one at a time... now I have to find the lolly for TWO of 'em!
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
    '78 Alfa Romeo Spider-undergoing surgery: O=\*/=O
    '84 300D Turbo-"Diesela"-Now my Daily: Oo|≣|oO
    '02 Toyota Camry- SWMBO's 'new-to-her' Daily. <sigh>
    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    I found and purchased a 2005 w/26k miles in very nice shape...silver with a repainted front clam (matches perfectly) from some scrapes etc....truly enjoy the car.
    It is very purpose built and I understand why one can find them with low miles....many 'think' they want a raw sports car but don't really know what that means until they get one. I love the feel myself.
    All of the money invested in an Elise goes to proper frame/engine/suspension parts and not silly comfort features and widgets....Colin would be very proud of this car as it embodies his engineering/design spirit.

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    Luke Skywalker Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Congratulations! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.
    Roger
    Ancient Briton
    '67 Lotus Elan S3
    '72 Lotus Europa TC
    '05 Lotus Elise

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Quote Originally Posted by prb51
    many 'think' they want a raw sports car but don't really know what that means until they get one.


    Truer words...

    The doctor/lawyer/dentist who thinks they want to drive these cars, initially thrilled then they either get into a shunt, are expecting a child and 'mom' insists they get rid of the "thing" or scare themselves half to death as the car saves their bacon. Seen it MANY times. Even told a prospective Alfa Spider buyer he shouldn't be in a performance two-seater... he bought it in spite of the advice, had it less than six months. Scared himself silly and traded it on a Chevy. True story. And an Alfa isn't nearly as twitchy and unforgiving as a Lotus.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
    '78 Alfa Romeo Spider-undergoing surgery: O=\*/=O
    '84 300D Turbo-"Diesela"-Now my Daily: Oo|≣|oO
    '02 Toyota Camry- SWMBO's 'new-to-her' Daily. <sigh>
    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

  11. #11
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    I find the Elise very well planted and not twitchy at all but, then again, I drive older luftgekult 911's too and think they handle wonderfully. Once you get the feel of a rear biased car you appreciate them for their own quirks, like the fantastic manner they dig out of corners.
    I find the Lotus less twitchy than the 911 but I enjoy staccato steering as a means of control...it really does work and one can maintain a great deal of forward momentum thru the twisties.
    The Elise is a magnificent Lotus rendition of lightness/suspension and a reliable powerplant that likes to rev. I will put a supercharger on it....250 RWHP would be perfect with the 1970 lbs I think.....oh, and remap the ECU for the variable cam @ 5200 rpm.

  12. #12
    hichamaziz
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    Re: Lotus Elise...2005-6

    Wish I could help

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