Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hooray for Pizza (and the Lotus Elise)!

Exciting times here in Louisville, Spinellis Pizza (AWESOME pizza place from Philly) is opening up a new location about two miles or so from my house. There original Louisville location is in the Highlands and features a booth inside of a Lincoln Continental (one of those 60's suicide doors ones). Why is this news? Because I LOVE PIZZA! I'm even thinking about starting work on a Pizza Blog.

Best pizza in Louisville.

Anyway, what does this have to do with my Lotus Elise? Good question. Spinellis is big on Graffiti art and as such they have already given their new place "the look". I ran by there earlier today with the Elise to snap some photos of it by the fresh artwork. Check them out below!

(click on photos for larger versions)

Lotus Elise in front of Spinellis Pizza
The Lotus parked outside the new Spinellis Location (at Westport and Goosecreek in Louisville)

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus Elise alongside Spinelli's top notch Graffiti work...

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus Elise alongside some Graffiti

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus Elise alongside some colorful Graffiti

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
The Graffiti in the background reads "Do Not Touch", seems fitting ;)

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus Elise & Graffiti art

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Krypton Green Lotus Elise next to some Graffiti

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
My Lotus Elise next to some top notch Graffiti

Graffiti and Lotus
Lotus Elise next to the new Spinellis Pizza location in Louisville

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus and Graffiti tends to make cool photos

Elise and Graffiti
Lotus and Graffiti

Lotus Elise and Graffiti Art
My Elise next to some Graffiti art

Lotus Elise and Graffiti
Lotus Elise and some colorful Graffiti

Lotus Elise and Graffiti Artwork
Lotus Elise and Graffiti art

Thats about it for todays post, I'll have more in a week or so. I'll be installing a new rear grill (off a 2006 Exige) onto my 2005 Lotus Elise, there aren't any huge differences but the 2006 does have slightly different openings (oval compared to round) and does not have the two reflectors. Should be a nice subtle touch. Check back soon for some photos of this little modification.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

My Lotus featured on Motortopia

Remember when my Lotus Elise was featured on Autoblog as "Reader Ride of the Day"? You don't? Well scroll down a little bit and read that first!

Well, today I came home and had a message letting me know that my Elise was the weekly featured car on Motortopia.com.

Motortopia is another new automotive community that is best described as "MySpace for cars". Everyone should head there and check it out! While you're there be sure to check out my garage.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lotus Elise Intake installation

Last week I mentioned that I had a Green Filter on order from Blackwatch Racing and that I'd be using it in conjunction with a slight intake modification. Well, it arrived yesterday and I was able to get it installed this morning. Aside from the airbox not wanting to snap back together easily it was a very easy install. No dyno numbers or reliable tests to suggest any power increase but it does feel a bit stronger and sounds a LOT meaner on the second cam. Below are some before/after videos and some photos detailing the installation.

Crummy cellphone videos

Installation of the Green Filter and modifying the Elise intake system...
1.Start out by jacking the car up (be careful, don't want this to happen) and removing the rear driver's side wheel. You'll need to remove the back wheel well liner.

Lotus Elise Suspension

The liner is held on by six plastic screws like the one in the photo below...

Click on the photo below to see the location of the 6 screws you'll need to remove. The liner fits in the wheel well pretty snugly but with a little work you can work it free.

2.Once you have the wheel well liner off you can see how the factory airbox gets it's outside air. The snorkel thats attached to the airbox is pretty restrictive, we'll be removing it to free up the intake and hopefully add a bit of power.

Lotus Elise Intake Airbox

To remove the snorkel you need to pop a clip (similar to the screw/plug pieces that hold the wheel well liner on) off the top of the airbox. The clip is actually a screw in piece but due to its location and its tendency to just spin I went ahead and pried it off. I couldn't snap a photo of it on the car but you can see the clip you need to work with by clicking on the photo below.

Lotus Elise Intake Snorkel

3.Once you have the intake snorkel off you can go ahead and open the airbox using the two silver clips, click on the photo to see detail of the clips.

Lotus Elise Airbox

Pull out the stock Toyota airfilter and see just how dirty it is.

The Green Filter is obviously quite different. It's reusable and allows air to flow a world better than the stock air filter. It comes pre-oiled so its ready to pop in right out of the box.

Lotus Elise Green Filter Airfilter

Put the new airfilter in and work on getting the airbox closed again. Because the new filter's gasket is a bit thicker this is a lot tougher than it sounds, work with it though and you can get it to seal correctly. Once the airbox is back together you can work on getting the wheel well liner and wheel back on the car, their installation is the reverse of their removal.

Once you're done go ahead and take the Lotus out for a quick run through the gears. The new sound is pretty cool. The Lotus Elise / Exige isn't exactly quiet to begin with, but this intake modification gives it a really throaty sound once it hits the cam changeover at 6,200 rpms. I've still got the stock Lotus exhaust but I can only imagine how great this will sound with an aftermarket exhaust in the near future. I don't think this netted a big power increase, but it does feel just a bit stronger.

Thats it for now. I don't have any plans for the Lotus right now but I may go out and mess with it a little bit in the next couple weeks.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A shark eats our Lotus and we find a Jetta

Been a while since the last post, took a vacation and have been busy with some freelance stuff. We took the Elise down to Orange Beach / Gulf Shores Alabama for a week after stopping in Chattanooga to see my sister. While in Orange Beach we took some photos of the Lotus by a couple of local "landmarks". Anyone who has been to Gulf Shores will probably recognize these...

I'm starting a new format with the photos I use in these posts, from now on most of them will be clickable. Click on the photo to see a larger version in a new window.
Lotus Elise and giant Shark

Lotus Elise in Gulf Shores

Lotus Elise in Orange Beach

Lotus Elise Purple Octopus
The Lotus also found a giant purple Octopus to make friends with! ;)

While in Chattanooga seeing my sister (and my new niece!) we took a day trip down to IKEA in Atlanta. While at IKEA I ended up finding the perfect storage container for the Lotus Elise / Exige. It's a 5" x 15" CD storage (although not slotted) container from the LYCKLIG line (Product Link). It's on their website but its only available for purchase instore. It fits perfectly behind the seats on the otherwise useless parcel shelf. The seats push into it just a little bit but help with holding it in place. I'm using mine to store change and all the small crap that I usually have a hard time with securing in the Elise.

You can see the European 111R decal in this photo...

REALLY bad photo, but it shows just how hidden it is with the seats pushed back

Also, a while back I mentioned that I had put some European 111R decals on the Elise, finally got around to snapping a photo of them...
Lotus Elise 111R Decal Sticker

And finally, the newest member to our stable, my wife's 1998 VW Jetta GLS. This is her first car so we're pretty excited about it!
MK3 VW Jetta

MK3 Volkswagen Jetta

Check back next week for an update. I ordered a Green Filter air filter from Blackwatch Racing for the Lotus, it should be here Friday so hopefully I can get it installed on Saturday. I'll be doing a small intake mod during the installation and will try to post soundclips from both before and afterwards. Anyway, look for some cool "Lotus Elise taken apart" photos in the next week!

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