Observations from first long distance drive

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Observations from first long distance drive

Postby robertverhey » Sun 27.10.2019, 05:41

Have just driven my SE from Sydney to Hobart, its new home, this involved two solid days driving and an overnight ferry trip. Thought I’d make some observations while fresh in mind

1. Immensely enjoyable drive, especially on the B roads of Tas (I went the long way down via coast, very scenic, very winding, perfect Elan roads). Overtaken by lots of modern cars, who do the freeway stuff way better. But I didn’t really “get it” until the winding B roads.

2. There is so much available torque, power, balance and cornering power that you almost have to “re-learn” your driving technique

3. The car handle downpours and crosswinds extremely well. In fact there is very little reason to slow down (apart from common sense). Yes some leakage into side seals, the towel draped over my arm and leg was useful.

4. Despite 10 or so years in development, there are still some NVH issues including a slight drumming around 3000rpm (drat, freeway cruising speed).

5. First car I’ve ever had that made the CD skip due to cornering g forces (!)

6. Heater and aircon (recently converted to R134A at some considerable expense) work really well

7. Tendency for check engine light to come on at random, unpredictable times. Including once when I was committed to overtaking, flat out in fourth gear on the wrong side of the road. Engine cut out and stumbled at 4000 rpm necessitating hasty braking and retreat in face of oncoming traffic . Not something I’d like to experience again. Switching engine off also switched the light off. Will get to the bottom of it, starting with plug leads and coils, I think.

8. Freeway fuel consumption at a steady 110kmh averaged at 7.5 litres per 100km. Okay I guess.
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Re: Observations from first long distance drive

Postby John_W » Sun 27.10.2019, 10:51

:clap:
7 is a stuck waste-gate giving you overboost and hitting the safety cut-out. Easily fixed by unsticking the wastegate actuator rod (most effectively done by removing the actuator capsule and rod assembly - a bit fiddly if you can’t get the heatshield off!). See here.
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Re: Observations from first long distance drive

Postby robertverhey » Sun 27.10.2019, 12:25

Thanks wastegate was one of the things I checked early after purchase after reading the forum and when trying to get my boost gauge to work (now sorted) at the time it seemed free (and yes that heat shield was a right bugger to get off). Will check it again. If it proves to be okay what are the other faults that make the 4000rpm misfire kick in I wonder? Plugs have been renewed (but not leads yet they were too $$$$) throttle body cleaned...coils are reasonably cheap ($A40-50 each from Repco down under)

Oh and I omitted one observation from my road trip.

Always, always drive with the headlights on. Can't count on those approaching SUV/truck drivers to look down low before they pull out to overtake. This car is tiny.
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Re: Observations from first long distance drive

Postby Simon_P » Sun 27.10.2019, 13:31

robertverhey wrote:Will get to the bottom of it, starting with plug leads and coils, I think.
although good maintenance Neither of these will cause the CEL to light or a fault code to be set.

The 4000 rpm is a rev limit on limp mode not a missfire.

Do the paperclip test to find the fault code.

robertverhey wrote:4. Despite 10 or so years in development, there are still some NVH issues including a slight drumming around 3000rpm (drat, freeway cruising speed).
Hood up? How old are the tyres?... Drive faster

Sounds like an interesting adventure, not bad for a 30 year old car.
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Re: Observations from first long distance drive

Postby robertverhey » Mon 28.10.2019, 07:22

Yes 30 is a bit of a magic number downunder, as 30 year old cars affiliated with a recognised club are eligible for specialist vehicle registration at dramatically reduced rates. And according to the various autographs and “Fred wuz here” scribbles around the body mine came down the production line in May 2000.

Will have to wait until it does the engine light thing again, as my battery isolator has wiped all error codes.

NVH explained and not Lotus’ fault, newly fitted aftermarket catalyst pipe is hitting the upper edge of the pongeron. Bit of fettling required there.
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