Little and Large Lotus

We were fortunate to have two extremely different Lotus at the workshop this week.

Firstly, an Evora GTE, one of just 20 cars that were built for the road by Lotus Motorsport, based on the original GTE race/concept cars.  With it’s 100mm wider track and body styling, this car features the ‘GP Edition’ livery, inspired by the Lotus Renault F1 cars of 2011, so it has some serious presence.  The car was with us for an EV430 power upgrade, so now it has a performance boost to match it’s appearance.

At the other end of the scale, the Elan S3 FHC built in 1966, is compact in its dimensions, but by no means less purposeful. This particular car has been developed for speed events, so it’s performance punches way above its size might suggest – thanks in part to its relatively feather weight, but also the tuned Lotus Twin Cam engine is delivering around 50% more power than standard.



Creaking Hard Tops

If your Lotus hardtop is making creaking or squeaking noises, or vibrating, there are a few things you can do to help resolve this situation…


Carefully remove the roof, then clean and spray all surfaces that touch the rubbers with a thin coat of  a dry teflon lubricant (available from many places – including bike shops etc.).  This stuff doesn’t run when it gets hot and won’t penetrate the rubbers causing splitting later on.  There are a few types out there and they work really well on window channels too.

Make sure all the seals are correctly positioned, and the roof is pushed home, before tightening all the fasteners to the Lotus torque specification.


Avoid using vaseline, white grease, multi-purpose grease, lard (yes – we have seen this done), surf wax, olive oil, other wet  ‘lubes’. Do not use a wet silicone lubricant – as it will find it’s way out of the joint and you will be wiping it up forever!

Don’t be tempted to keep cranking away at tightening the bolts -  they will eventually strip the threads or even crack the hardtop!

Don’t spray directly onto the rubbers – you will end up with it on your interior.  Spray the contact points on the roof itself with it upturned on a carpet or protective mat.  Let the spray dry before upturning the roof and re-fitting.

Final step, enjoy your creak-free hardtop!


Komo-Tec EX460 Upgrade Review

A short customer review following installation of the Komo-Tec EX460 upgrade kit to his V6-powered Exige:

“I picked my V6 up from Hangar 111 on Saturday with the 460 kit installed and ready for action. Greg had already warned me that ‘it’s a bit rapid ‘. He showed me what had been done and spoke of magic and witchcraft that will put a smile on my face when I drive it.

At this point I would like to thank Hangar 111 again for looking after my car. Every time I have it upgraded or worked on it always comes out of the work shop as it went in. I understand that the 460 kit was a big job and I was delighted to see no oil, grease or residue anywhere on or in my car or in the engine bay from all that had been done. That in itself is a credit to Hangar 111.

I took what was going to be a long way home, but the volume of cars and dirt on the road meant I was destined for home and rarely got above 60mph. However, one week on, I soon managed to rack up just over 200 miles in the sun with my roof off, and managed a further 250 miles today in the sun around Suffolk & Norfolk. I didn’t see one other Lotus!

So what’s changed to me as a normal driver of a V6? Especially as I already had a 430 kit installed. Well, just about everything seems to have changed in terms of power because there is so much of it. It seems to have more bang, even lower in the rev range, and continues through to what seems the limiter. Fourth gear has never been used so much for coming out of the corners because it feels like third. Second is a few blinks of the eye and it’s all over. Even fifth from about 70mph feels like it’s been on steroids.

The power delivery is different from the 430, Its more aggressive and soon gives you a shove in the back like never before – it just keeps pulling until I thought my hair was going to come out at the roots. The car has run effortlessly and really has made the car a new experience to drive and enjoy. It’s nice knowing that everything is cooler as well so hot days won’t cause an issue with power.

I have a Komo-Tec system but with a Larini back box and the sound has also changed. I get a few more pops and bangs than I did, which I love, but it screams with amazing depth and the sound of power which matches the car.

It definately eats fuel faster than before, which is no problem, but it is noticeable. I managed 160miles out of a filled tank until the light come on (but I wasn’t hanging about). And after calm had set it in a further 185 miles was clocked up before the light come on from full (maybe 10 – 15 less miles than before?) but I’m not counting it’s just for comparison. I did all of this with the roof off and I Imagine with it on you may hear a little more of the supercharger.

At the same time, I had the carbon fibre side sills installed, and the quality is amazing. They go back far further than expected into the chassis and they are finished with a lovely edge. Hangar 111 improved the original idea of them as well, and I managed to keep my front mud guard on combined with them, so it looks finished now and of course will help to protect the sides of my car.

I am off to the Highlands tonight in it which will rack up about 2500 miles over the next week, and I hope to enjoy every moment of it which you can’t fail to do in a Lotus of any kind.

And for the people that are about to say ‘What’s the point in all that power if you don’t track it’ – it’s the same reason why you upgrade your phone, it does exactly the same but just a whole lot faster.”


Some Recent Feedback

Here’s some recent feedback we have received from some of our customers…


“Catching up after a fantastic weekend driving the Exige. As you said, it really is stunning. It feels transformed. From the sheer power, responsiveness, turn in, cornering to the overall feel of the new cockpit. A very large thank you for getting it to me by Friday. Thank you for all of your help and advice. I’m very pleased with the result.”

CM – Exige S – EX460 upgrade installation.


“Yes yes love the steering wheel, happy happy. Thank you!!”

GB – Elise S2 – Quick release Momo steering wheel fitted.


“I just thought I would drop a line to say that your newsletter is ace, most news letters are rubbish and I just delete them. They tend to be a waste of time. This I actually read and find really interesting. I have dealt with nearly all of the various companies in the Lotus community and none of them come close to the presenting themselves in such a decent way. It’s just really nice. I just thought you’d like to know as often people just hear bad things and not positive and often people over look the effort that people go to.”



“Just to say the car is fantastic, can’t stop driving it!  Awesome. Acceleration in second gear is unbelievable! Living the dream!”

Rob – Elise 111R – 280S supercharger kit installation.


“I fitted the replacement system last night and managed to get a brief drive out late evening and into work this morning. Initial impressions are very positive as the quality of workmanship is superb and the sound at WOT is spot on. From a ‘bum dyno’ point of view it feels a little more urgent in the low to mid-range, especially on partial throttle opening which I was not expecting as I thought I’d only notice benefits at peak… So, in summary, a great product that’s well made, looks superb, sounds great and most importantly has made a noticeable improvement to performance.

Also, at the risk of sounding sycophantic, I’ve found your customer service to be excellent and I’m really grateful for your patience and time going back to when I initially phoned for advice when buying the car.”

Chris – Elise – Signature exhaust system.


“Still breaking the ‘old girl’ in, but definitely much smoother and a far better overall driving experience.  ‘Speed limits’ are coming up quicker, corners are even more exciting and 5th gear is being used a lot more.  Random pops and burbles are very amusing!  The attention to detail under the bonnet is great – well done to all.”

SC – Sport 160 – Throttle bodies and Emerald upgrade.


“Just to say a big thank you for the instructions and for accommodating me just dropping in. Harnesses and exhaust fitted perfectly, and were tested fully at Snetterton last night :) – exhaust is sounding fantastic and getting better with each mile.”

JH – Elise – Harnesses and Signature exhaust.


One, Hundred, and Eleven

We recently had a customer visit the workshop, who was clearly “one-eleven” through and through.

The obvious starting point was that they owned a Lotus Elise (Lotus project code M111) 111R, with registration S11 ***.  But it also transpired that their home address is house number 111…  one of the birthdays is 1/1… and they were engaged on 11/11/11.

It was clearly a foregone conclusion that they brought the car for a service at Hangar 111!


V6 Exhaust Noise Overridden!

Noise is an ever increasing issue at trackdays in the UK – particularly when fitting a performance exhaust system to a car.  The latest switchable exhaust silencer for the V6 powered Exige and Evora models, provides a method to help with this problem.

The Lotus OEM silencer has to pass stringent testing for type approval, which is why Lotus fitted a flap valve to produce two routes through the exhaust.  This is not in itself a bad idea, as you don’t always want your car to be vocal, but the OEM silencer is restrictive, so has to open the flap at higher engine speeds to prevent high levels of back pressure affecting the engine.

The uprated exhaust design from Komo-Tec, features a very high quality exhaust valve, and eliminates the high level of back pressure, so it is possible to run with the valve closed, if required. In order to achieve this, and not cause the ECU to produce an error code, we created a simple exhaust lock-out system. The addition of a basic toggle switch to the cockpit means that the exhaust can be locked either open or closed, using the existing traction control mode switch in the car.

Additionally, when the silencer was developed on the dyno, the car delivered the same power with the valve closed as with it open – so you can have all of the power, either with or without the noise!

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