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Hangar 111 SELOC Open Day

Last weekend, the doors of our refurbished workshops were opened to members of SELOC for an event organised by the local Essex liason, and Lotus stalwart, John Murphy.

Around ten Lotus and a few other interesting cars braved the chilly conditions – thankfully the icy weather stayed away, and even the sun popped out briefly!

A range of Lotus cars were on display in the workshop, an Elise S1 stripped of it’s bodywork and suspension provided an insight into what goes on under the skin, as well as the Cup R race car, a recently refurbished Elise, and a couple of interesting cars currently for sale.

We also had displayed a range of our spare and upgrade parts, including some of our new exhaust developments in conjunction with Komo-Tec.

 

Attendees were able to take advantage of some special prices for power runs on the rolling road, as well as corner-weight and wheel alignment checks on our state-of-the art alignment rig. A plentiful amount of tea, coffee, and lunch kept everyone fuelled up for the day, and there was plenty of opportunity to chat with members of the H111 team about all things Lotus.

 

 

It is always nice to welcome enthusiastic and knowledgeable club members to the workshop, we hope they enjoyed their visit, and our thanks to SELOC for a good winter turnout of cars, their drivers and passengers.

 

Here’s what some of the people visiting thought…

Another great meet up, thanks again John. Very impressed by the set up at Hangar 111, top marks and what a nice bunch!

Thank you to the Hangar 111 team for a warm welcome today. Great to see the rolling road in action, and the workshop upgrades.

“I would just like to convey my thanks to you, Marianne and the team for hosting a superb event on Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and to those I’ve spoken to also had a great day. Very professional team and excellent facilities you have. The rolling road facility and experience is none other than 1st class.”

Thanks to the Hangar 111 guys (and lady) for the warm welcome, coffee and lunch too. Was my first time there and good to see an impressive set up with enthusiastic knowledgeable people involved.

I had no idea what to expect before arriving. The Hangar 111 facilities are amazing. Almost felt the need to take my shoes off before entering the workshop! They have obviously put a lot of effort into it. Plus they are quite clearly a team of knowledgeable, experienced and professional people. Very impressed indeed. It has given me comfort that there is some quality support around.

 

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New Year – New Workshops!

The last 18 months have been filled with revisions and improvements to our workshop operations.  Partly due to our introduction of the rolling road dyno and separate parts department, but always with the re-organisation of the main workshop areas in mind.

With additions to our ramps, and improving our storage and work space efficiency, we can accomodate more cars in progress for both servicing and longer project work.  Our customers are always welcome to take a look at what we do.

Workshop

This is where servicing, repairs and upgrades happen.  We have various types of vehicle lift that allow us to cater for all vehicles.  We have all the specialist tools, dealer diagnostic kit, and technical support from Lotus and KTM that are required to correctly repair and maintain these models.

Engine & Transmission

In the workshop we can repair and rebuild gearboxes and engines using the correct tools and methods specified by the manufacturer.  With the volume of this work steadily increasing, we have now improved our clean-area to cater for this additional workload.

Ride & Handling

Our Snap-On digital imaging wheel aligner and dedicated alignment ramps have been repositioned and recalibrated to allow drive-in, drive-out wheel alignment and vehicle setup at short-notice. Our sophisticated wireless weighing scales allow corner weights to be measured and adjusted accurately.

Dyno & Superchips

The 2WD rolling road has it’s own sound-insulated and air flow controlled environment.  Here we can capture performance, diagnose problems and map or remap many engine management systems – including Emerald and Lotus OEM.  As the Superchips dealer for the region, we can re-programme the engine management of almost all modern diesel and petrol vehicles usually within an hour.

Parts Department

With 2016 as our busiest year to date, we decided to both move and extend our parts department.  The new layout is more efficient and better organised, giving us the ability to process parts requests more effectively than ever before.

Customer Waiting Area

Although we have some lovely locations nearby, if you are just popping in for a short visit, we now have a comfortable waiting area.  With hot and cold drinks, a food prep area if you are with us over lunchtime, and power and wi-fi if you wish to work while you wait for your car to be ready.

 

But don’t just take our word for it, why not come along and see for yourself!

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Surviving winter with your Lotus

Summer is becoming a distant memory, but fear not, you can still drive your Lotus in the winter.
Here are our top tips to take care of you and your car when doing so…

The main enemy to your car is salt.  While helpful for our safety, grit salt on the road can be devastating to the condition of your suspension and chassis.  However there are a few things you can do to reduce the impact:

Spray water at it! Pressure wash after each trip out to rinse the salt off, giving the car a little time to cool off first – keep the lance a short distance from the car, no need to be too aggressive. Clean around the wishbones, brakes, dampers, exposed chassis areas and underbody.  It should be possible to access most areas through the wheels, arches, and under the car. Don’t forget the wheels and radiator. After this, try to clean the water from the brakes with a very short drive before storing the car, to prevent the brakes sticking on when parked.

If you have a fuel station with a jet wash near to home, the hot foam soft brush is a good way of removing the salt film from the car. It is important to always make sure you rinse any grit and dirt from the brush with the spray lance before using it, to prevent scratching bodywork.

Clean the inside of the alloy wheels – this is often the first place the paint will lift. Get a soft wheel brush that accesses the inner rim through the spokes, and all of the tight areas around the brakes etc.  Always take care not to knock off the wheel weights!

After washing, wax the car, and spray the wheels with a suitable alloy wheel sealant. This will reduce the effects of salt and brake dust which can be a damaging combination to the paint. It also makes it alot easier to clean in future, and the wheels look smarter for longer.

Cold tyres, cold brakes and cold feet?  Attention to your tyres and braking technique may be useful this winter season…

Many people use softer compound “summer” tyres which are not recommend for use below 8 degrees Celsius.  This is because the compound of the rubber is designed to be soft at higher temperatures, but it much harder when it is cold.  It is therefore essential to keep an eye on the pressures and condition of the tyres during the winter months.  If the sidewalls of the tyres are showing any signs of cracking, they should be replaced.

In the cold weather you may find that your braking efficiency is slightly reduced. This is most noticeable on cars without servo assistance (Elise S1, S2, Exige S1, 340R), and is again temperature related.  Initial brake bite may be reduced after travelling on the motorway at speed for a while so take care when approaching those inevitable winter traffic hold-ups.

With the roads being generally dirty, it is often surprising the difference keeping your headlights clean will make to their effectiveness when driving in the dark.  If you drive alot at night, then it is well worth considering some upgraded bulbs, which can give you up to 50% more, whiter, light than the standard items.

The efficiency of the heater in the Elise S1 can be improved by insulating the ducting that passes from the heater box to the inlet above the footwell.  The original silver “extractor ducting” can be wrapped in a suitable non-conductive insulation like open-cell foam.

Keeping the inside of the windscreen and side windows clean, will help them to demist much quicker, as well as aid visibility in the dark.  Use a simple glass cleaning product with a clean microfibre cloth for best results.  Footwell mats get damp in winter, so remove them from the car to dry them out, which will help prevent misting and condensation in the car when you are driving.

A good quality car cover will help keep your pride and joy looking its best.  An indoor cover will ensure that all your polishing efforts won’t be contaminated by dust, an outdoor cover will protect the car from the weather should you need to leave it outside.  We have a range of indoor dust covers, as well as the excellent Stormforce outdoor covers (which can also be used indoors!), tailored to suit all Lotus models.  Also our Elemental shower covers are great for sealing up the gaps around the soft top roof, helping to keep moisture from accumulating inside the cockpit – which in turn helps keep the windows demisted.

Finally, if you are using the car occasionally, consider a battery conditioner such as the Optimate, which will ensure that your battery is kept in good condition, and the car will start on the button when you see that crisp sunny morning!

 

There are still some beautiful driving days in winter, so don’t be scared to take your car out, just be sure to follow these tips to keep everything in top working condition!

 

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2016 Racing Season Finale

The climax of the 2016 Lotus Cup racing season takes place this weekend on the Snetterton 300 circuit.

With five sessions of Lotus car on the track, supported by Mini and Formula 3 series too, it promises to be a full day of Lotus racing action as the Lotus Cup and Elise Trophy championships reach their climax.

Hangar 111 Racing will again be in paddock, supporting our drivers Mark Richardson (Car 26) in Elise Trophy, and James Little (Car 34) in both Lotus Cup and Elise Trophy.

As the sun sets on another great year of racing, why not come along for a final autumn blast.  We’re based in the pit garages all day on Saturday, so come and find us and say hello!

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Hygroscopic

It is recommended that your brake fluid is renewed every 2 years.  This is because brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it is able to absorb water molecules from its surrounding atmosphere.  Failure to refresh the fluid will result in a loss of effectiveness of the braking system, as the properties of the fluid are changed by the water content, particularly the boiling point.

Taken to an extreme, not flushing the system with some regularity, can result in a mayonnaise-like accumulation, like that seen here.

Needless to say, the brakes on this car were hugely improved by cleaning the reservoir and thoroughly flushing the system with new fluid.

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EALC Workshop Visit

At the weekend, we were visited by members of the local East Anglian Lotus Club. Twelve Lotus, and a couple of interesting other cars, made their way in convoy in less than ideal conditions, but a warm welcome awaited at Hangar 111.

A range of vehicles were on display at the workshop, ranging from a very tidy early S1 Elise, to the latest Evora 400, via S2 Exige and Elise, and an LF1.  The championship-winning Hangar 111 Racing Elise Cup R was also present, demonstrating our state-of-the-art alignment rig in action.

Some of our current parts catalogue were available for hands-on perusal, which showed some of our developed upgrade parts, such as the Signature exhaust range, JRZ suspension, and others.  Also a number of factory and everyday parts, including the ever popular Elemental shower caps and Stormforce car covers.

A steady supply of tea and coffee, and a buffet lunch kept attendees topped up, whilst there was plenty of time to meet and chat with the H111 team about all things Lotus.

Our guests were also given an introduction to our new rolling road dyno booth, with a show-and-tell from Greg giving the low down on how the dyno works, and how it enhances our diagnostics and tuning services.

 

 

 

It was great to welcome club members to the workshop, we hope they enjoyed their visit, and our thanks to EALC for a good turnout of cars, and their enthusiastic drivers and passengers.

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