Advisory/Warning: Motorsport Oil Coolers

This affects Elise S1 / Exige S1 / 340R and Rover K-Series models fitted with original equipment front-mounted oil cooler.

We have been carrying out numorous factory oil cooler recalls on Toyota 2ZZ-engined cars, where oil hoses are separating from the unions that are fitted to the oil coolers and sandwich plates.

More recently we have found the same situation on a much earlier Elise Sport 160 which features similar pressure-fitted swaged unions.  The main difference with the earlier cars is that the oil hose itself has been perished and found to be cracking.  This could of course lead to failure of the hose, with subsequent engine damage, and/or fire, or worse still – an accident.

Due to the use of the steel fittings on an aluminium cooler, often the fittings have seized due to corrosion over time. Since OEM parts are not always available, we have an alternative higher-capacity cooler radiator which fits in the original shroud under the crashbox.

We are compiling a kit of parts to replace the original hoses, oil cooler and unions which will allow a full refresh of the oil cooling circuit for these cars.


2016 Performance Driver ‘Track’ Days with CAT Driver Training

This year we are once again pairing up with our friends Colin and Jo Hoad at CAT driver training to arrange several unforgettable days of activities at Millbrook proving ground dedicated to you and your Lotus.

As those who attended the last events we held will tell you, there is no place quite like Millbrook and certainly no road and track driver coaching quite like CAT can provide at this unique venue.  We would like to host 2 events this year, giving drivers the opportunity to bring along their cars and benefit from learning new skill and improving their techniques.  Our team will be on hand at each event to provide technical support and to answer any questions you may have about what we can do for your Lotus.

The price for each day is £400 per person.  Attendees will require a Lotus and a valid driving license.  Helmets will be available for hire on the day but please bring your own if you have one.

Dates on offer are:

  • Saturday 17th September 2016 – 6 Places
  • Saturday 8th October 2016 – 6 Places
  • Sunday 9th October 2016 – 6 Places

Note on noise limits for Millbrook… “there is no limit unless you are a Le Mans Prototype or an F1 car”.  If anyone thinks they can compete at that level on noise, be sure to mention it when booking!

Full details of the event:

An action-packed day run by CAT Driver Training Ltd at Millbrook Proving Ground.

CAT Driver Training is run by Colin and Jo Hoad. Colin used to work for a leading motor manufacturer in the UK as a Vehicle Evaluator and Driver Trainer and has gained extensive experience and qualifications in driver instruction. This includes being certificated to instruct at Millbrook. His life has been spent working with his passion: motor cars – from racing minis to the race preparation of performance cars. He has much experience of vehicles on both road and track and brings a very different approach to driver enjoyment.

The day is a fast moving experience for 6 owners and their cars to introduce the secrets of performance driving. It is designed to be informative, exciting and fun. The group size is purposefully kept small so that the maximum can be obtained from the day in a highly personalised environment.

There is access to the 5 unique circuits at the renowned Millbrook Proving Ground, a venue that is not normally accessible for ‘track days’ and the general public.

Activities designed for the different circuits are:

  • Learn threshold braking from high speed on the Mile Straight
  • High speed driving, potentially to the maximum of your car, on the banked circuit of the High Speed Circuit
  • Drive the demanding Alpine Route circuit with its hills, and variety of corners from hairpins to long and sweeping
  • Take on the tight, twisty and challenging Handling Circuit
  • Put a car through its paces on the open spaces of the Steering Pad/Mile Straight Apron

An instructor will accompany you on all the circuits, and the objective is to teach you how to get the best from your car and develop your performance driving skills in a controlled environment and at a pace you are comfortable with.

Short presentations in vehicle dynamics will help you to understand the relationship between driver input and vehicle balance and control. From this comes the appreciation of how to safely drive your vehicle at grip limit within the controlled confines of a track environment.

At the end of the day, your new found skills can be put to the test in a timed shoot out around a gymkhana-style course laid out on the Steering Pad/Mile Straight Apron.

Included in the day are:

  • Professional in car tuition
  • Access to 5 unique circuits at Millbrook Proving Ground
  • Lunch and refreshments during the day
  • Timed end of day shoot out
  • Full emergency services on hand all day
  • 1 hour 40 minutes driving time with your personal instructor

The format for the day is as follows:

  • 08:30-09:15 Coffee, Introduction, Licence Check, Scrutineering, Safety Briefing & Objectives of the Day
  • 09:30-09:35 Drive to Circuits
  • 09:30-11:00 Mile Straight
  • 11:00-11:50 High Speed Circuit
  • 11:50-13:15 Handling Circuit
  • 13:15-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:00 Alpine Route
  • 15:00-15:45 Understeer/Oversteer
  • 15:45-16:45 Gymkhana timed Shoot Out on the Steering Pad/Mile Straight Apron
  • 16:55 Presentation & Debrief

Timings & Circuit order may be subject to change on the day depending on circuit activity




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.

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