S2 Track Modifications
Investing in track upgrades for an S2 Elise, a pragmatic and cost conscious approach to stepwise investments for getting the most out of a Lotus Elise on track as your driving improves;
1. Oil Fully synthetic with a high HTHS value and change when it’s black every 8 to 12 track hours. If you don’t have an oil cooler then it will need changing more often. http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/Oil_Labelling_Explained
2. Brake Pads and Fluid Performance brake Pads (Mintex 1144 fast road £100, Pagid RS42 blue road and track £200, Pagid RS14 black £200 track bias) Fronts should last 24 track hours rears two to four times that. http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/Brake_pads
New fluid (Castrol Super DOT4 £10, AP600 £20, SRF £50) and plan to bleed fluid regularly (every 8 to 12 track hours) and change it annually http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/Brake_fluid
Braided hoses £50 (£100 to install) the normal rubber hoses expand slightly when brake pressure is on and this increases as the fluid hots up, braided hoses prevent this
3. Harness Bolt in or Wrapround ? If you don’t have seats with shoulder strap holes you MUST buy bolt in harnesses and an appropriate bar. If you have seat holes then you can have bolt in or wrapround.
Harness shoulder strap bar ? There are two principle types of harness bar on that mounds mid level using dedicated points on the roll bar but requires cutting the plastic back panel or one that bolts behind the inertia reels but can have the straps too high if you are shorter.
Harness Points ? they come in 4 or 5/6 point (crutch strap). 4 point is fine as you need a special cut-out in the base of the seat to use the 5/6 strap and you also need a special mount frame to secure them.
Clubman or loose ? Clubman harness where the 2” shoulder straps are permanently attached to the lap straps so do not join at the buckle and are quite wide so you could pop out the middle if you are a slight build. Separate shoulder and lap straps which all join at the buckle are more expensive and more secure and come in 2” or 3” (pref) widths. Lapstraps should generally be 2” for security as the 3” can ride up the pelvis.
Adjusters ? Shoulder straps can be fitted with quick release or adjustment buckles which make leaning forward e.g. if using harness son the road a whole lot easier.
One of the best regarded harnesses is the Willans Silverstone 4 point (with 5/6 strap an option) 3” shoulder 2” lapstrap.
4. Camera & mount If you really want to improve then vide yourself for later review of performance and technique. With a harness bar the usual mount is a Manfrotto superclamp with post and camera plate for £40 and stick any MiniDV or digital camera on there. Great new
5. Suspension If you eventually want to fit cut slick tyres and use their capabilities you will need stiffer springs and that means new dampers; Lotus Sport Suspension with adjustable ride height £600 or Nitron One Way with adjustable ride height and damping (bump/rebound) £1,100. This is a long conversation, but just the suspension will drop a 2 minute lap by 5 seconds.
New suspension will need the Geometry adjusting, anther long storey. http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/Geo_Setups
6. Tyres By now you are melting your road tyres on track so its time for 195/225 cut slicks either Yokohama A048 £650 or Toyo R888 £450 will drop a 2 minute lap by a further 5 to 10 seconds. http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/Tyres_for_OZ_Racing_Rims
Whilst you can run them on the standard 5.5J front rims it is highly recommended to upgrade the front rims to 6.5J or 7J which unfortunately needs a whole set like TeamDynamics £500 or Lotus Motorsport OZ or Exige £1,000 http://wiki.seloc.org/index.php/S2_Wheel_Options
7. Brake Disks You are probably now at the point of overheating the OEM front disks with the extra braking capacity of the cut slicks. Time to upgrade the front disks to something that handles heat better Elise-shop Motor sport disks £200 or Elise parts Ally Bell £300. There is marginal benefit upgrading the rear disks as they are used a LOT less and you can run mixed front to back.
8. ARB To improve high speed cornering a 2.5x ARB will now help £200
9. Uniball Toe links You don’t have to have solid/uniball toe links to run cut slicks - Lotus shipped the S2 135R and Exige on A048s with standard toe links, and there are many thousands of track miles done each year on standard toe links with an extremely low toe link failure rate. The more hours you spend pushing the car hard on track up the curbs etc the higher your exposure to risk, so at some point when you have a spare £250 its worth doing, but not straight out of the gate.
10. Other Stuff Steering Wheel – you can bring the steering wheel 20mm closer, but it needs a new wheel (300mm Momo Team is usual) with an adaptor and a boss either fixed or removable £150 to £250.
Seats – Really nice but unnecessary (Budget £400, Eliseparts CF £550, 340R/Exige £700, Reverie Mulsanne £800) dont forget you need mounts as well. Yes having shoulder and crutch holes is great but with a properly fitted quality harness, the normal Elise seats are OK
Engine e.g. Induction, exhaust, headwork, cams ECU – This is about handling rather than power so I’ll leave that to someone else. Just note that if your over 95dba static you could have problems attending some track events.
Vendors For stuff mentioned above checkout a mix ‘n match of www.eliseparts.com www.elise-shop.com www.hangar111.com etc