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S1 Elise + Honda B18 - Weight


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#1 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:58 AM

Ill start with the story of how I have come to owning the Elise, If you dont want to hear me waffle about various cars and bad life decisions scroll down till you see the picture of my new Elise.....if youre still reading thanks, its nice to know not everyone just looks at the pictures in these threads!

Throughout my last 5 or so years of building and tracking various cars I have been searching for the perfect compromise for the ideal fast road/track car.

It started with Honda Crx's, cool 90's sports car looks, easily available and tuneable high revving engines, good aero and a nice and pointy front end. Had I found the solution first time, it seemed good but just lacked the fun element of an rwd car...back to the drawing board.

So lets take the same ingredients and add some rwd drive into the action, que the mk1 mx5. Not as cool as the Crx but still looks nice with a few subtle modifications. But now with additional cool pop up lights and the option of no roof! The mx5 relationship started with a badly painted, welded diff and performance enhancing exhaust (removed back boxes). The car was terrible but none the less showed how good a nice one of these could be.So I purchased a nice one, put a really short gearbox on it, then a supercharger, it was truly fantastic.

However something bad happened, one of my friends purchased a Westfield. Doesnt sound too bad does it? The issue been it was cool, different and people showed interest and friendliness towards it. The older generation asked about the engine hoping for a Pinto on carbs, the younger generation raised their thumbs in appreciation. All of a sudden overtaking someone went from the actions of an Asbo riddled youth to an acceptable and cool race car for the road. I had to have one.

So the mx5 was sadly broken for parts (I still have the shell), piston heads and ebay were trawled night and day for the next month and until I found one, It was a MK seven, which had recently been converted from the Pinto (sorry older generation) to a more modern and powerful Duratec engine. This has to be a good sign as its the same running gear as the famous R300/400/500 Caterhams use. Owning a kit car was great, the Duratec engine was great but sadly the customer service and all round quality of the MK company lead a lot to be desired.

Piston heads/Ebay again it is then, this time looking only for Caterham and Westfield cars, deliberating on extended my budget to a low powered stock sigma Caterham or a well specd road legal race Sigma Westfield, you know what I went for alreadySo the spec of the Westfield was 200bhp, dry sump, 6 speed box, and a well sorted chassis. God it was good but it was a race car, it was tatty, even after removing all the stickers and putting a few nice bits on it, it wasnt aphetically pleasing on the eye and the fact the engine was so highly strung scared me reliability wise.

The next bit of the story is the first dark stage of the story, it was decided I was going to change the engine for a more powerful base Honda K20 engine and re-paint the bodywork at the same time. Upon removing the old engine it was clear that the chassis had been involved in an accident and had been very badly repaired. The welds were all cracked and scarily the wishbone mounts were hanging on by a thread, another 1,000 miles and they would have gone in a bad way. So Im left with a broken chassis and 5k to fix it including an engine and box. This of course didnt happen; I sold all the remains of the car and bought a brand new Westfield build kit, along with a Honda K20 conversion kit. This project took loads of time, even more money and was nearly complete before the House I wanted to purchase became realistic and meant it had to go to free up some funds.Gutted, it would have been so good but thats life, I enjoyed building it up, pleased to say Ive done it and would only do it again if I had a less time consuming day to day job.

So my conclusion so far, the car needs to look cool, weight is a big factor, the convertible option I quite like, rwd is a must. The kit car ticks all the boxes but weather dependant use and the poor aero made me consider a changethis is where I started to look at the Elise/Vx220 option, lightweight, looks cool, rwd, good aero and an optional roof! An emergency meeting with Piston heads and ebay and a yellow supercharged Vx220 was purchased.

With the usual track modifications, 250bhp, good aero, good chassis and 875kg it was good. Did everything it should, is far quicker on track than it should be, finally its done. Decision made and a the good track car solution sorted surelywell not really, in the mean time I found myself still sneakily visting piston heads and looking at kit cars, why? Ive had one, I dont need one and I wont use it.Then it occurred to me, I havent tried a bike engine kit car. Did I need to try one.No, was it just an excuse to get one as I was been silly.Yes, did I care.No.

So I got an ordinary run of the mill, sensible as possible bike engine kit car with a reverse gear and wet weather park..Nearly.It had no wet weather gear, no reverse gear, but instead of them they were replaced with a Supercharger and a heavy clutch I could hardly press with the family inherited chicken legs. I know, I know.I dont learn, Im a fool but damn did the spec list look goodWestfield chassis, Honda 1000RR engine, Rotrex charger and Nitronsboasting 250bhp at 12,000rpm and 438kg. Needless to say it was good, In fact it was better than good it was savage yet easy to exploit with it been a Rotrex charger. But guess whatI still didnt use it in the rain, it was even less practical with no reverse and the clutch off a strongest man completion, I never used it apart from trackdays!
So we look through the list, what ticked the most boxes, Crx was good but fwd rules it out. Mx5 is brilliant but just not quite special enough, the kit cars are superb but I just dont use them enough to warrant the investment, the vx200 was good; in fact the vx220 was very good. Why did I sell it again?

Ohh yes the silly mistake of the totally un-practical and Ludacris 550+bhp per tonne Westfield. Right, sensible hat back on, lets have another Vx220 or an EliseSo the weekly Piston heads and ebay subscription was re-newed and my evenings were spent finding the right car whilst explaining to my good lady why it was essential that I changed my car back to the car I just sold it to buyhonestly sometimes they just dont understand logic/stupid mistakes! Track prepared silly green, stage 3 supercharged Vx220 you cant say not to for saleit may as well have been written, the price was agreed, the collection date sortedA sigh of relief, Ive made it.

The cars fantastic, its bright green, it gets mistaken for a Lambo in petrol station encounters, It may as well be as fast a Lambo, its good on track, good on the road and it has an optional roof.Ill keep this one.

So here we are, Ive still got the Vx220, its for sale because it turns out it STILL wasnt perfect. The car was everything I needed it to be in terms or speed, looks. But it was kind of too good, in the same way my 1098cc Mini with an SW5 camshaft was better in every way than my 998cc Mini with a 286 kent cam, I would still have chosen the 998cc every day in every scenariowhy? Because it had character, it had to be revd. It enjoyed been driven, didnt just take me from barn to coppice in lightspeed it made me want to take it there, and join it in the journey there. I missed this, and also found myself hating the sound of the supercharger. When I was 20 I loved it, the same as I loved the straight cut drop gears on the classic Minis. Now Ive grown up abit and its all just abit silly and annoying, give me the snort of an ITB over the whine of the charger every day of the week.

So we are her folks, its been quite the journey of silly mistakes, enjoyable variations and sensible options that just didnt quite do the job; similar to my history with women I suppose!

So the final fast road /track day car checklist;
Cool special looks
Fun and Rev happy running gear with character
Lightweight
RWD
Good aerodynamics
Convertible with acceptable winter cover

The mad scientists spent 14 long days and nights deliberating through the options, it was narrowed down to two final contenders, the first was a V8 Ultima GTR prices varying from £25k-£50k spec dependant and the second been a Honda engined Elise prices from £12k-25k.

Now bearing in mind the budget for the car was sub £15k it made for an easy decision, I went to the bank, organised a re-mortgage and proceeded to buy the Ultima, hours passed on collection day and all of a sudden everything went blurry, the world was shaking and the dream come to an end. I woke up, checked the bank and the bank balance showed £15k not £50k. To my relief the mortgage statement hadnt changed either, its the Elise then.

The Elise I have purchased is not your average Honda swapped choice, it is an Azure Blue 1999 S1 Elise, it has fitted a *B18c Honda Integra Engine fitted which has been *Rebuilt with some tasty modifications (Ill explain the asterisks later), the chassis has been treated to the usual uprated suspension, brake lines and LSD box. Looks like a great base to me, or thats what I thought. The car was located in Bournemouth which for me is a long way down, 3 and a half hour drive.

I was so excited about collecting the car, the only Elise I had driven was a modern Supercharged Toyota engine one which was just incredible albeit the silly supercharger sound! Looking round the car it looked every bit as good as I wanted and expected, the journey home however was not, 9 hours later, 3 breakdowns and numerous calls to a variety of people to solve problems and organise towing solutions and I was home with my dream Elise, turns out I should have re-mortgaged the house an got the Ultima after all.

So what went wrong; the engine is overheating, the engine is breathing and smoking out both the engine breathers and the alternator wire snapped off. Head in the palms scenario, the previous owner has reassured me the engine was fully rebuilt and is in fully working order, to make matters worse upon looking to diagnose whats wrong with the engine its become apparent that the engine is actually not what it was described either, its a B18c4 out of a civic aero deck. Needless to say its really not been good start to the journey.

So this is where the good stuff starts, where table turns to good, so whats my plan for the car;
In short weight reduction, a few more track day essentials and shorter gearbox. With the engine rebuilt with a more appropriate ECU and more sensible pistons and uprate inlet manifold/ITBs the engine should be good for a reliable 220bhp and if I can get the weight down to circa 725kg it should make for a great package especially round my local track Cadwell Park.

Hope you enjoyed reading the journey and I will endeavour to update the thread with pictures and videos as and when I get a photo bucket solution sorted.

Many thanks

Dan

Attached File  7.jpg   127.81KB   3 downloads

#2 dstarz7

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:20 AM

Fantastic write up! Looking forward to following your journey some more... Hopefully this one is a stayer! 



#3 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:00 AM

Thanks!

I'm copying the thread form the 'seloc' forum so apologies if some of it seems out of place!

The install was done using the SunSpeed kit from America by the previous owner.

The current spec of the running gear/chassis I believe to be;

B18c4 Block,
Darton sleeves
Nippon racing 84.5mm High comp pistons (13.5;1)
Steel Rods
Type R Head with additional porting
Eibach Valve springs
Skunk2 pro stage 2 camshafts
Cometic head gasket
ARP Studs
Custom Large bore ex manifold and 2.5" system
Ek9 S4C close ratio gearbox
Integra Type R LSD and 4.75 Final Drive

Running a P28 ecu with a Chrome piggyback.

Estimated 225bhp

New Avo adjustable coilovers
Uprated Toe Links
EBC Green stuff pads
Team Dynamic Pro Race 15/16
with Yokohoma AO48 rears AD08r fronts

#4 pete-r

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:05 AM

Great project

#5 Aerodynamic

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:32 AM

I love the Honda Engine, but why not a K?

 

Br, Per



#6 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

I love the Honda Engine, but why not a K?
 
Br, Per


Reality is I don't know! I bought the car with the engine conversion done.

The K series is a better engine, but the b series and the uprated parts are cheaper which may have been the reason?

#7 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:04 AM

So first Job for the Elise is to get the seats sorted.

There's nothing too wrong with the standard seats, but with a need for harness' and on the longer journey's I always seemed to get lower back pain in the vx220 (similar seats) its a must change.

I had acquired some Tillet B6 carbon seats for the vx220, so I set about firstly making up some pads for the seats.

I would have loved to buy the seats with the dynamica pads fitted but at circa £200 per seat its just too much money, money I can spend in better ways elsewhere.

I purchased some memory foam and adhesive and set about making my own at a cost of sub £10, I could design exactly how I wanted them to look too....needless to say I copied the design of the dynamica ones!

Attached File  Seat 8.jpg   13.06KB   1 downloads

Attached File  Seat 9.jpg   12.77KB   3 downloads

And fitted to the seats;

Attached File  Seat 10.jpg   21.38KB   1 downloads

They look great, feel comfy and if they don't last I can just take them off and clean the seat back to its carbon finish.

#8 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:07 AM

Next job on the seats was to modify the seat to allow the simple custom brackets I made,I need the seats to be mounted as low as physically possible as the car will be used between myself and my brother who Is considerably taller, (luckily our legs are the same size for the fixed seat but just his torso that is unusually massive!).

So I did what every normal person does with a brand new set of carbon Tillett seats....fetched the angle grinder and modified them!

Attached File  Seat 4.jpg   21.75KB   1 downloads

They just need a little bit of the GRP removing to allow the brackets to sit flush thus no spacers required and no additional height!

#9 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:19 AM



Cleaned and hovered the floor before drilling and mounting the new seats with some plastic Tillett spacers to give the optimum seat rake.

The finished article;





And to see how low they are in the car;



Really pleased with how they look and feel, seating position is great, they are comfy and best of all they are super light, just 3.75kg per seat with the aluminium brackets been next to nothing too.

Dan

#10 pete-r

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:20 AM

The tilletts are the most comfy seat I've tried, but you need the pads to stop hot/cold burns from the grp and my mate has a b5 set without pads and find I slide down in the seat.

#11 Acidpopstar

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:17 PM

Great seats. I have them in mine with pads. Although I need to watch my mince pie consumption over the next few weeks cos they’re getting a bit snug!


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#12 Jetpilot

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:04 PM

There is no real difference between the b series short blocks, its whats above that matters and sounds like you have that with the pistons/cams/head etc :)



#13 pete-r

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:11 PM

Great seats. I have them in mine with pads. Although I need to watch my mince pie consumption over the next few weeks cos theyre getting a bit snug!


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Off topic but have you found a way to fit the great stick console with the seats? I've had to remove mine there was nowhere near enough room.

#14 Captain Vimes

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:23 PM

I loved the b16a2 engine in my old civic vti. Best engine in anything Ive owned/driven. The hunger for revs was insane. If the B18c has the same character itll be perfect in the Elise.

Does the B18 have the same noticeable vtec yoooooo step at 5800rpm or is it a smoother change over like a k20?

#15 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:46 PM

These engines do love to Rev and the changeover is more aggressive than the K20, the change in noise is the best bit!

This one was claimed to love to rev to and past 9; not sure about that claim been as it didn't even make a steady drive home.

I certainly wont be revving the engine when its re-built/replaced past 8,600rpm in the hope it is reliable on track.

I do however have a trick up my sleeve for some extra power...watch this space!

#16 Danny Scarbro

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:56 PM

In other news I've made a purchase I'm really excited about;

A recently rebuilt B16B box with....
M-Factory Carbon syncros
M-Factory Long 1st gear
M-Factory 5.167 Final Drive
M-Factory Plated LSD
And a Fidanza super light flywheel.

Altogether this should really wake the B18 up and exploit the best out of its power band.

With the 4.75FD it would be at 147mph at 8.6k in top.

From my workings out with sub 250bhp I wont be hitting anymore than 120-130mph at most of the circuits I do so it was wasted acceleration.

With the 5.167 it will be reduced down to 136mph at 8.6k in top, which should be perfect!

When changing up through the gears it will return straight to the sweet spot of the engine and always in 'vtec'.

RPM's after shifting with 5.1 and long 1st.

1st to 2nd - 5,897rpm
2nd to 3rd - 5,957rpm
3rd to 4th - 6,530rpm
4th to 5th - 6,588rpm

I'm hoping the Plated diff wont be too aggressive for the Elise chassis but could get the ramp angles amended if it is.

Dan

#17 Acidpopstar

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:56 PM


Great seats. I have them in mine with pads. Although I need to watch my mince pie consumption over the next few weeks cos theyre getting a bit snug!



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Off topic but have you found a way to fit the great stick console with the seats? I've had to remove mine there was nowhere near enough room.


Nope. It currently resides in my shed.


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#18 pete-r

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:42 AM

Adding lightness :)




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