Simple DIY Lotus Elise Front License Plate Bracket

Lotus Elise License Plate Holder

Since buying my Lotus Elise in 2005, I have been pulled over three times for not having a license plate on the front of the car.  Fortunately, the friendly police officers always seemed to let me go with just a warning.  While I definitely don’t like the look of the license plate mounted up front, I really did not have one installed because there just is not a real  good bracket out there.

Recently I came across a company that utilized the stock tow-ring nut located within the grill to mount a license plate bracket.  It was a very sexy solution, and I got ready to plunk down my credit card.  However, when I saw the final shopping cart price of $100, I decided to take a different course.

I found that an 8MM x 60MM bolt with the appropriate nuts and washers did an excellent job of mounting a left over garage door bracket to the front end of the car.  I lined up the holes in the bracket with the license plate, and painlessly drilled a couple holes in the license plate to match up with the bracket holes.  A few sprays of black paint, and it was ready to bolt-up.  I think it turned out pretty well, and saved me a cool $100.


Lotus Elise License Plate HolderLotus Elise License Plate HolderLotus Elise License Plate Holder

How to beat the CEL – Custom Lotus Elise Cold Air Intake

I have tried a number of different cold air intakes for my 2005 Lotus Elise, and while I loved the sound and performance, I have been plagued by the infamous P0171 code that accompanies the inevitable check engine light.

Finally I decided to take matters into my own hand a develop my own solution.  The conventional wisdom was that the aftermarket cold air intakes modified the intake pipe size, and MAF sensor location just enough to confuse the Elise’s fragile ECU.  This seemed to make sense, as I did have varying success with the aftermarket units, my last one was a simple pipe with a K&N filter clamped on the end.  However, the pipe had a slightly larger bore size than the stock air-box.

So, what was my solution?  It was simple, I purchased a used Exige air-box and carefully cut-out the enclosed air-pipe using a sharp sawzall and some pliers to clean up the ends.  Go slow and take your time.  Once you have it removed, find a K&N filter that will fit the end of the pipe, and clamp it down solid.  I think you will find that it will solve any CEL issues you may have had, you can say goodbye to P071 for good!


lotus elise air box


Infiniti M37x FSM – Service Manual

Pretty girl fixing car

If you prefer to do your own vehicle maintenance and repair, then you need the service manual for your car.  This FSM is for the 2011 Infiniti M37x.

Infiniti 2011 M37x FSM



Accelerator Control System
Automatic Drive Positioner
Audio, Visual & Navigation
Body Control System
Brake System
Brake Control System
Body Repair
Cruise Control System
Charging System
Engine Cooling
Driver Assistance System
Drive Mode System
Engine Control System
Engine Mechanical
Exhaust System
Exterior Lighting System
Front Axle
Fuel System
Front Suspension
General Information
Glass & Window
Heater & Air Conditioning System
Heater & Air Conditioning Control System
Interior Lighting System
Instrument Panel
LAN System
Engine Lubrication
Meter, Warning Lamp & Indicator
Parking Brake System
Power Control System
Power Supply, Ground, & Circuit Elements
Power Window Control System
Power Outlet
Rear Axle
Rear Suspension
Seat Belt
Seat Belt Control System
Security Control System
SRS Airbag
SRS Airbag Control System
Steering System
Steering Control System
Starting System
Transaxle & Transmission
Ventilation System
Warning Chime System
Road Wheels and Tires
Wiper & Washer

Lotus Elise – How to Replace your Steering Rack

Ready to Fix Lotus Elise Girl

As soon as she is finished with her car, she will give you a hand replacing your steering rack.

Simple step by step directions in how to replace your Lotus Elise Steering Rack

1. Disconnect battery ground wire
2. Remove the upper and lower column shrouds
3. Disconnect switch wire attached to the lower shroud
4. Pop out the switch stalks, but leave the wiring connected
5. Snap off the plastic cluster cover by pulling towards the driver’s seat. This required more force than I’d like, but didn’t damage anything
6. Remove the cluster and set it some place safe
7. Remove the two 13 mm bolts that retain a black wiring box and the upper steering column (bolt 13 from parts list)

8. Push the black box inside the dash to get it out of the way of the next bolt
9. Remove the 13 mm bolt at the far end of the steering column (bolt 18 in parts list) using an extension and swivel through the cluster hole. It helps to use some tape on the swivel to restrain it’s movement as you align the socket to the bolt head.
10. Remove the pinch bolt at the rack end of the steering shaft. If you will be re-installing the same rack, you would be wise to scribe or paint mark the two parts so they can be reassembled *exactly* where they were.
11. Jack Car. Remove the wheels.Pink Lotus Elise
12. Disconnect the outer tie rods using a Pitman arm puller or some better tool. No speed wrenches. No pickle forks.
13. Remove the 4 bolts holding the rack to the chassis
14. Disconnect the steering shaft from the rack. It may easily pull off from inside the car, but I removed mine by grabbing the rod end and flicking my wrist quickly.
15. Slide the rack out through the wheel opening
16. Do whatever rack stuff you intended to do
17. Put it back together
18. The hardest part is mating the steering rack splines with the shaft. That is why you loosened the column bolts. You should now be able to pull the column out the 3/4″ you need to get things properly lined up.
19. To center the wheel is pretty easy. The stock Elise rack is 2.85 turns lock to lock. I put some Yellow centering tape on the wheel at 12 o’clock. Turn the wheel side to side until you understand which direction you need to go to get it centered. I found it easiest to center at the lock positions. Basically, I could see the pie slice that exists between the lock positions after working the wheel left and right. I then turn the wheel to lock (right or left, your choice) and decide where my centering tape needs to be to make the ideal pie slice. I disconnected the shaft while someone holds the wheel at lock. I then have the assistant move the wheel to the ideal location and re-engage the shaft.
20. Now go through and tighten everything up.
21.  Get an alignment.

If the steering shaft can’t be pushed onto to splines, try marking and removing the shaft at the upper joint and cleaning and trial fitting the shaft to your old rack until it slides on as you expect. Screw a wood screw into the groove to open the joint up slightly. Don’t go crazy with this. Just tighten the screw into the groove until the shaft slides on and off of the old rack. Then go try the real thing.

Exploded View of Lotus Elise Steering Rack

Exploded View of Lotus Elise Steering Rack