Diary March 2007
Reinforcing the Shift Mechanism
I like to examine various parts of the car and see how they were designed and built. Matt Becker, son of Roger Becker, designed the shift mechanism. I was curious to see what was underneath the skin of the shift console. In general, the shifter operates well, especially since the engine is in the back and the lever is connected to the transmission with cables. While it does not have the direct connection of a shift lever bolted to the transmission like many front-engined cars, it still has a nice feel. There is however some side-to-side movement in the shifter frame.
I like to make the controls fit and work well, as evidenced by my efforts with the height and location of the clutch, brake and throttle pedals. Stan of EliseTalk fame, had reinforced his shifter and others had followed with good results. I proceeded and documented my shifter reinforcement. (My method uses a spacer instead of Stan's threaded stud.) I needed to remove the console so I documented that as well.
The last set of Yokohama A048s that I purchased from The Tire Rack included a Crutchfield $100 gift card. I much prefer to pay less for the tires and hate it when companies co-market at our expense. But I had the money to spend so I bought some JBL speakers that fit the rear of the Elise. While the seats were out, it was easy to install the new speakers.
This is what the back of the car looks like with the back trim panel removed. The foam backs up the speakers. Note the small white rectangle just in front of the foam and just behind and below the green inspection sticker on the roll bar. The hole is outside! There is significant volume behind the roll hoop, a great place for a subwoofer some day.
The speakers are nice and slightly better than the original equipment manufacturer's Blaupunkts. I think significantly more power than the stock 50 watt per channel will be needed to make a difference in the sound. You also need it to overcome the road noise and vibration. Remember my car does not have the touring package and the extra insulation that comes with it.