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Clarke Jumpstart 910

on Sat, 01/01/2011 - 17:00

Clarke Jumpstart 910
Ironically it wasn't the Elise that first required the services of the Clarke Jumpstart 910, it was a Smart ForFour courtesy car I was using while the Lotus was in being serviced. I'll admit that initially the Jumpstart wasn't the most welcome of Christmas gifts. It's not that I was ungrateful to my parents, who quite simply wanted to see me arrive on time when I came to visit, but rather that I lived in a one bed flat and it came in a bloody great big box.

I've now had the Jumpstart for just over a year and it's proven to be a valuable asset when starting the Elise; as well as several other cars caught in times of need. At first I was a little hesitant, not wanting to give myself a nasty shock, but the instructions are easy to follow and there's nothing particularly complex going on here. I did stumble briefly when looking to connect the negative lead to the chassis while avoiding the fuel lines... half the Elise is fibreglass and the engine bay is somewhat tightly packed in! Eventually I settled on what looks like a section connecting the rear axel to the main chassis (see photo below left). This approach seems to work and I certainly hope it’s safe*. I find the best placement of the unit is to lift it up into the boot and connect it from there, the leads are quite short so it won’t reach from the ground and while it's not light it’s certainly manageable. After use, or every 3 months, you have to charge it up which takes between half an hour and 6 hours depending on how long it has been left. The very first charge fresh out of the box took around 9 hours overnight.

Clarke Jumpstart 910
As well as being a jump start it also acts as an air compressor for inflating the tyres, as well as a torch. I already have another dedicated air compressor so have only used it for this purpose once or twice. It worked just fine getting the tyres pumped up although the analogue gauge could have been a little easier to read accurately. If you're looking for a multi-purpose and portable unit then the Clarke Jumpstart 910 is great, however if you already have an air compressor and are only looking for a jump start then I'd perhaps look for a slightly smaller more dedicated unit.

You can read more on the Elise’s battery itself in my blog post Lotus Elise Battery

UPDATE: Ok, so jump starting works but still isn’t all that much fun, step in the Battery Charger and Reconditioner. Read more in my blog post CTEK MSX5.0 Battery Charger

*Naturally I take no liability for this approach. It may well not be the correct or safest way to attached the negative lead. If you do know either way then do please contact me