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Esprit Starter Button
Fitting the Honda S2000 Starter Button the the Esprit

We've wanted a 'Engine Start' button since we first saw one years ago in some old classic. When Honda released the S2000 in the late 90's, one of the 'cool' things was it's start button. Although pretty pointless in practice, they look cool and it's so much more fun starting the engine with a button than the turn of a key.

We purchased a Honda Starter Button of Ebay a few years ago, intending to fit it and start enjoying pushing it to fire up our Esprit. Once it arrived, we looked long and hard to somewhere in the SE to fit it. Then forgot all about it. Back to 2008 and we were looking to fit a voltmeter after some alternator issues and remembered the start button. Although we didn't fit the voltmeter in our stereo blanking plate, we did fit the start button.

Most owners won't be able to fit it here, as most have a stereo, which we don't, but the guide can be followed for the installation and you can find somewhere to mount it. Post 93 Esprits (S4) have a cig lighter below the heater controls, so with a bit of cutting, as the buttons a little larger than a cig lighter, you can fit it there (see pic below).

Anyway, we've fitted ours in the best/easiest place and here's how we managed it.


The installation was easy enough, and should only require around 1-2 hours to complete.

You will need the following parts:

Honda S2000 Starter Button
30 amp relay (if not supplied)

You will need the following tools:

Cross-head screwdriver
Wire clippers
Wire connecting (solder, box, spades)
Cutting equipment (drimel)


Our button came with detailed instructions and the 30amp relay already wired up. Depending on where you buy the button yours may not. All the instructions for wiring up are here, but do make sure what you're purchasing if you don't want to do the addional wiring.


We used a drimel to cut out the hole for our button in the blanking plate. You'll need to do the same to any cig lighter mountings (ours are in the doors, so not really practical). A 28mm circle is needed, plus a little square on the side. See the diagram above. Once we cut and trimmed the leather the button fitted in nice the tight.


Now time to wire up. Remove the steering wheel to make life a little easier. You'll then need to take the steering column covering off. Here's the SE's column, which will differ from other models.


The ignition barrel has four wires soldered into the left-hand side as you look at the wheel (in our SE). You'll have a permenant live (brown), an ignition live (yellow), an accessory live (white and towards the front) and the starter live (which was white at the back). These may differ on your Esprit, so check with a multimeter before cutting into any wires.

Now you need to idenify your Ignition wires. You will need a multi-meter or voltmeter (do not uses a test light) to confirm the identity of the starter wire, the 12v ignition source and the 12v constant supply.

• The starter wire will only show 12v when the ignition key is turned all the way forward to the engine crank position

• The ignition source will only show 12v when the ignition is turned on. Verify that it is an ignition wire and not an Accessory wire by starting the car up while you watch the volt meter. An accessory wire will go to ground during engine start, but an ignition wire will stay at 12v during engine start. Some cars have a secondary ignition source which can also be used.

• The 12v constant source can come from either the Fuse panel or the ignition switch and should be rated/fused for at least 30 amp.

Important – before you cut or tap into any wires, identify the Airbag wires (if fitted) under the dash (usually designed by either yellow or orange tubing) and do not disturb them.

First Connect the Starter Button

• Pin 1 is the output to the relay and should already be connected to Pin 85 on the Relay
• Connect Pin 2 to the 12v ignition source
• Connect Pin 3 to Ground (earth) – needed for the button light (opitional).

Now Connect the Relay

• Wire Pin 30 to the Relay to the 12v constant source
• Wire Pin 86 to Ground (earth)
• Wire Pin 87 to the starter wire under the steering column. If you prefer to disable the key start on the Esprit then cut or disconnect the starter wire at the ignition switch and tape off.
• Pin 87a, if present, is not used in this arrangement.

All the wiring to the relay was done with the kit we purchase, so it was just a case of plugging in the switch to the relay and wiring the relay up via the ignition. We hid the relay under the steering column and run the wires from it ti the stereo cage to hook up to the button.

TIP: Tap wires by stripping away a section of the wire covering and forcing a hole through the wire strands with a small screwdriver. Insert the wire from the relay/button through this gap and blind it around tightly. Nip the wire connection with pilers and tape it up tightly with electrical tape.


You're Done! Turn on the ignition and press the button

IMPORTANT: This information is supplied on an as is basis without any representation or warranty. It is your responsibility to verify any circuit before interfacing with it by either using a voltage meter or other suitable device. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy or currency of this information. Proper installation is and remains the sole responsibility of the installer.


Not much to say here. We love the start button and only time will tell if we use it as much as the key, as we wired ours so the key will still start the engine. The wiring isn't particularly difficult and placing of the button is down to personal preference. Our placing isn't great, but is it full view and easy to reach. As you can see the later Esprits have an easy and better place to fit the button.

If you wanted to get all James Bond and increase security on your Esprit. You could hide the button away and disable the key ignition start. So you won't be able to start the car via the key and you can't see the button to start it. Should confuse the average car thieft! But then you don't get the cool looking button on show!

We love the starter button and feel it gives the Esprit even more of a supercar feel.


Here's some links to other pages who've done the same thing to different models for reference.



This mod was performed by LEW on their 1992 SE

If you have any comments, feel free to e-mail LEW at admin@lotusespritworld.com

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