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Side Clear Indicator Conversion

This is a mod I've been wanting to do for a while now, but never got around to doing it. The original side repeaters (indicators) are off a Renault 5, and aren't what you'd call modern. In fact the are so big and ugly that they should have never been put on the Esprit in the first place. I've even heard of one owner who was working on his Esprit and ripped one off as he stood up!

Now replacing things like side indicators, is a bit of a boy racer past time, so not wanting to turn my Esprit into a Max Power car. I decided to get as close to what Lotus should have done. I decided to use the same side indicator as you'll find on the Elise and Exige. These are in fact off a Vauxhall Corsa!

You can buy either clear or orange indicator lenses at quite a few different places. I bought an AutoArt kit which included not only the lenses, but the bulbs (orange), the leads and the bulb holders. You'll need all of these to replace the Esprit indicators, as you'll not be able to use anything off the old indicators. I purchased mine from Carnoisseur in Bedford (01234 304305) for £23.95.


You will need the following parts:

AutoArt Indicator set (or similar)
If you want the Autoart, like used here, then it’s UN-300 Custom Oval Side Repeaters.

You will need the following tools:

Philips screwdriver
Masking Tape
dremel or similar tool
crimping tool or connection boxes

Time:- 1-2 Hour for both sides.

The Conversion


As if you need reminding how ugly the original indicators are! The kit comes with everything you need, including stickers (which I suggest you bin!). To take the lens off there are two Phillips screws, either side.


Once the screws have been undone, you can remove the lens. You'll now see the bulb and one screw. Remover the bulb and you'll see the other holding screw.


Remove the second screw and then gently loosen the holder. You'll see the wire connected behind it. If you pull the wire carefully, you find some connects. You can undo or cut these and remove the old indicators completely.


Now the original hole isn't big enough for the new indicator and holder. So you'll need to open it out a bit. Firstly tie some string around the wire and push it back in the whole. This will shop you from losing it in the wing. Then place a strip of masking tape over the hole. This will help protect the paintwork. Mark up the size of hole you'll need to cut.


I used a Black & Decker Wizard with a router tool to open out the hole. This only takes are few minutes and can be done really accurately. Remove the masking tape and pull the string out to pull the wire back out through the hole. I actually caught the string on the router and pulled it off. The hole was large enough for me to get the wire back out, but be careful. You can now connect the new holder with the connectors supplied. The wires even matched in colour. One black, one green, so there's not worries about connecting them up wrong.


Once you have connected everything, test the indicators before continuing. Both mine worked first time, so it can't be that difficult. I used some electrical tape on my connections, just to give it a bit more security.


You can now give the surrounding area a bit of a clean and polish. The marks from the old indicator need cleaning off. The new indicator is attached by a 3M pad, so you can attach it without having to cut accurate holes for clips, or drill holes for screws. Once the backing's peeled off, you can attach the lenses to the holder. All you do then is push the wire back through and line up the lens, before pushing it into place.


As you can see from the pictures, this isn't a mod you're meant to notice, it's just stops you noticing the old large wing-shaped ones. Giving that Lotus actually use this type of lens (clear on Mk II Elise, Orange on the Exige) it's not a much of a modification, more of an update.


LEW Verdict

Only for cosmetic purposes, the change isn’t big but now you are not drawn to those ugly orange indicators. Makes the car look cleaner and more modern from a distance. This is something I've wanted to do for ages and now I've done it, it's better that I thought. Takes away the kit-car look, with the parts stolen from old outdated cars. Much more modern. The cutting was a little bit of a worry, but it wasn't difficult at all. The kit wasn't expensive and has everything you need. Defiantly one of the best mods I've done on my Esprit.

LEW User


Paul Chandler's SE and Pete Stones NA

If you try this, feel free to e-mail me with your Verdict at kato@lotusespritworld.com

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