Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
The expert on the headlight control module is Sanj and you can reach him through this forum. I just went through this exercise (getting the light control module functioning). Here's what I learned:
1. The claim that you can use the various alternative GM modules (Corvette, Buick, etc.) is not true. Although they look identical and you can plug them in they do not work in an Esprit.
2. They can in many cases be repaired - usually they have a burned out transistor.
3. They are not available from Lotus as replacement parts any longer but via JAE you can have them repaired by Lotus. Apparently Lotus sends them off to somebody to fix them. I was told by Jay at JAE the cost is expensive and not fast either. As you can see from the one currently listed on eBay it is an expensive part to replace.
4. Sanj may be able to repair your module for a reasonable price you should contact him via the messaging function of the Esprit forum.. It depends on what's wrong. In my experience bilateral failure of the lights is unusual for the module (usually just one side goes out) so it may not even be the module. It would have to be bench tested first.
As far as drivability, I assume you know that you can crank the lights into their "open" position manually so you can drive the car even if the headlight control system fails.
As far as fuel tanks - this is a universal issue with Esprits. Ultimately there is no long term fix except to repair or replace. I have done a number of Esprits late 80's and early 90's and in every case the tanks were rusted and in almost all cases perforated and leaking. In your car the fuel pump is located inside the passenger side tank, so if you want to block the crossover pipe you can isolate the drive side tank and run off the passenger tank, but not vice-versa. If you block off the driver's side tank you will lose the fuel gauge function because the sender unit for fuel level is located in that tank. There are no safe. cheap options. We had one car in our shop where a guy had bypassed the entire fuel system by tearing out the boot, gluing a fuel cell on to the rear cross-member, and running an external fuel pump to the injectors. Yes it worked. Fortunately for him he was never rear-ended because if he had been both he and his Esprit would have been a molten mass created by a large fireball ignited by throwing a huge volume of gas on his hot engine. It would make the Pinto seem like a haven of safety in comparison.
As review of many threads on fuel will show, the tanks can be replaced "in situ" but it is a challenge. It is much easier if the engine is pulled. For most novice or home garage mechanics with real limited experience this is something pretty daunting. If you want to do it yourself it is best to get some help and advice from an experienced person. You can also have fuel tanks fabricated to replace your old ones (which is what we do) if they are far gone or you can have them renovated by a professional service. The cost is about the same for either choice. My own preference is to have tanks fabricated (I prefer aluminum) and we have the custom tanks shrunk down by 1" in width to make it a lot easier to get them in and out.
We have dealt with exhaust manifold holes/cracks by having them welded. We have not ever tried any epoxy-type compound. Getting a cast iron manifold properly welded is not cheap, so you might want to try the epoxy route and see if it works. If it is truly a "hole" and not a crack I think the chances of a patch are better. If it is a crack then I think you will inevitable have to get it welded.
As far as shift linkage, it could be the cables, could be the shifter mechanism in the cabin, or it could be the translator. I would recommend a careful examination and cleaning/lubrication first to see if things improve. There are rebuild kits available for the shifter and the translator which are not expensive. The cable are not cheap (about $200 each) but replacement is not too bad a job.
You will find a lot of helpful people on this forum with a lot of knowledge and experience. Welcome!
1989 Turbo Esprit