thanks all. yes the port is underneath towards the center/passenger side. it turned out that one of the lines from the compressor was rubbing against the heat line which caused it to melt and leak R134.
There could also be a compressor leak how tough of a job is it to swap the compressor out?
Btw, I noticed the compressor is a typical delphi automotive part.
My A/C compressor was replaced twice under warranty and the compressor manifold piping was replaced 3 times under warranty. As of a 4 years ago the compressor crapped out again. The dual condensers up front are also Delphi
In any case, not a fun job... which is why mine is still dead (plus I have two other cars and I've spent very little time in the US for the past few years). You'll need support the engine and remove the left motor mount and turbo plumbing to get access to the compressor.
Lotus charges close to $1K just for the compressor plus a fair number of hours for labor. Here's a link that another V8 buddy found... and as a result I have two compressors sitting at the house now, meaning two to replace once I get some free time.
New AC Compressor 1994 - 1998 Buick Chevy Oldsmobile Pontiac
I've not been able to verify that it fits but it's probably the correct part.
2000 Esprit V8
2008 Elise SC