Driving Lamps, Headlamps, Headlight Covers, Indicators, Brakes


Driving Lamps


Being so low to the ground the driving lamps are extremely prone to stonechip damage, if you have unbroken lamps or plan to replace on make sure you fit driving lamp protectors, decent ones are invisible once fitted and save you the cost and hassle of having to replace a driving lamp ever again, well worth the 20 that a pair will cost you. One suppler of these lamp covers is Lotus Ecosse.

Mike Knowles


Driving lights are made by ZKW, and are available at several 3rd party stockists for a fraction of dealer pricing. This is good, since it is one of the highest replacement items for an Elise.

A lotus dealer will (more often than not) quote that it is a clam-off job to replace these, which in the majority of cases is not true so long as you are okay with (worst case) possibly losing 1mm's worth of paint from your front clam edge near the lamp. This is due to the relative awkwardness of replacing these lights with the clam in situ (it's an easy enough job, just requires a bit of patience and slimmish fingers).

To replace a driving lamp, first you will need to remove the front grille, then the lamp is held in with 3 spring-loaded nylon screws, each have roughly 11 turns of the screw in order to get them held in place (this is important, as you will need to count the turns of the screw when refitting the screws).

Make sure you don't lose the screws or the springs in the clam by blocking up the holes with an old shirt or other rag.

You will find that one of these screws (the lower outermost one) is usually the hardest to do, both in undoing it and also tightening it afterwards. Make sure you undo this screw last, and do it up first, as this will make life much easier. The trick is to use a fairly slim-shafted but widebladed flat-blade screwdriver, and turn the nylon screw in half-turns (don't worry when it creaks like a bugger, as that's normal). Once you have the screw loose, you will be able to withdraw it from the lamp (but make sure you have fingers available to retrieve the spring which will then become freed up.

When you have all screws removed, remove the bayonet fitting from the rear of the lamp, and pull out the two lamp wires from the bulb (this saves messing about with the wiring fitment behind the bulkhead grommet as usually the bayonet part hasn't failed) before turning the lamp itself through a nice contortion of angles etc (just like a safecracker) to get the nylon mounting lugs past the lip and into the open so that you can retrieve the old lamp.

Refitment is the reverse of removal of course :-) but obviously remember to tighten the hardest screw first. This may require a bit of cursing, pain, and swearing, and possibly attacking the screw at a slight angle (which helped me at times) {another tip is to hacksaw off the last 5-10mm of the difficult screw, the full length is not required and this can significantly aid refitting, file the screw threads to a chamfer after sawing to help the threads engage - Fd}

The loss of paint from the clam that I alluded to earlier will come from your screwdriver blade as you attempt to tighten (and/or undo) this bastard screw. You may want to try and alleviate the damage with a bit of foam or cloth protection, but you're just going to pick up a stonechip there anyhow, so it's no big deal - nobody but the biggest GJOB would notice anyway.



The Elise headlamps are very prone to damage by stonechips and some people report that the metallic reflector coating corrodes to such an extent that the lamp becomes useless and/or an MOT failure.



The lamps are very easy to change and available at significantly cheaper prices than Lotus charge. Access can be gained by jacking the car on the central jacking point until the front suspension is at
full droop, turning the wheel and pulling back the wheel arch liner as shown in the pics above.
The lamps are mounted on a carrier, which you retain, and the carrier is held in the clam using
3 butterfly nuts on captive bolts. Unscrew the butterfly nuts and don't drop them into the clam !
The assembly order moving out from the clam is, clam | spring | carrier | washer | butterfly nut.
I sourced my replacement lamps from LotusEcosse for a very reasonable price - Thanks Iain ;-)
Total time - about 30-40 minutes per side, including changing the lamp carrier and copperslipping
all the nuts and bolts.

Mike Knowles


The headlamps are manufactured by Cibie, but are NOT the same as used on the Renault 4, despite being the same diameter (they actually contain sidelights and have a different lens assembly).

They are 6" in diameter, and have the following code numbers:

CIBIE : CBC 067689
VALEO : 067689

The headlamp mountings (not the headlamps themselves) are notorious for rusting in situ, and the only solution for this is to replace them with a non-corrosive item (available from several 3rd party stockists). This needs to be bonded to the glass fibre and set up properly.

When replacing the sidelight, please note that the holder is purely push-fitted into a grommet on the lamp, so watch out that you don't lose the bulb into the clam when replacing.

Headlight Covers


Compiled by Dot

The driving light covers tend to let water in and become steamed up. This gap can also cause a fair amount of debris to build up behind the cover. Geary at Elise parts can provide covers in a kit that includes mounting brackes that screw into the clam allowing them to be removed for cleaning purposes (if you have the standard Elise fitted covers such as are standard on the 111S, this is not an option). To clean inside the covers, there are 2 options:

    1. Remove the cover. To do this, heat the edges with a hairdrayer to soften the glue, and then use a piece of fishing wire to carefully prise off the covers.
    2. Remove the light and clean from the inside (see Bruce's instructions below).

Posted 25 May 2002 at 12:08:31 UK time 


I've recently had my S1 headlight covers done and it looks great. One of the headlamps wasn't sealed correctly and it started to cause a bit of condensation. They didn't do the job the first time round - wasn't sealed right, so I went back, and, it looks like a silicone sealant that they use. It's been sealed now, and it was very easy to get rid of the condensation and clean inside the cover.

I did cheat a little. To get the covers as flush as mine, you need a 111s front clam. Which is what I now have. The main difference is that the oval section around the headlamp isn't flush - there's a few millimeters for the headlamp cover.

However, I've been told that there are covers specific to the standard clam - thinner covers I think, so that if you use the sealant approach, it fits quite flush. (Note from Dot: covers to fit a standard clam are available from Yvo, or Lotus Ecosse).

I'm not sure if the standard lamps have the rubber ring to ensure that the area inside is completely sealed.

To clean off condensation, you can either remove the wheel, or just turn it to one side, and pull back the lining. There are three butterfly nuts holding the headlamp in place. Remove these and the headlamp comes out.

You can then get your sponge/cloth/leather in there to clean it out. I then let the car running with the headlamp on to evaporate any excess moisture, and then went back in to polish it up from the inside.

The headlamp went back in - this was the trickiest bit, as theres a big rubber seal around the lamp that didn't want to go back. But, after the usual cut hands, it went back in, the butterfly nuts went back in, and its now condensation free.

Dead easy, and it looks miles better that screws, velco or sticky tape from WH Smiths. Piccies of my covers are available at



gnmorgan, Scottish_Elises


Here's how not to spend about 20 and get a nicer looking side profile on your Elise. You can get clear side repeaters from Vauxhall, from the new Corsa at a bargain price of 2.99 each. They look good on dark colours, as smoked ones tend to disappear in the paint (see my Rover) and they are EXACTLY the same as the orange ones that are already on. Plus it took me five minutes to fit them both!

The part number is 9196353. Non of this nonsense about pulling out the wheelarch liner, as in the handbook, you just open the door and look down the inside of the inner wing where you can see the repeater. It's held in by a little tab that you can see and if you put a long screwdriver on it and put some pressure on the tab and get your fingernail under the repeater it will just pop out! Simple.



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© Elise FAQ Team 2002