Headlamp Pods

Vibrating Headlights

Many owners have noticed that their headlight pods seem to vibrate while driving over rough roads. This appears to be a common problem with Esprits, and one that no one has recommended a fix for yet. My only suggestion is that you make sure that the connecting rod between the pod and the motor is properly tightened.

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Winking Headlights (Intermittent Fiero Syndrome)

Several owners have had the experience where one of their headlight pods suddenly begins to move up and down repeatedly. This was affectionately labeled by fellow Lotus owner Clay Widman as "Intermittent Fiero Syndrome", because of Fieros' notorious reputation with malfunctioning headlight pods. I should know, I own one of those too.

However, while the cause of the Fiero's problems is usually mechanical in nature (a worn plastic gear in the motor), the cause of the Esprit's problem is usually electrical. You see, one of the fuse and relay boxes in the car is underneath the bonnet where it is subject to water invasion. If there is water ingress in the headlight pod relay, the contact will intermittently short because of the water's conductive nature. If the relay itself has not been damaged, fixing this problem may entail nothing more than drying the area thoroughly.

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Water in  Headlight Pod Buckets

Many owners have noticed that the buckets the headlight pods drop into sometimes seem to get filled with water after heavy rains or washing the car. This is a common occurrence in the Esprit that is caused by clogging of the drain holes at the bottom of the buckets. To fix the problem, lift the headlight pods by turning on the headlamps on and insert a thin stiff wire (like a coat hanger) into the drain hole at the bottom of the bucket to clear the obstruction.

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Headlight Pod

Each headlamp pod uses a pair of pivot ball joints, with the outboard joint riveted to the body, and the inboard joint riveted to the pod. The inboard pivot bolt passes through the pod ball joint and then through the bonnet ball joint (fixed to the body) before threading into the bonnet hinge bar. Spacer washers are used at each side of the pod to centralize the pod in the body, and to take up any clearance and avoid stressing the pod or body fixing points. On re-assembly, do not omit any spacing washers fitted between the bonnet hinge bar and ball joint. After fitting, and before connecting the motor linkage, check that the pod pivots freely throughout its operating range.



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Headlight Pod Adjustment

Each headlamp pod is operated by an electric motor via a rotary link on the motor spindle, and an adjustable length ball jointed link. Movement of the rotary link is constrained by up and down stops on the motor mounting bracket, abutment against which causes the motor to sense a stall condition, and switch off. To adjust the pod linkage:
  • Turn the motor spindle using the manual knob, until the rotary link abuts the fixed upstop bracket.

  • Adjust the length of the pod link rod to align the pod bottom lip with the body surface.
  • Turn the motor until the rotary link abuts the adjustable downstop, and adjust the downstop to align the surface of the pod with the surrounding body.
  • Check headlamp beam alignment after any pod adjustments have been made.

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