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Thread: HEADLIGHT MISERY
- 10-16-08, 08:42 PM #1CURLEY2Guest
hello everybody, i know that this subject has been beat to death but this is killing me. i took the passenger side headlight apart, following the instructions of corvette fever and z juan and anything else i could do. i swear i followed everything step by step and got amnesia putting it back together. the bushings were like new also and there was grease on the inside. the original problem was the headlights only opening half way but now when i turn on the lights they come on but the headlight won't move at all. it is even a bear to turn the manual headlight adjustment to get it to open up, i gave up trying because it went nowhere. i am wondering if i put this thing back together wrong. i looked for a step by step instructions for EACH phase including the positioning of the stop bracket and how everything should look and can't find anything that shows me how to do this STEP by STEP. most of the do it yourself columns have the emphasis on the delrin bushings and how to put that mess back together but nothing after that (they just say to try to remember how to put it back the exact same way). right now the headlight comes on but is on solid as a rock with no play at all and turning the manual knob is really hard. i did loosen the bottom screw and then retightened it back, maybe this won;t allow the worm gear to turn?? help this novice mechanic out please! i don't want a ticket for one headlight and i am currently using my fog lights when i can get away with it. THANKS to anyone who helps me out on this one. my vette is a 93 coupe and the drivers side works perfectly. also when i reconnect the negative battery cable the manual knob top spins like crazy every time. it does this for about 10 seconds!!
- 10-17-08, 03:32 PM #2
There's a STICKY on the Corvette Forum (forums.corvetteforum.com) in the C4/Performance section that has the step by step and pictures some of the guys followed and, also, some links to other sites with additional info.
Hope this helps.
- 10-18-08, 09:42 PM #3CURLEY2Guest
THANK YOU JAKE, I found a really good site that shows everything from start to finish. only thing is my assembly has a few extra washers that aren;t in the pictures but i can get over that. i tried to put it back together again (before i found the site) and when i installed it on the hood it moved half way up but no more. now i will take everything apart and follow the instructions step by step. thanks again, you and everybody eles are great!! i will post what happens so it may help somebody else in the future. curley
- 10-19-08, 08:53 PM #4CURLEY2Guest
well i did everything according to the instructions, put the headlight back on and it did it again! before i put it on i was manually able to turn it and open and close it so i thought i was ready to roll! then as i put it back on the hood and fastened it down it fell down and began the dreaded "swing" move. it just swung back and forth so i am wondering if something is not holding the light into place. i know the bushings are new, i greased the shaft and worm gear. i had all 3 washers in place and appears to have everything else connected. but i do have a question that is bothering the heck out of me: it seems that that wing shaped stop piece moves freely all the time. should this thing be connected to the little box with the cotter pin through it? isn't this what stops or keeps the headlight open or closed? or is it the shaft itself? the headlight seems perfect until i connect the battery back up then it still has that spinning knob and opens half way and "swings". this thing seems SO EASY TO DO, even for me and i am hatin' this a little more every time i take it apart. any ideas or help for curley?? thanks very much! maybe if somebody explains to me HOW IT WORKS i might be able to figure it out. HEADLIGHT REPAIR FOR DUMMIES
- 10-21-08, 10:37 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- ND USA
- 87 Black with gray Interior
well I'm not sure on the 93 (assuming its car in sig) but on my 87 there are two flat pieces and springs at the end where the knob comes through the case to turn. I thought i had them in correctly but one was above where it was suposed to be. This in effect wouldnt let the motor move enough to shut off one way. I had mine apart maybe 5 times and was 100% sure it was together right. My buddy looked at it for 2 minutes and found the problem. I wish i had pictures and could explain it better. They are just washers so to speak, that go into grooves to keep the springs tight, keep a eye on springs too, as tehy can get hung on the plastic lips for the washers. Make sure the washers are in correclty, the motor will go together and look right if they are above or below the knotch they are spose to go into. Once I seen what was wrong it was easy to see and fix but till it was pointed out it looked like it was correct. of course the 87 and 93 could be totally different beasts (and I'm guessing they are).
Keep us posted.. and good luck!
- 10-21-08, 08:10 PM #6CURLEY2Guest
hello clok, i don't know if the 87 and 93 are different. i hear you on the washers but i am confused on the springs you are talking about. i noticed after i put my headlight assembly back together and looked at a step by step procedure there seemed to be a few "spacers" missing where the motor shaft comes through and connects to the little box with the cotter pin through it. it shows the spacers (they look like really thin washers) but don't show how they should be connected.it just says "don't forget the spacers". is it one on each side or 2 on one side, hell i will try both ways! i looked at my other headlight and it looks like both on one side right next to the wing shaped stop mechanism. i will get the new spacers tomorrow and post what happens. thanks again, curley
- 10-21-08, 08:35 PM #7gabneyGuest
When I put mine back together and put the pin back in the linkage, I had it rotated 180 degrees off. Look at the linkage and compare it with the other headlight linkage. The top of the linkage should be sticking out towards the back of the car not folded inwards to the front of the car.
Hope it works out for you
- 11-22-08, 10:41 PM #8CURLEY2Guest
well i finally figured it out. i got a new plastic gear with bushings and had put the shaft back on the gear the wrong way. it wouldn't grab where it has the rough grooves in it, i thought it went in and was supposed to grab on the metal part but it is supposed to grab the plastic part of the gear. the way i had it kept the gear spinning freely every time i put it back on. i must have taken this apart and reassembled it over a dozen times! my neighbor pointed this mistake out to me but the funny thing is i was following a step by step procedure i found on the net with pics and all and it still was wrong. oh well, i am happy now but now when the light goes back down i can hear some kind of squeaking like an after shock of rusty parts in need of wd40.but it works! thanks to everybody.
- 12-14-08, 12:35 AM #9CURLEY2Guest
it's back again!
it is doing it again! the headlight only flips up half way and i noticed that the "stop'bracket", the wing shaped piece is loose on the shaft and not tight like the other side. should this be really tight on the shaft and spin with it when the headlight turns over as well as help hold it in place when open? right now i can see it and actually spin it on the shaft plus it has about a 1/8 inch side to side play also. what is missing here? is it a washer or spacer or something? please somebody help me out with this, i am back to HEADLIGHT MISERY again!
- 12-14-08, 10:41 AM #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Douglasville, GA
- 2007, LS2, Monterey Red, auto.
Curley, I have had mine out several times and did the Delrin mod too. Like Junk said, most of us have done it so much we can do it hanging upside down, blindfolded, and with just our toes. Oh, and drunk too!
First, Since the other one is working I would recommend taking it out but NOT take it apart. Use it as a reference.
Second, do you have that little (approx) 1/2" x 3/8" piece of aluminum block installed correctly? It has a hole that the split pin goes in. If that is in wrong it will freeze up.
"but i do have a question that is bothering the heck out of me: it seems that that wing shaped stop piece moves freely all the time. should this thing be connected to the little box with the cotter pin through it?"
If it is not connected it will swing in the breeze. I safety wired mine closed this way with the motor out so a machinist friend could make new horseshoe bracket bushings out of METAL! I put them in there with silver anti-seize and they work perfectly. If I didn't, the headlight assembly would swing in the breeze. That horseshoe bracket is connected to the motor which is connected to the light assembly and the shin bone is connected to the leg bone, whoops, got off on a tangent there.
My recommendation is to remove the good one, study the way it works as you open and close it with the LARGE knob, do not adjust the small slotted screw, and correct the other one. I WISH I had taken detailed photos like I usually do. If I ever have to do it again I will take the most excruciatingly close-up photos and post them. Maybe Junk might have some photos.
- 12-14-08, 06:05 PM #11CURLEY2Guest
hello paul, which part is the "aluminum block that has a split pin" through it? is this the same part that has a cotter pin go through it? here is how i put this thing back together, i've done it at least 10 times and it still is killing me! AFTER i installed the new nylon gear and delrin bushings i put the shaft back in, assembled the motor back together and then mounted it on the headlight housing. after lining it up i put the "wing shaped" stop bracket on, then connected it through the aluminum box and put the cotter pin through it. then i tightened everything down, manually turned the light and it works. the "wing shaped" stop bracket turns with the little box as it rotates like it is supposed to. but here;s where it gets goofy, after i connect the light and turn it over it only goes half way and that;s when i see the stop bracket is loose and has all sorts of play. my headlight actually came all the way up then SLOWLY went down as i was driving. i don't understand the wiring it together thing you did though. i do APPRECIATE your help, tell me more of what you think happened ok? how would the stop bracket attach to the little box with the cotter pin? the other side looks very tight.
- 12-14-08, 06:33 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Douglasville, GA
- 2007, LS2, Monterey Red, auto.
The little aluminum box as you describe it is the same block of aluminum I am describing. First of all the "wing bracket" or "horseshoe bracket" as I have had it described to me is NOT supposed to be installed with a cotter pin! It is supposed to have a split pin, which is in turn connected to the motor assembly itself. The wing bracket...O heck, just call me, unlimited minutes. PM me on my Vette picture to send me an e-mail and I will call you, now, at 7:34 PM Eastern.
There would be WAY too much slop with a cotter pin.
From what you are describing you MAY be installing the wing bracket wrong. Look at the other side. Make sure it is where it is supposed to be. Sometimes it is very difficult to remove the wing bracket from the frame on the light assembly itself. Now, if you have it installed wrong it could easily bind up.
- 12-14-08, 09:01 PM #13CURLEY2Guest
hello paul, i sent you my phone number a few minutes ago on the visitor messages. the pin i have is not a cotter pin, it is a "split pin" like you said. i think it is called a "roll pin" too according to the guy at the auto shop. so there isn't much play there ( i always hammer it in). i look forward to hearing from you, if not this evening then i get home after 4:00 pm (6:00 your time) mon-fri if you want to contact me then. it is snowing here just in time for christmas! curley
- 12-15-08, 02:57 PM #14
I didn't see this answered so here's what I learned.
If I remember correctly GM changed the headlight actuation assembly in 1988, probably because the earlier design failed so often. Last time I checked, no one offered the earlier design but, instead, offer an upgrade kit (88 and up), but it's really pricey.
On the 86 I use to own I tried several times to fix my driver's side headlight before finally giving up and sending it to Corvette Central for a rebuild. About $100.
- 12-16-08, 05:16 PM #15CURLEY2Guest
hello again, with the help of paul higg i was able to retrace my steps back and i think it finally works now! guys like him make this place the awesome site it is, thank you very much! i found out that the new nylon gear wasn't seated properly, the shaft that goes through it wasn't pushed all the way through the gear to seat in the housing. this caused the gear to become VERY loose. the shaft was sticking out too far when connected to the little box with the roll pin which caused the "stop bracket" to have too much play in it also. now everything is a very tight fit just like the other side and it seems to work properly. funny thing though, the motor still runs a bit when i connect or disconnect the battery. i guess if it keeps on working i can live with that!
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