Sunday, December 4, 2011

Headlight Reinstallation

While I was waiting for the PakTrakr extender cable, I decided to put the pop-up headlights back in.  Like every other part of this car, it's a finicky, multi-step process with lots of tiny parts.  Let me walk you through how I put one back in.

First, this is all of the parts associated with the mechanism.  I preparation for the rebuild, I painted the shroud ring black and the cover was painted along with the rest of the body.  The I cleaned everything with soapy water and sanded down any rusty or discolored metal.

The headlight area has a grounding stud, and it's important for quality electrical connection to clean it down to bare metal.  Check the integrity of the bundle of ground wires into the ring terminal and replace if necessary.  Mount the grounding harness and the headlight motor ground wire (not shown yet) to the stud.

I ran the wiring harness in a small strip of wire loom.

I placed the large rubber gasket on the shaft of the motor, and wiggled the relay socket through the lower hole.

Here I mounted the motor ground wire to the ground stud.

I plugged the red, green and gray wires into the connector.

I then placed the motor in place, aligned the round bracket with the holes and put the three bolts in place.  Wiggle the motor into a middle-position in the holes, then tighten down.  Make sure the motor it not touching the body.

I then placed the arm on the shaft and put the nut on loosely.

Next, take the light assembly and gently wiggle the tube onto the post mounted on the body.

Then, take the triangular bracket/post and slide it into the other end of the headlight assembly tube. Slide the bracket down near the three holes.

Take the triangular plate, place it over the three holes and run in the three bolts, finger tight.

Mount the connector to the headlight.  I found that both of my connectors were very fragile due to age, so yours may fall apart.

Make sure the light switch is in the down position.  Mount the connecting bar between the motor arm and the headlight pivot.

Tighten the pivot arm bolt.

Remove the connecting arm, then put it through the rubber boot and re-attach the pivot arm.  Be sure to put the snap ring on the end of the pivot arm.  Fit the rubber boot in place around the mounting plate.  Gently insert the headlight relay into the relay socket. below the rubber boot.

Use the headlight switch to test the pop-up action.  If it doesn't work, check that you actually plugged in the relay (don't ask) and then the fuse in the fuse block.  The lights should be able to work independently.

Tilt the headlight assembly up and hold it in place.

Snap the connector bar onto the headlight's pivot point.  You will have to exert a little pressure with a long screwdriver due to the rubber boot going through a slot to the headlight area.

Mount the plastic rubber boot cover with two Phillips screws.

Screw the cover plate onto the headlight assembly with two small silver Phillips screws, one on each side.

The fender side screw is a little hard to get to, so be careful about damaging your paint.

Place the headlight shroud into place and attach with three small Phillips screws.

 Gently adjust the plane of the headlight cover so it matches the little plate just in front of the headlight.  Tighten down the three bolts.

Test the pop-up action with the light switch about 20 times and giggle that it actually works!  I then zip-tied the 3-wire connector down and made sure the wires were all nicely tucked away.  In hindsight, I should have pained the motors black.