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The truth behind firebird headlight repair

 
Old 09-04-2007, 04:32 PM
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Default The truth behind firebird headlight repair

Ok, if it hasn't happened to you yet, it will. Every flip-up headlight motor eventually goes out. I found this out the hard way. A friend told me "go online and get the brass gear kit to replace the plastic gear and it will never happen again". Sounded good so I jumped on the first website I could find that sold this brass gear kit and ordered it. I know most of you have heard of these. They aren't hard to find. It worked ok for a few months then it started making this terrible grinding noise again. So I thought maybe I put it in on the wrong tooth. So I took it out, reallighned it and reinstalled it. It worked ok again for about 2 days. What the hell! So I did some research. I found B. Franker online and he told me that the gear I ordered was aftermarket and wasn't completely brass because mine still used the rubber piece inside the gear. He told me I needed to order his gear which was totally brass and the rubber piece was voided. So...I ordered his gear. I few days later the new gear came in and I installed it. It works, or so I tought. A few days later, the damn motor starts making the same grinding noise again. I lost it. I almost put my foot through the window. I tried alighning different teeth in the motor tons of times. Nothing worked. Then I did some research, took a break, and finally figured it out. All along the worm gear was screwed. Not the round shaped gear but the other one for those who don't know. I wish I had known that before. So If your headlight starts make noises and you think you need to replace the plastic gear with a brass one, the first test you should run is this.

1: Remove the boot that covers the manual up *** from the headlight
2: Push the ***, it shouldn't push like a button. If you are able to push it and it moves excessively up and down the worm gear is screwed. Save yourself the trouble and don't bother trying to replace the plastic gear. The whole thing is shot.

Sorry, I made the writting too small on the pics.

Worm Gear, Rubber piece, brass gear


Full brass gear


Worm gear button up


Worm gear button down


I hope this shines a little light on any problems anyone has ever had on these bother some headlight mothers. Feel free to post comments and responses.

Last edited by 01T/A88IROC-Z; 09-04-2007 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:27 PM
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Good info, always check everything, don't be too quick to assume you know what the problem is.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:26 PM
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thanks
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:00 PM
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you also need to make sure the 4 tabs that connect the metal to the plastic housing are tight, that is the cause of lots of the gear failures, even metal gear failures.

Ryan
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:01 PM
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Are you talking about the 4 tabs on the shaft that go through the rubber insert? If so that is what destroyed it and why the rubber wasn't used for the brass one. If you look at the first pic you can see how the tabs have stretched the openings in the rubber piece.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:46 PM
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I put in the brass gear and that **** failed on me as well. I said to hell with it i put HIDs in my fogs and drive with that. If i get into a dark *** road i turn on my headlights but only the passenger side goes up (i disabled the driver since its the one with the messed up gear).
-Joel
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:32 AM
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the 4 tabs on the metal motor itself, where it goes to the plastic housing that contains the gear.

attached is a quick pic

Ryan
Attached Thumbnails The truth behind firebird headlight repair-headlight.jpg  
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:18 AM
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OH! ok Thanks. I think I heard about that some where once
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:50 PM
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https://ls1tech.com/forums/showthrea...0&page=1&pp=20
The problem really is the 4 tabs that hold the motor to the housing. I've have a brass gear in my ps side light for about a year now, no problems. You need to make sure the tabs are pushed in hard.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:22 PM
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I replaced my gear with a brass one, and all was well until the damn epoxy came loose and my cover feel off while I was driving! I was so pissed! So now, I need a cover for a headlight motor....anyone have one?? Or maybe a motor for the passenger side they want to sell?
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:57 PM
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damn man, sounds like a bitch to install.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by firebirdman469
I replaced my gear with a brass one, and all was well until the damn epoxy came loose and my cover feel off while I was driving! I was so pissed! So now, I need a cover for a headlight motor....anyone have one?? Or maybe a motor for the passenger side they want to sell?
that happened to my girlfriends car (94 firebird) I had to fabricate one out of a pvc pipe cap from home depot. there's just like 3 triangles you have to cut out of the round shape to make it fit and then glue the **** out of it with some good epoxy. sand it first too on boths surfaces. the one i did is still together. oh, and you have to drill the hole in the middle too. ideally i think the hole shouldn't go all the way through so that there's less play but i drilled all the way through the center and it's fine. she had problems later, maybe the worm gears but the home made cover is still on there.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by colby72olds
damn man, sounds like a bitch to install.
scarin me too.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:37 PM
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anyone know anything about putting in a whole new motor?

I mean.. My motor is trashed as well as the Original Poster. the bad thing is the new motors that you buy from GM have 3 connectors on them.

and everyone with a 98-02 firebird that ive seen has only 1 and they cannot remove the motor w/o pulling it out and snipping the wires.

any insight?
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:11 AM
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Did my brass gear a long time ago and working A-OK.Don't remember much about the wiring so checked the manual now and it shows two wires to each motor('99T/A)light green and dark green to one motor and light blue and dark to the other.Don't see how it could work with one wire?
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:38 AM
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ac delco ones come with a wire harness that includes new headlight connectors. Just plug them in. You have to figure out where and how to get to the old harness, but once you do it is easy.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:45 AM
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This info would be a really nice addition to our HUGE Firebird headlight thread in the Pontiac Firebird 1967-2002 Forum.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:00 AM
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Also instead of using Epoxy to seal the cover off, what I did was drill throught the housing and put 3 screws securing the cover tightly and it has worked like a charm for 1 year and counting!!!!
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:02 AM
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I had the same problem but I needed my gears asap so I got nylon replacements from NAPA. The 4 tabs holding the motor to the housing were loose on mine as well so I put the body on a vise and used a punch and a hammer to tighten those tabs again. Haven't had a single problem in 11 months . BTW, once you do it once it gets very easy. I did a neighbor's headlight in about 45 minutes start to finish soon after
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:31 AM
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I haven't heard any thing about having to cut any wires? They should all just unplug from the harness. Unless that is like an LT1 thing? I wouldn't know. My car is a 2001.
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