Firebird Headlights--ALL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS REGARDING HEADLIGHTS GO IN HERE - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion



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Firebird Headlights--ALL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS REGARDING HEADLIGHTS GO IN HERE

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Old 05-31-2004, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default Firebird Headlights--ALL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS REGARDING HEADLIGHTS GO IN HERE

Ive seen alot of threads asking why all of a sudden is there a "noise" when I lock/unlock the doors, why do the headlights pop up and down when I use the remote (along with the noise), or why do my headlights come up when I just turn on my park/fog lights. The answer is that one of your headlights has stripped its gear.

The headlights on the Trans Am/Formula/Firebird measures amperage (resistence) to know when the headlight is fully up and fully down (controlled by the BCM). When a plastic gear in the headlight motor gets stripped, the system keeps powering the motors and thats why you hear a jackhammer/grinding type noise coming from the stripped headlight motor when you lock/unlock the doors or when you turn on/off the headlights.

There are two options to solve the problem.The gear in the OEM motor only uses half of a side to raise/lower the lights, so you have another half of the gear that has never been used.The first fix is the 180 temp fix, this is when you rotate the gear in the motor to the unused portion. The second is to replace the plastic gear that has worn out with an aluminum gear.

Heres a step by step write up for the "TEMP FIX" on that same page you can order the aluminum gear to replace the plastic stock ones.

I have used the aluminum gear mentioned above and I also have used this kit. This kit is very well thought out, it includes shims, a t-brace, rubber insert/bumper, all in order to prevent any binding/flexing that can make the new aluminum/brass gear fail.

If your little white stopper has fallen off or missing a chunk of it don't panic. All you need to do is grab a roll of electrical tape and just put enough wraps/turns of tape on the end were the stopper is or was. Works perfect!! Signs of a missing stopper is, the headlight goes fully down then pops up just a little, or it does a constant up/down/up/down


Also the harness underneath the headlight tends to develop corrosion over time, check this if you experience a dim light (bad ground), or the headlight occasionally won't go up or down or, no power to the headlight/motor at all.




If your headlights act or sound like this you have a stripped gear:







Also for those interested in upgrading the headlights themselves, check out my other thread.
https://ls1tech.com/forums/stereo-el...kit-birds.html


Any questions? Just post it up.

Hope this helps.

Dan

Last edited by Danny2tek; 01-22-2013 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:25 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info. I did the temp fix and it has worked for about a year and a half so far - knock on wood!
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Old 10-11-2004, 05:10 PM   #3
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I just did the temp fix, and it worked great. I am STILL looking for a drivers side ARM for the headlight motor/headlight. The guy I bought it from sold it, and I can do the temp fix on that motor and have both headlights work! Thanks, and hopefully SOMEONE can help me find an arm!
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Old 12-13-2004, 08:27 AM   #4
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Cool New mod?

Is there any way we can put a resitor on the lights
that let them open and close a little more gently.

J Rogers
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:53 PM   #5
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I don't have the ratcheting noise but the drivers side light doesn't always come up. If I turn the lights off and back on a couple of time it usually comes up. It happens mostly on cold mornings. Any ideas?
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle C
I don't have the ratcheting noise but the drivers side light doesn't always come up. If I turn the lights off and back on a couple of time it usually comes up. It happens mostly on cold mornings. Any ideas?
Pop the hood and put WD-40 on the linkage. I'll bet $20 that should take care of it.
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:15 AM   #7
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Will try that today. Thanks
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:19 AM   #8
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Wouldnt use WD40, its water-based (promotes rusting). I would use some sort of silicone based lubricant. Or a maching oil. Later...
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Old 01-12-2005, 05:44 PM   #9
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Used motor oil, worked fine.
Has anyone notice the headlight not coming up to the same level? There is 3/8 difference in mine so I did some disassembly but couldn't find any way to adjust the stop or linkage for the up position.
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:29 PM   #10
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I've seen aluminum gears to replace the stripped plastic ones. I think it was in classic industries or ebay, maybe? Don't really remember.
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Old 01-19-2005, 03:53 AM   #11
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I tried the temp fix but turns out it had already been done before so the gear was trashed. I replaced it with one of brass gears, off the website mentioned in the first post, about 6 months ago and havent had any other problems with it at all.
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:42 AM   #12
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good info
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:05 PM   #13
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that just happened to me 2day got pissed as f*ck was about to go order some fixed headlights if i could find them. but glad to know it is nothing to big. thanks for the write up.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:05 AM   #14
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Here's a fix guide for another problem with the headlights http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/482801/7
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:04 PM   #15
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if you go to http://www.bfranker.badz28.com/headlightfix/index.htm you can buy the metal gear so it will not strip. the worm gear inside the motor is metal so it only makes sense to have a metal gear for it to run off instead of a plastic one. i put these in my t/a and they work geat!!!!!!!
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:19 PM   #16
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I just got mine back together and it is working now only if the rest of my problems were this easy.....Thanks for the post.....
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Old 03-27-2005, 03:04 PM   #17
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Great post! I always wondered if the Corvette motor assembly/gears would work on a Firebird. I know they are diff. headlight assemblies, but I wonder if the motors would be interchangable. I've noticed the C5 had alot 'softer' closing headlight door, much quieter too.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgformula2k
Great post! I always wondered if the Corvette motor assembly/gears would work on a Firebird. I know they are diff. headlight assemblies, but I wonder if the motors would be interchangable. I've noticed the C5 had alot 'softer' closing headlight door, much quieter too.
I read somewere that the Fiero's headlight motor can be made to work. i never really looked into it though.
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang5.Ohater
I read somewere that the Fiero's headlight motor can be made to work. i never really looked into it though.
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/G...eadlights.html
Quote:
All 1984-1986 model Fieros use a similar headlight system to the 1982-1986 Firebirds.
...
The 1987-1988 Fieros use a new headlight system, which is also used in 1987 and later Firebirds.
...
A knowledgeable proprietor of a Firebird performance scrap yard clued me in that mid-80's (82-86) Firebird headlight motors are interchangeable with early Fiero headlight motors (84-86) with one note:

the right and left motors are switched ie. the driver's side motor on a Firebird matches the passenger side motor on a Fiero. I cannabalized the Firebird motors for their gears and they work perfectly. If you do likewise, replace both gears -- not just the broken gear -- as there are differences in gear pattern. The Firebird motors appear to be entirely interchangeable with the Fiero motors, but they need to be internally inspected and regreased to ensure they aren't subject to the same grease coagulation / broken gear problem as the Fiero motors you're replacing.
Same stuff, with the same problems. Best just going with the upgraded gear, I think.
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:54 PM   #20
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Cheap *** GM!
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