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Old 02-24-2018, 08:47 PM
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Default Pop-up headlight install

As promised this will document the install of pop-up headlights in Sterling #S009

As I hold off posting this I find that the info that I'm acquiring could be useful to others so even though I haven't started the actual install I'll post what I have found.

First off the lights are out of the 4th generation Pontiac Firebird. 1993-1997

They do have have a history of the plastic gears failing but replacement gears are available. You can get oem plastic gears or there are metal ones available. Plastic gears cost around $15 and a rebuild kit with the metal gears cost $45

Edit:
Replacement gears
Plastic gear
Pontiac Firebird Headlight Motor Gear | Advance Auto Parts


Metal gear

Rodney Dickman's Automotive Accessories



replacement motors are available at a stupid price of around $100+. You can get them out of wrecking yards for around $16, didn't check ebay for prices.

Light assembly is narrow enough to fit in the stock light area and can be manually operated in-case something fails.

You will also need the control module for the lights

These pictures are just reposts of what I've already posted in my build thread

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Last edited by Brett Proctor; 02-25-2018 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:46 AM
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These headlights don't just unbolt from the car. You will need to do some cutting.

There is a section that is made out of a fiber reinforced plastic I think its called that you will need to cut, that or unbolt most of the front end to remove it.
A small section of it is used to mount the motor on so that is the reason for keeping a portion of it.

Edit:
The up and down limiting stops are also on this fiber reinforced plastic section

After all the mounting bolts are removed and the cuts are made this is what it should look like

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This is the cutting tool I used to cut the plastic

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Last edited by Brett Proctor; 02-25-2018 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:34 AM
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Going to be busy with other things today so not much will get done

Here are the wiring diagrams for the lights

1 of 2

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2 of 2

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Control module wiring

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Old 02-26-2018, 11:11 PM
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Before the lights get installed I'm going to take them completely apart and go through them to make sure everything is in good working order, that includes replacing the plastic gears in the motors.
I've given it some thought and I decided to go with the plastic gear that I can get for $14 instead of the metal gear for $45. I think for the amount of use these lights will get the plastic gear will work just fine. The ones that are in there now aren't worn out but I'll replace them anyway just to be on the safe side.
I'll post how that goes when the gears arrive.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:40 AM
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Started with the basics for the install. How to square the lights up to the car. Well since nothing is symmetrical on this car I guess you could do it in many ways and nobody would notice if it was right or wrong.

This is how I did it.

I took my trusty laser level (cool tools 11)and used it to produce a base line that was square to at least two points on the car.

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I pulled a random distance on one side of the car and on the other side I pulled the same distance to get a line that was some what square to the car

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Once I got the line square I marked it out in the area that will house the light.
This will be my base line that all distances will be measured from.

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Old 03-02-2018, 08:04 PM
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Got the plastic gear today for the motor so I got busy rebuilding one motor.

The gear came with instructions but was vary vague. Case in point "put screw driver here and and tap with a hammer to separate cover"

I was a little more cautious.

First off let me say that the cover is glued on. There are no screws or clips that hold the cover on.

With that said I used a utility knife blade to break the seal. I got it wedged between the cover and body of the housing and gently tapped till the seal was broken. Then I used a very small screw driver and got it between the lid and body and slowly went around the lid to break the seal. I also used a gasket scraper with a very thin blade to help with the process..
In the end I got the plastic cover off in one piece.

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All the factory grease inside was dried out and hard but everything came apart with no issues.

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All you get with the gear is the gear. No new rubber cushion that sits in the gear.
You can't tell me that it took that much money to make that gear. $14 for just a plastic gear that was probably made in china.

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After seeing the condition of the grease in the gearbox I figured the bearings in the motor were in the same condition, so I decided to take the motor apart


Well I was right, grease in the motor bearings was just as bad, so that got cleaned and bearings got fresh grease

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Tested the motor before I put everything back together and to my surprise it still worked

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The company that I got the gear from recommends using a methacrylate epoxy glue to attach the lid back on with, so I'm in the process of locating that right now. Might have to order it
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:30 AM
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Since I doubt you'll have to take the motor apart again, I'd just clean the cover and edge well and put a thin layer of Permatex around the perimeter. Or, simply some super glue and let it wick into the joint.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
Since I doubt you'll have to take the motor apart again, I'd just clean the cover and edge well and put a thin layer of Permatex around the perimeter. Or, simply some super glue and let it wick into the joint.

I appreciate the advice Rick......Really

I'm not a big fan of RTV sealants. I've had to many applications of using it not sealing properly. However the Permatex Ultra Black and the Ultra Gray have work in most cases for me but these are for forming a seal between two surfaces only.Other means of holding the parts together(forming a mechanical bond) are used when using RTV sealants. Not that it wouldn't hold the two parts together.

As far as CA glue (Cyanoacrylate Adhesive, Super Glue)goes I have considered using it and this is what I was considering to use but when a manufacturer recommends a specific adhesive for the job I figure they know more about what is the right glue to use than me so I'd like to try and go with their recommendations..

MA(methacrylate adhesive) is used as a structural adhesive where as CA glue is not.

I know its just a stupid headlight motor and probably anything would work. I'm just being anal about it. I'm guessing that because of the material that is used for the housing, that is the reason for the choice of adhesive.

Some of the rebuilds I've looked at on the internet use JB Weld also to secure the lid back on the housing.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:51 AM
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As you can see on the photos of the lights that there was paint over spray on the lights which means to me that the car was in an accident, so I figured I better take them apart and check to make sure everything was in proper working order.

Upon inspection I did find that the mounting frame on one light was bent. I figured I would first try to locate one before I would attempt to bend it back into shape.
I found a complete light in the wrecking yard that no one had pulled yet. Probably because it had a bad worn out gear in it.

After cleaning and removal of all the surface rust the lights got a fresh coat of paint.


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Old 03-06-2018, 02:04 PM
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Last picture is for those wondering how far the motor sticks out of the headlight section. As can be seen in the pictures there is more room in the light section that the assembly can be moved over.


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