Go Back   Corvette Forum > C4 Corvettes, 1984 - 1996 > C4 General Discussion
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ Vendor Directory
Search
C4 General Discussion
General C4 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default headlight diagnosis for 88

I would like some advise/help on the diagnosis of my 88 rt headlight. It opens partially but not fully. How do I know if this is the motor, a gear, acctuator or what the problem is?

I don't want to get charged for a new motor if that isn't the problem. If anyone knows, or knows where I can find information I would greatly appreciate it.

Every so often it will open fully as it is suppose to - but that is rarely the case.

Thanks!
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by ottawabarber; 07-19-2008 at 10:12 PM.
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2008, 01:21 AM   #2
jfb
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2001
Location: Cincinnati, Oh USA
Default

You need to remove the headlight motor and then take it apart and look inside to see any obvious bad parts. The most likely is a damaged plastic gear preventing full opening. Next is a plastic shaft bushing which can be also defective and cause binding. Third, there are some rubber bumpers that allow torsional shock absorbing when the motor gets to the end of its travel, both opening and closing. Last, there are two switches, one at each end of the motor and they switch upon the stopping torque at the end of the motor travel and shut the motor off and set up for rotation reversal.
[old Chinese proverb] One picture is worth 10,000 words [old Chinese proverb]
jfb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Thanks for your advise and opinion of what my problem may be and what to look for.

I will use some of the other threads and the "sticky" tech information to remove the motor and disassemble and see what looks amiss. I just recently purchased this car with just 22,500 miles on it. Seems that maybe lack of use could be more of an issue than constant use. Your suggestions are certainly the logical way to tackle this.

Agaiin, thanks!

Larry
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
ALS 08
CF Senior Member
 
ALS 08's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2008
Location: Hurley New York
Default

If you can hear the motors spin as they should light only partly up and motor continues running until it completes cycle its usually a problem with the plastic bushings. Common problem after some years. I picked up a repair kit and fixed them.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
ALS 08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Is that the repair kit by Ecklers?

What you describe is very similar to my problem - appears that many 88's / C4's have this issue. Repair looks rather straight forward, just (from what I am reading on the forum) it requires a lot of time to do. Time is not a factor, just hope I don't get in over my head doing the repair. Guess worse case scenario is I buy a replacement motor and swap my old one out.

Replacing bushings or gears is LOTS cheaper though - and the Chevy dealer will cost me an arm, leg, and my first neutered child to do it vs. me doing (attempting to anyways) myself.

I appreciate this forum a LOT, and the years of experience, trial and error is priceless!!! Would make a great Visa commercial... there is no substitute for exerience. Thanks for the input, and those other threads that offer great tips and "how to" suggestions that aren't found in manuals.

I will make the attempt to fix this myself first, and see what my limited mechanical experience accomplishes. If I fail, then so be it, but the ownership of this outstanding car requires that I at least make the attempt.

Thanks!
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 12:51 PM   #6
onedef92
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In IV Veteran
Cruise-In VI Veteran
Cruise-In VII Veteran
Cruise-In VIII Veteran
 
onedef92's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: Louisville KY
Default

It's a good weekend project. It'll take you about two hours the first time you do it, faster on the next side of the car.

Check out these instructions from Corvette Fever. Definitely don't get raped at the Chevy dealer. They'll charge you more than $400 plus labor per headlight. I fixed mine using nylon bushings at Home Depot for under $2!

http://www.corvettefever.com/howto/33098/index.html
onedef92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 03:52 PM   #7
db1952
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Jun 2008
Location: Penfield NY
Default

had the same problem on my 88 vert (right side flopped and wouldn't open all the way). read through the various postings here, ordered the bushings and did them yesterday. (do both at the same time, somewhere somebody posted that if one is giving you trouble the other one is right behind it.) start to finish, i was done with both in 2-1/2 hours. not a lot of tools required, 13mm wrench and socket, 10mm socket, 1/4" socket, a phillips, a hammer, a punch and a couple of torx screw drivers. i'm a newbie, but i'll tell you it's a heck of a lot easier removing the bezel AFTER you pull the assembly than before you remove everything. couldn't resist replying to you, 'cuz i thought it would be a big job - and it really wasn't.
db1952 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Thanks for the encouragement - I ordered the bushings (both sides as that seems to be sound advise) Will post how it goes for me with limited mechanical skills. The photo's and explanations seem pretty straight forward so I will give it a try.

I called local Chevy dealer and they wanted $180 labor, and $560 for the motor/acctuator assembly YIKES!!! Seems a no brainer to try it myself, and worse case order a rebuilt motor from some of the online vendors.

Thanks again
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2008, 05:24 PM   #9
jesredvette
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
Member Since: Nov 2006
Location: South Pasadena California
Default

If you decide that you don't want to deal with rebuilding it from scratch, there is a guy on ebay that usually has the assembly for sale @ a little over $200 per side. I bought from him for my '88 and it saved me a lot of time & hassle. Units were new AC Delco.
jesredvette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2008, 12:32 PM   #10
onedef92
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In IV Veteran
Cruise-In VI Veteran
Cruise-In VII Veteran
Cruise-In VIII Veteran
 
onedef92's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: Louisville KY
Default

Do it yourself. It's a bonding moment between man/machine and you'll kick yourself once you realize you deceptively simple the procedure is.

Just take your time and follow the steps. We're here to help you if you run into any snags.

You never get tired of saving money.
onedef92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #11
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Tomorrow is the day!! I have the whole day off, and weather is suppose to be 95 and HUMID
Thanks to all the forum members who have made suggestions, tips, and support to this newbie, semi handy, C4 owner.
  • I have received 2 sets of bushings as it was suggested that if I have to do the rh headlight, I might as well do the lh side too.
  • Picked up a 12 piece torx set ( they seem to be everywhere on the C4).
  • My socket set with both standard and metric
  • A container of white lith grease
  • WD40 (my friend for everything)
  • Clear food wrap to cover head light painted areas to keep greasy finger prints off
  • My always handy shop towels
  • Print outs from the various links and forum tips and photo's as my visual reference guide
  • My digital camera with fresh batteries to document my steps through the whole deal ( I will follow up with a write up from a beginners perspective afterwards)
  • Some good CD's for the "blaster", and some COLD Miller Lite for celebrating the smooth opening and closing of my headlights ( my idea of champaign

Again, THANKS forum members for all you have offered me regarding my doing this myself vs. the $$$$ Chevy dealer!

To be continued......
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2008, 08:53 AM   #12
SteelBlue90
CF Senior Member
 
SteelBlue90's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2004
Location: Springfield Ohio
Default

I just did my RH motor last week. Three new bushings and new compression pin (5/32") and it's good to go. I've now done both sides. First one ( a couple years ago) took me about 1 1/2 hour. Last weeks took about an hour, mainly because I had to remount the assembly in the car twice. First time I didn't pay enough attention to the wiring and pinched it behind the motor. Had to drop the whole thing back out again.

Also, on both of mine, the compression pin split as I knocked it out. I got a couple at TSC for $.41. Total cost of repair: $7.41 - Bushings from Ecklers $7.00, compression pin from TSC $.41

Probably the only repair you'll ever do on your car that is under $10.00
SteelBlue90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2008, 03:51 PM   #13
onedef92
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In IV Veteran
Cruise-In VI Veteran
Cruise-In VII Veteran
Cruise-In VIII Veteran
 
onedef92's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: Louisville KY
Default

Probably the only repair you'll ever do on your car that is under $10.00

With the exception of replacing the air filter or PCV valve...provided (on the latter) you don't break one of the plastic vacuum hoses in close proximity.
onedef92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2008, 07:17 PM   #14
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Well the day went great, and both of my headlights have been fixed with the bushing replacements being the problem.

My old high school friend stopped by this morning as I was getting ready to start on the rh as it was the original problem. He suggested taking it out to his place where he has a large garage and some good old country air to keep us cool as the day was hot and humid.

I forgot my camera, as I was intending to document the whole process . But for anyone who has not done this, and is expecting to, well - it is actually pretty easy as everyone here told me.

The right side came out fine, and we had no problem with getting the roll pin out and the gear open - we did struggle getting the gear out, and when it did, it looked just like the photo's on the forum of the powder/crumbled plastic. It looks like the raw sugar in the little brown bags at the coffee shop. Reassembly was ok, except fat fingers and getting the linkage hooked up again. I used wood shims to help center the assembly in my opening - worked great.

Took everyone's advise and did the drivers side also. Glad I did as it was full of crumbs also {bigger pieces} so it was very close to failure also. This gear just fell out without any trouble, getting it finished and back in place was easier - maybe since we had just done the other, but it seemed that the motor itself was in better shape.

End result was --------- Sucessful, working, headlights.

To all of you that commented and told me that even a newbie/novice could probably tackle this - THANKS I got the job done, SAVED a ton of money, and the satisfaction of turning them on, and having them smoothly flip into position was worth the total time we spent of 4 hours.
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 07:39 AM   #15
SteelBlue90
CF Senior Member
 
SteelBlue90's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2004
Location: Springfield Ohio
Default

I'm not sure just how much money this forum has saved me, but it has been worth it. And since I bought the car to tinker on and enjoy, even little victories make you feel good.

Glad you got them fixed. I couldn't bear to have a limp headlight on the front of my car.

SteelBlue90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 09:15 AM   #16
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

SteelBlue90

You are so right! I am very new here, but from my reading the posts I am learning a TON of information. It is refreshing to get sound advise from a wider range of owners who are HELPFUL and not critical of newbies like myself.

Nothing substitutes for experience and education - wherever you find it, and I have found both here.

Larry
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 09:29 AM   #17
onedef92
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In IV Veteran
Cruise-In VI Veteran
Cruise-In VII Veteran
Cruise-In VIII Veteran
 
onedef92's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: Louisville KY
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottawabarber View Post
SteelBlue90

You are so right! I am very new here, but from my reading the posts I am learning a TON of information. It is refreshing to get sound advise from a wider range of owners who are HELPFUL and not critical of newbies like myself.

Nothing substitutes for experience and education - wherever you find it, and I have found both here.

Larry
I told ya! Another satisfied customer. I replaced mine more than six years ago and they're still working fine. Saved more than $600 in parts and labor, too.
onedef92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 09:49 AM   #18
joecaver
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '08-'10
 
joecaver's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: 63.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
Default

good for you I'm glad you did it yourself and that it went well.
joecaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 10:01 AM   #19
ottawabarber
CF Senior Member
 
ottawabarber's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2008
Location: Ottawa IL
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by onedef92 View Post
I told ya! Another satisfied customer. I replaced mine more than six years ago and they're still working fine. Saved more than $600 in parts and labor, too.
Yes!!! You did tell me, and you were so right. I was worried that I was getting in over my head - and it was easier than I could have thought. Also earlier you said, "never tire of saving money" - Yep!!! My quote to do the work was even higher than the $600 you saved - WOW !!! it feels great on the bank account. I also will now feel more comfortable taking on other small repairs - this was a confidence builder for me - I am a barber, not a mechanic!!! LOL
ottawabarber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > C4 Corvettes, 1984 - 1996 > C4 General Discussion
Reload this Page headlight diagnosis for 88
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
1984, 88, c4, corvette, diagnose, diagnosis, head, headlight, headlights, labors, light, open, repair, working


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help in locating Radio Antenna Relay in '87 Convertible chuckndonna C4 General Discussion 11 04-09-2014 02:09 PM
Headlights making noise when I close them. help SFL_driver C5 General 6 12-05-2009 02:41 PM
headlight motor AGAIN!!! beclew30 C4 Tech/Performance 0 12-12-2008 04:17 PM
Headlight Diagnosis efweber C4 General Discussion 6 06-14-2008 09:58 AM
95 headlight DonQ C4 General Discussion 5 06-25-2004 01:24 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:36 AM.


Emails & Password Backup