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Headlight flutter

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Old 01-14-2014, 02:38 PM   #1
Street Rat
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Default Headlight flutter

My headlights flutter when going down the road. They move ever so slightly up and down. Just enough to look like a flicker. I pinned it down to the bearings on the end of the horizontal shafts. I get a substantial amount of play there when moving the mechanism. These things are like a jigsaw puzzle to me. How hard will it be to replace those bearings? Will the whole headlight assembly have to be taken out?
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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do you have the stop screw engaged firmly when housings are up?
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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My headlights flutter when going down the road. They move ever so slightly up and down. Just enough to look like a flicker. I pinned it down to the bearings on the end of the horizontal shafts. I get a substantial amount of play there when moving the mechanism. These things are like a jigsaw puzzle to me. How hard will it be to replace those bearings? Will the whole headlight assembly have to be taken out?
When the lights are up, there should be a fair amount of spring pressure loading them against the stops, even if the bearings are worn they are loaded pretty tight with the springs.

Before anything else I'd make sure the stop bumpers are set properly.

To answer your question, changing the bearings is a PIA since they are really the only thing holding the lamp assy into the bracket.

Just getting at the bolts that hold the bearings into the bracket is a stunt.
M
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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Replacing the springs is an easy, cheap project. My 72 has 4 per light. Yours is probably similar. Remove the front grill for access. Plenty of info on the web.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #5
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do you have the stop screw engaged firmly when housings are up?
That I will have to look at. It all looks greek to me at this point. I'm going to have find some detailed pictures of all of these parts and their functions.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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Will the whole headlight assembly have to be taken out?
I did mine when the body was off, so I'm not sure, but I would think it would be easier to remove the whole assembly to change the bearings in the long run. Getting to the open stop adjuster is pretty easy though with the body on and the grille installed on my '71.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:50 PM   #7
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The up stop, the springs and the brackets can cause this. The mounting brackets, those pieces that hold the headlight assembly in the car, can crack or break, particularly in the front corners. Make sure you check those too. For the 80-82's the headlight assembly's are easy to get at from under the car if you remove the air deflector. Makes access really easy.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:05 PM   #8
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The up bracket is bolted to the side of the assy with a couple of bolts
[IMG][/IMG]

It has an adjustable bumper at the other end that contacts the main frame bracket in the up position
[IMG][/IMG]

my 2
HIH
M

Last edited by Mooser; 01-15-2014 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Mooser the up bracket in your first picture has a gap at the other end of it when the lights are up. No rubber bumper, no stop and nothing contacting it. Is that how it should be?

By the way that's one hell of a detail job.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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it could also be the bulbs are loose in the chrome rings that hold them in, screws missing or holes too big for the screws to tighten up in them. You need to look at the lights and tell us where they are loose at, then we might be able to help you. Have you looked at them yet????
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
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The headlamps themselves have all the springs and adjusters attached and are solid.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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One other area comes to mind. With the head lights open, grab and try to “wiggle” them. If you can get them to move up and down, you likely need to adjust the up stop. If they feel loose and you can get any side to side movement out of them, there are “collars” on the doors that take up the side to side slack in the doors. If this is the case, one side of each door at a time, loosen the set screw, move the collar out against the bearing, and tighten the set screw. This will take up the side to side movement.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:12 AM   #13
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The bearings on the inboard and outboard sides of the headlights have the slack in them. Everything else seems very tight. The AIM has some great illustrations of the mechanism. I ordered a headlamp minor repair kit from Corvette Central containing the four bearings and springs for both sides. I'm sure I'll be back posting some questions on installing those darn bearings.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Street Rat View Post
Mooser the up bracket in your first picture has a gap at the other end of it when the lights are up. No rubber bumper, no stop and nothing contacting it. Is that how it should be?

By the way that's one hell of a detail job.
I can't speak for certain on the 81 vette but I'll go and guess they are the same.
If that bracket (the black one on my pic) is there, it whould be what the lights are meant to "stop" against rather than just bottoming out on the linkage. If the linkage bottoms out, the lights will stop but they don't have the spring pressure pushing properly and aren't as "tight" as htey would be against the stop.

I know sometimes people remove the brackets or stops to get the lights to come up a little higher to get the surrounds to sit better if the other adjustments are off but.....

If your 81 has the tapped holes for the stop screws but are missing the screws, I believe they are the same screws and pads as sold for the hood stops on the earlier c3's (ie my 72)

HIH
M
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Street Rat View Post
The bearings on the inboard and outboard sides of the headlights have the slack in them. Everything else seems very tight. The AIM has some great illustrations of the mechanism. I ordered a headlamp minor repair kit from Corvette Central containing the four bearings and springs for both sides. I'm sure I'll be back posting some questions on installing those darn bearings.
The collars I was talking about will take up most if not all of that slack.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:29 PM   #16
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I have an 82 and were doing exactly what you describe and turned out to be the up stop bracket in the eariler picture.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:18 AM   #17
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I'm installing rubber caps, the same as you use on the hood adjuster stops on the lamp stop adjusters. just to eliminate the road vibrations, the brgs have just slight play causing the flutter. hope it works as removing the complete headlight assemblies is such as pain in the ---
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:49 PM   #18
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I'm installing rubber caps, the same as you use on the hood adjuster stops on the lamp stop adjusters. just to eliminate the road vibrations, the brgs have just slight play causing the flutter. hope it works as removing the complete headlight assemblies is such as pain in the ---
How did you install caps on a flat piece of steel unless you have an older one?
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:21 AM   #19
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good question, don't now yet, just ordered them. figured I'd give them a try only $2 ea. probably remove the stop stud and lube the rubber bumpers up good, hopefully they'll just pop on. then make the adjustment. sounds easy in theory? think it'll go that way?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:18 PM   #20
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Sure would be nice if someone could show WHERE the upstop bumper. I stare at the picture and see nothing that would resemble a bumper.
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