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Headlight motor gear replacement with some pics Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   93LT1Bird 

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:56 PM

Hi everyone,

when i first got my Bird the headlight motors would make this terrible noise when the headlights would close. it was so bad that i would leave the engine running and turn up the steroe to try and cover the noise. well after talking with some of you, i found out that this is a common problem. i decided to get the kits and post some pics of the replacment of the gears....so here we go.

this is the kit, i got it off Ebay for about $30 to $35 dollars. the kit consist of:

1. Aluminum Gear (however it's made the strength of the aluminum is suppose to be increased)
2. T-Brace with washer (help give the motor added support)
3. Replacement washer (this washer will go under the gear in housing)
4. Organic Grease (help stop rust and lubicated motor shaft)
5. Epoxy compound (used to reseal the motor)
6. Ice Cream stick (the all important tool that every garage needs...hahaha)
7. Instructions on how to replace the gear.

so you will need two (2) kits for each light.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0731.jpg

Fist start with covering your bird with the proper protection...not bedroom sheets like me. you will need to remove the neg. cable from battery and then remove the "Boot" cover from your motor and turn knob to raise your light. the motor is right next to your headlight.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0712.jpg

you will need to remove the headlight bezel ( it's the plastic molding around your headlight) it will have two screws on each side.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0713.jpg

you will have to disconnect the wire harness on the motor and pull the linkage from the motor shaft. (i sprayed PB Buster on the linkage and it slid off very easily. you can use a long screw driver or pry bar to help move the linkage off the motor shaft, but take care not to use to much force...just work it slowly if it is stubborn. you must support the headlight, so i used a bungee cord to hold it up.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0714.jpg

there are 3 nut/bolts holding the motor to the frame. remove them and pull the motor out and go to your work station. first thing the instructions tell you to do is to put the motor in vice and work on it that way. (i don't have a vice yet so just laid it on my work table). there are four tabs that your suppose to tap down with a hammer and flat head screwdriver that will take the play out of the motor housing. (one on my motor housing was loose and rattled, doing this took the play out of it)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0718.jpg


next your going to have to crack the gear cover where it was glued from the factory. to do this take a couple very samll flat head screwdrivers and tap them into the cover lip and work your way around. take care to use a little force, you don't want to crack the gear cover. work your way around and it will seperate to expose the gear.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0722.jpg

here some pics of the removal of the old gear,rubber bushing, gear shaft (take care to remember how the shaft goes, do one motor at a time so you can look back to make sure you put it back together properly). remove the shaft,gear,bushing,small plastic washer....btw, do not get any grease or oil on the gear cover..this is where your expoxy will be used to glue the cover back down.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0723.jpg

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0726.jpg

once you remove the gear pieces, the shaft will have some rust on it, sand it off and use the organic grease to stop future rust by applying it to the entire shaft. (plus grease up the teeth on the new gear) now place the shaft,new gear,bushing,washer back inside the gear housing. don't get any grease on the surface where the expoxy will be used.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0727.jpg

now i took a small piece of cardboard and mixed the expoxy on it and then used the ice cream stick to apply it to the gear housing and gear cover...(take your time with this)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0728.jpg

http://i223.photobuc...64/000_0729.jpg

now the instructions say to not to move the motor for 20 minutes. full cure is 24 hrs. you can put the motor back inside the engine carpartment after 1-2 hrs, but to be on the safe side not to operate motor for 24 hrs. you will place the T-Brace with plastic washer/sleeve over the gear cover and bolt back into your car. (sorry, should have taken pic before i put it back in...but you can see from the pic how it looks.

http://i223.photobuc...64/000_0730.jpg

this project looked like it would have been a nightmare to do, i had to read the instructions over and over again because it looked so complex....but the honest truth is that the project is very simple. the key is to take your time and if you have to ,reread the instructions. i did one motor that i thought was making the noise, so the next day i go to play with the headlights and the other side is also making the same noise....this is a lesson learned the hard way because it took me an extra day to wait on driving my bird. do both sides, don't be like me and try to get away with fixing it later on down the road. (hahahahaha)

i'm no expert by any means guys, i just enjoy fixing problems and learning from them. i would rather do it than take it to someone to fix it and charge me an arm and leg. if ya have the tools and time and have some mechanical exp, you can do this fix your self. thanks for reading my post, this is my first technical post so thanks for all the support.

Gary
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#2 User is offline   WarbirdTA 

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

I did quick fixes by going to the junk yard, and pulled a bunch apart, till I found a good one to use on our car.
I should buy some of those good replacements.
I saw a Corvette shop have those in brass.
Nice writeup!

George :peelout:
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#3 User is offline   crayzcody 

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 06:19 PM

Im new to firebirds I just got one and I will be doing this soon and I glad i found this info. This is a great wright up. Although You said I need 2 kits for each light?

 93LT1Bird, on 15 December 2008 - 04:56 PM, said:

Hi everyone,

when i first got my Bird the headlight motors would make this terrible noise when the headlights would close. it was so bad that i would leave the engine running and turn up the steroe to try and cover the noise. well after talking with some of you, i found out that this is a common problem. i decided to get the kits and post some pics of the replacment of the gears....so here we go.

this is the kit, i got it off Ebay for about $30 to $35 dollars. the kit consist of:

1. Aluminum Gear (however it's made the strength of the aluminum is suppose to be increased)
2. T-Brace with washer (help give the motor added support)
3. Replacement washer (this washer will go under the gear in housing)
4. Organic Grease (help stop rust and lubicated motor shaft)
5. Epoxy compound (used to reseal the motor)
6. Ice Cream stick (the all important tool that every garage needs...hahaha)
7. Instructions on how to replace the gear.

so you will need two (2) kits for each light.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0731.jpg

Fist start with covering your bird with the proper protection...not bedroom sheets like me. you will need to remove the neg. cable from battery and then remove the "Boot" cover from your motor and turn knob to raise your light. the motor is right next to your headlight.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0712.jpg

you will need to remove the headlight bezel ( it's the plastic molding around your headlight) it will have two screws on each side.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0713.jpg

you will have to disconnect the wire harness on the motor and pull the linkage from the motor shaft. (i sprayed PB Buster on the linkage and it slid off very easily. you can use a long screw driver or pry bar to help move the linkage off the motor shaft, but take care not to use to much force...just work it slowly if it is stubborn. you must support the headlight, so i used a bungee cord to hold it up.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0714.jpg

there are 3 nut/bolts holding the motor to the frame. remove them and pull the motor out and go to your work station. first thing the instructions tell you to do is to put the motor in vice and work on it that way. (i don't have a vice yet so just laid it on my work table). there are four tabs that your suppose to tap down with a hammer and flat head screwdriver that will take the play out of the motor housing. (one on my motor housing was loose and rattled, doing this took the play out of it)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0718.jpg


next your going to have to crack the gear cover where it was glued from the factory. to do this take a couple very samll flat head screwdrivers and tap them into the cover lip and work your way around. take care to use a little force, you don't want to crack the gear cover. work your way around and it will seperate to expose the gear.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0722.jpg

here some pics of the removal of the old gear,rubber bushing, gear shaft (take care to remember how the shaft goes, do one motor at a time so you can look back to make sure you put it back together properly). remove the shaft,gear,bushing,small plastic washer....btw, do not get any grease or oil on the gear cover..this is where your expoxy will be used to glue the cover back down.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0723.jpg

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0726.jpg

once you remove the gear pieces, the shaft will have some rust on it, sand it off and use the organic grease to stop future rust by applying it to the entire shaft. (plus grease up the teeth on the new gear) now place the shaft,new gear,bushing,washer back inside the gear housing. don't get any grease on the surface where the expoxy will be used.

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0727.jpg

now i took a small piece of cardboard and mixed the expoxy on it and then used the ice cream stick to apply it to the gear housing and gear cover...(take your time with this)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/heavychevy64/000_0728.jpg

http://i223.photobuc...64/000_0729.jpg

now the instructions say to not to move the motor for 20 minutes. full cure is 24 hrs. you can put the motor back inside the engine carpartment after 1-2 hrs, but to be on the safe side not to operate motor for 24 hrs. you will place the T-Brace with plastic washer/sleeve over the gear cover and bolt back into your car. (sorry, should have taken pic before i put it back in...but you can see from the pic how it looks.

http://i223.photobuc...64/000_0730.jpg

this project looked like it would have been a nightmare to do, i had to read the instructions over and over again because it looked so complex....but the honest truth is that the project is very simple. the key is to take your time and if you have to ,reread the instructions. i did one motor that i thought was making the noise, so the next day i go to play with the headlights and the other side is also making the same noise....this is a lesson learned the hard way because it took me an extra day to wait on driving my bird. do both sides, don't be like me and try to get away with fixing it later on down the road. (hahahahaha)

i'm no expert by any means guys, i just enjoy fixing problems and learning from them. i would rather do it than take it to someone to fix it and charge me an arm and leg. if ya have the tools and time and have some mechanical exp, you can do this fix your self. thanks for reading my post, this is my first technical post so thanks for all the support.

Gary

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#4 User is offline   93LT1Bird 

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:59 PM

Cody, sorry so late on responding. I have been out of it on the forum. But yeah you would need two kits, but get both at the same time. I failed to do that and purchased one for one side, and then about a week later the other side went out.
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#5 User is offline   GaryDoug 

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

"Two kits for each light" is a bit misleading. It makes it sound like you need 4 kits. You need one kit for each side, two for the whole car.
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#6 User is offline   93LT1Bird 

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:35 AM

 GaryDoug, on 01 February 2012 - 07:18 PM, said:

"Two kits for each light" is a bit misleading. It makes it sound like you need 4 kits. You need one kit for each side, two for the whole car.


GaryDoug thanks i had to go back and reread the original post and i guess cause of the age it won't allow me to "edit" to fix that mistake. Maybe a moderator will fix it so it doesn't mess anybody up. yeah, sorry about that and thanks for catching it. LOL!!!

This post has been edited by 93LT1Bird: 02 February 2012 - 04:50 AM

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