Tip & How-To about Pontiac Firebird

HOW THE REPAIR A 87-92 FIREBIRD HEADLIGHT MOTOR

If your headlight motor is spinning but the headlight is not going up on your 87-92 firebird, the plastic bushings inside the motor over the years have been ground to dust. But save the $175 for a new motor and for less than $10 repair your motor.
The repair is not difficult. You need to go on Ebay and you will find several offerings for new small plastic bushings for sale, in sets of 3 or 6. You need 3 for each headlight. They usually cost about $3-6.00 plus shipping. Buy a set. Buy extra for a future repair if you want.
You need to first raise the bad headlight by spinning the knob on top of the motor. Then you remove the plastic case around the headlight. Remove the two screws on each side, and ease the plastic off and set aside. There are 4 bolts holding the headlight assembly to the car, remove those bolts, and unhook the headlight plug, unplug the headlight motor plug, and pull out the entire headlight assembly with the motor attached.
There are 3 long bolts holding the motor to the headlight bracket, remove those bolts, and also the bolt holding the motor to the arm on the back. The headlight motor is now free and separate. There are 3 or 4 small bolts holding the large black round outside case on one side of the motor. carefully remove those bolts, they are fragile, and then carefully open the motor. You have to wiggle it, but it will come off. there is a gasket, try not to damage it.
Inside the motor there is one large round white plastic gear, and probably a lot of whitish plastic powder. This is the remains of the 3 round plastic pieces that fell apart over time, the reason your headlight motor spins but the headlight does not go up. Carefully pull off and out the large round white gear, and then clean out all the plastic shavings from inside the motor case. When everything is clean, you need to reinsert the large gear with the 3 new bushings in the 3 locations in the gear, carefully replace the black cover and the bolts, and then in reverse order reassemble everything back on the car.
After you have done this repair once, it is very easy the 2nd time. I have probably repaired 30-40 motors over the past 10 years this way, and the repair is good for many years. I have repaired and keep as spares 4-8 extra motors that I acquired "Broken" for free or a few dollars, and fixed this way. Whenever I buy another firebird with bad headlight motors I just pull the bad motors and replace them with the spares, and then repair the bad ones when I have time.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

i have a 1990 pontiac firebird formula 350, and we own a mechanic shop and are restoring it. The problem is that the left head light wont go up or down, but we have tested the motor, by hooking up a battery to the headlight motor so we know that it isnt tghe motor, and there is no current running to the motor, so we think that it could be a bad fuse... so which fuse would corespond to the left headlight???


I just looked at a wiring diagram for the year and make of your car and it shows a circuit breaker for the right and left side headlamp motors. This is probably be located inside you fuse panel. It will say HDLP #1 & #2. Ihop that this helps, if you need the wiring diagram I can email it to you.

Rodney

Jun 13, 2011 | 1990 Pontiac Firebird

2 Answers

hideaway headlights won't open/close - is there an easy do-it-yourself solution for repair? (This is a 1990 Firebird)


After you hit the headlight switch, what happens? If nothing, can you manually raise/lower the headlights by spinning the knobs? If this is the case, it's most likely you just need to replace the relay.

If not... Do both of the motor knobs just starting spinning for 10-20 seconds? If this is the case, you need to replace the gears inside the motors. (Repair kits with all the parts you'll need to repair both motors run $10-20 give or take.)

I spent a couple of hours this very afternoon replacing mine... heh, guess both our '90s rolled off the assembly line at the same time, eh?

May 08, 2010 | 1990 Pontiac Firebird

1 Answer

1989 corvette - headlights do not open all the way - motors run but it seems like something is slipping and they will not open fully. Is there a "clutch adjustment" on the motor assembly that can be adjusted? I noticed a "lock screw" at the bottom of the motor assembly, but I don't want to move it without knowing I won't screw something up. Thanks to anyone who can help. dave.


I had to rebuild the headlight motor gears on my 89 last year. There is a plastic gear in the headlight assembly that has little plastic "barrels" in it for tension. These little bushings disentigrate over a short period of time. both of mine went out about a month apart. They are called the Delrin Bushings and sell for 8.99 a set (MAdirect). sometimes the plastic gear get's damaged, so you may want a kit. I used a new plastic set don't recall how much, they also sell brass for $59 each side. I figure the plastic lasted 20 years last time. It is not for the novice, but it wasn't too hard if you have the right tools. second side took me an hour. good instructions.

Aug 29, 2009 | 1989 Chevrolet Corvette

2 Answers

I have a 89 C4 Corvette, my headlights will not stay up, first one will shut then the other. when I turn the headlights off it sounds like the motor is still running? What could be the problem, bushings or headlamp replacement?


I had to rebuild the headlight asseemblies on my 89 last year. There is a plastic gear in the headlight assembly that has little plastic "barrels" in it for tension. These little bushings disentigrate over a short period of time. both of mine went out about a month apart. They are called the Delrin Bushings and sell for 8.99 a set (MAdirect). sometimes the plastic gear get's damaged, so you may want a kit. I used a new plastic set don't recall how much, they also sell brass for $59 each side. I figure the plastic lasted 20 years last time. It is not for the novice, but it wasn't too hard if you have the right tools. second side took me an hour.

Aug 27, 2009 | 1989 Chevrolet Corvette

1 Answer

the headlight motor continues to run after the light has closed


I had this problem too. The problem is from a stripped plastic gear inside the motor housing. For some reason (poor engineering?) the motor keeps getting power even after the head light is closed. I purchased a new plastic gear and it only lasted me about 2 months. I recommend you check out the site below and purchase a metal gear. I did and my headlight is still working fine after a year.

http://www.bfranker.badz28.com/headlightfix/index.htm

Mar 07, 2009 | 1999 Pontiac Firebird

Not finding what you are looking for?

3,852 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Pontiac Experts

yadayada
yadayada

Level 3 Expert

75117 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22095 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

7772 Answers

Are you a Pontiac Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...