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head light grinding

This is a discussion on head light grinding within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; My passenger side head light hasn't been coming up every time I turn on the lights, so today I raised ...

  1. #1
    Member TROYWS6X's Avatar
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    1998 WS6

    Question head light grinding

    My passenger side head light hasn't been coming up every time I turn on the lights, so today I raised it manually to lube it, hoping it wasn't the gear and just the linkage, and the lube would fix it. All the I took apart was the plastic frame around the lights so I could get to the linkage easier. I put it back together and tried it and it works, but there is a loud gringing coming from the motor after it goes down . It lasts for a couple of seconds and stops. Also, when I lock the car, the lights pop up and down. It never did that before. All I did was spray some WD40 on the linkage that raises the head light. Did I somehow mess up the timing by only raising one head light at a time?

  2. #2
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    Black on black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    I am having the same problem with the grinding sound from the driver side. I was searching around last night and found a lot of info out there on this topic. I havent had time to work on mine yet but it sounds like the motor has came lose, which happens a lot judging by all the threads out there. As for the light popping up I remember reading some stuff on that while I was looking last night but I didnt pay any attention to it.

    Good luck and if you end up needing a gear they are about $48 shipped for a brass one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    More than likely it is the gear. If I were you I'd fork the money out and just change it out. I did mine years ago and have never had a problem since!

  4. #4
    Drive it like its stolen gillahoon's Avatar
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    I trough it was the gear on my and got the new gear and it still did it, what it really is the motor is losse. you have to take it out and hammer the little tabs that hold the metal caseing, so it dont wiggle. when u take it out u will be able to feel it move and it has to be tight.

  5. #5
    Member TROYWS6X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillahoon View Post
    I trough it was the gear on my and got the new gear and it still did it, what it really is the motor is losse. you have to take it out and hammer the little tabs that hold the metal caseing, so it dont wiggle. when u take it out u will be able to feel it move and it has to be tight.
    I'll give it a try before I order the brass gear.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Junior Member 98_Ws6_scooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TROYWS6X View Post
    Also, when I lock the car, the lights pop up and down. It never did that before. All I did was spray some WD40 on the linkage that raises the head light. Did I somehow mess up the timing by only raising one head light at a time?
    My 98 is doin the same thing and my driver side headlight motor is making the grinding after it goes down ..... what is the problem with the lights flippin up when locking the car?????

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    1998 bmw z3

    2001 is doing the same thing passenger side. Headlights never went up and down when locking before all of a sudden they do and when it goes down makes that grinding noise. never seen this before.

  8. #8
    Member Sas's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need to fix/replace the headlight motor gear...

  9. #9
    Junior Member Airguy's Avatar
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    1999 Trans Am

    So its not suppose to flip up and down when locking doors? Time to fix this problem. So what do I need to replace or fix? The motors need to be replace or gears?
    Thanks again

  10. #10
    Moving forward. Pyromaniacal's Avatar
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    It absolutely is your headlight motor gear. This very same thing happened to me and when I changed the gear, all was well.

    Here is a link you will find invaluable..

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

    Now as a friendly warning, this is an easy operation, but it must be carefully undertaken. When you are putting in your brass headlight gear (40$ approx) make sure it is properly put in and sitting well, if you do not, it will only be a matter of time before it starts stripping the brass gear and you're going to be right back where you started.

    Goodluck!

  11. #11
    2-Legit-2-Quit bgable's Avatar
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    2006 Pontiac GTO

    i just took out the gear and spun 180 degrees then that side is unstripped fixed mine and this was free and mine was doin the exact same thing yours was

  12. #12
    Member svt_eater's Avatar
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    SO many people with this problem. My car was less than 2 years old when it happened to me. The dealer said they replaced the passenger side motor, and I then had them replace the driver side one just to make sure it wouldn't be an issue in the near future...they covered both under warranty...I said the driver side one was slower than the new passenger side one and no questions asked.

    Anyway, I had the same lights popping up thing happening when I locked the doors when that happened. I just pulled the fuses for the headlight motors until I had it fixed. It's a painful noise to hear coming from your car, that is for damn sure.

    My problem hasn't come back, but there are more suggestions in this post than I have seen anywhere else, from free fixes, to the brass gears, I think everything is covered here.

  13. #13
    Junior Member 96t/a's Avatar
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    1996 Trans Am

    my passenger side headlight is doing almost the same thing except, whenever i turn my headlights of it pops back up by itself and makes the grinding noise. it pops back up but the lights not on?

  14. #14
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    mine did the same thing, hit the alarm and headlights would wink at me then grind. i just took the headlight motor out, pulled the output gear out and turned it 180* and put it back in with a little wheel bearing grease. know more winking and grinding.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Jay_dub87's Avatar
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    my car does the same thing... I have an '01 and the passenger side light has been making that loud noise for a week now. I feel bad coming home late at night and turning the lights off... I feel like I'm waking up the neighbors....

    I found a site that explain how to switch out the gear, looks pretty easy.... but I need to get off my ass one of these days and do it... hmm.

  16. #16
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    Angry

    I changed out my drivers side gear and no more grinding. As for that pain in the ass cover that has to come off to get the gear out one stich took care of my hand.

  17. #17
    Member svt_eater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by summy View Post
    I changed out my drivers side gear and no more grinding. As for that pain in the ass cover that has to come off to get the gear out one stich took care of my hand.
    Ouch! I try to wear Mechanix gloves as much as I can when working on the car...I'm sure they have saved me a few times now. They aren't always workable though...especially with more intricate parts.

  18. #18
    Drivin It Like I Stole It JWSmythe's Avatar
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    My '98 TA is doing that..

    Well, two different problems. The first one was that it would grind on the way down, just after it closed, and then flip open&closed when I locked the doors.

    You can actually disconnect the arm at the motor, and rotate it 180 degrees, to get onto the "good" side of the gears (like a few other people have suggested). That worked great for a month or two.

    Right now, when it's on it's way *UP*, it gets stuck either on the front bumper and doesn't move at all, or half way up, where I have to run around to the passenger side and lift it so it can catch a good gear. It's only about 1/2" movement, but it'll finish going up and lock in place.

    I already took the drivers side motor apart, so I'm familiar with the guts of it. That gear was badly worn on half the travel, so I rotated it, and it's been fine.

    Really, they're not that bad to take apart. Just make sure you don't take apart the actual motor (like a slightly over-sized D battery). If you do, the brushes -n- stuff will come loose, and you'll wonder why you started doing this. It's not impossible to get back together, just hard enough to annoy you. Be sure to lube the gears if/when you take it all apart. Mine was barely lubed, which probably caused a lot of the wear.

  19. #19
    Junior Member 98_Ws6_scooter's Avatar
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    ok update...

    Replaced the headlight motor with a lifetime free replacement motor from autozone for 100 bucks.... totally fixed my light problems.. and fairly easy install...

  20. #20
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    Was that for everything (motor and gear unit) or just for the motor?

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