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Headlight issue

This is a discussion on Headlight issue within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I had posted b4 about a sound one of my headlights was making when i turned them on 2 where ...

  1. #1
    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    Headlight issue

    I had posted b4 about a sound one of my headlights was making when i turned them on 2 where they raise up. and now it finally wont go up all the way like the other side does. I was told to just turn over the gear but....uh..idk what im looking for. and when its humid it makes a squeaking noise. but only when its humid and goes away after 10-15 mins but its driving me insane. i know its a pully im pretty sure on my passenger side but which one...

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    Member damianj03's Avatar
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    1. Description- open your hood then look just behind the headlight that is making the noises you will see a round looking knob that looks like a allen wrench will fit in it. That knob is your manual raise and lower knob. Then if you take the black shroud off of the headlight that is held on by i think 4 screw and look underneath the headlight you will see a electric motor that is what raises your headlights when you turn them on and is where your gear is. Conected to the motor is a metal bar that has a hinge in the middle of it that is connected to the motor with a 10mm nut i think.
    2. Gear Turning- Raise you headlights with the switch if you can then remove black shroud, then remove the nut and pull the hinged bar from the motor. After removing the bar from the motor use the manual raise knob to to turn the gear inside 180 degrees. You can tell how much the gear has rotated by watching the stud that the bar was bolted to until it reaches the complete opossite direction it was facing. After turning it to the described about rebolt the bar back to the motor and flip the switch for the lights to see if the noise has stopped.

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Drivin It Like I Stole It JWSmythe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureWS6 View Post
    I had posted b4 about a sound one of my headlights was making when i turned them on 2 where they raise up. and now it finally wont go up all the way like the other side does. I was told to just turn over the gear but....uh..idk what im looking for. and when its humid it makes a squeaking noise. but only when its humid and goes away after 10-15 mins but its driving me insane. i know its a pully im pretty sure on my passenger side but which one...
    The link that Y2KPewterSS gave tells the story.

    If you pull out the headlight assembly, there is an electric motor that runs the lights up and down. Inside it, there's a plastic gear driven by a metal worm gear. Over the operational life of the headlights, the gear wears down.

    Generally, the gear only touches the worm gear on half of it, so you may be able to disconnect it, rotate it 180 degrees, and reconnect it. That may save you for a while.

    The GM solution is to replace the motor. That's expensive. The way most of us go is to go on eBay and find someone selling a replacement gear. I think there was someone on here selling them too. I've bought 3 from a guy on eBay who has both brass and aluminum gears. He switched to aluminum because of the cost of brass. Don't replace it with another plastic gear, or it will fail again. Look for the kit that also has a little metal T-bar. That will bolt in when you reassemble it, and give it a bit of extra strength.

    The replacement isn't very hard. Just follow the directions. The first time around, it'll probably take you a couple hours and a bit of cursing about the placement of the bolts.

    I've replaced both sides on my '00 TransAm WS/6, and one on the '98 TransAm I had.

    As the old one fails worse, your headlight will end up not moving on it's own, and it'll make a god awful sound when it's going up and down (or trying to), and since it won't ever be in the right position, it'll do the same when you lock and unlock your doors with the key fob.

    As for the squeeking, have fun finding it. It could be the belts or anything that moves. Mine was doing it too, so I finally got around to changing both belts. The serpentine is a piece of cake if you've done it before. You have to crawl under neath to change the A/C belt. A friend with a Camaro SS had a squeaking when her water pump was starting to fail. It was a few months between the noise starting and the pump failing.

    To find the location of the squeak, one trick is to stand in front of the car idling. Cover one ear, and move your hand around slowly between you and the engine. It'll get quieter when your hand is between your ear and the source of the noise.

  5. #5
    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWSmythe View Post
    The link that Y2KPewterSS gave tells the story.

    If you pull out the headlight assembly, there is an electric motor that runs the lights up and down. Inside it, there's a plastic gear driven by a metal worm gear. Over the operational life of the headlights, the gear wears down.

    Generally, the gear only touches the worm gear on half of it, so you may be able to disconnect it, rotate it 180 degrees, and reconnect it. That may save you for a while.

    The GM solution is to replace the motor. That's expensive. The way most of us go is to go on eBay and find someone selling a replacement gear. I think there was someone on here selling them too. I've bought 3 from a guy on eBay who has both brass and aluminum gears. He switched to aluminum because of the cost of brass. Don't replace it with another plastic gear, or it will fail again. Look for the kit that also has a little metal T-bar. That will bolt in when you reassemble it, and give it a bit of extra strength.

    The replacement isn't very hard. Just follow the directions. The first time around, it'll probably take you a couple hours and a bit of cursing about the placement of the bolts.

    I've replaced both sides on my '00 TransAm WS/6, and one on the '98 TransAm I had.

    As the old one fails worse, your headlight will end up not moving on it's own, and it'll make a god awful sound when it's going up and down (or trying to), and since it won't ever be in the right position, it'll do the same when you lock and unlock your doors with the key fob.

    As for the squeeking, have fun finding it. It could be the belts or anything that moves. Mine was doing it too, so I finally got around to changing both belts. The serpentine is a piece of cake if you've done it before. You have to crawl under neath to change the A/C belt. A friend with a Camaro SS had a squeaking when her water pump was starting to fail. It was a few months between the noise starting and the pump failing.

    To find the location of the squeak, one trick is to stand in front of the car idling. Cover one ear, and move your hand around slowly between you and the engine. It'll get quieter when your hand is between your ear and the source of the noise.
    hmm neat trick thanks

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damianj03 View Post
    1. Description- open your hood then look just behind the headlight that is making the noises you will see a round looking knob that looks like a allen wrench will fit in it. That knob is your manual raise and lower knob. Then if you take the black shroud off of the headlight that is held on by i think 4 screw and look underneath the headlight you will see a electric motor that is what raises your headlights when you turn them on and is where your gear is. Conected to the motor is a metal bar that has a hinge in the middle of it that is connected to the motor with a 10mm nut i think.
    2. Gear Turning- Raise you headlights with the switch if you can then remove black shroud, then remove the nut and pull the hinged bar from the motor. After removing the bar from the motor use the manual raise knob to to turn the gear inside 180 degrees. You can tell how much the gear has rotated by watching the stud that the bar was bolted to until it reaches the complete opossite direction it was facing. After turning it to the described about rebolt the bar back to the motor and flip the switch for the lights to see if the noise has stopped.
    Been there and done that .... now the gear that I've spun 180 is going out. Time for a trip to ebay for the aluminum gear.

  7. #7
    Junior Member artie634u's Avatar
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    Question Question

    Does the battery need to be disconnected before replacing head light bulbs?

    Thanks.

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    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    Having trouble getting the bar off after i got the nut off. Am i supposed to do anything b4 that?
    Last edited by FutureWS6; 01-17-2011 at 02:34 PM.

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    Member damianj03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureWS6 View Post
    Having trouble getting the bar off after i got the nut off. Am i supposed to do anything b4 that?
    i found it easier to take the bar off if i turned and wiggled the manual raise knob at the same time while im trying to pull the bar off.

  10. #10
    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    i kinda gotta force it right? cause i tried again today with no luck, but im mainly just scared to break anything

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Spray it down with some wd40 or something. Like damian~ said turn the allen to take the bind off of it. Pry with a wide blade screwdriver behind the bar... it'll come off.

  12. #12
    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    Spray it down with some wd40 or something. Like damian~ said turn the allen to take the bind off of it. Pry with a wide blade screwdriver behind the bar... it'll come off.
    Ya its exactly what i been doing guesss i need to just put more power on it

  13. #13
    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Mine quit going up a couple of months ago so I did the rotate trick and it only worked a couple days .... as I tried to remember if I'd already rotated it before. Anyhow I opened it up to replace the gear and the fricken thing already had a brass gear in it.... so not only had I rotated it twice but I replaced the gear ...LOL. That bothered me to see that gear. I went ahead and replaced it and it's been fine for a week. I can't imagine that that plastic worm gear could wear out a brass gear....???????

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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artie634u View Post
    Does the battery need to be disconnected before replacing head light bulbs?

    Thanks.
    I would disconect the battery, just for saftey.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    I thought you needed to disconnect it, but I had a problem with my harness after I changed them, and had to play with it when it was running with the lights on, and it doesn't close when you disconnect the harness, so, no, you don't have to pull the battery. Better off, but good info to know. And pulling the linkage off, I got my nail bar out, and put some muscle into it. Grunt,pop,done.

  16. #16
    Military Police FutureWS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    Mine quit going up a couple of months ago so I did the rotate trick and it only worked a couple days .... as I tried to remember if I'd already rotated it before. Anyhow I opened it up to replace the gear and the fricken thing already had a brass gear in it.... so not only had I rotated it twice but I replaced the gear ...LOL. That bothered me to see that gear. I went ahead and replaced it and it's been fine for a week. I can't imagine that that plastic worm gear could wear out a brass gear....???????
    so.....did u have to remove the headlight to do that?

  17. #17
    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    No ... but if memory serves me right - you should remove the headlight cover.

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    Let me tell you that I had the same issue with my WS6. However after replacing the gears, and putting the units back together I noticed the arm on my driver side motor was not completly resting against the metal tab witch stops the arm. Well I didnt think much of it at the time. it seamed to work fine. Well after time the arm bent the tab back and the arm would spin around and the headlight would go crazy. So I ripped it out and tried to bend the tab back, and it snaped off! So long story short. the dealer had to rip the whole front end off to replace it. Witch ended up costing me $1500 bucks in labor and parts. The point im trying to get is be carful when messin with these things. what seems like an easy fix could end up costing you a lot. might want to concider paying the 400 at the dealer. Good luck.

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