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headlights act strange and antenna sux

This is a discussion on headlights act strange and antenna sux within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; i'm a mechanic in the army with a good bit of experience working on gm products, but have only dealt ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    99 v6 bird

    headlights act strange and antenna sux

    i'm a mechanic in the army with a good bit of experience working on gm products, but have only dealt with a few firebirds before so excuse my ignorance. i bought a 99 firebird that's pretty cherry with a few minor issues recently. its the luxo-cruiser model, power everything but 3.8 V6 and automatic. i'm just trying to make everything nice before i start anything fun. 2 problems at the minute are the headlights and the power antennae. headlights work great until the pop-ups go down, then the left one makes a loud grinding/buzzing sound, almost like the motor's staying engaged too long. i helped a friend of mine recently spin the plastic headlight drive gear on his around, but his was buzzing nasty the whole way up and down. mine only does it after the headlight goes all the way back down. my other problem is the power antennae makes the same loud buzzing noise whenever the car first starts up and after i shut it off when the antennae's supposed to be moving. it seems to be permanently in the up position and i cant move it by hand. any thoughts on either of these problems? thanks guys,

  2. #2
    *lick* 99_natural_beauty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Fayetteville, AR

    1999 Trans Am WS6

    When the gears in my headlight motors were stripped, it only made the loud annoying sound after they went back down, so yours may be the same problem. Try the gear-turning deal and see if that cures it. I'd be willing to bet that it does.

    As far as the antenna goes, it almost sounds like the same thing. A gear is stripped maybe or possibly the whole motor is going out. I have no idea how expensive the motors are or if you have to buy the whole thing antenna and all, in one piece. Sorry, I'm not much help there. I'd probably see how expensive replacing it would be and just go that route, I don't think I've ever talked to anyone that had that happen to them.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Sacramento, California

    Black on Black
    2001 Firebird T/A WS6

    Alright lately Ive seen alot of threads asking why is there a "noise" when you lock/unlock the doors, when the headlights are turned on/off , or why do my headlights come up when I just turn on my park/fog lights.

    The headlights on the Trans Am/Formula/Firebird measures amperage (resistence) to know when the headlight is fully up and fully down. When a plastic gear in the headlight motor gets stripped the system keeps powering the motors and thats why you hear a jackhammer/grinding type noise when you lock/unlock the doors or when you turn on/off the headlights.

    There are two options to solve the problem.The first is the 180 temp fix, this when you rotate the gear in the motor to the unused portion. The gear in the motor only uses half of a side to raise/lower the lights, so you have another half of the gear that has never been used. The second is to replace the plastic gear that has worn out with a brass gear.
    Heres a step by step write up for the temp FIX on that same page you can order the brass gears to replace the plastic stock ones . Hope this helps.

    This is very good news as I have the same problem and when I went to a mechanic, he hinted at the idea of the control module might be bad...which is about a good $1000.

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