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Trans Am Head light issue

This is a discussion on Trans Am Head light issue within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Having a few confusing issues at hand 1. Took my 99 Trans Am out the other night and when I ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Trans Am Head light issue

    Having a few confusing issues at hand
    1. Took my 99 Trans Am out the other night and when I got home I shut off the head lights and heard a awful grinding noise coming from the passenger side head light when they shut grinding continued for a few seconds after closing....so after doing some reading on the subject I'm assuming that the gear stripped and a brass gear replacement is in order.
    However the confusing part is that now when I turn on my parking lights the lights pop up with out the head lights on if I cycle the switch to head lights they turn on or off but lights stay up when switch is cycled off completely they go down and grinding from passenger light happens... This happens over and over!!!
    So my question is why would both lights pop up with just the parking lights on if one gear is going bad????

    2. With projects going on and work I've driven the car very little this summer and every so many starts something weird happens the gauges spike the needles for a second and the trip meter clears and goes to 0.0

    I've read that low battery level can make these cars do some really weird things has anyone experienced any of my issues or can shed some light on possible causes for what is happening!!!
    One note the day I had problems with the lights was at the end of the day after I had driven the car most of the day to work and running my daughter to her activities then a trip to dads and back so battery should have had plenty of charge unless it's going bad!!!
    99 Trans Am, SLP Lid, Blackwing filter, smooth bellow, Ported TB, LS6 intake, Ws6 lower ram air box, OBX LT's, Magna Flow cat back, LS7 clutch, Tick MC, Hurst Shifter, Frost Tune, UMI SFC,LAC, STB, PB, Torq Arm, Super Hawk hood, Torq Thrust II, Kee Audio.
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    Paid off 1/27/14 cammed goat's Avatar
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    I'm thinking a possible short or exposed wiring somewhere causing the headlights to raise with just the parking lights active. Others will chime in.


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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    BCM will also play with the lights but you would have other signs with along with the lights if it was that.

    Not saying that this is "it" but the motor might require some initial resistance that if the gear is stripped it will try to move when it shouldn't.

    You want to have fun try figuring out why the ground for the fog lights is tied to the high beam ground instead of it's own ground. If it's not connected then the fogs don't work at all. I discovered that when I messed with my HID kits. Now my fog lights stay on all the time when the low or highs are on.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    After doing some more research and coming across this post Damn Pop-up head lights.
    Just went out and hit my alarm and lights went up and down ( never did this before ) and grinding began....also read the same problems from a Brass Gear Supplier as these symptoms being the direct result of the gears being stripped. So I will be ordering both gears for replacement, they come in a kit with Everything needed for the swap for just under $90
    I will post my results as soon as things come together

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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    I hope your going to add the "steelbrace". Firebird Headlight Motor Gears by Rodney Dickman

    About 5 years ago my headlights did the same as yours so I add the brass gears and glued the cover back on just like I was supposed to and they worked great then just a few months ago the drivers side motor started grinding again. I can only guess its because the glue left loose on the cover so now I'm going to add the steelbrace.

    I bet all your other problems will disapper. Except your trip meter that goes back to 0.0, your battery is going bad.
    2002 Firebird Formula - 5.7 Liter - "Last of the Breed"

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I'm looking for the "rivot" or bushing that the hindge brace pivots on. Mine has enlarged to the point it wobbles the light when up.


    If anyone knows where to get one please let me know.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 024mula View Post
    I hope your going to add the "steelbrace". Firebird Headlight Motor Gears by Rodney Dickman

    About 5 years ago my headlights did the same as yours so I add the brass gears and glued the cover back on just like I was supposed to and they worked great then just a few months ago the drivers side motor started grinding again. I can only guess its because the glue left loose on the cover so now I'm going to add the steelbrace.

    I bet all your other problems will disapper. Except your trip meter that goes back to 0.0, your battery is going bad.
    Yep that is the Gear set I'm getting forgot to transfer money today or they would be on the way....I was thinking about the battery causing the trip meter problems but wasn't sure...Thanks for the input..

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I'm looking for the "rivot" or bushing that the hindge brace pivots on. Mine has enlarged to the point it wobbles the light when up.


    If anyone knows where to get one please let me know.
    Pontiac Firebird, Formula, Trans Am, Replacement Headlight Assemblies and Parts.
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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Kingls1 have you tried removing the headlight brace nut and turn the motor manually 180 degrees? I noticed you said you order the brass gears which is the way to go but the headlight motor uses only half of the gear surface. If the other half has not been rotated yet then it's gear surface is new and will solve the headlight grinding issue.

    I had the headlight going up when I hit the alarm FOV and grinding noise. After I replaced the defective one with brass gear the problem was gone. I owned my firebird for 5 years I never had an issue with headlight motors again.
    kingls1 likes this.
    1998 TA 130k A4, LS6 intake, TunedByFrost, Airlid, AIR and EGR delete, Borla exhaust, front Eibach lowering springs, LS6 valley cover, UMI TQ arm, UMI LCA's, UMI panhard bar, Poly engine mounts, BMR relocation brackets, Blistein HD shocks and struts, Oil catch can, Autotrix window fix.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Jay Long time buddy...where you been?

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Jay Long time buddy...where you been?
    Hey Scott, I honestly just been out of the loop. I have been studying and concentrating on my computer certifications. Since I don't have my Firebird anymore it's been different. I do like having my truck as is better for our home but i kinda miss the bird. I really don't have much to do now with the F150 since I can't mod it lol.

    I figure I start looking at the forum once in a while again to help other members even if I don't own a car anymore. I have tried numerous F150 forums and man nothing compares to LS1.com. Not a lot of help on F150 forums. I have to buy a truck soon in the future and was debating going back to a chevy. I did owned a 1999 chevy in the past and had plenty of issues back. It I get a silverado I will very familiar with the engine. Will see when i get closer to that buying time. My truck has 180k now and it is still running good.

    How you been Scott? The whole gang of moderators and tech team still around?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    Hey Scott, I honestly just been out of the loop. I have been studying and concentrating on my computer certifications. Since I don't have my Firebird anymore it's been different. I do like having my truck as is better for our home but i kinda miss the bird. I really don't have much to do now with the F150 since I can't mod it lol.

    I figure I start looking at the forum once in a while again to help other members even if I don't own a car anymore. I have tried numerous F150 forums and man nothing compares to LS1.com. Not a lot of help on F150 forums. I have to buy a truck soon in the future and was debating going back to a chevy. I did owned a 1999 chevy in the past and had plenty of issues back. It I get a silverado I will very familiar with the engine. Will see when i get closer to that buying time. My truck has 180k now and it is still running good.

    How you been Scott? The whole gang of moderators and tech team still around?
    I'll pm you..

  13. #13
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I'll pm you..
    ok , sorry OP for all the non related chat.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Got my new gears this week and it's raining pretty hard here today so no outside work until later so I'm going to get these lights fixed I'll be back later with a update
    JayTA98 likes this.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Pulled motors and replaced gears, passenger side motor had one little section where it was bad I'm assuming it was where it come to the closed position where I heard the grinding. Rest of gear was nice. Driver side was like new, those brass gears are quality parts and the kit comes with everything needed, directions are very well written and when followed correctly cover the job. Patience is a virtue as getting motors out and in along with wiring will test you in the small space. Also care is needed when opening housings and cleaning out old grease and gluing back together, I waited 24hrs for glue to set before reinstalling them..
    It's a good thing to have a bungee cord to hold the light up because after you remove arm it falls down making removing motor becomes a impossible job. As directed cycle lights with thumb knob up and down before plugging in and powering them as I found out I had the first arm on wrong and would only go half way and could have ruined the job....Now it was time to hit the switch and when I did they opened with just the parking lights just like before and I almost began screaming profanity but after two complete cycles they were back to normal and working fine....really odd how the lights act when gear failed, just hitting the lock and unlock button on the key fob would cause then to go up and down very strange!!!
    Thanks for all who chimed in
    JayTA98 and SMWS6TA like this.

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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you got it fixed Jeff.
    kingls1 likes this.

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