Seafoam65

Tips for swapping out headlamp motor on a 65 Riviera

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Seafoam65    185

I just finished getting my hideaway headlights working like they are supposed

to and thought I would pass on a few tips since I never could find any good info on this

while reviewing previous forum posts. When I bought my car, the auxiliary relay had gone bad and the previous owner not knowing how to convert the wiring in order to use

an obtainable relay had put toggle switches on the system. Not long after I bought the car I burned up the motor when I forgot to flip the toggles after arriving from a cruise night after dark. (I later determined that my original motor had a bad limiter switch for the closed position, which made the motor want to run forever when the lamps were turned off.) In a previous post last week I covered how to convert your headlamp wiring in order to use a control relay as the auxiliary relay. This post will cover swapping out the headlight motor with a rebuilt one from evil bay and getting it all adjusted so the doors

close properly when the car is not apart for a restoration, but all put together. First step is to remove the three bolts holding on the front license plate bracket and remove it from the car. Next gently pry off the rubber water splash shield from the bumper filler it is clipped to and remove it. Next, pop off the two linkage arms where they snap onto the motor pivot(This is very easy, you can use your bare hands, no tools required) and then using bailing wire, pull both of them up as high as you can and wire them to the hood latch so they can't fall down and get in the way. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE THE MOTOR WITH THE LINKAGES HANGING DOWN! Next, remove the nut from the right side stud on the side of the motor and loosen the nut on the other end of the bracket that is bolted to the lower bumper brace so the side support bracket can be swiveled off of the stud. It is not necessary to remove this bracket, just loosen the nut and pivot it off the stud and out of the way. Next unplug the motor wiring and pull the entire harness out of the hole

that was behind the license plate bracket, being careful to note where the metal clip

was clipped that holds the wiring harness to the lower bumper brace so you can clip it back in the same place on the new motor. Now remove the two lower bolts holding the motor bracket to the bottom of the radiator support. Here is where it gets tricky. It will seem to you that there is no way there is room to get that motor assembly out of that tiny space above the lower bumper behind where the license plate bracket goes,

but you can in fact remove it through that hole. The main thng you have to be careful of is keeping the big motor bracket away from the fins on your A/C condenser while

maneuvering it out. First pull it up till the lower bracket clears the radiator support, then carefully roll the motor over to where the ears of the bracket are pointed straight down instead of up, and pull it out of the hole, top of the motor first. It is literally a press fit when doing this, there isn't a 32nd of an inch extra clearance to get the motor out, but you can get it out, just take your time and don't let the motor hit the A/C condenser when rolling it over to get it in the right position for removal. After you get it out,check to make sure that the headlight linkages and visors move smoothly with no binding. After you have verified the linkages are working fine with no binding, wire up the linkage arms again so they are out of the way and install the new motor in reverse order. You will note that the lower bracket bolts

through long slots on the radiator support. You will need to slide the motor back and forth till both headlight visors are the same distance from closing.(You need to install

the motor with the pivot arm in the half-way closed position) You can do this by grounding the motor on your work bench and applying power to one of the wires to get it in the halfway position. As you slide the motor back and forth on these slots you will note that moving it either way will open one headlight visor more while closing the other side more. Slide the motor on the slots with the two bolts started but not tight and when you find the spot where both visors are the same distance from closing, cinch down the bolts. You probably will find that you will need to play with this adjustment more than once, so for now leave the side support bracket off till you get this adjustment right. After all the bolts and nuts securing the motor are tight, it is time to plug in the motor and check it for operation. First turn on the lights and make sure the visors open. Next turn on the ignition switch and turn off the lights to make the visors close. If they don't close all the way like mine did, turn the lights back on to open the visors and then with the key off turn off the lights, leaving the visors open.

Loosen the adjustment bolt on the top of the linkage arm where it attaches to the motor on the side you are adjusting and grab the visor that wouldn't close all the way

and move the visor towards the closed position a little and then retighten the linkage adjustment bolt and retry it. You want to adjust each link to where it just does close

the visor all the way and no more than necessary to get it to close all the way. When you think you have the arms adjusted right, it is time to check to make sure the limiter switches are cutting power to the motor in both the open all the way and closed all the way positions. To do this, take a test light with a sharp point on it and

right up under the edge of the tape where the tape wrap ends at the top of the radiator support, poke a hole in each wire with the pick of the test light, and with the

key on and the headlamps closed, verify that only the black wire lights your test light

and not the brown one. Also verify that the visors only close when the ignition key is on. This verifies a functioning auxiliary relay. If the brown is lit also, the limiter switch is not turning off power to the motor, which means you have the visors adjusted too tight. If this is the case, try to pry open each visor a little, and loosen up the linkage adjustment on the side that feels the tightest.Keep adjusting the visors till you get only the black wire showing power when the visors are closed. Once you have verified that the limiter switch is working for closed, turn on the lights and verify that only the brown wire is hot and not the black

wire. If it is you will need to loosen the screws on the front limiter switch and raise it up a little till only the brown wire is hot with the lights on. Be careful when tightening the limiter switch adjustment nuts as over tightening will crack the switches. After verifying limiter switch operation, check all bolts for tightness, reinstall the rubber water shield on top of the motor and reinstall your front license bracket and you are done! 

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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Crazy4cruz    15

OK, so I'm hoping someone on here might be able to offer some advice. I'm trying to install my recently rebuilt motor but am having some power issues. I have replaced both the three prong and four prong relays with new. With the engine running I have power to the three prong relay with the lights off and power to the four prong relay with the lights on, but when I check for power at the end of the plug I only have power to one half when the lights are on, no power to other side of plug when lights are off. Any thoughts? Any help is appreciated.

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1965rivgs    54
OK, so I'm hoping someone on here might be able to offer some advice. I'm trying to install my recently rebuilt motor but am having some power issues. I have replaced both the three prong and four prong relays with new. With the engine running I have power to the three prong relay with the lights off and power to the four prong relay with the lights on, but when I check for power at the end of the plug I only have power to one half when the lights are on, no power to other side of plug when lights are off. Any thoughts? Any help is appreciated.

The key needs to be in the "on" position for the closing circuit to be energized.

Tom Mooney

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Crazy4cruz    15
The key needs to be in the "on" position for the closing circuit to be energized.

Tom Mooney

Engine is running during all scenarios. With engine running I can verify that I have power to both wiring harnesses. The harness that plugs into the four prong has power with the lights on, the harness that plugs into the three prong has power with the lights off. However, once I plug the harness in to each relay I only get power on one side of the plug (lights on) for the motor. Both relays are new.

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Seafoam65    185

You are leaving out too much info for us to help you so I'll try to cover all the bases in one post. You haven't stated if you have the motor plug plugged into the motor. If not go ahead and plug everything in. You didn't state if you have screwed down the two new relays to the inner fender. They get their ground from the inner fender and the system won't work if both relays aren't grounded. Take your test light, hook the lead to the positive batt post and touch the tip of the test light to the relay cases to make sure it lights. That indicates a good ground to the relays.With everything hooked up, when you turn on the lights, the four prong relay should click, and you should have power leaving the relay via the brown wire which goes straight to the headlamp motor

to open the clamshells. When you turn off the light switch, the black/white wire should be hot leaving the main relay and headed for the auxiliary three prong relay. When you turn on the key, the black/orange wire on the auxiliary relay should have 12 volts, energizing the three prong auxiliary relay and sending power out the black wire which goes straight to the headlamp motor to close the headlights. The motor gets it's ground from the radiator support and must be bolted down in order to function. When you unplug the motor plug, you should have power to the brown wire

on the end of the plug with headlights on, and power to the black wire at the end of the plug with key on and lights off. If you have these things and the motor is bolted down to the car then the motor is bad. Do these tests and report your findings.

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Crazy4cruz    15

Seafoam, thanks for this walk through. The relays are bolted down but have not checked ground as you suggest so will check that first. The motor itself is not installed but is freshly rebuilt and it tests OK. I have been trying to check the power to the female end of the plug as I was concerned about harming the rebuilt motor if something in the wiring wasn't hooked up properly first. I do hear the four prong click when i turn on the lights and do have power to the brown wire. It's the black wire from the three prong that I can't seem to get any power to. I'll update this post after I get a chance to check the black/white and black/orange. Can you verify for me the correct locations on the three prong for the black/white, black/orange, and black wires? If I'm looking at the prongs? i.e. upper left, upper right, and bottom? Thanks again.

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1965rivgs    54
Seafoam, thanks for this walk through. The relays are bolted down but have not checked ground as you suggest so will check that first. The motor itself is not installed but is freshly rebuilt and it tests OK. I have been trying to check the power to the female end of the plug as I was concerned about harming the rebuilt motor if something in the wiring wasn't hooked up properly first. I do hear the four prong click when i turn on the lights and do have power to the brown wire. It's the black wire from the three prong that I can't seem to get any power to. I'll update this post after I get a chance to check the black/white and black/orange. Can you verify for me the correct locations on the three prong for the black/white, black/orange, and black wires? If I'm looking at the prongs? i.e. upper left, upper right, and bottom? Thanks again.

Where did you get your 3 prong relay? If it is a typically found horn relay it is not wired the same internally as the original/proper 3 prong relay.

The black/orange wire is fused so check your fuse.

Tom Mooney

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Seafoam65    185
Where did you get your 3 prong relay? If it is a typically found horn relay it is not wired the same internally as the original/proper 3 prong relay.

The black/orange wire is fused so check your fuse.

Tom Mooney

I agree with Tom that most likely you don't have the correct three

prong relay. When I bought my car it had the incorrect three prong relay on it bought at a local parts store and of course it didn't work and the headlight motor was rigged up with toggle switches. When you look at the end of the plug to the three prong auxiliary relay with it disconnected, the black wire coming from the main relay should be going to the position at the top of the triangle, the black/orange wire should be on the bottom left and the black wire going to the headlamp motor should be on the bottom right. I think you will find that your wiring is correct and your relay is not. That is no problem, just do the five minute conversion to your wiring harness outlined in my post about how to convert your wiring to use a main headlamp relay for use as an auxiliary headlamp relay, and install another four prong relay where

your three prong relay is now.For your convenience I have bumped

this post back to the top so you can read it. It is currently on the front page next to this post. Also, while your three wire plug is disconnected, turn the key to the run position on the ignition switch

and check to make sure you have twelve volts to the black/orange stripe wire. If not your fuse is most likely blown.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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Mr Riviera    23
I agree with Tom that most likely you don't have the correct three

prong relay. When I bought my car it had the incorrect three prong relay on it bought at a local parts store and of course it didn't work and the headlight motor was rigged up with toggle switches. When you look at the end of the plug to the three prong auxiliary relay with it disconnected, the black wire coming from the main relay should be going to the position at the top of the triangle, the black/orange wire should be on the bottom left and the black wire going to the headlamp motor should be on the bottom right. I think you will find that your wiring is correct and your relay is not. That is no problem, just do the five minute conversion to your wiring harness outlined in my post about how to convert your wiring to use a main headlamp relay for use as an auxiliary headlamp relay, and install another four prong relay where

your three prong relay is now.For your convenience I have bumped

this post back to the top so you can read it. It is currently on the front page next to this post. Also, while your three wire plug is disconnected, turn the key to the run position on the ignition switch

and check to make sure you have twelve volts to the black/orange stripe wire. If not your fuse is most likely blown.

Richard tried your conversion and I also sold him the correct relay - same results with both relays .

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Seafoam65    185
Richard tried your conversion and I also sold him the correct relay - same results with both relays .

In that case either the wires are installed in the incorrect position in the three wire plug, or the black/orange wire isn't getting any voltage due to a blown fuse or other problem. There is no other possible explanation for the

problem. Oh, there is another possiblility .....Richard needs to check that

the black wire leaving the four prong relay has power when the lights

are turned off. Just because the 4 prong relay clicks, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is working.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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Mr Riviera    23
Seafoam, thanks for this walk through. The relays are bolted down but have not checked ground as you suggest so will check that first. The motor itself is not installed but is freshly rebuilt and it tests OK. I have been trying to check the power to the female end of the plug as I was concerned about harming the rebuilt motor if something in the wiring wasn't hooked up properly first. I do hear the four prong click when i turn on the lights and do have power to the brown wire. It's the black wire from the three prong that I can't seem to get any power to. I'll update this post after I get a chance to check the black/white and black/orange. Can you verify for me the correct locations on the three prong for the black/white, black/orange, and black wires? If I'm looking at the prongs? i.e. upper left, upper right, and bottom? Thanks again.

Hi Richard , Have you checked the fuse yet - I think all has been covered and most think its the fuse ??? Please let us know what you found . Thanks ,

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Crazy4cruz    15
Hi Richard , Have you checked the fuse yet - I think all has been covered and most think its the fuse ??? Please let us know what you found . Thanks ,

Have not had a chance yet to check the fuse. Did check that both relays are grounded and they are. Been really sick the last week and am going to be out of town today so hope to get back to it tomorrow or Monday. I'm thinking that it is the fuse as well but I'm concerned that may lead me down a path of re-doing some questionable wiring decisions by the previous owner that I have been avoiding. More to come in the next couple of days. And again thank you, and thanks to everyone here on this forum. You have all been a wealth of knowledge and encouragement that I can tackle this.

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Crazy4cruz    15
Hi Richard , Have you checked the fuse yet - I think all has been covered and most think its the fuse ??? Please let us know what you found . Thanks ,

OK, so today was a good news/bad news kind of day. The good news is that everything checks out with the exception of the black/orange wire. So I started tracing the black/orange wire back from the front of the vehicle and found the end had been cut off and the wire was hanging back along the firewall. I rolled it back up to the front just to keep it out of the way for now (see pic 1). According to the diagram Mr Riviera posted there is an orange wire that comes out of the wiring harness which I believe is the orange wire in pic 2. I wasn't able to locate a single yellow wire for the transmission downshift though. there is a tan two wire in pic 2 that loops down and then comes back up into the back of a switch at the back end of the throttle linkage. (pic 3). But not sure what that is. Question is, with the black/orange being cut how and what do I connect it to?

post-90536-143143099213_thumb.jpg

post-90536-1431430992_thumb.jpg

post-90536-143143099207_thumb.jpg

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1965rivgs    54
OK, so today was a good news/bad news kind of day. The good news is that everything checks out with the exception of the black/orange wire. So I started tracing the black/orange wire back from the front of the vehicle and found the end had been cut off and the wire was hanging back along the firewall. I rolled it back up to the front just to keep it out of the way for now (see pic 1). According to the diagram Mr Riviera posted there is an orange wire that comes out of the wiring harness which I believe is the orange wire in pic 2. I wasn't able to locate a single yellow wire for the transmission downshift though. there is a tan two wire in pic 2 that loops down and then comes back up into the back of a switch at the back end of the throttle linkage. (pic 3). But not sure what that is. Question is, with the black/orange being cut how and what do I connect it to?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]307652[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]307653[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]307654[/ATTACH]

You can connect to any key switched 12 volt wire but I would find the downshift wire so you can enable the downshift/switch pitch feature.. The two wire plug is for the switch pitch/downshift circuit.

Tom Mooney

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Crazy4cruz    15
You can connect to any key switched 12 volt wire but I would find the downshift wire so you can enable the downshift/switch pitch feature.. The two wire plug is for the switch pitch/downshift circuit.

Tom Mooney

Tom, thanks for the quick reply. So where might someone go looking for this elusive downshift wire? Also, is the orange wire in my pics the correct orange wire from the diagram? And if so, is it a key switched wire? In other words, if I can't find the single yellow downshift wire can I connect directly to the orange wire? And last, at least for now, where does the tan two wire plug go to?

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Seafoam65    185
Tom, thanks for the quick reply. So where might someone go looking for this elusive downshift wire? Also, is the orange wire in my pics the correct orange wire from the diagram? And if so, is it a key switched wire? In other words, if I can't find the single yellow downshift wire can I connect directly to the orange wire? And last, at least for now, where does the tan two wire plug go to?

The orange wire that the black/orange headlamp relay was connected to comes out of the harness that is running along the top of the cowl, and exits the harness right above the distributor. The black/orange wire on your car that was cut used to have a t-connector on the end of it,

with a male connector on one side and a female on the other, and it was installed between the orange wire coming from the cowl harness and the wire coming off the kickdown. On my original unmolested 65 riviera that was built in February 65, the wire coming off the kickdown is orange, not yellow, so on my car the black/orange stripe wire is teed into the two

solid orange wires. It was teed in halfway between the distributor and the back of the carburetor and the orange wire coming off of the cowl harness

has a male end on it and the orange wire coming off the kickdown has a female end on it. The black /orange wire on my car is routed along the firewall next to the cowl harness and comes down beside the orange wire that is coming out of the cowl harness. On my Riviera the

kickdown has three wires going to it...a black, a white, and the orange wire that tees into the orange and orange/black wires. I didn't trace

the black and white wires on the kickdown to see where they went but

I,m guessing they go straight to the transmission. As for the tan two wire plug, I don't see any such harness under my hood anywhere. Wait, after removing my air cleaner I discovered a double wire plug

plugged into the kickdown switch as well. My kickdown switch has two male prongs on it with a double wire plug plugged into them. The

wires on the double plug are both black. So, my kickdown switch has

a total of five wires going to it.....three blacks, a white and an orange wire. The official 65 Buick wiring diagram shows one yellow wire going

to it and another wire with no color listed for a total of two wires, not five like my car has. I can tell by looking that the wiring on my car is all factory and unmolested, so I am puzzled why the factory wiring diagram is totally different. On my car, the orange, black and white wires come to the switch next to each other and are part of the switch and can't be unplugged from it. The other two black wires on the double plug can be unplugged from the kickdown switch. Also, to answer your inquiry, the orange wire is hot with the key on only, and yes you could connect the orange/black wire to it and get the headlamps working, but if your kickdown switch isn't plugged to these

wires as well than it obviously is disconnected and not working presently..........Update......I just looked at the wiring diagram for the

headlamp revision instructions covering the addition of the auxiliary headlamp relay that was issued by Buick in the middle of the model year, and in that diagram it shows the three wires that go into the

back of the kickdown switch, with the one teed into the headlamp black/orange wire being yellow not orange like my car, and the color of the other two wires isn't shown. In this diagram, there is no

double plug with two black wires plugging into the front of the kickdown switch like my car has. I wonder how many versions of kickdown wiring Buick used in 1965? I count three different setups so far. As far as your headlamps are concerned, look at your kickdown

switch on the driver's side of the carburetor linkage. There should be either a yellow wire or an orange wire coming out of the back of it. This is the wire that tees into the orange wire on your cowl harness and the black/orange wire for your auxiliary headlamp relay.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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Crazy4cruz    15

OK. so I just want to make sure I'm looking at things correctly on my vehicle and asking the right question. Based on some quick research I did this morning I'm pretty sure that the kickdown switch that everyone is referring to has been removed from my vehicle (see pic). Based on what I can find on-line, the kickdown switch would have been mounted just behind and to the side of the carb. If this in fact the case then I'm back to my previous question. Is the single orange wire that comes out of the wiring harness just below the cowl (orange wire in pic) a key switched wire, and can I connect the black/orange wire directly to it?

post-90536-143143100269_thumb.jpg

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RivNut    1,013

From what I can see, someone has done the old "swap a new Edelbrock AFB for the original carb" trick. Ergo you have no throttle linkage to control the kick down / converter switch, so the switch was removed. They did however, leave the bracket for mounting the kick down / converter switch. Question: Have you looked to see if the transmission has the kick down solenoid mounted on the driver's side? There should be two male terminals on the solenoid that form a T. One part of the T is for the kick down, the other part of the T is for the converter. I'm not sure about the '65, but on the '64, the kick down is wired into the fuse for the wipers. Check the passenger side of the transmission for the tag that will tell you year and code for the transmission.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Seafoam65    185
OK. so I just want to make sure I'm looking at things correctly on my vehicle and asking the right question. Based on some quick research I did this morning I'm pretty sure that the kickdown switch that everyone is referring to has been removed from my vehicle (see pic). Based on what I can find on-line, the kickdown switch would have been mounted just behind and to the side of the carb. If this in fact the case then I'm back to my previous question. Is the single orange wire that comes out of the wiring harness just below the cowl (orange wire in pic) a key switched wire, and can I connect the black/orange wire directly to it?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]307756[/ATTACH]

Reread my entire updated post....It will answer any questions you may have. Yes, you can plug the orange wire to the orange/black wire. that is what it was hooked to originally, and yes it is hot only when the key is on.

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Crazy4cruz    15
From what I can see, someone has done the old "swap a new Edelbrock AFB for the original carb" trick. Ergo you have no throttle linkage to control the kick down / converter switch, so the switch was removed. They did however, leave the bracket for mounting the kick down / converter switch. Question: Have you looked to see if the transmission has the kick down solenoid mounted on the driver's side? There should be two male terminals on the solenoid that form a T. One part of the T is for the kick down, the other part of the T is for the converter. I'm not sure about the '65, but on the '64, the kick down is wired into the fuse for the wipers. Check the passenger side of the transmission for the tag that will tell you year and code for the transmission.

Ed

Ed, yes, the previous owner did in fact do the old "swap a new Edelbrock AFB for the original carb" trick. I have not checked to see if the solenoid is mounted on the driver's side. I'm assuming this would only be visible from under the car? yes? I'm pretty sure the transmission is original but can get up underneath it next weekend and take some pictures and will check back in.

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Crazy4cruz    15
Reread my entire updated post....It will answer any questions you may have. Yes, you can plug the orange wire to the orange/black wire. that is what it was hooked to originally, and yes it is hot only when the key is on.

Seafoam, thanks for this information. Short term I'm most interested in getting the headlights back in working order so I'll proceed with connecting the black/orange to the orange. This should solve my power to the headlight motor issues. Since the connector was cut off the black/orange wire any thoughts on if I can find that connector, or am I better off buying new and replacing the connector on the orange as well?

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Seafoam65    185
Seafoam, thanks for this information. Short term I'm most interested in getting the headlights back in working order so I'll proceed with connecting the black/orange to the orange. This should solve my power to the headlight motor issues. Since the connector was cut off the black/orange wire any thoughts on if I can find that connector, or am I better off buying new and replacing the connector on the orange as well?

I definitely would not cut off the nice original connector on the orange

wire coming off the cowl harness. For now, get some wire if the cut off wire won't reach, and splice on some wire and an aftermarket connector onto the black/orange wire and plug them into the existing uncut orange wire on the cowl harness. This will get your lights working, then source the correct wire

and connector for the black/orange wire off a 65 Riviera parts car. You should be able to find what you need with a little searching.

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