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Reatta Headlight Issues? Read This!


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The following is excerpted from Padgett's Headlight Crank Review with analysis of the available options to repair the headlight retracting mechanisms on the Reatta:

One of the most common failures in the Reatta is in the motor and linkage that raises and lowers the headlamps.

While most worked well for the first few years, two decades out from the last manufacture, nearly all have experienced failure, either for the headlamp not to rise, to do a dance while rising, or to rise then drop. All are caused by the same mechanical failure.

Some years ago I wrote an article on the repair of Fiero headlamps. While that covered part of the issue, decay of the rollers, the Reatta and the Fiero both have additional failure modes and each is different. While the Fiero would often strip the large nylon gear, instead the Reatta strips the inside of the pot metal crank assembly. When removed an oval original hole has become round. Since the shaft inside is smooth, it then simply spins instead of raising the headlamp.

Note: Whenever an unknown assembly is replaced, also replace the three rollers inside the motor. These have often decayed into powder. While the crank can be replaced in the car, unless you know the rollers are good, the extra time should be taken to replace the rollers also.

Also any time work is done on the headlamps, check the plastic upstop nut and retainer since compression of the retainer is what keeps a headlamp from vibrating. Some of the kits reviewed include these parts as well.

The full article describing each solution is available by clicking the link below.

Padgett's Reatta Crank Page

Edited by Rawja (see edit history)
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