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Adjusting the headlight cover

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Thanks to Jim Finn, I now have a good passenger side motor assembly.  As I was repeatedly testing the rotation of the headlights with the dash switch I noticed that the driver side headlight cover had popped up.?


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I realized that one of the studs had come out.  I had overtightened it when replacing the nylon buttons a couple of weeks ago and the self tapping portion of the stud had stripped out.?

Here are pics of the stud and its mounting hole:

Second pic is of the stripped out stud.  Third pic is the hole in the rotating plastic assembly.  This is where the stud bolts into.




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The pointer shows the two locations where shoulder bolts rotate in plastic sleeves in the plastic mount.  You should check to see that these are in good condition.  I lubed them liberally with Vaseline.  Vaseline may be too thick for cold climates though.

Third pic is the infamous lever that often wears out and fails to rotate the headlight assembly.  Mine are ok.




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I pulled out all the studs in the driver side cover, filled them with JB Weld and snugged down the studs.  I will install the cover tomorrow and attempt to adjust it.

I recall seeing how to do this in the assembly manual but could not find it again.  The index in the back is almost useless sometimes.

Here is a pic of the two beveled washers that  reside in the front bumper side mounting holes between the plastic mount and the cover itself.  These are rotated to raise or lower the front bumper side of the cover.  Mine are a bit worn.

Install the cover by inserting the lid's studs into the plastic holder and don't forget the two beveled plastic washers.  Then tighten the four 10mm nuts and snug them down but do not overtighten. DON'T be superman!  Do not install the plastic bevel around the headlight assembly yet.  Use the manual knob and allow the lid to close completely.

Check your clearances to see if they meet your satisfaction.  I would be happy if both sides match!

The side to side clearance and up and down clearance can be adjusted by making the mounting holes of the plastic assembly larger so that it can be moved around.  A couple of the mounting holes are already elongated to help with this.

You can shim the plastic mount where it is attached to the body to bring the entire assembly forward and I assume you could bring it closer to the body by grinding or sanding it down so it is thinner.  The adjustment is not easy as moving one part affects the others!

I will reinstall tomorrow and take an after pic.


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When you purchase headlight repair parts from me.........everything you mentioned is covered in the instructions. 

Some owners find washers under the painted cover....these were used to raise the cover and get a flush fit with the hood and fenders.

So you need to be aware when you take off the painted cover to look for washers that should go back into the same location.


I also suggest that when you reassemble the unit,  test the movement as you go.......

when you put those shouldered pivot bolts in, put a little lube on them and after you tighten them make certain the cover assembly

moves without any binds.   These are 27+ year old cars and it is possible that there has been minor damage to the front

from parking lot nudges etc.   That can affect the fit and movement of the headlights.


You did not mention the UPSTOP ...... it is at the back on the fender side.   It needs to be adjusted so there is no slop in the mechanism when the headlight is completely open.

Over half the cars I see have the UPSTOP plastic nut broken which means the UPSTOP is not doing its job.

The first picture shows the UPSTOP and the proper routing of the wire to the back of the headlight bulb.  The second picture show a broken UPSTOP nut and the UPSTOP

screw is just loose in the nut.   Note there are no threads showing between the bottom of the head and the plastic nut.

PS.  The UPSTOP does not appear in either the factory service manual or the parts book.

upstop III.jpg


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My upstop was fine although I had to improvise a different arrangement on the passenger side.

I got the driver side cover adjusted and it looks much better!



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