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Headlight repair: 88 Reatta Coupe


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I recently purchased a fairly low mileage 1988 Reatta. Love the car, starting to determine what is within my limited mechanical abilities and what's not. Cosmetically, the car is very good. Mechanically overall, seems to be solid and well maintained.  The first issue I would like to address seems to be a common problem.  The passengers side headlight was working fine, then started to flutter and fail to open. My plan is to purchase a rebuilt complete motor assembly from East Coast Reatta Parts. My question is...how difficult is the motor to remove and reinstall?  I would rate my mechanical ability a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks for your help in advance! 

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It takes about an hour to do the headlight repair the first time.   Nothing complicated just a lot of parts to remove and reinstall.

The only tools you need are a 15 & 30 Torx and 10 mm sockets and wrenches.    I think the complete instructions are at Ronnie's site  Reattaowners.com  and Reatta.com

You might want to save some $$ and get the repair KIT instead of doing the motor.    The only thing that goes bad with the motor is the 3 plastic rollers inside the motor,  and they come in the kit. 

Don't know what Marck charges for his kits but mine is $45 including instructions and shipping.

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Thanks Barney!  I forgot to mention, I noticed the manual adjustment turns very freely as if there is limited resistance in it. Is that due to the failure of the rollers or the motor itself? Also, if I were to acquire your kit, does it contain the bell crank? (I had read those fail)  Again, I'm no expert in this field.  Appreciate your help! 

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If you are repairing a headlight,  replace both the bellcrank and rollers at the same time.    Many owners have replaced one to find that the one they did not replace is either bad or goes bad shortly after. 

Replace both parts and that headlight should be good for several years.    I warrant my bellcranks for as long as you own the car.....  the plastic rollers may have a limited life but I am using engineered plastic 

that is so much better than the original material.   

The picture of the three bellcranks tell the story.... the center hole get worn out by the motor shaft.....  sometimes owners look at only one side of the hole and it looks good,  but you need to inspect both sides. 

Again I would replace the original soft zinc part as it will eventually fail. 

The picture of the gear,  shaft and rollers is intended to show several things.... (1) some owners open the headlight motor and cannot find the rollers....they are inside the big white gear.

(2) it shows bad rollers that have failed over time and are not just chunks of plastic and if ignored long enough,  you just have plastic powder. 

(3) the picture show a gear with the shaft and rollers partially installed.   If you open the gear and get a handful of plastic pellets,  you might not understand where and how the rollers are installed.  


My KIT comes with a new steel bellcrank that looks quite different than the original but has the same function.   Three plastic rollers (this picture show some early rollers that had a different plastic center)

The third part is a new plastic UPSTOP nut, my instructions tell you where it goes and how to adjust.     The factory bellcrank used a "C" clip to retain the link to the headlight mount,  my bellcrank has a locking stainless nut.

The picture with the exploded view of the headlight is part of my instructions.... the last picture with the yellow bellcrank shows my bellcrank installed (I painted this yellow so it was easy to see in the picture)




b repair 1.jpg

bcrank stop.JPG

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