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Old 04-20-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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Headlights wont flip up

ok so heres my problem.....i have a 1987 Trans am, the passenger headlight will not flip up, the light still turns on except when i swtich to high beams then i dont have a passenger light, and i know the motor is still good, i jumped the motor from my battery and it went up and down fine, i have electricity and the correct voltage going to the plug that goes into the headlight motor. Also if i turn the light up by hand and then turn thme off it goes back down fine, any suggestions.... im at a loss and its a royal pain in the *** to have to get out of the car and turn it up by hand every time i want to drive at night
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

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Originally Posted by jcon104 View Post
ok so heres my problem.....i have a 1987 Trans am, the passenger headlight will not flip up, the light still turns on except when i swtich to high beams then i dont have a passenger light, and i know the motor is still good, i jumped the motor from my battery and it went up and down fine, i have electricity and the correct voltage going to the plug that goes into the headlight motor. Also if i turn the light up by hand and then turn thme off it goes back down fine, any suggestions.... im at a loss and its a royal pain in the *** to have to get out of the car and turn it up by hand every time i want to drive at night
Yeah, I'm having similar problem with passenger side headlight. Only had the car a week and it was working fine until a few days ago. Won't go up or down, although the light still comes on. Even after manually cranking it up it won't go back down using the switch. Anyone have any idea where to start checking? Checked other threads but issues were different it seemed.


Update: WORKING I just punched the manual crank and now it's working perfectly like before! Sometimes it just takes a little physical persuasion LOL

Last edited by BoomBoxx; 05-19-2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

Headlight control module. I had a similar problem. My headlights went up (from switch), down (from switch), and then 5 seconds later back up on their own and stayed up. I just pulled my headlight control module from the firewall and could smell the charred board before opening up the plastic container. Sure enough, 1/4 of the board is blackened. These are on Ebay, Top Down Solutions refurbished for $60, but being cheap I will try my luck at a scrap yard first...just not sure if the part will be there. Make sure you get the right one. My model date range is 1990-2002.

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

does anyone know where the headlight control module is in a 87 trans am, thanks
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #5
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

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does anyone know where the headlight control module is in a 87 trans am, thanks
The problems described here all point to the headlight control module. It is located on the firewall right next to the brake booster. It is a flat, rectangular piece mounted in a bracket.

In my experience, I was able to repair mine (doing exactly what OP says his car is doing) by removing it, taking the cover off, and resoldering some broken 'cold' solder connections. It works perfectly now.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:08 PM   #6
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

My passenger light goes up and down with the dash switch. The Drivers side however won't go up. I have to manually crank it up. It does however, go down with the switch on the dash after being cranked up manually. What could it be??
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

Have a 1987 Trans Am also-recently replaced both headlight motors. Only one light would flip up however both do come on. Automatically thought it was the headlight modulator so we replaced that, installed and the opposite hedlight pops up. What's the deal??? Any suggestions would be great
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

I will repeat my earlier answer: it is most probably the headlight control module, which is next to the brake booster. The symptoms in the past two posts are consistent with a bad module.

If you replaced the module with one that was not known to be good, that could explain why changing the module caused a new set of symptoms. The solder joints are often intermittent, which means they might work for a while until you disturb them.

My advice: open up the module, and inspect carefully for cracked solder joints. If found, resolder them. That's what fixed mine.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

I have the same problem with my 82, has a new isolation relay installed, new actuation relays on the headlight motors, along with rebuilt headlight motors, the lights all come on and both headlights pop up when I turn on the headlight switch, but when I switch off, headlight turns off but the motors do not go back down. What is the issue, help!!
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

Still sounds like an isolation relay issue.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Re: Headlights wont flip up

Ok everyone, new piece to the puzzle, I found out the tail light fuse (20 Amp) was blown, I replaced it and the headlight motors responded, I turned the headlight switch to on, the headlights went up automatically, lights were on as well, then I turned the headlight switch off and the headlights went off, but the headlights did not go down and the fuse blew once again. So with the headlight switch still in the off potion, I removed the blown fuse, and with the headlights still in the up position, I replaced the tail lamp fuse with a new 20 Amp fuse and to my surprise the headlight motors responded automatically and the headlights went down.

The 20 amp tail light fuse feeds power to put the headlamp motors in the down position. That is why they wont come down. I would suggest tracing wires to find a short.


I have been told since the headlights go up and down once the fuse had power momentarily, we know the relay is good. That there must be something shorting out to cause the fuse to blow. I replaced just about everything to try to fix this problem, Replacement headlight wiring harness, new rebuilt headlight motors, new isolation relay, two new actuator relays for the headlight motors, new headlight switch. Any ideas?
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:56 AM
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