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Old 05-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Headlight Motor Problems

I was wondering if people could help me figure out what's wrong with my headlight motors. My driver's side goes up on it's own but won't go back down, and my passenger side doesn't move at all. I can move both of them manually. I looked online and found a site that said all you have to do is remove them and replace these three little "pucks" that hold the gear to the shaft that raises the headlight but upon taking my passenger motor apart I found no such spot for these "pucks". Any hope would be appreciated, I think I'll take my driver's side apart to see if there's anything wrong in it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I had a problem with my headlights on my 90 Firebird. Also had a problem on my Corvette. The bushings inside my housing were dust on both cars. i when to the local hardware store and used a plastic bushing. I grinded them now to fit perfect. Also cleaned the gear and motor. Each bushing was ~$2

This is the URL I used for my Vette and Firebird.
I't the same way to open up the motor once you have it apart

http://www.corvettemagazine.com/2002...hts/light1.asp
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

If you have an '85 your motors don't use the bushings. Only the '87 and up motors do. Your problem is coming from somewhere else. There's a good chance it could be your relays but it's possible you may need to replace your motors. The motor that goes up but doesn't go down may be sticking and just need to sprayed with a little white lithium grease. There's quite a few things that can go wrong to cause problems like you have so you'll need to do a little digging to find the cause but replacement bushings will definitely not be your problem.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Have some one hit the switch and watch the manual ***** if they spin and it doesn't move its the pucks. If it does nothing hook up a test light and repeat the test. If it lights its the motor brushes more than likely. If the test light doesn't light its the control module on the firewall. All can be gotten at a junkyard. TDS is where I would suggest buying a rebuild kit. Thirdgen ranch probably has a used part of all mentioned above.

If its the control module check for shorts, they don't go bad usually unless there is a short to ground usually. I had one were the wires were rubbing at the motor I burned out 2 modules before I found the short.

There is atleast on the 87 up one module that controls both lights but it has two circuts in it one for each side. I think the older ones had relays but I don't know much about the older style.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

As I've mentioned before, there is no "pucks" in this design. And I found no bushings of any sort. I took my passenger's side motor apart and the gears look fine, while the cover was off and all the gears still in it I had someone turn the headlights on and off and there was no movement coming from the passenger side. I put all purpose grease on all of the gears and used some blue silicone and small bolts to put it back together and put it all back in the car. I planned on taking apart the driver's side to see if there's anything wrong with it but I ran out of daylight. I was going to use my multimeter to see if there's voltage going to the passenger's side. Is there any fuses I should look for under the hood, the one's under the dash look fine, none are missing, but I don't have an owner's manual to know which fuse does what.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:12 PM   #6
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I don't know about any inline fuses.

The brushes I am talking about are the electical contacts that are spring loaded that transmit the power to the amature in the electric motor. This is the most common electical part to go bad in an electric motor.

You can test the power at the relay.

This is what I am talking about, this is for 87+ but the older will have something similar.

How many wires do you have at the pig tail on the motor. I think there is 2 wire and 3 wire versions, not sure of the years.

Here is a pic from TDS of the brush for the 87+ he doesn't have one listed for the older one. You may want to check for someoen that rebuilds starters and alternators many will have the parts to rebuild the motor.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Mine has three wires, and the brushes you are talking about look different in mine, but I know what you're talking about. So you think I should take it apart again and test for current between those?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

No I would test it at the pig tail first.

most of the time the problem is they wear, they are designed to wear actually and after they wear down to much the contacts don't make proper contact to the amature.

I've not had much dealing with the 3 wire version, but it uses the three to set the polarity and thus the direction of rotation. I think there is a relay that is up the line, one for each side that should be tested.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Right, I'll dig into it tomorrow, and if I'm getting voltage at the wires, check the contacts? And if it is the contacts..... well I have two spare motors from either a different year or a Fiero but the contacts are the same, would just need some wire splicing. If that doesn't work, where can I get those contacts?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #10
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/el...headlight.html (82 Trans Am Headlight problems)

This thread may help.

The older ones are harder to find.
check with TDS, he will probably point you in the right direction.

Other than that, check and see if there is a electric motor rebuild place where you live, they usually have tones of different sizes. Either that hit up the sponsors they should have some used ones that still work.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:25 AM   #11
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

The first place I would have checked would have been the relay on the one that doesn't move at all. I think you could swap the relay out of the one that does move to the side that doesn't and see if there is a change. Also if the one that goes up but doesn't go down is still in the car try pushing a little extra on the headlight switch in the down position. As my switch got older I had to hold it in a little to get mine to go down.
Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

What are the numbers on the relays? According to another thread the one near my passenger headlight is the isolation relay but I can't find any relays with the other number that thread says. I switched the one closest to my passenger headlight to the one closest on my driver's headlight and neither worked......... I switched back but didn't hook the one up on the passenger side and neither still worked........ hooked up the passenger side and not the driver's side and neither worked, hooked both back up and the same results as I started with....... Is the relay near my battery and passenger headlight then my isolation relay?.....and the relay near my driver's side is my driver's side headlight?
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #13
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I can't find any other relays with those same connectors...... where's the last one?
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:25 PM   #14
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I think they are back at the firewall in the wipper area.

This would require taking them out but you could try swaping the motors to each side, I know they will not mount up but just to test the electical.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:04 PM   #15
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I found another mount for the relays on the passenger side so I looked around and found the passenger motor's relay hanging down inside the fender. I took the connectors out to find that one of the six leads in the relay has corroded away and in one of the connectors one of the leads in there was messed up. So I took one of the connectors apart off of the spare headlight motors I have from either a different year or a Fiero and fixed the connector's lead. I switched the relay with my driver's side and my passenger side went up but wouldn't go down. So I know my passenger's side is bad, is my driver's side bad too? I ordered two headlight motor relays at the local auto store for $12 each just in case.

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Old 05-11-2009, 09:48 AM   #16
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Got the new relays and installed them in the advance auto parking lot. Both headlights went up, neither went back down. So do I need a new isolation relay? I know that the one dude said that the gears might be sticking in the driver's side. But I've already rebuilt my passenger's side and put all purpose grease around all the gears. I plan on doing the same to my driver's side to ensure it's gears' life.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:04 PM   #17
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Its going to be the part that switches the polarity to make it go down I don't know what that part is going to be on the 3 wire... I would try the isolation relay. Check the pigtail/plug for the relays. My fan relay had burnt the plug I never could get it to work consistantly until I replaced the pigtail/plug for the relay.

I was reading up on these last night and there may be fuseable links on your car. Advance should have fusable links. Its just a piece of wire that is designed to burn out at a specific amp draw. It will look like a peice of the wire. Have you tested for voltage at the plug yet. You may also want to test the resistance from the plug at the motor and the relay to make sure the wire is conducting properly. Test for short to ground also.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:08 PM   #18
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

I took the connector apart that was messed up and cut off the lead that was messed up. Cut off the lead off of one of the spare motors, pried the gnarly wire it had in it out and crimped it back down on the wire in my car, put the connector back together and it worked....... I hope to god there isn't fuseable links, those are a pain in the ***. I'll buy a new isolation relay tonight and try that.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:24 PM   #19
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

LOL Yea Nissan uses fusable links alot. I've found that its easier to test the resitance of the wire from point a to b where the link is inbetween instead of trying to find out if they are burnt out.

I can't seem to find a schematic for the 86 headlight wiring. It would be helpful. Let us know if the isolation relay works out for you.

After you replace all the parts it should Atleast last you another 23 years :-)
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:28 PM   #20
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Well..... I figure that if it isn't the isolation relay, yeah..... the new parts should last me a good long time. I found another thread on TGO that talks about these types of problems and a guy gave what the voltages should read at the isolation relay with the headlights on and off...... I might just use my multimeter to find out if that's the problem.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:30 PM   #21
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/at...dlight-he1.gif

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/at...light-q119.gif

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/at...light-q120.gif
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:55 PM   #22
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Where......where do I get an isolation relay?
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #23
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

try gmpartsdirect.com or hit a dealership I don't think is a standard relay. Do you have a part number on it?
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:36 PM   #24
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

GM part number is 10022620.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:49 AM   #25
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com

search for the part number

they have it form $22.40 retail for $37.80

Or the dealership.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #26
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

http://www.moderndaymuscle.com/inc/sdetail/963 I think this is it also from a sponsor.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:53 AM   #27
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Alright. Thanks man..... now to wait for my fundage to come on Friday. I'll keep you informed if you'd like...... but I know if it isn't the relay it's probably the fusible links.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #28
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Yea let us know, if someone runs by this thread in the future havinga final resolution will be helpful.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:30 PM   #29
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Hi, I seem to be having the same problem with my 1991 firebird. I cant find where the isolation relay is. Could one of you guys kind of guide me?
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:38 AM   #30
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Well stettz...... I don't know for sure where the isolation relay is on the later models, but on my car it's to the left of the radiator....... Being my engine is a LG4 it's next to the battery..... but I believe this is where some models have the air cleaner....not sure. I'll post a pic tomorrow, my dad took the car to work.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:55 PM   #31
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

setezz, yours has a control module not an isolation relay. Yours will also have the pucks that wear out in the gear on the motor. The control module is on the firewall on the driver side in the area adjacent to the brake booster.

Are the motors running when you hit the switch if so the control module is good. The control modules normally only burn out if there is some type of over amp such as a short or really bad motor issue.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:25 PM   #32
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Oh..... well..... I think I should post the picture anyways for other people who stumble upon this thread with these problems.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:34 PM   #33
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

gmpartsdirect.com is frigging rediculous...... yeah.... it's only $22.40 for the isolation relay..... but they're going to charge you $13 to ship something that's less than half the size of my palm...... what the hell?!
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #34
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

Alright, i did have some previous high spiking amps a while ago so it might have burned it out, it has since been repaired. I did plug the actuators into live 12v and they did move which leads me to believe that it is the control module. Could you post a pic of where this might be?
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #35
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

http://www.top-downsolutions.com/pro...roducts_id=138

here is the part look on the firewall it is easy to spot it. I would probably hit the junk yard and pick one up.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:24 AM   #36
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

hey i am having similar problems but on my 87 TA my headlights both come on but the passenger side is like locked up and the drivers side is locked down not able to move them manually at the moment.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:46 AM   #37
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Re: Headlight Motor Problems

so if you turn the **** on the side of the motor it doesn't move?

Not sure there if you can't move it manually at all, I would suspect either the motor is bound up or the door hinge is messed up. THe only advice I can give there is take it off the car (mark with a silver sharpie or something the mounting points so you can line it back up). Take the motor off the door assembly see if you can move it. See if you can move the motor. Inspect grease everything if the hinge is the problem. If the motor is I would take it apart, order the rebuild kit from TDS and go for it.

The ***** move it very slowly so turn it several times before you write off moving it manually.

The one stuck down is the most confusing, in the up position the arm goes just beyond fully open so it locks in place.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:46 AM
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