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Author Topic: Headlights won't go down fully, don't stay down, thoughts on how to fix?  (Read 1270 times)
RammJaeger
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« on: April 23, 2018, 05:42:20 PM »

Hi all,

I have an issue with my Superbird that I just got that the headlights won't go down all the way, as seen in the attached picture. Is there a way to adjust this, and if so could someone share how?

The other issue is that a few minutes after turning the car off, the headlights pop up on their own. I have read that you can remove the spring from them to solve this issue, but I assume that the source issue is that there is some type of vacuum leak. Any tips on where to look, and where to get parts to fix if they are available?

Thanks!


* Headlight Issue.jpg (197.84 KB, 807x605 - viewed 607 times.)
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moparstuart
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 07:18:40 AM »

remove the springs or at lease just release the tension on them ,  you dont need them 
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3--Daytona
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 08:17:59 AM »

Got vacuum leak some where,,,start looking at head light switch
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timmycharger
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 08:24:31 AM »

Also check for clogged vacuum lines if they are old. Blow some shop air through them if you have access to the switch and can take off the hoses from there.  Twocents
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hemigeno
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 08:52:20 AM »

Are there shims on your headlight vacuum pods?  Seems like that might keep your headlights from retracting all the way down...?   shruggy





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RammJaeger
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 09:43:11 AM »

Thanks for the feedback guys, and I will check the shims.

Can anyone say what the best way to get access to headlight vacuum pods is?

One thing to mention too, is that this car has apparently had this problem for over 40 years. The attached pictures is from 1977.


* 31230400_10208760274723807_8299779383304912896_o.jpg (105.5 KB, 1208x845 - viewed 487 times.)
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DAY CLONA
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 03:02:29 PM »

Thanks for the feedback guys, and I will check the shims.

Can anyone say what the best way to get access to headlight vacuum pods is?

One thing to mention too, is that this car has apparently had this problem for over 40 years. The attached pictures is from 1977.



If the headlight doors are fully closed when the engine is running, chances are any assembly/adjustments/alignments are fine,the common areas for wingcar "lazy eye" are the dash switch, not the electrical portion but the white plastic slider added to the switch and it's rocker, repairs/rebuilds are often useless or short term, repros are avaliable, or if you can find an NOS switch or slider, that would be your best bet if it's the culprit, 2nd area is usually a rotted vacuum reserve can located under the battery tray, again repros are available if needed, NOS also if you can find it, 3rd is hoses/vac harness, if the lines are dry rotted/cracking, chances are they are leaking, repros are available... last on the list is the vacuum pods themselves, pods are very rarely the culprit, but can not be ruled out, you don't want the repro pods, either nice used, NOS or have them repaired by Wilson Airgrabber Productions

Access to the headlight pods?, hope you have long arms and are flexible!  icon_smile_big if you want to access the rear of the pods or the headlight springs/brackets, your best off removing the latch tray, you might find that you'll generally have to remove the front center grille screen as well to access some of the latchtray fastners/wiring/clips/etc, if you have a lift, you could remove the lower valance corner and jamb yourself up into the cones internals, either way or employing all 3 methods, it's not fun or easy...welcome to one of the horrors of wingcar maintenance!

If you need to remove a headlight pod, it removes obviously from the back of the bucket with 4 bolts, but you'll need to remove the headlight bulbs and cups first so that you can access the front vacuum line on the pod to remove it, as well as the small clevis pin and clip thru the headlight outer door, long needle nose plyers and assorted other types of tools will be needed, along with small child sized hands...again another fun chore, usually there's 3 washers/spacers on each screw/bolt holding the pod bracket to the light bucket, these will fall out and find good hiding spots, so best to put a bucket/cloth under the light bucket area to catch them, when installing them, it's best to superglue them to the headlight pod bracket so you can keep your sanity when putting these things back together...

if your going to tackle a particular area, just ask here on the aero forum, we've all had to do it at one time and learn the best methods and what pitfalls to avoid...

Mike
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PettyMower
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 03:08:45 PM »

I drive my car, including at night. And because of that I refuse to remove the springs. They are there to hold the buckets up in case of a vacuum issue while driving at night.

My buckets will creep up over time, and I've traced the microscopic leak to the switch. (I can pull a vacuum on the buckets alone and they remain down forever.)

Anyway, I made a lanyard that attaches to the bucket on one end, and an extension spring on the other. The lanyard travels through the drain hole in the bottom of the bucket area, and the loop of the spring clips on the threads of a bolt on the subframe.

By the way, if you remove the springs, you will have a little more "bounce" of the buckets while driving at night.

If the car is not going to be a driver, or driven at night, remove the springs.
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odcics2
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2018, 04:10:49 PM »

The filaments in the headlights will have a shorter life w/o the spring.   Twocents
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odcics2
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 04:13:38 PM »

Thanks for the feedback guys, and I will check the shims.

Can anyone say what the best way to get access to headlight vacuum pods is?

One thing to mention too, is that this car has apparently had this problem for over 40 years. The attached pictures is from 1977.



If the headlight doors are fully closed when the engine is running, chances are any assembly/adjustments/alignments are fine,the common areas for wingcar "lazy eye" are the dash switch, not the electrical portion but the white plastic slider added to the switch and it's rocker, repairs/rebuilds are often useless or short term, repros are avaliable, or if you can find an NOS switch or slider, that would be your best bet if it's the culprit, 2nd area is usually a rotted vacuum reserve can located under the battery tray, again repros are available if needed, NOS also if you can find it, 3rd is hoses/vac harness, if the lines are dry rotted/cracking, chances are they are leaking, repros are available... last on the list is the vacuum pods themselves, pods are very rarely the culprit, but can not be ruled out, you don't want the repro pods, either nice used, NOS or have them repaired by Wilson Airgrabber Productions


NOS vac switch, if needed - http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,131305.0.html
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Aero426
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 02:07:03 PM »

The filaments in the headlights will have a shorter life w/o the spring.   Twocents

I still have original 1970 installed Westinghouse bulbs and no springs since 1988.

I have never had a problem with "headlight bounce" at night.    There is enough vacuum to hold them up solid.   

I agree you want to make sure the system components are in working order.    Buying that NOS slider is a good part to have on hand.   
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RammJaeger
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 03:53:26 PM »


Looks like I didn't move fast enough. It is already sold correct?
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DAY CLONA
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 05:10:24 PM »


Looks like I didn't move fast enough. It is already sold correct?

Correct, but new repro is still available...

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odcics2
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 07:16:02 PM »


Looks like I didn't move fast enough. It is already sold correct?

Correct.  I only had one... 
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Wingnut426
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2018, 05:46:00 AM »

I have an NOS vacuum switch if you need one. VEIGHTPETE@GMAIL.COM
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Aero426
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2018, 08:45:24 AM »

Correct, but new repro is still available...

Are the reproductions any good?    The Chinese could not make vacuum actuators that worked properly.   
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odcics2
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2018, 09:12:07 AM »

The filaments in the headlights will have a shorter life w/o the spring.   Twocents

I still have original 1970 installed Westinghouse bulbs and no springs since 1988.

I have never had a problem with "headlight bounce" at night.    There is enough vacuum to hold them up solid.   

I agree you want to make sure the system components are in working order.    Buying that NOS slider is a good part to have on hand.   

If you have no bounce, yes, they will last ok.
If you have bounce, they won't!   Think how long a trouble light works with a regular light bulb versus a "rough service" unit.
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Aero426
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 02:41:21 PM »

If you have no bounce, yes, they will last ok.
If you have bounce, they won't!   Think how long a trouble light works with a regular light bulb versus a "rough service" unit.

Actually, there are NO light bulbs in a trouble light that seem to last very long these days.    rofl
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70 sublime
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2018, 02:44:49 PM »

If you have no bounce, yes, they will last ok.
If you have bounce, they won't!   Think how long a trouble light works with a regular light bulb versus a "rough service" unit.

Actually, there are NO light bulbs in a trouble light that seem to last very long these days.    rofl

I had the same problem with my trouble light
I ended up buying an LED bulb that is the same shape as a light bulb but is thin ( like you sliced the two sides off it)
I have dropped it ten times now and it still works  2thumbs
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A383Wing
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2018, 04:27:25 PM »

I never put the pop-up springs in my car.....never had a problem with bounce or anything
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odcics2
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2018, 06:42:59 AM »

If you have no bounce, yes, they will last ok.
If you have bounce, they won't!   Think how long a trouble light works with a regular light bulb versus a "rough service" unit.

Actually, there are NO light bulbs in a trouble light that seem to last very long these days.    rofl

New fangled stuff!    lol

I still use my old stuff from the 70s!  Have a few rough service bulbs left from then!  My 1.5 ton Sears jack still works fine, too!    2thumbs
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WINGIN IT
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2018, 08:31:30 AM »

Correct, but new repro is still available...

Are the reproductions any good?    The Chinese could not make vacuum actuators that worked properly.   

Last repro I got was crap!

Installed the original back in.

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hemi68charger
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2018, 06:15:02 AM »

Could it be that the bucket just needs to be adjusted and pivoted with the bottom going back a little? That would bring the leading door edge when in the closed position down a little more, thus lining up with the headlamp bucket door opening on the nose?
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nascarxx29
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2018, 02:20:18 AM »

You can rotate those circle end plates on buckets to get better fit and check end plastic bushings
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1970 EV2 Superbird RM23UOA174597
1970 FY1 Superbird RM23UOA166242
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23VOA179697
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2018, 02:27:16 AM »

Unhook actuator from pivot bracket and check headlight for binding.Also check where end of actuator connects to pivot bracket.Also seen where headlight bucket bolts where not 1'4 diameter.And bucket couldn't be moved much to adjust headlight opening.Do the  best you can these headlight doors warp over the years.And hard to achieve perfect gaps and fit
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1969 R4 Daytona XX29L9B410772
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23UOA174597
1970 FY1 Superbird RM23UOA166242
1970 EV2 Superbird RM23VOA179697
1968 426 Road Runner RM21J8A134509
1970 Coronet RT WS23UOA224126
1970 Daytona Clone XP29GOG178701
RammJaeger
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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2018, 06:33:23 PM »

Thanks for all the help and advice everyone. I went with taking the springs off. They headlights stay up fine without them, and go down completely with them off. I may try putting them back on later and just adjust them better. For now though this looks WAY better. Passenger side headlight is basically perfect, driver side is really close, and I may do a bit more tweaking with it. Here are a few pics of the results.


* Photo May 05, 8 10 14 PM.jpg (359.04 KB, 1210x908 - viewed 120 times.)

* Photo May 05, 8 10 07 PM.jpg (354.32 KB, 1210x908 - viewed 118 times.)

* Photo May 05, 8 10 21 PM.jpg (313.9 KB, 1210x908 - viewed 120 times.)
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moparstuart
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« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2018, 07:09:32 AM »

Looks good 
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« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2018, 07:11:50 AM »

So what is on the top shelf in the garage ??
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RammJaeger
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« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2018, 09:45:59 AM »

So what is on the top shelf in the garage ??


Care to venture a guess Smiley There are two cars up there. One should be easy to see what it is, the other only an old school MoPar guy would be able to get by those pics.
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« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2018, 11:38:50 AM »

So what is on the top shelf in the garage ??


Care to venture a guess Smiley There are two cars up there. One should be easy to see what it is, the other only an old school MoPar guy would be able to get by those pics.

A Delorean and 53 Dodge ??
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Dave Kanofsky
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« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2018, 11:57:44 AM »

Looks fantastic!  Love that car.
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RammJaeger
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2018, 08:52:35 PM »

So what is on the top shelf in the garage ??


Care to venture a guess Smiley There are two cars up there. One should be easy to see what it is, the other only an old school MoPar guy would be able to get by those pics.

A Delorean and 53 Dodge ??

You got the Delorean right. For the other car, you are in the right decade.
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A383Wing
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2018, 01:02:07 PM »

I must have spent a week adjusting, tweaking, and modifying both headlight buckets and pivot points to get them looking like this in the picture.......and I never put the pop-up springs on

Bryan


* 6088_110626267045_524447045_2699767_4632431_na1a.jpg (77.32 KB, 604x453 - viewed 41 times.)

* Hpim1327a1a.jpg (139.2 KB, 1120x836 - viewed 41 times.)
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