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Headlamp aiming failure


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#1 doodlegoat

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 11:35 PM

After attempting to aim my headlamps on my '98 L wagon last week, I found that the left mechanism had failed, which was why my bright spot was only 40ft. in front of the car. I took the whole damn thing apart and saw that the plastic snap-in device which held the pivot ball had broken, releasing the ball. I was able to replace the device with one from one of the adjusting screws; the three attachment points all use the same device. I carved a replacement for the screw's device out of Delrin. This worked okay because the screw is always in compression; I couldn't duplicate the little snap-in tabs.

Has anyone else had these plastic snap-in things break? Is there a source for new ones?

I also had to take the adjustment screws out and brush the rust off them. Only one of the four turned at all using the plastic knob on the back. Two of the knobs twisted off before the screws moved, and one knob just fell off.

Any discussion is welcome. Why did Subaru use unplated steel for the screws, thus insuring that the headlamps couldn't be aimed after a few years? Is the failure of the mechanism a safety issue? What have other people done, besides buy entire new headlamp assemblies?

#2 99obw

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 04:48 PM

Has anyone else had these plastic snap-in things break?

Yes, but not on a sube. I broke several of these parts when my headlight connected with a doe's head at highway speed last october.

Is there a source for new ones?

I spent about $60 at the junkyard on the whole headlight assembly including adjusters and the turn signal assembly. You should give the dealer a call, the price might surprise you, or it may make you choke. Worth a phone call.

Plating the steel doesn't really matter after a few years of salt. Stainless, unpainted galvanized, carbon steel, they all corrode terribly when exposed to salt.

PS: Love Burlington. Wish I could make it up there more often.




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