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Bent headlights


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12 replies to this topic

#1 viceversa

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:06 PM

On 92 Loyale

I had an encounter with a large dog a few weeks ago. Not enogh time to do anything and it ended up hitting the front of the car and destroyed the grille. I got another one, but now it appears that the headlights aren't working right, they are too low, both on low and high beams. High beam looks like it is low.

The car is barely driveable at night because at speeds like 55, the headlights don't cover enough important distance.

So I think that the headlights were somehow bent downwards. Is that possible? If so, how do un-bend them to their original position? I don't want to adjust the screws because first, they are hard to reach and I don't want to take out the headlights, and second, that's not the real problem.

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:11 PM

Dissasemble the whole front end, and straighten it back out - sounds like you've bent the underlying sheet metal holding all that stuff in place. Since all that metal is covered up with plastic and lights and such, a BFH, or a tree and a come-along is probably the best way to get all that stuff re-aligned.

I can't tell you exactly how to remove all that stuff, since I am an EA81 guy myself, but if you got the grill off, and a new one on, I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out. Get the bumper off, and the headlights and the grill etc, and I'm sure the problem will present itself right away....

GD

#3 Sweet82

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:21 PM

Bolt some Dog-Gone driving lights to the hood and be done with it!:eek:

#4 viceversa

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:22 PM

The whole front end??? I don't know what you mean by that.

I am looking for a simple solution. But if that's the case, the only viable solution is to adjust the headlights with the screws to point higher.
Still, I find it hard to believe, because there is nothing wrong with it driving-wise. I had an alignment and it drives excellently. Doesn't shake, doesn't pull to ether side, the mileage is the same, etc.

The weird thing is, I only got the driver's side headlight hit but they both seem to be pointing lower - at both settings. And it didn't get broken due to the impact. Maybe something more fundamental than the headlight casing got bent.

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:30 PM

the whole core support that holds the radiator and headlights is what GD is referring to

on ea82's you can remove the bumper bt taking out the bolts on the inner framerail under the hood

the headlights are hels in by 10mm nuts from behind

you may have to tweak all that metal to straighten it out.

i would say remove the radiator also, then test fit the headlights after each tweak, and when it looks right, put it all back together

if everything looks straight, but the lights dont shine right, there is an adjustment screw under the light
if you loosen it, it will point the lights up.

but dont take the screw out completely!

#6 viceversa

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 12:26 AM

Also should mention that I think most of the impact was against the bumper. Some against headlights and even the hood is bent in one place, very slightly.

#7 Meeky Moose

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 07:09 AM

that sounds like a BFD you hit... in my opinion, it sounds like the headlights got whacked a little.. the adjustments are only a screw that threads into a plastic nut.. it doesn't take much to push that screw through the plastic threads... i wouldn't think ya bent anything.. i would tend to think it just knocked them outa alignment by adjusting them the hard way..

really i would say just adjust the screws.. turn the bottom ones out to loosen the hole thing a little, then tighten the top ones to suck them up.. pretty easy to do..

if ya are in my neck of the woods anytime, i can take a looksy..
i'm off work until the 5th (love paid vacation) and ya know where i live..

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 04:42 PM

I am looking for a simple solution



There isn't one if you want to do the job right. That was my point I think.....

Maybe you could put a bigger screw in the adjuster to get more adjustment for the lights.

It's not that hard to dissasemble the front end and fix it the right way tho - just pull all that stuff off, and bend the metal back to where it's supposed to be..... check on those adjustment screws first tho - they may have been pushed through as previously mentioned.

GD

#9 Qman

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 07:34 PM

Pull the grill back of. Check the alignment screws. If both are pointed down it may have just popped of the screws. If that is the case it will be easy. Just slip the screws back into the slots of the headlight bucket.

Otherwise it may have tweeked the front sheet metal under the bolt-ons, ie, lights, grill and bumper. If this is the case then you will need to remove the grill headlight buckets(4 nuts per light reached from the engine compartment. Then you will be able to see where the bending occured and then pull it out a little. It shouldn't be that bad.

Check it out and let me know what you find.

#10 bushbasher

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 08:46 PM

the brackets for the screws can bend too.

#11 viceversa

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 04:16 PM

_Resolution_

I pulled the headlights out, and saw that the driver's side one had the up-down screw loose. I fixed that but it still didn't help. So I loosened it, test drove - better.

The right headlight was also pointing downwards with no visible damage to anything, which leads me think that something more than the screws was bent. I adjusted the right headlight also - problem solved and the car is driveable at night. I don't really care to investigate what was bent beyond the screws, but something surely is.

It's rather easy to remove the headlights except that the driver's side has one bolt which is not easy to get to. Neither my 3/8" drive ratchet worked nor 1/4" drive. Ultimately had to use a open end wrench, which was slow. The extension was too long and without the extension, not long enough. I really needed a 1" extension for the 1/4" drive socket. Luckily, I have sockets sets for both 3/8" and 1/4" drivers.

#12 Qman

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 09:29 PM

Well, at least you can drive at night again.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 02:00 AM

Just one thing - make sure that your lights are at least "kind of" aligned properly - you don't want to blind anyone. You can check them by parking in front of a white garage door on a flat, level driveway, or by backing into a garage and closing the door. They should both be about even, and from 4 feet, slightly lower off the ground than your headlights are...

GD




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