GM Corvette 1984-1996 Repair Guide

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1984-88 Vehicles

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

  1. Open the hood, then turn the headlights on.
  2.  
  3. Detach the headlight motor wire on the outer side of the headlight.
  4.  
  5. Turn the headlights off (the disconnected light should stay open).
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the 4 screws at the bezel. There are 2 at the front and 2 at the sides.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: With the hood in the raised position, unfasten the Torx® screws from the outer side of the headlight bezel/trim piece



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Fig. Fig. 2: You must then remove the screws from the inner side of the bezel/trim piece

  1. Remove the bezel.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the first of the top bezel/retaining ring screws ...



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Fig. Fig. 4: ... then remove the remaining Torx® screw



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Fig. Fig. 5: Lift the bezel/trim piece away from the headlight assembly

  1. Remove the retaining spring by carefully using a hooked end tool, such as a cotter pin removal tool to move it to the side.
  2.  
  3. Remove the headlight from the aiming pins by rotating the headlight toward the center of the car.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the 4 retaining ring screws, then remove the ring.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: With the hood closed, you can see the 4 headlight retaining ring screws (1) and 2 aiming screws (2)



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove ONLY the 4 retaining ring screws, do NOT touch the aiming screws

  1. Remove the headlight pump from the mounting bracket, unplugging the socket as you pull it away.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the headlight away from the mounting bracket, unplugging the socket as you pull it away

To install:
  1. Install the headlight bulb, making sure it is plugged in properly.
  2.  
  3. Position the retaining ring and secure with the 4 screws.
  4.  
  5. Position the headlight into the aiming pins. Move the retaining spring back into place.
  6.  
  7. Install the bezel and secure with the retainers.
  8.  
  9. Turn the headlights on, then connect the headlight motor wire.
  10.  
  11. Turn the headlights off. Both should lower.
  12.  
  13. Close the hood. Check the aim of the headlights, and adjust if necessary.
  14.  

1989-96 Vehicles

See Figures 9, 10 and 11

  1. Open the hood.
  2.  
  3. Open the headlight door halfway. This can be done either by turning the headlight switch on, then back to the parking lamp on position, or by the manual headlamp control knob (which is located on the inboard side of the headlight door).
  4.  

Before removing the screws from the side of the headlight bezel, place your hand under the bezel to support and prevent damage to it.

  1. Remove the screws from the front of the headlight bezel.
  2.  

Before removing the screws from the side of the headlight bezel, place your hand under the bezel to support and prevent damage to it.

  1. Remove the Phillips head screws from each side of the headlight bezel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bezel by pulling it straight out from the engine side of the hood.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: View of the headlight bezel mounting

  1. Unfasten the screws from the headlight retaining ring.
  2.  
  3. Remove the headlamp from the assembly, unplugging the electrical connector as you are pulling it away.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the headlight assembly



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Fig. Fig. 11: Location of the headlight mounting and aiming screws

To install:
  1. Attach the headlight electrical connector.
  2.  
  3. Position the retaining ring and install the screws securing the ring to the headlight.
  4.  
  5. Position the bezel in place on the headlight assembly.
  6.  
  7. Install the screws on each side of the bezel and tighten to 51 inch lbs. (5.8 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the screws on the front of the bezel and tighten to 17 inch lbs. (1.9 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Cycle the headlamps, then close the hood. Check the headlight aim, and adjust if necessary.
  12.  

MANUAL OPERATION



The headlight doors can be opened automatically by turning the headlights switch to the on position, then turn the switch back 1 click to the parking lights on position and the headlight doors will stay open.

If necessary, then headlight doors may be opened manually. To open the headlight doors manually, raise the hood and turn the headlight manual control knob (located next to the headlight door) in the direction of the arrow, until the door is fully opened.

AIMING



The headlights must be properly aimed to provide the best, safest road illumination. The lights should be checked for proper aim and adjusted as necessary. Certain state and local authorities have requirements for headlight aiming; these should be checked before adjustment is made.


CAUTION
About once a year, when the headlights are replaced or any time front end work is performed on your vehicle, the headlight should be accurately aimed by a reputable repair shop using the proper equipment. Headlights not properly aimed can make it virtually impossible to see and may blind other drivers on the road, possibly causing an accident. Note that the following procedure is a temporary fix, until you can take your vehicle to a repair shop for a proper adjustment.

Headlight adjustment may be temporarily made using a wall, as described below, or on the rear of another vehicle. When adjusted, the lights should not glare in oncoming car or truck windshields, nor should they illuminate the passenger compartment of vehicles driving in front of you. These adjustments are rough and should always be fine-tuned by a repair shop which is equipped with headlight aiming tools. Improper adjustments may be both dangerous and illegal.

For most of the vehicles covered by this guide, horizontal and vertical aiming of each sealed beam unit is provided by two adjusting screws which move the retaining ring and adjusting plate against the tension of a coil spring. There is no adjustment for focus; this is done during headlight manufacturing.

Because the composite headlight assembly is bolted into position, no adjustment should be necessary or possible. Some applications, however, may be bolted to an adjuster plate or may be retained by adjusting screws. If so, follow this procedure when adjusting the lights, BUT always have the adjustment checked by a reputable shop.

Before removing the headlight bulb or disturbing the headlamp in any way, note the current settings in order to ease headlight adjustment upon reassembly. If the high or low beam setting of the old lamp still works, this can be done using the wall of a garage or a building:

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, with the fuel tank about 1 / 2 full and with the vehicle empty of all extra cargo (unless normally carried). The vehicle should be facing a wall which is no less than 6 feet (1.8m) high and 12 feet (3.7m) wide. The front of the vehicle should be about 25 feet from the wall.
  2.  
  3. If aiming is to be performed outdoors, it is advisable to wait until dusk in order to properly see the headlight beams on the wall. If done in a garage, darken the area around the wall as much as possible by closing shades or hanging cloth over the windows.
  4.  
  5. Turn the headlights on and mark the wall at the center of each light's low beam, then switch on the brights and mark the center of each light's high beam. A short length of masking tape which is visible from the front of the vehicle may be used. Although marking all four positions is advisable, marking one position from each light should be sufficient.
  6.  
  7. If neither beam on one side is working, and if another like-sized vehicle is available, park the second one in the exact spot where the vehicle was and mark the beams using the same-side light. Then switch the vehicles so the one to be aimed is back in the original spot. It must be parked no closer to or farther away from the wall than the second vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Perform any necessary repairs, but make sure the vehicle is not moved, or is returned to the exact spot from which the lights were marked. Turn the headlights on and adjust the beams to match the marks on the wall.
  10.  
  11. Have the headlight adjustment checked as soon as possible by a reputable repair shop.
  12.  

 
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