GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Sealed Beams

The sealed beam is a one piece unit. The bulb can not be removed, when the sealed beam fails the whole unit must be replaced.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Unscrew the four retaining screws and remove the headlight bezel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sealed beam retaining screws. These are the screws which hold the retaining ring for the bulb to the front of the car. Do not touch the two headlight aiming screws, at the top or side of the retaining ring (these screws will have different heads), or the headlight aim will have to be re-adjusted.
  6.  
  7. Remove the sealed beam. Unplug the electrical connector from the rear of the sealed beam.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Plug the new sealed beam into the electrical connector. Install the sealed beam retaining ring and then install the ring and the sealed beam. Install the headlight bezel.
  2.  
  3. Connect the negative battery cable.
  4.  

Composite Headlight

The composite headlight is a two piece unit. When the composite unit fails the bulb may be replaced.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Reach behind the headlight assembly and turn the electrical connection locking ring counterclockwise.
  4.  
  5. Pull the bulb straight back (you may need to rock it up and down slightly).
  6.  
  7. Remove the bulb from the electrical connector.
  8.  
  9. Install the new bulb in the connector and secure the new bulb in the headlight assembly (be sure to line up the tab on the bulb socket with the notch in the light housing).
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

AIMING



The headlights must be properly aimed to provide the best, safest road illumination. The lights should be checked for proper aim, and adjusted if necessary, after installing a new sealed beam unit or if the front end sheet metal has been replaced. The headlamps should be aimed by a professional with a special alignment tool. Certain state and local authorities may require professional adjustment, but use the procedure below for temporary adjustments.

The vehicle's fuel tank should be about half full when adjusting the headlights. Tires should be properly inflated, and if a heavy load is carried in the trunk or in the cargo area of station wagons, it should remain there.

Horizontal and vertical aiming of each sealed beam unit is provided by two adjusting screws, which move the mounting ring in the body against the tension of the coil spring.

  1. Place the car on a level floor with headlamps 25 ft. (7.62 m)from a light colored wall.
  2.  
  3. Tape three vertical lines on the wall, one for the vertical center of the car and two for the vertical center of the headlamps. Then, tape one horizontal line for the horizontal and vertical center of the headlamps.
  4.  
  5. Adjust the low beams so the high intensity zone is just below the horizontal line and to the right of the outboard vertical lines.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the high beams so the high intensity zone is centered where the outboard lines intersect with the horizontal line.
  8.  

 
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