GM Lumina/Grand Prix/Cutlass Supreme/Regal 1988-1996

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Seated Beam

See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupes may be equipped with sealed beam headlights

  1. Open the hood.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the headlight bezel retainers and bezel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the spring from the bottom edge of the headlight assembly.
  8.  

Do NOT apply pressure to the plastic bubble of the vertical aim indicator.

  1. Detach the electrical connector from the assembly.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the two screws from the headlight retaining ring.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the retaining ring away from the headlight.
  6.  
  7. Remove the headlight from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the headlight and retaining ring and secure with the two retaining screws. Tighten the screws to 18 inch lbs. (2 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Attach the electrical connector to the assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the spring to the bottom of the headlight assembly
  6.  
  7. Install the headlamp bezel and retainers.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable, then close the hood.
  10.  
  11. Check for proper headlight operation.
  12.  

Composite

See Figures 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6



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Fig. Fig. 2: Lift up the plastic flap to access the headlight bulb



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the bulb and socket from the back of the headlight assembly...



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Fig. Fig. 4: ... then separate the bulb from the socket



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the bulb and socket connection and installation into the headlight



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Fig. Fig. 6: On Grand Prix sedans, you must remove the center light bar to remove the headlight bulb

Most of the later model vehicles covered by this information are equipped with composite headlight assemblies. Due to space constraints, no access may be provided to withdraw the bulbs, so the replacement usually requires removal of the composite assembly.


CAUTION
Halogen bulbs contain gas under pressure. Handling the bulbs incorrectly could cause it to shatter into flying glass fragments. Do NOT leave the light switch ON. Always allow the bulb to cool before removal. Handle the bulb only by the base; avoid touching the glass itself. Whenever handling a halogen bulb, ALWAYS follow these precautions:



Turn the headlight switch OFF and allow the bulb to cool before changing it. Leave the switch OFF until the change is complete.
 
ALWAYS wear eye protection when changing a halogen bulb.
 
Handle the bulb only by its base. Avoid touching the glass.
 
DO NOT drop or scratch the bulb.
 
Keep dirt and moisture OFF the bulb.
 
Place the used bulb in the new bulb's carton and dispose of it properly.
 

  1. Raise the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Locate the bulb mounting location at the rear of the composite headlamp body.
  4.  
  5. If necessary for access to the bulb, perform one or more of the following steps:
    1. Remove the radiator upper air baffle.
    2.  
    3. Raise the access cover/plastic flap covering the rear of the headlight assembly.
    4.  
    5. Remove the headlight cover by turning the knob to release, then folding the cover back.
    6.  

  6.  
  7. If necessary for Pontiac sedans, remove the center light bar assembly as follows:
    1. Remove the light bar retaining wing nuts.
    2.  
    3. Detach the electrical connectors from the light bar, then remove the light bar from the vehicle.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. For Pontiac sedans, perform the following:
    1. Unfasten the four headlight bolts, there are two at the bottom rear of the assembly and two at the top rear, behind the assembly.
    2.  
    3. Cover the fender front cover, sidemarker lamp and fascia under the headlamp to protect from damage.
    4.  
    5. Rotate the inboard side of the headlight assemblies forward to rest on the fascia.
    6.  
    7. Tilt the headlight assembly rearward to access the peanut bulb socket from the bottom of the assembly.
    8.  

  10.  
  11. Remove the socket with the bulb, then remove the bulb. It may be necessary to detach the connector by carefully opening the tabs.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Install the bulb in the socket, then secure the socket in the headlight assembly.
  2.  
  3. For Pontiac sedans, position the headlight assembly, then install the four retaining bolts and tighten to 18 inch lbs. (2 Nm).
  4.  
  5. If necessary for Pontiac sedans, install the center light bar, as follows:
    1. Position the light bar and attach the electrical connectors.
    2.  
    3. Instal the light bar retaining wing nuts, and tighten to 35 inch lbs. (4 Nm).
    4.  

  6.  
  7. As necessary, perform the following:
    1. Install the headlight cover.
    2.  
    3. Fasten the bulb access cover or lower the flap covering the headlight assembly.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable, then lower the hood assembly.
  10.  
  11. Check the headlights for proper operation, then, if necessary, have the headlights aimed by a qualified repair shop.
  12.  

HEADLIGHT 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.

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 information, 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 used 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 car 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 truck 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 of the vehicle is working, and if another like-sized car is available, park the second car in the exact spot where the vehicle was and mark the beams using the same-side light on that truck. Then switch the cars so the one to be aimed is back in the original spot. The car 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 car 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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