Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

Dasher
SINGLE HEADLIGHT MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the grille. The retaining screws are located on the left of the VW insignia and one each between the VW and the headlight.
  4.  
  5. Remove the three headlight retaining ring screws.
  6.  

Do not disturb the two headlight aiming screws or it will be necessary to re-aim the headlights. This requires special tools and you will likely have to take it to a service station.

  1. Remove headlight retaining ring.
  2.  
  3. Pull the headlight out of the housing and unplug the multi-connector.
  4.  
  5. Replace the new bulb in the reverse order of removal. Make sure that the three lugs on the bulb engage the slots in the housing.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the screws securing the trim ring (arrows). Do not disturb the headlight aiming screws

DUAL HEADLIGHT MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the radiator grille. Pry up the two retaining clips, one located at each end of the top of the grille. Unsnap the four plastic tabs along the top of the grille and remove it.
  4.  
  5. Remove the three small screws and remove the retaining ring. Don't fiddle with the spring loaded adjusting screws or you will need to have the light re-aimed (likely at a shop with the proper equipment). Pull the light out and unhook it.
  6.  
  7. When installing new headlight, be aware that the outside lights have both high beam and low beam filaments while the inside lights have only high beam filaments. Be sure to mention which one you need when buying replacement.
  8.  
  9. When the light is in position, make sure the glass lugs on the light engage in the support ring.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Grille and retaining pins used on Westmoreland Rabbits

Scirocco
1975-81 MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the grille. There are about fourteen screws located inside the grids of the grille. Remove these, then remove the grille.
  4.  
  5. Remove the small screws (usually 3) and remove the retaining ring. Don't fiddle with the spring loaded adjusting screws or you will need to have the light re-aimed (likely at a shop with the proper equipment). Pull the light out and unhook it.
  6.  
  7. When installing new headlight, be aware that the outside lights have both high beam and low beam filaments while the inside lights have only high beam filaments. Be sure to mention which one you need when buying replacement.
  8.  
  9. When the light is in position, make sure the glass lugs on the light engage in the support ring.
  10.  

1982 AND LATER MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the black moldings below the headlights.
  4.  
  5. Remove the screws retaining the headlamp mounting bracket.
  6.  
  7. Gently pull the headlamp from the support, unplug the connector from the back of the unit and remove the sealed beam.
  8.  
  9. Install in the reverse order.
  10.  

Rabbit
MODELS THROUGH 1980
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the grille.
    1. On Westmoreland Rabbits (those made in the U.S., with square headlamps), the radiator grille is retained by two snap tabs and four fasteners on earlier models and by four screws along the top of the grille on later models. Both early and late model grilles use an additional 4 fasteners at each headlight. On the earlier models, remove the 4 fasteners along the top of the grille (not the ones at the headlights) with a small punch.
    2.  

  4.  

During grille installation for early model Westmorelant rabbits, new fasteners will be needed to replace the four which were removed using the punch.

    1. On Rabbits equipped with round headlights, remove the screws and clips along the top and sides of the grille.
    2.  


  1. Remove the headlight on all models by removing the 3 retaining ring screws (round headlights) or 4 screws (square headlights), then by removing the ring and the light. Unhook the electrical connector.
  2.  
  3. When installing new light, be sure to align the lugs in the light with their positions in the frame.
  4.  

1981 AND LATER-ROUND SEALED BEAM
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screws and clips along the top and side of the grille, then remove it from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the three retaining screws that hold the headlamp mounting bracket.
  6.  
  7. Gently pull the headlamp from the support, unplug the connector from the back of the unit and remove the sealed beam.
  8.  
  9. Install in the reverse order.
  10.  

1981 AND LATER-RECTANGULAR SEALED BEAM
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the four screws located around the headlamp trim cover, then remove the cover from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the four screws retaining the headlamp mounting bracket.
  6.  
  7. Gently pull the headlamp from the support, unplug the connector from the back of the unit and remove the sealed beam.
  8.  
  9. Install in the reverse order.
  10.  

Cabriolet
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the grille. If equipped with dual headlights, loosen the grille for access, then disengage the driving lamp harness and remove the grille completely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 retaining screws which secure the outer grille trim, then remove the trim piece.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the connector from the back of the headlight.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 3 retainer ring screws and remove the light.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  12.  

1980-84 Jetta
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 2 retaining nuts which secure the marker light on the side of the headlight assembly which is being removed. These nuts are accessed from the engine compartment.
  4.  
  5. Remove the screws retaining the center grille section, then remove the center grille from the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the screws retaining the side grille/headlight cover, then remove the grille/cover.
  8.  
  9. Loosen and remove the 4 retaining ring screws, then support the headlight and remove the ring.
  10.  

The inner and outer sealed beams of the headlight assembly ARE NOT interchangeable. The inner is a high beam unit only, while the outer is for both high and low beams.

  1. Unplug the electrical connector and remove the headlight from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Installation is the reverse of removal.
  4.  

1985-89 Jetta and Golf
STANDARD LIGHTS

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the grille by removing the two screws and the clip, swinging the side grille forward and lifting it out of the lower support holders. Remove the four screws and tensioner spring (Golf) in the face of the ring and remove the headlight after unhooking its electrical connector. When inserting a new light, make sure the lugs in the light align with their supports in the ring.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Replacing the bulb on aero lights



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Fox headlight and side marker light assembly

AERO LIGHTS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Pull the connector off the bulb at the back of the headlight.
  4.  
  5. Push down on the clip to disengage it.
  6.  
  7. Pull the headlight bulb out of the housing. If it is difficult to remove, gently rock it up and down.
  8.  
  9. Be careful not to touch the glass part of the bulb. Any oil or dirt even from clean hands will cause a hot spot on the glass during operation and the bulb will break.
  10.  
  11. To ease installation, spray some silicone lubricant on your finger and rub it onto the rubber O-ring. Do not spray directly on the O-ring because it will also get on the bulb.
  12.  
  13. Install the bulb, snap the clip into place and connect the wiring.
  14.  

Quantum
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Open the hood. Loosen the lower parking/signal lamp retaining screws until the cover lens can be removed.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 3 screws (two lower and one upper) that retain the headlamp trim housing.
  6.  
  7. Remove the four screws that mount the headlamp retaining bracket.
  8.  
  9. Gently pull the headlamp from the support and unplug the connector from the back of the sealed beam.
  10.  
  11. Install in the reverse order.
  12.  

Fox
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two clips from the top of the headlight frame using a small prytool.
  4.  
  5. Remove the headlight frame.
  6.  
  7. Remove the four screws at each corner of the headlight.
  8.  
  9. Gently pull the headlamp from the support and unplug the connector from the back of the sealed beam.
  10.  
  11. Install in the reverse order.
  12.  

AIMING



The procedure outlined here is intended to provide a basic adjustment only. Most states have aiming specifications or require the job be done by licensed technicians with specialized aiming equipment. Always check with your local authorities before attempting to adjust your headlights.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface 25 feet (7.62 meters) from a vertical wall. There must be a horizontal reference point, such as a line on the pavement or another wall, at a right angle to the aiming wall. The fuel tank should be about 1/2 full, tire pressures must be correct and there must be a person in the driver's seat.
  2.  
  3. Measure the distance from the floor to the center of each headlight. Mark these heights on the wall and draw a line between them.
  4.  
  5. Measure the horizontal distance from the reference point to the center of each headlight. Make reference marks on the wall so that X marks the center of each headlight.
  6.  
  7. With the headlights on low beam, the high intensity zone of the light beam should be immediately below the line and about 2 inches to the right of the center of each headlight.
  8.  
  9. If adjustment is required, remove the grille and use a Phillips screwdriver to turn the adjuster screws.
  10.  

 
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