Volvo Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1970-1989 Repair Guide

Headlights

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Headlights, like any other lighting device, can fail due to broken filaments. The front of any car is the worst possible location for a lighting device, since it is subject to impact, extreme temperature change and extensive vibration-all of which shorten the life of the light. The front of the car is also where good lighting is needed the most, so it is not uncommon to have to replace a headlight during ownership of a vehicle.

There are two general styles of headlamp, sealed beam and replacable bulb types. The sealed beam is by far the most common and includes all the circular and rectangular lamps found on most cars built through the early 1980s. The sealed beam is so named because it includes the lamp (filament), the reflector and the lens in one sealed unit. Sealed beams are available in several standard sizes and shapes.

The replacable bulb is the newer technology. Using a small halogen bulb, only the lamp is replaced, while the lens and reflector are part of the body of the car. This is generally the style found on the "European" or wrap-around lighting systems. While the replacement bulbs are more expensive than sealed beams, they tend to produce more and better light. The fixed lenses and reflectors can be engineered to allow better frontal styling and better light distribution for a particular vehicle.

It is quite possible to replace a headlight of either type without affecting the alignment (aim) of the light. Sealed beams mount into a bracket (bucket) to which springs are attached. The adjusting screws control the position of the bucket which in turn aims the light. Replaceable bulbs simply fit into the back of the reflector; the reflector and lens are aimed by separate adjusting screws. Take a moment before disassembly to identify the large adjusting screws (generally two for each lamp) and don't change their settings.

With the exception of the oldest cars, sealed beams are always removed from the front of the car. Start with the outer trim pieces and work your way in to the lamp and its retainer. Bulb type units are usually replaced from the back of the reflector under the hood.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Sealed Beam

CAUTION
Trim and headlight components can have sharp edges. Work carefully and wear gloves when changing headlights. Never push on the lens of a headlight or attempt to pry it into position.

140 SERIES
  1. Open the hood and remove the headlight plug by pulling it straight out.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the three screws so that the plastic headlight retainers can be removed.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sealed beam from the engine compartment.
  6.  
  7. Reverse the above procedure to install, and recheck headlight alignment.
  8.  

164 MODELS
  1. Remove the headlight outer trim rim by pulling it upward and away from the car.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the three small screws a few turns so that the inner trim ring may be rotated and removed. Don't remove the screws and don't turn the two larger adjusting screws.
  4.  
  5. Pull out the sealed beam slightly and remove the wiring connector at the rear.
  6.  
  7. Reverse the above procedure to install, and recheck headlight alignment.
  8.  

1800 SERIES
  1. Remove the headlight outer chrome rim by removing the retaining screw at the lower part of the rim.
  2.  
  3. Remove the three screws holding the inner rim.
  4.  
  5. Pull out the sealed beam slightly and remove the headlight connector.
  6.  
  7. Reverse the above procedure to install, and recheck the headlight alignment.
  8.  

200 SERIES AND EARLY 700 SERIES

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

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of dual round headlight mounting-200 series

  1. Raise the hood and turn the two plastic screws which retain the headlight trim 1 / 2 turn and remove the headlight trim.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Mounting position of the single round headlight-200 series

  1. For cars with single round headlamps, turn the chromed headlight retainer slightly counterclockwise, remove the retainer and lift out the headlight. For cars with dual round headlamps, unsnap the four clips and remove the headlight retainer and the headlight. For cars with dual rectangular headlamps, remove the four small screws holding the retainer. Remove the retainer and the headlamp.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the fasteners retaining the headlight trim



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Fig. Fig. 4: Once detached, set aside the trim piece



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Fig. Fig. 5: Unscrew the chrome headlight trim ring to release the sealed unit

  1. Unplug the electrical connector and dispose of the old headlamp.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the trim ring while supporting the headlight to prevent it from falling



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Fig. Fig. 7: Unplug the three-prong connector from the headlight and remove

  1. Installation is the reverse of removal.
  2.  

In 1986, the 760 series introduced a different type of trim retaining clip. Instead of turning two plastic screws, locate the clip in the top center of the trim panel, squeeze the two sides together and pull it upwards to release the trim.

Replaceable Bulb
1985-89 200 SERIES AND 1987-89 700 SERIES

See Figure 8

On 780 models, it may be necessary to remove the washer fluid fill tube to gain access to the bulb holder.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Replaceable headlight bulb mounting-780 shown, others similar

  1. Make sure the headlights are off and the ignition is OFF .
  2.  
  3. Working from under the hood, release the clip and remove the wire connector from the back of the lamp assembly.
  4.  
  5. Unscrew and remove the large locking ring on the back of the headlamp.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bulb and its holder; replace them as a unit
  8.  


WARNING
When installing new bulbs, never touch the glass bulb with your fingers. The grease will develop a hot spot on the bulb and radically shorten its life.

  1. When reinstalling, make sure that the bulb sits properly in the reflector assembly. Tighten the locking ring and reattach the wiring connector.
  2.  

 
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