Jump to content

IGNORED

Headlamp replacement, there has got to be an easier way...


zbane

Recommended Posts

I've had my zx for just over a year now, and the driver side headlamp has just burned out. I've searched both this site and hybridz for the answer to this little question-How do you change the lighting unit? I went through the FSM, and it appears that I need to to take off the bumper, grille, valances (valenci?), inner wheelwell protectors, and finally the headlamp buckets (sugar scoops).

I have done some of this, as you can see in the photos, but am being held up by the three screws that hold the center valance to the frame (rusted in for now). Without removing the entire valance unit, I cannot get to the last two screws that connect the scoops to the fender, and without getting the scoops off, I cannot remove the chrome headlight retaining ring that holds the lamp in.

For the record, I tried getting to the light from the engine bay, but the light holder is trapped in the bay by other bits.

From searching the threads, I have decided to go ahead and pull the entire fender off, and I'm OK with that, but I just wonder is there an easier way to change the headlights without taking off half of the car's body?

I must say that I like how the car looks without the front bumper, however I don't like not having turn signals.

And Yes, I'm going to change out both at once. It's the smart and safe thing to do.

post-11908-1415080012564_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800125963_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800126193_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800126432_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800126679_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800126918_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800127227_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800127464_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ouch! I've never owned a ZX, so this is new to me. Looking at this, it could be the best reason I've ever seen to convert to headlights that use replaceable H4 bulbs. That way when one burns out, it looks like you could change the bulb from the back side without disassembling half the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the best reason I've ever seen to convert to headlights that use replaceable H4 bulbs. That way when one burns out, it looks like you could change the bulb from the back side

Arne, my thoughts exactly!

Now I am thinking about finding a combo lighting unit, not unlike what certain Mercedes Benz's have-the all in one headlight/turn signal combo lights, then I could do something different with the front bumper, though that is nothing more than a thought right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arne, my thoughts exactly!

Now I am thinking about finding a combo lighting unit, not unlike what certain Mercedes Benz's have-the all in one headlight/turn signal combo lights, then I could do something different with the front bumper, though that is nothing more than a thought right now.

Here are the only multi-chamber 7" lights I know of today. They have H4 (high/low) in the middle, a parking light in the very small chamber at the top, and an H3 fog light in the bottom. No turn signal, but you might be able to get creative.

http://www.classicgarage.com/3cham7rounhe.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

extensive modifications will be necessary to install these lamps. The housing of these lamps will be larger than your stock lamps. Therefore, the O.E. buckets will need to be cut and/or bent to properly utilize the aftermarket NeoLite 3-Chamber Lamp System.

Thanks for the link, Arne! I had been looking around for those, but had no luck finding them.

At @$50 a pair, this looks like a good deal, especially considering the sylvania halogen was about $15 per unit.

The top portion is the "running light" area, I think that could be easily converted to handle turn signal duty, and there is some valuable real estate to be had in the fender for whatever "modifications" are needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest that someone go take a look at their Acorn Cups to see if the back of the Headlamp can be accessed from the inside of the fender.

Otherwise the discussion on the H4 lamps still does not address how to make it easier to change out the lamp itself...nor have access to the back of the lamp to change out the H4 bulb.

E

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be very surprising to me if all this work was required just to change a headlight. I'm betting it can be done from inside the wheel well. It's possible that there is a plastic wheel well lining, I can't remember from my last trip to the JY, but if there is, remove it to get to the rear of the light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest that someone go take a look at their Acorn Cups to see if the back of the Headlamp can be accessed from the inside of the fender.

Otherwise the discussion on the H4 lamps still does not address how to make it easier to change out the lamp itself...nor have access to the back of the lamp to change out the H4 bulb.

E

I was thinking the same thing. If I remember correctly there is a metal shield (which is a PITA to thread your wiring through) to protect the headlights from the elements. I believe this has to come off.

I to have to deal with my headlights soon enough. The high beam wire for my right light is not connected all the way. When the car get's here I have to replace the headlights anyways with a Euro legal version. They are for some reason quite anal-retentive about the pattern and the exact angle of the headlights. In the US it's 'do they work' ... here they have a checkered pattern and make you adjust them so they shine just right.

Like E said ... even with a replacement H4 bulb, you are going to have to take the whole back panel off IIFC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I went to put new lights in my 75 I found that I could not get to the three screws that hold the light in. What I did was use my Roto Zip and put a little notch so I could get to the screws.

The back of the lamps can indeed be accessed from the bay, and yes, there is a metal shield that can be removed (note the "L"&"R" markings). The chrome retaining ring is attached to this plate. I can access two of the three retainer screws by unscrewing the metal shield, but cannot fanagle the plate to access the last little screw. I've not tried the right side, but it is behind the Carbon Canister and Coolant Resevoir-both of which appear to need removing in order to even reach the screws that hold the plate on.

I'll be pulling at least one fender this afternoon, will post photos in the evening of the progress.

post-11908-14150800127799_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800128061_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800128299_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800128528_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800128749_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be very surprising to me if all this work was required just to change a headlight. I'm betting it can be done from inside the wheel well. It's possible that there is a plastic wheel well lining, I can't remember from my last trip to the JY, but if there is, remove it to get to the rear of the light.

I'd have to agree with you on that. Especially having to remove the fenders. Even on a ZX. You must be missing something in the instructions. I doubt if the car is engineered in such a way that the fenders have to come off in order to change a headlight. If that is the case, I'll add that to my list of reasons why I have the opinion of the ZX that I do but I won't digress any farther on that thought. It's a PITA to change them on my 78 with removing the inner fender liners, front tires, etc. but it can be done with the fenders on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Harder.

The metal plate that holds the lamp in the bay is difficult to move about, what with the AC line, inner fender, and the light itself getting in the way.

But it can be done, if you are willing to risk bending something. Once you have the thought that something might be bent, and accept that possibility, with a bit of squeezing and a touch of extra force, the whole thing moves about-not out, mind you-but becomes workable.

Since I already had so much of the front end off, I went ahead and pulled both fenders, so I could take off the sugar scoops.

In doing so, I found an error in the FSM. According to the FSM, there are only two bolts attaching the bucket to the fender. This is incorrect. There are THREE, and the third one REQUIRES that the fender be removed in order to access it 'cause it's way up there.

I found a few baby rust gremlins while I was in there, and have kept the fenders off until I can clean, prep and paint the inner fenders and wheel wells.

The bumper went back on because not having turn signals irritates me, though I must say that the car is looking a little odd, being only half dressed, so to speak.

Also, I think I may have found the cause of my wet floorboards, but I need to check the matter more.

Anyway, thanks to all for jumping in. This has indeed been a learning experience, and quite a bit of fun, too.

Oh, and yes I did change the bulb.

post-11908-14150800129618_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800129857_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800130004_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800130233_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800130468_thumb.jpg

post-11908-141508001307_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800130934_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800131188_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800131336_thumb.jpg

post-11908-14150800131582_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd forgotten that you were dealing with a ZX. That's the reason for my prior post.

On the 240's the Acorn Cup is solid and the only way to access the headlamp to change it or an H4 bulb is to remove the Acorn cup from inside the fender.

2¢

E

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found a few baby rust gremlins while I was in there, and have kept the fenders off until I can clean, prep and paint the inner fenders and wheel wells.

Hard to tell from the pic but I'd be more then a little worried if this is what and where I think it is. See pic and red arrow below.

post-9360-14150800131825_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are correct, Enigma. That is what and where you think it is, and it isn't the prettiest. The rails are an issue with this car, and will be dealt with soon, if all goes well. Here's a better picture, and this is the good rail :dead:

post-11908-14150800132071_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As it turns out, you can remove the headlamp before the case, but it's a bit difficult, due to the cramped area involved, and the job would be much easier if one could access the retaining ring from the front. I suspect that that was indeed the intention of the designers, but for some reason I wasn't able to to manipulate the plate. At least now I know (and knowing is half the battle...)

What you cannot remove as stated in the FSM is the headlamp case; the fender must come of in order to reach all three of the connecting nuts.

post-11908-1415080013283_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.