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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Soooo I've been struck with the dreaded flip-up problem. I went to turn my headlights on one night only to discover I was winking.. one of them would not raise up.
Got it home, and whatdya know, the arm that connects the headlight to the headlight motor bracket, had fallen off. And by fallen off, I mean broken. The arm has a piece of plastic on the end of it, which is then pressed into a greased ball that is on the bracket that is bolted to the motor.


Firstly, I've attached a picture of the entire headlight assembly for reference:


Problem number one, the obvious one:

You can see a gross dirty white "arm" with a black plastic looking thing sitting directly above that shiny ball? Wrong! That black plastic is supposed to be pressed into that shiny ball. Well that sucks.


Remember that black plastic piece? Here it is! I didn't want to hold it, but it fell off anyways ...



So here's a closer look at that shiny ball through which the power of rotation is supposed to shimmy so sleekly through. See that 10mm nut to the right of it? After some playing around, I've discovered that the bracket that nut is supposed to secure to the motor (which is the silver directly behind said nut) to, has stripped the bolt at the end, so that nut just spins and sticks at random where its stripped, and i can't tighten it in close enough to catch good thread, making the bracket wiggle a wee bit. Oh and the bolt that goes INTO the motor slides in and out a little bit, I'm not sure if that's supposed to happen or not.


Hard to translate in a picture, but the arm itself has wiggle, too.

Anybody have any advice? I'm waiting for the weekend so hopefully my S.O. can put his brain to this, too, but I don't really even know where to start to start replacing.. has anyone else had any issues?
 

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Hepcat
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Hi HercuLude, good on you for posting up! Is this your daily driven car?

I am guessing your headlight motor is probably still okay, does it along when actuated? And does it spin smoothly when cranked manually (the knob on top under the rubber cap - pay attention to the direction of turn arrow). A little in out play in the shaft I would co sider to be normal, particularly for a 30year old motor and should be okay. Likewise a bit of play in the lever arm is probably normal too.

The options I can see are:

A. Replace motor unit and also get a new black plastic socket piece (plunder this from a scrap yard).

B. If you can get access to a die set, (hardware store?) Choose a die that will cut a thread slightly smaller than the current diameter of the shaft. Maybe clean the shaft smooth first, then you can use a new smaller nut on it. This shouldn't be a difficult procedure but it could be complicated by the way the shaft has worn as to work well it will need to still be round and fairly smooth - maybe clean it up a bit with some Emery paper before proceeding with this. You would still need to replace that that black plastic socket piece.

Either way I'd be inclined to go to a local junkyard and pull some spare headlight parts if not for now for the future as these great cars are getting rarer and rarer every day.

Keep us updated how you go!
 

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It sounds like a simple swapping out of the motor assembly and finding a ball end cup doober thingy will get your headlight working right again.

Try sourcing from the 86-89 Accord, and possibly the 88-91 Prelude MAY have the same headlight motor assembly, these options could make it easier and cheaper to get what you need.

I have never seen this assembly fail like that before, but if it turns out that at 30+ years old the plastic bits just crap out like that, then I would rig up something from this catalog to replace the linkage: http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-rod-ends/=zl21q4

BTW, it is possible that at some time in the past the previous owner may have had snow/ice on the front end that caused damage when the lights tried to raise up. I found a warning in the owners manual saying that when there is snow/ice that you should leave your headlights in the raised position, presumably to avoid damaging the mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your speedy replies, you two! To answer questions, yes and no its my daily, I was driving it every day until this headlight issue, plus my S.O. bought a new car so I've been driving his mustang until I get my headlight fixed and get an alarm on the Lude. As far as the ice/snow theory, I am willing to bet you're right, as several of the screws I removed from the assembly so far have been mismatched, its possible one side has been replaced before. Be thankful y'all haven't had this issue so far, there are a RIDICULOUS number of pieces to remove to get to everything.
Rice_cracker and Takemorepills, those are EXCELLENT ideas! Thankfully my brother has an 89 accord, so I need to go over to his house and look at his assembly to see if that's a viable option to steal stuff off of one of those, and if not to see if I can rig up something maybe a bit more durable.

For sure I will be pulling the motor off next, and will include pictures as best as I can for educational purposes, plus the motor is wedged in around several AC lines and the windshield wiper fluid reservoir is in the way so I'd rather not bleed on the car anymore than I have! I'll keep everybody posted as this journey continues, any and all suggestions are welcome.

Let this be a lesson to all, leave your headlights up when it snows and ices! Lol
 

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headlights

I probably have some around somewhere the motor rarely go wrong on these or you maybe able to strip it down and clean the contacts and the stator.

You probably could make something up connect the two arms together again.

On my race car I made up a simple clip system to have them up or down lol! and got rid of the motors to save weight :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright SO motor didn't come out because its a pain in the a$$, BUT I did discover that the bolt coming out of the motor is completely stripped, the bracket that has the ball at the end and the plastic piece WAS one unit that blew out and broke the plastic, so need a new one of those, and possibly a new headlight bracket that contains the arm, as the wiggle in the arm appears to be the root of the problem, having created the bad angle that snapped the black plastic to begin with.

So temporarily fixed with zip ties (I died a little inside having to ghetto-rig the car), I will begin my hunt for a new motor, ball bracket and arm at my local junk yards, and I will discover if the accords have the same system!

Thanks for your help everybody!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not to dredge up old posts, but I'm happy to say I got Herc fixed.. Found a pair of motors on ebay and convinced him to track down a couple of the black "cups" as well. Very simple install, i'll attach pictures tomorrow if I get a moment. Still not really sure what caused the issue to begin with, but everything looks solid now. I'm very relieved to have everything working as it should!
I'll be posting a whole new thread soon with my progress on Herc !
 
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