Headlight Fix for C5
Spent gears can be only half of the problem
Story Mark Kaufman - June 20, 2011 09:00 AM
In addition to a bronze gear for those who need it, the C-Central kit also includes a t-bracket that fits over the gear housing cover, keeping it in place even if the epoxy fails.
Many a C5 owner has heard that unmistakable machine gun sound emanating from the front of the car when turning on the headlights. And if that noise isn’t annoying enough, at least one of the headlights doesn’t come up, or doesn’t go down.
Anyone who has gone through this knows the fix is to replace the factory nylon gear in the headlight motor with a replacement bronze gear.
But what’s up when the gear has been replaced – by a dealer – and it happens again? Certainly the teeth on the bronze gear have not worn down to the point where they disengage from the motor drive gear. When it happened on our subject 2001 convertible, we popped the hood and discovered that epoxy used to hold the gear cover on the motor had failed and fortunately was lying beside it. As a result there was enough play on the gear shaft to allow it to disengage from the drive gear and “rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat!” each time you tried to use the lights.
Corvette Central has a headlight motor rebuild kit that offers a perfect solution. In addition to a bronze gear for those who need it, the C-Central kit also includes a T-bracket that fits over the gear housing cover, keeping it in place even if the epoxy fails.
Follow along with us as we not only rebuild the motors on both headlights of our C5, but using the kit from Corvette Central will prevent us from having any more trouble in the future.
We elected to remove the entire headlight assembly from the car, rather than just the motor. This not only provides easier access, but also allows you to change your headlight bulbs at the same time. A word to the wise: don’t remove both assemblies at the same time. It sure is handy to have a reference when re-installing the assembly.