Tech Area

87/88 Headlamps Stuck

Question: Well my right head light is almost open and that is where it stays. The left works fine. The right light goes on but does not move. Its cold here so I have not taken out my test meter on it yet. Any ideas?

Answer: The headlight motors are controlled by an electronic relay under the LF fender, sorta behind the side marker light. Accessed by removing (or at least pulling back) the LF wheel well liner.

There are 3 plastic drive pins in each motor that crumble over time. If those are bad, the motor will spin, but not raise or lower the lights, nor shut off. If the motor is not spinning, then either the relay is bad, the motor drive levers have "hung up/jammed", or the motor is fried. Because the electronic relay works on a current surge, any surge in current (when headlight hits up or down) will cause the relay to shut off current.

You can get an idea of what is happening by using 2 jumper wires from the operating headlight connection. If the motor starts spinning, then the relay is likely bad. Further testing by a 12v source directly to the motor (from a battery) will tell if the motor is good.

The drive pins are very inexpensive and available from

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