Tail light refresh, turn signal repair, and headlight installation

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Day 1 (or 2 depending on how you look at it) of maintenance.

Tail light repair –

Right now I have one brake light that works intermittently, and a rear turn signal that does not work. If I am taking these tail lights apart, I want to accomplish several tasks at once. First thing, RadioShack oxidization cleaner to take care of the old metal. Second, need to tighten the sockets in place to assure better connections. Check the DMCNews tech section for the correct part #’s for this. In addition, new bulbs to replace all older lights.

First, unscrew the tail lights, and pull away from car. Disconnect the harness attached. Place tail light aside, and use cleaner to clean contacts on the car harness. Take tail light board, and slide it off of the tail light plastic. Take a hose and wash the inside and outside of the tail light, as it is most likely that you have 20+ years of junk inside of there. Use oxidization cleaner to wipe metal contacts on board, as well as sockets. Take the nut and bolts and tighten them up in the tail light sockets, and replace with new lights. Most likely you will not find the same lights at a auto store, so get the closest size (mine were a bit taller) but make sure they are 12v. Place the lights in the board, put it back in the plastic, and reattach to the car. I puchased new screws (stainless steel) to attach the tail lights, it looks nice and will not rust like the old ones. Worked perfectly, tail light and signal fixed.

Turn signal repair –

One of my front turn signals is out, so I plan to clean these also. My symptom was a freyed ground, your situation may be different.

Unscrew the tail lights, and pull. The bulbs twist and can be removed from the plastic housing. It is best to wash the housing, and replace the bulbs. I used the oxidization cleaner on the sockets while they were out. If you suspect wiring issues, move around the plastic boot, as my wire was freyed and covered by the boot. Fix wires as neccesary, replace lights, and reinstall. I put stainless steel screws in here also as the previous ones were stripping. Fixed the front turn signal.

Headlight installation –

Headlights are held in by metal brackets. These brackets have 4 screws that connect them to the car. Two on the top and one on each side. The side ones are easy to reach, but the top ones will require the pushing and bending of the fascia to reach. DO NOT turn the adjustment screws (the four that look different than the rest) while removing lights if your alignment is correct. You will need to play with the fascia to remove the frames, as they are awkward to install and remove due to limited space. Once the frame is off, just pull on the bulb and the whole light will come out. The harness to remove it is in the back. I installed new SilverStar lights, they look very nice on the D.