Headlights will not go up/down

#1
On my TTA lately, when I turn on the headlights they have been working erratically, sometimes they don't go up, sometimes part way, other times they work OK. Once when the right one went only part way up, I looked at it, turned the knob attached to the drive unit, but that didn't do anything, then I pulled the light up by hand, and it stayed there till I turned them off.
Does anyone know how these drives work? Are they direct gear drive? If mine don't work, does that mean gears are stripped? Is there a reference source for a description of the drive mechanism I could get a look at?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
thanks,
Charlie
 

1tufam

Well-Known Member
#3
If it is not a problem with the motor assembly, The headlight switch is known for going bad and leaving the lights stuck up or partially up. You can wiggle the switch and and check this. Replacements are available.
Good Luck
 
#4
I removed the right side drive motor, opened it, and found the bushings were indeed ground up into little pieces. I will order the kit from Lon ASAP. Since I have two TTAs, I will probably order two kits if I can save some shipping costs.
Thanks for your help.
Charlie
 

89icbm

Active Member
#5
I removed the right side drive motor, opened it, and found the bushings were indeed ground up into little pieces. I will order the kit from Lon ASAP. Since I have two TTAs, I will probably order two kits if I can save some shipping costs.
Thanks for your help.
Charlie

Hi Charlie,

I'm a bit late on this thread but I thought the info would be usefull. I think it's great that TTA owners are using supportive venders and Ron has been around a long time but just in case, Ecklers also has the repair kit. The headlight motors are actually a Corvette part. I paid like $7 a piece for the repair kits but that,s been a long time back, before Ron had them.

Frank
Original owner of TTA 1231
 
#6
thanks for the info. I checked Ecklers; they have a repair kit that has just 3 of the bushings, no grease/gaskets/etc, for fixing one headlight, for $6, plus probably some shipping. So the one from Lon is probably at least comparable since it fixes two headlights and also includes the other parts for $20. But if you needed to fix the bushings on just one drive the Ecklers sounds a little more economical.
I already had bought two sets from Lon, put one on the car that had the problem, and the lights work great now. The other is to save for when my other TTA goes bad.
 

89icbm

Active Member
#7
thanks for the info. I checked Ecklers; they have a repair kit that has just 3 of the bushings, no grease/gaskets/etc, for fixing one headlight, for $6, plus probably some shipping. So the one from Lon is probably at least comparable since it fixes two headlights and also includes the other parts for $20. But if you needed to fix the bushings on just one drive the Ecklers sounds a little more economical.


Hi Charlie,

I did say that Ecklers were individual kits. What goes bab is the bushings and I also said that Ron didn't have his kit at the time I replaced the bushings or I would have bought Rons. I believe in supporting vendors that support us. So please don't misunderstand my intention. It was just added info to be logged. Lord knows I spent a solid gold lawn jockey buying parts from John Pearcy and he went out of the parts business so it's always wise to have other options.
 

andre#4

Well-Known Member
#8
A lot of times it is just the switch on the dash and the switch is not even bad. Maybe just dirty. in this case, just press a little harder when turning them on or off. I realized this when my lights didnt go up or down and I pressed the switch to turn them off. I though I had forgotten to turn them off. Well the switch was already off, but pressing it again made the lights go down. From then on, I knew that just pressing it harder would make them work.

THere was a function of the switch where the lights were supposed to be left up and turned off. This was for Icy climates where the ice would have made the lights not come up in the morning so they could be left up the night before.

Check owners manual for details
 

PhillyTurboSix

Administrator
Staff member
#9
A lot of times it is just the switch on the dash and the switch is not even bad. Maybe just dirty. in this case, just press a little harder when turning them on or off. I realized this when my lights didnt go up or down and I pressed the switch to turn them off. I though I had forgotten to turn them off. Well the switch was already off, but pressing it again made the lights go down. From then on, I knew that just pressing it harder would make them work.

THere was a function of the switch where the lights were supposed to be left up and turned off. This was for Icy climates where the ice would have made the lights not come up in the morning so they could be left up the night before.

Check owners manual for details
I've had mine do several times. Always seems like you have to firmly push the off switch or they don't go down.
 
#10
I recently had this problem and the headlights wouldn't go up. The left one would go parteay up and I manually put both up but when I went over the slightest bump it would go down partway. It was the first time driving it at night from getting it back for something else. Turned out to be the motors that run them were bad. Cost me over $500 to get both fixed.

One tip is never turn on your lights on then off. The motor runs a bit after you turn them on and doing that will burn them out
 

WS6

Stay thirsty my friends
#11
The motor runs a bit after you turn them on and doing that will burn them out

Actually that's how they are suppose to work, the headlight module senses the heavier load when the headlights hit the stops up or down.So they need to run for a second or so either way.

If your headlight motors burnt out it was more than likely the constant running as they tried to lift the headlights with worn out bushings as above.
 

1970gsx

Active Member
#12
Guys, you can fix this without ordering anything. I just did this yesterday. In place of the bushings I used rubber 1/4 inch fuel line cut to the height of the gears (about a 1/2 inch). It was very easy to do and works perfectly. I'm the type of person that doesn't like to wait for things and want it done now when things break.
 
Last edited:

Mike Arrigo

Well-Known Member
#13
I just rebuilt both of mine last night with the ones from Top Down Solutions and was very happy with the kit they provided. I had done the cheap way on my last car with a quick Home Depot run which worked fine but using the kit with the grease and gaskets was pretty nice for the $20. I did learn by the instructions that it is easier to remove the entire headlight bucket assy then it is to try and remove the motors while they are on the car. The drivers side was a bit harder with getting the motor brushes back in place, but using the string trick worked just fine. I did both in about an hour and now I should be good for another 20 years. :)
 

TTA984

Gold Member
#14
Rebuilt the headlight motors in mine also, was well worth the $20 from TDS.

Also put new Sylvania Silverstar headlight bulbs in, they are so much brighter than the originals. And you can see futher ahead and to the sides also.
 
#15
Rebuilt the headlight motors in mine also, was well worth the $20 from TDS.

Also put new Sylvania Silverstar headlight bulbs in, they are so much brighter than the originals. And you can see futher ahead and to the sides also.
yeah you need that when you get as old as you are :rofl:
 
#18
This is the simplest solution is from Lon at Top Down Solutions.

http://www.top-downsolutions.com/product_info.php?cPath=35&products_id=87

The product is still available. My web site has been completly redone, so that old link no longer works. Here is a link to the kit.

http://www.top-downsolutions.com/Bo...dlight-motor-kit:-deluxe-headlight-repair-kit

I also sell a kit with just the 3 Delrin bushings.

http://www.top-downsolutions.com/Body-Parts/Electrical/headlight-motor-kit

Lon Salgren
Top-Down Solutions
 
#19
My headlights had been working fine for a while after I rebuilt the drives, but recently the lights in one of my TTAs wouldn't go down sometimes after I had them on. Since they worked fine going up, I thought it might be a switch problem. I pulled the switch out from the dash and opened it up by prying off one side cover, and found it has about 3 or 4 spring-loaded contacts inside. There is one contact that powers the motors for "down", and that particular contact requires the contact actuator to be pushing against the plastic side cover piece of the switch assembly to force it down so it makes the contact. The problem was that the cover had warped a little over time and now wasn't flat enough to push the contact down as it should. I bent the contact a little to hopefully get it to work, but found that didn't do it, so I re-attached the side cover and wrapped a nylon cable tie around the switch and tightened it up pretty good to force the side cover back down flat, and that did the trick. The switch has been working fine since. It was an easy fix once I figured out what the problem was. Maybe this will save someone from buying a new switch if they have a simalar problem.
 

Mark T-TB

Car Crazy from birth
#22
There was a whole other thread about this as well.
Good luck with the kit - looked great (I still have it somewhere)... but I broke things taking mine apart and ended up with rebuilt assemblies.
 
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