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Thread: Installing new headlights?

  1. #1
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    Installing new headlights?

    I have a 1989 Toyota van and am wondering if anybody can give me tips on how to install new headlights. It seems tricky. Thanks

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    i know this is an older post but did you ever get it figured out? basically there are a few screws around the trim pieces around the headlights you need to remove. i believe you also need to remove those 2 screws on the clear corner/side marker lights. When you get the trim off, theres brackets on each of the 4 headlights with 4 small screws each that you'll remove. mine were all super rusted so i had to go buy a screw extractor and use that on almost all of them (try using some PB blaster or something first though) pull the headlight out and unplug the harness in the back. plug in your new headlights and re-assemble. you can see this thread if you're interested in installing some LED headlights, we talk about it a little there.

    and for the future, you'll want to post questions like this in the "technical discussion - toyota vans" section rather than the general discussion subforum.

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    I just moved it. Usually I move things to better places pretty quickly, but I don't catch everything.

    Thanks for helping us keep TVT organized, mistershmi!

    Gwen
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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    I went with the Sylvania SilverStar instead of LED lights.





    Removed the headlight bezel but ran into a problem, the tiny screws on the trim ring are completely rusted and stripped, I sprayed PB blaster on them before attempting to remove them but no luck. Need to figure out how to remove those screws??





    So I removed the entire headlight assembly that holds the lights to try and remove those screws with no luck. But I did find that my LE that didnít originally come with fog lights has a pre-wired pigtail for fog-lights!!





    JDM


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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    I hate those screws.
    If you have the headlights pots fully removed, you're most of the way there.

    Usually a small set of vice grips will get the job done but if that fails, its time for the drill (larger diameter than the screw shaft) (or dremel) once the heads are off you should be able to extract the remaining bits with those small vice grips (from the backside)

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    BB,


    thank you for the reply, yesterday I tried to drill it out with not success (maybe wrong type of drill bit) and then I tried using vise grips to unscrew it from the back side, I was only able to remove 1 screw using that technique. I have 5 screws removed and 11 to go.... ummmm yaaay for me??

    I purchased all new screws to replace M4-.07x




    Head light trim ring screws-








    JDM

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    I would try another bit.

    Or hit it with a dremel with a cut-off wheel, but one has to be far more careful with that method. Cut-off wheels have absolutely no sense of humour.

    There is one last option but not for the faint of heart, the old blue flame adjustable (oxy-acetylene) but you want a very fine tip, at most a double zero.
    If I were going that route, I would heat to dull red and quench then try the vice grips, but you have to be careful as those housings are easily damaged.
    If the torches work, you'll be all done in 10 mins, if it doesn't you will be looking for new housings :(

    And I know you will be installing those lovely new screws with liberal amounts of anti-seize.

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    One last thought.

    You may want to instal some of those lovely new screws to make sure they fit when tightened down.
    The heads looks to be larger than factory screws and may cause a clearance problem.

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    Are those new screws stainless steel?

    As per others above I have had good luck using the small "needle nose" vicegrips
    in conjunction with PB Blaster. This method of course also works well on those pesky rusted
    windshield wiper screws.

    Good luck!
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    BB,


    Thank you for the addition methods with explanations and warnings on how to tackle this tedious little situation...


    Torches, Dremels, and Bits.... Oh my!!!


    Torch is out of the question... my mom told me to stay away from fire.
    Dremels is not going to work because they sound like they are not nice.
    Drill bit is the winne!! something thatís my skill set can handle!!
    Anti-seize for the screws and Di-electric grease for the bulbs are in the goodie bag!!! Thank you for adding those details!!


    Trestlehed,


    Yes all screws pictured are Stainless Steel, thank you for looking out for that detail!!


    LaToya is looking a little angry that her lights are missing-







    Even more angry that the bolt head for the headlight pot has snapped off!!





    Hereís the bolts on the trim ring thatíll be removed, new screws should fit without issues, looks like plenty of room.






    Hereís the headlight pot screw thatíll be extracted
    M6- 1.0x16mm stainless steel





    Went to the HomeDepot and picked up this kit that Iíll be using. There were 2 kinds of kits available one for $10 and this one for $20. This one is meant for Stainless Steel screw remove. Also picked up some small drill bits to make a pre-hole even thought the drill bit has one I just thought it would be a good idea, only $3. Tim showed how to extract a screw with one hand and made a video using his other hand.... ummm Iím not at that skill level!!






    After running a few errands this morning and getting back home, looks like the guy bagging my goodies left out 2 items from my bag so Iíve called them and they are holding them for me at customer service so this project will continue later this week. Running out of time with all the Daddy stuff thatís gonna take precedence for the rest of the evening.


    JDM






















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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burntboot View Post
    I hate those screws.
    If you have the headlights pots fully removed, you're most of the way there.

    Usually a small set of vice grips will get the job done but if that fails, its time for the drill (larger diameter than the screw shaft) (or dremel) once the heads are off you should be able to extract the remaining bits with those small vice grips (from the backside)
    I used a few applications of PB blaster, then used a pair of needle nose vice grips on the head and carefully unscrewed them. It was a pain but oddly relaxing.
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjosh View Post
    I used a few applications of PB blaster, then used a pair of needle nose vice grips on the head and carefully unscrewed them. It was a pain but oddly relaxing.
    Yes this is the tedious route thatís being taken, itís getting there. Thank you

    JDM

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    Headlight pots have part numbers labeled inside- type 1 is low beams, type 2 high beams.... ummmm wait maybe I have it the other way around??






    Mounting the lights back into the headlight pots-






    Anti-seize for the mounting screws and bulb grease for the bulb connections







    I didnít get that screw out, gonna try again when I wire in the fog lights-





    It was late when I finished, went down to fuel up and go for a test driving in the dark to see how the light look. Also before remounting the light pots, bezels, and side turn signals be sure to test that your lights work, it would suck to have to pull everything apart if they donít work.





    This a completely pitch black road I was driving on after installing the lights. Hereís a picture with my cellphone resting on the side mirror with the low beams. They are much brighter then the old lights.





    Now this is with the high beams at the same location. I can see pretty far out and also on the shoulders, in the top right corner you can see the light reflection off of the stop sign about 50-60 yards way!!






    I think I did it the easy way, thanks to everyone that helped me getting it all worked out!!!


    JDM


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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    wow looks really great - thanks for the write up! i'm going to do the same here soon so it's good to see what i'm getting into

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    Thumbs up Re: Installing new headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW vanwagon View Post
    wow looks really great - thanks for the write up! i'm going to do the same here soon so it's good to see what i'm getting into

    Thank you, I was hoping to install LED lights but I was more concerned about the light dispersement on the road and visibility (how wide how deep) and also the rewiring required.

    I bought the holagen lights online cause the neighborhood Oriellys only carried the Basic halogen brand ($10) and Xtravision halogen brand ($15) sealed beam lights, these were $20 per light.

    If you happen to swap all of your lights out with a different brand of sealed beam lights please share your experience for us to reference

    JDM

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    Re: Installing new headlights?

    I used the stainless steel screws after this ordeal, too... I just need to remember next time when I replace a bulb the easy way from the front, that the stainless screw is gonna want to drop right behind the bumper cover !

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