: Headlight removal help on 82 coupe deville

09-18-10, 04:54 PM
so i go to replace my low beam headlight and see the 28 year old bolts are rusted and corroded beyond removal.:dflip: i tried soaking them in PB blaster for 3 days but the heads are so stripped they turn to dust when you put a screwdriver in. way too tight to fit a sawzall maybe if i had a dremel i could cut them out. should i just order a new headlight surround and destroy the old one to get em out?

09-18-10, 09:21 PM
Are we talking about the screws that secure the chrome trim on the car front fascia, or the aiming screws that hold the lights into the headlight bucket?

09-18-10, 11:24 PM
its the 4 screws holding the headlight bucket on. 1 of the aiming screws is kinda rusted too but my main concern is to change the bulb. i gotta drive around with my highbeams on and people are starting to get pissed haha

09-19-10, 12:05 AM
Get a power drill and a damaged screw extractor kit.

09-19-10, 12:16 AM
i tried a screw extractor thing i bought from home depot but didnt work. i think im gonna go pick up some metal drill bits and drill it out. its hard cause you cant put too much pressure on it or youll bend/break the tabs

09-19-10, 01:06 AM
I'm confused. If you just back out the aiming screws, the headlamps should tilt in towards the tension spring. Once that's done, you can rock the lamps off the aiming screws and disconnect. Then, remove the three screws holding the two halves of the stainless steel headlamp bezel around the bulb itself. I need pics to see what screws you're talking about that are too rusted and stripped to work with.

09-19-10, 01:19 AM
the 4 phillips head screws holding on the headlight retainer. lol ill take a pic tomorrow

09-19-10, 01:22 AM
I hate those screws, they always give me problems too. It must be the winters

09-19-10, 10:02 AM
If you can get out the top two or the bottom two, you can bend the retainer out of the way to change the bulb ;)

09-19-10, 10:48 PM
If the headlight mounts are giving this much trouble then consider visiting the friendly local junk yard and find some replacements. That may be an easier route than dealing with all this drama.

FYI, The headlight adjustment screws have plastic anchors that break in time. Last year I replaced all four on my 79 deVille headlights since one broke and the headlight was drooping downward. The parts are maybe $3 per headlight.

09-20-10, 12:55 AM
With all my experience connecting relays to the pigtail harnesses on the backsides of the bulbs and swapping bulbs back and forth, I can see how much it would really suck to have one of the screws stuck inside. Presuming that your headlights are mounted the same as mine, I can understand which ones you are having difficulty with.

Craig. If they are mounted like my own, they start with the trim bezel, but I do not believe these are the ones causing him trouble.

Seven screws later, the bezel is popped off and inside we see this.

The two screws encircled in RED are the adjusting screws which of course, do not need to be removed to change the bulb. The four screws encircled with GREEN are holding in the retainer, which holds the bulbs to the brackets themselves. I believe it is these screws he is having trouble with. If you can get the top two or the bottom two out, you should be able to fold your retainer upwards/downwards to simply remove the bulb that way. If you have no other options, a junkyard seems the best bet. To avoid this in the future, try using wd40 every time you replace the screws from now on.

09-20-10, 04:12 AM
yes the ones circled in green are the ones i cant get out. im going to buy a metal drill bit tomorrow hopefully i can just drill the screw out. 28 years in the salty jersey shore has took its toll lol thanks for the pics dullahan

09-20-10, 02:24 PM
Can you get them out of ANY of the sockets? If you could remove the High beam bulbs, you could temporarily put low beam bulbs in those ones, at least then you won't be driving around with High beams on.

09-20-10, 02:31 PM
OK, now I understand, and I'm with Rob on this. If you can get either the bottom or top ones out, you can bend the retainer open and remove the bulb. Otherwise, drill out (hard because they're so small and the retainer rings are so bendable), or go j-yard shopping.

09-20-10, 04:12 PM
And LUBRICATE THE SCREWS DURING INSTALLATION. It makes them easier to get out for next time.

09-20-10, 06:05 PM
success!!! i got 2 of the top screws out and was able to bend the retainer back enough to slide the bulb out. metal drill bit did the trick! and yes i sprayed everything with PB blaster and replaced the screws i could get out with stainless hardware. thanks everyone for the tips

09-21-10, 01:12 AM
ha, never had any problems with mine, 30 yrs later and they come off with ease. 7 screws securing bezel! I only have 4 on mine ☺