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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 77 Deville a couple weeks ago & I'm fixing a few things before inspection & plates.
The headlights were pointing all different directions because the adjusting screws had pulled right through the cracked plastic frame. I'm re engineering the square holes needed for the plastic adjusting screw nuts now. Anyhow now that I have all four lights out , I'm wondering if I should upgrade to something more modern? When looking for other parts on Ebay, there are hundereds or thousands of listings for LED, HID, Zenon, on & on &on.
All new to me & thought I'd ask folks more in tune with modern times.:)

Thanks for ANY opinions, Brad
 

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1980 FBC
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Headlight adjustment screw plastic breaking was quite normal for these cars.

Somebody makes replacement parts.

Make sure any replacement bulbs draw the same or less current than factory or things will start frying.

An upgrade may include replacement heavier wiring which is controlled by relays hooked to the existing wiring.

Personally, I'd consider modern alternator/battery voltage being about a half volt higher than 1977 charring system being enough of an upgrade. I'm old though.

If you want a circus car maybe some green lasers. They will get plenty of attention.
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The screws are not what's broken. It's the plastic frame that the light buckets mount to. The adjusting screw plastic nuts have pulled right through where the square holes used to be.
I don't want a circus car or lasers. I just wondered if there was an advantage with newer tech.
I rarely drive at night anyhow.

I can't even remember back to when I was 52! Heh..Heh Of course I can't remember last week either.................
 

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2014 ELR
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A good set of Halogens, along with a small relay wiring mod to provide full voltage to the bulbs will make a world of difference.
 

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1980 FBC
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IIRC halogens were factory by this time. We certainly always replaced burned out ones with halogens.

The adjustment screws are sold along with the plastic part that breaks. The idea is screw gets funky and binds. Truth is that type of plastic degrades in sunlight.

"Modern" replacement "performance" lights should be specified for light spectrum. The whitish blue lights seen on some "upgraded" cars is just plain annoying plus a certain percentage of the driving population has trouble with depth perception with this type of light.
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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Discussion Starter #6
"The adjustment screws are sold along with the plastic part that breaks"
The plastic square nuts/wings are NOT what is broken. It's the plastic headlight mounting frame that has cracked/broken. It's allowing the adjusting screw square nuts/wings to pull right through. There is no square hole left. I am making pieces from steel flat bar with new square holes which will re enforce the mounting frame & give a solid mount for the adjusting screw nuts.
 

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1980 FBC
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Are you sure the frame is plastic? There's a pretty strong spring opposite the pivots that would damage a plastic bucket.
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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I would buy Cibie or Bosch brand low beam headlights which would allow an H4 9003 type bulb. The H4 is a dual filament bulb. ( high and low beam) That would allow the high beam single filament bulbs you have now to work along with the new low beams. It's extremely important the lights be adjusted with proper tools once you fix the buckets. Doing it that way, you only replace two of the four headlights! If you want to go further, you could replace the two high beam assemblies with Halogen seal beams. That would bring the headlights into current standards the least expensive way. Do a search for Cibie headlights and look for Daniel Stern lighting products.
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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Discussion Starter #10

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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I think your idea of thin metal plates is a good way to go! JB Weld should hold them.
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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Discussion Starter #13
Yep; I only want to do this once & hope for this to be a long term vehicle. So a combination of JB Weld, fiberglass cloth & a few small stove bolts with washers should do the trick.
My wife has been paralyzed since 1975, so I only get bits of time in my shop these days.
If this Deville works out as I hope, the 1999 Deville I bought two months ago will be up for sale.Runs like a top & looks near new. But I just can't trust it on long hauls with my wife in the car.And I'm not tearing down a fine runner for studs .
The 77 I can fix most anything on the side of the road or motel parking lot.
 

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Could you get metal plates from an earlier GM car header? Meaning buy a damaged metal header, cut out a plate from it to lay over your cracked plastic header on the back side. That would give you precise square holes. I'm thinking 76 to 78 Seville, Nova, Skylark, late 80's GM truck.
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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That would be a great time saver carnut!
Great idea! :thumbsup:
Hey carnut, did I know you sold the Allante, I don't remember that?


Bradrock I love your thinking. A 77 Deville is a great replacement for a 1999!
Not all would understand that logic, but most of us are right with you.
If I had a cross country trip tomorrow, I would trust my 87 Brougham with 115,00 over my 04 Volvo with 63,000.
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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Discussion Starter #16
Could you get metal plates from an earlier GM car header? Meaning buy a damaged metal header, cut out a plate from it to lay over your cracked plastic header on the back side. That would give you precise square holes. I'm thinking 76 to 78 Seville, Nova, Skylark, late 80's GM truck.
That's a great idear. Thank you! I will keep it in mind. But the nearest pick your own part boneyard is around 150 miles one way. I never get that far from home as I can't leave the wife alone for more than an hour or two.
I will keep my eye out locally & ask a friend who hauls scrap in the winter. He recently told me prices are real low right now & not worth his time to haul cars. I have 20 acres so might buy a trailer & collect some yard art! Heh..Heh. Buyers market & all.
I love rusty American iron!

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"Bradrock I love your thinking. A 77 Deville is a great replacement for a 1999!
Not all would understand that logic, but most of us are right with you.
If I had a cross country trip tomorrow, I would trust my 87 Brougham with 115,00 over my 04 Volvo with 63,000"


Maybe it was all of those years in the Boy Scouts, but I'm used to carrying things like spare starter,fuel pump, fuel filter & battery in my trunk.
With the Northstar? Not so much. I REALLY enjoy driving the 99. Just don't trust it & If I'd come here first I would never have bought it. But for two grand it's like a disposable car even for a poor old man! Heh....Heh
 

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I don't understand? Did I sell my Allante? yes. Years ago. I had a white 88 and a gold 90. Also 2 84 Eldo's, one 84 Sedan DeVille and a 66 Fleetwood as well as a 78 Eldorado coupe.
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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Last I remember you posted a pic of you in it, I suppose it might have been gone already but I thought you had it then?
How did you like it and with them so cheap now would you recommend one?

Don't mean to swoop your thread Bradrock! Sorry....
 

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Yes, a 90 or 91 only. The Allante requires an owner with better than average diagnostic skills and a factory service manual. The car requires yearly brake fluid flushes or the brakes WILL fail! Very advanced car for its time. Still turns heads, great car to drive.
 

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78 CDV, 79 CDV delegance, 80 CDV, 80 FWB 2dr delegance (rip)
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You can "upgrade" to the one piece headlight that has still a low and high beam found on old caprice cars. Which IMO looks good on a old school caddy.
These other new lights would require extra wiring or ballast installed but then I really don't know if that's the case.
 
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