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C5 Headlight Problem

Bob B

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
5
Location
Mesa, AZ
Corvette
2001 Coupe, 2011 GS Coupe
I have not found this problem on the forum, and I hope someone can help. I have a 2001 coupe that had a failed headlight motor on the passenger side. Replaced the motor with a new one, installed the wires in the existing connector. On reassembly, everything worked, up/down at least 10 times. Today, it worked once, then refused to go up. No codes on the DIC, fuse is good. If I raise the headlight manually, when the lights are turned on, it does go down when the lights are turned off. This leads me to believe the wiring is correct and still functional. Any ideas? I understand there are no "limit switches" on travel, but could there be a binding in the mechanism that would open the circuit? (It does not take excess force of raise the headlight manually) This is only the passenger light, driver side works properly.
 

Bob B

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
5
Location
Mesa, AZ
Corvette
2001 Coupe, 2011 GS Coupe
More info on C5 headlight problem

I was reading some other forums, and found a suggestion. It was to raise the headlight a bit manually and then turn on the headlights. When I did this, it did raise by itself. The bad news is now when I lower it, I get the load rat-a-tat-tat that sounds like a stripped gear again. Apparently, this means defective "bump stops". I partially disassembled, and all bump stops are in place. They may be worn down, although they look fine. I have ordered some replacements, and will avoid driving the car at night until I can try this. If this does not fix the problem, I still have no idea of a fix. Any other ideas would be welcome.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,547
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Sounds more like the gears are stripped. Very common and the parts are readily available. :w
 

Bob B

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
5
Location
Mesa, AZ
Corvette
2001 Coupe, 2011 GS Coupe
Brand new gears

Yes, guys, this was a brand new motor with brand new gears that I used. Hard to believe they have stripped in 10 uses of the headlights. Something must have caused that failure, if that's what it is. I did not put in a brass gear. If this new one is stripped out already, I guess the next step is to tear it apart and put in brass gears.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,547
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Yea, something isn't right if new gears were put in.
 

Bob B

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
5
Location
Mesa, AZ
Corvette
2001 Coupe, 2011 GS Coupe
Know the problem-d on't know the fix

Well, I disassembled more to get at the inner bump stops, and they were both badly worn. I turned them around, as they only wear on one side. Put the light unit back on, and tried it. The noise is gone again, but same problem. I also had noticed that the cover is slightly below the body in the front. So I took the stop out that works on the lowering, and wrapped 3 layers of duct tape around it to try and make it bigger (so it would stop higher). Same problem. I then lowered the headlight against the stop manually, and it works perfectly. The problem is that when the motor lowers the headlight, it wedges in too tight. When the controller senses high resistance, it opens the circuit (because you've hit a stop). It may be opening the circuit before it actually can raise the headlight when I turn them on. Anyway, I do not know anything about that controller, to know if there is any adjustment, but it definitely really drives the headlight down tight. I expect that it is pretty expensive to replace. Anyone have experience with problems on this controller?
 

dadaroo

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
530
Location
Columbia, SC
Corvette
2001 Convertibla, Navy Blue and Light Oak
I think you said you ordered new bumper stops. Put them in first and let's see where you are at.

The HL module has no adjustment.


Mr. Sam
 

Bob B

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
5
Location
Mesa, AZ
Corvette
2001 Coupe, 2011 GS Coupe
More info on C5 headlight problem

I will install new bump stops, but unless they are significantly different size or shape, it won't make a difference. The one in place now is not damaged on the part that is working. I was able to get the light to work a few times, but every time it works it is making the loud sound, so I think it is stripping the gear while it forces the light down. It does seem like the controller is not working properly on the right side. I was reading about problems with the controller on Corvette Forum, and it does seem that it can affect just one side (or both). There are two set of wires coming out, so there must be 2 separate circuits. Some people have had good luck installing used units (which cost about 1/3 of what a new one costs) I'm afraid I will need to replace the gear again anyway. For anyone reading this driving an old C5- be sure to look at your bump stops. If they fall off, or become damaged, it can lead to other more expensive damage.
 

dadaroo

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
530
Location
Columbia, SC
Corvette
2001 Convertibla, Navy Blue and Light Oak
You are correct. The module has separate circuits for each motor. They work independent of each other.


Mr. Sam
 

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