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Headlights Work - Doors Won’t Open?

C5Wanabe

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Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
10
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
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I'm Looking
My problem started with the driver’s side headlight door. It would not open, but the headlights did come on. Now, a couple of weeks later, neither headlight door will open, but the headlights do come on. I tried replacing the headlight door control module with a used one, but there is no change.

I would like to determine if the module is the problem. Is it possible to test the control module while it is off the car?

Also, where else could the problem be?

Thanks for any help.

Dennis
 

bradfordsvettes

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Mar 28, 2001
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549
Location
Boston, MA area
Corvette
jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
what year:confused steve
 
Joined
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Messages
2,254
Location
Boise, Idaho
Corvette
2002 electron blue Z06
I would be suspicious that the gears in the headlight actuator are broken. This is a fairly common problem with the C5. When you turn the lights on, can you hear a motor trying to open the lights? Do you hear any clicking or grinding noise? There is a knob on the back of the actuator that can be used to manually open the headlights. The actuators area available as a unit, and can be replaced by people of modest mechanical skills (I have done it :D), or there are gear sets available from aftermarket vendors such as Mid-America.
http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=2.5749
But before you start throwing parts at it, make sure that is the problem. I would bet that it is.
 

C5Wanabe

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There is no sound from either motor when the headlight swith is on.

Thanks

I would be suspicious that the gears in the headlight actuator are broken. This is a fairly common problem with the C5. When you turn the lights on, can you hear a motor trying to open the lights? Do you hear any clicking or grinding noise? There is a knob on the back of the actuator that can be used to manually open the headlights. The actuators area available as a unit, and can be replaced by people of modest mechanical skills (I have done it :D), or there are gear sets available from aftermarket vendors such as Mid-America.
http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=2.5749
But before you start throwing parts at it, make sure that is the problem. I would bet that it is.
 
Joined
May 10, 2002
Messages
2,254
Location
Boise, Idaho
Corvette
2002 electron blue Z06
There is no sound from either motor when the headlight swith is on.

Thanks

Well, let's let GMJunkie or some other members have a stab at it. I would still bet on the actuators, but I am not an expert.
 

motorman

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Mar 7, 2002
Messages
849
Location
pa
Corvette
2008 Crystal Red Tint Coat
I would be suspicious that the gears in the headlight actuator are broken. This is a fairly common problem with the C5. When you turn the lights on, can you hear a motor trying to open the lights? Do you hear any clicking or grinding noise? There is a knob on the back of the actuator that can be used to manually open the headlights. The actuators area available as a unit, and can be replaced by people of modest mechanical skills (I have done it :D), or there are gear sets available from aftermarket vendors such as Mid-America.
http://www.madvet.com/shop?frame=2.5749
But before you start throwing parts at it, make sure that is the problem. I would bet that it is.
to prevent excess wear on the gears DO NOT raise or lower them while at speed because they have a great wind resistance and with the wind hitting them it put a BIG strain on the gears.
 

Pinky

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Jul 20, 2006
Messages
252
Location
Northern VA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Convertible
There is no sound from either motor when the headlight swith is on.

Thanks

I'm waiting to see what the response is, because I have had this same problem lately (except with both headlight doors). The lights come on but the doors don't raise; I can usually get them to raise on the 2nd or 3rd try. No noises, and the battery is fine.
 

68Roadster

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Dec 16, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Dallas, TX
Corvette
'68 White Vert '05 Silverado SS
I'd start by pulling both connectors off the headlight motors and while someone flips the switch shoot each wire for power and ground.....
Don't have my C5 books anymore but would guess a relay supplies power to the motors and it may be stuck or bad contacts....or a loose ground in the system. Not sure what part the module plays in all this....twilight sentinel, etc....
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
346
Location
Lebanon, Mo.
Corvette
2013 60th Anniversary Grand Sport
Can you open the headlight with the knob? Also when you turn the lights on is the headlight motor hot? I had a problem like this also, I replaced the motor. After that the headlight would open when turned on, go down when I turned it off. It would stay down for about 3 seconds the pop back up. So then I replaced the module. It works fine now, but I'm still not sure if I needed to replace the motor. I would of hooked the old one back up after putting the module in but I had already taken the old motor apart. I'm not sure that I could of put it back together right. My guess would be the module.
 

C5Wanabe

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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I'm Looking
Can you open the headlight with the knob? Also when you turn the lights on is the headlight motor hot? I had a problem like this also, I replaced the motor. After that the headlight would open when turned on, go down when I turned it off. It would stay down for about 3 seconds the pop back up. So then I replaced the module. It works fine now, but I'm still not sure if I needed to replace the motor. I would of hooked the old one back up after putting the module in but I had already taken the old motor apart. I'm not sure that I could of put it back together right. My guess would be the module.

Thanks for the replys.

I can raise and lower both headlight doors manually, and the headlights both light up when turned on with the switch, but neither door comes up.

I replaced the headlight door control module with a used one, but the problem remained the same.

I have not checked the motors to see if they are heating up, but they are both silent after turning on the headlights.

I would like to find out if it is possible to test the headlight door control module that I took out of the car to see if it was bad or not. At least I could rule that out then.

Thanks for any help.

Dennis
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
346
Location
Lebanon, Mo.
Corvette
2013 60th Anniversary Grand Sport
Pinky,

The knob is there so you can raise or lower your headlights manually. It is on the left side of the motor in this picture. On your car it will be the part of the motor sticking up where you can see it.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
346
Location
Lebanon, Mo.
Corvette
2013 60th Anniversary Grand Sport
Thanks for the replys.

I can raise and lower both headlight doors manually, and the headlights both light up when turned on with the switch, but neither door comes up.

I replaced the headlight door control module with a used one, but the problem remained the same.

I have not checked the motors to see if they are heating up, but they are both silent after turning on the headlights.

I would like to find out if it is possible to test the headlight door control module that I took out of the car to see if it was bad or not. At least I could rule that out then.

Thanks for any help.

Dennis


Sorry, I don't know how to check the module. ;shrug Good luck, hope you get it working soon.
 

Taco

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
5
Location
New Jersey
Corvette
1998 Pewter Convertible
Headlight Motor Problem

I had the same issue. The headlamps turned on but neither door opened. It turned out to be a corroded ground point. Disassemble both ground points near the headlamps on the frame rails, clean the studs and connectors and reassemble them. Now my doors open but the left motor continues to run for a few seconds after I turn off the headlamps. It's quite noisy so I need to resolve this issue.
 

FLIR_man

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
89
Location
Winter Park, Fl USA
Corvette
2000 coupe Metallic Blue
I had the same issue. The headlamps turned on but neither door opened. It turned out to be a corroded ground point. Disassemble both ground points near the headlamps on the frame rails, clean the studs and connectors and reassemble them. Now my doors open but the left motor continues to run for a few seconds after I turn off the headlamps. It's quite noisy so I need to resolve this issue.

The gear is close to "total" failure. The noise you hear is the motor turning and the stripped gear not turning. It will not be long before the light will not raise. There is a person on ebay that sells brass gears.
 

zagger

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Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
468
Location
San Diego
Corvette
99 C5 Convertible
Have you checked the DIC for codes. It might be electrical and the code might steer you in the right direction as far as what the problem is. Good luck, Zig.:w
 

Taco

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
5
Location
New Jersey
Corvette
1998 Pewter Convertible
Thank you for your replies. I find that whatever I am faced with in this car, someone has already been through it. My real problem was with the headlight doors not opening at all. There were no codes; it turned out to be corroded ground points. To fix the noise, I intend to replace the nylon gears with the aftermarket brass gears, but they do not look particularly worn. The motor itself appears to shift in the housing. I don't know if I can repair that issue so I might have to get the new and improved (?) plastic motor assembly.
 

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