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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does anybody know if there's a way to replace the (low beam) headlight adjuster screw base without removing the headlight buckets?

The car is back from painting and I REALLY don't want to chance messing up fender/hood alignment and the paint by taking off fenders to get to those adjuster screws.

I'm wondering if I can access the set screws by removing the plastic back from the buckets.

If you've tried, please let me know! Thanks, Bill

(This is a '69 -- different mounting than the earliest Stangs.)
 

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You can get to it all from the front. Take the painted trim ring off with the three screws. Take the stainless headlight retainer off with 3 screws. Remove the headlight. Then remove the metal bucket that holds the headlight via the 2 adjusters and a spring. You can get all of it throught the front. Don't take the bucket off the fender or the fender off the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
While I appreciate the response the fact remains that most important part of the question is not being addressed.

>>The base, (that acts as a nut) is broken. I need to replace the base.<<

The base is screwed into the headlight bucket on the BACK side. One optimally would replace the base while the buckets (fender extensions) are removed.
 

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You're talking about the clip that goes into the metal (acting as a nut). I'm pretty sure you can replace it OR go to home depot and find one there. I'm installing my HID so I ran through those pieces yesterday so I know exactly what you're talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're talking about the clip that goes into the metal (acting as a nut). I'm pretty sure you can replace it OR go to home depot and find one there. I'm installing my HID so I ran through those pieces yesterday so I know exactly what you're talking about.
Did you take off your headlight buckets (fender extensions) to replace the "nut?"
 

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Yes. It's a 2 min process. Just remove the 4 screws, then you can access the clips in there. Too easy to do! Slides off, then slide a new one on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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OH ****. my bad. Let me look around for some info.
 

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OK I did find a pic - I can't figure out how to link it but its in my album here on VMF. I put my headlight bucket on the fender with the fender already on- but its tricky. It might be possible through the rear of the headlight bucket (after removing the splash shield, unplugging the headlight and removing it) then reach through with a stubby philllips and maybe you could get it. If that fails I'd pull the bucket only as its easy to get back in alignment.
 

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Copy the web address when you have your picture and paste into post.
 

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Billebob.
I had to do this 3 years ago, to my 69 sportsroof. If the square nut broke out. You can buy the newer style square plastic nuts with screws, at O'riel'ys for a few bucks. I did this and it has lasted 3 years, and plastic dosnt rust. I matched the square nut size to a Chrysler or GM style but it works perfectly. I also didnt need to pull the bucket or fender. I just pulled the headlight. Hope this helps.
Joe in Detroit.
 

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BillEbob,
I would also go buy the flexable footlong screwdriver from craftsman, and a can of P.B. Blaster. Those two things have been life savers for me, time after time. You should be able to get at those screws by removing your tire and inside guard. P.B. blast the hell out of those screws every few hours. Wait about a 1/2 day and use that flexable driver. Just remember to wear your safty glasses. P.B blaster dosnt taste good, and it feels sooooooooooo, wonderfull in your eyes!
Joe in Detroit
 

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I originally thought you were talking about a 67. I was thinking about this today and remembered that the 67 is screwed in not like the early cars that slip into the square hole. No that I know you are working on a 69 I still think you can do it from the front if you use a 90 degree ratcheting phillips. Like this one Craftsman
 

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Just went through this myself... I didn't have to completely remove the fender extension - just loosened it enough to be able to tilt it enough to get at the screws through the wheel well. Hard to explain - and you would have to be very careful of your paint.

I couldn't figure out any way to do it without moving the fender extension. Others have had luck drilling out the screws holding the old one, and then screwing the new one in from the front. I didn't have a lot of luck with that approach.
 

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To anyone who has this issue, I can tell you how I solved replacing the outside (low beam) lower headlight adjustment screw assembly on my 69 Mach1 without having to take the whole extension and fender assembly apart.

So the adjustment screw holder broke off and I was left with the square hole and a stupid clip that is held into the fender extension by 2 screws which come in from behind which I could reach in and feel the screw head with my finger but this was NO WAY to get a screw driver in there to remove them to replace the clip assembly.
This is definitely a design flaw by FORD! (but not impossible to resolve)

So here's what I did-
1. Go into the wheel well from behind the fender extension and there should be a plastic splash guard held on by 4 body bolts. Take that out- now with the headlight and headlight cup out you should be able to see through the 5 inch round headlight hole to the front of the car, but you still can't get to the back of the 2 screws holding the adjustment assembly screws because they are blocked by a piece of the fender

2. I eyeballed up where the screw heads that were holding the clip should be on the other side of the fender.
I drilled 2 holes in the fender piece that was covered by the plastic splash guard large enough to get a shaft of a Phillips head screw driver with a screw head attached - (maybe A 3/8 OR 1/2 bit-)
Be careful not to drill too far or you'll puncture the extension (even id you do, aside from the aggravation, nobody will see it cause it will be under the replaced bulb when completed)

3. Take your Phillips head and back-out the old screws that at holding in the assembly. (They are probably going to drop and be unreachable inside the fender box but big deal. The plate of the broken clip will also drop too but does not matter either. Now you have the open spot where the new clip has to go but you need to get the clip there without dropping it inside the fender well too.

4. Ok here's the trick- get a piece of 24awg wire about 15 inches long, (I had a piece of telephone cross-connect) and loop it through the new mounting clip screw hole that would be towards the outside side of the fender. Put the adjustment screw into the square mounting clip too Now you have the clip assembly on the end of a wire that you can put in and snake down to replacement location and not have it fall into the fender void if you slip. Holding the wire loop, so you don't lose the clip inside, snake it down into position. Use a pair of needle nose pliers and pull the head of the adjustment screw through the square opening and into position. Now the adjustment screw is in position but you have to tighten down the assembly with the 2 mounting screws from behind.

5. Take a replacement screw and tape it to the end of your Phillips head screwdriver so it won't fall off easily. Using the adjustment screw as a handle to hold the clip in the proper place, line up the holes on the extension with the clip. Go inside the wheel well through the hole you drilled, and replace the screw on the mounting hole that does not have your wire through it. Tighten to the point where you're confident it won't fall out, but not too tight. Pull out the wire. The 1st screw should hold the clip in place well enough. Now with the wire out, Then tighten down the 1st screw. Then screw in the 2nd screw hole. You now have the clip replaced.

(I had and old clip from a donor car which did not have the correct length screws. I simply used a Dremel with cut-off wheel to make them flush- but if you bought a new assembly, probably comes with the correct screws.)

Now you can either plug up the holes you drilled, get a rubber grommet, or leave them as is- whatever. Put the wheel well splash guard back in and nobody is going to see the holes anyway. FORD should have done something like this in the first place! Re-assemble the headlight and enjoy driving at night!

This took me about an hour to do, but WAY better than taking everything apart.

Hope this helps-
 

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my fix for the headlight adjustment screw assembly

To anyone who has this issue, I can tell you how I solved replacing the outside (low beam) lower headlight adjustment screw assembly on my 69 Mach1 without having to take the whole extension and fender assembly apart.
So the adjustment screw holder broke off and I was left with the square hole and a stupid clip that is held into the fender extension by 2 screws which come in from behind which I could reach in and feel the screw head with my finger but this was NO WAY to get a screw driver in there to remove them to replace the clip assembly.
This is definitely a design flaw by FORD! (but not impossible to resolve)
So here's what I did-
1. Go into the wheel well from behind the fender extension and there should be a plastic splash guard held on by 4 body bolts. Take that out- now with the headlight and headlight cup out you should be able to see through the 5 inch round headlight hole to the front of the car, but you still can't get to the back of the 2 screws holding the adjustment assembly screws because they are blocked by a piece of the fender

2. I eyeballed up where the screw heads that were holding the clip should be on the other side of the fender.
I drilled 2 holes in the fender piece that was covered by the plastic splash guard large enough to get a shaft of a Phillips head screw driver with a screw head attached - (maybe A 3/8 OR 1/2 bit-)
Be careful not to drill too far or you'll puncture the extension (even id you do, aside from the aggravation, nobody will see it cause it will be under the replaced bulb when completed)

3. Take your Phillips head and back-out the old screws that at holding in the assembly. (They are probably going to drop and be unreachable inside the fender box but big deal. The plate of the broken clip will also drop too but does not matter either. Now you have the open spot where the new clip has to go but you need to get the clip there without dropping it inside the fender well too.

4. Ok here's the trick- get a piece of 24awg wire about 15 inches long, (I had a piece of telephone cross-connect) and loop it through the new mounting clip screw hole that would be towards the outside side of the fender. Put the adjustment screw into the square mounting clip too Now you have the clip assembly on the end of a wire that you can put in and snake down to replacement location and not have it fall into the fender void if you slip. Holding the wire loop, so you don't lose the clip inside, snake it down into position. Use a pair of needle nose pliers and pull the head of the adjustment screw through the square opening and into position. Now the adjustment screw is in position but you have to tighten down the assembly with the 2 mounting screws from behind.

5. Take a replacement screw and tape it to the end of your Phillips head screwdriver so it won't fall off easily. Using the adjustment screw as a handle to hold the clip in the proper place, line up the holes on the extension with the clip. Go inside the wheel well through the hole you drilled, and replace the screw on the mounting hole that does not have your wire through it. Tighten to the point where you're confident it won't fall out, but not too tight. Pull out the wire. The 1st screw should hold the clip in place well enough. Now with the wire out, Then tighten down the 1st screw. Then screw in the 2nd screw hole. You now have the clip replaced.


(I had and old clip from a donor car and did not have the correct length screws. I simply used a Dremel with cut-off wheel to make them flush- but if you bought a new assembly, probably comes with the correct screws.)

Now you can either plug up the holes you drilled, get a rubber grommet, or leave them as is- whatever. Put the wheel well splash guard back in and nobody is going to see the holes anyway. FORD should have done something like this in the first place! Re-assemble the headlight and enjoy driving at night!
This took me about an hour to do, but WAY better than taking everything apart.

Hope this helps-
 
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