18 August 2015

New Head Lamps for the DeLorean

I have changed every light bulb in the DeLorean, except for the headlights.  Well, lucky me, one of my head lamps went out.  This forces me to change them out.  While almost all the lights in the car have been switched to LED, I am keeping the head lamps as regular incandescent bulbs.  I have yet to do the research on LED head lamps and I am in a need to replace them now.

I recently had the right side lamp replaced while the car was in the shop.  The shop only replaced the one, but the internet says that you should replace in pairs.  The thought is, if one goes out, the other will eventually go.  Theory proven, as two months after one lamp was replaced, the other went out.

About to install Sylvania H4656 headlights
The replacement lamp is easily available at your local auto retailer or online.  According to the good folks in the DeLorean community, Sylvania H4656 is the 'modern' replacement.

 Accessing the lamp for removal and replacement is a little bit of a challenge.  They make it look easy in the workshop manual.  Yeah, I looked up how to remove and replace....just in case...refer to section M:11:01.  I realise that we are talking about changing a light bulb, here.  But, depending on your fascias, it could take more time that you think.

Removal of Gap Finishing Plate
First, the removal of the Gap Finishing Plate (101601/101602).   Again, this seemed like an easy task.  Remove the screw and the plate comes out.  Oh, no.  The plates, at least mine, were trapped in the fascia.  To unhook the plate, lift plate so it is horizontal and slide plate towards center of vehicle.  Then you can work the plate away from the fascia.  I know more complicated that is should be, and we have only just begun.

Removing the bezel presents new challenges.  For reference, the images below will focus on the right side of the vehicle.

Inside screw location
There are four screws that hold the bezel in place.  The inside screw (towards the center of the vehicle) is the easy one to get to. Enjoy this moment while you can, the next ones will drive you screwy.

Outside screw location
The outside screw is tucked in the corner of the fascia.  This one takes some effort to get to.  But, still relatively easy.  Careful not to scratch the fascia.

There are two more screws which are hidden underneath the fascia.

Inner hidden screw location
One screw is located about a third of the width in.  To get to it, you will have to pull up on the fascia  and get the head of the screwdriver in there.  Good idea to have a magnetic tip screwdriver or a magnet to retrieve the screw.

Outer hidden screw location
The last screw is about a third in from the outer edge of the Bezel (100643).  This is way up in the corner of the fascia.  Again, pulling up on the lip of the fascia to gain access to this.  This one is tough to get to, be careful.

Bezel.  Better look at screw locations
Once you get the bezel off, it is as simple as unplugging the old lamp and plugging in your new lamp.  Make sure to check the lamps and see if they light up.  You do not want to go through this process again any time soon. Remember that magnet I talked about.  It can come in very handy in helping you place the screw into the appropriate holes.  You could slip and drop the screw into the fascia.  Ask me how I know that...and I did it twice.  

But, this is a good thing.  I installed the bezel using three of the four screws.  I left the outer most corner unscrewed.  I did not want to pull up on the fascia any more than I had already.

Wedging a screwdriver in between the fascia an bezel
I now have a new theory on what causes DeLorean Eyebrows.

Some say that it is the heat from the high beam lamp causes the top of the fascia to warp.  I believe this is half true.  Yes, the more you use the high beam the more heat it will cause.  But...and here is my theory...the more use of the high beam, the more chance if the lamp burning out. This will lead to removal and replacing the lamp.  Well, you will have to pull on the fascia to access those hidden screws.  And that, my friend, is the cause of the infamous DeLorean Eyebrows.  *drops mic...audio feedback*

Then again, I could be totally wrong.

The infamous DeLorean Eyebrow (I stole this image from the internet)
In conclusion, I believe the best way to service the head lamps is to remove the fascia and replace all four with LED.  While you have the fascia removed, it might be a good idea to reinforce the eyebrow area.

Total time for project was about thirty minutes.  That means you can do this in fifteen.  One less thing to worry about until the next issue arises.

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