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82-86 Firebird Headlight Motor Upgrade Kit $149.95




New design 1982-1986 headlight control upgrade.


Why a second design? This whole project started when aftermarket 87-92 headlight motors started to appear in the aftermarket. I worked with a local electrical engineer and we tried to reproduce the controller for the 87-92 Firebird headlight system. My idea was to offer a reproduction 87-92 headlight motor controller and misc parts and let the customer buy these aftermarket 87-92 headlight motors so anyone with a 82-86 Firebird could upgrade to have basically the same system as used in the 87-92 Firebirds. The problem we found is there is an IC chip in the controller that has a number on it that is changed by GM and is not traceable. So basically we could not reproduce the 87/88 headlight motor controller without the real number for that IC chip.

So I decided I could make the 82-86 headlight control system with everything in one potted box just as the 87-92 was all in one box. That worked fine but the problem was that it was somewhat difficult and time consuming to install. You had to reroute many wires etc. I don't blame many for not wanting to install it in their 82-86 Firebird because of the complexity of the install. In time I realized there is a better way to do this that is seriously easier to install.


Some history of the 82-86 headlights:

Most that have headlight motor problems in their 82-86 Firebirds want to blame the headlight motors. They replace them with rebuilt headlight motors but many times still experience the same problems. Some replace the relays on the headlight buckets but again still have the same problems. Why? The problem in most all cases is a diminished path for the voltage and amperage from the battery reaching the armature of the headlight motors. The armature is spring loaded and if it does not spin with enough strength and momentum it will not operate the contacts in the headlight motors correctly.

The path for the voltage from the battery and back (all the grounds) is a long one. As on any older vehicle, time takes it's toll on the wiring connections, grounds etc. There is never any one place to look. It starts at the battery terminals and little by little the voltage and amperage diminishes along the way. Why? Slightly corroded connections in all the various connectors is common. Corroded grounds. Every marginal connection slightly  diminishes the voltage and amperage to the headlight motor armatures. By the time the voltage and amperage gets to the armatures in the headlight motors it can be seriously diminished.

How can the voltage make it to the headlight motors when they have to pass thru connections like this!!


While doing the first installations of my old system we found many connectors had corrosion between the wires and the brass ends. I've seen some clean these connectors but you also have to make sure there is no corrosion in the crimped connections.

This one is somewhat clean. Some of them from a few installations of my old kits were so corroded the corrosion went up the wires over an inch. We had to sand the wires clean before we could install the butt splices and solder them.


The kit eliminates all of these marginal connections.


What is in this new design kit?

My idea for the new design kit was to make replacement relays for the headlight buckets. But I had also pondered using OEM aftermarket headlight bucket relays. The problem with using aftermarket relays is no one makes new pigtails. So I had to think of how to over come this. The way I found to do this is to use spade connectors, wires, solder them, put on self sealing heat shrink tube and pot them to make them 100% moisture proof. These headlight bucket aftermarket relays seem to very plentiful as they are used in several other GM cars including the C4 Corvette and should be available for many, many years yet.


 New potted headlight bucket relay  Installed with the new pigtail to the motor
My replacement isolation relay in place (in a Fiero) New disconnect on the headlight motor

You also replace your old isolation relay with my new reproduction isolation relay. New waterproof disconnects to the headlight motors are included. All the old marginal connections in the front headlight area are now new.

 The kit includes my new reproduction isolation relay. New waterproof headlight motor disconnects are included in the kit


Included in the kit is a tool to use to raise and lower the headlight bucket as you work on it.        



Tools needed:

  • Wire stripper/crimper
  • Heat gun
  • Wire cutter
  • Soldering iron (40 watt is preferred)
  • Socket set
  • Reversable variable speed hand drill (cordless preferred)
  • Screwdrivers

Misc. needed:

  • Electrical tape


Included with the kit is a step by step paper instruction sheet. Use both the paper instruction sheets and this installation web page below to install this kit.

Step by step installation web page (in to a Fiero) with pictures: (If I can find a local Firebird owner to stop over I will do a Firebird specific write up).



This upgrade kit does both headlight motors. You only need to order one kit per car. 




It still takes a bit of time and effort to install this new system but it is seriously less difficult. All you are doing is replacing the isolation relay and both relays on the headlight buckets. And putting in new disconnects on the headlight motors. if you take your time and follow the paper instructions and my installation web page it is not that hard to do. 

I'm generally here and you can call if you have any questions.  262-835-9575



Later Firebirds: One Firebird owner that stopped over for my old system had GM watertite connections on his headlight motors. So I assume later Firebirds all have GM watertite connections to the headlight motors. If you already have watertite plugs I'll offer a kit without the new headlight motor disconnects.



 Electrical/electronic parts are not returnable.




Shipping:    Shipping is $8.00 (Midwest USA)

Shipping to areas outside of the USA: Generally I ship postal air first class mail. Shipping varies depending on what country they are going to. It ranges from $17.50 to Canada to $24.00 or more to Australia etc.





I do not offer free shipping.

Because I use postal flat rate boxes for heavy orders there is no program that can add the proper amount of shipping to every order. So all shipping is added manually by myself after you place your order. That is explained here: Shipping added later explanation 

When you place an order the shipping amount will show $0.00. Soon after you place an order you will receive an email confirmation that shows the amount of shipping that was added to your order.





Core requests: Stan Miller rebuilds many headlight motors. Stan has a hard time finding cores. If you have any old headlight motors or parts of headlight motors you do not need Stan will buy them from you. Contact Stan Miller at:

This product was updated on Tuesday 19 November, 2019.
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