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84-86 Fiero Headlight Motor Control Upgrade Kit
84-86 Fiero Headlight Motor Control Upgrade Kit
$129.95
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84-86 Fiero Headlight Upgrade Installation Guide $0.00

 

 

This is a step by step installation guide with pictures on how to install the new headlight motor controller in your 84-86 Pontiac Fiero.

I include paper instruction sheets with my kits. Use this page along with the paper instruction sheets to help guide you thru the installation process.

  

NOTE:  6-24-2017. I am updating this page with some new pictures etc. Once all the updates on this page are completed I will remove this note. This will take me a few days.

 

 

This kit can be installed with the hood left on or removed. Removing the hood gives you more room to work. Leaving the hood on is fine. I installed one kit with the hood off and two kits with the hood left on and there is plenty of room to insall this kit with the hood left on. If you choose to remove the hood outline the hinge locations on both sides of the hood with a pencil, thin marker or such so when reinstalled you can return it to it’s original location. Remove the 4 bolts holding the hinges on the hood. Leave the hinges bolted to the chassis. You should have one or two helpers to hold the hood while you remove the hood.

 

Disconnect the battery. No exceptions:

 

Disconnect the battery. This is very important. The red wires feeding the headlight lift system are hot at all times. You have to disconnect the battery before you start to install this kit. Do not skip this step.

 

 

The battery has to be left disconnected thru this whole installation process. 

 

 

 

NOTE: Installing this kit can take 3-4 hours. Read every step carefully until you understand the step. Make sure you complete each step before moving on to the next step.

A Mr. Brian Nowak from Chicago stopped in with his Blue GT on 5-7-2017 so we could install a system for R&D, pictures etc. It went really well. It was my third install. Every time I install a system I learn more and find things to make better etc. I think I am there now. I'm making this web page to show the installation process start to finish. Brian was especially helpful helping with the installation, provided helpful suggests and set things up to take these pictures. He arrived at 8:00 AM. He left at 2:30. We worked non stop that whole time. Was a good day. When we were finished the new system looked very close to factory and very clean. When we finished everything we connected the battery and his headlight system worked like new again.  :)

 

A note before you begin:

Try to remember to put the shrink tubes on the wires before crimping and soldering the butt slpices. On my third install we forgot to solder the butt slpices on one connector to a headlight motor and had to redo one plug on one headlight motor. It is so easy to forget the shrink tube and soldering the butt slpices.

 

 

Step one: Remove both headlight buckets:

 

With the battery now disconnected (the battery has to be left disconnected thru the whole installation process) unplug the wires to both headlight bulbs. Open the black plastic clips (one on each headlight bucket) holding these wiring looms to the headlight bulbs. Unbolt both relays from the headlight buckets. Unplug all the wires to these two relays (you can also just cut the plugs to these two relays off at this time). Set these two relays aside. You will not be reusing them:

 

Use the 2 prong tool and a variable speed reversible drill and carefully crank the headlight motors to their full or mostly full up position. Make sure your drill is rotating the correct direction before doing this.

 

NOTE:

If you rotate the knobs too forcefully with the hand drill you can break the headlight motor plastic housings internally at the end of the up and down travel. As you rotate the knobs wiggle the headlight bucket with your other hand up and down. As you get close to the end of it's travel you will notice the amount of slop decreases. When the amount of slop decreases you should stop rotating the knob. This is not the end of the travel but it is very close to the end of the travel.

There is an arrow on the top of the knobs indicating which direction to rotate the knobs.

 

Insert the double prongs of the tool into the 2 holes in the black plastic knobs on the headlight motors and lift the headlight buckets to the full open (or mostly full open) position:

 

Using a 10 mm socket loosen the bottom nuts holding the headlight buckets to the chassis (2 on each headlight bucket). You do not need to remove these two bottom nuts. Only loosen them. Use the tool and crank the headlight motors to the full (or mostly full) down position. Loosen and remove the top nuts holding the headlight buckets to the chassis (2 on each headlight bucket):

 

With the headlight buckets now in the down position lift the headlight assemblies out of the car and put them on a work bench or suitable work table:

Remove all four white plastic inserts the relays were screwed in to. Push them out from the back.

If you are also rebuilding the headlight motors do that now. Do one headlight motor at a time so you can reference the other one when you reinstall the motor and arm.

 

Step two: Install the new plugs included in the kit on both headlight motors:

Important tip: Before you start on a step gather all the parts that are used in that step and lay them out in a clean location. This way you will see what parts you are using and will be less likely to forget something.

 

 

Important note on installing the butt splices

We found the solder does not always like to flow well into the middle of the butt splces. So to make a better connection I have changed to this:

Strip the wires back about 1/2". Crimp the butt splices in the middle of the barrels. Solder both the middle and the outer ends. You can even flow some solder out and over the butt splce on the ends. This in my opinion is the best way to insure a very good durable connection.


 

 

There is a pair of three wire plugs included in the kit in a bag marked headlight motor plugs. You will be installing these black connectors to the headlight motors. Use the two all black plugs on the headlight motor leads:

 

 

Cut off the original plastic plugs to both headlight motors. Cut all three wires about an inch from the old plastic plugs plugs (so most of the of wire length stays on the motors). Next cut all three wires so they are all the same length. Cutting them about an inch away from the plugs insures the copper wire is nice and clean.

 

Strip the ends of all three wires on both headlight motors about 5/16” (8 mm). If you find any wires are corroded use some fine sand paper and carefully sand the copper wires until they are clean. One popular trick is to use vinagar to clean the copper wires then baking soda to neutralize the vinagar. Do a search on the internet for this process.

 

 Tools and materials used to install the new headlight motor plugs:

 

Crimp a butt splice on all 3 wires on the new pigtails. NOTE: Crimp the butt splices in the middle of the outer ends. This allows more solder to flow on to the wires in the next step. Install three shrink tubes (one on each wire).

A trick to crimping on the butt splices: Put the butt splice in the crimping tool first then put the wire into the butt splice and crip it.

 

NOTE: Don’t forget to install the 3 shrink tubes before crimping on the new pigtails. It is very easy to forget to do this. In the kit I include 3 extra butt splices and 3 extra pieces of shrink tube in case you mess up. :)

 

Another note: When I installed this kit on a local owners Fiero we forgot to solder the butt splices before we shrunk the heat shrink tube over one headlight motor. We had to cut out the butt splices and remove the heat shrink and redo that plug. This experience made me add the extra shrink tube and butt splices to this kit. It is easy to mess this up. Take your time and make sure every step is complete before moving on to the next step.

 


With the shrink tube on all 3 wires - crimp the headlight motor wires to the new plug matching the colors blue, green and gray (Again crimp them in the middle of the barrels).

NOTE: Make sure you have installed the three pieces of shrink tubing before crimping the new connector on these wires.

 

 

Solder the butt splices. The center area of the butt splices is open. Apply the solder to that center opening and on both ends until the solder flows well to both wires. Make sure the shrink tube is far enough away so it does not start to shrink on you. Soldering the butt splices insures a solid connection that will not get loose over time. I strongly suggest you do not skip this step. 

 

 

Slide the shrink tubes over the butt splices centering them.  A nice trick is to hold the shrink tube next to the wires and mark the wire when the shrink tube is in the correct location. This insures the shrink tube will be perfectly centered on the butt splices.  Use a heat gun and shrink them until a small amount of clear sealant flows out of both ends. You now have solid long lasting waterproof connections on your new headlight motor plugs.

 

 

Step three: Install the new plug on the passenger side wiring harness:

You will now be installing a new plug with the yellow band on the passenger side headlight motor wires. This is the factory wire loom that originally went to the passenger side headlight motor and relay. Cut the old plugs off and then cut all four wires from the wiring harness that used to go to the passenger side headlight so they are all the same length (black, blue, pink and red).

 

 

 Strip the ends of the blue, pink black and red wires about 1/2".

 

Note: The black wire is now used to create an additional grounding point. We attached it to one of the radiator shroud bolts. It was slightly too short so we had to add an inch or so of black wire to it. To insure it does not touch the headlight bucket we routed it under the wiring loom:

Doing this does not help the new headlight controller system but will help the grounding of several other systems in your Fiero:

 

You are now going to change the color of 2 of these 3 wires:

On the red wire install one piece of the gray shrink tube (this wire now becomes gray). On the pink wire install a green piece of shrink tube (this wire now becomes green). Move the green and gray shrink tube back so about 10 mm of the old wire color shows. This insures that when you put the adhesive shrink tube on it forms a waterproof seal between the original wire and the shrink tube. Use your heat gun and shrink the gray and green shrink tube on the two wires with this shrink tube.

 

 

You can now move on to installing a new connector. Crimp a butt splice on all 3 wires on a new pigtail with the yellow band. Crimp the butt splice in the middle. This allows more solder to flow on to the wires in the next step. Install three black shrink tubes (one on each wire) on the three old wires from the harness. Don’t forget to install the 3 shrink tubes before crimping on the new pigtails. It is easy to forget to do this. Matching the colors (gray, green, blue) butt splice the new plug with the yellow band to the old factory wiring harness. Solder the butt splices and install the shrink tubes with a heat gun.


 

 

 Add the short piece of split convoluted black tube to cover the new wires. Wrap the ends of the split convoluted tubes with black electrical tape:

 

You can now install the passenger side headlight bucket back into your Fiero. Tighten the two nuts on the top of the bracket by hand. Now use the tool in your variable speed drill and turn the top knob to lift the headlight bucket all the way up or most of the way up. Be careful you do not hit the end of the travel forcefully. It may damage the headlight motor. Tighten the bottom nuts holding the passenger side headlight bucket to the chassis with a socket wrench. The headlight will still be in the up position. Use the variable speed drill and lower the bucket all the way or most of the way. Tighten the top nuts with a socket or wrench.

Coat the inside of both connectors with some dieletric grease included in the kit. Plug in the headlight motor to the wiring harness. Tie wrap the harness so it is not in the way of the movement of the headlight bucket when in use. Use a tie wrap and go thru both holes where the old relay mounted to and tie the wire loom in place as it goes upward. Plug in the headlight bulb routing the wire thru the square opening. Close the black plastic wire holder for the headlight bulb convoluted tube. You are now done with the passenger side.You are finished with the passenger side.

 

 

 

 

Step four: On to the drivers side. Wiring in the new headlight motor controller:

 

Unbolt the isolation relay from the steel side wall and cut all 6 the wires going to the isolation relay. Set it aside. It is no longer needed. It is on the drivers side just ahead of the trunk on the vertical steel side wall. It has 6 wires going to it. Pink, blue, blue with a white tracer, yellow, white and black. Cut the plastic connectors off all 6 wires that went to the isolation relay about an inch from the plastic plugs.

 

 

Open the large black plastic wire harness clamp just under where the isolation relay used to be. This allows you to lift this large bundle of wires up so you can work on them. Remove all the black tape around the wiring harness just below where the isolation relay was mounted. This can be somewhat difficult to do so take your time. Use a razor blade if need be but do not cut into the plastic tube or the wires inside the tube. With the black tape removed from the harness pull the large black convoluted tube off the wires about 6” towards the front of the car exposing the wires inside.

 

 

 

In this large bunch of wires there are 2 small diameter red wires and one large diameter red wire. The next step below is instructions on cutting these two small red wires. You will be cutting the 2 small diameter red wires. Do not cut the large diameter red wire.

Pull the 2 small diameter red wires out some. Cut both small diameter red wires at about 5” from the rubber firewall plug. You will now have 2 small diameter red wires coming from the trunk area and 2 small red wires going into the harness going towards the front of the car. Leave these wires as they are for now. You will work on these wires later (one red wire going towards the front will be removed in the next step).

 

 

Step 5: Modify the wires that originally went to the drivers side headlight motor:

 

Next you will work on the wire harness that originally went to the drivers side headlight motor. Cut the larger plastic plug off the wires that originally went to the drivers side headlight motor and relay. The wire colors going to the drivers side headlight motor plugs are: pink, pink, red, and black. There is no need to cut the blue wire.

 

 

Pull the red and blue wire out of the wiring harness. Because the wires to the isolation relay have been cut the red and blue wires will both pull out of the wiring harness. Discard the red and blue wire. You will not be using this red and blue wire.

 


 

Cut and additional 1 1/2” off of one pink wire.

 

Strip both pink wires 5/16” (8 mm). Install a piece of shrink tube on one pink wire. Butt splice the two pink wires together. Crimp near the outer ends of the crimps. Solder the butt splice. Center the shrink tube and, using a heat gun, shrink the heat tube until some clear sealant comes out of both ends.

Fold the pink wires. Cutting them at unequal lengths allows you to bend them like this.

 

Cut the black wire back about 2 1/2". Crimp a red end cap on the end of the black wire. The black wire is not used. (see note below)

Note: As I have pointed out above this is one of the black ground wires that should be used to create an additional grounding point. Crimp and solder on one of the small eyelets, drill a hole in the chassis, use a tek screw and attach it to the steel chassis.

Tuck all these wires back into the black convoluted tube.  NOTE: The wiring harness to the drivers side headlight motor will now come out of the new controller you will install later.

NOTE:  This is one thing in the installation process I want to change. The new controller mounts just above this harness. Because there is a somewhat limited amount of room for the additional wires in a additional convoluted tube that would be tie wrapped to this convoluted tube in this area I want to change the installation so that the new wires coming out of the new controller (you will see this controller farther down in the installation instructions) go into the factory convoluted tube shown in the picture above. When we did the third installation we noticed the headlight just lightly touched the new convoluted tube we added when the headlight was in the full down position. You will notice GM put a circular notch in the steel chassis here to get that harness lower. To eliminate that clearance problem the wires coming out of the new controller will go inside this factory convoluted tube.

 

 

Step six: Change the color of two wires on the harness wires going towards the radiator:

You now have three loose cut wires coming out of the large wiring harness that was below the isolation relay that go towards the front of the car (one red was removed). These are blue with a white tracer, pink and red (one red was removed in the previous step). Cut these three loose wires so they are all the same length.

   

 

Strip the ends of all three of these wires about 5/16” (8 mm). On the red wire install one piece of gray shrink tube making this now a gray wire. On the pink wire install a green piece of shrink tube making this now a green wire. Move the green and gray shrink tube back so about 10 mm of the old wire color shows. This insures that when you put the adhesive shrink tube on it forms a waterproof seal between the original wire and the shrink tube. Use your heat gun and shrink the gray and green shrink tube on the two wires with this shrink tube. Be careful to not melt any plastic items while doing this.

 

 

Step seven: Working on and installing the new headlight motor controller unit:

Do this on your workbench. Install the new plug with the yellow band on the three short wires coming out of the new controller (gray, green and blue): Again strip the ends about 5/16” or 8 mm. Install 3 pieces of shrink tube (one on each wire). Crimp and solder these three wires. Center the shrink tube and, using a heat gun, shrink them until a small amount of clear adhesives comes out of both ends.

 

 Cut a short piece of the convoluted tube and put it on these wires. Tape the ends.

 

On the new controller (do this also on your work bench): You have 2 bundles of long wires coming out of the new controller. Green, blue, gray and red, red, white and yellow. In the kit are two long heat shrink tubes. Install one of these long heat shrink tubes on each bundle of these long wires pushing it up to touch the plastic controller box. The larger diameter tube goes on the four wire bunble and the smaller diameter tube goes on the three wire bundle. Use your heat shrink gun and shrink these heat shrink tubes. Be careful near the plastic box. It does no take a lot of heat to start melting the black plastic controller box. It is probably a good idea to not shrink the last inch or so as you get near the box.

 

 

 

NOTE: For the first few to install this kit you need to determine these wire lengths and shrink tube lengths. The red, red, yellow and white should be about the right length. The gray, blue and green should be several inches shorter than the red, red, white and yellow bundle. Maybe install the headlight bucket to see where the new controller sits then work on the wire lengths needed. Once those lengths are determined I'll cut them to the right length on every kit. The long shrink tubes will also be the correct length.

 

 

You now work on the factory harness where you cut the wires to the isolation relay: You have four loose cut wires coming out of the original wiring harness coming from the trunk near the large black rubber grommet. Red, red, yellow and white. Cut them so they are all the same length.

Strip the ends of all the long colored wires (leave the black ground wires for later) on the new controller about 5/16” (8 mm). These would be red, red, white, yellow. Gray, green and blue. Crimp a butt splice on each of these long 7 colored wires (again towards the ends so the solder has more space).

Lay the new controller on the floor by the wiring harness. Install a piece of shrink tube on all 7 colored wires. Crimp the wires to the existing harness wires matching the colors.

Do not forget to install a piece of shrink tube before you crimp the wires together!

The reds can go to either red. It does not matter which.

Solder the butt splices and heat shrink the heat shrink tubes on all 7 wires.

 

All the long wires to the new controller are now connected to the original factory wiring harness wires.

NOTE: This is a picture from my last install. In your install these long wires from the controller will be in black shrink tubing. 


Cut the black wire so it comes out of the rubber grommet about 2". Crimp a red cap on it. This wire is not used. (see note below)

Note: As I have pointed out above this is one of the black ground wires that should be used to create an additional grounding point. Crimp and solder on one of the small eyelets, drill a hole in the chassis, use a tek screw and attach it to the steel chassis.

 

Along the way the wiring harness can be wrapped in electrical tape. At this point we only did the first 5-6".

NOTE: This is a picture from my last install. In your install these long wires from the controller will be in black shrink tubing.

 

 

 

Step eight: Routing the wires from the controller via the factory wiring harness:

You now need to route the wires from the new controller thru the factory convoluted tube. My first installs we put these wires new wires from the controller in convoluted tubes and tie wrapped them to the factory wiring harness convoluted tube. But when the drivers side headlight bucket was in the full down position it slightly touched this new convoluted tube. To eliminated this my design has changed to this.

Enter the convoluted tube at about the same location the original drivers side headlight motor wires exited. Unclamp the three black plastic clamps. Wrap some black tape around the convoluted tube where the new wire bundles enter the convoluted tube.

NOTE: The picture below is a factory wiring harness I have on hand. It has not been cut. That is why you still see the drivers side headlight plugs and wires in this picture. As the first few install their kits I hope to get some better pictures here.

These 2 wire bundles can now exit the factory wiring harness near the front of the car. There is a lot of room here. Wrap some black tape around the convoluted tube.

 

Tie wrap the 2 bundles to the factory convoluted tube and finish wrapping the harness in electrical tape. Put the harness back in the black plastic holder under where the isolation relay used to be.

 

 

Step nine: Installing the two black ground wires:

Find 2 locations for the 2 black ground wires. This system only required one ground wire. To help insure the system works well long term I decided to incorporate 2 ground wires. They should go to 2 different locations. Make sure the spots they go to are well cleaned (sand if need be). To help long term grease the ends well to prevent any corrosion. Silicone grease is preferred.

On this install we choose to use two the bolts that hold the radiator steel bracket to the chassis. The wire lengths needed to do this are 7" and 9 1/2". We crimped on the large eyelets and soldered them before installing them on these two bolts.

To keep the longer black ground wire down so the headlight bucket would not grab it we had to use a tie wrap as shown.

I have included a few different ring terminals to use for these two black ground wires in the kit. When you have determined your ground locations crimp and solder on the rings terminals. We put the headlight bucket in and out a few times to determine wires lengths.

 

Step 10: Finishing up:

It is now time to install the drivers side headlight bucket. Put the drivers side headlight motor back in place. Install the two top nuts and finger tighten them. Use the special tool and raise the headlight to the full up or mostly full up position. Tighten the two bottom nuts. Use the special tool and lower the headlight bucket and tighten the two top nuts.

Bolt the new controller to the metal bracket included in the kit. Do not overtighten the nylock nuts as the Allen head screws may pull into the black plastic controller case.

Bolt the new headlight controller to the headlight bucket:

 

Route the headlight bulb wire thru the opening and connect it to the headlight bulb. Put the loom back into the black plastic harness clip. 

 

To hold the wire to the drivers side headlight motor in place we tie wraped it like this. I'm going to make a change to the steel mounting bracket so there are places to tie wrap this in place.

 

 

Final check:

Now check your work. Make sure no wires are in any place that they may get caught on a headlight bucket as it goes up and down.

Tie wrap any wires as needed.

Make sure you have removed all your tools etc.

 

 

Attach the battery cable(s) and test your new system:

Make sure no one is near the headlight buckets and reconnect your battery. As you are connecting your battery the headlight motors will spin a small amount. They will be energized because they can not open the limit switches until they are run in the the opposite direction. They need some inetria to work properly. So soon after you connect the battery push your headlight swich to the on position.

 

Turn the headlights off and on and check to be sure both go up and down correctly. You can check to make sure the contacts in the headlight motors open when full open and full closed because the knobs will lift or fall when they hit full open and full closed. Check my Utube video on my web page that shows that.

 

 

 

Reinstall the front hood if you removed it.

 

Congratulations. You now have headlight motors that work as good as new!

  

 

 

This web page is now mostly complete.  I'm sure as time goes by myself and others will find things that may help in this installation web page. I'm sure I'll be adding/changing things in the future.

 

NOTE:  I would still like to install one more kit in someone's 84-86 Fiero. If you are willing to drive to my house just south of Milwaukee, WI let me know. It would be N/C.

 

This product was updated on Saturday 24 June, 2017.
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