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Author Topic: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations  (Read 1134 times)

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Fierofool

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Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« on: October 18, 2011, 09:33:31 PM »
This article is to show some of the variations you may encounter if you decide to rebuild Generation 1 (84-86) Fiero headlight motors.  It also verifies some suspicions I’ve had about the motors and their components.

First, to identify the Generation 1 motors, look for a large flat wheel on the top of the motor.  Some will have 2 small holes in the top, similar to what a dowel pin might fit into.  Some will be smooth on the top.  I believe the holes may have been used to position components during motor manufacture.
 

The Generation 2 used in the 87 and 88 Fieros has a small cone shaped wheel on the top.  This article doesn’t deal with that style motor.

Upon disassembly of two outwardly identical motors from the same Fiero, I found different internal components.  I’m sure one had been transplanted from another vehicle, since it had some paint marker writings on it, possibly identifying the salvage yard it came from.

Having prepared to rebuild the set, I ordered a Generation 1 rebuild kit for two motors.  This kit includes 2 gears, bump stops, case reassembly screws and nuts and clips for attaching the mechanism arms. 

After drilling and removing the case rivets, I opened the motor to find the usual green junk that previously had been the internal bump stops.  I also found a large gear with stripped teeth.  This was likely the reason the headlight wouldn’t lift unless given a little manual help to get it started.

I also found that the small gear was plastic.  This is the first time I’ve encountered a small gear that wasn’t metal.  So, it was discarded in favor of a more durable metal gear and a new large nylon gear.  Instead of installing the Four rubber bump stops that came with the rebuild kit, I installed a material of my own. 

These bump stops are what commonly come in the Generation 1 rebuild kits.  They’re about .375 inch long by .375 inch diameter and install inside the large gear on opposite sides of the center.  The ones shown here were removed from a previous rebuild when I couldn’t get the motors to stop Ticking.  I found that the drive plate had compressed the sides of the pieces.  They’ve been removed for about 3 weeks and they still haven’t returned to their original shape. 
 

The gears were all lubed with a synthetic disk brake slider grease before reassembly.  It’s a high temp grease and is safe for plastics, so it won’t cause the gears to disintegrate.  Then the motor was reassembled and installed into the car.  It worked the first time with no ‘Ticking’ as I encountered when I used the Four supplied bump stops shown above. 

Then I turned my attention to the second motor, disassembling in the same manner as the first.  Upon opening I found something entirely different than I’ve ever seen.  The small plastic gear had straight cut teeth, as did the large plastic gear.  The first motor used the small gear on the right.  Both it and the large gear had angle cut teeth. 

 
The small gear on the left and the large center gear are from the second motor, which probably is original to the car.  The small gear on the right is from the first motor which I believe to be a replacement motor.  You can see the straight cut of the left and center gears.  Current rebuild kits have angle cut teeth, so, even though the center gear was good, the only small gear I had was steel and angle cut, so the second large gear from the rebuild kit was used.

For a long time, I have suspected that the original bump stops weren’t of the design that we commonly get with the various Generation 1 rebuild kits that are available today.  I’ve been playing with some ideas which include casting pieces in poly urethane. 

Instead of the green crumbs, this is what I found underneath the drive plate of the large gear.  These are cast pieces and are the original factory bump stops.  In my opinion this is a much better design than the round O-ring material that’s currently available with the rebuild kits. 
 

 

These pieces straddle the ribs of the large gear with the drive plate keeping them captured.  They are a tight fit against the wheel and the drive plate, so there’s no slop or bounce of the headlight assembly. 

 
If you rebuild your Generation 1 headlight motors and find that the motors continue to try to run, I have bump stops available for $5 per motor or $8 for two motors.  Postage not included.   
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 06:16:41 PM by Fierofool »
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Donster

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 09:32:47 AM »
I'll be rebuilding one on the 84 and one on the 85, having issues with each. Will let you know how they are once I'm done.
Which rebuild kit do you recommend?

\D

« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 04:44:59 AM by The Don »

Donster

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 04:45:20 AM »
Nix the above statement. Shanine's will have priority, neither motors work, so I'll be rebuilding hers first. Again, any recommendation on the rebuild kit?

\D

Fierofool

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 08:49:48 AM »
No recommendations, but just an observation. 

There are two kits available.  One from The Fiero Store which has a plastic gear, rubber bump stops, clips, and screws but no lubricant.  The other is from Rodney Dickman includes the same hardware, an anodized aluminum gear and a packet of lubricant. 

I haven't used Rodney's metal gear kit, but I have used other components from the kit.  The lubricant is a clear silicone grease.  In my application, the grease melted and ran out of the motor.  Of course, you can substitute another grease and still use all the other parts of the kit. 

All the complete rebuild kits I've used have been from The Fiero Store.  The problem I've had with them is that the motor keeps reactivating and twitching.  The motor can become very hot if power remains connected.  The solution I found was to replace the rubber bump stops.

The plastic gears degrade over the years and will eventually break.  Usually the teeth strip off at the point where the rotation stops and the motor screw gear has to exert tremendous torque to activate the limiter switch points.  I believe most of the stripped teeth are because the original bump stops have crumbled and there's nothing to absorb the shock when the motor reaches it's up or down limit.  The anodized aluminum gears probably won't strip.  Should something go wrong in the motor, the weakest link in the system will be the part destroyed and it's up to you as to what you want to replace and what parts will be available. 
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in here illegally, if you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government,
you live in a country run by idiots.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 08:29:09 AM »
This article is to show some of the variations you may encounter if you decide to rebuild Generation 1 (84-86) Fiero headlight motors.  It also verifies some suspicions I

Where is the article, and why are some posts cut off, like this?

Fierofool

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 06:45:53 PM »
This thread may have been brought from the old board.  I know Pat wasn't able to transfer everything. 
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in here illegally, if you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government,
you live in a country run by idiots.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 06:48:56 PM »
I did a Google search, but didn't find anything like this.

Drewbdo

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 01:55:28 PM »
No recommendations, but just an observation. 

There are two kits available.  One from The Fiero Store which has a plastic gear, rubber bump stops, clips, and screws but no lubricant.  The other is from Rodney Dickman includes the same hardware, an anodized aluminum gear and a packet of lubricant. 

I haven't used Rodney's metal gear kit, but I have used other components from the kit.  The lubricant is a clear silicone grease.  In my application, the grease melted and ran out of the motor.  Of course, you can substitute another grease and still use all the other parts of the kit. 

All the complete rebuild kits I've used have been from The Fiero Store.  The problem I've had with them is that the motor keeps reactivating and twitching.  The motor can become very hot if power remains connected.  The solution I found was to replace the rubber bump stops.

The plastic gears degrade over the years and will eventually break.  Usually the teeth strip off at the point where the rotation stops and the motor screw gear has to exert tremendous torque to activate the limiter switch points.  I believe most of the stripped teeth are because the original bump stops have crumbled and there's nothing to absorb the shock when the motor reaches it's up or down limit.  The anodized aluminum gears probably won't strip.  Should something go wrong in the motor, the weakest link in the system will be the part destroyed and it's up to you as to what you want to replace and what parts will be available.

Going back to this point... I'm thinking about installing pop-ups on my car. I purchased the headlight bracket and pivot mechanism, which holds the light and bolts to the car. I haven't purchased the motor or bumpstops yet.

Is there a company which still makes the motors, or are they all originals or rebuilds at this point?

Drewbdo

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 02:06:50 PM »
Just found some Cardone motors listed on Summit. I may look into those if I go back with pop-ups.

Fierofool

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 06:20:22 PM »
I found my article in my files and edited it into the first post. 
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in here illegally, if you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government,
you live in a country run by idiots.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 06:27:07 PM »
Cool!  Thanks.

Drewbdo

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 11:00:10 AM »
I found my article in my files and edited it into the first post.

Nice! Thank you Charlie!  :)

Fierofool

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2017, 11:43:04 AM »
Converting from flushmounts to pop-ups depends upon whether your original harness is still intact.  Cardone motors for both sides are available.  The one major item that's eliminated when installing flushmounts is the solid state relay used in the Generation 2 systems.  That module lists for $675 at The Fiero Store.  Do some long range planning before starting the switch.  By that I mean check your harness for anything cut out and missing and find the parts in a junk yard or a complete system on the forums. 
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in here illegally, if you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government,
you live in a country run by idiots.

Drewbdo

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 01:02:25 PM »
Converting from flushmounts to pop-ups depends upon whether your original harness is still intact.  Cardone motors for both sides are available.  The one major item that's eliminated when installing flushmounts is the solid state relay used in the Generation 2 systems.  That module lists for $675 at The Fiero Store.  Do some long range planning before starting the switch.  By that I mean check your harness for anything cut out and missing and find the parts in a junk yard or a complete system on the forums.

Wowzers! $675 ?! Before ordering anything, I'll wait until I get your expert eyeballs on the car, so you can see if I'm missing anything.

Going back to the bumpstops... I agree, the second version looks much better engineered, rather than those little round bits. Are there any companies still making the improved bumpstops?

Fierofool

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Re: Generation 1 Headlight Motor Variations
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2017, 01:56:05 PM »
The only persons selling replacement parts for the Fiero headlight motors is Rodney Dickman, The Fiero Store and Fiero John or Jon is a reseller of those.  I think he gets his stuff from The Fiero Store.

I have my upgraded bumpstops that replace the black Viton rubber bump stops.  They're of a different material that won't degrade and are of a slightly higher durometer than what Rodney Dickman or The Fiero Store provides, but they're still soft enough to absorb the shock.  Generation 2 motors utilize an entirely different bumpstop of a much harder material. 

I have done urethane casting in many years past and have considered having molds made from the originals that I have, then cast new urethane bumpstops of the original design.  My only mass outlet for them would be through The Fiero Store since Rodney's gears don't utilize the spoke design of the plastic gears. 
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in here illegally, if you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government,
you live in a country run by idiots.