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Author Topic: Replacing headlight  (Read 1972 times)

Mike Shumack

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Replacing headlight
« on: November 18, 2018, 06:42:04 PM »
I replaced the driver side headlight today, and though I would share a few photos and some info, in case anyone is interested.

My 2005 PT uses Lincoln Navigator headlight assemblies. I purchased OEM Ford assemblies because of all the complaints about poor quality of the aftermarket headlights. I bought one new and one from salvage yard. It's very difficult to find any of these new (new old stock) now, so if you want OEM headlights you will probably be looking at salvage yard parts.

1) The first step is to remove the old headlight. On the '05 PT the air conditioning evaporator and fan is mounted directly under the left headlight, so that needs to be unbolted and dropped down (there is enough ac hose slack so that no hoses need to be undone). I just unbolted it and set one end on the ground. Then remove the four nuts from the mounting studs. (Picture 00).

The old headlight was half full of water (later pictures show why). (picture 01).

2) I unplugged the wires from headlight, but afterwards found that there is enough wire slack to let you pull headlight out and then unplug everything. (Picture 01).

3) With old headlight on the bench, I could get a look at the backside. it was covered with construction adhesive and had several cracks. I cut away the adhesive to expose retaining brackets. (Picture 03).

4) After removing the brackets, I saw the reason for all the water in the housing. A huge hole! (Picture 04).

5) Removed both brackets and cleaned them up for reuse. (Picture 05)
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 06:54:33 PM »
Part 2:

The new headlight assemblies require some modifications (trimming) to fit the Beaver.

6) Picture 06 shows the brackets installed (there are two plastic retainers on each side of the housing. The aluminum brackets slide into the retainers then a second aluminum piece sits on top of the first preventing the bracket from sliding back out).

7) The first piece to be trimmed is on the inside edge of housing. The stock headlight housing juts out on the inside top edge. This part needs to be cut off so the entire inside edge is flush to lens. I used a hacksaw, then fine trimmed with a dremel tool. (Picture 08 and 09).

8) On the other side of housing, there was a cover that fits over bulb that I need to trim one rib off of. it was barely touching the edge fiberglass hole in the coach body preventing the headlight from fitting in. (Picture 10).

9) Lastly, I had to trim the black plastic "wing" that sits above the lens. I used the dremel tool to cut this off flush with the top of lens. (picture 11).

10) With all the trimming done and few test fits, I was able to reinstall. tested all lights, then remounted AC evaporator.

Left side done - I expect right side will be easier to remove since there is not an much in the way. then just do the same trimming as needed on the other headlight.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
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Lee Welbanks

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 11:02:16 PM »
Mike,
I replaced the bulbs in my headlights to high powered led's last spring and wholly crap are they bright. Had a broken driving light from a rock, so I replaced those with some really bright LED's and these things light up the countryside. I drive with them on all the time and if they can't see me coming they have a problem.
Also did the same with the backup lights. So now all the lights in/on the coach are led's.
I wonder if you light assy are the same as mine?
Lee, Judy  & Pepper
06 Beaver Patriot Thunder
Wilmington IV 40
525 Cat, 4K Allison
2013 Honda CRV

Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 11:26:18 PM »
One odd thing about the way Beaver setup these lights - as you can see if the photos, there is a "level" on the top of the headlight housing so you can adjust the light beam to be level based on suspension settings. But the way these headlights are installed on the Beaver that level is not visible.
So we have to adjust the old fashioned way, by shining the beam against a wall and using a measuring tape.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift

Rick Kirchner

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 07:01:35 AM »
take the levels off your old headlights and mount them on the bottom of the new ones.  then you can adjust by looking at them with a mirror or a camera phone.
Rick Kirchner
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 11:09:05 AM »
Hi Rick, that suggestion won't work on the '05 Beaver. The headlight assembly fits into a "pocket" or "notch" molded into the fiberglass front cap. So you can't see any of the headlight assembly once it's installed . If you look at the photo (#3) with the wires hanging out you of that "pocket" can see what I mean. I suppose I could drill a 2" hole in the fiberglass at top of that pocket over the level and use a mirror to look at it from underneath.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift

Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 12:37:58 PM »
Mike,
I replaced the bulbs in my headlights to high powered led's last spring and wholly crap are they bright.
...
I wonder if you light assy are the same as mine?

Lee, what make/model LED bulb did you use. I hear some of the cheaper ones are not very good.

Regarding the headlight assembly, my coach uses the 1998-2001 Lincoln Navigator (p/n XL7Z-13008-BA left, and XL7Z-13008-AA right). on the lens the SAE number is AHR15P2P-98NR.  I don't when Beaver started or stopped using the Navigator headlight, but you should be able to tell if you have it by comparing the shape of your headlight to mine.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 02:17:37 PM »
A question came up regarding the modification of the "1998-2001 Lincoln Navigator" headlight assemblies to fit the 2005 Beaver Patriot. This may be similar for other Beaver models that use this headlight assembly.
I am adding these three photos with some additional detail. You can always PM or e-mail me if you want more info.
I hope this helps.

Edit: I forgot something in the third photo so had to redo.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 04:18:39 PM by Mike Shumack »
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
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Stan Simpson

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 02:56:57 PM »
Great information, Mike. Wish me luck on doing this. My niece's husband is a body-man, so he's going to help.
Stan Simpson & Becky Glover & Moe the cat
2005 Monterey Laguna IV
C9 400 Cat
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 04:13:18 PM »
I would be interested to know if your headlight assembly/installation looked like mine.

My original headlights installation job doesn't look like a professional did it (can't be a Beaver factory) with all the goop on it and the screws running onto the housing allowing for future water intrusion (i.e. holes were drilled in the housing for the "phillips head bolts and the hex head bolts to thread into). There is no good reason to drill into the back of the housing.   

I think a previous owner replaced the headlights and just didn't have the tools or (maybe skill/desire) to do the job correctly.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift

Jeff Prupis

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 07:53:23 PM »
Ordered ours off Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IC5G0GW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) Paid mobile tech $200 to install both. To me (with 2 left hands) time is money.
La Dolce Vita
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Bill Lampkin

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 10:46:01 PM »
Lee, Can you let us know what were the LED headlight replacements you installed on your coach? I'm guessing they are replacements for the 9007 bulbs. I've heard good and bad about LED headlight replacements, sounds like yours worked out well.
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 12:58:16 PM »
I probably shouldn't post this as I don't want to worry anyone that is using aftermarket headlights - but Daniel Stern a well respected lighting/optics consultant, posted this statement about the poor quality of the aftermarket lights on his website. http://www.danielsternlighting.com/about/about.html

It may not matter, because in many cases you can't get the OEM headlight assemblies anymore as they have been out of production for too long and OEM stock is gone. But IMO, if you can get OEM (and it will cost a little more) its worth it. If they're not available, then a new "clear" aftermarket lens is still better than a dull cloudy yellowed OEM lens.


EDIT: oddly, that information/comment is no longer on the Daniel Stern website. You can still read the article here https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/04/piston-slap-stern-talkin-oem-headlamps/ if you are interested.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 02:18:37 PM by Mike Shumack »
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift

Doug Allman

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Re: Replacing headlight
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 04:17:29 PM »
Totally agree with Mike and the article, because I have been their victim when changing the headlamp assemblies on the 2004 Marquis. The only reason they were somewhat better was because the OLD Lincoln assemblies were so bad. Candles was a bad descriptive narrative for how they worked going down a roadway.

OEM is always more costly but if it is not available you have few choices other than getting a new coach.
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