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Old 10-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #1
Big Grouch
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Headlight door problem

1998 convertible, 38,000 miles. My first Vette, owned 3 months. Last night I found the left headlight door wouldn't open. I opened the hood and manually opened the door with the knob. Shut lights off, it closed as normal. Lights on, again no open. Several attempts manually opening, closed normally and stayed closed.
The Weatherpack connector looked good, sprayed a little contact cleaner in it anyway. The white plastic bump stops are all in place and seemed good, I reversed them anyway. I'm assuming since the manual knob opens the door the plastic gear is still good. I'm also assuming since the door closes fine, the motor is good. Not getting the ratcheting noise I've heard about on closing, nor am I getting the door closing then opening on it's own I read about in a TSB.
How about it Vette aficionados, what am I missing? Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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... I'm assuming since the manual knob opens the door the plastic gear is still good....
And there is where you would be wrong. You need to inspect that gear and replace it while you're there. Your year car has screws holding the motor together so it's a lot easier to replace YOUR gear compared to 2001 - 2004 models.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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And there is where you would be wrong. You need to inspect that gear and replace it while you're there. Your year car has screws holding the motor together so it's a lot easier to replace YOUR gear compared to 2001 - 2004 models.
Educate me...if the gear is bad, wouldn't the knob spin when turning the lights on? It doesn't. I've seen your advice on this forum and am certainly not second guessing you, perhaps I didn't give enough information. Thank you.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:34 PM   #4
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I saw a post somewhere a couple years ago that identified a misalignment in the linkage as a main culprit and the repair being a couple thin washers but I can't find it.

Junk have you ever seen this?
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:03 PM   #5
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Educate me...if the gear is bad, wouldn't the knob spin when turning the lights on? It doesn't. I've seen your advice on this forum and am certainly not second guessing you, perhaps I didn't give enough information. Thank you.
Your gear is in the first stages of failure. Trust me, it will start making the grinding noise after you manually raise it enough times. When It does, make sure that you update this thread with that information. It's a common failure and other people in your shoes will benefit from the information.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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I saw a post somewhere a couple years ago that identified a misalignment in the linkage as a main culprit and the repair being a couple thin washers but I can't find it.

Junk have you ever seen this?
That's a different issue. There's a TSB out on that.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:06 PM   #7
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OK sorry I mentioned it
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:47 PM   #8
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Junkman is right. One of my lights on my 98 was doing the same thing. Just put a new gear and rubber insert and it will be like new. I had to adjust the screw and locknut on the front of mine to give the sensor or whatever its called, more resistance to that once it was up or down, it would stop trying to go further. If it trys to keep running, it could strip out the new gear. That is, unless you put a metal one in it, which I did not.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:15 AM   #9
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I wouldn't waste any time doing this repair without a brass or metal gear. You'll just end up doing it again some day if you are going to keep your car.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:28 AM   #10
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You are probably right there. I just found an aluminum gear that does not have the rubber insert in it. Seems to be the better route. The guy used to make them out of brass.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:50 PM   #11
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How did the aluminum gear work out?
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:24 PM   #12
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Have not bought them yet. I have an original gear,, and a new plastic gear in the car right now. They work great right now,, and you know what they say!! If it aint broke, dont f,,, with it. I honestly believe that if you keep tension on that worm gear, with that adjustment, you wont strip the gears so easily. I think that when that motor trys to overtravel, thats when you really wear on that plastic gear. I could be wrong,, but thats my take on it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:18 PM   #13
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Mine doesn't make any noise at all, the left door just doesn't open every now and then
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:32 PM   #14
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Just buy the metal gears and be done with it. 1998s are easy to take apart and fix. If you want to buy just one plastic gear, make sure that you buy the rubber insert for it also. Good Luck
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