DIY - Headlight Vertical Adjustment Rod Repair (Golden Rod Repair) - Corvette Forum : Corvette Forums
Go Back   Corvette Forum : Corvette Forums > TECH Exchange > Articles - Body
Register Forums Garage Garage Mark Forums Read Auto EscrowInsurance Advertise


Articles - Body Body, electrical, interior, etc.

Custom Image Corvettes
A&A Corvette
Corvette tuner

Corvette aftermarket products


Parts & Products
Race Ramps
Melrose Motorsports
Parts Taxi
Pfadt Racing
Madvette Motorsports
Hi-tech Custom Concepts
Corvette Garage
Corvette Parts and Accessories
Corvette Car Care Products
Corvette HID

Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Corvette driving school

Cray Wheels

Thread Tools
Old 09-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
DC Crew
Junkman2008's Avatar
Posts: 30,448
Member #71977
Member since: Apr 2008
Location: Louisville, KY

My Corvette(s)
2001 Navy Blue Metallic Coupe

Thanks: 281
Thanked 883 Times in 703 Posts
DIY - Headlight Vertical Adjustment Rod Repair (Golden Rod Repair)

There are a lot of people who are in this boat.

You attempt to adjust your headlights and the first adjustment you attempt to make is the vertical adjustment. You get the right sized Torx bit, stick it into the adjusting rod and begin to turn. At first it's kinda stubborn, but then it gives and easily begins to turn. Then you realize what really happened: You just busted your golden rod.

Here's the bad news. You are probably going to have to buy another headlight. That rod is not a part that is normally sold separately. There are vendors who sell the entire assemble, just the lens, or just the headlight bracket. However, I have never seen just the "golden rod" for sell by itself...until now. Thus, you're probably looking at $700 for a new headlight, or anywhere from $250 and up for a used one..

Now here's the exception. There's a guy out of Florida named Art who did at one time sell these rods by themselves for $18. That's right, eighteen smackaroonies. I was doing endless searches through old threads and stumbled upon a post that gave a link directly to the item. I immediately got on the horn and gave him a call. Real nice guy who loves to talk! He explained to me that he use to frequent all of the Chevy dealers in his area and collected all of the broken Corvette headlights that they had tossed in the garbage. He would then disassemble them and sell the parts because you couldn't buy individual parts for the headlights. For the guys lucky enough to find him, it was a blessing. However, he no longer can do this.

Apparently, GM got upset and made him quit selling these rods as separate units. Because of this, he no longer can get them. I was lucky in that he had about 3 left. Once these are gone, that's it (I think that's what he said).

With that said, you may still be in luck if you can find a damaged headlight. I would do like Art did and check with your local Corvette dealer (mainly their garbage cans). You may just luck up and retrieve a headlight with the rod intact. If you do, this is the info you'll want to know.

Here's a shot of the assembly:

It is held on to the headlight assembly by 2 screws, which are not real easy to get to. I first had to remove the light housing (3 10mm bolts), and then I had to remove the bolts that held the adjusting bracket onto the assembly.

The other thing that was a major PITA was getting my old assembly out of that bracket. I must have fooled with it for hours before I just pulled it out of the assembly. I don't know if my wiggling it for hours caused the thing to come free or if I was just too scared to pull on it in the first place (probably the latter). Anyway, it finally came out and the new one went in rather easily.

If you are lucky enough to get a hold of just the adjusting rod, then installing it should make sense because this is not something a not so mechanically inclined person would try. Because I have had my headlights in and out of my ride so many times, I'm rather comfortable with working on them. If not for that, I probably would have just bought another headlight as I was planning to do anyway.

One thing that I did figure out that may benefit a lot of folks here is how the adjusting rod assembly is put together. Had I known this, I might have just replaced the rod only. That's right, you can replace just the golden rod! Look at these pictures below. They show how the assembly comes apart.

Removing the white headed screw will allow you to pry the assembly open.

This picture shows exactly where you should shoot some PB Blaster in order to free the assembly so that you don't bust it when attempting to make any adjustments.

As you can see by this picture, the shaft is removable! If you can get a shaft, then you can replace your broken one.

One thing I forgot to add to this post is the way I freed up my seized passenger side headlight. I tried shooting PB Blaster into the adjusting mechanism while the light was still in the car. I wiggled the adjusting rod back and forth for hours but that thing wouldn't break free for anything. I then went ahead and removed the entire assembly (which is what I should have done at first) and then tried to free it using the wiggle method. It still didn't work.

Well while looking at the assembly, I noticed something about the way it is designed. Instead of trying to free the adjustment assembly using the golden rod, I removed the bulb enclosure section of the headlight and used a Torx bit to free up the adjusting assembly. Look at the picture below:

So get your dumpster diving cloths on, it's time to go fishing. Don't bother with the dealerships in Louisville, I got them all covered. As a matter of fact, you just might open a dumpster lid and see me jump out looking like the cookie monster.

I now have a fully adjustable "golden rod" again. That was really rubbing my nerves the wrong way. Another fix that didn't include the Corvette tax.

That's all folks!

Last edited by Junkman2008; 10-11-2012 at 08:29 AM.
Junkman2008 is offline   Reply w/quote Quick reply to this message
"Marines - Making the other guy die for his country for over 200 years."
The Following User Says Thank You to Junkman2008 For This Useful Post:
sansbup (02-29-2016)
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Corvette Forum : Corvette Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (12 CHARACTERS MAXIMUM), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
City / State / Country?
Where you live
What kind of Corvette(s) do you own?
This field is not required.
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003-2011, - All Rights Reserved