Join Date: Nov 2005
Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Hi Jiwawa - Well do some really thorough investigation first. On my Frankia, the company fibre-glassed the headlight mounting plate into position, so it is impossible to remove the assembly with the three light assemblies (main beam + running light, dipped beam, indicator), rather each has to be done one by one. What is missing is a compression tool that could be used to compress the plastic clips that both act as the holder for the ball-ends of the adjuster and the method for holding the lamp assembly in place in three places (Frankia fitted it with three beam angle adjusters). What I did was to open up the beam adjusters to the full extent, so that the lamp became more inboard. This enabled me to work a flat-headed screwdriver behind the clip collar. Basically I had to break the clips one by one starting with the most accessible (the two topmost adjusters). I was then able to swing the assembly down and out of the way, to enable me to access the third clip. Eventually I freed the lamp assembly so I could replace it (my wife vetoed spending £60 on two new lamp assemblies) or in this case try to remove the rust on the reflector, in the event I tried to use metal cleaner wadding which ended up covering the inside of the lamp with a film of polish that took ages to remove.
Refitting involved replacing the three adjusters with parts from ebay (see picture). Here I discovered just how devilish Hella designers are. Each adjuster works by a threaded rod inserted through a nylon retainer which fits into the lamp assembly by the most awful system. The retaining clip has three "wings". These wings fit through the lamp assembly and lock in place by turning the retainer until a lug clicks into place in a slot. It took super-human strength to do this and many tears of frustration.
To refit the lamp I first fittd those compression clips using just hamd pressure then after position the lamp in place, I used a hammer to give a sharp tap on the end of each adjuster until they clicked into place in the metal mounting. The final clip was really tricky as the design of the Frankia meant there was space to swing the hammer to give that sharp tap. In the end I got all three fixings in place, but I would be loathe to tackle this again without a special tool to compress the plastic clips. I think the smallest size worm drive clip might be useful, but I could not source one locally. The problem with my method was that the plastic clips become brittle so as soon as I got the screwdriver behing the ring the clip broke, and nice tool to go around the ring and compress it would make this job so much easier.
If i do the job again, I would not replace the beam adjuster bolt assemblies, but buy just the plastic retaining clips - cheaper and easier.