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JDaniel's Avatar
 
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Angry Stumped by a simple rubber thingy! Headlight Gaskets?

In my pursuit of p-car anal retentiveness I decided to install a set of headlight ring gaskets. These are the little rubber/foam pieces that sit between the headlight rings and the fender/bucket. I noticed them on several cars last year and wondered why they were missing on mine.
Now I know.
What a PITA to install. I spent an hour last night trying to figure out what direction the gasket fits in best. The only direction I could come up with... was in the trash. The gasket fits around the opening OK, but I can't get the retaining screw on the bottom of the ring to line up.
Do I need a special $400 tool? Is there a trick, or a secret? Can these only be successfully installed by factory trained elves? Perhaps I should follow the PO's lead and just leave them off...

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Dan Tolley
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Old 04-19-2002, 05:40 AM
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If remember correctly, the cross-section of these gaskets is somewhat U-shaped and should press onto the rim of the headlight bucket and stay there while you finagle the trim ring into place. If not, maybe you have the wrong gasket? Sounds like the trouble you're having is in getting the screw lined up and threaded properly, which can be tricky, but not THAT tricky. I don't have any tip other than to play with different angles of approach for that retaining screw to avoid stripping the threads. It should go easy once you get the right angle, and if you meet much resistance turning the screw, back off and try again. Wish I could help more. Good luck.
Old 04-19-2002, 05:57 AM
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bondaddy's right. The angle of the retaining screw is not what you think it is. i.e. not 90 degreees to the rim. It's a bi*ch to get in. With new gaskets, you have to push down on the top of the headlight rim while trying to line up and place the screw in by hand first. If you don't do it right, 3 things will happen. 1- you'll strip the threads and 2- you'll scratch the paint with a screw driver. 3- you'll trash the phillips slots on the screw. Ask me how I know.

Try putting the screw in without the headlite first just to see and learn how it angles in.
Old 04-19-2002, 06:12 AM
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The angle is pretty odd. I may actually have to ask someone to help me with this one. Funny how something so simple, can be so difficult.
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Old 04-19-2002, 06:25 AM
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Well, actually, the cross-section of the new gasket is shaped like a capital letter 'L' and there are two ways to put it on ... and maybe you should try the 'long' leg into the groove in the bucket.

Also, remember that the OEM retaining screw is chrome-plated brass ... so you don't want to strip it. Practice with the headlamp assembly removed ... until you have the angle correct!
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Old 04-19-2002, 06:37 AM
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Dan,

I can identify with your frustration. Those retaining rings are a pain to get on sometimes. Also frustrating is the attempt of putting on the rubber seal. Stretch it too much and it'll rip. Been there. Like alan911 said, you have to push down (quite hard) on the top of the ring while you're inserting the screw. If you don't keep pushing until the screw is seated, the ring will most likely pop off of it's mountings.

The replacement screws I rec'd from Porsche were not the chrome plated type as described by Warren (still have the semi-rounded out originals which are the chromies). They might be black phosphate coated, but i'm only going by memory here at work. I do know they're black. Wow, am I smart or what? Not trying to correct Warren, just asking if these might be less prone to stripping? Probably not. Just a different coating I guess?
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Old 04-19-2002, 09:35 AM
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Dan-
the rubber gaskets are a PITA to install, but usefull nonethess in keeping road 'stuff' from your headlight buckets. As Warren said, try playing with different 'legs' - they should fit once properly aligned.

Be careful not to stretch it too hard - it will break at the glue point (ask me how I know that!). You must get the top of the headlight trim clipped on first and then press down. And as others have said, the screw angle is not 90 degrees in, so a dry run definitely helps.

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Old 04-19-2002, 10:23 AM
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