BoxheadTim UberDork
Sept. 9, 2012 8:55 p.m.

My '95 is suffering from a wobbly passenger side headlight. Hit a pothole or similar and the light flops up and down. Further investigation reveals that the ball joint that connects the "lift" lever and the stubby lever on the motor has a lot of play in it. I guess that's another side effect of the PO stuffing the car under/into a bush.

Anyway, does anybody know if I can just replace that lever with its two ball joints or do I have to go hunt for a complete pop-up light assembly? Anybody got a used passenger side one cluttering up their garage?

EvanB UberDork
Sept. 9, 2012 11:14 p.m.

I am interested in the answer too. The bushing on my driver side headlight is gone. I have it zip-tied now so the lever doesn't pop off but it still bounces around a bit.

BoxheadTim UberDork
Sept. 10, 2012 1:02 p.m.

Anybody? Before I wander off and ask on a Miata forum?

EvanB UberDork
Sept. 10, 2012 1:19 p.m.

There are forums just for Miatas?

Woody MegaDork
Sept. 10, 2012 1:41 p.m.

I may still have a spare driver's side, but I won't be able to check until tomorrow. A part like that may interchange from side to side.

Keith Tanner MegaDork
Sept. 10, 2012 1:52 p.m.

Ask a Mazda dealer, not a Miata forum. Because a Mazda dealer can not only answer your question, but also order the part

You can order just the bushing. Mazda Competition says it's KA01-51-SD6 and it costs $2.32 if you have an account with them.

BoxheadTim UberDork
Sept. 10, 2012 2:02 p.m.

I have been at the local Mazda dealer. There is a reason I tend to order parts from Arlington Mazda or Jim Ellis and ask on for advice on Miata forums .

Of course the other option would have been to check the parts diagram that some dealers kindly put online as it would have shown me that both the rod and the bushings are indeed available separately.

Nothing to see here, move along...

EvanB UberDork
Sept. 10, 2012 2:12 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: You can order just the bushing. Mazda Competition says it's KA01-51-SD6 and it costs $2.32 if you have an account with them.

Why didn't I think of that before? Now I just have to remember next time I order something.

BoxheadTim UberDork
Sept. 10, 2012 2:15 p.m.

Here's the parts diagram for the headlight retractor:

BoxheadTim PowerDork
Oct. 4, 2012 7:17 p.m.

Quick update - the headlight motor quite a lot of play at the arm and in its gearbox so I ended up springing for a used motor. Which so far doesn't appear to have cured the problem, but a new connecting rod with the two plastic bushings is winging its way over here, too.

Unfortunately it looks like whole headlamp popup frame also has play in it, but I'll have to look at that once I took out the play from the lift mechanism.

Note to self, don't buy cars that other people stuffed into the scenery.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
Oct. 8, 2012 9:57 a.m.

What a palaver, but it looks like I finally fixed the problem.

After replacing the worn motor and the rod, freed up all the adjusters that the previous owner had painted over and then adjusted the position of the stubby arm on the motor itself so that the headlight would extend fully when the motor thought it was "up", it appears that I now have a less wobbly headlight.

My guess is that the PO's failure to adjust the various moving bits such that the headlight actually sat against the stops both in up and down position just accelerated the wear in the motor and rods.

Dec. 2, 2012 7:16 a.m.

Thanks Keith. Once again your advice has help clarify the issue. Now have a 1990 Mariner Blue that I have been fixing up. Have had the issue with the shaky drivers side headlamp for a while but could not figure out where the issue was. Well last night the headlamp dropped while driving some back roads with another Miata friend and discovered the cap had popped off the motor connection. This morning the diagrams were not helping me much and finally found this thread with your reply.

Don Reese

mad_machine MegaDork
Dec. 2, 2012 11:21 a.m.

I can't add to the Miata bits.. but I remember the 914 I had.. something got caught in the passengerside headlight unbeknownst to me. Got home, shut the car off, and went in. Next morning.. passengerside light is still up. Clean out the junk (was a piece of branch) and turn the lights on.. driver's side comes up.. passengerside goes down.. turn them off.. the process reverses.. passengerside up.. driver's down.

Had to unhook the motor from the power and cycle the lights once again to fix the problem

Keith Tanner MegaDork
Dec. 2, 2012 11:51 a.m.

Glad it helped, Don.

I've heard that if you repeatedly press the Miata retractor button fast enough, you can get the lights to start moving out of sync. They'll go back to normal when you stop screwing around, but it's pretty funny to watch.

car39 HalfDork
Dec. 2, 2012 11:56 a.m.

It's great once you get them out of synch. A lot of fun on a cool down lap and get's the corner workers laughing

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