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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I'm preparing to assemble all the bits that complete a GTV6 grille before long. Though I'd get some input before I got too deep into this.

I apologize for the dumb question...
Two of the headlight buckets have round studs. And, two have flat studs protruding. These rest in the sliding plastic adjusters (2 slides set up for round, and two for flat). Not sure why all 4 weren't the same? Are there details on these buckets that are specific to high and low sealed beams, to prevent you from putting them on backwards?

I can put the plastic slides in any arrangement. So... do the round studs on the metal buckets go outboard, or inboard? Or, does that even matter?

I have all the parts for that project. I want to sand blast and paint the buckets, and will need to remove one broken adjuster screw (in the metal cones) on each grille to get fully usable plastic grilles ready. Just wanted a little more input on those details, before diving in with both feet. Hopefully, I can create 2 very complete grille assemblies when I'm done. One to save aside for my project car. And one to swap into my summer ride (as my mechanic doesn't want to try adjusting the headlights, and risk snapping off another of those fragile adjusting screws).

If I turn a grille over to my ALFA mechanic to swap out for the one in there now... will I be doing him a favor by delivering the grille, buckets, sealed beams, chrome rings, and adjusting screws, in one complete piece? Or, for the sake of his mounting process, does he have to go back and take some of that apart?

Thanks in advance for any past experience you can contribute.
Peter
 

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Peter, maybe Mike can chime in here, but recalling the work we did on his car, I'd suggest you deliver the grille, etc. in pieces. And we sprayed the adjusters with silicone lube, also, not WD40 or similar. As far as getting all that stuff to work right again, cleanliness is next to godliness, as the old saying goes. If its clean, with new screws, and lubed, it will work fine. I don't think there are any differences in the plastic slides, but I'd want others to chime in here and verify that for sure.

Hope that helps you in that project.
 

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Peter
The buckets are right and left handed since the grille is L-R mirror imaged - I think that's the answer to your question, if it helps I can send you photos. Where the adjuster screws are rusted in it's likely that the metal insert in the plastic will break loose; you can repair this using an epoxied rivet nut M5.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Loco and Dermot !!

I've been collecting all 3 versions of the adjusting screws, and kept them soaking in a jar with penetrating oil. Since those are so slender and fragile, I though it might even be wise to go get taps and dies to clean up the threads on the screws (and in the 4 metal cones). Also, was considering gooping them up with a protective layer of lithium grease to coat any threads that might be exposed after assembly. But, as Loco suggested, there could be differences that may be better options. I'll lean toward the silicone lube, based on your recommendation.

I also have a good collection of the other bits to select the best for my two grilles. Most of the grilles I've disassembled had 2 plastic slides with round holes, and 2 with flat rectangular holes. These interact with the studs on the buckets. Logically, without starting assembly, it would seem that I could replace all 4 with the round stud setup. But, then I might find out that there are details, where the detent cutouts on the buckets interface with the lugs on the back of the sealed beams, which are specific to high and low beams?? I guess a quick trial assembly might answer that.

Dermot had mentioned that the buckets have details that make them left and right side specific. That's a question that hadn't even occurred to me yet. So, knowing that should help me in making more sense of all this. Guess I should have left one grille complete to use for reference, huh!

On my two frozen broken studs... barely enough left to get Vise Grips on to help wrestle them out. I had soaked those down good with penetrating oil. Then, thought I might give them a couple smacks with a hammer on the very tips, to help loosen any remaining corrosion that may work against me. And give them another heavy soak before getting out the Vise Grips.

Dermot--- Thank you for the pix. I'll send an e-mail shortly to follow up.

Peter
 

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When I redid my grill, some of the adjuster screws were already rusted and broken off or the heads were mauled, so I drilled them all out and retapped them to slightly larger for some stainless steel screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As others may have similar questions... I'll try to get a few pix to show the round vs flat studs. And the corresponding plastic slides, to show.
 

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Peter, we in fact did have to remove a broken stud or two, and we did just what you are doing, including carefully chasing the old thread with a tap. We had new SS screws also to use which basically eliminates future corrosion. The heads can always be painted black, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks Bill and Loco,

I like your idea of replacing the stock adjusting screws with Stainless Steel versions. As each headlight has 3 different screws (w/ spring, w/ C-clip, and one w/ no extra features)... did you just replace the one for the metal cone (as that's the one that causes all the problems)? Or, all three? Seldom a problem with the 2 that go into plastic.

Since those are extra fragile because of their slenderness... I can see the wisdom in going with a larger screw size.

Did you have any trouble locating SS screws in that diameter and length? The trouble-making screw doesn't have the spring head, or the groove for the C-clip... so that one should be the easiest to find. I do have a specialized fastener shop up the road. So, that would be a better place to start looking than at Home Depot.
 

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Yes, Peter-- that's the screw I'm talking about... the stock-standard screw with no machining nor spring. Got them from an industrial fastener supply here locally. In fact, I replaced the little colored plastic screws in my Spider park lamp lenses with SS also... years ago.

BTW-- I'll send you a photo of a beautiful red 6 painted the way Mike envisions his car, since we were discussing this last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, Peter-- that's the screw I'm talking about... the stock-standard screw with no machining nor spring. Got them from an industrial fastener supply here locally. In fact, I replaced the little colored plastic screws in my Spider park lamp lenses with SS also... years ago.

BTW-- I'll send you a photo of a beautiful red 6 painted the way Mike envisions his car, since we were discussing this last year.
Thanks Dave,
As I have a specialized fastener supplier across town, that gives me hope that if I show up with one of those spaghetti-thin screws to match, he won't break out giggling and point me to the door I came in.

Good call on the screws for your Spider, too. GTV6s came with those amber plastic screws. But, when it comes time to change a light bulb, the plastic usually snaps. Leaving a blockage in the threaded hole to be drilled and tapped, to save the pod. I found some allen-head SS screws that were a perfect thread size, and head size to fill the lens recess. Painted the heads orange. Looks as good as the amber plastic ones... and zero issues when they need to come back out.

The color theme for your son's GTV6 will surely turn some heads... and maybe cause an accident or two!

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Guys,

I think I should have enough of the 3 screw designs, as I've collected all the ones worth saving from several grilles. But, now that I have your sources for new ones, I may want some even better ones as I get in deeper.

If they aren't broken, they're often bent. Or the heads are bunged up, making them tricky to get a screwdriver or socket good purchase when adjusting.

Peter
 

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I have a set of the screws Highwood sells, though I actually bought them from OKP. But I just ordered a set of the stainless screws too.

I'm going to run the stainless ones on the car and put the other set in my "OEM Stuff" box where I keep the stuff needed to bring the car back to bone stock.
 

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Buon giorno, tutti
Bringing this thread back to life with a question for y'all...

Based on this thread, there appear to be 3 screws for each bucket. My outboard headlamps are "wobbly".. They behave as if they're attached only at the top, like there is a screw missing at the bottom... yet I can see a screw present. The screw has some effect when adjusted, but it lets go - so my assessment is the screw has stripped whatever material it screws into. Based on other manufacturers designs, it is typically a plastic insert that receives the screw. Is this the case on our GTV6's? Not easy to see anything in there.

Besides new screws are there new 'receivers' available? Or is that a salvage yard part? I'll see if I can get the screw out, because maybe the screw itself is worn/corroded to nothing and the screw's threads stripped, not the plastic insert.

Grazie,
- Art
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That lower screw goes into a sliding plastic piece that affects the up and down adjustment. The sliding bit seems to be a polypropylene-type plastic that's easily replaced on the grille. So the metal screw may have stripped out the plastic female threads. As the slider has two thin flanges that hold it onto the grille, one or both of those flanges may have snapped off. No idea if new slides are available. But you should be able to find used ones out there. The design is simple enough that you could have new ones machined, if that's required.

If you start disassembling your grille... make sure you note the location of everything coming off. The 4 headlight buckets are 4 different parts. And those 3 screws per headlight are each different too. On the 4 top inboard adjuster screws, those go into metal cones (not plastic like the other 2). Those 4 often freeze up from the metal interaction... so be extra gently when trying to remove those. Thin, fragile, and like to snap off. So if you have to remove those, you may want to soak them with penetrating oil and let them soak before trying to remove.

If you need more tips on that process, you can e-mail me and I can send pix to show the arrangement. I have an extra grille and all the small bits set aside for my project GTV6. So not a big deal.

Good luck with your headlight repair,
Peter
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A quick note I forgot to add is on the 4 buckets. On two of the buckets are round pegs that go into round holes on the plastic slides. On the other two buckets are flat blades that go into flat slots on the slides. From the sets I have, the round hole sliders are black plastic, and the flat slotted ones are white. But that's not always the case. On the buckets, there are 3 positions for the adjusting screws. The buckets with the spring attached always goes in the top outboard corner. The pegs on the buckets that go into the slides always points 45 degrees to the inboard. So that's why there are 4 different buckets.

The notches on the buckets that accept the lugs on the headlights will help you sort that out if you mix things up. So high and low beam headlights have to match the buckets. Basic--- High/Low beams (2C1) go outboard on the grille. And the High Only (1C1) lamps are inboard. I can't seem to find my notes on if the round pegs are inboard or outboard, at the moment. But from the above, you should be able to let the headlamps resolve that from the other tips above.

The plastic female nut in the outboard top position is a small square replaceable piece. Can be popped out when the screw is no present. The two plastic bits per lamp (slide and this one) are molded in a less brittle plastic than the grille. More easily accepting screw threads without asking for fracturing.

I made the mistake of taking mine apart without knowing to mark the components as they came out. Making notes of this is highly suggested, as too many bits are specific to their location and orientation. I had to pick several brains and do extra experimenting to get this all straight for myself. Hope this saves some of you the worries I had.
 

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Grazie,
I'm hoping to not have to open up too much, but thank you for the useful detail and "lessons learned".
I'll get into it this fall, along with a headlight relay upgrade, and report back.
- Art
 
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