68 full-size Monterery Park Lane headlight headaches!
June 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm #4640
Brand new to the club this week, but own 6 classic Mercurys, I will submit pics to the club website/magazine soon. Right now I am losing my mind over loose headlight mountings on my 68 Monterey. The headlights on this car are held in place by the two bolts/screws that also serve as the headlight aim adjusters. Each light has two metal bolts that screw into two “sockets” that wedge into the panel behind the headlight buckets. Most of my screws/bolts have solidified into a useless glob of rusted metal and can’t turn to adjust them. And I can’t find proper-fitting exact-replacements local or online. I bought 7 different similar-looking replacements for other makes/models at local auto parts stores…some come close to fitting, but, do not fit tightly enough in the panel behind the headlight buckets…..the headlights pop out on the first bump you hit. The car is virtually un-driveable right now, with the headlights cockeyed and/or hanging out by the wires. Does anybody have a lead on a source for the proper headlight adjustment screws/bolts and sockets/nuts for the 68 full-size Mercury Monterey, Park Lane, etc. ? Thanks much!June 22, 2016 at 4:28 pm #4642
Wayne & Judy MillerParticipant
It sounds like you are missing some pieces or at the least they are worn out . I can’t speak for 68’s but I have experience with 65-66 fullsize . They have screws that attach the headlight bucket to the grill , with a ring that goes around the headlight to hold it in the bucket . Then there are some separate screws that are used to adjust where the beam goes . It sounds like your spring steel nut that you screw into is worn out and it not holding the bolt . You can usually find those replacements at the hardware store . Also the best thing you can do is go out and purchase a Mercury repair manual for your year of each of your cars . Cost $25-$40 each , but well worth it . Let me know how it goes and Good Luck .June 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm #4643
Wayne & Judy, Thanks for checking in on this….I wish my 68 was set-up like the 65-66. Unfortunately, in 68, the metal bucket mounts to a backing plate that runs behind the grill via the 2 adjuster screws. The little stainless trim ring just holds the bulb in the bucket via 2 screws, and, a coil spring that mounts to the backing plate and loops through the trim ring. In the original design, the metal adjuster screws thread into a threaded metal insert. All of the replacement types I can find now have a threaded PLASTIC insert(reminds me of the plastic inserts modern cars have to mount the license plate screws into the car body)….which doesn’t fit snugly into the backing plate and pops out, and/or the metal bolt strips the threaded plastic insert. All my local and online sources say the exact Ford part is no longer available, and, I am trying anything/everything on the replacement market, to no avail. I busted up the seized/rusted original screws and bolts/sockets trying to adjust the headlights, and, now, my bulbs are drooping out the front of the car, held on by the wires, making the car illegal to drive. I’m ready to slap in a bunch of butyl and epoxy and hope for the best! Any ideas welcome!
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