Head lamp replacement

Disassembly: words and pictures by Tim Woolcott.
Reassembly: words and pictures by Rob Bell


Headlamps may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons, from accident damage, to replacing lamps whose inner dipped beam diffuser lens has yellowed. These instructions can also be used where headlamps are to be disassembled for painting (a la Trophy 160) or for sending the reflectors away for re-silvering (these instructions can be found here).

These instructions are also useful for those contemplating removing the front bumper on an MGF, or indeed planning to replace the front grilles

Parts required:
  • 2 headlamp assemblies ( approx. 70 each new)
  Tools required:
  • 10mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • Philips screwdrivers
  • Stubby Philips screwdriver would also be handy.
  • Large Flat screwdriver
  • Approximately 45 minutes  - a spare pair of hand can be useful.
DSC00647.jpg (17100 bytes)Picture opposite shows (although not too clearly) the difference between good, new and old, 'milky' lenses on the left and right of the picture respectively.

Read more about milky/misty MGF head lamps here.

1 Remove indicators with flat screwdriver to carefully prise open the catch that retains the indicator lens in position. You can use a cloth to protect the bumper paintwork if necessary. DSC00644.jpg (17138 bytes)
2 Unbolt two 10mm bolt on top of each headlamp. DSC00646.jpg (21830 bytes)
3 Remove 5 Philips head screws along the leading edge of the bumper under the bonnet (two of these screws are shown arrowed, opposite). DSC00648.jpg (30470 bytes)
4 Remove large bolts inside the indicator recesses 17mm socket with extension piece. (opposite). DSC00654.jpg (15057 bytes)
5 Remove two screws holding bumper to wheel arch protecting cover... DSC00649.jpg (17202 bytes)
6 ... and then peel back the black plastic inner liner to reveal two screws located behind the bumper. DSC00651.jpg (16900 bytes)
7 Completely remove the screw nearest the wheel (out of shot, but arrowed) and loosen the screw pictured deeper inside the bumper (vertical arrow, opposite).

Repeat steps 6 & 7 for the other side.

DSC00652.jpg (19513 bytes)
8 The bumper can now be removed.
9 Undo Philips screw on side of headlamp assembly (opposite).



DSC00655.jpg (22121 bytes)
10 Release the wires on the back of the headlamp by pressing down on the plastic release on the connector.

DSC00656.jpg (47382 bytes)

I've also included a picture showing the inside of the bumper grills for those wanting to change the standard black grilles for Trophy or Abingdon-style stainless steel items. The multiple locating self-tapping screws are arrowed, opposite.

1 Re-fitting of the head lamps to the car is effectively the reverse of the disassembly instructions. However, there are a couple of areas to highlight. First is illustrated opposite, right. When replacing the headlamp bowl, note the location of the rectangular locator hole on the front cross member - this is circled on the image, right.
2 This corresponds with a locator lug on the base of the headlamp assembly. Ensure that it slips in to the hole, or else the headlamp will not sit correctly when the whole bumper assembly is replaced.
3 When the bumper has been replaced onto the car, all that remains is to check the headlamp arrangement - a garage door or wall is ideal for this process - as indeed are dark ambient light conditions!