My Euro Light Install... 7/5/03... by Aaron Loynes
First, a big thank you to Dan Payson for letting me spend half the day in his pole barn working on this project... I had the lights for over 2 years and because I had a convenient place to install them, I finally did it!
First, I got my directions from www.merkurencyclopedia.com on how to install the lights - sounded super easy! Then I went out and picked up a few minor parts, and headed over to get to work!
First step is easy... remove the stock headlights! We ran into a problem on this very easy step - when trying to unbolt the headlights from the bulkheads we found that the bolts were just turning and the nuts were not coming off... easily solved though, we unclipped the headlights from their bolts, and tried again - came off OK after that with some PB Blaster, and some pulling to rip off the pesky last bolt on each one. Removing the parking lamp proved to be more of a challange, until I pulled out the hammer and just broke them off. Final result ended up looking something like this:
(Click Image for larger version)
After removing the headlights, I noticed that the drivers side had a little bit of rust... after poking at it a bit, I realized the whole thing was rusted through!!
I was not real happy about that revelation... but not much to do about it now... - if you look close you can see my power steering cooler that I made from a transmission cooler in the hole...
Next I removed my air filter/VAM setup and the washer fluid bottle to make room for the much larger euro lamps...
Euro Lights with stock lights and air filter/VAM laying near them.
Next we consulted the MerkurEncyclopedia pages I printed out... and Dan began using a chisel and hammer to bust out the spot welds, while I used my drill to drill out the easily accessable ones - making my car look a lot like swiss cheese. The I took a Sawzall to the bulkhead and cut it along the inside corner and with a bit of work we got the pieces pulled out. Next came the hammer - bashed the headlight support (near the radiator) over toward the center of the car, and back a bit to make room for the aiming controls on the euro lamps. Sanded down the rust, and painted the right side with black spraypaint... here is what it looked like then... notice the nice bend to the center supports near the radiator - very sexy!
Next I trial fit the light on the right... it didn't fit... so more work with the BFH (Big Freakin Hammer) and a bit more paint - things fit well - the top bracket fit perfectly where it was supposed to, and that was all I was concerned about, because I didn't have brackets yet for the lower part.
So then I moved on to the drivers side to take a closer look at the rust that was eating away at the metal... After a bit of wire brushing and sanding I decided it was a lost cause... Here is what it looked like before I performed Surgery:
I decided I needed to perform a "rustectomy" so I pulled out the Sawzall again and chopped away...
(Now you get a really nice view of the rusted old lines from the old power steering cooler that I didn't take off)
At this point I was pretty happy that I had removed the really bad rust - and made plans to repair the missing metal in the future... so I sanded the remaining rust down some more and applied a coat of black spraypaint... then bashed it with a hammer some more... painted again... and so on until it came out like this:
Here is the view of both sides ready to install lights:
Close Up of passenger side for comparison:
Then I test fit the lights a few more times... with the grille in place and made adjustments as necessary... Nothing exciting there... so no pictures...
Next step was to wire up the lights... extremely easy - I just snipped the wires off of the stock headlight harnesses - and soldered them to the corresponding wires on the euro light harness. For the parking light on the euro harness I soldered the parking lamp wire in... and capped off the end of the stock parking light ground wire. Put shrink tubing around the soldered points... and taped it all together to look neat.
My "euro" wiring harnesses were missing the wire for the long range driving lights... so I am waiting for a set of them from Cliff Walton (thank you!) before I hook them up... but I wired them up to be controlled by a spare foglamp switch in the "cruise control" switch position. For a relay, I bought a "fog light" relay kit that comes with all the necessary parts - I also bough an inline fuse holder for the power line from the battery to the relay - everything is almost ready with that - I just need to get the wires for the lights.
So then it was time to figure out how I was going to mount the lights to the car - for some reason I hadn't thought of that yet in the 2 years I had been planning it - I assumed there would be a bolt already there... There isn't. Luckily Dan had a big box of nuts and bolts and I found 2 perfect sized bolts/nuts with washers and used those to bolt the lights in by the top bracket. Here is a shot of the drivers side light. In keeping with the tradition of rust on that side of the car, I forgot to sand/paint the mounting bracket on that side.
Next I attached the passenger side light as you can see here:
Here is a photo with the grille in place:
You may notice that I have stickers and writing on the lenses still... good observation... Here is a close-up of the sticker:
I realized at this poing that the washer fluid bottle wouldn't be able to be attached to its bracket anymore... since I had to cut it out... (forgot to mention that part)... so Dan gave me an older model bottle to install - which I will install later. For the time being I have to original bottle in its original location attached with just the top screw - which seems to work fine.
Here are some pictures of the car in the barn after the install:
Engine from the drivers side
Engine from passengers side
My newly redone air intake - I am going to reroute my boost control valve to be mounted inside the cabin... and I am going to be getting either a Forge or a Bailey bypass valve soon...
Here are the pics at home: