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jerryasi

Headlight Bucket

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So I've restored my 1972 2002 headlight buckets (zinc plate and new fasteners) only to find when coupled with the new grills & core support I bought back in 2000, (BMW Mobile Tradition) are the deep bucket (euro) variety, so what US bucket can I use that will push the headlight out flush with grill? W&N show a Hella bucket that looks taller but is a $700 solution. Help! Jerry

bucket close up left grill.jpg

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Jerry, if you have an early '72 with the "deep grilles"* (they have asymmetric headlamp retainer rings), the headlights will look recessed.  That's the way they are.  Those headlight buckets are specifically made for US sealed beam headlights and are different from the Euro buckets.

 

During the 1972 production year, the factory switched to "shallow grilles"* which have symmetrical headlamp retainers.  They locate the headlight beam almost flush with the surround that's part of the grille.  However, the difference in position is all grille; the buckets are the same for all US cars originally fitted with sealed beams.  

 

mike

 

*  check archives for side-by-side pictures of a deep and shallow grille.  The difference is subtle but quite obvious when compared side-by-side.

 

PS--from your picture it appears you have deep grilles but shallow grill headlight retainers.  Again, check archives for pictures that show the difference between grilles and retainers.

Edited by mike
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I had offered them to a friend, but just checked with him and he found another set; so these can be yours, if they will solve your problem.

 

I see we've discussed this problem a bit already, here


Send me a PM if you are interested in these.

 

BUT, read this thread first.  Tsingtao_1903 found a solution that looks promising

Tom

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3 hours ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

I am not exactly sure how these tapered parts fit, but they were used to fill the gap that Mike described.

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Jerry,

 

Assuming you have U.S. headlight buckets — which came in only one depth from 1966 to 1976, “deep” and “shallow” being solely grille differences (photo below of deep and shallow grilles) — here’s how the asymmetric filler rings work. These rings — now perhaps missing from the majority of deep grille installations (in the U.S., 1966 through mid-1972 models) — are a spring fit within the headlight retaining rings (the retaining rings are the metal rims secured by three screws).

 

1. Find a pair of the asymmetric filler rings.

2. Remove your existing retaining rings.

3. Compress the asymmetric filler rings and insert them into the retaining rings (each has a small lip that helps lock them together).

4. Re-install the retaining rings, which are now assembled with the asymmetric filler rings.

 

The second photo below shows the retaining ring (background) and asymmetric filler ring (foreground), before the two are assembled.

 

The widest (fattest?) part of the asymmetric filler should be located where the grille-to-headlight gap is largest. Fitting these pieces correctly was always a pain in the ass, which is why lots of owners simply left them off. This particular asymmetric filler ring still has most of the gray gasket designed to flexibly fill that last bit of “gap”.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

 

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Edited by Conserv
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15 hours ago, Conserv said:

These rings — now perhaps missing from the majority of deep grille installations (in the U.S., 1966 through mid-1972 models) — are a spring fit within the headlight retaining rings

Ya learn something every day.  I've had the headlight retainer rings off my '69 many times, and never knew the asymmetric rings weren't permanently fastened to the actual retainer rings.  Mine always came off in one piece and never separated.  I just had to remember which was the left and which the right.  Wonder if they were originally glued together. 

 

BTW, the grey gasket pictured in your last picture can be replaced with the grey vinyl sweep that's made for the bottom of shower doors.  One shower door gasket will do 3 or 4 headlight rims.

 

mike

Edited by mike
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