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How do you replace the headlight bulb located on a 2001 Dodge Dakota?


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2011-03-16 21:22:20
2011-03-16 21:22:20

Folks, I just came in from the garage after changing the passenger headlamp in less than 15 minutes from the time I stepped into the garage, until I returned to the refrigerator...

Particulars: 2001 Dodge Dakota Sport (all the Dakotas are the same from late 1990's to 2001--check out the ads for replacement headlight assemblies).

Tools needed:

nitrile gloves - keeps oils off the new bulb.

T-10 torx driver at least 3 inches long.

10mm socket and 1/4" drive with looong extension (6" min).

Flashlight.

Procedure (works on either side):

1. Raise hood.

2. Loosen the rubber flashing on the engine side of the light assembly--pop the grommets out.

3. Remove T-10 (Torx) screw located at the intersection of the up-side down "T" created by the turn signal, parking light, and headlamp.

4. Wiggle out the "L" shaped turn signal/parking light assembly.

5. Remove 3 - 10mm screws holding the main headlight assembly. Two are under the assembly, and one is in-board toward the engine.

NOTE: The alignment screws are never touched in this process so the headlight will go back in exactly the same location as before--no aiming required.

6. In the outside corner of the headlight assembly is a swivel that functions with the aiming screws. It has to be popped out of socket. A gentle outward tug is all that is required.

7. Rotate the locking collar on the lamp, remove the lamp from the lens.

8. Remove the lamp from the wiring harness by releasing the two tabs on the top of the lamp.

9. Replace with a new lamp--if you have nitrile gloves on, you won't contaminate the bulb, but I still hold the lamp with a paper towel to be extra sure.

10. Fit lamp into lens and rotate collar to lock in place.

11. Replace 3 - 10 mm screws--take care to place the parking light and turn signal harness in the center between the two bottom screws. They fit under the headlight support frame.

12. Slide turn signal/parking light "L" assembly back in place - note there are alignment slots on the side and across the top of this assembly.

13. Replace T-10 Torx screw.

14. Close hood.

15. Admire work.

16. Clean up and put the tools back!

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