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Dodge Ram: Replace a Headlamp

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November 29, 2006: I've learned how to replace a headlamp in my 2004, Dodge Ram pickup. If you have been following my adventures, you know that I had a Thanksgiving mishap where I lost my drivers side headlight. Three bolts connect the headlight assemble to the frame
  One bolt is located on the bottom, outside edge of the assembly.
Headlight assembly removed Although the whole headlight assembly needs to be replaced, it is still usable and I have no idea when the repairs will be completed so I need to replace the broken headlamp
now. I searched the Internet for instructions and finally wrote to an automotive forum looking for advice of how to change the bulb. The only reply I got was one saying, "I don't know". I figured it out on my own. There are only three bolts connecting the headlight assembly to the frame. Two on the inside edge, see the top photo, and one below, and behind the outer edge of the assembly, see the second photo. You will need a star screwdriver and for the outside edge, you'll need a longer shank on the screwdriver to reach between the assembly and the bumper trim. Once these three bolts are removed, the assembly can be pulled forward and the two wire harnesses can be unpluged from the assembly. Now you can easily change either the turn signal bulb or headlamp.
November 30, 2006: If you are just changing a bulb, once you replace the assembly into the frame, you are finished. In my case, the plastic lens was broken in the Thanksgiving collision so I must temporarily replace the missing plastic lens. In my previous report of the accident I estimated the repairs at $2000-$3000. The body shop has given us a price of $2300 ... pretty good guess on my part. headlight assembly is removed
Using clear tape to replace the broken plastic lens I have some 4 inch wide clear packaging tape which I'm using to replace the plastic lens. The bulb must be kept dry or it will explode. Several layers of the 4 inch tape works well to replace the lens.
Once the assembly is reinstalled, the truck has two headlights again. Headlight is working again
Free Car rental from State Farm December 5, 2006: Late last week I got a call from State Farm, the insurance carrier for the driver who lost control in front of me while returning from Thanksgiving. "We are accepting 100% responsibility" the adjuster said. Deliver your vehicle to a body shop and we will take care of it and have a rental car for you while it is repaired. I love State Farm! So, I'm driving a Ford for a few days this week.
I specifically told the body shop I did not want to start the repair until January unless they could guarantee me it would be completed before Friday, this week. We are leaving for Arizona on Saturday and the truck damage is not so bad, we could drive without problems. They swore they could easily have it completed before Friday, so now I have the Ford. I don't think we could even get up the driveway pulling with the Ford so hopefully the truck will be back to it's handsome self before Friday.
December 7, 2006: Look at this beautiful truck. I took the truck to her after our Thanksgiving mishap. Anita has fixed it to better than new. In fact, it hasn't looked this good since we picked it up from the dealer. No more dents and a brand new headlight assembly. I delivered the truck to Anita on Monday and she worked hard all week finishing it up Anita and Dale in front of the repaired truck
exactly when she said she would, on Thursday. Anita works for New Stage Collision (if you click this link, you will be disappointed in the New Stage Webpage ... Anita ... if you need help with this, let me know once I return from Arizona) in Medford. The bill she will give to State Farm amounts to $2618.50, that was $1641.35 in parts and the rest is labor. When I delivered the truck on Monday, Anita called Hertz for me. Hertz brought me the Ford (above). When I picked up the truck, Hertz picked up the Ford. Thank you to Anita and State Farm for making life easy during the repair.
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