Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby redbear7938 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:57 pm

I âm replacing all my rear lights with LEDs. A simple project except for my right rear trunk light. Two of the acorn nuts spin but do not come off the bolt embedded in the plastic of the taillight module. I think they are broke out of the plastic and spinning as I spin the nut with my nut driver. Has anyone had this issue or a solution to offer? Thanks!

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Re: Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby tfdeputydawg » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:17 am

You need help with someone pulling on the lamp as you slowly turn the nuts. The studs should then back out of the housing! Then you can grip the studs and remove the nuts.
Use a good adhesive when reinstalling the studs into the housings and you should be good to go!

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Re: Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby newday777 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:25 am

Putva little pressure on the bolts with a thin screwdriver between the light and the saddlebag or tourpac then try gently turning the nut.

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Re: Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:09 am

The studs have little ridges, and the plastic of the light is molded around the studs, so that the plastic (ABS) prevents the studs from turning. Owners remove the lights, and when they reinstall them, they crank the acorn nuts too tight, which breaks the plastic holding the ridges in place, so that the stud turns.

First thing to try is what has already been suggested - try pulling the light outward while turning the nut, to try to get the ridges on the stud to "bite" into the plastic and prevent it from turning.

If that doesn't work, take a soldering iron or gun and place it against the nut. Allow it to heat the nut and stud. The idea is to heat the stud enough that the plastic in which it is embedded softens. Then allow it to cool and harden. With any luck, the plastic will now grip the ridges on the stud again, at least enough to get the acorn nut free. Once the light is out, you can redo this procedure directly on the stud to get it seated really well back into the soft plastic, then hold it in place with some pliers while the plastic cools and hardens, for a more permanent repair.

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Re: Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby redbear7938 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:38 am

Thank you all for your suggestions. What I finally did was a klutzier version of what WingAdmin recommended. After trying to pull out on the light and realizing on one acorn nut there was not a good way to see and apply heat with the soldering iron, I put my power screwdriver with a 8 mm socket on the acorn nut and ran it in reverse for about 60 sec on each of the two spinning bolts. The result was that I melted the plastic on the tour case and the light came out with the acorn nuts still in place. I ground out the plastic around the nut and bolt with a dremel tool and held the bolt with a wire crimper (pliers, even needle nose, were too thick to get to the bold) and used a nut driver to remove the acorn nut. Both were torqued on very tight and it took some effort to free them.
I superglued washer in the melted out holes in the trunk plastic then put epoxy on them. I let it dry and put the light back in careful to first lube and then only gently tighten the acorn nuts. Now I've got good looking LEDs all the way around! Thanks again for your help.

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Re: Problem removing taillight on GL 1800

Postby Darksider 562 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:21 pm

G'day, I had to apply the same fix as redbear, I tried the other fixes that were mentioned, but still the acorn nuts remained solid. :x I eventually succombed and put the power screwdriver on the nut and did as redbear described, A couple of washers, and some Araldite and all is well again. :D Thanks all for the advice.


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