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Changing headlight

There are a thousand suggestions online and as near as I can tell they are all incorrect…no…they are WRONG! Some say you undo the T10 screw on the running and signal light package and remove it. Pointless! You can see the back of the headlight clamp from inside the hood. So…do you have to remove the battery on the drivers side and do you have to remove the airfilter assy on the passenger side?

Second question…does Chrysler actually have an engineer on staff? This access is absolutely idiotic. Changing any external light should be 5-minutes and if you turn the battery sideways your customers could easily have reached the light on the driver side. Oh well the answer is obvious from the engineering,

Suggestions? Comments? All welcomed!!


Lighting bulbs that are difficult to change are on lots of cars. And they have been too common for many years. My daughter’s Civic was a nightmare to change.

And my '89 Toyota pickup (sealed beams) was difficult to change. The manuals even said to remove the bumper and the grill to change them.

My only comment is that all light bulbs including those in the dashboard and console should be easy and quick to change. I wish I got to rule the world. Things would be different.

Bill, What Model-Year Is This Dakota And What The Heck Happened To Your Owner’s Manual ?


Okay I figured it out and here is the procedure. First for the wonderful comment of “what happened to your owner’s manual” assuming I got the car with one was just witty. Okay You can almost get to the driver side headlight without removing anything but don’t try it. Remove the T10 very long screw from between the running light/pkg light assy. Pull gently on the running light/pkg light assy until it comes away from the body. Twist each of the light holders until they come away from the assy. Set the assy aside. There are Three bolts (12mm I believe) holding the headlight assy on the vehicle. As you are looking at the headlight front to rear they are two on the left (on at the top and one at the bottom of the headlight) and one on the right hand side near the bottom of the assy across from the bottom left bolt. Remove these and set aside. The assy is held on with friction-pegs so pull gently on assy until comes away from chassis. Twist the grey retaining ring until the light comes away from the assy. Gently unsnap the pincer clamp and pull the bulb away from the assy. On the 2003 it is a 9007. Of course before you start all this make sure your lights are off and/or remove neg side battery connection to chassis. Reverse for installation. Total time about 20 to 30 minutes for the first one and about 15 minutes if you have done before. I did try removing the light from inside without removing the assemblies. It was accomplished but very painful and I suspect you’ll end up touching the glass on the replacement headlamp if you try this. Touching the lamp is a no-no so don’t do it (grease/acid/dirt from fingers burns holes on glass).
That is it.
Have fun.

Bill, I Wasn’t Just Being Witty. If You’re Going To Keep The Vehicle For Any Length Of Time It Would Still Behoove You To Obtain A Replacement Owner’s Manual.

You’d be surprised how many people don’t think to look in one.

Beside that, I was standing by to try and help, waiting for a Model-Year. I guess it’s a 2003 Model-Year Dakota.

I’m looking a diagram and could have given you the instructions that include removing 3 screws that secure the inboard and lower mounts of the lamp unit to the fender bracket, grasoing and pulling straight forward on the lamp to disengage the the ball stud on the back of the upper outboard corner from the grommet in the fender bracket . . . and so on . . .