Mustang Headlight Reinforcement Panel (1999-2004) Installation Instructions
1. This is what your new Mustang Headlight Reinforcement Panel
looks like when it is removed from the box. The factory headlight reinforcement panels are black and are over sprayed with your car's body color. Since this new panel is going on a white car, no additional work is needed. If you are putting this on a different colored car, you may want to spray it with that color. This will keep the repair from being obvious.
2. Open the hood. There are eight retaining pins to remove. To do so, remove the center of the retainer with a Phillips head screw driver and pull the remainder of the retainer out. Store these pieces in a safe place, as they will be reused.
4. Pull each headlight out and remove the two Mustang headlight bulb
connections. Place the headlights in a safe place.
5. Remove the four 8mm bolts from the driver and passenger's side headlight areas.
6. On the passenger's side, there is a wire retaining clip that needs to be removed. Push this through with a screw driver.
7. At this point, the reinforcement panel is loose; however, the bumper cover is holding it in. You could remove the entire bumper cover, but it is faster and easier to unfasten one side of the bumper cover and slide the panel out. The driver’s side has an additional piece making the bumper cover nuts harder to access, so we will remove the passenger's side. There are two 11mm nuts that you can reach from under the car, which attach the cover to the fender. Remove these nuts with a deep well socket.
8. Remove one more screw at the bottom of the Mustang front bumper cover
, which attaches it to the fender well. Once it is gone, the bumper cover is free from this side of the vehicle.
9. With the passenger's side of the bumper cover loose, you can free that side from the bumper, pull the grill forward and remove the reinforcement panel. It will take some wiggling, but it can be done. If you’re squeamish about wiggling these parts so much, remove the nuts and screws from the driver's side that attach the bumper cover and remove it entirely.
10. Whether you completely remove the Mustang front bumper cover
, or just wiggle the headlight reinforcement panel free, the old panel should now be out.
11. With the old panel out, it is time to remove the pieces that are attached to the old panel and swap them over to the new reinforcement panel. Remove the air deflector by removing the two push retainers and move it over to your new part.
12. Remove the plastic guides that the headlights snap into. The new panel’s holes are too big for them to fit securely, but more on that later. For now, just keep these pieces in a safe place.
13. Using the same technique as you did in the removal process, slide the new panel into position (driver's side first, then the passenger's side) and feed the wires through the holes. Don’t forget to reinstall the wire clip on the passenger's side.
14. Everything can be buttoned back up now. The eight 8mm bolts, the eight retaining pins, the two nuts and the screw for the Mustang front bumper cover
can all be reinstalled.
15. Here we can see the difference between the old (left) and new (right). Clearly, the new panel’s holes are much too big.
16. A quick batch of JB Weld fixes this issue. Note: This was mixed on a piece of white cardboard. DO NOT MIX THIS ON YOUR CAR.
17. Likewise, the holes where the headlight's retainers pass through are much too large. The old holes are 17.71mm as opposed to 20mm on the new piece.
18. To fix this, JB Weld is coming to the rescue. A batch of it gets spread over the bottoms of each opening, making the holes the right size.
19. To keep the headlights nice and tight, you can re-arch the spring metal in the Mustang headlight retaining clips
. Use a screwdriver to bend the middle of the pin out. This will create more tension on the headlight.
20. Reattach the wires for your Mustang headlights
, snap them into place and put the headlight retaining clips back in, then you're ready to adjust your headlights. Turn your headlights on and shine them on a wall. I used the garage door. A similar sized car parked next to your car with their headlights on gives a good reference to where they need to be aimed. In this picture, you can see that the passenger's side light is a little low.
21. The headlights are adjusted by placing a Philips head screw driver into the adjustment hole and tightening it to move the beam up. Once everything is properly aimed, you've completed the installation of your new Mustang Headlight Reinforcement Panel