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01 Avalon XL, 03 Avalon XL
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Discussion Starter #1
OK - how can a 10 minute job turn into an hour and half?

Answer: That's right, when the job is in northeast America!

Next question: what are the numbers involved?
Answer: 78, 35, 45, 3+1
You;re 78 years old, it's 35 F out when it's supposed to be 45 F, and there are only 3 fasteners + a pin to consider.

So, here's before (not very bad, but I'm tired of polishing them):


Note the little half-ring of ice, partially visible at the bottom of the photo. It's all that's left of a couple of inches of snow on the hood that slid off a couple weeks back.

That's where the 35 degrees comes in. And the 78 years. Ice on the ground doesn't melt at 35 degrees F when it's in shadow and the ground is mighty cold. Also, when you're 78, you don't think about moving the car back 4 feet. Instead, when replacing the passenger side assembly, you slip and slide constantly.

Eventually you think to drive the car around to get it warm and park it 4 feet back so you have a nice warm workspace and no ice underfoot.

to be continued....
 

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01 Avalon XL, 03 Avalon XL
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Discussion Starter #2
Part 2

There are only 3 easily reached fasteners involved, all 10mm:


And here's where the northeast element comes into play. There's a push-in locating pin on the headlight assembly:


It fits into a COMPLETELY UNREACHABLE (when the headlight is in place) receptacle inside the fender:


There is NOTHING on the headlamp assembly to grab onto except the whole thing. The rusted-in pin won't budge. There's nothing to pound on. I finally wedged a plastic trim tool between the far end of the headlight assembly and the headlight hole in the fender, yanking on the headlight and reefing on the trim tool. Eventually it broke loose.

That last sentence ate around 40 minutes and stressed my vocabulary.

I went with TYC headlights from Rock Auto. They are certified and come with Sylvania halogens already installed. (You do have to swap over the amber outer lamps).


Done!


(The white Gen 2 barely visible to the right of this last pic is my wife's 03 Avalon, just short of 100K miles. She lucked into it and after driving it a couple of times, I spent a year trying to find one for me. Gen 2 Avalons are incredible rides.)

(Wally has only 66k miles on him, but unfortunately lived for 12 years on the salt-air Gulf coast in St. Petersburg FL and the rest of his years here around Boston, Mass. Rust is a factor for him.)
 

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Looks good! I just did mine yesterday. Even in the south with no rust, it took a little convincing to get them out.
 

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2000 Avalon
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Looks good! When I did mine, I used a little trim pry tool, but they came loose easy. I did shear off one of the middle bolt heads. Oh well. Two bolts do the job all right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did shear off a one of the middle bolt heads.
I came mighty close to doing that, on both sides.

Here are the fasteners, arrayed as they are on the passenger side -- self-tapping screw, VERY rusty machine screw, and (down on the bumper) the better-looking machine screw. The self-tapping screw receptacles on the body are goobered and I'm going to have to add something, glue, epoxy, or slivers of wood, to make it so the screws don't just turn freely.
 

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I came mighty close to doing that, on both sides.

Here are the fasteners, arrayed as they are on the passenger side -- self-tapping screw, VERY rusty machine screw, and (down on the bumper) the better-looking machine screw. The self-tapping screw receptacles on the body are goobered and I'm going to have to add something, glue, epoxy, or slivers of wood, to make it so the screws don't just turn freely.
The middle one is the one that sheared off on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep. I didn't realize it's tail was just hanging in the (salty) breeze until after I managed to break it loose and back it out, or I would have hit it with a shot of a rust-cutter before trying to remove it...
 

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2000 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Spectacular job Ole! Did you need to aim them? I've been trying to find a wall with 25ft of level flat space around here LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spectacular job Ole! Did you need to aim them?
Thanks.
Yes, they need aiming. They seem to be set into their pockets ok, but maybe not 100%, and nothing seems bent in the front, but the bumper shows signs of bumping, as well it might after 18-19 years.

Our walls with areas flat enough are few and far between. Most of them are in parking areas for 7 day a week shopping centers.

I'm going to check with the shop I use, but it takes time and the shop charges $140/hr... aiming is supposed to be part of our annual sticker inspection, that is, free if it's needed, but I've never found a station that actually does that.
 
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