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2000 Diplomat Headlight Removal


Bob Jones

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Hi Folks!

Just wondering if anyone has successfully removed the headlight assembly from a 2000 Diplomat.

I picked up some LED's for it so the idea was to remove the headlight assembly and polish them. Its looking more and more like the only way to remove them is to break them. I then changed tactics and thought I would just replace the bulbs and polish the lens in place. Looks like you also cannot remove the bulb unless you remove the assembly......

At this point much cursing & swearing at the idiots at Monaco that designed such a poor system. Here's a pic of what it looks like stock

20211212_154743 (1).jpg

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Unfortunately, it looks like there is not enough room to remove the bulb from the back.

Worse yet, from research it seems that to remove the headlight assembly you pretty much end up breaking it. 

So it looks like when the bulb burns out, you buy a new bulb and headlight assembly. 

I found two new headlight assemblies for $90 CAD delivered so I'm going to break the old ones out and then see if I can re-design it so that at least you can replace the bulb when/if it burns out. What a joke of a system. Now I'm going to have to re-align them as well.....

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I polished mine in place several times. It doesn't seem to last long. According to the YouTube videos you need to spray it with a clear coat if you want it to last. I plan to replace the whole thing this time around.

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Hi

If I  remember you can access to the back of the headlights with your generator door open.

They did install a bracket that holds the headlight (1984 Ford Bronco) with just some self tapping screws.

Once you remove those screws the headlight comes through the front 

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I just replaced mine on my 2001 HR Ambassador and they looked just like yours. If you lay on the ground and look up at the back of the headlights there should be  4 or 5 sheet metal screws that go through the fiberglass and screws into the back of the headlight assembly. I was able to remove the entire assembly and replace them. I did have to have them adjusted. Hope this helps.   

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12 minutes ago, Mike in Va said:

I just replaced mine on my 2001 HR Ambassador and they looked just like yours. If you lay on the ground and look up at the back of the headlights there should be  4 or 5 sheet metal screws that go through the fiberglass and screws into the back of the headlight assembly. I was able to remove the entire assembly and replace them. I did have to have them adjusted. Hope this helps.   

This ^^^^^

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I replaced the bulbs in my 2000 Diplomat reaching in behind from inside the generator door, as someone mentioned above. Then I polished them in-place without any trouble. It's a bit of reaching blind from behind. You may also be able to reach up from underneath, which I noticed more recently when crawling around for one reason or another.

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This all started with the idea to replace them with LED's and polish the lens. 

I did find some Robertson sheet metal screws but one of them appears to be inaccessible......

I really didn't want to replace the lens themselves but other folks seem to indicate that you have to break them to get them out. I will try again tomorrow (just for kicks) but am pretty sure I can't get anything on the back of one of the screws. 

I guess I shouldn't be too angry with new assemblies being $90 CAD ($70 USD) for both. But it really looks like you cannot remove the bulb without removing the entire assembly. When I get it figured out I'll document it with pics because this seems to be a really popular question...

With respect to them fogging up again, this is because the plastic is not UV-Ray proof. In other words, cheap Chinese plastic. The original units in mine from the factory are TYC 20-3074 which translates to Doorman #'s 1592051 & 1592052 (seem to fit Econoline 350's etc).

I cannot see any way of replacing the bulb without removing the assembly. Perhaps mine just has less clearance than others.

I guess, looking on the bright side (haha), with LED's and clear lenses they should be very bright. 

20211212_165125.jpg

Edited by Bob Jones
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16 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

This all started with the idea to replace them with LED's and polish the lens. 

I did find some Robertson sheet metal screws but one of them appears to be inaccessible......

I really didn't want to replace the lens themselves but other folks seem to indicate that you have to break them to get them out. I will try again tomorrow (just for kicks) but am pretty sure I can't get anything on the back of one of the screws. 

I guess I shouldn't be too angry with new assemblies being $90 CAD ($70 USD) for both. But it really looks like you cannot remove the bulb without removing the entire assembly. When I get it figured out I'll document it with pics because this seems to be a really popular question...

With respect to them fogging up again, this is because the plastic is not UV-Ray proof. In other words, cheap Chinese plastic. The original units in mine from the factory are TYC 20-3074 which translates to Doorman #'s 1592051 & 1592052 (seem to fit Econoline 350's etc).

I cannot see any way of replacing the bulb without removing the assembly. Perhaps mine just has less clearance than others.

I guess, looking on the bright side (haha), with LED's and clear lenses they should be very bright. 

20211212_165125.jpg

Better anyway. I went this route on my Bronco and really am unsatisfied. The light scatters and doesn’t go out that far. 

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2 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

Did you get the bulbs in with the correct orientation? It seems to be a common issue resulting in poor performance. 

Yes, tried several different brands as well. It’s why I bit the bullet and had custom projectors made for our Dip and they are insanely bright and make night driving a breeze 

4E8831DA-1516-4ECD-ACA3-021FDFDE00AE.jpeg

70E8B398-7756-4930-ADFB-1578DC252F3E.jpeg

D8C6D7DE-615C-462A-9B79-8A148320DE7E.jpeg

46D77456-3F78-4DB0-9931-3DD80621695B.jpeg

Edited by JDCrow
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11 hours ago, Tom Wallis said:

I polished mine in place several times. It doesn't seem to last long. According to the YouTube videos you need to spray it with a clear coat if you want it to last. I plan to replace the whole thing this time around.

From what I understand, you need to make sure the clear coat also protects from UV or it will still yellow and fade.

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Hi I have a 2002 Monaco Diplomat.  I just did my headlights but what I did was just go to the rear of the housing and pull the bulb.  I replaced it with a silver tip bought in local Orieily auto supply.  Then I got 1500 grit sandpaper and I wet sanded the lenses.  You can use 2000 which works even better. Then I got a lense polish kit and did both lenses again.  My lenses are like glass and my headlights shine perfect.  My experience is that the electric system in this older coach may not support LED.  I tried LED bulbs for my brake light and signals and they would not work.  Something about they dont pull enought juice to activate the relays.

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I have a 2000 Diplomat. A couple of years ago I replaced the whole assemblies and replaced with OEM. However, I could not figure out how to remove them so I had a shop do the job. They cut out fiberglas around the back. which kinda upset me, figuring they would get 'mudded up' from road splash. They have not and it all has worked out. Still not as bright as I wanted, but at least it's back to OEM.

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2 hours ago, tomevansfl said:

From what I understand, you need to make sure the clear coat also protects from UV or it will still yellow and fade.

Many imported lenses (Chinese) don’t have DOT on them and will yellow up faster. But anytime sun is gone involved, thing goto pot. Ceramic coating can help as well, and you can scuff and clear coat, not to hard to do.

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1 hour ago, Larry and Donna Maida said:

Hi I have a 2002 Monaco Diplomat.  I just did my headlights but what I did was just go to the rear of the housing and pull the bulb.  I replaced it with a silver tip bought in local Orieily auto supply.  Then I got 1500 grit sandpaper and I wet sanded the lenses.  You can use 2000 which works even better. Then I got a lense polish kit and did both lenses again.  My lenses are like glass and my headlights shine perfect.  My experience is that the electric system in this older coach may not support LED.  I tried LED bulbs for my brake light and signals and they would not work.  Something about they dont pull enought juice to activate the relays.

I swapped the old headlight bulbs for LED bulbs in our 2000 Diplomat and they work great, nice & bright.

Now I need to do the same for our Ford Fusion toad, but that requires a lot more work because Ford requires taking the front trim off the car & removing the entire headlight assembly to do a simple bulb swap.

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Bob,

Here is picture of LED headlights acquired on Amazon and replaced as new shell and LED bulb a couple of years ago. A former Monaco employee took about 1 hour to remove old and install new. Did so with battery powered screwdriver. Started on passenger size and removed a self tapping screw on outside and another screw he found towards right side of old shell. Passenger side was very quick. Driver side was more awkward as Monaco had somehow run the screws in same direction so he had to work in tighter quarters. That side took probably 35-40 minutes. He did all of the work while standing. He never opened the generator door.

I had printed out the web instruction to remove FG behind the headlight working from on the ground. He ignored those and tackled the job straight away as described above. 

As rig is stored indoors about 9-10 months of year I did not coat any protection on lens.

Pat C
2000 Diplomat
2014 Honda CRV

Coachheadlights.jpg

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I have a 2000 Diplomat and polished the headlights several times, but it never lasted long. Finally, sitting in an RV park in Southern California and a Dip pulls in with great, clear, headlights. He had ordered off of Amazon. I ordered same ones and installed them. It took about four hours to remove the old assemblies and install the new ones. The first one took the longest. The attaching screws are hard to reach and not easy to see. I have the old units, taking up space in my garage. Why do we save that old stuff. It takes a little patience but can be done without destroying anything.

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I have upgraded two separate vehicles with LED's and have a 3rd to do over Christmas. The discussion, maybe a few years ago or right before we lost Bill (Hot Rod) was confusing.  The issue was the oversized bulbs and the "fans".  It appears, based on the three that I will do, that the LED technology has improved.

I had the misfortune of getting caught in a major traffic jam on the way back to storage a month ago. DOUBLE OUCH.  My 09 Camelot could not be called a "Shining Star".  That was after I had got used to driving my 2014 Yukon with the NEW LED's.  My Grandson's 2011 Maxima was also upgraded. 

My Monaco Headlights are a "Cluster" in that there is a back cover and you can't get to the bulbs without a lot of "contortionist" motions from the back. Since there is a back cover (may not be needed....but that is the DOT Design), then a longer bulb with the fans would not work. Today, you can order many types of LED's from Amazon and they have pigtails or pigtails with drivers. These SHOULD easily fit and interchange with the original incandescent bulbs.  SO, IF I ever decide....I do have a plan. I had my Camelot lights polished and then "3M Film" coated by Dazzling Detail when they did the Bra.

INTERESTING FACTOID....the Yukon, after the LED upgrade, had a lot of white light and improved seeing "things", but the low beams were not that far out.  I then cranked up the vertical adjustment and that really made a difference. I did it one half TURN at a time.  I would drive it and see if anyone "Flashed" or fired a warning shot.  NOPE.  So then, another half turn.  NOPE....so feedback (Negative) so I went with one FINAL turn up.  I stopped there as the High Beams were starting to get TOO HIGH and lighting up the next zip code.

My logic is that with the newer headlights on car, that folks are "used" to seeing MORE light from an oncoming vehicle. The fact that mine are now WHITE (I DID have in the improved Silverstones (?) that Consumer Reports recommended) and folks don't seem to mind.  In my GS's Maxima, there is a low beam diffusing lens....that really helps.

 

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Since I installed a side light by door that turns on automatically with motion my Wife has started calling our coach Motel 6. It leaves a light on for us. 

Our almost 22 year old coach just loves to run and provide a on the road home for us. Love the Diplomats. And yes I do know it was made in Indiana by HR.

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