The Great Headlight Bucket Mystery

Hey all,

My newest research project is to figure out which headlight buckets were used on which year(s) and to show how they are configured with diagrams for our website. The further I started getting into it, the more confusing it got. So I figured I would reach out to the community and see if we can come up with a consensus for all years of classic Cougars.

The buckets have stamps to indicate where they go, and so far I’ve seen LL, LH, RL, RH, L, and H.

Below is an example diagram that I put together from a 1967 grille. These buckets were taken from a very low-mile car that still had all four FoMoCo headlights, so they are definitely right.

Notice how the right-hand low beam is only stamped L. On other 67-8 grilles I looked at, many of these were stamped RL instead, which would make more sense.
Similarly, the left-hand high beam that is stamped LH in this example, I also saw stamped only H on other 67-8 grille assemblies.
I am baffled as to why they would omit the first letter that indicates left or right. Maybe to them it was obvious enough based on the placement of the spring cutouts.

Then for 1969, it starts to gets weird. They are reversed. Since the placement of the headlight springs is the opposite (inboard instead of outboard), they ended up putting the LL/LH ones on the right side, and the RL/RH ones on the left side. That doesn’t exactly make it intuitive for the guy putting his car back together. I assume it’s the same with 1970, but I couldn’t find a complete grille sitting around to look at.

Then for 71-73… I only looked at a grille half briefly but it appears that the springs are now on the underside, which makes the buckets turn upside-down. And yes, the buckets are the same. I guess what I need to do also is compare part numbers and stuff.

Anyway, I wanted to see if some of you would be able to contribute by taking a look at your cars, or if you have grilles laying around, etc. You can see the stamps from the backside with the headlight doors down. On 67-70, they should be on the topside of the buckets. On 71-73, I think they will be upside-down, on the bottom side. Any input is appreciated! I’m especially wondering about the plain L and H ones, and if they consistently represent RL and LH, respectively.

In the meantime, I’ll keep digging around to see what else I can come up with. Just thought I’d throw it out there for everyone! :think:

I am having a heck of a time trying to adjust my left low beam, it keeps stripping out the adjuster before I can get it in place, is it possible I have the wrong bucket? I have even switched it out, which was not easy, any tricks would be helpful… Bob

Did you buy a new adjuster? They are cheap.

Does your spring look like this one?

On my '67, my buckets read, LL, LH, RL and RH. My Cougar’s actual build date was 1/20/67.

I did buy new adjusters and the spring does look like that, it actually rips the nut right out from the plate… I have spent hours upon hours messing with this… I will have to tear into it again and check the stamping…

Take out the glass bulbs and report to us what you see stamped on those metal buckets on the back. Should look just like Andrews finding posted here.

Yours is correct. The example Blitz posted is screwed up.

How so? Because of the one that just says L ?

On my '69 I switched my headlights from sealed beam to the kit with the H3 bulbs. What a head ache getting the lights adjusted. I THINK the new lights are a tad bigger around and dont fit the buckets quite right. I adjust them and get happy with it… then a few days later the lights are out of whack again.
Anyone else going through this?