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How To Replace Header Panel 97-04 Ford F150

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How To Replace Header Panel 97-04 Ford F150

Created on: 2017-04-10

How to replace a broken or damaged header panel on 1998 Ford F150 pickup truck.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Lights
    • Open the hood
    • Lift up the tabs on the headlight
    • Work the headlight out
    • Pry out the headlight
    • Disconnect the headlight wiring harness
    • Remove the 7mm screw from the turn signal light
    • Pull the turn signal light forward
    • Disconnect the turn signal wiring harness
    • Repeat these steps on the other side
  2. step 2 :Removing the Grille
    • Unclip the spare tire tool from the hood cowl
    • Remove the six plastic pins from the top of the hood cowl with a Phillips screwdriver
    • Remove the two plastic pins from the back of the hood cowl with a trim tool
    • Lift off the grille cover
    • Remove the ten Phillips screws from the grille
    • Pry the two plastic clips out of the air dam on each side
    • Pull the grille forward and off
    • Pry the two air dams off each side of the bumper with a trim tool
  3. step 3 :Removing the Header Panel
    • Remove the three plastic clips that hold the plastic panel to the header with trim tools
    • Pull the plastic panel off the header
    • Remove the three plastic clips that hold the air dams to each side of the header with trim tools
    • Remove the ten 8mm screws from the header panel
    • Push the turn signal wiring harnesses through the header panel
    • Pull the header panel off the vehicle
  4. step 4 :Installing the Header Panel
    • Line up the header panel using the locating tabs
    • Pull the wiring harnesses through the header
    • Fasten the ten 8mm bolts into the header panel
    • Line up the two air dams on the header panel
    • Push the three plastic clips into each air dam
    • Line up the plastic cover on the header panel
    • Push the three plastic clips into the cover panel
  5. step 5 :Installing the Grille
    • Clip the air dams to the new grille
    • Attach the clips to the bottom of the grille
    • Line up the grille
    • Push the grille clips into the header panel
    • Insert the ten Phillips screws into the grille
    • Push the two clips into the air dam on each side
    • Line up the hood cowl
    • Push the six plastic clips into the top of the hood cowl
    • Push the two plastic clips into the back of the hood cowl
  6. step 6 :Installing the Lights
    • Connect the turn signal wiring harness
    • Line up the turn signal light
    • Fasten the 7mm screw into the turn signal light
    • Connect the headlight wiring harness
    • Line up the headlights, using the studs
    • Lock in the headlight tabs
    • Adjust the headlight aim as necessary by turning the studs
    • Repeat these steps on the other side
    • Clip the spare tire tool to the hood cowl
    • Close the hood

Tools needed for replacement

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    15mm Socket

    8mm Socket

    7mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Trim Tool Set

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years. We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Visit us at 1AAuto.com, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

In this video we're going to be working with our 1998 Ford F-150. We're going to show you how to remove and replace your vehicle's header panel which is the panel that your grill, headlights and turn signals all attach to. If you like this video, please click subscribe. We have a ton more information on this and many other vehicles and if you ever need parts for your truck, you can follow the link down in the description over to 1AAuto.com.Here are the items you'll need for this repair.

To remove your headlight, lift up on the tabs behind it. Now, sometimes you've got to wiggle them a little to get them to stay in place. Work your headlight out. You may be able to reach in from the back and push on it. You've got to make sure these tabs are fully disengaged.

Over time they wear out and they tend to get a little stuck. Once that's out you can unclip your headlight harness and remove it. On the inside edge of the fender is a seven millimeter screw. You'll want to remove that with a seven millimeter socket, ratchet, and extension. Once that's out, you can slide the turn signal assembly out of the grille, undo the tabs, and remove it from the vehicle.

Repeat these steps on the opposite side. Remove the tool for your spare tire crane. There are six of these plastic screw-type retainers. This one actually belongs in the back on the radiator. There are two of these. We have a few missing here, but you'll remove all of these with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Then on the back are these pop clips. Again, that one on the front actually belongs over on this side, so you remove the two of them with a trim tool or a flat-blade screwdriver by popping up on the center piece. As for the rest, with little to no pressure, you want to hold the base and spin the Phillips-head screw out. At which point, you can pop the base out of its retainer. Now simply lift up and remove this cover.

There are 10 Phillips-head screws securing the grille in. Two here, behind the turn signal, six along the top, and two more behind the other turn signal. Go ahead and remove all of these with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Under each fender, there are two plastic clips securing this wind dam.

We'll need to pop those off with a trim tool or a pair of pliers, and we'll have to get the two on the opposite side as well. Now, normally you'd need to grab the bottom of the grille and give it a good yank toward you. However, the reason you need to do that is because of a pair of clips that are broken on our grille, so we just need to bend up the plastic wind dam to get that past the bumper and we can remove our grille from the vehicle.

Remove the three plastic clips securing this plastic panel to your header. We'll do this using a trim tool with flat blade screwdriver or a pair of pliers. We'll then remove this panel. We'll then remove these two clips securing the air dam the same way and we'll do the same thing with the air dam on the opposite side. We'll also need to undo this one plastic clip where the air dam goes on the bottom of our header panel and the same thing with the one on the opposite side.

We'll then remove the tem 8mm screws securing our header panel in. We have two behind the turn signals, there are two behind the air dam, there are two more under the hood latch. These are easier to access from the passenger side of the grill reaching over. We'll then remove the matching two bolts behind the air dam and the other two behind the turn signal on the opposite side. Push your side marker connectors into the header panel so they don't get caught. Then slide your header panel off of the truck.

Line up and reinstall your header panel. There are little tabs on the end to make this a little bit easier. Make sure you pull your electrical connectors through as well. We'll then reinstall all ten of our 8mm bolts. Reinstall the clips for the wind dams on both sides, one at the bottom and two at the front. Reinstall the plastic cover and all three of its clips.

Line up your grille. You have to bend that plastic air dam over to get it into place. We'll do that on both sides. Once the grille is tucked under you want to line up those little metal clips we installed on the bottom and press them into the cutout in the header panel.

Reinstall all 10 of your Phillips-head screws. There are two in each side behind where the factory turn signal location is. Don't forget to reinstall the two plastic push pins on the lower air dam on both sides. We'll then do the six screws along the top.

Reinstall your upper grille cover. You've got to kind of hook it under the handle for the hood latch lock. Now, these clips tend to get a little soft after they've been on and off a few times, so usually you can just pop the bottom in and push the Phillips-head screw down without actually needing to thread it. You should have six of those in the front of the truck. Ours is missing some. You want to just kind of spread them out if you're missing a few or you can replace them. You have your two push pins that connected to the back of the radiator shroud. Just place them in and pop the heads down.

Reconnect the connector on your turn signal. I just kept that 7-millimeter screw there for safekeeping. Line it up and slide it back into place. Reinstall the 7-millimeter screw at the top with your socket and ratchet.

These little plastic ears on the back of your headlight are not only what secure it in, but they're also how you go about adjusting it. There's a long, skinny ratcheting wrench that gets onto the heads of these. Once the plastic slides into its retainers here in the header panel, then you line it up into the opening on that tab, and then push the tab down and it locks them into place.

When you pull up, that's what frees them up and that's how we got it out. To reinstall, reconnect the headlight connector, and then you just have to watch these line up into their slots in the header panel. Get the small ends through the openings. Work the ears until it seats in fully. Lock the tabs down into place.

Your adjustments will then be made, if necessary, on the heads of those bolts with the appropriate tool through the openings. Repeat these steps on the opposite side. After reinstalling your upper grille cover don't forget to lock the spare tire crane tool back into place. Close your hood and you're good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 15mm Socket
  • 8mm Socket
  • 7mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Trim Tool Set


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