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Front Side Lamp Won't Fit!

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I know this sounds a silly question, but how is the front side lamp fitted on a 2000 Ford Escort?

I need to replace the nearside side lamp before my MOT next week as I've suddenly discovered the old one was broken. Visibility is very limited but I can see an alloy tube behind the headamp cluster where it goes and there's the plastic sidelamp holder (black) hanging loosely on its cable. The lamp holder is about the same diameter as the alloy tube so it doesn't slide inside. So it must be the bulb itself which slides into the tube. But the bulb I've bought from Halfords ("exterior/interior bulb, 12V 5W, code 501" is written on the blue packet) is slightly too large to slide into the alloy tube. If I pushed it more, it'll just fracture. Anyway I would've thought that relying on an interference fit between glass and metal is inadequate design!

Have I got the wrong bulb? Or is there a rubber tube, say, which acts as a sleeve for lamp and alloy tube (sliding over both) that's missing? If so, I can pop intio a dealer before I go to the MOT and get one. Or bodge one up with insulation tape the night before just for the test.

I just haven't got the time in the next week (I'm working!) to take the headlamp unit out to see what's what.

I've looked on the other side (offside) but visibility there is even more limited! I don't want to remove that bulb in case I can't get it back--I don't want to compound the problem.

Can anybody explain what's happened?

Otherwise I'll just have to do the pathetic thing and ask the MOT tester to put the bulb in for me--if something IS missing, he won't have it and that'll be a fail..........

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This morning I had a look in the daylight with the headlamp bulb connector disconnected. What I thought was an alloy tube is actually black and possible IS a rubber sleeve, perhaps pushed all the way in over a protruding alloy tube so the potential sidelamp bulb is meeting the end of the alloy tube inside it. So how do I pull the sleeve back so it can hold the sidelamp bulb or holder? There's very little purchase on it. Perhaps an angled gripper like a pipe grip could do it?

Unless of course I have the wrong bulb......

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All sorted. It was the right bulb. However the previous bulb, when it failed/broke, must have deposited a layer of glass or something around the inside of the alloy tube of the headlamp unit. I cleared it with a 10.5mm drillbit, rotated by hand and the bulb then fitted. I wrapped some insulation tape round the bulb holder and alloy tube to keep it in place in the unit.

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