Headlight Alignment
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  1. #1
    mlb
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    Default Headlight Alignment

    Hey Dudes,

    Has anyone got any guidance on how to tell if your headlights are aligned properly (besides the obvious no being able to see the road ). What is the correct position?

    Thanks

    Matt

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  2. #2
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    Default Try this:

    Matt,
    find a flat area where you can park and shine your lights, preferably at right angles onto a wall about 5 metres away. Get a metre rule or measuring stick. With the ligts on low beam you should be able to see two distinct lines of light rising to the left - one for each headlight as well as two horizontal lines to the right. Where the rising line and the horizontal line meet is the centre of the beam for each light.

    First thing is to get the lights pointing straigt ahead. The centres of the beams as described above should be the same distance apart as the lights themselve and equidistant from the centreline of the car.

    Now you need to get the height of the beam right. This is crucial to the longrange performance of the high beam as well as finding the balance between seeing where you are going on low beam and dazzling the driver ahead and oncoming drivers. The law requires that the dipped beam be aimed down slightly - I think there is an angle specified but do not know what it is. I suggest 1-2 degrees? So get your measuring stick and stand it right on front of the light and mark or measure the height of the horizontal cut off - the centre of the beam. Now do the same measurement at the wall. Over the 5 metres I reckon the beam should be about 100 mm lower. My 405 has a light centre height of 600 mm and this means that on low beam the road is lit for 30 metres which does not seem a lot to me now but is at least courteous to other drivers. You should now find that the centre of the high beam is almost the same height as the headlights and that out on a straight road most of the light is pointing at the vanishing point down the road rather than at the road itself.

    As a country driver I like to see as far down the road as possible at night and not be dazzled by the light bouncing off the road just in front of me when I am on high beam.

    All the Front wheel drive pugs have adjustments for the height of the beam,many from within the cab, to take account of the changed attitude of the vehicle as the load increases and the rear suspension settles. If the lights were not adjustable the low beam which is only angled down by a degree or so would soon be pointing in the eyes and rear view mirrors of other drivers and the high beam would be finding possums up ahead. This is an essential safety item and not a useless affectation.

    Hope this helps

    cheers
    Trevor Hoare
    Boolarra Vic

    '95 405Mi16 - what a great car! ; 89 405 ( for my daughter )
    previously 205Si, 504Ti, HR wagon with R16 seats, R16, R10, VW kombi, VW passat, HQ panel van, FB panelvan, Rover'49 P3 4-light

  3. #3
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    Default

    Similar to the above, my method is to drive the car right up to a wall (at night) and using black electrical tape and a ruler out horizonally to the wall, place a + shape level with the centre of the headlight. Then reverse back about 8 metres, and align as above. However, for height I just make sure the horizontal cutoff is level with the horizontal of the + as this means it's going to be angled slightly down at this distance.

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks guys, I'll give it a go.

    Cheers

    Matt
    Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.

  5. #5
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    Default trev's update

    Matt,
    I went out last night and did the lights on a newly acquired 405 and I think I have to agree with Stuey - both on the method of getting the horizontal height right and on the angle downward. With the lights set so that you can only see the road for about 30 metres ahead the lights are angled down way too far for my liking. So at 5 metres you need to be only say 50 mm down from the centre marks at most.

    cheers
    Trevor Hoare
    Boolarra Vic

    '95 405Mi16 - what a great car! ; 89 405 ( for my daughter )
    previously 205Si, 504Ti, HR wagon with R16 seats, R16, R10, VW kombi, VW passat, HQ panel van, FB panelvan, Rover'49 P3 4-light

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