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Headlight adjustment, whats the rule of thumb

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boones, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,452

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa

    What is the rule for headlight adjustment, I remember when I was younger, you would park the car so many feet from the garage door and your beam should be so many feet off the ground. Anyone remember that rule fo thumb. I bought a set of headlight bulbs from the local autoparts store and they are supposed to be alot brighter then the yellow sealed beams I have now.. I want to make sure I have them adjusted at the right height.

    Thanks
     
  2. Check the thread about brighter headlights that was posted a couple days ago.I gave a detailed instruction on how to set up halogen lamps.
     
  3. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 26,161

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I don't remember the height thing on the wall.
    I live near a lake and it gets foggy alot. I just ball park 'em and drive out in the fog at night. You can see where your beam is shooting for a long ways in the fog.

    Your other option is if your lights are good now just back it off and measure. Brighter shouldn't make any difference.
    No help, huh?
     
  4. Don't remember the rule of thumb about so many inches down etc., but do align them on the garage door.

    The right beam aims a bit to the shoulder so you can see hazards there.

    The left beam stays on your side of the white line.
    That'll still give you sufficient light for the times when there is no oncoming traffic.

    Far as height goes, adjust em so you can see ok with the low beams and the high beams are not lighting up the trees.

    You'll know when you have them too high cuz oncoming cars will flash their high beams at you.

    Works for me.... [​IMG]
     
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  5. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,402

    DrJ
    Member

    Doesn't matter...
    First sink hole you go thru the right one's gonna be lighting up the road side ditch and the left one's gonna be spottin' owls in trees anyway! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When I was a kid, before they put them three nifty instrument aligning bumps on them, Dad would drive out along a real straight abandoned road, (like Ball Road), and stop the car as straight as possible and have one of us kids stand in front of one headlight at a time while he aimed them where he wanted them. he'd aim the right one on low beam pretty much straight ahead and the bright part out about 40 yards or so and them the left on a bit to the right and out about 30 yards, then he'd check the high beams by standing out there where they was shining to see if one of them glared too much and if all was ok we'd be done, till next time.
    I remember saying "Hurry up, this thing's getting hot on my back!"

    He'd usually put 100 pounds or so of "stuff" in the trunk before aligning them too so's they wouldn't be too high with a load in the car.
     
  6. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,452

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa

    thanks for the link to adjustment.

    DrJ you bring upa good point I had planned on doing, but for me its opposite, I have airride in the rear so I need to raise the rear up slightly like I do when I go on read trips and there is lots of crap in the back, I need to adjust them for this situation. (with the bad raised)

     
  7. Deuce Rails
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 2,015

    Deuce Rails
    Member

    The first time I aimed headlights, I was a 17 year old kid. I did it in front of a wall, without any technical "measurements" or other bothersome details. I pretty much eyeballed it.

    I jumped in, and (thankfully) didn't get very far. The lights were pointed more or less straight ahead, and I couldn't see the road in front of me.

    So I guess that I'd recommend on erring on the side of too low rather than too high. [​IMG]

    --Matt
     
  8. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,452

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa

    well i turned the lights off on the garage and got them dialed in better then before, the drivers was down and the passenger was Ok, both are now alittle higher, will have to take a ride tonight. and adjust from there...
     
  9. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,301

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    My rule of thumb is to point them forward - it just gets better after that! [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,402

    DrJ
    Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    thanks for the link to adjustment.

    DrJ you bring upa good point I had planned on doing, but for me its opposite, I have airride in the rear so I need to raise the rear up slightly like I do when I go on read trips and there is lots of crap in the back, I need to adjust them for this situation. (with the bad raised)



    [/ QUOTE ]

    What's interesting about that is, in California anyway (unless they changed it very recently, they're always changing lttle bits of shit in the DMV code book) if you change the load in the car the driver is responsible for checking and re-aiming the headlights before driving... as it's written that's every time you put shit in the trunk or passengers in the back seat! They leave room for no excuses....Bureaucrats...:(
    No, no one does it...not that I know of anyway.
    (Although newer cars would be easy since they have built in bubble levels right in the headlight housings)

    Just make sure they aren't too high rather than too low. you're more likely to get pulled over for blinding a cop with them set too high than just looking dim.
    I made a contraption cut out of masonite that has cutouts to just touch the edges of both my H4s at the same time and a bigger cutout to clear the grill shell on my 40 GMC, so I can just hold it up in front and check them every once in a while. That way I can check that they are at least pointing in the same right/left direction relative to each other, then I use a carpenter's level to check that they are aimed slightly down from horizontal, like 1/2 a degree or so. That's along with just looking at where they are hitting the road on a dark straight stretch. and adjusting as needed.

    You gotta figure on checking them a couple times a year or after any time you see kids near the car because they love to see if that big melon shaped light thing is loose.... [​IMG]
     
  11. I go pogo
    Joined: Apr 22, 2003
    Posts: 485

    I go pogo
    Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    When I was a kid, before they put them three nifty instrument aligning bumps on them, Dad would drive out along a real straight abandoned road, (like Ball Road), back!

    [/ QUOTE ]Not to pervert this thread, But do they call the road that because of what goes on there? pogo
     
  12. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,402

    DrJ
    Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    When I was a kid, before they put them three nifty instrument aligning bumps on them, Dad would drive out along a real straight abandoned road, (like Ball Road), back!

    [/ QUOTE ]Not to pervert this thread, But do they call the road that because of what goes on there? pogo

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It's in Orange County, turns into Wardlow in L.B. I think.
    runs East/West a couple miles North of "The Beach"
    It usta be nothing but alternating orange groves and dairy farms when I was a kid, until they turned Orange County into Sub-division Tract Home County.
    If your car would clear the ditch without getting stuck or high centered I suppose one could hide amongst the trees a few moon-lit hours..... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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