Headlight Adjustment & Alignment

When aligning and focusing your headlamps, make sure you have an empty car standing on a level surface in front of a wall or screen 25 feet from the front of the headlamps.  This is best when the area is in semi-darkness or shaded so the light spots can be easily seen.

To begin, turn your bright lights are on.  To focus, adjust the screw on the back of the lamp keeping one lamp covered while focusing the other.  Adjust the bulb filament at the focal center of the reflector to obtain an elongated elliptical spot on the wall with the elongated elliptical in the horizontal position.  When the lamps are focused for the bright filament, the dim lights will be in satisfactory position.

To align the headlights, loosen the nut at the bottom of the bracket and tilt the headlamps to the desired angle.  The tops of the bright spots on the 25 foot wall are to be set at a line 33” above level of the surface, on which the car sits.  With the top line set at 33” with an empty car, the headlamps will also have the proper tilt when under full load.  The beam of the light from each headlamp is to extend straight forward; that is, the centers of the elliptical spots of the lights must be 30” apart.

Proper alignment of the headlamps is readily checked by means of a horizontal line on the wall in front of the car, 33” above the level surface on which the car sits, and two vertical lines are 30” apart, each one 15” from the center of the car.  Proper alignment of the car relative to the marks on the wall may be readily provided when marks can be painted on the floor to show where the wheels should be set.  This will make it easier for setup and proper alignment.  This technique will work for all types of headlamps.

This tech tip was originally provided by Jeff Johnson and printed in the September 2003 “A” Quail Call.