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Old 02-10-2003, 10:47 AM   #1
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HOW TO Align Headlights yourself.

With everyone getting bulbs as of late, I thought it should be made well known how to align your headlights so you don't blind others (no matter how much fun it is ).

-=StarFire=-

Do-it-yourself Headlight Alignment

You'll need:
A Level
A Tape Measure
Masking Tape
A spacious parking area near a flat, light colored wall.


Getting Set Up:

Park so that both the left and right headlights are precisely 25 feet from the wall.

Using your tape measure, find the exact middle of both the windshield & rear window and mark them with strips of tape, creating vertical center lines, front & rear.

Standing behind the car, now sight along those center lines, as if you were lining up sights on a rifle in a carnival shooting gallery. When center lines are aligned, you can locate the headlight centerline on the wall. Mark this with another strip of tape.

Now measure the distance between the headlight lenses, center to center. Divide this distance in half and measure that distance to the right of the centerline on the wall. Mark it with a vertical strip of tape. Do the same on the left side.

Finally, measure the distance from the ground to the center of each headlight lens; mark that distance on the wall with a horizontal strip of tape.

You should now have two crosses on the wall, with centers that correspond exactly to the center of each headlight lens.

Testing Your Beams:

Turn your headlights on low beam. The left edge of the bright spots on the wall should just touch the vertical bars of the crosses in the lower right quadrants. The top edge should just touch the horizontal bars.

On some cars, you can adjust the headlight aim yourself by turning small set screws at the top & sides of each lamp. For our cars the out side Torx is used to aim up and down, the inside is for left and right.

If you cannot do it yourself, a mechanic can adjust your headlights at a garage or dealership. Aligning your headlights does not substitute for any required state inspections.

Here's another link on how to do it with some pictures: http://www.diynet.com/DIY/article/0,2058,2984,00.html
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Last edited by StarFire; 02-10-2003 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 02-10-2003, 11:11 AM   #2
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Yawn... it's so easy...

*Not! Good tips!
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Old 06-22-2003, 03:37 PM   #3
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Well, this thread is a little old but I have some useful info for all those people who have "google eye" headlights. If your lamps are sticking out too far from the body, the lights are making an "x" pattern, or you just plain can't get the beam to lower, here's what you do:

Depending on how bad your lights are off and how bad the lamps stick out, you may have to do more or less adjusting. It is really just an experience thing; once you figure it out you'll never have a problem again. All of the above problems with light adjustments usually have to deal with one thing: the third guide. First, check and make sure it is actually in the track. That is an easy fix. If it is in the track, remove the whole lamp so that you can see all THREE guides. By now your torx screw adjusters may be waaaay off so make sure that the adjuster is slightly closer than half the distance of the bolt to the headlight. This ensures a snug fit. Now here comes the fun part: to lower the beam and keep the headlights flush with the car you must adjust the third guide. This is tricky, because it is hard to tell how far you need to adjust it. In my experience I've found that if after adjusting the headlights stick more than a half an inch away from the body of the car, the third guide needs to be turned clockwise five FULL 360 degree turns. Now slide the lamps back in the body without locking them in and turn on your lights. If they are still too high, keep going, if too low, turn 'em counter-clockwise a bit. You don't need to get it exactly right, it is more of a rough estimate. Once they are close, then lock the lights back in and use the torx adjusters to provide more of a fine tuning. ALWAYS adjust the outer screw first (Vertical) before the inner (horizontal). The vertical adjustments will throw off your horizontal, so that is why you need to follow that order.

If your beams are crossing, (the "x" problem) determine which side is the worst. Note: the driver's side is SUPPOSED to aim right a little bit, this is to prevent blinding other drivers. Follow the same instructions as above, but you will probably need to turn the third guide at least a couple times more. Once you have corrected the bad side, you'll have more of a feel for how much you need to adjust the other side.

I hope this helps! If anyone has any ?'s, PM or email me.
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:27 PM   #4
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Okay... since both my headlight assemblies were scratched and yellowing, I got two new OEM headlamp assemblies. I need to aim them since the adjustment screws are not set properly from the factory. I read this thread, and have a problem. My windows are tinted, and I won't be able to see tape lines through the back window. Is there another way to go about aiming them myself? Or am I screwed, and have to go to the dealer?
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Im having trouble aiming my autodynasty lights.
The driver side sticks out to far from the body and the passenger side is almost perfect. Im now guessing its the 3rd track guide, i really didnt realize it was adjustable. God i hate taking them out over and over again, they are sucha pain in the ass.
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:05 AM   #6
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, took me a few hours to get those in as well, patience pays off though.
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:17 AM   #7
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, took me a few hours to get those in as well, patience pays off though.

Did it end up being the 3rd track guide? These lights are really starting to piss me off.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:27 AM   #8
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Not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but if it's any help I just replaced mine too....and yes, it took me four hours too because it was my first time. My adjusters were way, way off so I had a lot of "trial & error" adjusting. For me, that third adjuster (the black one) was the one that was giving me alignment problems. My assembly stuck out way too far from the car; looked like hell. So I had to screw that black adjuster clockwise... many, many times around to get the assembly flush with the car. After I did that, I then "eyeballed" the beam aim against the car garage the best I could, then drove it to any of the inspection stsations in my area. I asked them if I could simply drive into the bay to see if my light aim was off; they said "sure...". (no charge)
Surprisingly, I eyeballed them right on the button, ... The attendant even said "they can't be any better than that".

So, if your assemblies stick out too far, it might just be that third adjuster....
Sure, it took mr four hours, but that was my first time taking the damn things out, and installing brand new ones that have all adjusters way, way off... I can hear the laughter already, ..... But, if I ever have to take these damn things out again, at least now I'll know exactly how it's done. That first time was a nightmare for me.... Now stop laughing at me, !!!!!!! I'm a old timer here, .

Hey, we all gotta learn sometime, right ???? Oh well, take care everyone.... Oh, by the way..... I installed Sylvania SilverStar's in my assemblies.... I am VERY pleased with the nice, bright white light output. Damn nice bulbs....

EDIT >>> Wow, I must be going nuts here. I just noticed that there are "smiley faces" inserted in many places in my reply here... do they install by themselves? I didn't insert smiley things... Where the heck do they come from, ????
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy00gt1
Not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but if it's any help I just replaced mine too....and yes, it took me four hours too because it was my first time. My adjusters were way, way off so I had a lot of "trial & error" adjusting. For me, that third adjuster (the black one) was the one that was giving me alignment problems. My assembly stuck out way too far from the car; looked like hell. So I had to screw that black adjuster clockwise... many, many times around to get the assembly flush with the car. After I did that, I then "eyeballed" the beam aim against the car garage the best I could, then drove it to any of the inspection stsations in my area. I asked them if I could simply drive into the bay to see if my light aim was off; they said "sure...". (no charge)
Surprisingly, I eyeballed them right on the button, ... The attendant even said "they can't be any better than that".

So, if your assemblies stick out too far, it might just be that third adjuster....
Sure, it took mr four hours, but that was my first time taking the damn things out, and installing brand new ones that have all adjusters way, way off... I can hear the laughter already, ..... But, if I ever have to take these damn things out again, at least now I'll know exactly how it's done. That first time was a nightmare for me.... Now stop laughing at me, !!!!!!! I'm a old timer here, .

Hey, we all gotta learn sometime, right ???? Oh well, take care everyone.... Oh, by the way..... I installed Sylvania SilverStar's in my assemblies.... I am VERY pleased with the nice, bright white light output. Damn nice bulbs....

EDIT >>> Wow, I must be going nuts here. I just noticed that there are "smiley faces" inserted in many places in my reply here... do they install by themselves? I didn't insert smiley things... Where the heck do they come from, ????
From what i can tell you cant adjust the third track guide, how did you adjust that?
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:47 AM   #11
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theres 2 torx controlled adjusters right? and then the black chunk of plastic, that slides in vertically. Is that the piece you are talking about? That piece can be screwed in or out (turned)
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:49 AM   #12
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Yes 2 torx controlled adjusters and then the one that has no adjuster, just slides into a guide, thats the one im talking about.
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:02 PM   #13
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yea, that one can be turned CW, or CCW to adjust its depth
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:05 PM   #14
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Ill give it a try but i dont think it can be adjusted.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:43 PM   #15
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http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/ab_par...270900,00.html

The original link don't have the pics anymore so you guys can go here for some pics.

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Old 03-07-2007, 10:48 PM   #16
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I need to adjust mine. The left side is fine, but the right side is just pointing way up. I hate these headlights.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:21 AM   #17
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I need to adjust mine. The left side is fine, but the right side is just pointing way up. I hate these headlights.
Sometimes when a light is too high, the lower leg is not seated. If it's not in the socket the bottom of the light gets pushed out.

A simple way to check your adjustment is to find a blank block wall with flat, level pavement. I used to go beside or behind large stores at the mall.

Pull up to the wall and make a mental note where on the block wall where the headlight beams hit. Back the car up to see what the pattern looks like. Make your adjustments from there.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:26 AM   #18
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Necromancy!!!!

I have never adjusted my headlights, and the third track is in there great... but teh right beam is way high...

from what ive read the screw on the left (when facing the light) is for up/down
soooo... which way up and which way down? left = down or is it right?
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:56 PM   #19
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Necromancy!!!!

I have never adjusted my headlights, and the third track is in there great... but teh right beam is way high...

from what ive read the screw on the left (when facing the light) is for up/down
soooo... which way up and which way down? left = down or is it right?

The adjuster near the grill moves the unit left/right. The adjuster near the fender moves it up/down.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:29 PM   #20
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i know that part... but do i turn the screw left for down or right for down?
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