From digest.v7.n874 Sun Jan 4 13:12:33 1998
From: John Firestone <john.firestone_at_nordkom.netsurf.de>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 16:34:31 +0100 (MET)
Subject: Aligning European headlights (revised)
I am not sure if my last instructions were entirely clear, so I have
added a couple more figures. I hope the ASCII "art" comes through
o.k. Happy headlight aligning!
> I just purchased a pair of Hella "European style" headlights
> (5 3/4 round, low beams, with 55/60W bulbs) to replace the
> sealed beams on my 91 318iS (E30).
> How do I aim these puppies? The instructions that come in the box
> are for motorcycles.
The European ellipsoid headlights have an asymmetric beam that casts
more light to a higher angle off to the right. You may aim them using
the following target:
m | |
i | Line II _ -|
n | + _ - |
. | Line I x < _ - ) 15 degrees |
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
6 | |
0 | |
c | |
m | |
min. 180 cm
The target should be no smaller than 60 x 180 cm, as indicated. What
you should see is a horizontal line (Line I) stretching across the
target, a second line (Line II) starting at the center and ascending
to the right at an angle of 15 degrees and two plus signs, one at the
center of the horizontal line and the other, a distance 'x' above it.
This so called x-height is the critical number. It is how much the
the low beam should descend every 10 m. The value varies from model
to model. George Boudreau writes that for an E30 3er it is 14 cm,
meaning the beam drops 14 cm every 10 m; for an E36 3er, it is 10 cm.
- Fill the gas tank and inflate the tires to the correct pressures.
- Park the vehicle on a level surface.
- If it has one, set the headlight trim level control to 0.
- Load the vehicle to the standard EU weight, which is: 68 kg (a 150
lb person) in the driver's seat and 7 kg (15 lbs) in the trunk.
- Shove the front of the car downward several times to settle the
TARGET PLACEMENT AND HEADLIGHT ALIGNMENT
Place the target 10 m (33 feet) in front of one of the low beam
headlights. Align the top plus sign with the headlight's center: the
bottom plus sign and Line I should then be 'x' centimeters below:
---- 10 m
) ---------------------------//----------- +
Do what you must to insure the line from the headlight center to the
top plus sign is perpendicular to the front of the car, that is, it
runs true, straight ahead, not off to one side:
Block the light coming from the low beam's companion. The light from
the low beam should fall on the target below Lines I and II. Adjust
the headlight so that the light-dark border touches Line I on the
left side and Line II on the right side.
Reposition the target and repeat the procedure to align the other low
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