Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Useful hints, tips that you think will help other drivers and owners. (No questions)
Post Reply
User avatar
HypoThermia
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:38 pm
RX-8: R3
Colour: Aurora Blue Mica
Location: London
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by HypoThermia » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:56 pm

This is a repost of a thread in which Filippo wrote up the procedure to align xenon headlights. Hopefully it won't fall off again for a while :D


filippo wrote: The auto-levelling system has an actuator, which is basically an electric screw driver behind the aiming adjuster screw.
For Xenons, the left headlamp must point straight ahead (light beam at the same height as centre of lamp), the right headlamp must point slightly lower, as to form a Zz pattern:

Code: Select all


left             right
-----\
      -----|-----\
                  -----
I will take pictures and post results.

See the [urlw=http://www.rx8ownersclub.co.uk/forum/vi ... 58&t=35629]service manual[/urlw]: the chapter regarding headlights aiming explains it all (body&accessories/lighting system/headlight aiming & headlight level actuator)

The auto-levelling works by loosening and tightening the adjusting screw from a position called Zero. If Zero is set too low, the auto-levelling won't perform its function properly. The auto-levelling does not know where the headlights point at, it just senses the load on the suspensions (front and rear) and has pre determined points for lowering the aim
Last edited by HypoThermia on Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
(Former Chairman, Membership Secretary, and long time Admin)
R3 Aurora Blue Mica - Racing Brake calipers, rotors and steel brake lines - Racing Beat exhaust - TARGA2 sensors - Lockwood grilles - blue LEDs - side and fog light upgrades - window tints - Eibach spacers
And still three gears left...

User avatar
HypoThermia
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:38 pm
RX-8: R3
Colour: Aurora Blue Mica
Location: London
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Post by HypoThermia » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:59 pm

filippo wrote: A few pictures showing how to align headlights:

1.jpg: undo the bolts under the wheel arch mud protections and lift the side of the car using the jack to gain access to the back of the headlights unit

2.jpg the screw is made of white hard plastic, and can be adjusted using a flat head screw driver

3.jpg: CAVEAT: the service manual (I gave the link to it a few posts above this one) says that to raise the lights, you need to turn the screw clockwise. In the UK, to raise the headlights you need to turn it counter-clockwise!
CAVEAT number 2: make sure the final adjustment is to raise the headlights (turn screw counterclockwise). This will tighten the screw and make sure the lights don't go out of alignment again


4.jpg and 5.jpg: if your headlights look like in 4, they are wrong! Make them look like in 5, bulb bang in the middle.

I reccomend you park your car on a level surface, and make sure you measure the height of the light beam on a white board: first take measurment as close as possible in front of headlight, mark it with a pen on the board, then walk 9 feet away and make sure the horizontal edge of the beam is at exactly the same height from the ground. I have the left headlight pointed slightly upwards (just about an inch higher at 9ft) and night vision is spectacularly clear, and does not seem to bother anyone on the road.
(Former Chairman, Membership Secretary, and long time Admin)
R3 Aurora Blue Mica - Racing Brake calipers, rotors and steel brake lines - Racing Beat exhaust - TARGA2 sensors - Lockwood grilles - blue LEDs - side and fog light upgrades - window tints - Eibach spacers
And still three gears left...

User avatar
HypoThermia
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:38 pm
RX-8: R3
Colour: Aurora Blue Mica
Location: London
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Post by HypoThermia » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:01 pm

The pictures:
Attachments
3_129.jpg
3.jpg
3_129.jpg (60.84 KiB) Viewed 5115 times
2_190.jpg
2.jpg
2_190.jpg (78.2 KiB) Viewed 5115 times
1_107.jpg
1.jpg
1_107.jpg (76.68 KiB) Viewed 5119 times
(Former Chairman, Membership Secretary, and long time Admin)
R3 Aurora Blue Mica - Racing Brake calipers, rotors and steel brake lines - Racing Beat exhaust - TARGA2 sensors - Lockwood grilles - blue LEDs - side and fog light upgrades - window tints - Eibach spacers
And still three gears left...

User avatar
HypoThermia
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:38 pm
RX-8: R3
Colour: Aurora Blue Mica
Location: London
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Post by HypoThermia » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:03 pm

And the last two pics:
Attachments
5_218.jpg
5.jpg
5_218.jpg (80.42 KiB) Viewed 5111 times
4_121.jpg
4.jpg
4_121.jpg (72.72 KiB) Viewed 5116 times
(Former Chairman, Membership Secretary, and long time Admin)
R3 Aurora Blue Mica - Racing Brake calipers, rotors and steel brake lines - Racing Beat exhaust - TARGA2 sensors - Lockwood grilles - blue LEDs - side and fog light upgrades - window tints - Eibach spacers
And still three gears left...

User avatar
mik
Non Member
Non Member
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Post by mik » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:10 pm

My wife has had her car just a few days now - I took it yesterday and the headlight alignment was shocking :shock:

Thanks to this thread I popped out and adjusted them to something vastly more appropriate in just 20mins.

Cheers guys! 8)
2006 WRX Wagon [For Him]
2005 RX8 (231) [For Her] ~ now sold
2006 Land Rover Discovery Metropolis [For Her]

User avatar
warpc0il
Spin Doctor
Spin Doctor
Posts: 23182
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:56 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Lightning Yellow
Location: Groomsport, Co Down, NI
Has thanked: 340 times
Been thanked: 1285 times
Contact:

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by warpc0il » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:21 pm

A good set of instructions and here's a couple of extra tips...

1. A 10mm 1/4" drive socket on a small ratchet-handle is much easy than a screwdriver for the adjuster, it doesn't slip and you don't need as much room.

2. The plastic fixings that hold the wheel arch liner in place can be a bugger to get back in, as the legs stay splayed out and you find three will go down the hole leaving one outside.

This trick works a treat on these and similar fixings.
- Drop them in a jar half-filled with boiling water and a couple of drops of detergent (washing-up liquid, car shampoo,...)
- Put the lid on the jar and give a good shake.
- Leave to stand while you have a cup of tea, since you just boiled the kettle anyway.
- After 10-15 mins loosen the jar top and pour the water out.
- The fixing will have returned to their original (as new) shape with the legs together and any grit will be washed away.
- They are now very easy to re-fit - Simples.
Dave
The Spin Doctor ™
uǝǝɹɔs ɹnoʎ ʇɹǝʌuı ǝsɐǝld :ɹoɹɹǝ

User avatar
Jester
Club Member
Club Member
Posts: 2015
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:03 pm
Location: Cawston
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by Jester » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:00 pm

Erm, I don't mean to correct, but the Zz pattern desribed is wrong. Both lamps should line up to the same horizontal height. It is 1% down for both lamps.

Also the horizontal and vertical beam adjustments can be accessed from the engine bay. No liner removal required. In fact if you don't have the wheels pointing dead ahead while adjusting, they will be adjusted incorrectly.

Here is a 'how-to' I created some time ago.
Attachments
ADJUSTMENT OF HEADLAMPS.doc
How to adjust headlamp aim
(52 KiB) Downloaded 342 times
James - Ex-committee member
RX-8 now sold. Current car - 2019 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSELux

" When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting. "
- Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) in 'Le Mans' 1971

User avatar
warpc0il
Spin Doctor
Spin Doctor
Posts: 23182
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:56 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Lightning Yellow
Location: Groomsport, Co Down, NI
Has thanked: 340 times
Been thanked: 1285 times
Contact:

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by warpc0il » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:32 am

Now I'm really confused. I adjusted mine according to the instructions in the OP and (apart from finding that a socket was easier than a flat-blade screwdriver) everything was at expected and they are now great.

The Word doc talks about two phillips screws moving the beam side-to-side and up & down, but the Workshop Manual has this diagram
CHU0918W1042.png
Turn the adjusting screws to adjust the headlight so that the elbow point is in the shaded area shown in the figure
CHU0918W1042.png (5.88 KiB) Viewed 4827 times
which doesn't show phillips screws.

This diagram is for LHD vehicles and must be reversed for RHD, including the rotation of the adjuster, as noted in the OP.

Obviously something is amiss here.

Are these differences between the Xenon and Halogen light units? I don't think so.
Is one showing adjustment of the dipped beam within the unit and the other adjusting the whole unit, including main beam? That would make more sense.

Regarding the Zz pattern, I've seen a proper (official looking) version of that somewhere but can't find it ATM. However I can confirm that it's exactly as mine were, only slightly lower than ideal, and as they are now.

We need to get to the bottom of this to avoid confusion.
Dave
The Spin Doctor ™
uǝǝɹɔs ɹnoʎ ʇɹǝʌuı ǝsɐǝld :ɹoɹɹǝ

User avatar
Jester
Club Member
Club Member
Posts: 2015
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:03 pm
Location: Cawston
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by Jester » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:05 pm

warpc0il wrote:We need to get to the bottom of this to avoid confusion.
Let me try!
warpc0il wrote:The Word doc talks about two phillips screws moving the beam side-to-side and up & down, but the Workshop Manual has this diagram
CHU0918W1042.png
which doesn't show phillips screws.
I never mentioned phillips screws, only a phillips screw-driver. There are no screws. The plastic moulded adjuster mechanism is designed to take a cross-head screwdriver. Here is the direction that the screwdriver goes in

Image

This can be done from the engine bay. The top adjuster is the horizontal adjuster (adjusts the beam side to side) and the lower adjuster is the vertical adjuster (adjusts the beam up and down)
warpc0il wrote:This diagram is for LHD vehicles and must be reversed for RHD, including the rotation of the adjuster, as noted in the OP.
Nope, the diagram is for a right-hand-SIDE headlamp, and is mirrored for LHS, but the same solution exists for RHD or LHD markets of car, although the thread in the adjuster is not mirrored, so a RH thread is fitted to all 4 adjusters.
warpc0il wrote:Are these differences between the Xenon and Halogen light units? I don't think so.
Is one showing adjustment of the dipped beam within the unit and the other adjusting the whole unit, including main beam? That would make more sense.
The adjustment process is exactly the same for Xenon or Halogen, only the 192 owners need to remember to switch the manual adjuster on the dash to '0'. The dipped beam is only adjusted, the main beam is always fixed.
warpc0il wrote:Regarding the Zz pattern, I've seen a proper (official looking) version of that somewhere but can't find it ATM. However I can confirm that it's exactly as mine were, only slightly lower than ideal, and as they are now.
There is a pattern known as a 'Z'-pattern, and is one of the two approved beam patterns approved by FMVSS (US reg), but it describes the pattern from a simgle beam, not a combination of the 2 lamps. Both elbow points should be exactly the same height. As for the EC beam patterns, they should also be aimed to the same height exactly.

Here is the adjustment process directly from the workshop manual, but I think my word doc explains it much better:

Image
Image
James - Ex-committee member
RX-8 now sold. Current car - 2019 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSELux

" When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting. "
- Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) in 'Le Mans' 1971

User avatar
jayb73
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:56 am
RX-8: PZ
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Glossop
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by jayb73 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:50 pm

Just done this following Jester's guide.
A Wickes 250mm no2 pozidriv screwdriver is perfect. In though the engine bay. No need to remove arch linings.
Counterclockwise to move the beam down. Applies to both sides.

Job done 8)

VIN
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:34 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Brilliant Black
Location: Kent
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by VIN » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:18 am

How high from ground level should the headlight beam be approx.?
Brilliant Black 231 with black/red interior.
Done: Upgraded starter, Front and Rear LEDs, Puddle light LED, Red interior LEDs, New Bonnet, New Rear Bumper with parking sensors, Xcarlink Bluetooth Streaming, Sealed rear lights, Refurb/replace gear knob
To Do: Upgrade coils and leads, Upgrade battery, Seal Centre high brake light, Front Bumper, Boot Lid, Refurb Wheels, Tint rear windows.

User avatar
Jester
Club Member
Club Member
Posts: 2015
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:03 pm
Location: Cawston
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Headlight adjustment with xenons - how do u do it?

Post by Jester » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:42 pm

If you do approximate measures it will be wildly inaccurate but I'm guessing about 60cm?.

To be accurate it should be 90% of the height from the floor to the centre of the glass lens if 10m away from the wall.
James - Ex-committee member
RX-8 now sold. Current car - 2019 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSELux

" When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting. "
- Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) in 'Le Mans' 1971

Post Reply

Return to “RX8 Hints and Tips”