View Single Post
#1: 02-15-2007, 08:06 PM
How to Align your headlights! if you don't know now you do.
MiniStiGuy's Avatar
Title: Master of the Karts
Rank: Moderator
Location: Houston, TX
Car: 2005 SWP Ltd Wagon 5MT
Posts: 17,439
iTrader: (11)
Send a private message to MiniStiGuy Find all posts by MiniStiGuy Reply With Quote
The DOT standard for headlamps alignment is as follows: (this is the california standard which I'm sure is more then fine for everywhere else considering the stiffness of rules and regulations we are faced with)

The standard states that a vehicle's headlights must be at 25ft away 2 1/2 inches below the given height of the headlight. To accomplish this I have written out a guide for you guys that just are new to this or for those of you that have been wanting to do this but aren't really sure how high or low you should go.

Ok to start here's some stuff that will be needed.

You'll need to have a flat surface with a flat wall and plenty of flat ground to back up 25ft away from the wall.

Tools needed:
Tape Measure
8mm wrench or ratchet
phillips head screwdriver to remove snorkus.(intake section)

(tape works good for all the markings you'll be doing).

Cliff Notes:
Mark 1 = Center of the Vehicle.
Mark 2 = Height from the ground to the center of the Lens.
Mark 3 = Height from 25ft away that lower arc of beam should be at. (See 2nd Arc Picture)
Mark 4 = Distance from center of the Vehicle to the center of the Lens.

NOTICE: If you follow these instructions you will have a DOT approved alignment and will not be blinding oncoming drivers.

1. Pull up to the wall and mark the center of your car on the wall and your car. Mark 1 In the Diagram.

2. Measure the height from the ground to the center of your headlight (the center of the projector lens. Measure from Ground to Mark 2 and put Mark 2 on the wall.

3. Measure from the center of the car to the center of the Lens. Mark 1 to Mark 4 and put Mark 4 on the wall.

4.Measure from Mark 2 down 2 1/2 inches. Mark 2 Measure down 2 1/2 inches and put Mark 3 on the wall.

Your tape on the wall should now look like that of the diagram in the picture.

5. Use your tap measure and measure back 25ft from the wall and mark the ground at 25 ft away.

6. Put the tap measure right up next to your tires and proceed to back up until your front tire is at the 25ft mark. IMPORTANT!!! Be sure to keep the center of your car aligned with the center mark on the wall if you don't do so then your marks are now useless. I find using the tap measure helps you back up straight because you can use it as a guide with it extended out for you to back up next to (sort of like a curb)

7. Now adjust your lamps as needed as to align the lower section of the arc to line 3.

8. If your horizontal aim is off to much you can remove the cover that is on the bolt for the horizontal alignment and adjust as needed. (see picture of bolts location. The bolt is on the outside section of the lens cap towards the fender at the top of the headlight.)

Thats it your DONE!!!!!! being that you have now aligned your headlights to the DOT standard you can drive around worry free of blinding your fellow motorist.

The lower arc is the lower section of the light beam as opposed to where it arc's upwards to the top arc section.

Here's a diagram I drew up of how your's should look on the wall and how the lights should be aimed to that diagram.

NOTE: The higher arc is not what you are trying to aim here its the lower arc that you are trying to aim to the correct height.


yeah their are bolts on the back of the headlight that can adjust the horizontal aim and the vertical aim.

If there is any questions or concerns just feel free to PM me or post them up.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Headlight diagram.JPG
Views:	16660
Size:	133.2 KB
ID:	32237   Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture2.jpg
Views:	5103
Size:	47.9 KB
ID:	32238   Click image for larger version

Name:	New Image.JPG
Views:	4517
Size:	214.4 KB
ID:	32239  

Last edited by MiniStiGuy; 03-25-2007 at 09:43 PM..
The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to MiniStiGuy For This Useful Post:
BigTDogg (MA) (10-25-2011), CrazyGadget (11-07-2013), dan04103 (07-30-2012), leftcoast74 (02-25-2011), LegacyDan (04-08-2015), lmlght14 (03-07-2012), mazdaslo (08-29-2012), PeterJMC (11-03-2011), Planner (02-22-2012), PowderedToast (04-29-2013), Sarli (09-30-2012), spec.B Dream (04-08-2013), SubOperator (01-05-2015), wuuusaa (02-11-2014)
Sponsored links