E30 Club SA: Headlight Adjustment - E30 Club SA

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Headlight Adjustment

#1 User is offline   Party_Guy Icon

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 07:49 PM

hey guys. . . .was wondering if anyone knew how to set your headlights, because my left side shines further than the right and when i put the beams on the right hand side wants to light up the sky not the road. so any help?
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#2 User is offline   Hennie Icon

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:09 PM

you adjust them from inside the bonnet but first check that the light is properly clipped into its legs and not loose the clips become brittle with age and if and sometimes the light comes loose
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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:26 AM

I had a huge problem with my lights when I got my car. The light on the right looks like it might still be the unit the car originally came with and as a result the plastic is very brittle and a piece was broken. I ended up making a leg and fixed it in place with a cable tie. I also used WD40 on all the legs to ease tuning the lights as not to break more legs. I parked the car on a flat surface and had the lights shine against a wall to see where they shine while I tuned them.

Good luck
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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:27 PM

oh so it is the actual light that you move around, not some screw that adjusts it, oh ok my bad dont know where i got that idea from. . . i will actually give it a go this weekend
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#5 User is offline   Baz Icon

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:38 PM

i have the Haynes manual and will read up how tot lights and post it later this evening. I have the same problem with headlights which are wrongly adjusted but have not done anything about it as i almost never drive with the BMW at night. But will now do it and report on my success/failure
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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:58 PM

no there is plastic fittings that you turn to adjust the lights they are normaly white in colour
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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:26 PM

haha i had a blond moment this afternoon. . . .i just finished checking the lights now and i know what white fittings you talking about. . .there is 3 i think. . . now i just wanna know what fitting is for what adjustment because i dont wanna make it worse than it already is. . . .so that post will be awesome BAZ
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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:04 PM

Adjusting Headlights- Haynes manual

Ecah headlight has 2 adjusting screws. They are accessible from the back of the headlights on 3 series models. One controls up-and-down movement and one left and right movement.

The simplest method according to the manual is to a blank wall or garage door 25 feet = 7.62 m in front of the car and at floor level. Position masking tape vertically on the wall to mark the vehicle centre line and the centre line of both headlights. They advise that you position the tape on the wall with the vehicle parked only a few inches or metres away, and then move the vehicle back the required distance. Make a horizontal line on the wall to mark the centreline of all headlights.

Move the vehicle back 25 feet (7.62m) away from the wall. Adjustment should be made with vehicle level, and fuel tank half-full for obvious reasons.

Switch on the dipped beam. The bright spots on the wall should be two inches (5.1cm) yes, 5.1 centimetres below the hrizontal line. as well as 5.1cm to the left of of the headlight vertical lines.

Adjustment is made by turning the adjustment screw to raise or lower the beam. The other adjusting screw should be used in the same manner to move the beam left or right.
With the main beam on, the bright spots on the wall should be exactly on the vertical line.

Note: It may not be possible to position the headlight aim exactly for both main and dipped beams. If a compromise must be made, keep in mind that the dipped beam is most used, and will have the greatest effect on driver safety.
Source: Haynes Service and Repair Manual;Chapter 12

Good luck. I'll give it a try as well tomorrow and will report on it.
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