How to adjust your headlights: - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-03-2007, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Post How to adjust your headlights:

If I see one more thread on asking how to aim these im gonna puke.

lol ok not really, but im bored and im here to put the info down.

To adjust your headlights you need to turn the stud that sticks through the support of the retainer connecting your headlights to the header panel. You can either use pliers and strip your stud, or a 4mm socket and wrench, like so:



Each headlight has 2 studs you can adjust, Left/Right and Up/Down. The stud closer to the inner parking lights or inner highbeams (depending on year) adjusts your Up/Down motion. The studs closer to the outer corner signal lights adjust the Left/Right motion.

Here is what you need to do to aim them Up/Down:
  • To aim the headlight beam higher turn the stud clockwise.
  • To aim the headlight beam lower turn the stud counter-clockwise.

Here is what you need to do to aim them Left/Right:
  • To aim the headlight beam towards the center of the car turn the stud clockwise
  • To aim the headlight beam away from the center of the car turn the stud counter-clockwise

Now go outside and enjoy your aimed headlights:



I know the following pic isnt about headlights, but you can see how well these foglights light up when you take the time to aim your lighting:



-Mike

Last edited by Porkchop; 01-03-2007 at 10:29 PM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-04-2007, 09:42 PM
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The only problem is getting the rachet in there...it's a tight spot if you don't have a 4mm wrench and you have to use a rachet. Time to hit up Sears.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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they are pretty easy to get to if you see the pic in the first post. plus i also have more parts there seeing how i have projector headlights and hid's.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 09:58 PM
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I took a new 4 mm socket, 1/4" drive, and slightly ground the smaller part and drilled a 1/4-20 nut out to where it was a press fit over this cround portion, then pressed it on and just spot welded it in two small spots, so now I have a socket that I can use either a ratchet on, a flex handle, or 7/16" box or open or gear wrench on.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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that or a ratchetng 4mm would be nice lol
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-29-2007, 04:04 PM
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on the 94-5 the headlights are harder to adjust on the driver's side. there are some wires in the way and you kinda have to use a wrench after you adjust it so much. or you can use the ratchet, but then theres no way to get it off if the post is tightened in too much. gotta use wrench for 94-5 drivers side for the L-R adjust. Check the sig, ive adjusted lights on all kinds of birdies.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-29-2007, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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yea when i had my 95 i had to move a buch of wires, but it was possible. a wrench would be easier obviously.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 12:30 AM
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I was just about to search aiming my headlights when I saw this sticky. Props to you for saving me time lol. Thanks dude.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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no problem, i have a good amount of stickies out there lol
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-20-2007, 08:53 AM
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If you are have any broken light adjusters they sell new ones at the parts store in the Red Help/Ballkamp/Dorman, stuff.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 05:38 PM
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I need to adjust the headlights on my 97 Bird, but we need more info in this thread. I called the Ford dealer who doesn't adjust headlights anymore (the hell?) and they found a tech that used to do them.

I'd like feedback on this and how accurate you think his info is before I proceed.

This what the tech told me:

1) At night, park the car on a flat surface facing a wall about 10' away. Turn headlights on (LOL).

2) Find the distinct centerline in the headlight beams on the wall. This is created by the design of our headlamps/bulbs.

3) Correctly adjusted, the centerline should be about 26" from the ground, against the wall.

4) Beams should stay fairly much within the left/right fender lines. In other words, the beams shouldn't be spreading out so far that, if you were in the center lane of a 3 lane road, the beams should not cross over the left/right lanes of the center lane you're in.

5) When correctly adjusted, at about 30-40' away from the wall, both headlight beams should converge into one beam.

Does this sound correct? I don't know and I haven't been able to find any useful info regarding this in manuals or online. We all know about the adjustment screws for the headlamp assemblies, but I can't find consistent info about distances and beam heights for making proper adjustments.

Hopefully, someone can clear this up. Thanx.

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 05:55 PM
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thats what i did to mine about a month ago but i did it 20ft away from a wall.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 12:11 PM
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what's the recommended height and distance for aiming the headlights for country driving? i spend very little time in town at night and need max visibility. thanks, Dave
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 10:25 AM
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For those looking for a 4mm ratcheting wrench, on occasion you can find them on eBay. Trying a web search will locate other sellers of the "Lisle Tools 14540 Headlight Adjusting Ratchet for Ford" http://www.lislecorp.com/tool_search...m?Search=14540

This tool makes the adjusting very easy. I picked one up off eBay for about $16 shipped.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 08:50 PM
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Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but can you post a picture showing which studs to adjust? I can't seem to see what looks like it will adjust my lights.
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 03:01 PM
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 08:57 PM
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Thanks!

So how are the lights actually fastened to the car? My passenger side headlight assembly is very loose in the car, I can move it up and down with my hand... does this mean the up/down adjuster is backed out too far?

I'll try to adjust them one of these evenings.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Thanks!

So how are the lights actually fastened to the car? My passenger side headlight assembly is very loose in the car, I can move it up and down with my hand... does this mean the up/down adjuster is backed out too far?
where those adjusting studs are, there are little clips that hold the headlamp posts to the header panel. if one of those is missing, your headlight will be very loose. i know this cause one of mine is missing. they are about $4 a piece from ford
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpthefatty View Post
where those adjusting studs are, there are little clips that hold the headlamp posts to the header panel. if one of those is missing, your headlight will be very loose. i know this cause one of mine is missing. they are about $4 a piece from ford
That is probably my problem.
I'll look into it tonight. Looks like I need an MFC as well, blinkers are iffy.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 08:13 PM
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nice. i needed this. my headlights are pointed way too far down and i almost hit a deer a month ago. good thing i got a good reaction time

DMurph
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post #21 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 02:31 PM
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I have problem with the headlights

when i bought the car i bought new headlights too but these are so weak. I changed bulbs for 100W Halogen, without succes. In my country the Xenon is illehal only the factory built in not..
I searcing after some European lamps or for some other solution, how can i have good and strong headlight....
The european standard is assimetric, lighting different i think. Can somebody help me in this question? THX
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post #22 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 11:27 PM
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Check the headlamp assemblies to see how yellowed they may be. Yellowed headlamps can cut down on visibility. Wet sanding is a way of cleaning the headlamps:

http://www.tccoa.com/articles/exteri...ts/index.shtml
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post #23 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 08:20 AM
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Or you can make a new harness for the lamps using 12 gauge wire and some relays and some high temp sockets that you can pick up online or at a local parts store. This will help get better voltage to the bulb.

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post #24 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 12:06 AM
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just found out ford makes a headlight adjusting wrench that fits in there perfectly (Fords and their special tools haha), actually helps a lot with the tight spot. Just thought i would throw that out there.

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post #25 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 09:37 PM
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I have the Ilse 4mm ratcheting drive. Ford no longer makes them as far as I know, that's why Ilse picked it up. Not every Sears carries them in store but as many said; Sears online or I got mine on Amazon. I'll post a pic of it tomorrow, It's pretty heavy duty and well made. It will definitely outlast me.

Proper headlight adjusting;

1. Find a long flat surface with a wall.
2. Pull as close to the wall as you can and turn on your lights.
3. Use blue tape and make a cross on the wall directly in front of your bulbs.
4. Back the car up 25 feet as straight as possible.
5. Adjust your headlights so the hottest spot is about 2 inches outside of the vertical part of the cross and and about 2 inches below the horizontal line.

If your car is lowered obviously the bulbs are going to be closer to the ground so you may want to aim them a bit higher for distance if you drive highways at night and have a hard time seeing at night like I do. It's a good starting point anyways and will make sure they are adjusted evenly then if you need to you can adjust for your driving. I set my headlights a little high then the fog lights I pointed even further to the left & right to help with side to side (animals on the side of the road at night) I wish I could find some brighter fog lights that fit in the SC brackets in my bumper.

Also if you upgrade to 100w bulbs you really should add relays/fuses and upgrade the sockets. They run a bit hotter and you OEM stuff isn't made for it. I had the 100w for awhile and nobody ever flashed me, never got pulled over for them. With all the different headlights out there today they don't stand out as much as true HID's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicerEater25 View Post
just found out ford makes a headlight adjusting wrench that fits in there perfectly (Fords and their special tools haha), actually helps a lot with the tight spot. Just thought i would throw that out there.
Make sure it's the right one if you get one. There are 2 out there and although both are 4mm they are very different designs. I think it's 99+ Fords that had the adjustment stud facing the front so it was easier to get to.

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post #26 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 09:43 PM
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Tools

Top one is the right one for rear adjusting Ford head lights.

Bottom one is for later models with the forward facing adjusters.


-Kelly
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post #27 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:04 AM
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Top one is the right one for rear adjusting Ford head lights.

Bottom one is for later models with the forward facing adjusters.

sorry to revamp this thread but can i use the bottom one to adjust my 94
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post #28 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:09 AM
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sorry to revamp this thread but can i use the bottom one to adjust my 94
No, but top one can.

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post #29 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:44 AM
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.... those run like 20 bucks what if i take my headlight out and keep putting it back ...geesh that would be time consuming guess theres no easy choice
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post #30 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:33 AM
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.... those run like 20 bucks what if i take my headlight out and keep putting it back ...geesh that would be time consuming guess theres no easy choice
Follow these steps:

1) Buy the tool
2) Adjust the headlights
3a) Return the tool OR
3b) Sell the tool

By the way, that tool is under $6 at Rockauto.....
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...5-14540-777676

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Last edited by NetKeym; 03-01-2012 at 02:39 AM.
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