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Why do my headlights suck so bad?

swshawaii

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Hey, you agreed with me! That's a first...
Hey, another subject we can agree on, we do agree to disagree. :confused:

Long as we keep at arms length regarding spark plugs, we'll be fine. ;)
 
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kkjb4x4.0

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my sport had terrible lighting! Used some 1000 grit followed by 2000 grip wet sand paper and had a buddy polish them up,,million times better and best of all it was free.I also did the fog light mod so they stay on with high beams,,but polishing the light s made the best improvement. I've heard that wipe new product works well to keep them nice after you polish the lens but have not used it.
 
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Flash

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I have to correct myself.

The motorbike had the 130/90 bulbs, the Explorer had 100/55.

And for some reason the foglights on the Aussie delivered Exs come on with the high beam and there's no switch to turn them off. Not that they do much.
 
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SoNic67

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Flash, in your opinion, it's OK to blind others on the public road.
We disagree, and think that blinding others it's rude, disrespectful and dangerous. And illegal in any civilized country. That's all.
 
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Flash

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Flash, in your opinion, it's OK to blind others on the public road.
We disagree, and think that blinding others it's rude, disrespectful and dangerous. And illegal in any civilized country. That's all.

I DID NOT say it was ok to blind others on the road.

I DO think that blinding others is rude, disrespectful and dangerous and yes, it's illegal in this country.

I say again, the lights are adjusted so that they DO NOT blind oncoming traffic.
I don't use high beam around town.
My lights are not as bright as modern HID lights so I don't know why you would think that.

Also, the lenses supplied to Australian exports are glass and to the higher European spec so the pattern is much better defined and less likely to dazzle oncoming traffic.

Yes, it is possible to have bright lights and still be respectful to other road users.
 
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JakePSD

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I'll be buying a multi meter here real soon and see what I can come up with.

Anyone know why the lenses aren't clear by design until newer vehicles?
 
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1998Exp

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Just make sure to measure the voltage in the "loaded" condition, i.e, the bulb in place. This may require poking through the wires, back-probing, or some similar approach. Measuring the voltage "unloaded" is meaningless, because it does not reflect the drop across any resistance along the connection.
And obviously, when you compare that to the battery voltage, don't switch anything off.
I'll be buying a multi meter here real soon and see what I can come up with.
 
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masospaghetti

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I DID NOT say it was ok to blind others on the road.

I DO think that blinding others is rude, disrespectful and dangerous and yes, it's illegal in this country.

I say again, the lights are adjusted so that they DO NOT blind oncoming traffic.

Putting HIDs in a halogen reflector will blind oncoming drivers, no matter how you aim them. The reflector is the wrong shape. It will not focus.

Also, the lenses supplied to Australian exports are glass and to the higher European spec so the pattern is much better defined and less likely to dazzle oncoming traffic.

The OP is in Ohio and presumably is using American-spec plastic housings.
 
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Flash

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Putting HIDs in a halogen reflector will blind oncoming drivers, no matter how you aim them. The reflector is the wrong shape. It will not focus.

This is getting ridiculous.
Who said I was using HID bulbs in a halogen reflector? Not me.
I am using 100/55 Hella halogen bulbs in a halogen reflector that previously had 60/55 halogen bulbs.
They are properly adjusted and do not blind oncoming traffic.


[/QUOTE]The OP is in Ohio and presumably is using American-spec plastic housings.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I know. I was saying what I had. You wouldn't be able to use these glass lenses because they dip left.
 
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Flash

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Spotlights are never legal (here) to be used in traffic, because they blind oncoming drivers.

People buy them for 1) use away from traffic, or 2) to look cool. How many cars come with foglights? How many cars are driven in such heavy fog to NEED foglights?

Why do people install those stupid blue-tinted halogen bulbs? It's not to see better, that's for sure.

Agreed with the blue lights. And HID lights that are 6000 and more.

I don't even have spotlights. You didn't really think I needed to be told that spotlights aren't for use in traffic did you?

I have no use for fog lights.
 
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masospaghetti

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This is getting ridiculous.
Who said I was using HID bulbs in a halogen reflector? Not me.
I am using 100/55 Hella halogen bulbs in a halogen reflector that previously had 60/55 halogen bulbs.
They are properly adjusted and do not blind oncoming traffic.

Sorry, you're right. For some reason I thought you were running HIDs in the stock housing (you said in reflector housings).
 
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Flash

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Sorry, you're right. For some reason I thought you were running HIDs in the stock housing (you said in reflector housings).

I did actually experiment with H4 bi xenon bulbs in the stock housing, the result wasn't very good but not as bad as it could have been.

The light pattern on low beam was well contained and didn't bother other drivers but wasn't as good a pattern as a halogen bulb in the same reflector.

There wasn't enough difference on high beam to be worthwhile so they came out and the 100/55 halogens went back in.

I only tried it out of curiosity because I had the equipment on hand and using a H7 HID in the low beam of my Mondeo (Contour) worked so well.

Future plans involve using a bi-xenon projector in place of the standard reflector.

I'm glad you replied; I've seen a few of your posts and you seem to be a reasonable guy, I was a bit dismayed when it appeared that you weren't.
We all have our moments.
 
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JakePSD

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One thing I was thinking about the other day too was headlight adjustment. May be kind of a dumb question, but what is the proper way to adjust headlights? I've done a lot of automotive work, transmission swaps, axle swaps including putting coil sprung axles from a 2006 super duty under a 96, head gaskets, hacking wiring harnesses to make them work how I want, etc, but have never adjusted headlights...
 
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koda2000

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One thing I was thinking about the other day too was headlight adjustment. May be kind of a dumb question, but what is the proper way to adjust headlights? I've done a lot of automotive work, transmission swaps, axle swaps including putting coil sprung axles from a 2006 super duty under a 96, head gaskets, hacking wiring harnesses to make them work how I want, etc, but have never adjusted headlights...

the best way to adjust your headlights is to take your vehicle to a shop with computerized aiming equipment. trying to do it on a wall at night can only get you so close. 25' away on level ground 2" drop of the beam kinda stuff.
 
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1998Exp

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Here is what I know (don't blame me if you get a ticket for incorrectly adjusted headlights!): headlights should be aimed with the low beams pointed straight ahead side-to-side, but sloping down approx. 0.5 deg to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. The low beam light pattern makes a horizontal line, which steps up on the right (in countries with right hand traffic). This line and the step are used for aiming. Pros use special equipment, but it can be done in your own driveway, assuming it's reasonably flat. You park in front of the garage door, mark a location about 2.5" below the step, back the vehicle 25 feet in a straight line, and adjust the step to hit the spot you marked. Repeat for the other light. Hope that makes sense... If not, there are pictures on several websites.

One thing I was thinking about the other day too was headlight adjustment. May be kind of a dumb question, but what is the proper way to adjust headlights? I've done a lot of automotive work, transmission swaps, axle swaps including putting coil sprung axles from a 2006 super duty under a 96, head gaskets, hacking wiring harnesses to make them work how I want, etc, but have never adjusted headlights...
 
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swshawaii

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JakePSD

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Hm... If I can do all the stuff I mentioned above, paying someone to adjust my headlights just doesn't seem like something I'd wanna do hahaha. I'll try what 1998exp did first. I have no idea what he's talking about with the step thing but once I start maybe I'll figure it out. My driveway should work great considering it's pretty much perfectly level, which if you know much about the concrete business you'll know that is a bad thing.
 
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J_C

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Ditto koda and maso. Love reading the "reaction" when people first sand the protective UV coating off their polycarbonate headlight lenses, polish, then rave at how they look almost new... for a very short time. Usually don't hear from them after that. Obviously the longevity will vary depending on how the vehicle is stored and protected from the sun. Headlight restoration kits are almost a scam IMO, and require frequent polishing to maintain that "almost new" look. The only long term solution are new replacement lenses, preferably OEM.

This is a nice theory but one contradicted by reality in some cases.

My 15 y.o. original lenses get a 5 minute polish twice a year when I detail it, and look good enough that as-is, nobody in their right mind would replace them except for a style change. No kit, just a bottle of plain ole plastic polish, a rag, and a toothbrush around the molded on lettering.

How often would I have to tell you to make it that you're hearing from me about it when I've been doing it for a decade? It also serves a secondary purpose of getting stuck on bugs off.

If someone would rather replace theirs, hey it's your vehicle and your choice but that doesn't invalidate something others find easier, cheaper, and an acceptable result in their particular situation which for me means the vehicle is parked facing east where a row of trees blocks the sun for a few hours every morning which probably helps.
 
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SoNic67

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I do the acetone wipe every 4-6 months too. If you let it go too far, you need the polish kit.
However, my '96 Sable started to have micro-cracks inside the plastic lens - no polishing will solve that. It still works great with Philips X-treme Vision bulbs - no need to be rude and blind others with HID.
 
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J_C

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The lights are adjusted so that nobody is blinded. Of course, I'm not a jerk.

It's unlikely that there is any kind of adjustment possible that would result in a benefit visually while driving without also getting closer and closer to blinding people.

That they don't exhibit road rage is not a sign it doesn't bother them. Plenty of times I would have called police on someone who blinded me due to their choice to install excessive headlamps, if I had any reasonable expectation that a cruiser would instantly be dispatched and catch the person instead of it just being a wasted call, the same as I would for excessive tailgating or blaring music if police didn't have better things to do.

It's not that I have bad night vision, rather the opposite. I barely need headlights on at all at night except in an unfamiliar country road setting, certainly not brighter lights, so why should I have to be blinded by someone who can't see to drive at night without brighter headlights?

Trust me, you are definitely bothering people, especially those in cars that ride lower than an SUV but don't have all 3 mirrors capable of auto-dimming/darkening.
 
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