How-To Aim Headlights
Motorz TV http://www.motorz.tv shows you how to upgrade and aim your vehicle's headlights, compares stock and aftermarket bulbs, and more.
Show notes: http://www.motorz.tv/blog/2543/how-to-aim-headlights/
Chris Duke: I am Chris Duke and today on Motorz, we are going to talk about killer headlamp replacement bulbs for your ride including how to install them and properly aim them.
Chris Duke: There are three different kinds of headlamp replacement bulbs for your vehicle. There is the stock originally equipment ones like those are on a F150 here, which are generally acceptable and then there is the opposite end of the spectrum which are super bright HID's and after market HID's aren't exactly plug and play, they can be kind of expensive not to mention illegal. Now, there is a way to upgrade your stock headlamp bulbs, dramatically increase visibility and installing them is no different than swapping out a stock bulb, plus there is no need to run any extra wiring or even a relay because they use the same wattage as your stocks. Now I'm talking about Hella's high performance Xenon Blue Halogen bulbs and when we come back from our break, I'm going to show you the difference between their bulbs. I'm going to show you how easy it is to install them, aim them and a whole lot more.
Welcome back to Motorz. As you can see here Hella hecked us up with a whole lot of glass, so that we can show you what they offer when it comes to upgrade bulbs for your vehicle. All right, here we have their high performance Xenon Blue Halogen bulbs, as well as their high performance Xenon Yellow Halogen bulbs. So what's the difference between these two guys, well it's really up to you, which look you want to go for. The blue bulbs are going to give you that Xenon look that most modern cars have or the yellow bulbs are going to give you that GT racing look. Now either way, they both increase safety, do the brighter bulbs, and they are both SAE and DOT approved for use in any vehicle. Now that being said even though they are approved for street use, some cities may have localized that override this. So be sure to check with your local laws before performing any type of headlamp upgrade just to be on the safe side.
Now if you'd like to check out a complete listing of all the upgrades bulbs and their specs go to their website at myhellalights.com or you can find the list of retailers. But Hella doesn't just have bulb upgrades for headlamps only, they also offer a complete range of bulbs such as H1, H3, H13 and more for driving and fog lamps too. They work not only for factory lamps, but also for universal after market lamps. All right, enough talk we've got some bulbs and we got a truck, let's hook it up.
As you may recall last season in episode 22, we upgraded our 2005 Ford F150 pickup truck with awesome LED taillights as well as these vision looking headlamps replacements from Hella. The stock bulbs are still in there, so let's upgrade one of them with Hella's H13 Xenon Blue bulbs and then I'll show the difference in amount of light between the stock bulb and the Hella bulb. But first let's talk about the proper handling of bulbs. It's extremely important that you don't get any oils from your hands or anything else on the bulb surface. If you do it's going to create hot spots on the bulbs, which is going to decrease it's lifespan. Now if you do happen accidentally touch the bulb and it gets some kind of gunk on it just grab some rubbing alcohol and wipe it off just be sure to allow the bulb to dry completely before installing it. So always wear gloves or use a clean rag or a paper towel whatever possible to avoid damaging the bulb. Now, let's go ahead and upgrade the driver side, and leave the passenger side stock for now, so I can show you the differences in a bit.
Moving this headlamp lens on our F150 is really easy just take a Philip screwdriver and remove this plunger clip that's right on top of the splash guard and then take a 10 millimeter socket with an extension and move the bolts on top and behind the splash guard there is going to be two more, one right about there, one right about here, I want to get rid of those two.
Once you got the 10 millimeter bolts out, you can move the headlamp, there is actually a little bit of a plastic clip that's on top here you have to pull out, but before you remove this, you want to make sure you don't scratch your paint. So I recommend you to stuff in some rags down in there or just taking some blue tape kind of protecting your paint a little bit, just like that, and you put a couple on there. You definitely don't want to scratch your paint when you are doing this. That's how I do it. So carefully wiggle that out, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and the bolt.
To remove the stock bulb, you just give it a twist from the back of the lens housing and it will come right out, as you can see it looks about the same size as the stock one, the Hella one is noticeably bluer. It's important to mention again this is a direct replacement, so there is no need to do any extra wiring or run relays or anything, just take the new bulb, push it into the back and give it a twist.
Now you've got the H13 bulb in there from Hella, we can just reinstall it back into the vehicle. That's really that easy. Now let's take this truck some place dark so we can compare the Hella bulb with the OEM one. Now anytime you replace the headlamp bulb or the lens you should check your headlights to make sure there are still aligned properly. It's actually really easy to do and there is lot of different ways to aim your headlights, but I am going to show you the quickest and easiest way that I know how. Now all you need is a tape measure and some masking tape, I recommend the blue stuff because it's lot easier to see. A screwdriver will do the job for many vehicles, but for a F150 we just have this single post back here for alignment. We are just going to use a pair of pliers to twist that.
Now find a vertical whitewall on a level surface. You can use your garage door if your driveway is level. Place your vehicle as close as possible to the wall about six inches will do, then turn on your low beams and mark the horizontal center lines with your masking tape. Then mark the vertical center lines with tape. This is used to check your side to side alignment. It may help to have a buddy stand behind the vehicle looking to the back window to assistant the placement of the tape. You want this to be dead on.
Now using your tape measure and masking tape, mark a spot on the ground exactly 25 feet away from the wall, then pull the vehicle straight back from the wall by that amount. Using the headlamps adjustment screws for horizontal and vertical alignment again on our F150 we just have a single post, position the most intense part of the light two inches below the horizontal line and two inches to the right of the vertical lines. It's always best to aim lower and to the right so you don't offend oncoming traffic.
Since this truck has a single headlamp lens for both low and high beams, once they are aimed, you are done. However if you have a separate lens for high beams you are going to need to repeat this process for the second set of lenses. By the way, it's also a good idea to check them yearly as they can become naturally misaligned.
Now we wanted to show you the difference between the brightness of the factory Ford bulb which is on the passenger side and the Hella bulb, which is on the driver side. Now I had Jason my camera guy tweak the aperture on the camera slowly to show you the difference. It's a little bit hard to pick up on the camera, but I can tell you in person there is a quite a difference. We need to go to a break, but when we come back we'll show you how much effort goes into the creation of something that's been around since 1879.
All Hella light bulbs undergo painstaking tests by their engineers before they reach the stores where you ultimately buy them. It's a ton of work, but it pays off when you need them most. The state of the art equipment to prove the high reliability of bulbs over a long period of time they're in their service light test. In vibration and shock equipment test the bulbs to ensure that the filaments and other components hold up to the vibrations while driving. Another test is used to check the filament geometry to ensure that they hold up to specific industry standards. For example, the filament has to have the size and position within a specific bulb. This results in a best light possible while at the same time preventing oncoming drivers from being blinded.
To guarantee optimum light output of Hella's bulbs, this crazy looking thing called an Ulbricht sphere and goniometer are used. And finally, a pin adhesion test is performed. A climate chamber tests the adhesion of paint on the colored glass bulbs at different temperatures and air humidities. These in further tests are performed by Hella's quality assurance engineers to ensure that all Hella bulbs live up to the brand name so many of us rely on.
How-To Aim Headlights
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