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4/1/14 9:40pm - Original Message: 'AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
gellisvette Lifetime Member
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1975 T-Tops,Lite Custom work,Many engine mod. 700R4 trans. body is shaved,17" wheels bf goodrich g-force tires,heavy sway bars front&rear rack&pinion steering,550 slolom springs with gas shocks.

Joined: 4/23/2004
Posts: 317
Can anyone help explain the easiest or best way to aim the headlights in the C3 corvette? Is there a web sit that explains it or should I just bite the bullet and take it to a body shop. Thanks in advance, George
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4/1/14 10:24pm - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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I stole this from Popular Mechanics a while back...it will give the basics....in a long-winded way.

Proper headlight aim is critical. Check aim with a driver in the car and a full tank of gas. The low-beam cutoff (a) should be slightly below the center of the lens (b) to keep glare out of oncoming traffic and reduce the light reflection that occurs during rainy or snowy weather. The bend in the cutoff should be slightly to the right of the center of the lane, for the same purpose. This will illuminate the road surface in front of the car, as well as the curb area to the right.

There is a standard procedure, using a flat and level driveway facing a gray or dull white wall that is free of any source of peripheral light (perhaps the back wall of your garage, interior lights off). The open space on the wall should be at least the width of the vehicle plus an extra 2 ft. per side. Check the tire pressures—they have to be right. Confirm that the car is on level ground by using a good carpenter's level on the side of the vehicle—on an SUV try the roof, and on most cars, the door frame. Park the car so it's exactly 25 ft. from the wall to the face of the headlamps—don't estimate. Some exceptions include Toyota, which specifies 10 ft., Pontiac GTO at 15 ft., and Chrysler, which specifies 33 ft. on some models. However, the 25-ft. procedure should produce satisfactory results for most vehicles. Use a tape measure in any case.

Check the suspension ride height side to side to make sure there's no excessive suspension sag.

Now comes a lot of very careful measuring. First, identify the physical center of each low-beam headlamp—with today's multilamp housings, actually turn on the lamps to be sure you have the right lamp. Some headlamps have a small dot or circle at the center. Make a tape cross over the center of each lamp, and a vertical tapeline down the center of the windshield. Using a tape measure, make the corresponding alignment marks on the wall.

For this part, you might be able to measure at the wall from the ground up, but it's easier (and good for a double-check) to bring the vehicle very close to the wall. Then, again with tape, transfer the locations to the wall (perhaps using a bubble level to span the gap between vehicle and wall, to ensure an accurate transfer). On the wall, make the tapelines very wide—basically a single horizontal line for both centerlines of the headlamps, and a vertical tapeline for the centerline of the vehicle—and long enough so that it's easy to line up the vehicle and for the lines to form a cross. Make the centerline vertical crossing tapes for the headlamps themselves about 2 ft. long on the wall. The accuracy of any adjustment is only as good as the reference points. In fact, it's a good idea to lay strips of tape on the ground at the midpoints of the rear tires, so that when you back up to the specified distance from the wall, you can be sure you've maintained the overall alignment of the vehicle to the wall. The tape on the windshield and the centerline of the wall also should be useful visual aids.

Next, locate the headlamp adjusters. If you're a veteran Saturday mechanic, this may sound like "are you kidding," but we're serious. The adjusters used to be on the external rim of the sealed-beam headlamp assemblies. But with the change to quartz halogen bulbs, they're on the back of the headlamp assemblies. Some makers simply buried or eliminated the horizontal adjusters. So find out what you have, and where it is.

We've seen a number of "mainstream" cars (yes, that includes General Motors) with the vertical adjusters at the bottom of the housings. It's not a problem if there's nothing in the way of the adjuster, but we've seen the battery, coolant reservoir, even the antilock brake actuator behind it. You may have to remove what's behind the housing to confirm the location of the adjusters, or even to be able to put a tool on the adjuster.

Once you locate the adjusters, back the vehicle up to the 25-ft. mark and turn on the low beams—do this on a dark night. Have a passenger sit in the driver's seat. Block the light from one headlamp, but not by covering the headlamp assembly (it could get hot enough to melt the plastic lens). A kitchen chair with your jacket draped over the back a couple of feet from the bumper works well.

Look at the light pattern on the wall. Vertical aim: The top of the most intense part of the beam should be at or below the centerline of the headlamp horizontal tapeline. Horizontal aim: Most of the intense part of the beam should be to the right of the vertical centerline of the headlamp assembly.

Specifications vary, and if your state inspection system checks headlamp aim, it may have its own specifications, which, of course, you should use. Otherwise, observe manufacturer's specifications (in the lighting sections of service manuals) if available. With today's brighter headlamps, you want to be as friendly as possible to oncoming cars without affecting your ability to see ahead.

Some examples of factory specifications on typical vehicles (measured below the horizontal centerline of the headlamp): zero distance on General Motors, less than 1/2 in. on Toyota (at the 10-ft. distance), less than 1 in. to slightly more than 3-1/2 in. on Nissan vehicles, and 2 to 6 in. on Chrysler Group vehicles. If you don't have specifications (or a bubble level in the assembly), at least 2 to 4 in. below the centerline at 25 ft. should be acceptable, although slightly more certainly would eliminate any complaints from oncoming vehicles. It may be somewhat difficult to determine the middle of the most intense part of the beam, but there should be very little of the top edge of the overall beam above the horizontal line. The kickup is the part of the pattern where light is projected above the normal cutoff. This is to illuminate objects to the right, such as road signs or pedestrians, without throwing glare onto oncoming traffic.

Have to make adjustments? First jounce each side of the front end to stabilize the suspension, then turn the adjuster a quarter-turn and look. Horizontal aim of the most intense part of the beam may be given in the manufacturer's specifications. If not, a friendly setting for oncoming cars is 2 to 4 in. to the right of the vertical center of the headlamp assembly. General Motors' ultrafriendly setting is to have the left edge of the intense part of each beam flush with the physical vertical centerlines of the headlamp assemblies, and just under the horizontal centerline. Repeat the procedure for the other headlamp, trying to get the most intense part of the beam as close to the adjustment of the first headlamp as possible.

Joel Adams
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4/1/14 10:30pm - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
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Eagan, MN - USA

1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 509
Find a building with a flat slab of pavement next to it. At dark I put the nose of the car next to it and use tape to mark the headlight centers. I back up a bit and get out and adjust the "hot spot" to the tape.

      Only 27 years together
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4/2/14 11:04am - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
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Just keep raising them a bit at a time until oncoming drivers start flashing their lights at you.  Then drop them down a bit.  Done!  Wink

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4/2/14 11:39am - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
Adam Wartell Lifetime Member
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Eagleville, PA - USA

Used to own a 1979 Corvette now owned by JB79

Joined: 11/1/2001
Posts: 14836


    • 1

      Park the car on a level surface about 2 feet from a flat facing wall.

    • 2

      Start the car to activate the vacuum system that operates the headlight door opening and closing. Turn the headlight switch on and raise the headlight assembly. Place the lights in the low beam position. Turn the ignition off leaving the headlight doors up.

    • 3

      Place a long piece of masking tape horizontally on the wall, level with the center of the headlight beams and extend it to the outer edge of the light. Place a small piece of tape vertically crossing the center point of each beam. This will give you a reference point for your adjustments.

    • 4

      Start the car and move it back about 25 feet from the wall. Turn off the car leaving the headlights on.

    • 5

      Locate the adjustment screws on the outer edge of the headlight retainer rings. The high beams are the inside bulbs and there will be one screw at the top and the other on the bottom left. The low beams are the outer bulbs. The adjustment screws are at the top and the lower right.

    • 6

      Adjust the low beams to match your tape marks. Turn the top screw clockwise with a Phillips screwdriver to raise the lights to the marks. Turn the top screw counter clockwise to lower the beams.

    • 7

      Turn the side screws as needed to adjust the low light beams left to right until the beam is directly at the center of your original marks

    • 8

      Turn on the high beam lights and adjust them using the above process. Aim the beams to an illumination point slightly under the tape line and inside the cross markings of the low beam points.

    • 9

      Start the car, and turn off the lights

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_7349429_adjust-corvette-headlights.html#ixzz2xkB41sU7

-Adam Wartell
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4/2/14 5:05pm - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
Norsky Lifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

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While the narratives above are excellent -  I still use the "country lane" method.  After dark I grab a thick towel and head for the nice straight stretch of road just to the east of my place.  I cover the light(s) I'm not aiming with the towel and adjustment each light to maximize its pattern.  After I've finished if I get too many flashes for oncoming cars I repeat the process until the oncoming cars quit complaining.

Jim Olson 

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4/2/14 11:18pm - Reply: 'Re: AIMING HEADLIGHTS'
gellisvette Lifetime Member
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1975 T-Tops,Lite Custom work,Many engine mod. 700R4 trans. body is shaved,17" wheels bf goodrich g-force tires,heavy sway bars front&rear rack&pinion steering,550 slolom springs with gas shocks.

Joined: 4/23/2004
Posts: 317
Thanks guys your a big help. 😎


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