Headlight stopping low

Everything that doesn't belong in the previous categories probably belongs here. Interiour (how are the seats mounted? how to remove the CEM?) and exteriour (how to replace the popup-lights shock absorbers or a door) are discussed here!

Moderators: jifflemon, coyote1980, Rachel

Post Reply
Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:14 pm

Hello everyone, one of my headlights is not closing flush with the body but half an inch to low, is it an easy fix to set the stopping point higher?

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jifflemon » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:20 pm

Wind the knob on the back of the motor

User avatar
MisterH
480 Connoisseur
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:15 pm
Location: Stockbridge

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by MisterH » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:36 pm

jifflemon wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:20 pm
Wind the knob on the back of the motor
That doesn't help if the alignment is out. One of my lights is a little low, and doesn't close flush. For the purposes of a car show, turning the knob will make it look good, but as soon as you flip the lights it will reset and go low again. To adjust it properly, you need to get playing with screws in the unit, I believe there is a diagram here somewhere, but personally it is a job I would get done professionally
Current Jobs to do (1/1/21):
Fix Central Locking
Fix drivers side speaker
suspension creaking below 40mph

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jifflemon » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:44 pm

Sorry, my first post was meant to have :rofl: on the end!

Yes, adjusting them is painful (hence the quick bodge!). You need to adjust the position of the crank on the motor. To gain access to it, you take the nose cone off, which means you've just lost your point of reference.... So you adjust, tighten, pop up and down, then refit the nose cone to check. Then repeat many, many times over.

Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:02 pm

By nose cone you mean the front of the car?!

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:46 pm

I can't remember what state of disassembly the car was in when I noticed this but there is some adjustment to be made on the slotted hole with bolt number 17 going though it on the below picture:
Image

It is odd that it would go out of of alignment though without some sort of failure internally to change the switch position. Unless someone has pushed down on the light and moved it and you can get it back to flush with the bolt above? Or may they've tried to adjust the lamp aim crudely because the adjusters are broken and then this has subsequently came loose?

To see if it is even possible to access bolt 17, first removed the covers 32 & 34 or 46, depending on which design you have. Single piece item 46 is for later cars from Ch. No. 553587 -->; two-piece item 32 & 34 if for earlier cars --> Ch. No. 553586

After you've got it flush again, you will need to go for a headlight alignment... which will probably fail and adjustment will find you with broken plastic cups that the adjuster cups sit in. This is an easy fix and we are lucky that BMW part number 63121369833 is identical.
https://www.schmiedmann.co.uk/en/produc ... 3121369833 or https://www.schmiedmann.co.uk/en/produc ... -1-369-833
Replace all 6, 3 per light, and get all the screws freed up and oiled so the adjustment for MOT is easy for the mechanic.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:29 pm

Adjusting the lamp aim crudely sounds exactly right as the garage was complaining about it being a pain job on the last MOT if they managed to force a hand inside the lamp housing I’m sure I can, ordering some of those little plastic bad boys right now, I couldn’t have asked for better advice, thank you so much for your help.

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:47 pm

Absolutely no need to be forcing hands anywhere so yes, this sounds like some ham-fistedness on their behalf.

If you are in there with the covers off, this is probably a good time to replace the gas-strut dampers in your headlight to keep them nicely up and not wobble around, plus taking the load off your tired old motors and cogs.

I got mine from SGS Engineering. They will recharge yours for £9.50 + VAT each or send you back new replacements for £17.50 + VAT each. They don't list them on their website, even though Jeff has pointed out that they are missing out on a trick here. By the time you have paid to post yours out just to find they wont hold pressure, the cost difference isn't much! Return carriage was £5.30 + VAT. I sent all mine out to see what would happen-- pop-ups held recharge pressure, boot struts didn't so they sent back new.

They also sell the boot struts if you feel they need regassed/replaced. These are listed for sale on their website for £16.79 + VAT: https://www.sgs-engineering.com/car-boo ... volvo/480e

+44 (0)1332 576 850
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
www.sgs-engineering.com

If you are feeling really lux, maybe throw in some Osram Nightbreakers or Philips Racing Vision H4 bulbs to finish the job off nicely-- but beware of fake items of these very good bulbs. I like autobulbsdirect.co.uk
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:42 pm

Jeff’s told me that SGS now charge £50 for a pair of pop-up struts and will not recharge originals. He can hopefully point you somewhere cheaper so don’t go rushing to SGS with your credit card yet!
Last edited by jamescarruthers on Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:27 pm

50 quid is rather steep but I do need at least one as the headlight in question does wobble about a bit when it's on.

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:30 pm

This could also be contributed to by the garage having broken all the little plastic cups when they were mangling your light. It is very worthwhile changing the struts as by now they will be doing very little.

This is one of the few things that is actually cheaper at Skandix... although postage from the EU will make this much less of a bargain

https://www.skandix.de/en/spare-parts/b ... t/1016119/

Watch this space for a pop-up strut lead.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:17 pm

Looks like SGS may be the cheepest over all, I emailed them about it and they replied `Unfortunately we are unable to assist on this occasion' is there an SGS item number I should quote perhaps?

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by jifflemon » Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:54 am

Drop me a PM.

Can sort you out with a pair of struts, headlamp cups or full adjuster kit if needed.

Monkeysox
480 Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Re: Headlight stopping low

Post by Monkeysox » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:46 pm

Thanks ro, pm sent.

Post Reply