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Author Topic: What type of shop would aim my headlights?  (Read 2143 times)
belfert
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« on: August 15, 2011, 08:17:14 AM »

I have not had much success finding a place that will align the headlights on my bus.  What types of places would do this work?  C&J Bus Repair locally doesn't do it and most of the truck repair places say they either don't do it or might be able to do it.  If you're not confident you can do it I don't want to waste my time and fuel.  It seems there may be some new state or federal law that shops have to be certified to align headlights now which means a lot quit doing it.  There are optical headlight aimers now, but they cost thousands of dollars.

Yes, I should just do it myself, but I don't have a level place against a wall to do it at home.  I don't really feel like driving around at night looking for a level parking lot with a wall I can use.  I don't mind paying someone a few bucks for this. 
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 08:46:45 AM »

It is not rocket science  (hehe I just realized even if it is, you and your  guys should be able to work it out).  I have googled it before for the specs etc...with a laser level you should be able to work it out without having a perfectly level bus/parking lot.  Just work out the plane of the bus, find a wall find your midpoint etc and adjust per specs.
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bevans6
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 08:54:44 AM »

I don't use a wall, I use a piece of plywood in my driveway.  It's pretty easy to get it real close.

Brian
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 09:03:07 AM »

  Ive been aligning my own since I was 16. First of all, those stupid machines they put over your headlight are complete BS and good luck finding anyone that would even know how to make it work. They been in the backroom of XYZ shop since Nixon was President.

  I go out at night and find a dark parking lot somewhere where I can play with them. As long as they are lighting up the road ahead of you, and not blinding anyone, your good. With four lights, set the lows a bit wide, a bit to the right so you light the ditch and median a bit, but with the majority down under your nose. The highs should be straight ahead and should light up the highway at least 1000 feet.

  If you want to get technical, you can find the specific information in books or online. Basically you lay out lines with tape from a building wall on flat level ground. The lines have to be at right angles to the wall. You pull up a certain distance from the building, and you put X's on the wall at certain heights and centers, as described, and adjust the lights centers of beam to strike those X's. Doesnt really matter if its a Honda or a Mack truck, your lights shouldnt blind anyone, but should fully light up the road ahead of you. Its really not that difficult.
 
 
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luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 09:13:14 AM »

Most truck shops that do Dot inspections should have the equipment we did our own with marks on the shop wall

good luck
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 12:51:55 PM »

I found a truck body shop that has one of the optical alignment systems for headlights.  Daniel Stern recommends one of these optical systems instead of doing it by hand.  Considering I just spent a bunch of money on new ECE headlights $50 to make sure they are aligned right seems like a good investment.

Edit: Just to be clear I would do it myself if I had a level driveway and a wall or something flat to work with.  I don't understand how a laser level would help if I had one.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 03:01:16 PM by belfert » Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2011, 05:22:22 PM »

Most body shops have the correct alignment tools as they are constantly repairing damaged front ends. Everytime I've had a vehicle get it's lights aligned they are right on.
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2011, 05:26:08 PM »

Next time you are out at night, have a screw driver handy, and adjust your lights a little bit to the left or right, up or down every time you stop. You can see when you are driving where they should be. It is not rocket surgery...

JC
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 07:25:37 PM »

Bryan
Here is a link to a web site that has lots of info about lighting. Daniel is very strange, seems even paranoid when you talk on the phone. I have tried for 3 years to get a set of headlights from him for my prevost without luck. However, he has complete instructions on the site to do your own alignment.
http://www.danielsternlighting.com

HTH

Rob
91 Prevost LeMirage
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belfert
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 08:06:37 PM »

If I aligned my lights the way they provided the best lighting for me oncoming drivers would probably be mighty upset.  I want my lights aligned so I get the very best lighting possible without blinding oncoming drivers.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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