Headlamp adjustment (HELP)

  • I need to get the MX-3 through the MOT very early April but the adjusters on the nearside headlamp do nothing and the reflector assembly flops about hopelessly.
    I've tried to take the headlamp assembly out and there are 3 obvious 6mm screws easily accessible in front.
    There appears to be a further fixing behind and despite removing the side light assembly and the inner wing mudshield I can't find where this fixing is. Any help (perhaps a photo of this lug on the headlamp assembly) would be much appreciated.

  • You've gotta take the front bumper off to access the rest of the bolts.

  • I concurr with BazzM993, hope youve got a degree in 'bolt location' also some 'anti sieze spray' and a swear box ready for when/if you round heads off on any of the four 14mm(?) bolts :( unfortunately God cant help either if it all goes triangle shaped and the bumpers not been off since the production line assembly?
    A 'cars width' of carpet and close friend are very handy too if you wish to keep your prestine bumper in its present condition? because as you take a step back with what seems like the whole of the nose of ya car, several strands of 'mofo' wiring will YANK your removed prize from your grasp and slam it southwards with a clatter !!! You may be lucky sir? I hope ya are :shock:
    If it all goes well? grease or waxoil all fixings upon refitting! for next time???
    I bet when ya see the last lamp fixing bolt ya say " why have they put that down there" ?
    I was going to look into slotting the bottom lamp fixing bracket to make lamp removal a breeze with bumper in situ, the lower bolt could be sleeved with just enough clearance for the modded slotted bracket to slip into? The opportunity never arose? its on the 'to do' list to try? :?
    hope you get it sorted barrygadd2003

  • Removing the bumper is the best way.

    You can do it without but its a real pain if you've not done it before and you still have to undo most of the bumper bolts anyway to get the actual light out. And much more chance of damaging the bumper. I only do it this way if the bumper fixings will not come undone.

    Spray em with WD40 for a few days and wire brush the back of any you can get to.

  • Remove the shit shields
    Remove the four bolts for the front slam panel
    Undo the bolts that mount the bumper to the wings.
    Pull the whole lot off.
    Watch for the loom.

  • Hi All,
    Many thanks for the help. I'm going to postpone the MOT as it will take me some time to get the job done. (and I thought this would be a 5minute job…..)

  • Next time! will be a 1 hour job 'IF' you grease and waxoil all fixings this time around :P hope ya rewarded for ya efforts with a 12 month MOT ticket :D

  • If you take the indicators out you will see the final bolt under the hadlight in the gap, if yo can get enough extensions on a socket set you can do it with the bumper in place, ive done it twice now with no problems, you need a lot of extensions and the UJ connector to work at different angles 8)

  • Hi,
    I finally got the headlamp out removing the 2 nuts holding the nearside bumper fixings and got the unit on to the bench.
    The reflector was hanging loose and I managed to push the adjusting screw ball-end into its retaining socket. I checked and both adjusters were doing something…..
    I've put the light back and reconnected.
    I need to align the headlights but am not sure of the exact procedure.
    I think if I put a couple of marks on the garage door at the same height up as the headlamp bulbs these marks being directly in line with the 2 bulbs ie same spacing apart I should then aim the lights to the centre of the marks (or maybe slightly to the left and perhaps a fraction lower)
    I have found a beam pattern on UKMOT website which shows this with a slight uplift to the left hand side of the beam pattern
    Some questions:-

    1. Do you align the headlights to the above described beam pattern on full beam or dipped?
    2. How far from the garage door should the car be positioned 5 / 10 / 15 feet?
    3. Which direction do the 2 adjusters move the beam? Is it up / down or is it more complicated than this?
    4. What part does the thumbwheel headlamp adjuster on the dashboard play as far as the MOT is concerned?

    I realise I could take the car to a garage to get this done but I'd really like to do this myself.

    Anybody know if the MX-3 headlamps do fail? Is this a common problem?

    Assuming my nearside headlamp may still be faulty does anybody have a spare which won't cost me a fortune???

  • Hi sounds like it was a breeze to remove? :shock:

    Some 'suggestions' to your questions (answers?)

    1. I would set them up using dipped (but not 'DIM dipped' with its 1 candlepower illumination! :lol: What on earth is that for???)
      The MAIN beam filament is on the same axis inside the H4 bulb but different focal point to the reflector inside the headlamp unit and hence if DIPPED is set correctly, Main should follow?

    2. A distance that clearly shows the beam pattern on the surface your'e
      aiming at is the most accurate? I would guess at about 3-4 car lengths? you'd have to get a friend to stand close to a garage door while you approach at a distance 'lights on' and get them to halt you when the focus of beam pattern is most defined, (take a picture for reference and mark the floor with chalk infront of say, a front wheel).

    3. Theres two adjusters on standard units.
      The crosshead/8mm, pointing up towards you, Iirc? move the reflector up/down, clockwise=up, anti=down
      The crosshead/8mm pointing towards engine, move the reflector left/right'
      clockwise=centre of road, anti=curb? (I may be 100% wrong :oops:)
      Only had to adjusted mine 2 1/2 yrs ago when I got car and passed 2 MOT's since so…...!.

    4. The dashboard thumbwheel adjuster you speak of, is for the instrument cluster illumination intensity or 'DIMMER' if you prefer, It has NO effect on headlights as far as I am aware??? :?

    When you have your reference photo and a 12mnth MOT ticket its a lot easier to set up! but to get there get your level by:-

    A) stick a 100mm strip of black insulation tape horizontally on each headlamp at exactly the same point/position on each lense, now with a 50mm bit of tape form a cross on each horizontal (to form a target)
    B) In twighlight, on a white garage door, drive up, lights on to your focal point (as mentioned above)
    C) measure the distance from the floor to the horizontals on yr lights and confirm on garage door that each shadow/image is roughly the same dstance from floor (LEVEL GROUND!!) NS could be slightly higher if required (to illuminate cyclists and parked cars?)
    OS either level or slightly lower would be safer to on comming traffic!
    Left to right adustment is more difficult? just make sure beam axis is 90 deg to garage door and on OS while sat in driver seat, confirm image on
    door is aiming in a straight line? if the straight line were to pass through you , the headlight (cross) and the image on the door, if not adjust accordingly.
    Then measure with a tape meaure the distance between each cross on
    yr lights and confirm the same measurement on image on garage door? if
    not correct, adjust NS only to gain measurement with maybe an extra turn of screw towards the curb.
    You should be somewhere near by now? test drive, and if ya get flashed repeatedly go home park on chalk mark and recheck? :?

    Alternatively buy a pair of H4 bulbs from a garage/test station and barter
    for a 'alignment test' with ya purchase :o hope this helps? kev b

  • Hi Kev b,
    Many thanks for your comments.
    Earlier this evening I set the car about 8-10feet back from the garage door on which I put 2 black tape crosses at headlamp height up from ground, the same width apart as the headlamps.
    I can adjust the beam up and down with 1 adjuster (the easier one to access) but the second adjuster does nothing. I guess this one should move the beam from side to side but nothing happens on either headlamp.
    All I can do is set the beams as per your suggestion; nearside slightly above the horizontal and offside slightly below.
    But both beams are now closer together than the spacing between the headlamps (I can't make the beams parallel). They don't look too bad to me but I'm not sure if they would pass the MOT.
    Any suggestions why the second adjuster (to move lamps sideways) doesn't work???

    nb I checked the thumbwheel on the dashboard and it does raise or lower both beams so the motor in each headlamp works fine.

  • You have the adjuster headlights, so you can raise or lower the angle of the lights depending on weight in the car.

    Most only have the dash dimmer, that adjusts the dash lights.

  • Hi
    Thanks for advice regarding the dashboard thumbwheel adjuster.
    Any ideas about the adjuster on the back of the headlamp which I believe should adjust the headlamp beam from side to side???
    Mine clearly don't work and I'd love to know what's gone wrong!!!

  • It's because their shit.

    My older MX3's had a setup like this.

    The adjuster screw was connected to small metal 'pipe' with a cog on the end made of plastic, which turned another cog (again, plastic) which adjusted the inside of the headlights.

    Issue, they rust\lock up\get over turned and the metal pipe either:
    A snaps off from the first plastic cog, or
    B Rips itself apart from being over turned in one direction.

    Think of it like a 'L' shaped setup. Nut, downpipe, Cog, 90' turn, cog, headlight inside adjuster.

    The whole thing is about an inch long, and not in a place you can get to without taking the headlight part.

  • Ok! so you can confirm that you have a 'load level adjuster' on the dash as stated by Lori? I was not aware of this feature, mines a 96 GS with dash dimmer only :(
    The lack of adjustment left to right is a puzzle??? strange that BOTH have died together? If you could get one back on the bench, youll see at the foot of each adjuster is a plastic cover and screw/screws you can remove these to reveal the adjuster mechanism which is just two bevel gears at 90deg to each other, you could remove a good one and compare actions? maybe one of the bevel gears is free rotating on the none functioning ones? confirm gear engagement and perhaps grease with silicon based grease? (petroleum based grease could soften the plastic gears and strip the teeth etc).

    If you say the alignment is ok horizontally but the width is narrower on the projected image on the door? if its a small amount and its biased towards NS then I would chance an MOT? just make sure nothings loose, you could confirm security of reflector by removing bulb and inserting a clean dry finger (oooer) into aperture and feel for excessive movement?

    I know my testing station v well, 15 yrs of MOT's with em so they would tweak mine without telling me if they need to for a pass :P
    With you, if it was the only reason for a fail they may try to tweek em for you but if the adjusters dont work theyd probably have no choice but to fail it which would require two new units at a guess?

    Hope you find something to explain inoperative adjusters? L8r kev b

  • Sorry Lori x you must have 'snuck in' while I slowly typed my essay to barry G ? so barrygadd2003, "what he said as well" :o
    I must have been lucky with mine as they look original 17+yrs and they are spotless in condition and function :P
    Think lack of jet washing front of car and engine bay and intact bonnet to lamp unit gaskets has prob helped? :shock: kev b

  • Hi,
    Again many thanks for the help given. I'll have another go today when it gets darker. I agree.It is puzzling that neither sideways adjusters work. I wouldn't be surprised if just 1 failed, but both makes me suspicious.
    When I removed the N/S headlight the reflector was flopping around. I forced the ball end of the threaded horizontal adjuster into its socket on the back of the reflector (the other end of this connects with the bevel gear adjustment that you can turn to adjust)
    I put a small blob of paint on this threaded rod to check it was turning when I rotated the screw adjuster and all seemed well. I then refitted the headlamp fully expecting to be able to adjust the beam sideways. BUT NO…..
    The drivers side headlight has always seemed reasonably OK so I've not touched this ; however when I tried to adjust this beam sideways I then found this would not adjust either.
    I am wondering about getting a spare headlight to check if that too will adjust but obviously don't want to spend a fortune if there is something daft I've overlooked
    I'm determined to sort this out and any further ideas will be very welcome

  • PUZZLE indeed :( I wonder, did you confirm that you DO indeed have level adjusting headlights as Lori stated??? What model/spec is yours?

    Im GUESSING that the mechanism involves a motor somewhere on the lamp unit? acting on the up/down adjustment of the reflector? and that of the two thumb wheels you have on the dashboard one of them has a scale on it ranging from say 0 - 4 which operates the motor acting upon the reflector???

    Can you confirm this functions correctly? ie '0' should be level (and where you set up the lights) then any graduation on the thumbwheel should lower? the beam pattern to compensate for any additional weight other than 4 occupants in the vehicle( ie their luggage in boot)? It must function if fitted for an MOT pass!

    My 'wonder' is wether there is an additional maual adjuster along side the motorised one which is set up out of range to the ZERO position and hence affecting your abbility to adjust the left to right position????

    Having never seen the rear of a level adjusting light unit Im unable to offer
    any firm direction to its operation or dismantling :oops: If you pop it off again could you perhaps post a pic of it?

    I have a scrapper mx3 GS at work, again with non level adjusting units but I am going to try and remove the light units and study the mechanism and might even smash the glass and inspect reflectors attachment :?
    SORRY but they are no good to you as they are corroded to buggery inside
    as both the bulbs/bulb covers were missing when i bought the car :( and covered in green mould!!

    Obv if you do get a replacement you're going to have to get the ones with the level adjusting fitment on unless they are common to all MX3's and its just the addition of the motor connection that distinguishes them from each other?? MAKE SURE THEY'RE 'RIGHTIES' TOO!!!

    Good luck tonight hope you can shed some light on the matter :lol: kev b

  • Hi Kev
    I played again earlier but no matter what I do I can't adjust the beams sideways with the second adjuster.
    Up/down no problem.
    I even unscrewed the 3 6mm fixing bolts clearly accessible on top of the headlight and tried to physically move the lamp sideways but it's a tight fit in there and this failed too.
    I also removed the H4 bulb retaining clip and tried moving the bulb from side to side hoping this would shift the beam horizontally but again no joy.
    I think all I can do is remove the headlights again and strip them down to find out what is preventing sideways adjustment.
    I did try your setting technique.
    I put tape crosses on the garage door at the same spacing as the distance between the headlamps.
    I lined up the car symmetrically and at a distance of approx 4 feet the beams are approx 1 foot inside the marks.
    I reversed the car and at about 12 feet or so back from the door the 2 beams converge.
    I have a Toyota Yaris and did the same test.
    The beams are parallel ie same distance apart whether 4 or 12 feet back from the garage door.
    I'm sure the car wouldn't get through the MOT like this unless you know of a particularly lenient MOT man !!!!!
    My car is a 1998 model and it does have the dashboard thumbwheel headlamp adjuster to crank the lamps down to compensate for heavy loading. This works well.
    I checked the car over as a pre-MOT check and bought some bits off this MX3 website. I changed the N/S ball joint at the bottom of the suspension leg but that was a doddle compared to this headlamp problem…....

  • KIN HELL! 'WE' must be missing something? probably brain cells in my case :shock: lol

    Out of the two to remove, I would plum for the NS again!
    Did you say OS appears parallel to centre line of car? but also lacks left/right
    adjustment? leave alone if so?

    I have read on here about members poppin light units in the oven and melting the case to glass adhesive and removing the spring clips to gain access to the internals to either recolour the interior or modify with halo rings/LED's? you could perhaps try this as a last resort to inspect the sideways adjusters action upon the reflector? perhaps detatch it and confirm it does actually move as decribed :?
    ( NOT too sure about oven temps and how long?) you certainly dont want to 'adjust it for good' into a glass and plastic puddle in the bottom of your Gurts oven :(

    I really am at a loss fella? looks like youve tried everything that i would have, had it been my Brainache!

    Someone on here is bound to know or experienced same prob, its just theyre probably out enjoying 'Their pebble' trouble free without a care at mo and who can blame em?

    Feel for ya too as mine is superb at mo and I enjoy every minute behind wheel and know all too well what its like when it shits on ya lap? :x
    Not dissin your (?) 'YA RICE' but its NOT an MX3 simplzzz!
    Soldier on sir, it WILL be worth it X kev b :P


Copyright 2021 UK-MX3.com | Powered by NodeBB