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Headlights are not spreading light (dangerous at night)

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Headlights are not spreading light (dangerous at night)

Old 11-01-2018, 05:05 AM
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myrddin
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Default Headlights are not spreading light (dangerous at night)

Hello folks... I have posted a few threads asking for guidance with my "New to me" 2003 350Z... I have had some progress with a few things, but its an ongoing process to get it right for me... To the point of this question... I have been trying to adjust the lights to get them to work better (found a guide on this forum)... The problem is the light doesn't make sense to me... in the threads I have seen and on that how to adjust Doc. it shows a wide pattern that is even and cuts off on the driver side... in my situation there is kind of a line like a see int he pics but more so than not the light is in spots... like a flashlight is focusing the light in spots verses a wide pattern... I am going to try to get some pics, but its currently raining... When driving at night I cant see anything...one spot of light on the passenger side it in the trees, and there are a few other that are random... the driver side I think works a little better but I cant see the light on the road at all... but I do see it on the wall when I am in the garage. They are just regular factory lights, I have no idea what kind of bulb is in them (to be clear I am talking only about the low beam)... I need to fix this because this car is my daily driver for now... I do have a screw driver, but as I adjust I really cant see anything moving... I will give the adjustment another try, but I think something is wrong due to the spots of light...

please help...
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:29 AM
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Post up some pics of the lights shining against a flat wall from about 15-20 ft away to give us a better idea of what you're describing. It sounds like you have some random "hotspots" which could be due to a number of things. The projector lens could be damaged, the HID bulb may not be seated properly in the back of the housing which is throwing off the focus, or it's the bulb itself. Also, what do your lenses look like? If they're cloudy or have a lot of crazing, then you can try to polish them or if they're too far gone, then they'll need to be replaced.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:31 AM
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You need to figure out what bulb is in there. . .
and let us know what type of headlight housing you have
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:48 AM
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Ok I took these just now (4 feet away from the garage wall)... I am going to go out and try to get 15 feet back in a few min.







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Old 11-01-2018, 05:50 AM
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Also the lense is actually pretty clean and clear, no noticeable hazing. How do I identify the bulb? Iíll do that after the 15-20 foot shots.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:57 AM
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Ok here are some shots from about 19 feet and then one from about 30+







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Old 11-01-2018, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by myrddin View Post


Whoa - that light pattern is bizarre. Is that wall flat?

Originally Posted by myrddin View Post
Also the lense is actually pretty clean and clear, no noticeable hazing. How do I identify the bulb? Iíll do that after the 15-20 foot shots.
You can kill two birds with one stone to determine if the bulb is seated properly and the type of bulb being used. It's kind of a PITA. You need to lift up the front end and remove the fender liner to access the gray circular cap on the back of the headlight. It's easiest to remove the wheel also, but you can get by if you have a stubby phillips screwdriver to remove the fender liner and pop out those lovely plastic clips. After the liner is removed, you unscrew the gray cap, then you can access the back of the HID bulb and remove the wire retaining clip securing the bulb.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:07 AM
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Thanks for posting the distance shots. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. I'm guessing the bulb is not seated flush against the headlight housing or the retaining clip is loose.

When you access the bulb, if it's loose and not snug, that could be the issue with the random light pattern.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:22 AM
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Ok... Iíll pull them both out and inspect and provide pics. Thanks for helping me look. Iíve never had this kind of problem before. Give me a bit. Pics coming.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:40 AM
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Ok so it is kind of a pain in the *** so I just did the passenger side. If you want me to pull the driver side too I will. Here are the pics... they look like 35w Philips D2R bulbs (at least this one is). Is that bar thing suposed to be twisted?









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Old 11-01-2018, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by myrddin View Post
Ok so it is kind of a pain in the *** so I just did the passenger side. If you want me to pull the driver side too I will. Here are the pics... they look like 35w Philips D2R bulbs (at least this one is). Is that bar thing suposed to be twisted?




Looks like that's your problem. It is definitely NOT supposed to be twisted like that. The Phillips D2R are OEM. I'm guessing the previous owner forced the bulbs in there and messed them up. If you look at the back of the housing, you can see a notch where that bar is supposed to slide.

This is what it should look like:




You can either try and bend it back into place, but it will probably snap or replace them. If you have touched the glass, be sure to clean it with alcohol before re-installing.

The Retrofit Source is a good choice for replacement HIDs. OEM color is 4300K. If you want whiter, you can do 5000K but I would definitely not go higher than 6000K since the light starts to turn blue which actually impairs your night vision.

Also, I would replace with D2S bulbs instead of staying with D2R. The light output is a little better.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:00 AM
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OK, interesting... I have not touched the bulb. I will try to bend it back and I guess I need to check the other side too so I know its not bent like this one. If I get them bent back and installed right I will try the light on the wall agn... if they snap while trying to bend i will just order some DS2 as you stated and call it a day (I hope). now I have been trying to adjust them out, but with the crazy light pattern I wasn't able to get them to come into spec... now I am thinking that if I get the bulbs fixed or replaced I bet they will be way out of adjustment due to me messing with them.

More pics to follow...
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:10 AM
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Ok new thing I notice... first off the little bar bent back with no trouble. But when I place it into the housing (lining up the two notches) I notice after the two wires are clipped over the bulb that it still rocks in its seat some... is this expected? Video coming.



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Old 11-01-2018, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by myrddin View Post
OK, interesting... I have not touched the bulb. I will try to bend it back and I guess I need to check the other side too so I know its not bent like this one. If I get them bent back and installed right I will try the light on the wall agn... if they snap while trying to bend i will just order some DS2 as you stated and call it a day (I hope). now I have been trying to adjust them out, but with the crazy light pattern I wasn't able to get them to come into spec... now I am thinking that if I get the bulbs fixed or replaced I bet they will be way out of adjustment due to me messing with them.

More pics to follow...
Good luck! Here's a link to the Morimoto bulbs I was talking about before. D2S XB HID 35w 5500K.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/d2...reselect=49469

Don't get the 50w unless you plan on changing out the ballasts, too. Some people think higher wattage means more light, but the OEM ballasts are 35w.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by myrddin View Post
Ok new thing I notice... first off the little bar bent back with no trouble. But when I place it into the housing (lining up the two notches) I notice after the two wires are clipped over the bulb that it still rocks in its seat some... is this expected? Video coming.
No, it should be snug and not move. You may need to slightly adjust/bend the wire retaining clip so it puts adequate pressure on the bulb so it stays in place and doesn't rock.

Try making the bends on the clips a little sharper at the points marked with arrows (below)



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Old 11-01-2018, 07:17 AM
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:21 AM
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From the video, I think you have the bulb slightly misaligned and it needs to be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise 90 degrees. IIRC, the two protruding notches on the base of the bulb are supposed to fit where the bends in the retaining clip are located. I think the design was to pop out the bulb when you unspring the clip and it catches on the notches.

Edit - nevermind. That's not right. The notches are for the igniter. Try the bend method from my other post.

Last edited by Heel Til I Die; 11-01-2018 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:27 AM
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OK, I will go try to get a little more bend in the clips and show the difference...

thanks agn for helping me.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:38 AM
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Sure thing. Happy to help.

Work is a little slow today. Thanks for giving me something to do other than warm my seat
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:56 AM
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Ok I noticed something else. Looks like the small gold screw that holds the spring in is too small. It will push and pull out with out the need to screw it in (starting to feel like someone else has jacked around with this)... Iím stuck till I find one that will thread in and hold tight.



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