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Poor Low Beam Headlights-- Need A Remedy


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15 replies to this topic

#1 racesport

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:11 PM

I have a 2002 American Coach American Dream.

 

It appears the American coach models each had different type and shape headlights.

 

The low beam headlights on my coach are in a word are lousy. High beams are OK. I have changed bulbs, no help. The headlight assemblies are made by Hella.

 

Has anyone had this issue and solved it? Does anyone have any suggestions?

 

The low beam lights are what I know as "projector" type with a large, thick, lens that concentrates the beam but mine seems to absorb light instead of projecting it.

 

Thanks for your help.


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#2 desertdeals69

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:20 AM

What bulb number did you try?  

 

You might try HID conversion, they are very bright.

 

 I have been using them on all of my vehicles for a number of years.


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#3 dougallman

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:16 AM

We have a 2004  Beaver Marquis and also changed to the HID lights. Huge difference as the old headlights and bulbs were like candles but we still are not satisfied as the plastic lenses still cloud up not long after we clean and seal.

 

Changing out totally is on my list but I have yet to come up with a unit that will fit in the existing opening.


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#4 wolfe10

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:03 AM

A good first step is to check VOLTAGE at the low beam bulbs with engine running.  Compare that with voltage at the battery.

 

If more than .5 VDC lower at the headlight, very easy to wire it through a RELAY.  Cost around $10.

 

Said another way, if you are only seeing 12.5 VDC at the bulb, they will NOT be very bright, particularly as compared with exactly the same bulb at 14 VDC.

 

Let us know what you find.


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#5 racesport

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:45 PM

Bulbs I changed to are silver star. I did check voltage and it was OK.
These HID bulbs, are these the ones that require the transformers?
I need specifics.
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#6 desertdeals69

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:52 PM

They require a ballast.  Some are dual beam with an electromagnet that shifts the bulb back and forth, others are single beam.


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#7 DickandLois

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:28 AM

Racesport,

 

Along with the voltage measurements and wiring changes posted by Brett, you might want to check the Horizontal and Vertical settings (adjustments) of your headlights.

 

Should they be set incorrectly or aimed to low, the low beams will not light up the road very far ahead of the coach and it does not take much of an angle change to make a big difference.

 

Rich.


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#8 hermanmullins

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:07 AM

One of the things that is hard to find any more in shops are head light machines. That was one of the main things for inspections in the past. Some where I have seen an article on adjustments where you can do it on your garage door and with measuring tapes. Anyone out there remembers it?

 

Herman


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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins
Whitewright, TEXAS
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'02 Monaco Dynasty
40 ft 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
US Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

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#9 ticat900

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:03 PM

Park vehicle about 15-20 feet from garage door or block wall. Have one person sit in front middle of MH and eyeball the center of the door or wall as another person marks where this center site is on the wall or door. Measure from ground to center of headlight, then measure from center of headlight to center of MH front or vice versa

 

Transpose these same measurements onto door or wall. make a X where these measurements  intersect on each right and left .Turn lights onto low beam and adjust till low beam centers on the X  on each side.Vola your lights will be adjusted where you need them.


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#10 hermanmullins

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:13 AM

ticat,

 

Back in the sixties I did the adjustment with a machine for $1.50 the Inspection cost $2.00 if I remember correctly.

 

I am going to print out your instruction and try it soon.

 

One thing we all forget is the difference between our cars and the MH. Look how much higher we are to the road. Just the thoughts of an old man, almost as old as Rich. :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Merry Christmas to all.

 

Herman


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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins
Whitewright, TEXAS
F302225
'02 Monaco Dynasty
40 ft 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
US Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#11 ticat900

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:42 AM

My dad was a mechanic and he taught me this deal back in 1965. I have used it very successfully over the years

 

I have found the HID lite conversions work very well. I have them on my high beams now. I have them set for high beam on all the time

I don't get flashed and can see pretty good at nite.


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#12 Computerguy

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 05:13 PM

Mine are the same, I have an old 1996 Holiday Rambler Endevor LE.  The unit still has the old square sealed beam headlights so I don't know if there is any way to convert to better lights. I have only used them once since I got the unit and that was in the midst of a horrid thunderstorm with a tornado heading our way, so I was in quite a hurry to get out of the way of the storm. What with the lightning and all, I guess I could be underestimating the power of my lights but they were pretty much useless for driving in the heavy rain, wind and lightning.  The bulbs look as if they were smoked at one time, perhaps they came that way from the factory?  I do know that once we are going full time I will want something that will light up the deer and antelope as they play on our highways. 

 

I am lucky that I do live in SD so have a rather good home base to leave from plus did you know that to obtain a concealed carry firearms permit in SD all you need is your DL then go to the sheriffs office of that county and for 10 bucks you get your permit.  No tests, no shooting, nothing just ten bucks and a SD DL.  The permit is valid in several other states.  They do a background check on you and mail you your full time permit within 30 days, but must issue you a temp the day you pay the ten bucks. 

 

Being a disabled police officer, I just feel more comfortable with my old duty .45 ACP at my side as I motor down life's highways.


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#13 DickandLois

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 07:54 AM

Computerguy,

 

Welcome to the FMCA Forum!

 

Regarding your headlights: The one big advantage to the old sealed beam style lights is that they do not pit and fog up like the newer plastic lamp housings and you get a nice clean piece of glass when one is replaced. The other plus from my point of view is the adjusters are far easier to set and durable.

 

Thank You for your service!!

 

Rich.


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#14 DickandLois

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:04 AM

ticat,

 

Back in the sixties I did the adjustment with a machine for $1.50 the Inspection cost $2.00 if I remember correctly.

 

I am going to print out your instruction and try it soon.

 

One thing we all forget is the difference between our cars and the MH. Look how much higher we are to the road. Just the thoughts of an old man, almost as old as Rich. :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Merry Christmas to all.

 

Herman

 

Hey Cowboy,

 

I do not know who is older but remember-- your as young as you feel. So if your doing what you where at 35, then your just a little younger then me !!! LOL

 

Have a great New Year and we are still working on the Perry date!

 

By the way have you cleaned out your personal mail BOX ??

 

Rich.


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#15 turtlemechanic

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:57 AM

It's not hard to adjust, 25 feet, a wall and some blue painters tape will work.

 

Basically pull up to wall and mark center of headlights on the wall and backup 25 feet (needs to be fairly level and square) then follow.

 

Just google headlight adjustment and there are tons of diagrams.


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#16 ticat900

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:36 AM

Yes, turtle I have already posted the instructions several posts and days ago.


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