SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched this forum for a procedure to adjust headlights alignment
and could not find a definitive answer as to how to performe it.
The user manual claims that my 9-3 (non-HID, non-auto leveling) has two hex sockets in each headlight, both controling vertical alignment of the beam while my Hanes manual claims that one of the sockets controls the vertical and the other horizontal alignment but does not provide any details...

Does anyone know how to perform the alignment? Which socket control which alignment? In which direction to turn the sockets to lower the beam, which direction to aim it more to the left/right? Has anyone succesuflly aligned the beam?

Please help, my low beam headlights, even with Silverstars, are simply horrible and I do not want to spend $$$ on Euro headlights...

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good day,

Look at this it should help you...

Regards
Thanks, that's good info. How do you adjust horizontal aim though?
I can't find anything...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,046 Posts
just looked in my haynes it says the horizotal is adjusted by the outer hex socket,looking at the pic it's in line with the bump stop for the hood...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
just looked in my haynes it says the horizotal is adjusted by the outer hex socket,looking at the pic it's in line with the bump stop for the hood...

Yeah, the infomation in Hanes contradicts SAAB user manual and the pic posted by Mespo below... I am afraid Hanes is wrong; I tried both hex sockets and they seem to control the vertical aim like the manual says...

I know in Europe beam alignment is taken very seriously (you can get a ticket for misaligned headlights) so there has to be a way to adjust the aim, are Euro headlights so different than ours?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,046 Posts
i've adjusted the horizontal on mine so i know it's one of them hex bolts,it was a while ago mind you..

the only thing i think that is different with the h/lamps is the lenses,to be able to project the light to the left or right depending on which side of the road you drive...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,816 Posts
I tried both hex sockets and they seem to control the vertical aim like the manual says...
I found the opposite to be true. I have a 2005 9-3 Linear and I installed HIDs. Lived with the stock aim for about a month before I got fed up (output was easily 2x-3x stock but throw was no better due to the projectors, obviously, but I tried to live with it). So, I adjusted them. First adjustment was not changing vertical alignment - the headlight aim was moving to the right.

So, this was better than the documentation said! I actually wanted to change both vertical and horizontal alignment. So, I raised the driver side by a LOT, and brought it ever-so-slightly to the left. I raised the passenger side by a little bit and left the horizontal aim as it was.

If you're concerned about changing the aim, do this (one of two methods):

Method 1:

1. Pull up in front of garage door, flat wall, etc.
2. Mark where all four tires are
3. Put masking tape on the wall where the projector cutoff "peak" is
4. Adjust aim as desired
5. Drive off and test (this is where method 2 is better. it's a pain parking in the same exact position)

Method 2 (preferred)

1. Get thin-tipped sharpie marker
2. Mark each hex and where it aligns with the body
3. Aim as desired, taking care to count the turns
4. Drive off and test. If you prefer stock alignment, simply return bolts to original position

I didn't mark mine because the stock alignment is so bad I didn't care. Aiming headlights isn't a big deal. I changed the alignment twice. First against a wall, drove off, didn't like it (not lighting far enough ahead; i.e., not enough throw) so I parked with the lights shining across to the next parking lot, and raised the aim by a bit more. I've left it that way ever since. Friends, both motorheads and otherwise, have commented on how well the headlights in my car work. Also, I have never been flashed even once (well, except when I left the highs on after pulling off a back road). I've wanted to raise them just a hair more, but I don't want to dazzle oncoming traffic when I drive on hilly roads.

But anyway, one bolt is definitely for horizontal alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Factory Headlight Beam Alignment

Is it normal to have the passenger side headlight beam aimed higher than the driver side?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Everybody has been very helpfull but does anybody know which hex sccrew controls what (on the US spec car) and which direction turn results in what? I got my HID's installed and don't want to blind people on the road....


Thanks in advance and maybe we should make that info a sticky???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
I know in Europe beam alignment is taken very seriously (you can get a ticket for misaligned headlights) so there has to be a way to adjust the aim, are Euro headlights so different than ours?
Yes, partly. There are separate part numbers for RHD (UK) and LHD (ROE) sets, at least for Xenons. The xenon beam adjustment angle is limited (the lense makes its own "shape") and the headlights hardware is different depending on the side of the road.

If you were badly dazzling oncoming drivers, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law. I'd be surpised if you'd get a ticket, at least in France and the UK - but the beam is part of the MOT and control technic tests which are needed to drive on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
I got my HID's installed and don't want to blind people on the road....
Might be a good idea to drive by a friend in the dark to check whatever recalibration you make. Turning the Hex screws in front of a wall or garage door has a fairly easy to observe effect on the level. Can't go far wrong, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
hey I just bought a 2001 9-3 and wall-eyed headlights was one of the problems I had to fix immediately so I thought I'd put my 2 cents in even though this is an old thread. Hopefully my experience will help the next guy out there looking to fix this problem...

I ended up taking the entire headlight housings out because one of the bulbs was put in crooked. But that isn't necessary for simple adjustment, though it will be useful when you have to replace the bulbs...

As other people have said, the horizontal adjuster is the really obvious grey/white knob that sticks out the back of the housings which can easily be adjusted by hand. The vertical adjuster is the problem.

When you open the hood just above the headlights you will see two holes and a black rubber bumper knob on either side. The vertical headlight adjuster is located underneath the hole towards the outside of the body of the car on either side. (So the left one is in the hole to the far left and the right one is under the far right) You can take a flashlight and see the top of the hex bolt down there pretty easily on both sides, though I know there isn't a lot of room. The hex bolt down there is just a little bit smaller than 1/4 inch so I recommend buying a 6mm T-Handle Hex key with a 9 inch handle from amazon or wherever you can find one for cheaper. It should be a perfect fit and allow you to aim your headlights wherever you want em.

If you want to take the headlight housings completely off it takes a bit of work. First pull off the grille, which should unclip on the top and pull straight up and off (there are guide tabs on the bottom of the grille which can snap off pretty easily if you torque it forwards or backwards too much). My car had a star drive driver under the hatch by the donut which I used to unscrew the bolts that held the headlight housings in place.

There are the obvious two on the top, and then a 3rd bolt on either side down towards the outside. It's pretty hard to fish the 3rd bolt out from down there with your fingers but it should be possible. Unscrewing the 3rd bolt will allow you to pull the side marker housings out and away from the headlights and expose a 4th bolt that you will have to unscrew from the side. After all 4 bolts and washers are removed you can pull the headlight housings straight out away from the car. If you haven't already, unscrew the plastic caps behind the lights and pull the wire clusters straight out. The bulbs themselves are locked in place by a wire harness thing that is kind of like an old fashioned wine bottle stopper. It's just an inverted T shaped wire that catches at the bottom of the T. You just push the wire towards the bulb and to the outside of the car and it should pop out of its locking position and fold down. Once this is released you can pull the bulb out and replace it (make sure to keep the new bulb flawlessly clean by wearing rubber gloves and not resting it on anything that can get it dirty etc).

I assume if you can take it apart you can reverse the steps to put it back together :) The hardest part is getting the side marker light housings to fit snugly by pushing them straight back in around the guides rather than swinging them in as they seemed to come out.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top