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If I understand correctly, the headlight levelers are intended to be used to lower the lights so that you don't blind oncoming traffic when your back end is down and the front up because you have a trailer attached. Or maybe with two sumo wrestlers in the rear seat. They aren't there to make your lights higher so that you can see better. Of course, I'm thinking that's just a matter of calibration i.e. starting point. You could probably set them up higher that normal as a default, then use the switch to bring them down to a standard position... saving the elevated position for night driving on the Western Plains.

Just an idea.
 

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The 9-3 Aero wasn't lowered any more than the standard SE. It certainly wasn't lowered as much as a Viggen. The 2003 Sport Package convertibles look much more jacked up than a Viggen, but it probably preserves their front bumpers a little better. Sort of like when Saab put the 9-5 Aero's lip spoiler on the midrange model in 2004. Those are about the only ones that still have lip spoilers, since they sit just high enough to not clip them on everything.
 

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Actually, the stock rake is a bit of an issue with the Viggen bumpers. When you lower the car it levels out a bit. I don't know that the scraping gets better as some claim, but it certainly doesn't get any worse with aftermarket lowering.
 

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If I understand correctly, the headlight levelers are intended to be used to lower the lights so that you don't blind oncoming traffic when your back end is down and the front up because you have a trailer attached. Or maybe with two sumo wrestlers in the rear seat. They aren't there to make your lights higher so that you can see better. Of course, I'm thinking that's just a matter of calibration i.e. starting point. You could probably set them up higher that normal as a default, then use the switch to bring them down to a standard position... saving the elevated position for night driving on the Western Plains.

Just an idea.
I don't think that idea would work. On low beams, you aim them just a touch below horizontal. Raising them won't do you much good, and will blind oncoming drivers. Typically the headlight low beam will be at its most intense just below the cutoff, because geometrically they will illuminate a longer section of road, further ahead of you. Raising that intense area above the horizontal just means less light on the road on low beam.

The DOT spec headlight lenses give a pretty poor high beam if dealing with roads that aren't straight and flat, but should work okay out west. Again, raising or lowering them won't do much good.

Make sure the reflectors are nice and shiny, with no gunk or peeling areas. Use a good quality bulb, and nothing with a blue tint. Sylvania Xtravision is a good tradeoff between brightness and bulb life. If you can get E-code lenses, they can be an improvement. However the OEM Valeo is to be preferred over the aftermarket TYC.
 

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and will blind oncoming drivers.
Note that my post took that into account :- )


Typically the headlight low beam will be at its most intense just below the cutoff, because geometrically they will illuminate a longer section of road, further ahead of you. Raising that intense area above the horizontal just means less light on the road on low beam.
But I'm thinking that with high or low, projecting out farther might be a feature on darker roads. Perhaps combined with my small Hella driving lights (which some day I may actually get installed) to brighten the road up closer. I'll have to experiment.

Any international guys with adjusters following this thread? Do you leave the adjustments at the stock position where they only lower the beam? Or do enterprising drivers play with that equation a little as I suggested above?[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 

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But I'm thinking that with high or low, projecting out farther might be a feature on darker roads. Perhaps combined with my small Hella driving lights (which some day I may actually get installed) to brighten the road up closer. I'll have to experiment.
The low beam cutoff is at a very shallow angle already (around 1º). The factory angle is shallow enough to give you fairly good visibility to see stuff in time when travelling at moderate highway speeds. Yes, if you raise it to 0.5º you will in theory light up the road twice as far, but if you need illumination that far ahead you should be on high beams. Furthermore, you're trying to spread a finite amount of light over a longer stretch of pavement that's further away.

About the only thing that will actually light up is anything really reflective and really low down, which amounts to the painted lines. You won't really see any obstacles that are not reflective, which includes road defects and animals. In my experience, it's very rare to have an issue seeing where the road is going. The problem is in seeing those non-reflective things like debris, raccoons, potholes.

Since the high (main) beam already projects both below and above horizontal, adjusting it higher won't necessarily give you any better visibility. Yes, given that it's a single bulb and lamp system on these cars, the ideal low beam setting may not the same as the high beam setting. I don't think that's the case. My take on the DOT lenses is that, on high beam, there's a pretty good horizontal spread but a narrowish vertical spread. So the high beams don't work well on hilly roads, where you light up only a narrow band of road. ON a straight flat highway, it's not an issue: the band covers the road and roadside from just below the horizon to just above.

"Driving lights", if that's what they actually are, are designed for long-range forward illumination. "Fog lights" are designed for close-in illumination. Of course many of the auxiliary lights just put out a blob of light that manages to be neither a good driving light nor a good fog light.

With these cars getting older and older, I'd look for good reflectors, and good lenses. Fiddling with lamps that lose 10% or 50% of the bulb's output because the reflector is coated with oil vapours where it isn't peeling, and the lenses are sand-blasted, puts you at a severe disadvantage that no fiddling with the beam height will fix.
 
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