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244 Headlamp Adjusters

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Old Feb 6th, 2020, 18:21   #1
Othen
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Default 244 Headlamp Adjusters

Hi again,

My 1980 244 has the rectangular type headlamps, like this:



I have just recently acquired the car and had noticed the headlamps being a bit poor by modern standards. Everything checks out electrically, and the glass and reflectors seem fine, so I wondered whether it could just be poor alignment.

I had a look at the adjusters today, which was not a good news story. there seems to be just a single adjuster at the top, a sort of screw through a nylon block into a ball joint that pivots the light up or down a bit. On the left side the nylon block had sheered off some time ago, so the adjuster wasn't particularly doing anything useful:



I took it apart, removed the broken nylon collar and have sandwiched the bracket between two nuts on the existing screw to allow for some adjustment like this:



I think it will work, when it gets dark enough this eve I'll see what the light pattern looks like against the garage door. I suspect the alternative would be to buy a complete headlamp, which would seem a pity for a single adjuster screw.

In the right side the story is slightly different, the nylon part is complete, but the ball end of the adjuster screw seem to be rusted into its socket. I've soaked it in penetrating oil and will see if I can get it moving tomorrow:



... I'll report on progress... and if anyone knows a better way of doing this I'd really like to hear from them :-)
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Old Feb 6th, 2020, 19:20   #2
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... as quick update:

I just tested the lights against the garage door and compared them with those from my Skoda Superb estate sitting right next to the Volvo,the lights on those two cars are about the same height.

The Volvo is certainly too low by about 12" at 25' - so I'll free off the right hand adjuster tomorrow and see if I can get the lights pointing the right height.

I know it is an unfair comparison: a 40 year old Volvo vs a new Skoda Superb (which is the elegance model with the really bright lights), but the difference is chalk and cheese. The lenses and reflectors seem to be fine on the Volvo, it looks like that the bulbs just aren't as white or powerful in the Volvo. I see they are H4, so there will be lots of alternatives on the market. Does anyone have any experience of fitting more modern H4 bulbs, and so able to recommend a better alternative?
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Old Feb 6th, 2020, 19:42   #3
Othen
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... and the results of my (fairly) scientific test follow:

I arranged my Volvo next to my Skoda Superb such that they were the same distance from my double garage door. The two cars are much the same size, and their headlamps the same height. The first photo shows the Volvo's dipped beam:



... and photographed from exactly the same position, that of the Skoda Superb:



As you may seem the Volvo certainly needs to come up a bit. I'll also see if I can find some better bulbs - maybe there is even a thread in these pages on the subject?

Alan
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 07:12   #4
Othen
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... I've ordered some OSRAM Night Breaker Silver H4 bulbs, which seemed to be the best alternatives I could find (according to the manufacturer's claims - so it must be right). I'll report on whether or not they help fix the problem next week.

Today I'll see if I can get the right side adjuster moving, and get both adjusted more or less right so I can try them out with the same test tonight (I know, I should get out more).

The 1980 style headlamps with a single adjuster seem rare (it looks like the model changed in Sep 80), so replacements may not be available, which narrows down my options to fixing the ones I have :-)
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 11:18   #5
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I've fixed the right hand headlamp adjuster this morn, but what a palaver! The design is almost Saabesque in its lack of logic, it is no wonder Volvo dispensed with this type of headlamp a few months after my car was manufactured.

the headlamp looks like it may be detached very easily, there being some very good quick release catches at the bottom, but the top is fixed by an adjuster held captive in a ball socket, so the only way to remove it is to unbolt the whole sub-frame (4 M10 bolts from the front, easy enough) and then wind the adjuster all the way through the nylon bush from the back (probably okay on a new car, but these parts are all 40 years old):



well, we got there in the end, and I was able to clean up the threads by winding a steel nut up and down a few times and then re-cut the screwdriver slot at the front (that had rounded off several adjustments ago):



re-assembly was easy enough, but just as daft, winding the screw all the way through the nylon bush, but nothing else broke and the headlamp can be adjusted properly as Mr Volvo meant it to be 40 years ago now:



There does not seem to be any horizontal adjustment for the headlamps, just this one at the top which works in the vertical plane.

The good news is that the reflectors seem to be in excellent condition, so when the adjustment is correct and the new H4 bulbs arrive the lights should be at least as good as they were in 1980.

Next job: finding that pesky turn signal relay :-)

Last edited by Othen; Feb 7th, 2020 at 13:37. Reason: Typo.
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 11:37   #6
Stephen Edwin
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Hello. I see now that your earlier type rectangular (tending to square) headlights are constructed differently from my later headlights. So my comments in your other thread do not apply. But you are wise to proceed with caution.

When the adjustment screws are definitely sorted by your oil and your diligent work, A garage with the alignment checker would not usually charge much to set the alignment.

Good luck.




.

Last edited by Stephen Edwin; Feb 7th, 2020 at 13:25.
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 13:33   #7
Othen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Edwin View Post
Hello. I see now that your earlier type rectangular (tending to square) headlights are constructed differently from my later headlights. So my comments in your other thread do not apply. But you are wise to proceed with caution.

When the adjustment screws are definitely sorted by your oil and your diligent work, A garage with the alignment checker would not usually charge much to set the alignment.

Good luck.

.
Thank you for that. I'd realised that my headlights must be different to the ones you described in another thread as I started taking them apart. Your advice on being cautious was well founded: I had a look online for replacements and could not find any of this type - so I think they must be rare, hence I have to fix rather than replace.

I'm confident the headlamp adjusters are working better now than they have for many years, and I had to get them working before I could take them to a garage to get the adjustment done. My aim (excuse the pun) now is to get them pointing more or less the right height so I can take them to a garage for a proper adjustment. That should be a pretty easy job when it gets dark this eve.

Best wishes.
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 20:31   #8
Othen
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Well, that is another job done - the lights are now acceptable. I took the Volvo out for a run - maybe a dozen miles on mixed roads and the lights are perfectly good enough for the performance of the car. All the other lighting issues except the turn signals flashing too fast seem to be solved as well - I was pleased to see the reversing lights work, and the interior lights as well (I was delighted to find the inside of the boot illuminated when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home).

There remain lots of little jobs - just taking things apart and putting them back together properly at no cost - so my arbitrary budget of 100 to re-commission the car looks to be excessive. I've only spent 40 on filters, fuses, relays, bulbs, wiper blades and so on so far, the only major item left to buy is some ATF.

I'm really pleased with my 244 - to the extent that the Porsche has not turned a wheel since I bought it!

:-)
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