Driving light adjustment

Gday good people of Exploroz, Im wondering if anyone has an easy solution to the problem of driving light positioning between an empty to a fully loaded car? Whats the point of having thousands $ worth of lights if they dont point at the right level half the time? RC Colorado dual cab with HID spots and LED Light bar. Is airbags an option with a leaf spring rear? Regards
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 06:09

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 06:09
Ditch the HID and go led all round. No hot spots or levelling issues. I went away from hid/halogen spots for the reasons you mention. They are usually pointing at the wrong thing.
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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:41

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:41
Yes frustrating. Im hoping to find another solution though thank you.
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Reply By: Alan H11 - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 08:46

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 08:46
We have a simple solution, although I suspect that it won't help you - we never drive at night, at least not by choice. If we ever do, it's a relatively short distance, to reach a destination which proved to be a bit further than we thought.
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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:45

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:45
I regularly leave home at 2-3am to make it to a hunt at daybreak but thank you. When I can afford to retire and rest I wish to have more choices like that thank you. Regards
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:04

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:04
.

Although incurring some cost, one solution is to have two sets of driving lights with switch selection for load changes. Probably cheaper than upgrading the suspension.




Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:47

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:47
I sort of do with two spots and a light bar but dont have the room for a third set. Eventually I might change to the super expensive LED spots.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:26

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:26
.
Boris, I was suggesting dumping the HID's (as I have) and replacing them with LED's, either pencil beams or a lightbar depending on your requirements. There are some reasonably priced LED's available with performance equal to the "super-expensive" highly advertised brands. It is a market where advertising and buyer emotions run riot.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:41

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:41
My needs are modest compared with those who want to turn night into day.

I have a pair of these from Jaycar.

Combination spot and spread, very bright but not so bright they dazzle with reflected light off highway signs.
No poseur value but practical at a reasonable price. Well made, solid mount, mounts and lights have survived 1000's of km of corrugations.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 23:15

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 23:15
Frank, I guess you didn't see the qualification in the Jaycar blurb for your driving lights - "for off-road use only".

What makes them illegal? Failure to meet ADR's is generally the major reason.

Are my driving lights illegal?

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 10:04

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 10:04
Ron,

I followed your link and all the relevant subsequent links, including the specific NSW legislation. The way my lights are mounted and operate is 100% legal, not only in NSW but also in all states and territories.

I have written to Jaycar asking them that given the above, why are they for off road use only.

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Reply By: Mark C9 - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:27

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:27
Forget the HID and go with LED
I fitted 2x 350 mm shark LED light bar to my bt50 and they were great. Set slightly off to each side of the road for those little bouncy things that love to surprise us all
No issues with single beam spot lights after that. I fitted the HIDs to my boat
The only thing you have to worry about is that they are so bright, you have to dip for oncoming vehicles way before than with a spotty
They are great in the bush at night as well
AnswerID: 631666

Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:39

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:39
I have friends with the superbright led spoptlights, I have a new Narva model led bar and theyre all great but blinding when reflecting off the road signs. I have a yellow film on my light bar to try reduce the glare. I bought the HID spots in 5000or 5500K colour hoping theyre better for the long distance illumination on open roads. Eventually I might change to th super expensive LED spot brands.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 20:43

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 20:43
Mark C9,
Instead of setting each light off to its own side of the road try having a better result by pointing the left light to the right hand side (fence line)and the right light to the left hand side (fence line). This will give an improved result for seeing to the area out wide but it also makes a super bright area straight ahead where the light beams cross each other.
I haven`t got light bars , I prefer LED spot lights as driving lights and find this set up great.

Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:54

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 09:54
I put some polyair's in the back to level the ride when heavily loaded
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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 15:05

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 15:05
Can you install polyairs with a leaf spring suspension? Is it ok to do 4wding with a loaded car and polyairs? I mainly go camping and hunting/fishing with thekids so it may involve traversing.4wding.


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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 15:55

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 15:55
Yes you can get polyair's for leaf springs. I have been using polyair's for "hard" off roading for over 12 years without an issue. Generally unless the vehicle is grossly overloaded it shouldn't take to much pressure to get the vehicle to its normal non loaded height.
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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:52

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 16:52
I think this may be my best option as the polyairs will help with tow bar clearance when traversing ruts as well. I dont like big lifts in 4wd's and they dont solve levelling issues. I often tow a boat or camper trailer too. Thank you
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:08

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 17:08
My previous vehicle was a 120 Prado, and before that a Kia Sorrento. I used airbags in both of those with great success and with that in mind agree with HKB's general premise. There is good effect with airbags in coil-sprung rear ends and very few issues.

However with leaf sprung rear ends, especially twin cab utes, you have to be really careful and I think that needs to be made clear to Boris.

You can be loaded to near GVM, perhaps with a bias to the rear as so often happens with touring, but NOT overloaded, and with inadequate springs you can end up in trouble with airbags if they are used to lift a saggy bum.

As you said, HKB, " it shouldn't take too much pressure to get the vehicle to its normal non loaded height." That's the key point. **The springs have to be able to do the great bulk of the work.** If the springs are right then low pressure helper airbags should be ok. But I'd still be careful.

Not having a go at you , HKB or being critical. I just think that the difference between airbags in coils and airbags in leaf-sprung rear ends needs to be emphasised

Personally I prefer not to use airbags at all. In my twin cab BT50 I have spring packs that do the job without air bag assistance. A bit hard around town but comfortable and capable when loaded for touring, which is what I bought the vehicle for.

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Follow Up By: Boris K - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 22:53

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 22:53
Frank P, I appreciate the honesty. My RC Colorado already has 300kg+ springs but it doesnt take much at all to lift the lights level. Do you think Polyairs would assist with light air pressures in them, in my case? Im thinking I'll not only cross the spotlights over as usual but vary the height of one of them as well, so one shines slightly lower than the other
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 11:02

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 11:02
Boris,

The issue with airbags on a leaf-sprung chassis is they apply a point load to a part of the chassis that is not designed to take it.

I have seen too many utes of the Colorado/Ranger/BT50/Triton/Hilux/Navara class with bent chassis due to an unknown combination of load, springs, airbags and driving conditions.

Having chosen not to use airbags myself I cannot suggest it would be ok for you. There are too many variables that I don't know about.

Your plan with your light adjustment sounds good. Also, at the risk of some inconvenience, you could adjust the lights for a trip when you're all loaded up, and re-adjust them if necessary for unloaded driving at home.

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Boris K - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 20:00

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 20:00
Thank you for your advice. It makes lots of sense but I wish these lights were easier to adjust though
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Reply By: Boris K - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 20:02

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 20:02
Thank you everyone that replied. Ill try adjust the two spot lights lights with a variation in level with slight overlap before I try polyair bellows. I am hoping to do a trip Geelong to Dartmouth as soon as restrictions on camping are lifted. That will be a good test
Regards to all.
AnswerID: 631695

Reply By: Dean K3 - Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 18:14

Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 18:14
Hella had a article written by Ed Ordynski (former primary school teacher former ARC rally driver)

is short his prefernce was two spots and two drive beams and depending on terrain being competed on used following:

straight roads angle left beam to right to see into corner right to left to see into corner on straight stuff it gave overall good lighting bit of spread -drives acted as a fill in for mid range.

also mentioned having one beam slightly above horizon and one below horizon of road that way one can see going up hill with lower beam and see down hill with the upper beam spread.

the late Possum Bourne -kiwi honorary Australian ARC and multiple championship winner simply had 2 fogs and 2 drive beams- he muttered and laughing alot said.

" no point having spot lights if your always sideways approaching a corner "

Ed setup has worked very well for me so far
AnswerID: 631748

Follow Up By: Boris K - Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 20:37

Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 20:37
Thank you my friend. This is whats great about Explor oz and why I have respect for it unlike Faecesbook. Thats a great reply with substance as were many of the previous replies from others. If I understood Eds method then thats what I said I would try already in an earlier response here. My spots are already crossed left and right but Ill cross them in level as well with some overlap so one spot is slightly higher than the other. This gives me some confidence now, thank you
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Follow Up By: Dave Trees - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 18:25

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 18:25
Pretty much .... lots of rally competitors do something similar, lots of variations for personal taste & driving style.

That said (and this is based on 35 years of rallying experience on my part) if it takes you more than 5 minutes to change the height adjustment of your driving lights you're doing something wrong.

Is anyone really in so much of a hurry to get where they're going, that they can't afford to stop that long and tweak the alignment if necessary ?
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Follow Up By: Boris K - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 18:54

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 18:54
My spotlights are very difficult to adjust. It usually needs 5 arms and a contortion act. Im thinking that if the crossing of lights doesnt work then Ill get a bellow polyair. I have 300kg+ springs already but they only work when compressed with weight. I hope a low pressure in the polyair will help
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Reply By: nickb - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:12

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:12
Do they make led spotlights in a colour other than 6500k? 4000k would be great, even 5000k would be good. My eyes don’t like the almost blue tinge to the 6500k .
AnswerID: 631797

Follow Up By: Boris K - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 06:16

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 06:16
I bought a yellow tint film from ebay and applied it to the led bar. I havent experienced it on the outback road yet because of Covid but think itll be good
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Reply By: macdrum - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 06:51

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 06:51
Mount lights to a flat bar then hinge bar to bull bar. Fit power trim ram from an outboard motor to flat bar Install switch in cabin . Wire direct from battery through fuse to switch to raise and lower lights.
macdrum
AnswerID: 631822

Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 08:48

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 08:48
Might be easier to get the missus, or one of the kids, to sit on the bonnet and adjust as you yell out to them.
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