Adjusting lights to R/H road driving

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 10:42
ThreadID: 45496 Views:1569 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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Hi folks

I probably know the answer, but I always get some great thoughts from this Forum, so I'll ask anyway.
I assume I have to adjust the headlights to drive on the R/H side of the road while overseas. I suppose I can attempt to do this before crossing the border into a R/H drive country. But I thought I'd need at the very least a wall to shine the lights on & maybe a tape measure to do this. Any easier ways? I seem to remember while living in the UK that you could buy some 'beam adjuster' covers for the headlights if changing temporally (assume because Brits travel in Europe a lot). Three options come immediately to mind; don't drive at night, don't bother to adjust or find a wall. Thoughts?
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 10:49

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 10:49
You really need to replace the headlights.

If you have look at the beam when shining on a wall, you will see that the beam rises well above the cutoff point to the left of centre - no amount of adjusting can stop this shining into the eyes of drivers when you drive on the right-hand side of the road.
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Follow Up By: Rumbler - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:17

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:17
Thanks
See my response to reply 3.
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Reply By: Ian from Thermoguard Instruments - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:02

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:02
Hi Rumbler,

In the mid-80s I bought a BMW motorcycle on European delivery. It was an Australian ADR-spec model with a LH side-of-road headlamp. At delivery in Munich, it came with a triangular strip of black tape on the headlamp to mask-off the LH edge beam while driving in RH side-of-road countries.

From memory, the strip was as follows: looking at the lamp from in front, the strip was on the right side of the glass. Its lower edge was horizontal along the centre-line of the glass. The top edge started at a point at the centre of the glass and angled upwards to the RH edge of the glass, finishing about 30mm above the centre line. [If you can't work out what I'm on about, PM me and I'll send you a sketch.]

If you shine your lights at a wall from about 4 - 5 m away, you should see the top 'edge' of low beam is distinctly higher on the left side. If I've remembered correctly, putting a strip on both lights as above should make the beams 'flat' on top. No other re-alignment should be necessary.

If the French are still using those silly yellow headlamps and you travel in France at night, they'll still continually 'flash' you if you have white lights - because they can!

Hope this helps,
Ian

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Follow Up By: Rumbler - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:19

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:19
Hi Ian

What you describe sounds a bit complicated & while a solution, probable not the answer from what others are responding with. But thanks anyway mate.
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Follow Up By: Ian from Thermoguard Instruments - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:22

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:22
Complicated? Two bits of black tape - and totally effective...
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:47

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:47
Actually it's because they are French.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: drivesafe - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 16:04

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 16:04
Actually Ian’s suggestion is the exact same requirements if someone brings a left hand drive vehicle into Australia

If the vehicle is staying here then there are some mandatory alterations that have to be carried out, including changing the headlights, before the vehicle can be registered, but if the vehicle is only here temporarily then the only mandatory alteration required is to put stickers on the headlights, similar to the post above by Ian.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Rumbler - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 09:56

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 09:56
This is for Ian

Sorry Ian. I meant that trying to understand how to fit the tape from the explanation you gave was too complicated for me to understand from the Post. I'm so ignorant, I don't even know what "PM me and I'll send you a sketch" means. Sorry mate, if you read this, can explain what "PM me" means, I'm happy do that. To be frank, I don't intend to do much night driving on my trip, so I'm sure having your method would work well, with hindsight.
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Reply By: Member - Matt Mu (Perth-WA) - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:10

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:10
I assume you are talking about the Troopy? You have to replace the healight lens the relectors are built into the glass and while you may be able to purchase a relector/cover to try and refocus this distortion...I dont believe it would be a very effective light after that.

The troopy would be easy and Im sure you could purchase replacement insert over the net (USA would have 7in inserts for LHD coming outa their proverbial) and carry both with you. I would guess it would take about 30mins first time to swap and less each time after that!

Good luck sounds interesting!!

MAtt.
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Follow Up By: Rumbler - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:23

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:23
Thanks Matt (reply #1 - forgot name!)

I guess you & reply 1 are saying the same thing & it seems to be the correct solution. Now all I gatta do is get some to take with me. I'll follow up on your idea about the USA & try eBay as a start. I'd prefer to take some with me than rely on getting them fitted once over a border. Thanks
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Reply By: mechpete - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 20:06

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 20:06
Rumbler,
Australian Design Rule states that the headlamps must dip to the left on low beam
because we drive on the LHS ,so you need the appropriate lamps for the other side of the road cheers mechpete
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 20:21

Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 20:21
Don't bother.
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Follow Up By: Rumbler - Friday, May 18, 2007 at 12:22

Friday, May 18, 2007 at 12:22
Sorry Mike,

Why "Don't bother".
Do you mean because I don't intend to drive much at night, or it's not worth it, or what? It did cross my mind not to bother & simply not to drive at night except where I absolutely must, which as we all know, can happen - best laid plans & all that.
Rumbler
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, May 18, 2007 at 16:47

Friday, May 18, 2007 at 16:47
Hi Rumbler

Most of the places you're going you'll be lucky if the vehicles _have_ two headlights and even more lucky if they're switched on at night and as for beam alignment... what's that?

Even in Europe you probably won't do that much night driving and that which you do will probably be on multi-lane motorways so you won't be bothering anyone anyway.

I think I used beam deflectors the first time I took a RHD vehicle to RHD countries but I never bothered again.

Mike Harding

PS. The bullock carts don't have any lights - watch out for them :)
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