View Full Version : Headlight aiming

06-26-2008, 11:52 AM
Does anyone have information on aiming headlights on a '54 Commander Starliner. With all other cars I've owned over the years, the shop manual always had an illustration of where the headlight beams should be focused. My Studebaker manuals don't have anything like it.

Kindest regards,

Alan Mende
Hummelstown, PA

06-26-2008, 06:49 PM
My '50 manual does not mention that either. When I was a kid, every inspection station had a headlight aim 'thingy', I wonder if there are any of those around? I haven't seen a headlight adjustment during an inspection for decades. Wonder why? It does seem to me that the right lamp aimed pretty much straight forward and down a pinch, and the left one aimed inwards a few degrees. But that is just me remembering.

'50 Champion, 1 family owner

06-26-2008, 08:26 PM
In Pennsylvania, headlight aim and candlepower are required at every yearly inspection but no one ever does it... There's an absolute statement I should NOT have made.[B)]

I've usually aimed mine myself. Park on a flat surface twenty feet from a perpendicular wall. Measure from the ground to the center of the lights and the distance between lights. Mark the measurements on the wall. With the lights on high beam I set the left light an inch or two down and a couple of inches right and the right light centered an inch or two down. Then I switch to low beam just to be certain.

I don't know if that's kosher or not but it keeps me happy. If oncoming drivers don't flash at me I figure it's okay.

Those Hoppys don't work on the Rockne.:D

The big boards you used to see at most shops are still around. The shop where I work on my car has one. To be a licensed inspection station you need to have the tools to do the job and that board cheaply fulfills all requirements but, it's nothing more than what you can do in your own driveway if it's a horizontal level surface.

06-26-2008, 09:06 PM
How full the gas tank is , how full the trunk is will effect the light's aim.

06-26-2008, 09:15 PM
Hi Brad,

Thanks for the information. This evening I looked in my old copy of William H. Crouse's Automotive Electrical Equipment and found the headlight aiming layout. It's pretty much the same as you describe except that Crouse says to back off 25 feet. Now, once I have my voltage regulator set for charging a 6-volt battery instead of the old 8-volt one that used to be in the car, I'll do my headlight aiming with no fear of blowing bulbs (lost a directional and the shift indicator bulbs last night).

Kindest regards,

Alan Mende
Hummelstown, PA