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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #1
I started installing my HID headlights today and because I wanted to change out my fog lamps and do another little project under the front clip I removed the side skirts and the front clip. Installation of the HID & ballast assembly went okay for the driver side.
Then when I removed the assembly from the passenger side I noticed a big problem. The projector assembly swings freely on it's axis on the inside and no amount of headlamp adjustment screw makes any difference to the swing of it. I took the other side back off but can see if anything is missing from the passenger side, you just can't see alot in there. The adjustment assenbly with adjusting screw and the black arm that goes from one side of the projector to the other seems to be okay and it does move the axis of the projector. It's just the projector swings on it's axis on that arm and I don't know what anchors it to be a solid assembly like it should be. Has anyone had theirs apart and could offer some advice? If I can't figure it out I'll have to replace it and the car will be down all week with the front clip off. Help...DCO
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #2
I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to go back to the basement and find out what was wrong with that headlight. I most certainly did NOT want to heat up the back of the headlight assembly with a heat gun and pry the mastic apart. I was afraid of bubbling the clear fron lense or deforming the back of the assembly, but I was too mad at the moment to NOT do it. So I bit the bullet and fired up the heat gun and heated it up and used a screwdriver to pry it apart. I thought for sure that I would break it and have to replace it and on E-bay and that can cost from $130 to $230 and I just don't have that kind of money at the moment. So after getting the front cover off I fumbled around in the mastic to find the single little torx headed screw that anchors the chrome surround along with tabs around it's perimeter. After I got it apart I found out that there's 2 adjusters for the low beam light. The one facing the top is easy to find, but there's another on the back side of the assembly down low. It appears to be a bolt with a small head that appears to take a small socket where it protrudes from the case, but mine is too chewed up to really tell. I guess some mechanic used pliers or vice grips on it and rounded it off. There's a plastic thread end cap on the other end of it inside the headlight assembly. That cap has a plastic protusion that connects to a 3rd point on the projector (the other 2 points are pivot points). That 3rd connection point is broken and I'm sure it's from cranking down too far on the adjuster. You can see it circled in red on my picture of it:



Well I guess I'm not as mad now because I would have had to heat and separate the light to fix it anyway, but I was perplexed and lost there for a little while. I love my little car, but it's so true that it's been a pain in the a$$ at times and all because of issues not properly handled by the former owner. So if you buy an orphan beware. All the Smarts are plastic and they shine up and look like a million bucks, but God only knows what kind of problems are awaiting you under that bright shiny, non dented, non rusty plastic. I really feel sorry for car owners who don't know how to fix the little things and have to take them to a mechanic for every little problem. Our Smarts are fairly rare and it's not like my chevy pickup that I can go to the local Piggly Wiggly and buy cylinder heads. I know most mechanics have never worked on, driven, or owned a Fortwo, but you would think with so many plastic fragile parts on newer cars, that they would know to be careful. Thank God for epoxy and super glue. Embrace them because on a Fortwo "They're your friends". DCO
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #3
I went out tonight after dark and shined my new lights on the garage door. I notice the xenons really have a sharp cutoff point. I had eyeballed the adjustment on the passenger side by how off center it was in the chrome surround inside the light assembly compared to the driver side, so when I checked them tonight I only had to tweak them down a little bit. There's a bright white light now and the halogens shine a more yellowish light that shines out over the low beams.
Now that I have them at what I believe is the correct height up and down I'm not all that sure that I have the passenger side dialed in right to left correctly. The cutoff point of the light beam is sharp, but the beam spread seems wider and it's hard to tell if they are right. I tried to find a post on here that might give guidleines for that. Something like you measure with the car so many feet from a wall and the cutoff should be so many feet above the ground etc,...
I'm happy with the lights but not at the expense of blinding another driver. So any suggestions from those that have them would be greatly appreciated. I also notice a halo for both lights in the light up zone in front of the car. Is this normal? I'm sure the bulbs are correctly oriented in their sockets per the tab. DCO
 

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I went out tonight after dark and shined my new lights on the garage door. I notice the xenons really have a sharp cutoff point. I had eyeballed the adjustment on the passenger side by how off center it was in the chrome surround inside the light assembly compared to the driver side, so when I checked them tonight I only had to tweak them down a little bit. There's a bright white light now and the halogens shine a more yellowish light that shines out over the low beams.
Now that I have them at what I believe is the correct height up and down I'm not all that sure that I have the passenger side dialed in right to left correctly. The cutoff point of the light beam is sharp, but the beam spread seems wider and it's hard to tell if they are right. I tried to find a post on here that might give guidleines for that. Something like you measure with the car so many feet from a wall and the cutoff should be so many feet above the ground etc,...
I'm happy with the lights but not at the expense of blinding another driver. So any suggestions from those that have them would be greatly appreciated. I also notice a halo for both lights in the light up zone in front of the car. Is this normal? I'm sure the bulbs are correctly oriented in their sockets per the tab. DCO
When I put my HIDs in, I adjusted them down, 1 turn at a time, until everyone stopped "flashing" me
 
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