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Old 01-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
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Depot Lights on Alpine Questions

A while back I posted a question on Depot lights to replace the OEM lights on our 2001 Alpine. I purchased and installed the lights and took the coach for its annual inspection and to have the lights aligned. We arrived at our destination after dark. It looked as though the beems were not shining down the road very far and made night driving a little tense unless other traffic passed me. Hight beems did not add any extra illumination. Should I replace the bulbs with different ones and if so which ones??
I am going to take the coach back to the place that did the alignment as I wonder if they did the procedure correctly.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Alpine safely,
Alex
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Hi Wingtrike. You must have a 3 wheel Goldwing. We have a 99 SDS 36 ft. Alpine. We had the headdlight covers buffed. It helped some, but the lights are still borderline. I previously drove an 84 Peterbilt for 24 years and 3.1 million miles, it had the same headlights AND the same problem. Head light readily available at Walmart. I am not familar with a depot light. Quite often I run the fog lights. old trucker.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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Yep, we have a 3 wheeled Goldwing. The Depot brand lights are new so no hazing has started. The lights don't seem to go very far and the visibility is much less than an autos headlights.
Alpine safely,
Alex
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:39 PM   #4
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When I installed my Depot headlights, I found that they were aimed too low, even at the max adjustment. However the original lights were even worse!! The mounting flange built into the cap appears to aim the entire headlight assembly too low. Judging from the elongated mounting holes, it was obvious that WRV had the issue with them. The Depot lights are definitely better than the originals.

BTW, I found a good website that tells how to properly adjust BMW headlights. Let me know if you want me to post it. The headlights are designed with a projection to align them. If you look at your headlights against a wall, you will notice a flat upper edge, with an angle upward to show both the height and the left-right adjustment points. It is really simple to see where they are focused.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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Jim, could you pm me with a link???
Thank you for the offer.
Light safely,
Alex
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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I'm sorry, but what are Depot lights?
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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Jim, please post the link. I have adjusted mine by the seat of my pants, I need a more accurate method. I am still looking for a way to use the built in servo motors. I am going to try a servo positioner for radio control model servos.

I went with the D2S Xeon bulbs and so far I am disappointed, they still donít seem to be enough. Though I have not driven mine at night with them yet. I am considering changing the angle of the mounting platform by cutting it off and reattaching it at a different angle.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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I was bluffing about being helpful, but since you called me on it....

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

I used a large piece of cardboard with the markings that the article recommends, and had my wife hold it up at the specified distance. I used a laser pointer (a cat toy normally) to locate the line for the side of the coach. That "V" notch he shows in his picture is really that obvious with the Depot lights. My Mountaineer and CR-V don't have that notch.

I don't find the website now, but I also found that there is supposedly no side to side adjustment of the BMW headlights. Both knobs adjust the height, and both are supposed to be turned the same amount.

336Muffin, the Alpine Coach used BMW E39 headlights, and the Depot lights are one of many after market sources for E39 headlights. The Depot was in a previous link, and have projector beam lights and really cool LED halo rings. I bought them on Ebay.

Wayne, I also thought about cutting off the shelf and reattaching it aimed up a little more, but realized that I don't have the talent to do it!!
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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Thanks Jim!!!!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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You can elongate the mounting holes to "tip" the headlights upward. My new lights are much brighter than the old, but like Jim, I need to properly align them at some point, one is still too low (possibly both). The running lights really help.

I'm going to try the website Jim mentioned.

BTW, I've read that the servo-motored ones and the Xenon ones are a PITA, not to mention pricey.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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Update:
Took the coach back to where the inspection/alignment was done. They used a machine to adjust the lights and raised them 1.5 inches. So far much better, but I haven't driven at night to test them.
Regards,
Alex
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:31 AM   #12
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TP,
I don't see the servo motors to be an issue. The manual adjustment knobs are still on the lights. I thought the motors were on all BMW lights. As far as the Xenon goes, other than price I don’t have any complaints. The installation kit was well made and easy to hookup. I head for FL in a couple of hours and will be doing some night driving so I can evaluate the new lights. The lights have been installed for 8 months. I just have not driven at night yet.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:30 AM   #13
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Here's another thread that may be of some help. Check out the link within the thread to an article that discusses adding relays to light to get max voltage to the light
Improving headlight illumination
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:54 PM   #14
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Wayne:

The only issue I've had so far is that since Alpines have daytime running lights, and I've wired my halos to the ignition switch, when I "flash" my lights to signal trucks to return to my lane, they mostly don't see it. I'm thinking about wiring the high beams into the Smart Wheel signal wire. Not sure how. Guess I'll figure it out.
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