HOW TO - Fix a broken headlight adjustment mechanism to better than new (photo heavy)
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    1. #1
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      Lightbulb HOW TO - Fix a broken headlight adjustment mechanism to better than new (photo heavy)

      I've been struggling with my left headlight being aimed straight down at the road, providing essentially no illumination while driving at night.

      Headlightl_1.jpg

      I tried to adjust the one hex key wheel adjuster I first found (circled in red), but that little white locking nut prevented adjustment. I removed the white bit and the bevel gear with the little nut, and then I could adjust the beam...left to right. Dang.

      I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the light could be so low and have no adjustment...until I pulled the other headlight and found another adjustment assembly where the nub is that is circled in blue...well crap.



      My best guess as to what the Previous owner did is this:
      The driver's side dipped xenon motor showed a fault in VIDA, which I was able to clear out and calibrate away. I'm guessing that when the light faulted, it was aimed all the way up. The PO, not having acces to VIDA or the knowledge that the lights are supposed to be adjusted in software, manually adjusted the beam all the way down to compensate, but hit the end of the manual adjustment range before he was able to get the beam into the proper location. At this point he kept twisting like a gorilla, and broke off the entire assembly. At some point the software again took control of the light and adjusted it back down, leaving the beam pointing at the road 10 feet in front of my car and leaving me SOL.

      This morning I designed up and 3D printed this little tool to grab onto what was left of the adjuster. I got about half a turn counterclockwise until the little bits of plastic sheared off, leaving my custom adjuster tool useless, with no noticeable change in headlight position...




      Now I was stuck again. My first thought was using the screw method, but here is what I came up with instead: a plate that has a hex key slot that I can screw on with two little plastic screws to the broken mechanism to allow adjustment.



      With this plate, everything will still adjust with a 6mm hex and it will look factory clean.

      Several hours later I had made the prototype and it works wonderfully! I'll walk you guys through the install of the repair plate:

      REBUILDING THE HEADLIGHT ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM:

      The following headlight assembly is a Bi-Xenon unit out of a 2005 S40 T5.

      1.) First, liberally apply silicone spray lubricant to the external mechanism and allow it to soak into the cracks:



      2.) Next, pop the wire retainers laterally out of their retention points and slide off the back cover the back off the headlight assembly to gain access to the internal mechanism:



      3.) Liberally lubricate the internal gears and threaded rod inside the assembly with silicone spray (circled in blue). Try to avoid spraying it into the xenon/halogen assembly and/or any servos and such.



      4.) Next, locate the place that the adjuster has broken away from the headlight. On mine it looked like this:



      5.) Using flush cutters or similar, cut any bits of plastic down even with the plate:



      6.) Next, test fit the repair plate to make sure it sits level. If it does not, repeat step 5 as necessary:



      7.) Load a 5/64 bit into the drill of your choice:



      8.) Hold the plate centered as best as possible and drill the first hole:



      9.) Install the first screw and center the plate as well as possible. Snug the screw down and drill the second hole. Install the second screw and you're done! Note that I installed mine slightly off center. This sets off my car-OCD a little bit, but has no effect on functionality. I'll make the second revision slightly larger in diameter to fit more snugly in the round hole to avoid the off center issue:



      10.) Have a beer and/or curse the Volvo engineers for making everything so overly complicated.

      I have a 3 revision 1.0 plates here with no need for them. First come first serve: conditions are pay shipping and post up some photos of your rebuild to help others.
      Otherwise, I'll make the revised plates available by PM or on my website:
      http://blenddoor.com/product/volvo-h...nt-repair-kit/
      Last edited by RenaissanceMan; 11-02-2017 at 07:32 PM.
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

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    3. #2
      Junior Member SirScarFace's Avatar
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      I always amazed by the ingenuity of SS members! And the idea to make and sell custom fix-it parts. I'll need some for sure!
      2007 S40 T5 AWD with Dynamic Trim/Fogs.
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      Cosmetic: OEM Aluminum Roof Racks, 35% Tint, Yellow Painted Calipers, Prancing Moose Decals, Custom Sweden Euro Plate with 'Need4Swede'

    4. #3
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      This thread is yet again more proof that the 3D printer is going to revolutionize the car industry.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Barents Blue Metallic S40 T5 AWD M66 Manual

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    6. #4
      Leave it to an engineer. Very nice!
      Garage Queen - 2010 C30 R-Design Vrooooooom
      Daily - 2016 V60 T5 Drive-E Vrooooooom
      Zichrona Livracha - 2004.5 S40 T5

    7. #5
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      Victory over the heavy handed previous owner! It worked a perfectly, and feels so secure compared to the stock mechanism. My headlights are roughly adjusted into range now, so I hopefully don't feel like I'm driving blind:



      (The yellow sticky notes on the wall are where the top of the cutoff lines on both beams were before adjustment)

      Fine tuning will happen at a later date, I need to drive around and see how the road illumination is and if I need to go up or down.
      Last edited by RenaissanceMan; 07-06-2017 at 01:57 AM.
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

    8. #6
      Member LizardOfBodom's Avatar
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      Well done man! genius!!
      How long can the screws be, not to damage internals?

      My regulator is sheered off exactly as yours - will PM you ref your offer, thanks!
      Titanium Grey 2005 V50, T5AWD, M66, Stage 1 Hilton tune<-Click me
      E-Focus Torque mount, E-46 bi-xenon retrofit (see the PDF for pictures and full story) , de-nanny mod, Brembo discs+ATE ceramic pads

    9. #7
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      Quick question: you used the screws to secure the new mount to the old mount and then the new mount's allen key is how you adjust left/right - correct? It just wasn't explained.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    10. #8
      Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      Quick question: you used the screws to secure the new mount to the old mount and then the new mount's allen key is how you adjust left/right - correct? It just wasn't explained.

      Yes, the screws secure the plate and turning the key adjusts the beam either up/down or left/right.


      After adjusting my headlights last night using both the stock up/down adjustment on the right side and the rebuilt one on the left, I really can appreciate how solid the rebuilt adjuster is. I was sweating bullets as the stock mechanism popped and flexed. I have to shake my head at the POS designs you see on even high-ish end cars like this one. I guess Volvo was owned by Ford at the time, and Ford is KING of bad engineering.
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

    11. #9
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      Update:

      I can see! Having the lights adjusted up has done wonders. Now I feel like this car has good lights, before I was scared to attempt driving at night!
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

    12. #10
      Junior Member
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      I finally got this kit up for sale!

      http://blenddoor.com/product/volvo-h...nt-repair-kit/

      Promo Code "SwedeSpeed" 5% off.
      Last edited by RenaissanceMan; 02-12-2019 at 04:02 PM.
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

    13. #11
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      Just an update for those outside of North America -- I was alerted to the fact that the Euro/NZ spec headlights were a little bit tight for the original repair kit. I've updated it as of today so it should fit all headlight assemblies!
      Mechanical Engineer - I make unavailable car parts!
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD - 76k
      1987 Mercedes 300D - 156k
      1993 Geo Tracker 4x4 134k,
      1996 Geo Tracker 4x4 109k

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