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MG TD TF 1500 - Aiming Headlights

I've installed the new LRD headlights and now need to get them pointed in the right direction. The left light appears to be pretty close but the right one illuminates low flying airplanes.

Is aiming as simple as loosening the bottom bolt (the one the wires go through) and pointing the light in the right direction? My Workshop manual give no information on this at all.


J. K. Chapin

Not sure what LRD headlights are. The instructions for aiming regular 7" headlights that fit into the headlight buckets are in Section N17 of the TD/TF WSM. Figure N26 on page N17. If they are driving lights, then I suppose a similar aiming chart can be used.

I wrote a headlight tech tip for our MG club. I used info from a 1954 Chevy Truck WSM for the aiming chart. It calls for the center of the beam to be 3" below the center of the headlights at 25'. (Old trucks are higher than MG sports cars.) The MG WSM calls for the center to be level with the center of the headlight. I used 3" below on my TF and I was happy, but I'm not a high speed night driver.

Tech Tip link:

LM Cook

Lonnie, fat fingers. That's LED headlights. Semi-sealed beam fit right into the buckets. I'm not much of a night driver but I like to have the headlights on when touring with our club.

I'll check the WSM again but I didn't see instructions. I can figure out where they should point (your charts and targets will be helpful) but I'm trying to figure out what to loosen to adjust them.



J. K. Chapin

Aiming is one thing, focus is another. On the original headlight bulbs, one would slide the bulb socket in or out in the reflector until the beam was well defined at a distance.

The TD and later used a pre-focus bulb which had a rim around the base of the bulb, which when inserted in the reflector all the way, guaranteed accurate focus.

But I don't suppose too many people still have the original style bulbs and reflectors.
Lew Palmer

Halogen headlights used instead of tungsten filament BPF bulbs will focus well enough, but LEDs are so different that they may not.
Dave H
Dave Hill


Your supposition is correct, loosen the nut and aim.

Jim N.
James Neel

Iím very happy to use LEDs for brakes, indicators and side lights but my understanding is that unless LEDs headlight were OE then it is not strictly legal to install them. The bowls were designed to reflect a beam from the light emitted by a coil of tungsten at the focal point of a parabola not from multiple discrete LEDs each pointing in different directions and none of which are at the focal point. You may well get a larger total amount of light emitted with less power consumption but it needs to be focused.
The extra light available may be sufficient for illuminating your path but the authorities would be worried that the extra, unfocused, light will be a distraction for oncoming traffic.
C I Twidle

Thanks Jim. That's what I wanted to know.

These LEDs came with new reflectors which, presumably, are designed for them and will have the proper focus. I do very little night driving but I'm looking forward to taking the TD out on my back roads to see how these lights actually work. I'll let you know the results.

J. K. Chapin

"But I don't suppose too many people still have the original style bulbs and reflectors."

I do. :-)

And if you want to see if your generator can keep up, try driving with the high beams on under 3,500 rpm.
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2019 and 25/04/2019

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