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MG TD TF 1500 - Headlight Aim Adjustment TC-TD

Happy New Year everyone,

Can you tell me if the headlight aiming adjustment on a TC is the same as on a TD? Is TC EXU aiming the same as other TCs? Not looking for info on setting the focal length of the bulb-to-reflector in non-sealed beam headlights.

We will have a Headlight Aiming Session after the Friday night Meet & Greet reception at GOF-South in April. I'm writing the instructions for participants and leaders.



Image: TD WSM

LM Cook

Remember that the TC uses British Pre Focus bulbs that are LH dip. Meaning if not set up properly the low beam is into the eyes of the oncoming car on RH driving roads. When I set up my TC headlights on a dark road, I set them up on the low beam to ensure they are directed to my side of the road. This means the headlights are angled to the right and the high beams are slightly aimed to the right hand shoulder/ditch which is just fine.
The EXU had their lighting changed to conform with North America, so they would be RH dip.
c mac quarrie


According to Blower (1964) here is the aiming method for a TC

James Neel

And here is the one for a TD

James Neel


Sorry they are sideways but that's how the computer did them. The TD instructions are at the top of the page.

James Neel

To avoid turning my head to one side, I've turned them around.

Here's TC

Dave O'Neill 2

And TD

Dave O'Neill 2

Have to consider that most cars have different bulbs/reflectors than when new. My TD has late 60s or early 70s sealed beams. They will aim differently than anything modern, as far as high vs. low beams. I did my daughter's Mazda on our garage door, then fine tuned on a dark road.

George Butz III

Thanks for the fast responses, guys. And also thanks for reminding me that headlights on some TCs (or other RHD MGs) may not be able to be adjusted correctly if they have not been changed to U.S. approved Right Hand Dip bulbs.

I will add to the instructions that only cars with Right Hand Dip sealed beam headlights can be adjusted correctly at the GOF headlight aiming session. Separate bulb/reflector lamps may be OK, but depends if they are focused correctly. LED headlights depend on the quality of the bulbs.

Am I correct that the method of moving the headlight buckets to aim the lights is the same for TCs and TDs?

Here is the link to my preliminary instructions for drivers and helpers at the GOF headlight aiming session. Need to keep it as simple as possible. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for your help,

LM Cook

Related question: On the original lamps (semi sealed beams), aren't the lenses themselves right hand and left hand? I did not think the bulb did anything more than have two output settings.

So basically either you have LHD or RHD lamps. Bulbs won't change a thing.
Christopher Couper

Yes, moving the buckets is the same on TC and TD, as well as most British (and many others) cars using external haedlamps.

Bulbs are generic, left to right, LHD and RHD. The lenses are the same left to right, but different for LHD and RHD. On sealed beams, they are usually marked which market they are for.
Steve Simmons

Thanks Steve for the confirmation.

As a side note: When my father bought TD 19629 new in 1952 in California, you were required to have sealed beam headlamps. MG did not supply lamps for California cars at that time and dealers had to use California approved lamps. Not much has changed. :-)

So finding a Calif car with original factory lamps would be just about impossible. I have a set that I got in the 1970's from a friend but they were from AU and are right hand drive.
Christopher Couper

Although technically illegal, you can run the RHD lamps. I run a set of original Lucas RHD in my '67 (which is a RHD car). The lights are so low and so dim compared to modern cars that no one will ever know they dip the wrong way. In fact I often drive with the brights on because even then, they look about the same to oncoming drivers as a modern car's regular beams. The lamps on a TD are a bit higher of course, so maybe high beams wouldn't be a good idea, but the low beams will not bother anyone.
Steve Simmons

My car is rarely out at night.

Interestingly I also have 52 plates on the car. I bungey my legal Calif plates over the top of them when out on the road. Once I left a car show in Long Beach and forgot to put the legal plates on. A CHP officer pulled me over to discuss it and once I put the legal plates on he was cool with it.

He told me the only reason he noticed the old plates was that he was attracted to the car and was giving it the look as much as he could while driving. Once he found the infraction he got a better chance to go over the car. :-)
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 01/01/2020 and 03/01/2020

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