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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2019 chevy 2500, stock suspension except for some home-made spacers in the back of the rear spring pack to make the overloads engage sooner. Low beams are the Philips high performance bulbs but stock projectors.

Empty I have the standard forward rake, roughly 2" difference between front and back fender wells. When loaded with the golf cart, travel trailer, and WD hitch, the truck is within 1/4" of being dead level (and 9.900 lbs gross). Rides and handles great, and the home made spacers eliminated some rear sag.

We typically pull the travel trailer in day light hours so headlights haven't been an issue. However, we have 2 trips coming up in Oct and Dec where we will be arriving at our destinations 2-3 hours after dark. I tried it out last week in the dark and the headlights are obviously projecting upwards when loaded, although no one flashed me in the 10 mile trip.

By testing how much the lights move with one turn of the adjusting screw, and solving some triangles, you could determine a "standard" number of turns for the headlight adjusting screws between empty and fully loaded and try to remember to change them back and forth at the right times.

I'm just curious if anyone actually does that every time you are going to be loaded in the dark? Or is there another trick I'm missing to deal with this?

Ironically, the '13 Tundra I traded in on this truck actually had a thumb wheel on the dash that adjusted the headlights up and down remotely from the drivers seat.

(PS - yes, I tried the search function....in this forum. Either I'm doing it wrong or it just searches for the individual words because it just took me to every thread that contained the word "light"). If this has already been asked and answered, would appreciate being led by the hand to where that is.

Thanks.
 

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Deal with it... but surprised the industry hasn't made self adjusting headlights a standard for trucks
 

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I simply use my air bags to raise the rear to get the squat out and the headlights aimed where they are without a load.
 

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2 turns should fix it. That is what i do between loaded and unloaded
 

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Post #3 :thumb.
It’s amazing how some will find anything to worry about that is really unnecessary.
I have never worried about re-adjusting my headlights the last 51 years of driving/towing every time I hook up and tow.
If they are a little up a little after you hook up then that’s even better for the driver being able to see a little farther in front.

These trucks cost enough as it is, add another useless feature (to me) like auto head light adjustments would raise the prices even more.

The trick is to adjust your headlights where you want them empty, and leave them alone even after you load up.
If this bothers you then find a little in-between location.
Or do what Caleb 6R does if it makes you feel better, I wouldn’t bother.
The reason you couldn’t find anything searching this is because no one has asked this ?
But times are changes with the new breeds.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Post #3 :thumb.
It’s amazing how some will find anything to worry about that is really unnecessary.
I have never worried about re-adjusting my headlights the last 51 years of driving/towing every time I hook up and tow.
If they are a little up a little after you hook up then that’s even better for the driver being able to see a little farther in front.

These trucks cost enough as it is, add another useless feature (to me) like auto head light adjustments would raise the prices even more.

The trick is to adjust your headlights where you want them empty, and leave them alone even after you load up.
If this bothers you then find a little in-between location.
Or do what Caleb 6R does if it makes you feel better, I wouldn’t bother.
The reason you couldn’t find anything searching this is because no one has asked this ?
But times are changes with the new breeds.

By geometry, the headlights would be 6 inches higher at the calibration distance of 25 feet when loaded, versus a tolerance of +/- 2 inches. The stock halogen headlights are terrible (something that IS discussed in the forums), so losing that much beam to the sky would make that situation even worse, maybe dangerous. Having them aimed higher like this does not "enable you to see further down the road" because the lumens are inadequate to begin with.

I appreciate and understand the air bag suggestion, but investing $400 for air bags to solve a headlight problem is not something I want to do. I've had air bags before and not a big fan. The loaded truck rides well and is stable sitting on the overloads, and I frankly like to see it level without the forward rake.

Other GM truck forums are talking about this quit a bit, but all of the discussions I could find were around 1500's and with LED lights. They change the adjust screws 1.5-4 turns to adjust for their towing loads.
 

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Did your self adjusted in your Tacoma have the option to enter your height ?
The taller you are or shorter you are would make a big difference in where the lights would really need adjusted.
Your turning this into a science project, let’s do it the right way.

What did all the other forums you mention suggest to do, just curious.
I think all of us would like to know the answers.

I don’t think anyone suggested to buy airbags, they just responded what they do when the rear squats and don’t worry about it.
 

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On mine with 2800-3000lbs pin weight it squats about 3”, airbags is pretty much needed.
If a vehicle doesn’t go down much on the rear when you hook up, then there’s not much to be concerned about. Bags or headlights.

I didn’t read all of your post #6 but it appears you’ve answered your own ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did your self adjusted in your Tacoma have the option to enter your height ?
The taller you are or shorter you are would make a big difference in where the lights would really need adjusted.
Your turning this into a science project, let’s do it the right way.

What did all the other forums you mention suggest to do, just curious.
I think all of us would like to know the answers.

I don’t think anyone suggested to buy airbags, they just responded what they do when the rear squats and don’t worry about it.

I'm a mechanical engineer and retired, so yeah, everything is pretty much a science project now days. Don't even get me started on all the trivial spreadsheets I maintain. If there's more than 3 pieces of data, it needs a spreadsheet and maybe even a graph.

The Tundra had a 1 to 5 scale on the headlight adjusting knob. Owner's manual indicated this refers to number of people in the cab. Aapparently weight in the bed or on the receiver was not anticipated by Toyota. Regardless, with some trial and error I figured out what number worked for the truck when loaded.

On the other forums it was people that were towing, or leveled, or lifted. There seemed to be three camps:
== About 70 % actually enjoyed being the tallest and brightest lights and collected the flashes and one finger salutes as a badge of honor and didn't have any intention of moderating that. Ponder that for a moment.
== About 10% had adjusted their lights somewhere in the middle of the two extremes so they were tolerable whether loaded or unloaded.
== And maybe 20% had figured out how many turns of the adjusting screw between loaded and unloaded and just turned the screws that much as the condition warranted without doing the wall test. I'm seriously considering this approach because, while it's a bit of trouble, it is fairly rare for me to tow after dark.

Your comment on height is interesting. The aiming procedure uses the height of the center line of the headlight fixture as the target on the wall 25 feet away. So if the truck is lifted all round, or just lifted in the front for leveling, the height of the aiming point would change. In my case, the height of the aim point would be virtually the same as stock since the weight in back would pivot the truck about the front axle. There will be a slight change in elevation of my headlight fixture due to distance from front axle to the light fixture, but that small difference will get lost in the accuracy of the method................lest we measure with a micrometer, mark it with a piece of chalk, and cut it off with an axe.
 

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All I can think of now is WOW
 

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This guy serious?!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All I can think of now is WOW

In the absence of a sarcasm font, I have to ask if this is a good "wow" or a condescending "wow". Think carefully.


Lighten up, guys.
 
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More like what post number 11 said.

It’s really not that hard pull up to a wall with your lights on then pop your hood and turn the screws, until you get the lights adjusted where you want them.
No college degree needed or any degree, no charts needed to perform this task, there’s nothing to think about other than just don’t hit the wall.
Also remember to close the hood when your done, then put the trans in reverse when your done, look in the mirror so you don’t hit something or somebody while backing away from the wall when your done adjusting your head lights.:wink2:
 

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I believe this is a solution looking for a problem.

All of the GM HD trucks are built with an unloaded forward rake in them that none of us like, including me.

Like some others here, I tow heavy (>3K pin weight) and when hooked/loaded, my truck sits perfectly level (I guess the GM engineers made this assumption during load calculations). Have never had anyone flash their lights at me or give me the one finger salute due to blinding the oncoming vehicle and I have never adjusted the headlights. I just completed a 1980 mile trip with my rig that included some night time towing without any issues. FWIW both my headlights and suspension are bone stock minus Sulastic shackles.

Your truck is certainly capable of towing the weights that you have indicated. Load 'er up, make the trip and enjoy the ride. You will enjoy it more without the over analysis of the issue IMHO.

OBTW, I am an aeronautical engineer by trade.
 

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I’m a retired teamster 40 years total with some college, “building safety and construction technology”.
The last thing I’ll worry about is where my head lights are pointing unless I can’t see anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
JIMMY D: you are correct in that the solution to this problem is already known. My original post asked if anyone actually implements that solution or just lets it slide.

D_R_C: I want to be sure I have this down correctly. So, after I adjust the lights and close the hood, wouldn't I need to start the truck before putting it in reverse and looking in the mirrors? Don't want to miss any steps. This probably needs a spread sheet.

(where's JD Waren when I need him?).
 

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Probably having lunch with Biden

Just remember you the one that started all this practically needing a college education to learn how to adjust headlights properly, or buy a Tacoma.

By-By “over and out good buddy”
 

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how much improvement with the new bulbs over stock ??
I am debating led's for low projectors...
 

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Bluetooth controlled Airlift suspension.........instant headlight adjustment.
 

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Very simple: Don't travel at Night, problem solved.
 
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