lighting.gif (748 bytes) MGTF Headlamp 'converter'

Unlike the MGF, the TF an ingenious, built in, dipped beam converter, so there is absolutely no need to mess around with pieces of sticky back plastic or clumsy headlamp covers. But the dipped beam adjustment lever is not all that easy to find...

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The TF uses a different headlamp technology to that seen in the older MGF. Whereas in the F, the reflector bowls are clearly seen behind the glass cover, with H1/H7 bulbs in their centre, the TF uses what are known as 'projector' lamps. Infact, the bulbs themselves are exactly the same as the F - using the H7 bulb in the dipped beam. And there are silvered reflectors around the bulb (as we'll see shortly). But the lenses in front of the bulbs look more akin to a 'fish-eye' lens, that gives these head lamps their characteristic look.

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Pictured left is the inner workings of a TF headlamp, as it appears when nearly completely disassembled. This is from the right hand side (RHS) head lamp assembly. The lens on the left is the dipped beam, whilst the one on the right is the main beam. As can be seen, each light consists of the reflector unit described above, with the 'fish-eye' lens held in front of it.

How the built-in lamp converter works

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As shown in the animation opposite, the dipped beam converter works by moving a metal shutter into and out of the way of the light path from the bulb to the lens. Because the lens inverts and reverses the light pattern behind it, the fact that the shutter is located at the bottom (and to the right) of the assembly means that no light is projected upward, and potentially into the eyes of on-coming motorists.

When the moveable shutter is in its raised position, the beam has no leftward dip.

When the shutter is in it's lowered position, the light is allowed to deflect towards the LHS - as required by British law. In fact, in this mode, more light is emmited by the dipped beam headlamp than when the shutter is in the raised position to prevent the dip.

What is currently unknown is whether left hand drive (LHD) cars sold in Europe and elsewhere, has this dipped beam facillity, or whether this is a UK only specification. If this mechanism is found on all headlamps fitted to MGTFs, it does mean that owners of LHD cars need only flick the lever to gain the dip-to-left facility when driving on UK roads.

How do I adjust the dipped beam pattern?

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In the picture opposite (right), the dipped beam lever can be found below the dipped beam reflector bowl. The dipped beam lens is the outer of the two headlamp lenses. To gain access to the adjustment lever, open the front bonnet (as shown on the first picture at the top right of this page), and remove the dust cap from the rear of the dipped beam lamp (the state shown right).

The adjustment lever isn't actually all that easy to find or to get to. In the image opposite, I had the headlamp assembly removed from the car and sitting on my bench - so that the lever is easy to see under the glare of the camera's flash bulb. However, I found that I couldn't reach the lever with my finger - the only way to move the lever is to use a long impliment (I used a screw driver!) to shift the lever from one position to another.

Given the otherwise excellence of this design idea, the fact that dipped beam adjustment was so user-unfriendly was a genuine disappointment. So, MG and head lamp manufacturer, Valeo, WHY have you spoilt this potentially brilliant idea???

How the lever moves:

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In the picture opposite (right), we can see how the lever moves. There is an indent on its rearmost edge(closest to you as you look at the lever via the opening at the rear of the headlamp assembly)  that positively locates the lever into one of its two positions.

Move the lever to the left (B) to dip the main beam to the left for UK driving, or to the right (A), to centralise the dipped beam for continental driving.