|Why are they needed?
Head lamps on dipped beam always project light towards the kerb. This has two purposes: first, it avoids you driving into the grass verge of that narrow, dark country lane, and secondly (and more importantly), it avoids you blinding oncomming traffic.
In the UK, we drive on the left hand side of the road, the lights dip to the left. All well and good until we drive on the continent, where upon our dipped beam now dips into the middle of the road, and into the eyes of approaching motorists. Oh dear. Not very safe. In some European countries (eg. France) you can also recieve an instant on-the-spot fine if your car is thought to be dazling on comming traffic with its headlamps. You have been warned!
The solution is to mask off the area of the head lamp lens that directs light in dipped beam. This was an easy task up to a few years ago, as the lenses of the headlamp had clearly defined patterns on their surface, so anyone could make an educated guess where to apply the masking tape. There are many commercially available kits that also achieve the same result. These are available for most cars.
Unfortunately, the MGF and MGTF utilises a different headlamp technology: the headlamp covers are quite clear and plain (although the inner dipped beam lens is more traditionally patterned on the MGF). Therefore there are no indications as to where these masking patterns should be fitted. Nor are there any commercially available 'black tape' available for the MGF/TF (although 'universal' converters are sold at ports these days). The solution for the MGF is to purchase one of the high quality Rover/ MG supplied headlamp converters (see your dealer for details- part number XBV 100580, cost approx. 40 UKP) that clip on over the head lamps.
For the TF, the option is even easier: use the built-in converter - see here for more...
Figure 1 [above] MG Rover head lamp converter, RHS
|Figure 1 demonstrates the headlamp converter on the right side headlamp. Click below to see an 'artist's impression' of both converter patterns. It is rapidly obvious by the lack of surface markings to locate this pattern why there aren't any after market 'black tape' patterns for the MGF.|
|The following are links to the patterns for the masking of the dipped beam. Use the 'pdf' links if your printer is incorrectly scaling the patterns.||Left hand converter pattern||Right hand converter pattern|
|In gif format:||LH converter pattern||RH converter pattern|
|In pdf format:||LH converter pattern.pdf||RH converter pattern.pdf|
|get acrobat reader:|
The other surprising feature of these patterns is how different the two are: the LH looks nothing like the RH. This is presumably a reflection of how these lamps are mounted on the car, and the requirements to get the required dip beam pattern.
Further updates, and a review of the light bulbs available to improve your MGF's lighting are to follow.
Did you know that it is illegal in the UK to fit head lamp bulbs rated brighter than those fitted as original equipment to your car? That means 55/60W on the MGF.