For a continent that on average disparages NASCAR, I’m not totally convinced you guys ever have right-hand corners. Or passing.

Last weekend I installed some NOS Mopar factory ECE headlights in the ZJ. E-codes, in colloquial parlance. To be specific, Europe except UK, France, or Germany. At least per the parts manual. The German ones have driver-adjustable vertical aiming, the French ones are yellow. UK ones obviously are wrong-hand-drive.

I’ve adjusted them as best as I can based on several instructions for e-code aiming I’ve found online, but they just don’t seem right. I’ve driven about 1000 km/ 600miles in the dark, and they’re ok illumination-wise, but they seem to be aimed a little too low for driving. On low beams, I can’t see the left-hand ditch as far ahead as I’m used to. But in city traffic the cutoff sits right around the mirror height on typical sedans, at least on the left side, which from the sounds of it is where they’re supposed to be aimed. On high beam as well they seem to do a better job illuminating the road directly ahead of me, with some illumination of the ditches, but again not as much as I’m used to, and they don’t illuminate much of the road more than 300'/100m in front of me... they almost seem too high in that regard, rather than too low, because I’ve got great illumination approaching hills.

I got these lights because the 27-year-old original lenses were pretty badly yellowed, and I wanted a bit of an upgrade that still looked factory. All the aftermarket solutions I could find are just too Robocop for my liking, which really only left factory options. The glass lenses were a big draw over the DOT-housing’s plastic, and also a lot of people speak very highly of the “E-codes”. Good light with a good cutoff pattern, is what they say. They can run stupidly bright lights without creating problems, they tell me. I’m not convinced.

Can you tell which headlight is still original? Lol

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That stupid hockey-stick cutoff pattern that flips light up to the right makes me feel bad for people I’m passing, and I’ve been flashed by about 25% of traffic I’ve encountered on right-handers. Not to mention the reflection off road signs is pretty brutal with low-beams. Although I do appreciate not getting dazzled by them quite so badly with my high beams that only really illuminate the road instead of the ditches. And I also appreciate that they’re not the stupid bright white light of LEDs that really sucks to drive with, especially in winter.

I’ll keep them because they’re still better than the horribly yellowed originals. They do seem like quality units, with glass lenses and ceramic housings, over the original plastic. But I’m still not exactly excited about their performance. Between that and the fact they’re arguably illegal to run here, I really can’t recommend them, unless I’m doing something horribly wrong.