Driving my '26 coupe at night, my headlights are really dim. What is the brightest 6v, 2 contact headlight available (I prefer the original style bulb. Not Halogen)? How are the bulbs mounted in the headlights so that the bright filament is properly positioned in front of the reflector so that the beam goes the farthest? Is the longer protruding filament on the top or on the bottom? Jim Patrick
GE 1000 are 50cp x 50cp, identical filaments. For bulbs with different filaments, position depends on how your car is wired. It does not affect headlight performance. You might clean your lenses with Bon Ami and polish your reflectors with Wright's Silver Creme. Adjusting your generator third brush for a little more output might help also.
I thought maybe the shorter filament would be positioned on the bottom, positioning it closer to the center of the reflector which would give a brighter, farther beam and the longer filament positioned on top, would reflect more off the upper reflector, pointing the beam downward (dim). Does this make sense? Jim Patrick
Try one one way, place your car back aways from the garage door and see what difference you find when you try it the other way. Then take your adjusting screw and move the bulb in and out and see what difference it makes. You might put a piece of newspaper on the door and mark the beam outline so you can actually see the difference. You also might reposition the entire headlamp and see if you gain anything.
When I first got my coupe in 1957, to get a Texas inspection sticker, the headlamps had to measure "poor" on the light meter. I doubt they have improved much since then.
I now run 12 volt 21 cp, double filament parking lamps and an alternator and I have pretty decent lights.
Clean & brighten the headlight bucket where the bulb holder is installed, also the connection of the bucket to the tie bar. Need good electrical grounding at these points. Bulb sockets in good order, clean contacts ? Good shiny frame/battery ground connection ?
Reflectors ? clean or resilver.
21cp or 50 cp bulbs can't shine any brighter if they're halogen... still rated at specified cp.
Nice polished refectors can make a big difference for you headlights.
Many reflectors have been thrown away when they could have been polished back to near new cond.
I run the original 21-3 cp bulbs, and they are just fine. I think the number is 1158.
Do you refer to the 21-32 cp bulbs ??
1158 is a 6 volt, signal and tail light, 21 and 3 cp. I run 1157, a similar 12 volt bulb. The ones in my 24 were marked "halogen" and bought from Walmart about 10 years ago. They look like a plain 1157 and I suspect someone waved a halogen wand over them as they came off the production line. They do seem to be a touch brighter than the 1157's I have in my coupe.
Model / Filament / Volts / Watts / Amps / CP / Life
2057 / Low-High / 14.0-12.8 / 6.86-26.88 /.49-2.10 / 2-32 / 5000-1200
1157 / Low-High /14.0-12.8 / 8.26-26.88 / 0.59-2.10 / 3-32 / 5000-1200
2357/ Low-High / 14.0-12.8 / 8.26-28.54 / 0.59-2.23 / 3-40 /5000- 400
H1157/ Low-High/ 14.0-12.8 /15-50 / 1.07-3.90 / 25-107/ 400- 400
an LED bulb simular to a 1157 might work
just an idea.
Have to agree with william, LED will be the way to go. Maybe something from here would work? - http://www.expresslightbulbs.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=682_13_393
Don't expect too much from those LED bulbs, seem to be applicable to house voltage.
Show me a LED headlight bulb that will work on a 6/7.2 volt car battery/generator system.
There's something else I noticed about dim headlights. Take the lenses off of your headlights and check to see how they filaments are oriented. It turns out that a lot of the repro headlight sockets are made 90 degrees off. That would mean that the filaments are vertical rather than horizontal. So when you switch from bright to dim, all it does is switch the beam from right to left.
If they are vertical, then you may need to cut a new slot in the sleeve for the socket 90 degrees off, and drill a new hole for the adjustment screw. I tried that with my '24 Touring, and it made such a difference! I can actually see at night now!
I don't know if these are what you want, but there ARE 6 volt LED bulbs available.
Peter..... for all except headlights.
Model T headlights are not like modern headlights. High beam or "ON" only shifts the beam to the left, while the "DIM" keeps the beam to the right.
The beams are not higher.
I have a distinct high and low beam on my 26 Tudor that moves the light beam up and down and all of the parts are stock equipment. I run a 32-32 cp bulb and it give plenty of light for night time driving.
The key to good lighting on a T is this.
1. Find yourself a good set of silvered reflectors or get a pair resilvered. The difference between silver and chrome in my book is huge. The chromed reflectors will not cut it. When polishing the silvered reflector, be sure not to scratch them as this will scatter the light beam.
2. You will need to set your gen to the higher side of the charging scale. 9 amps should work. Anything less and the voltage drop when you turn on the headlights is to much to light the bulbs properly.
3. Focus your headlights using the screw on the back of the housing. Remove the lens and adjust to a solid dot. Reinstall the lens and fine tune to a solid line.
4. Aim your headlights. A garage door works great for this. You have not stated which light housing set up you have. As it is a 26, I will assume you have the light that mounts directly to the fender with or without the crossbar. If so, you can shim the back side of the mounting flange to tip the light any way you need to get it right.
5. Do you have the correct front spring and spindles? This is overlook quite often. The 26-7 spring has 1" less arch than the 09-25 spring and the spindles for 26-7 lowered the front end another 1/2". This mismatch happens more often that you would think. If you have an older spring and/or spindles, you will have a very hard time getting the light to the road as the front of the car is pointing up in the air. I speak from experience as this was the problem with my 26 Tudor. Once the correct spring and spindles were installed, everything else fell into place.
6. As stated above, be sure you have a good ground path back to the frame. Any resistance at all is a huge voltage drop for a 6v system.
I know this thread isn't about 12V lights but how to get more light. I saw another early car at the Montana 500 with what looked like a newly resilvered brass light. Looking closer it had Hella running lights installed!
I installed a set in my '12 when I got home and now they burn up the night like a European sportscar!
Not sure how long the battery will last but it's sure nice to be able to see.
A good part is that with my More Light lenses you can't tell but what it's an original burner in there.
Goes without saying nice shiny reflectors are a must. Silver is great but it's often very thin so don't polish aggressively.
High wattage globes in a T aren't a great idea as they use more current in a system that is already pretty marginal. That said I have no problems with 6 volt lights provided you set them up properly.
32cp globes are fine. Wether you use new or old stock ones, make sure they're the same brand & filament arrangement.
The main "high" beam is the filament that is most central in the globe, the other "low" beam filament is off center and when it's lit the headlight will not be focused properly.
New sockets are a very good idea, because corrosion is a real enemy of a system that uses low voltage and high current. Spray some WD40 into them for good measure.
My first step is to solder an earth cable to connect the globe holder to the headlight bucket. I can't stress it enough that this works wonders.
Turn the headlight switch to the main 'ON' position, install your globes so they're both facing the same way & make sure the central filament is lit. Focus the light to a 'pinpiont' with the adjuster screw.
Turn to the 'DIM' position and observe which way the focus changes against the wall. If it goes up or to the wrong side then turn the globes around 180deg & swap the plugs to suit.
You might find the 'pinpoint' just changes shape or opens up a bit, that's fine, we're not dealing with advanced optics, many globes are different shapes anyway, as long as they both do the same thing it's fine.
Install the lenses & fiddle with the adjuster if you wish.
Enjoy some night driving like I do but if you go anywhere near a highway, get some good quality LED bicycle tail light(s) to go on the car as backup & augmentation. I use flashing ones to get the truckers attention, as often they're approaching at double my speed;)
One of the most important things that is not mentioned here is that many if not most of the bulbs that fit into the front headlight sockets have the wrong filament shape and as such will not focus at all in your headlights. I posted this info on a thread awhile back where some excellent line drawings were being drawn up but the bulbs pictured had the totally wrong filament shape. I think the accent on those drawings was the other parts and not the bulb parts but look carefully at an original T bulb and you will see that the filament is in 2 pieces with a center support that brings the total filament into a steep shape like an indian teepee. The wattage and CP of the bulb is important but you really can't use a tail lamp very successfully in place of a headlamp and expect it to be brighter just because it is a higher wattage lamp. I agree that LED's will eventually be here for headlights but at the moment they are a light source with a very narrow viewing angle. Carefully designed clusters of them can work for ambient lighting or for tail lights too but headlights need a very tight viewing angle to work. LED's often mention the viewing angle but most folks don't know what to make of it. If your headlight bulb has a single horizontal shaped filament going straight across between 2 tie points then it is not for headlight applications regardless of who is selling it to you for that application. Now such a lamp will indeed give oncoming drivers notice that you are there and as such they will work but they won't achieve the brighter viewing lighting that you folks seem to be looking for now will there be much if any difference between bright and dim with regard to aiming.