hi all! rebuilding my headlights is next on my list. the only decent parts I have are the buckets and the rings. anyone have good luck with the lighting parts from the venders? will the chrome reflectors rust up? thanks. Ken
Ken -- Chrome does not reflect light the way that silver does. The original reflectors were silver-plated. You'd probably be much happier with the performance of your lights if you have some old reflectors silver-plated, rather than buying chrome ones.
I had original reflectors silver plated and although expensive ($180) they are MUCH better than what the vendors offer and I have in another car.
Be sure to use brass reflectors if you have them plated. Some were made of steel, but I doubt that you could find a pair of steel reflectors that were good enough to plate anyway. Dave
Chrome is illegal in some states for use as reflectors. I agree with all those who advocate for silver plated reflectors. Worth the extra $$$ and then you can use rational size light bulbs and get plenty of battery life too. Good front lighting is important but bright rear lighting is essential.
Used American Plating in St. Louis a couple of years ago.
Here is the link:
Scroll down in the link to the bottom and click on Silver Pricing Guide, just now looked and under "Headlamp reflector" the price is now $69 ea. I had them done about 2 years ago at $55 so the price is stable a bit.
Here is the comparison. In my hand is the new re-slivered by American, on the car on the right is a good Ford reflector, shined up by me using Silver polish, but even so you can tell the difference. The new plating is best for real headlamp performance!
It's hard to tell if the photo is out of focus or the new plate is not really plated. It looks like it could be the spray process. That would be in line with the price they're charging for "silver plating". Silver is silver but the preparation is different and the spray process leaves an orange peel look. Not very effective on a reflector and the light drops below that of chrome on these. Choose your plater carefully and ASK what process is used.
Thanks on the comments, never knew about 'spray' silver. Have been around plating and electopolishing in my career, and the reflectors I got back from American Plating were plated.
I know there are new Model A reflectors being made of a highly polished, non-tarnishing, aluminum which I have been told by an actual user they are as good as advertised.
I don't know if they are being offered for T's yet but I think there would a far larger T market.
drifting from T's, but the new aluminum model a reflectors are not being made with the correct shape for the light beam to focus correctly, and aluminum does not reflect as good. silver is expensive but really makes the best light if you drive at night much
This is what Snyder's has to say about the new aluminum reflectors they are selling.
Snyder's wouldn't say it if is wasn't true.
Snyders states that the finish is sealed so it won't tarnish--this sounds like the UVIRA system, which is an aluminum surface coated with a pyrex-like material. Supposed to maintain something like 85% reflectivity, which is less then fresh silver, but more than tarnished silver, which Silver does rather quickly (it still looks shiney, but it doesn't reflect as well). This is all much better than chrome, which is somewhere around 60% reflectivity.