As I posted before, I have an early '26 in my garage and one of the many projects it needs done is to add tail lights. Right now it has nothing installed; no rear lights or brackets of any kind, no wires to the rear and no brake pedal switch. I think ultimately I'd like to use a pair of Model A "STOP" lights, perhaps also rigged as turn signals.
With Bob's Antique Auto Parts having their clearance sale I'd like to try and get as much as I can in one big order but without any manuals yet (they're also in the order) I don't know what all I'll need.
Can anyone help with a basic shopping list of tail light stuff?
I don't know that Bob's carries any tail lights that are close to period correct for the Improved cars. I bought a set of '28-'29 Model A drum lights from Brattons that are tail/stop units and are very close in appearance to the dealer accessory lights of the day. For sure you'll need some sort of stoplight switch, and right hand mounting bracket if you're going with two lights, and good cloth coated wire to make the installation look reasonably period. I solder all my connections instead of using crimp connectors. I just used black zip ties to tidy everything up under the car.
You'll have to to ask someone else what kind of turn signal mechanism to use.
I don't know if Bob's carries any Model A lights, so you may have to get them from some other vendor like Snyder's. It wouldn't hurt to ask him though. Regardless where you get them, The closest Model A light to a 26-27 accessory stoplight would be the Model A 'Drum' tail light, but any Model A tail light can be used that can be wired as directional signals. If using directional signals, you'll need the proper switch and wiring for it and I do not think they carry it either although Snyder's and Lang's does. Finally, you'll need a stoplight switch. Most who have used them, say the repro Model T switch that clamps to the starter bendix cover is prone to failure. Most use Model A or other aftermarket T switch like the one that mounts to the trans inspection cover.
Tim, I got my Model A stoplight/turn signal stuff from Snyders. Check 'em online. They got everything you need.
Thanks guys, I'll take a look at the Snyders site and figure out how I'm going to make this work.
Tim -- A really good stoplight switch is the one available from Fun Projects. It is easy to install and more dependable in the long run than the ones most of the vendors carry.
Tail lights are not that hard as you can left and right Model A drum type (tuna can as they are called). The right side fender mount might be a little harder for a T. You can get them for A's but they are not same.
Don't think you'll get lucky enough with this weeks discount with Bob...but do ask, as when I was a lot younger and lived closer, his Dad use to horse trade used 'stuff'. Call up in the morning say what you want, he'd ask what you'd give in return, I'd toss it in the trunk and drive over by lunch. Half the time he'd be busy with someone and tell me to just go rummage myself
Send me a PM (because I can't 'send' thru here)and I'll send you back a b/m for Mac's / instructions for what you have to change / a wiring diagram that uses that later Duo-Lite arrangement with beehives in the front.
Right and left brackets are available from at least Lang's and Snyder's. In my 26, I used 26 tail lights and converted them to double contact. The short Model A bulbs are needed to fit in the 26 Light. http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/3857 I used the 6 volt bulbs and sockets from Snyder's.
Tim, i posted this on another related thread.
Snyders has lights listed as 19-23 which have been converted to dual filament. Since they are red and not amber i used them for my tail/brake lights. The one on the left still has an open clear area for the plate light. I mounted motorcycle blinkers front and back and just changed the bulbs out to 6v. I hated to have to do this, but i live in a state with some of the worst drivers in the country.
Tim, my 26 Tudor has the same tail lights as John Zibell posted above. I believe they are called T Cup. Mine only came with one on the drivers side and had a clear lens. I kept the clear lens and added a red insert on the inside and also installed an additional one on the passenger side. I also did like John and converted them to double contacts. If your interested in keeping it to look original I have a couple extra lights and clear lens I'll let you have very reasonable just send me a PM.
Just had a chance to take a couple of pics of the drum stop/tail lights on my '26 touring. Sounds like this is something you're looking for.
Kevin, that looks to be almost exactly the setup I'm going for except I'm probably not going with the proper period brackets. My rear fenders have been cut short and the back half of the touring body was long ago replaced by a wooden box. I was thinking of mounting the lights to a piece of light steel angle bolted up to the bottom of the box just ahead of the tailgate.
Anyways, this whole tail light thing is looking ahead a little ways. I have a bunch of mechanical stuff to tackle before I move to the electrics.
I talked to Brattons about making a negative ground set of LED lights to fit the drum lights. They already offer a set of positive ground ones. It would be super nice to have a set of really bright tails and stop lights that are easy on the generator as well. No word from them yet though.