Hi Forum. I have a 1919 T and believe I need to change a lightbulb on a headlight. Voltage reads just under 6V when I trace it back from the light so I assume its the bulb or the connection at the light fixture. My question is...how do I properly open the light case to get at the bulb without damaging the case? It appears there are dimples every 90 degrees around the case and that I need to pry off the front somehow without scratching the paint. Is this accurate? And once inside do I need a special tool to remove the lightbulb? I've obviously never been inside the light case. Pic of light included. Any help would be great! Brian.
They open by pushing in and turning to the left.Not always an easy task.Bob's sell a tool that greatly assists in performing this task. When you get to the bulb,wear a leather glove and be very careful to not cut yourself. Don't ask how I know..
These may help. Good luck.
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Here's how the tool works:
Normally you don't need the tool. You should be able to push firmly on the rim towards the rear of the car and rotate the rim 1/4 turn counter clockwise. Then the glass falls on the floor and shatters if you are not paying attention.
So far I've been lucky...they all just come off when I squeeze and turn. I'm sure the tool works great, I'd just be a little concerned about it scratching the rim all to crap even with just the squeezing.
The tool is lined with black duct tape. It doesn't scratch anything.
I second Royce's comment, stand close to the front of the headlight when you remove the cover so that the lens doesn't fall to the floor. Mine fell once, but luckily it hit my foot first, and that cushioned its fall, keeping it from breaking.
Mine came off fairly easily by hand, probably because the previous owner had liberally applied grease to the mating surfaces of the headlight bucket and the cover to keep them from getting stuck together.
Compliments of another forum posted, nice drawing
Underside of that rivet head on the outer rim
Check also the Bakelite plug contacts inside the bulb holder too, and then the bulb contacts as those need to be bright and clean, and ground contact to the headlamp post to the frame too.
With all due respect to Royce and the headlight rim removal tool he posted pictures of above, when I have a difficult time removing a headlight rim, I use a reproduction of an original period tool. It's made by Bob Bergstadt and sold by most Model T parts vendors.
This tool is a solid bar with Snyders part number T-6575T.
It is an approximate 1/2" steel bar bent in a "U" shape and has grooves that fit over the headlight rim rivits. It works very well, expecially on rusty or very hard to remove rims. In my experience it does not scratch or damage the finish on the rim.
I'm a sucker for Model T tools and often buy any new Model T tool that comes along. This tool is $26.95 in the latest Snyder's catalog. Not cheap, but it really works.
On sale for 23.50 at Bob's Antique Auto Parts
I always put these under the headlight area just in case!
You are all incredible. Thanks for all the information! Brian_1919