How do I remove the headlight bezel to change bulb on a 1926 coupe?
Austin, I see by your Profile you're an Electrical Engineer. Would your use of the word 'bezel' be synonymous with 'rim'? Just so we're referencing the same component. If so, press the rim inward with your palms at about the 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock aspect and attempt to turn the rim to the left a little over an inch. This should cause the 4 little 'tits' on the rim to disengage with their respective slots in the light body. If this doesn't work after several attempts, either buy the special tool for this procedure from Lang's or very gingerly use a slender screwdriver at all 4 contact points to pry the rim loose. Good luck.
Or do it the way Royce advised you. He's a fairly decent Model T mechanition.
Tinkerin Tips recommended using a well-worn leather belt as a gripper wrench to remove the headlight rim. I was skeptical until I tried it - has never failed to get a rim off for me.
By pushing in against the headlight and twisting the ring counter clockwise, the ring clips
will disengage from the bucket clips .... in theory !
However, after 90+ years, parts tend to fall out-of-round and twisting that ring off may prove
to have some degree of resistance. I have one that is possible to remove by hand with the
proper prayer and the sacrifice of a small child or animal. The other one is flat-out impossible
to remove without a special tool.
Tom at Antique Auto Ranch allowed me to use a tool in his shop that is so dandy that I made
one for myself. Using 1" steel round bar, I cut one piece to the EXACT outside diameter of the
ring with a micro-skosche of air for slop. I then welded a 5" piece of the same to each end to
create a "H" shape. Before welding, the two end pieces were milled to have a flat surface to mate
with the center bar's flat cut ends. They were then milled to have a round groove in that flat face
to engage the headlight ring's rivets. This groove only comes in from one end about 3/4" to make
the tool bottom out against the rivet and not the ring face. This will keep you from damaging the
paint on the ring face.
The beauty of this design is that the end "handles" can be easily used to apply the needed twisting
force WHILE the user applies the pushing pressure against the bucket with their body to get an easy
release. Other tools I have seen will provide twist pressure, but lack, or are more awkward in applying
the pushing back pressure.
I know you are supposed to push and twist counter-clockwise to remove the rim, but recently, when I had to change the bulbs in the headlights of my '26 Model T Coupe from 12V to 6V, there was one rim I could not get off. Would not even move or twist. Finally, after 10 minutes, I looked on the bottom of the rim and saw where the prior owner (I sold it in 1996 and bought it back from his widow in 2001 after he died) screwed a sheet metal screw through the bottom of the rim into the bucket, to keep the loose rim from coming off from the vibration. You never know what a prior owner has done so always check everything when things don't seem the way you know they should be. Jim Patrick.
I use a large piece of insertion rubber placed on the work bench and place the complete headlight face down on it and rotate the bucket. I found its easier than trying to rotate the
small rim section. The rim really locks on the rubber plus you can place downward pressure on the bucket and rotate at the sane time
If the trim rings are re-pops it can be a real chore to get them off on the Improved cars. I took and original and compared it to the re-pop ones. The re-pops studs that lock into the headlights bucket are definitely longer and hang up in the slot. Those studs on the reproduction trim rings I bought were stepped, so I trimmed off the studs about 1/64". They g in much easier now. This got me to thinking that maybe the trim rigs sold by the vendors are designed to fit all models but just need to be modified a little to fit the Improved cars better.
The rim rivets develop a groove in them from decades of vibrating around. the groove can really 'grab' onto the bucket and make removal a pain. When restoring, check them out and repair/replace them! Your life will be made much simpler then!