1917 Tail Light Lens replacement....oil type

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: 1917 Tail Light Lens replacement....oil type
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 02:15 am:

Hi guys...new guy again.

I have a stock tail lamp I bought used that came with a cracked red lens. I bought a replacement red lens that is the correct size.

I started the replacement work today but ran into problems. The old one slipped out of it's groove in pieces, so it was easy.

The new one....I cannot for the life of me figure out how it installs. There 'appears' to be a metal ring with a lip that holds the lens in place. I bought a wire band clamp along with the new lens but see no place that it would install. The metal ring/lip seems like it is part of the swing door to the lamp and doesn't remove. This would make it impossible to replace the lens.

I hope I am just being extra stupid but I just can't see anyway to finish this project.

Is there a trick to this? Were the lens meant to be permanent on some years? I don't know for sure what year this lamp is but looks correct based on 1917 pictures/manuals I have.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 03:39 am:

I would have to see your pieces to give you a definitive answer. I know that SOME of the lamp rims had the lens originally crimped in place. They are very difficult to replace a lens in (there are some creative ways such as opening the crimp enough to use a snap wire maybe?) (cutting the crimped piece and epoxy?). The entire rim on the oil lamps is easy to swap out and usually the best way is to get an entire rim either with a good lens or one that the lens can be easily changed with a simple snap wire. They were made both ways. Lamps for model T Fords were made by several different companies as well as changed somewhat over the years. However most of the oil lamp rims were interchangeable between them for many years.
One important matter of clarification? Is this a standard model T type oil tail lamp? (Your profile says 1917?) Or is this an electric type lamp? It makes a big difference for getting the right answer.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 05:53 am:

Ken, initially some of the lenses were fitted and the metal spun around them to make them captive. This is most likely what you have. The only option is to open up the rolled in edge until you can set the new lens in place. A pair of pliers should do the trick. You should not have to go all the way around before the lens will drop in. I would hold it in place with a bead of black silicon RTV sealant, rather than attempt to bend the metal back down against the new lens.

Hope this helps.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 09:49 am:

Allan is right -- re-crimping the metal without chipping the edge of the lens is tricky. RTV is an excellent adhesive and will do the trick. Of course, now the inside of the ring isn't as pretty as it was before, but no one is supposed to be looking in there anyway. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 09:53 am:

It gets really hot in a kerosene lamp when lit, so I would make sure the original rolled in flange is in the lower half when in position. Wouldn't trust silicon rtv in that heat, some careful rebending of the flange could maybe secure the lens in place without breaking it (plus some high temp composite)?

I've had problems with the lid opening when driving, had to secure it with some bailing wire - the T'ers best friend ;)
Now my only problem is blowouts at more than 20 mph = always, so I'm open to suggestions on how to seal for higher speed driving - if it's at all possible?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 12:00 pm:

Thanks once again!
Yep, this is a true oil lamp, not electric. My plan was to run an LED light in there, replacing the regular trailer type electric light that is currently on there. Reminds me of my old boat trailer.....I want the original oiler look.

Definitely has a rolled lip so looks like I'm going to go out there and start un-rolling that lip until I can get the new lens to slide in. I will go with the RTV since I don't plan on heating her up. It's a very nice condition lamp but the seller 'forgot' to mention the inside clasp was missing. I will have to find a neat way to hold the lid closed. Like Mike said, don't need to be looking inside there anyway!

Off to the 100* + garage right now, hope 'I' don't melt!

Thanks again to all of you,
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 04:07 pm:

OK, the job is done!!! I was able to bend the lip back just enough to slip the new lens in place. I left the bottom part of the lip without bends so the bottom of the lens is held in tight (thanks Allan) Clear RTV did the rest.

Now the problem is finding a clean way to keep the lid closed. I guess RTV could do that too, just hate not being able to open it...like it matters...just don't like it.

Thanks again guys...it looks great!
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 04:15 pm:

I found a suitable spring that I could hook inside the chimmeny and to the opening lid so it was held closed but still was possible to open. Worked fine until I lightened the lamp - the heat softened the spring so it opened up by itself.. Had to go to the less elegant bailing wire :-)
So with led lights it should work :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Monday, July 27, 2015 - 02:03 pm:

Roger...great idea! I have some extra springs that I can try. Simple and elegant!
Thanks for the idea,
Ken


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