Last night I took apart the headlights on my '24 to check them over. The adjusters were frozen and I found one teepee bulb and one straight filament bulb. I got the I adjustable sockets out, cleaned and put back together with a thin film of dialectric grease. Now they move smoothly and have a good ground (1 ohm between the socket and negative battery terminal). When I put the reflectors back in I noticed they are not a matched set. One seems to be slightly deeper than the other and the adjustable socket protrudes more from one than the other. These appear to be original reflectors and still have pretty good sliver plating. But I'm wondering if I'll be able to get them properly focused.
So I'm think about getting a set of the new aluminized reflectors that Langs and Snyders sells. I'm going to use 32/32 cp teepee bulbs. The sockets are good and the bulbs orient with filaments horizontal. Have any of you guys tried the new reflectors? What is your opinion of them?
I have read that the new aluminized reflectors can't match the originals for brightness. But getting the original reflectors resilvered is pretty expensive. Maybe somebody who has gone that route can tell us whether new silver is enough better to be worth the cost.
eBay item number:
Have you tried polishing the reflectors you have? If they still have a good finish on them you will be surprised how much improvement can be made by polishing them.
A lot of good reflectors have been tossed when they get tarnished or turn a greenish color when they could ha been polished.
I recently purchased the better reflectors from Lang's and they are superb!
I have a set of them and they a far superior to the chrome reproductions. My original reflectors were silver painted, so I have no real comparison. Steve, where did you find horizontal teepee bulbs. Langs only has vertical filament bulbs. 2 years ago their bulbs had vertical straight filaments. Now they are the correct teepee. Now they need to change orientation. Are your sockets rotated 45°?
Sorry - I meant 90°.
I'm embarrassed to report that my bulbs appear to be vertical, not horizontal. I tried them again tonight and was surprised to find the teepees vertical. I have a box of old Mazda and tungsol bulbs so thought they were correct. I checked both 21/21 and 32/32 bulbs and they are all the same - 90 degrees off. My mind must be playing tricks on me.
The reflectors are very similar, but not the same. One is about 1/8" shorter than the other. They each have a couple of cracks around the edge too. But I think they are still useable.
So what is the best option? Cut, drill and reposition the socket by 90 degrees?
Here are the reflectors.
Here are the reflectors.
Steve, your reflectors look very nice. I would just polish them (gently so you don't rub through the silver) and use them.
I had the reflectors in my Model A silver plated and with a bit of care they lasted 35 years. About 2 years ago the plating had worn through in a few spots, looking tired. I replaced them with new aluminized reflectors, and I cannot tell the difference at night. I am using 6V 32-32 bulbs with good wiring and ground. Only time will tell about the durability. The T has Victors, none of this new fangled "lectric".
As Keith said, polish and reuse what you have. Those are in great shape. JD
Geez Steve, your posts make me want to check my new lamps to see about orientation. :-)
Those original reflectors are beautiful mirrors!
In my mish-mash of parts that are on my 18, the "stepped/fluted" reflectors in my head lamps need a fixin'.
Not nearly as clear as your reflectors!
You prob'ly know this already but some of our people solder a ground wire between the socket and the bucket.
I should do that.
Steve, I have not found an easy fix, other than reworking the buckets. I'm surprised your 'old' bulbs are still not correct. How old are they?
Has anyone seen old stock bulbs with the correct orientation?
I don't know how old these bulbs are, they came with a stash of parts when I bought the car 6 years ago. But the boxes look old and the bulbs are dirty.
It looks like the best approach will be to press out the sleeves and re-install them wit the slot at 12 O'clock. Of course I'll need to drill a new adjuster screw hole. Was reading some other posts last night and it looks like they are just pressed in and crimped with a couple dimples. What I'm thinking is to drill out the dimples, make a bushing driver to fit, then press them out on an arbor press. Then clean them well and press back in. If they are a loose fit, I'll solder them in place. While I'm at it, I can add a ground wire to the socket's tab and attaching using the original adjuster screw hole with a screw.
For the time being I'll polish up these reflectors and see if they will focus once I get the sockets/bulbs oriented properly. If the mismatched size is a problem, then I may try the new ones.
Steve, sounds like you have the right ultimate solution. I contemplated the same procedure, but found I could get a reasonable focus as is. At least for the first time a could get a beam to show up on the target. I used the alignment target when getting the car inspected. Looked pretty good.
Good plans don't always work out. I went to unbolt the headlight stalks so I could work on the shells and press out the sleeve. Unfortunately, the stalks are rusted firmly in the fender iron holes, I doubt they have ever been removed. I got the nuts off and soaked with Kroil. But they are not budging. Grrr. I'm not ready to tear it apart further. So like a many others, I may just have to live with vertical bulbs for the time being.
One thought I had. Which would be better - teepee bulbs with vertical beams or those new LED bulbs that can't be focused, but are quite bright and draw little current. Neither are ideal...
You just need to find some 1915 sockets. Then install them in you shells. The filaments would be in the right plan then. Dan
Steve, anticipating complications, that is the reason I choose to leave well enough alone!! We all have been there. I have experimented with various leds, none will focus to a 'beam'. I do use leds very successfully for brake, directional and running lights. I do quite a bit of evening driving with our local model A club. I have followed John Regan's advice indicating that halogen bulbs produce no more light than incandescent - they just don't yellow. I highly respect John's knowledge. Try the vertical filaments - you can allign them pretty well. Let me know what you think?
I'll try them out, not much choice at this point. A few weeks ago I converted a pair of oil lamps to LEDs, I plan to use them for tail/brake lights. Since that saves a few amps, I figured the 32/32 cp bulbs up front would cause no undue stress on the electrical system. Trying to keep the load as light as possible.
Been thinking more on this problem.
It seems to me that the only thing that keeps the socket from being rotated 90 degrees is the adjusting table that sticks out the side. So I was thinking - would it be feasible to cut that tab off, then make new one and either solder or JB weld it to the side of the socket 90 from the original position? Now that I have the sockets sliding smoothly in the sleeves, it wouldn't get much stress. Once its focused the screw just keeps in in position. Thoughts...?
This is not a job for JB Weld, Think you need to have the contacts & their insulator out of the socket and silver braze the tab where you want it. Should be easier to find a pre-15 socket.
What is shown above in the photo of the bulb installed is what has been the issue for lots of years both T and A. The filaments, pins and contacts are not right for the T socket. Just because the bulbs are old does not mean they are correct. Other cars used different configurations. The idea of adding a new tab to rotate the socket 90 deg's. sound like a good plan. I have one early style and one later sockets installed in mine because that is what bulbs I had.
David - JB weld would be my last choice. If the contacts & insulator can be easily removed without damage, then soldering would be preferable. The only stress on the tab is sliding the socket in/out of the sleeve for adjustment, so a good lead/tin hard solder should be more than adequate. While silver braze would stronger, I don't know if its necessary. I'm going to dig around my parts boxes and see if I have an extra socket to experiment with. I also want to add a ground wire.
Steve, sounds like a workable solution. Sn/pb solder would work fine if you have enough surface area. An L shaped tab should work fine. I'm just wondering if it would really make a difference? My vertical filaments focus surprisingly well. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to. I appreciate your persistence!
I took a close look at the socket today and tried to remove the insulator - no luck. I'm not sure if it can be taken apart without destroying it. I took a probe and tried to hook behind the insulator through the small gap, but it would not move. This looks like an original socket and I didn't want to damage it, so I stopped. In order to solder on a new tab, these need to be removed. Unless someone knows the secret to taking these apart, I may just order a pair of repro sockets and see what can be done with those.
Steve, you could make an L or T shaped tab and carefully drill and tap the socket for a 2-56 or 3-48 screw. I now see while I gave up so soon. No easy solution. You have nothing to loose on this 'spare' socket.
This is a socket from one of the headlights. I'll probably order some repros to experiment with. Good idea using the tiny screws - thanks.
I have a set of "re-silvered" reflectors in a car and I can say I've never seen a brighter set of 6 volt powered headlights.
It cost $180 to get them done but that was several years ago.
I bought a pair of repro sockets and attempted to make and attach a new tab 90 degrees from the original. Here is what it looks like so far. I made the tab and attached it with two 6x48 screws. I had a hard time tapping the inner hole due to interference from the bulb contact plunger. I've not yet cut off the original tab. I'm not real happy with it. I wish I could figure out to disassemble the socket and remove the plungers and insulators. Then I could solder the new tab rather than use screws. But I haven't broken the code yet.
I should note the the tab on the repro socket is smaller than an original socket tab. Neither as thick or as wide. Kind of disappointing.
I run 8v headlights in my car to give a softer glow like an Edison bulb. I had the lights resilvered and put in a clear glass. Love it.
I have had great luck using the plastic lense polish from the parts store, polish from front to center and don't do circular motion. Be gentle as the silver is very thin. KGB