My headlights are missing their reflector retaining rings and gaskets. I read on one vendor’s website that the gasket goes on a “ridge” of the reflector. It appears to me that the gasket fits into a groove shown in the photo. Is that where it goes? I was going to use grease to hold the gasket in place during assembly. Silicone may be better but I think my reflectors may need replacing. Is this what the aluminized reflectors look like? My uncle bought these reflectors in the ‘90s and I don’t know if these are worth using.
That's not an aluminized reflector--it looks like it's an old reflector with silver paint on it. I wouldn't use it myself, as the new reflectors are excellent and less expensive than having your old ones done. Yes, you have to glue the rope gasket in that groove--not grease. You can use rubber cement, which should allow you to change out the rope later. The spring goes in the headlight bucket, behind the reflector; the lens is held in the ring by clips that are part of the ring.
Those are not very "reflectory". They look like someone's painted them with that chrome paint that you can buy at the parts houses.
The new ones have much more of a mirror finish. I'd buy some new ones if it were me, or find some much better used ones.
And yes...the rope gasket goes in that groove.
And the ends of the rope should be at the bottom.
The gasket goes in the groove with the joint at the bottom so any water can drain out. Re silicone, just a few dabs will work. I have used grease in the past. The reflectors should look like polished silver, that one does not. It looks like chrome or silver paint, no reflective value. If it was aluminized, might need a good polish.
My reflectors looked like that so I replaced them with relatively cheap repops. I kind of wonder if you could vacuum form aluminized mylar (like those birthday balloons) into the reflector for an even cheaper way to half ass it but haven't bothered trying.
For the gasket I used some rope from the hardware store that was a reasonable match to the original stuff, then held it in place with clear silicone. That gasket actually serves a second purpose in that it presses out against the glass and headlight rim, which helps keep the rim from rotating and falling off.
I've had reflectors on my list of light parts to buy but I thought I would confirm my suspicions with this group first.
Thanks to all.
Original reflectors are silver plated brass, good ones will look black at a swap meet, often in the $1 box. The black ones shine up like a mirror with silver polish. If they look like dull brass the silver is gone and they will not polish up.
Mark, PM sent. Dave
The "cheap Repops" that were the only thing available until recently are not the right shape and were chrome plated--which is a lousy light reflector--so lousy that they are illegal in most states (and old law that is still on the books). The new Alumini8zed reflectors are made to the Ford prints (dimensionally) and are MUCH better, plus legal!
I had to pay almost $300 to get mine re-silvered, but I'm glad I did. It really hurt though!
I never tried an aluminum reflector but I can say the chrome ones look nice during the daytime but so poor that once I had a friend visit in the evening and we were going to go out for a drive in the Model T. We couldn't even see the driveway so we went about 200' and came back home. I know the silver ones work and need to be polished from time to time but that gasket will greatly help in keeping them shiny. Keeps out some of the oxidation from rain and air.
Just to make things clear, they are not aluminum reflectors, they are coated with aluminum and polished then coated to protect the finish.
$300 for resilvered reflectors is really cheap for my country. Last time I asked about it, was quoted about 3 times that?
So anyway... silicon often cures to some acid compound & will corrode the reflector. I know this because I tried it in the past.
If you have no silver plate left & your reflector looks like brass with grey streaks, to 'get by' until funds improve you can use that 'chrome' vinyl wrap, I suspect it's active reflective content is aluminium, I've done so in the past.
What some folks don't seem to know is the "aluminized" reflectors have been coated with an aluminum deposit, which is highly polished and then flash coated with a clear layer of Pyrex so that the reflective finish is sealed. The finish is very close to a freshly silvered reflector in terms of reflectivity. The Silvered reflector oxidizes very quickly to a level below that of the Aluminized coated reflectors. Present cost is $38 each (OK, 2017 catalog price, might have gone up)--way less than $300. I don't think the new ones are brass, the backside is painted black.
There's acetic acid in most of the silicone room temperature vulcanizing materials. It smells like vinegar. I wouldn't use it here or for any electrical application. jb
I hadn't heard about the new reflectors, but for others' reference, here's a news release I found. FYI, multiple vendors carry them.