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Tech? Refurbishing Swap Meet Tailights

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tman, May 24, 2004.

  1. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,066

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Update, they are in the car and are as bright as LEDs, I will try and snap a pic tonight.
     
  2. Good one Tman.

    Your comment on Titanium Dioxide creating more reflectivity makes sense.
    I've been using the 'chrome' spray paint which is an improvement, but after seeing the results of Digger Dave's scientific test I believe I'll be going for the white.
    Oughta be a good - and short project for this winter.

    Once I decide to either stay with the 39's or stick in the new Pontiac taillights.
    My friends 29 roadster has the Pontiac taillights and a totally subjective test in daytime shade showed them to be brighter than than my 39 taillights.
    Both cars running #1157's and 14 gage wire to the taillights.

    I like Digger Dave's policy of using a ground wire.
    Steel car or not, good grounds are paramount.... [​IMG]
     
  3. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,356

    AHotRod
    Member

    Excellant Tech Tip!

    BTTT for the Newbies and those that missed it !

    Great Job T !
     
  4. Back to the top for the LED fags(just kidding! you fags are so sensitive!).
     
  5. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim
    Member

    Dave , thanks for the great tech tip ! I have a 49 & 50 Ford Shoebox and I am going to do the same to mine when I rebuild them . That white paint really made a huge difference and with the smaller lights , that is a big plus in the safety area ! I also have seen some take and make a new housing so you can install 2 bulbs to get that brighter light for people to see when you are stopping . That is if you have enough room to make 2 holes for the sockets .
    Again , thanks for the great tech tip !

    Retro Jim
     
  6. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,066

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    rabble rouser!
     
  7. Now how's that for kizmet (?), back in '04 when you (Tman) fessed up this tech, I had no interest in refurbing my rod's taillights, or even having working taillights (tailights in a drag car is a tattle tail tool)...

    As of this Thursday I just finished setting some used chevron tails into my '39 Desoto, and now I'm going to go out to the shop to pull them back out and refurb them - the low mounting and smaller lens always triggered my "safety" bone. Great tip... 6 yrs removed

    Thanx
     
  8. Haha! Awesome!
    Thanks for the tech for those of us that had no computer back then.:)
     
  9. 48ford
    Joined: Dec 15, 2001
    Posts: 447

    48ford
    Member

    You can also get 25% brighter brake lights by replacing thr 1157 bulbs with 2357 bulbs .
    They are the same brightness running but are 25% brighter on the braking side.
    I cheap safety upgrade at A buck each
    Russ
     
    Tman likes this.
  10. dannybayo
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 27

    dannybayo
    Member

    48,is there a replacement # for amber turn signal bulbs? Thanks,Dan
     
  11. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    Antny
    BANNED
    from Noo Yawk

    Great tech, I did this today on my 55.5 truck's front signals.
     
  12. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,338

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Handy stuff,just one thing i've done too,alum tin foil works great as a reflector:cool:
     
  13. So do you use gloss white? I bought krylon gloss white and bright touch grey primer before the white.
     
  14. So should I primer the whole thing grey then the inside gloss white then the back just black?
     
  15. Would somebody like to chime in? I am about to paint them.
     
  16. Just paint them with whatever white you have. I did this to the lights on the back of my '55 F-100 this spring and used gloss white krylon over red rustolium primer just because that's what I had in the cabinet. I doubt it matters too much if the white is flat or gloss, white reflects 100% of the light that hits it and that's what you're after. Like Tman said, don't get paint inside the socket or you'll have grounding issues.
     
  17. Sounds good, I already took the sockets anf pig tails off the buckets are bare now so Im just painting the whole thing now. Thanks
     
  18. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,066

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Gloss white is what I always use.
     
  19. Maicobreako
    Joined: Jun 25, 2018
    Posts: 127

    Maicobreako
    Member

    What about a headlight bucket?
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  20. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,381

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

    Great Tech TMan! I am glad it got bumped as original post predates me by a lot
     
    kidcampbell71 and Tman like this.
  21. My '37 taillights were gloss black inside and out. Removed the lens and bulb. Used a 1/2 inch brush and gloss white enamel on the inside, that I had on hand. Two coats.
    Reassemble, nice and bright. Easy, no mess.
     
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  22. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,066

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A headlight reflector is much more complicated. It would be a fun experiment to see but I have not done it. Sealed beams are just so easy. That said, years ago when Cole built the Blue Bobber he took a vintage lens and a modern sealed beam and mated them to create a vintage looking modern headlight so anything can be done. He actually ground the sealed beam lens off the body and then mounted or bonded them together
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
    Maicobreako and kidcampbell71 like this.
  23. 32 hudson
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 756

    32 hudson
    Member

    Thanks. Great information and tips.
     
  24. The dishwasher does a good job on glass lenses. They come out looking like NOS.
     
    Tman likes this.
  25. Rusty J
    Joined: Nov 25, 2019
    Posts: 81

    Rusty J
    Member

    Oh, I love tech stuff. Been painting light housings white (or flat white) for years, sometimes I'd do just one to compare from stock - white always wins. I just read an old article about headlight reflectors - Street and Custom rodding illustrated winter 2004 edition pages 52-54 - and they have an article about re-silvering headlight reflectors.
    They used Steve's Auto Restorations as their source for the process, but I had the opportunity to discuss this earlier this year with the chrome shop here in Winnipeg, same info was given:

    Silivering (reflectivity index 90%+) is actually shinier than chrome (reflectivity index 65%) "a chrome plated reflector results in a hazy and washed out looking light at night. Currently there's some sort of aluminizing anodizing process done on today's cars, saw it on a show called How it's Made.

    This is great stuff to know and lighting is something most don't consider - but talking with new drivers (some of my students), the only thing that seems to catch their attention is the flash of a brake light. Most of these young drivers have told me they really don't pay attention to the car itself or what movements the driver is making - so there's a lot riding on those lights - I guess it's a by-product of phones with all their notifications and stuff.
    Thanks for an awesome tech article.
     
    egads likes this.
  26. It's nice to see a classic back on top of the pile at the library. :)
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  27. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,381

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York


    In case anyone is interested not trying to HI-Jack
    T3- Hellas halos

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...ogen-t3-lenses-on-hella-h1-h4-lights.1209713/
     
    Tman likes this.
  28. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,066

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    59Apachegail likes this.
  29. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,868

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    If you must use LEDS the most common mistake people make is using WHITE bulbs, LEDS work best if you color match the lenses.....RED will shine brighter than WHITE unlike filament bulbs where red would be dimmer.
     
    redzula likes this.

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