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Technical Tested: How good (or bad) are Woodlites?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hemi Joel, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    The question of how usable are the aircraft styled Woodlites comes up every now and then. So I decided to test them and do a video of it so everybody can judge for themselves. I bought this car that has wood lights on it a couple years ago, but I have never driven it at night as of yet. Sorry, it's not a hot rod, it is stock, so it's not really hamb-friendly, but it serves well for doing a test like this. So here in living color, is the test so you can decide for yourselfs:

     
  2. Well, I agree with you, I am also surprised!
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,827

    squirrel
    Member

    Taking it on Drag Week, I hope?
     
  4. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,783

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    Impressive car and I too was surprised at well the lights performed. Is there a high low beam control?
     
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  5. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,366

    5window
    Member

    Very good video demonstration and one cool car, don't care if it's HAMB freindly. Have you been to the ACD Museum? Thanks for posting.
     
  6. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 501

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well good timing, im wearing my ACD museum shirt this morning! Generally, im a fan of them, and i like seeing Woodlites on cars, and they look especially good on the big, luxe cars of the late 20s/ early 30s, but ive definitely seen them on cars where they are not doing it any favors and look out of place.
    Count me as one of the surprised people at how well they perform, but the bit about the top cut off makes alot of sense, and is sort of similar to the cut off shields used in contemporary headlight housings. Do you know if they have ever been re-silvered/ coated inside?

    I think i would get pretty damn excited to see your beautiful Cord drive by at night, and the ACD cars are always ones that peak my interest regardless if they are not considered a hot rod in our sense of the word. I've had these saved on my computer from either here of the AACA forums or something, just a beautiful car! Do you ever turn the cowl light Woodlites on?

    front.jpg
     
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  7. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,829

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is a magnificent Cord, the body lines remind me of a Bugatti Royale ! Very cool test of the
    " Woodlites ".
    Thank you for posting.
     
  8. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 518

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    L29 cords are one of my favorite cars of all time.
     
  9. SPEC
    Joined: Feb 1, 2021
    Posts: 359

    SPEC
    Member

    Excellent vedio.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  10. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,936

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    Great video, dispels the thinking that they were only for show and not a good driving light.
     
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  11. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,497

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    Nobody says that a car HAS to be modified, just pre 1965, so this one certainly qualifies as "Hamb Friendly"(And GORGEOUS as well!!) Thanks for the presentation!! Well done!!
     
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  12. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    I'm glad you guys like it! Squirrel, no drag week in this thing! Double clutching slows it down to much on the dragstrip. :) 5'er, yup been to the museum, an incredible experience that every car guy should check out.
    I'm thinking the bad rap for Woodlites could have come from experience in older cars with marginal wiring, corroded connections, etc. delivering substandard voltage to the lites.
     
  13. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    There is a high beam and a low beam. But the switch was all corroded because it is situated right under the water pump/hose connection and apparently it has been dripped on too muchover the last 92 years. I took the switch apart and cleaned everything up good and put it back together. When I tested, the low beam terminal on the switch did not work. But I didn't want to take it apart again because there are tabs that have to be bent to disassemble it, and I didn't want them to break off from bending back and forth repeatedly. reproduction switches are available but they are very, very costly. So I just ran them on highbeam. That's good enough for my purposes.

    switch 1.jpg switch 2.jpg switch3.jpg
     
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  14. ironrodder
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 180

    ironrodder
    Member

    Beautiful car.
     
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  15. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,366

    5window
    Member

    How much is a reproduction switch? Maybe we could all chip in just to keep a great car on the road?
     
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  16. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Are you sitting down? $950. Tooling up to make a part where you might sell five or 10 of them over the next 20 years is costly I suppose.

    Not to worry though, when I have more time I am going to take another stab at getting the switch working. If I do break a tab off, I'll figure out how to weld one back on there, or some other type of approach that will get the job done. I was in a thrash in a time crunch to get the headlights working for an event that I attended where I might have had to drive at night so I couldn't risk breaking it. As it ended up it was all done before sunset.
     
  17. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Do you know if they have ever been re-silvered/ coated inside?

    I would assume so, they look like they have been nicely restored. But that was before I owned it, so I can't be certain.
    Store, I appreciate your enthusiasm for the car very much! I took a pic of the cowl lights for you tonight. It's hard to get a great image having into the lights. The camera tends to blur it. PXL_20210908_034242316~2.jpg

    Do you ever turn the cowl light Woodlites on?
    As parking lights. They can not be on simultaneously with the headlights.
     
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  18. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,175

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    I watched the video on the computer screen for the first time today. Before, I had only watched it on the phones little screen.
    When going through the woods, I really noticed the sharp horizontal dividing line between light and dark. It was especially noticable off the the sides where the trees showed it. I bet it would look really cool in fog or mist.
     
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  19. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,435

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Cool test, and beautiful car. They’re surprisingly bright for 1920s lights.
     
  20. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 2,400

    j hansen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks,,,,,that was better than I thought
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  21. hfh
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 333

    hfh
    Member
    from Western MA

    Thank you! I enjoyed seeing how well those beautiful lights actually work.
     
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  22. F-head
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 814

    F-head
    Member

    Wow beautiful car and very interesting test
    I too am surprised by how good they worked
    Thanks for posting this
     
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  23. MoePower
    Joined: Jul 12, 2004
    Posts: 215

    MoePower
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Omro, WI

    Cool headlight test . . . even cooler going for a "ride" in a '29 Cord!
     
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  24. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 957

    SR100
    Member

    Do they have a high beam? Absence of a high beam could make them look worse in a side-by-side comparison.
     
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  25. MojoRacing
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 42

    MojoRacing
    Member

    Very surprised how bright they are! Very beautiful car, very ahead of their time as shows in these headlights!
     
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  26. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,891

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Very cool video. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  27. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,096

    Joe H
    Member

    IMG_0028.jpg Lights came along way in 18 years, these on the 1911 Stanley Steamer are acetylene powered and made just enough light to see where the street was. The side lights, tail light, and dash light used lamp oil.
     
  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,191

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    SR...you might have missed the mention of a corroded switch near the coolant pump...apparently they are locked on Hi Beam currently...
     
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,191

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for sharing that @Hemi Joel...that is impressive...I suspect it is just push or screw in bulbs one for hi and one for low or is it a dual filament?

    Would they have been bulbs typical to standard headlights of the time period or heavier in filament?

    I want to share a pic @Harms Way shared in the 50s period correct Hotrod Thread I believe...It is a Pretty show worthy Hotrod Sporting a set of those...quite rare in my opinion along with the E&Js but not a not done thing...

    I wouldn't be surprised if select Rodders new of how well these performed back in the day and ran with them with the look also a major part of the decision...

    1015.jpg

    :rolleyes:...I am certainly one of a minority here liking these rarities used infrequently on Hotrods but it certainly works on the right Hotrod...

    There's another that is a fave of mine also sporting Woodlites and it was a Model A Roadster Yellow in color with a heavy Chop...I'll see if I can find it...

    kbskfgvbkuh.JPG

    :rolleyes:...I would share the Thread on Woodlites but it is too full of vile vitriol which typically follows any mention or image of either projection lights on Hotrods...

    46083189_1875549392481958_7030880138069803008_n.jpg

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...enized-hotrods.1002926/page-116#post-13212347

    :rolleyes:...One more for provenance and a really cool Period pic in my opinion for all the naysayers...E & Js & Woodlites on Hotrods in the same pic...priceless...pics or it didn't happen...

    Anyways great Thread and Happy Birthday Hamber...;)

    Credit to Photographers, Owners
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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