Eddie Davila

" 1961 VW Beetle dim tail lights"

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1 minute ago, Grimy said:

Not necessary other than cleaning connections and replacing any damaged wire.  Your 6V factory wiring has less resistance than smaller 12V wiring if it is in good condition.

 

I mentioned this a week ago in an earlier post.

I going thru them slowly and just splice the damaged wires and connectors but only the turn signals are working for now and 1 brake light works and confirm if any of fuses are out my neighbor is a auto electric guy I downloaded The lighting plan and fuse layout I will post the outcome soon. Thanks

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2 minutes ago, Eddie Davila said:

confirm if any of fuses are out

Easy with a test light or VOM on each fuse.  One side will always be hot from the main feed, but the other side will tell you if the fuse is good.  Always a good idea in these circumstances to remove each fuse and clean the fuse panel contacts on both sides of each fuse.  You'll solve it, Eddie, be patient and proceed step by step!

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had same issue with my 73 dart which has very small tail lights by todays standards, got pulled over, got a warning to check them when I got home. th ights work as they did in 1973 and I checked by walking to rear of car and they were lit

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30 minutes ago, ted sweet said:

had same issue with my 73 dart which has very small tail lights by todays standards, got pulled over, got a warning to check them when I got home. th ights work as they did in 1973 and I checked by walking to rear of car and they were lit

 

31 minutes ago, ted sweet said:

had same issue with my 73 dart which has very small tail lights by todays standards, got pulled over, got a warning to check them when I got home. th ights work as they did in 1973 and I checked by walking to rear of car and they were lit

 

31 minutes ago, ted sweet said:

had same issue with my 73 dart which has very small tail lights by todays standards, got pulled over, got a warning to check them when I got home. th ights work as they did in 1973 and I checked by walking to rear of car and they were lit

Thanks I bought LED light from amazon that fit perfectly but only the turn signal work my neighbor a auto electric guy is to check The wiring 

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Did you substitute a working standard bulb to determine whether it is the bulb or the wiring? LEDs are very sensitive to ground issues and if voltage isn't right they won't work (you seem to be trying to figure out if it's 6 or 12 volts). There are a lot of LEDs that are flat-out defective. I bought a set off eBay and they didn't work, so I gave up and figured they weren't right for 6 volts, but then I tried again with LEDs from superbrightleds.com (not a plug, just a satisfied customer) and they worked great.

 

Your first step should be to determine where the problem lies. Swap in regular bulbs and see if they operate correctly. That way you'll know if the wiring is OK and the LEDs are the problem.

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On 2/13/2018 at 3:21 PM, Grimy said:

Hi Eddie, here are a few ideas:

 

1.  You have a SIX volt system, because VW did not go to 12V until about 1967.  Make sure your battery cables are size 0 (aught); they may have been replaced by thinner 12V cables (perhaps 4 gauge) which will greatly reduce lamp output.  Clean all connections on both ends of the cables.

 

2.  Remove your taillight lenses and clean them inside and out, removing any accumulated dust and dirt on the inside.  If the outside is crazed or cloudy, get replacement lenses, but you can try scrubbing them with toothpaste, a mild abrasive, then polish with a microfiber towel.

 

3. Stop and taillight bulbs are probably dual filament (dimmer filament for tail, brighter for stop), likely 3 candlepower (cp) for tail and 21 cp for stop.  These days everyone is used to seeing super bright LED lights.  And the original 3 cp taillights emit about as much light as a votive candle in a goat's a$$ at midnight during the dark of the moon.  Almost ALL of us with 6V systems and low-output 12V bulbs have been upgrading bulbs to meet expectations of the ignorant ones behind us, who are used to seeing light shows from the back of modern cars.  You can do one of two replacements:  (a) buy replacement LED bulbs for 6V, but you must specify NEGATIVE ground (I think that's what your car is, but verify); or (2) buy aftermarket high-intensity bulbs (14 cp tail, 50 cp stop) from one of the Ford or Chev repro companies.  I bought those 14/50 bulbs from Bob Drake (repro Ford parts) in Medford, OR for $3.00-$3.50 each + shipping, BUT buy twice as many as you need--two of the ones I bought for my Jeepster had quality control issues and got tossed.  Consider the possibility that someone before you but **12V** bulbs in, which would be operating at half output on your 6V electrical system.

 

4.  Search the TX motor vehicle statutes online (in CA it's the Vehicle Code) for equipment requirements, such as a provision which says that Original Equipment lamps are OK for continued use.  Print a copy of an applicable section and carry it with your registration to show any officer in the future.

 

5.  6V systems require a little more maintenance, periodic cleaning of grounds.  To me, it's NOT worthwhile to change to 12V.

 

Good luck and please keep us posted.

I had good luck with my tail lights performing by grounding the taillight light bulb socket to the body of the automobile. Only but s thought that worked for me.

Red Riviera Bob

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One thing to look at is if there is a ground strap with good connections , 

Also check if the small ground strap is still on the nose of the transmission to the frame , 

and wirebrush the fuse box connections

 

and  take off the bulb holder , wire brush it and also the fender so you have a good ground , 

 

plus new bulbs as older bulbs wear out . 

 

same for the headlights , pull the brown ground wire off and wire brush everything 

 

bad grounding is your enemy with 6 volt VWs.........and low oil, tight valve adjustment and bad fan belts :)

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Those ceramic fuses corrode to give problems. My 1992 Mercedes had gremlins until I cleaned ALL the fuse ends. Upgrade kits are available up to gold plated versions.

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On 2/13/2018 at 10:40 AM, Eddie Davila said:

I own a 1961 VW Beetle, I was pulled over by the State Police TXDPS and local police Mission TX PD with the same results  no citations were issued just warning . They stated that my taillights were not bright enough and from a distance you  don't see the lights. What are my options without retro fitting the vehicle losing it classic look. or only drive it in the daytime. I drive a total of 120 miles to work I use it twice a week to save money.

thanks

 

On 2/13/2018 at 3:19 PM, JFranklin said:

I was stopped on the freeway with my Model A Ford and warned the same, You could buy one of those led light bars that go in the rear window and that might save you a rear-ender. Of course you wouldn't be at fault if someone runs into you as is.

 

Is the brightness of the light part of the state inspection process? If not it seems to be rather subjective, sort of like pulling you over because the officer felt like you were going fast without any varification

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My warning was just a safety observation and not a law being broken, but I think if I had been hit after disregarding the warning I wouldn't have a strong case to collect damages.

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On 2/13/2018 at 6:38 PM, Larry Schramm said:

 

If you have a 6 volt system and are using a 12 volt bulb, that is the problem.  Your light output will be 1/2 what it should be. 

 

What voltage system does your car have?  If you do not know, put a volt meter across the two batter terminals when the car is running and take a reading.  The bulbs in the car should be the same value as the electrical system of your car.

 

I'd have to re-do the math, but I think the output of an incandescent 12v bulb in a 6v system will be way less that 1/2.

 

On 2/23/2018 at 1:07 PM, Eddie Davila said:

Good afternoon All

I finally bought some LED tail lights from Amazon " Techologica " The turn signal are the only ones that work, My battery is 12V I noticed I had 6V fuses? small cceramtic  types  under the dash. are those fuses 12v or 6V ?

 

Back in the the mid-1970s I had a '56 VW. Every bloody fuse and fuse contact on that car was heavily corroded. Actually every wire end and connector were heavily corroded. The lights might as well been replaced by a single candle. I ended up ripping out all the wiring and replacing it all with heavier gauge than factory, soldering all my connections and replacing the fuse blocks with ones that took decently designed fuses. After that the lights, while still 6v were nice and bright.

 

On 2/24/2018 at 11:31 AM, Grimy said:

Easy with a test light or VOM on each fuse.  One side will always be hot from the main feed, but the other side will tell you if the fuse is good.  Always a good idea in these circumstances to remove each fuse and clean the fuse panel contacts on both sides of each fuse.  You'll solve it, Eddie, be patient and proceed step by step!

 

Definitely: Clean any and all corrosion from all the contacts you can get to. With a volt meter you can do a voltage drop test along the length of a circuit and find where the resistance is.

 

On 6/2/2018 at 10:35 AM, 23hack said:

Those ceramic fuses corrode to give problems. My 1992 Mercedes had gremlins until I cleaned ALL the fuse ends. Upgrade kits are available up to gold plated versions.

 

I guess if you want to remain reasonably original then gold plated fuses could be sourced. In my case it was just a car to get me to and from work and I really didn't want to be forever cleaning the fuse blocks. Not sure that gold plated fuses for VWs were available then, I certainly did not know about them if they did. One weekend's work to swap out all the wiring and put in a decent fuse block did wonders for the car's electrical system.

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      On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:38 PM, Larry Schramm said:

 

 

If you have a 6 volt system and are using a 12 volt bulb, that is the problem.  Your light output will be 1/2 what it should be. 

 

What voltage system does your car have?  If you do not know, put a volt meter across the two batter terminals when the car is running and take a reading.  The bulbs in the car should be the same value as the electrical system of your car.

 

37 minutes ago, ply33 said:

  I'd have to re-do the math, but I think the output of an incandescent 12v bulb in a 6v system will be way less that 1/2.

 

Let's see,  If the resistance in the bulb stays the same, 1/2 voltage should be about 1/2 the wattage which in an incandescent bulb is light.  Maybe I left out "about" to make you happy.

 

The math:  The big power formulas are: Formula 1 - Electrical (electric) power equation: Power P = I × V = R × I2 = V2 ⁄ R where power P is in watts, voltage V is in volts and current I is in amperes (DC).

 

 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)

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Those euro (Volkswagen style) fuseboxes can be made to work reliably. Every spring, take all the fuses out and clean all the contacts with a good aggressive contact cleaner (Wurth Contact OL or similar) and a small brass wire brush. Smear dielectric grease on the clean contacts. Both sides. Not a lot, just get them wet. Bend the contacts slightly to hold the fuse a wee bit tighter. Put all new fuses in and spin them once. Do it again each spring. No surprises, no hassles. Try it, you'll like it.

 

You wont get half the light out of a 12v bulb running at 6 volts. Two tenths of a volt is quite noticeable in a headlight. At 6 volts on a 12 volt bulb I am guessing you would see dim orange and not much else.

 

Light bulbs (and rotary electric fuel pumps) lose efficiency startlingly fast with only a slight drop in supply voltage.

 

If that Volkswagen has the taillights with the little snowflake reflector, and I believe a 61 does, they were always dim. LEDs are going to be the answer once you get some that work, Get extra bright. Get red.

Edited by Bloo
ply33 has the math right. Fixed. (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

      On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:38 PM, Larry Schramm said:

 

 

If you have a 6 volt system and are using a 12 volt bulb, that is the problem.  Your light output will be 1/2 what it should be. 

 

What voltage system does your car have?  If you do not know, put a volt meter across the two batter terminals when the car is running and take a reading.  The bulbs in the car should be the same value as the electrical system of your car.

 

 

Let's see,  If the resistance in the bulb stays the same, 1/2 voltage should be about 1/2 the wattage which in an incandescent bulb is light.  Maybe I left out "about" to make you happy.

 

The math:  The big power formulas are: Formula 1 - Electrical (electric) power equation: Power P = I × V = R × I2 = V2 ⁄ R where power P is in watts, voltage V is in volts and current I is in amperes (DC).

 

 

 

Been a long a while, but:

 

W = I * E (power (watts) is current times voltage)

 

and

 

E = I * R (voltage is current times resistance). This can be written as I = E/R

 

so, substituting I in the latter equation into the first we get:

 

W = E2/R

 

Bulbs/lamps were designed for a specific wattage. In the 50s it was probably about 35 to 40 watts for your low beam. Lets go with 35 watts though the math is similar what ever wattage number you pick.

 

For a 35 watts you get 1.02 Ohms on a 6v bulb and 4.1 Ohms for a 12v bulb. (That will be the resistance when hot, cold resistance will be much less.)

 

Now put that 12v 4 Ohm bulb into a 6v circuit that ought to have a 1 Ohm lamp and you get 62/4 = 9 watts of output.

 

So your light output has been reduced to 9 watts from the desired 35 watts: 25% of what it should be. (Ignoring that the temperature and thus the resistance of the 12v bulb is going to be lower than if running at its design voltage.)

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