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Headlight issues - connector plugs ?!

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Am trying to sort out some issues with the headlights on my "new" '28 A coupe.

It is set-up with two-bulb headlights, no cowl lights. Headlights are stainless-steel "Twolight" repros, with repro wiring, plugs, conduit, etc. Every thing is still nice and clean ( no corrosion).

Initially I was finding that with the switch turned for "parking lights", I'd get a parking light in one headlight, and a driving beam in the other. Switch to "low beam", and they'd switch sides; switch to "high beam" and everything would go out.

Yesterday, I decided to check-out the attachment of the conduit/harness to the sockets at the back of the headlight shells (firction tape around the connection on the passenger side made me suspicious)... it appears that whoever had worked on them last did not properly index the plug to the socket. I carefully indexed the plugs & sockets on both sides, but had some difficulty getting the bayonet-ring of the conduit to lock-on to socket.

When I quit playing with it for the day, I had proper parking lights and low-beams, but when I switched to high-beams, apparently there is a short-circuit, and the safety fuse by the starter switch blew.

I've noticed some comments in Snyder's parts catalog that suggest the OEM style headlight connector plugs were always troublesome.

Has any else found this to be the case, or is it more an issue of ill-fitting repro parts ?

If that is the case, I might look for another way to connect the headlight harness at the shell.

I'm new to the Model A, and don't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix a set-up that might not have been very good in the first place...:rolleyes:

Any suggestions ?

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Those original and reproduction bullet connectors are a pain in the butt. I suggest changing to modern crimp or solder on connectors inside the headlight shell. Nobody will ever see what type of connectors exist inside the headlight bucket, and modern wire connectors are cheap and easy to convert to.

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Thanks for the suggestion Matt.

Thought I had mine working okay, but on Saturday I was out with the car, and the low-beams shorted out... wound -up coming home after dark on the parking lights :eek: !

I found a reference in Bratton's catalog that some of the modern repro bullets are a little too long, causing the contact springs to deform and short against the metal shell; I was a little surprised that there were no fibre insulator sleeves inside the connector shells... but then I guess that would have increased old Henry's production costs... :rolleyes:

Guess I'll have plenty of time to work on them, as winter has returned and PennDOT is flinging "Car-B-Gone" like candy-canes at a Santa Parade !



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When I restored my 1930 sedan I bought reproduction sockets for the headlights. They were a waste of money. I restored a set of original sockets and have had no trouble since. That was 21 years ago. The original sockets fit correctly and properly restored work like they were designed to. What more could anyone ask for? Terry

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If you want your head lights to work you want all original parts in the bucket.

The spacer has issues, the wiring can be too light a gauge, the sockets are not right and the reflectors have the wrong shape. The original stuff is easy to fix and it will all work with not problems.

If you want a nice bright light for driving at night do not buy those halogen conversions. You want the direct replacement bulbs made in Australia. Little British Car company is one retailer in the US. They use marginally more current and are a direct replacement for the original bulbs. They work fine with the original 6V gen and will let you run 55+ MPH at night so you do not have to slow down for night driving. Nothing worse then driving your stock model A at 45 all over the place.

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Thanks for the suggestions, all...

Turns out that the latest issue ( besides flimsy repro sockets ) was that the focusing screw was cranked so tight that it had pulled the socket back far enough for the terminal lugs to ground against the screw.

I just acquired the car, and am getting to know it, and sort-out all these issues...

Previous owner put a lot of effort into getting the vehicle driveable, put a nice (correct?)interior in it, and lots of repro parts as far as lighting goes.

I will start scrounging-up OEM lighting stuff... I need nickel headlamps anyway, as it is a '28.

As for cruising speed being limited by the headlights, not an issue at this point... the engine is tired, and at most, pulls the car at 45 mph on level road... :P

But, it's been fun so far - can't wait for better weather so I can drive it more !

Thanks for the input !


Edited by DeSoto Frank (see edit history)
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  • 5 months later...

Spacer For any queries regarding the wiring may be too light meters, sockets are incorrect and reflectors are in the wrong format. original stuff is easy to solve and work without problems. If you want a nice bright light driving at night do not buy the results halogens.

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