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I am wondering if anyone has tried the SIX VOLT HALOGEN headlight bulbs in a 37 or 38 Buick. My lights are livable but pretty bad. Today I polished the reflectors and ordered some some six volt halogen bulbs that have the same base as the stock WESTINGHOUSE 2330 bulbs. Can't hurt to try but they won't 

be here till next week.

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I tried the ones listed for my Pontiac.  Found them to be bright but they were not focused.  When I contacted Mr. B. H. he said there could be no refund as they were used and the listing did not say pre-focused.  So I went back to my 50/32's.  I have read on line that there are pre-focused halogen bulbs available now, but have not tried them.

Hope you have better luck.

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Supposedly the ones I ordered are pre focused but I guess I'll see. I have some NOS WESTINGHOUSE 2330 that I'll use if the Halogens are no good. The bulbs are about thirty bucks a piece so it would be a shame if they don't work. No matter what bulbs I end up using they should work better now that the reflectors are cleaned. 

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Recently installed a set of the pre focus bulbs (Halogen) Haven't had good enough weather to try them. Going through a 6 volt relay so lets hope for the best.

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Driving my 38 Special back from my son's wedding last summer at night I realized how bad the lights were.  At 50MPH I was overdriving the lights and the brake lights were barely brighter than taillights! I had the Uvira process done to the reflectors about 35 years ago and they still reflect great.  The problem was the wiring and bulbs.

 

So first I converted the 6V generator to a 6V alternator rated for 75A and 35A at idle, and changed the generator wiring to the battery and ignition to 10AWG.  This also increased the voltage during cranking to the Pertronix ignition unit. Next I rebuilt the taillight assemblies with new 16AWG wiring and sockets, switched to halogen stop/tail bulbs from Anthony Pearson and switched the front fender lights (now turn signals) to LED bulbs.

 

For the headlights the 55/60W halogen bulbs I used, also from Anthony, would draw too much current from the wiring and light switch so I designed a dual 6V relay assembly that I mounted inside each headlight bucket for hi/lo beam.  The relay coils were driven by the headlight switch and the relay contacts were new 14AWG wiring from the relays to the bulbs and from the bulbs to a new headlight fuse.  From the fuse to the alternator terminal I used 10AWG. The inline sealed fuse was mounted on the driver side inside fender where the harness breaks out for the alternator and headlights.  Now I get the full voltage from the alternator to the lights and the lights are almost as bright as a modern non-HID headlight. I just need to aim the lights when the weather gets better.

 

I also discovered while measuring voltage drops that the positive 2AWG battery terminal was dropping 0.4V during cranking.  The heavy ground braid had only 75mv drop!  I found a nice red rubber insulated pre-terminated 00AWG cable on E-bay with a 3/8" lug on the starter end for $15 which reduced the drop to <100mv.  I also switched to an Optima battery and now the car cranks like a 12V car even at 35 degrees with 20W-50 oil. I get no less than 5.7V at the ignition terminal during cranking.

 

If anyone is interested I have a lot of photos documenting these changes.

 

Steve D

38 Buick lights.JPG

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Just recently we installed red LED bulbs for taillght/stoplight on our 1937 Special......these look to be twice as bright as ordinary 1154 bulbs!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161588651951?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

( we found that "white"  LED bulbs don't work out so well.......when put behind the red lenses the resulting appearance is a sort of red-orange....doesn't look right.)

 

We haven't finished installing the turn signals yet.....so I don't know if these LEDs draw enough current to "fire" a flasher unit

 

We only made the switch just a few days ago....but so far so good.

 

Jack Worstell

 

 

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Jack,

 

My turn signals are wired to both the brake lights and the fender lights so there is enough current drawn by the stop lights to operate the flasher.  You are right about the orange-red color of the tail lights with the halogen bulbs and if I were to do it again I would go with the red colored bulbs you are using.

 

Steve D

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I have finished cleaning the reflectors but now I want NEW SILVERING however they are better than before. I also installed the new halogen 6 volt bulbs. They were a bugger to get on all three pins but I finally got them on. Then I started the car and let it run for 1/2 hour with all the lights and the dash lights on. The stock generator has no problem and anything barely above idle puts the amp gauge on the plus side of neutral. I had no problem with the circuit breaker or ANYTHING. Tonight we will drive the car and see if I like them. I really feel my reflectors should be resilvered to get the best results. Does any one have any spare selectors I can have restored, I will need them for about 60 days while mine are being restored and then I will send them back.

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Dave.......did you get halogen headlight bulbs from the outfit in Australia ?   How much brighter are they than "standard" headlight bulbs ?

 

Jack

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I AM SO HAPPY!!

We went for a ride tonight and the new lights work unbeliveably GOOD. Way better than my best expectation. The lowbeams were focused nicely in front of the car and the high beams reached out farther and were spread wider. There is no GUESSING on wether I have lights or not. I can only imagine how they could be with new silvering on the reflectors but in reality I don't need to do anything. We drove in the city and up to the lake where there are no streetlights and its pitch black. I could see just fine even on the sides of the road. i could drive the car 50mph on a twisty road that was pitch black safely and easily. This was an easy project with just some Wrights Silvercreme and new halogen bulbs. The big expense was shipping because I wanted the bulbs quickly. I chose FED EX 2nd day air. I ordered them Wednesday at 5pm. The company shipped them to me Thursday morning and I got them today which is Friday. They were not easy to twist onto the pins but they required just patience no modifications. The stock generator had no trouble at all with all the lights  on and the radio on. We drive at night here in Vegas a lot because its cooler and there is no traffic except on the strip. These lights now make it much better for this type of driving. Next I will buy some brighter bulbs for the taillights. The place that sold me the halogens claims they draw less current than the original bulbs. They are made in Great Briton but there is a distributor in New Jersey. 

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Some one has graciously loaned me a set of his reflectors to have silvered and then send him mine back after I get the new silvered ones put into my car. I might as well go all the way and see just how bright I can get the 6 volt system to work. I also o ordered some super bright 1154 bulbs that are slightly more than twice the CP as the originals. They are not halogen so they draw more juice but they should work. My car has new wiring which is a big help when you have six volts. It normally takes six to eight weeks to get the reflectors silvered. There is also a process called UVIRA but I don't know anything about it yet.

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This is what I tried for dim stoplights on my Buick -

 

The stop lights are difficult to see on my 1941 Buick on a sunny day. The outer plastic red lens (the outer "lens" is actually a red filter and not a true lens) and the inner plastic clear Fresnel lens are both in excellent condition. Also, the stop light switch is new. There is a long length of wire to the back of the car, so the voltage drop is the problem for the original 6 Volt system. My concern is the brightness of the stop lights and not the brightness of the tail lights or the turn signals. I have tried LED bulbs and higher wattage (6 Volt) halogen bulbs with less than satisfactory results.

My solution to this problem is a simple one: Install a 1½ Volt dry cell battery wired in series in the stop light circuit. This can be done in a few minutes, as the stop light switch is readily accessible under the steering column. I secured the battery with tie wraps to the windshield washer bottle holder (which is nearby). The dry cell battery can be removed quickly for a car show event. I installed the battery on the powered stop light wire so that the circuit is protected by the existing fuse. The increase in the stop light illumination is noticeable, but not dramatic. I expect that the dry cell battery will last several years. The battery was purchased from McMaster-Carr.

The stop light bulbs (#1154) are rated at 6.4 Volts. I estimate that the actually voltage at the stop light bulb, when illuminated, is about 6½ to 7 Volts. I doubt that the increased bulb heat would cause damage to the plastic Fresnel lens.

 

P1010305a.jpg

P1010307a.jpg

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White LED bulbs give off a fairly pure or nearly monochromatic white light.  An incandescent bulb bulb gives off light of many frequencies including red light.  So when an incandescent bulb is shined through a red lens, the many frequencies of  light present appear as red light after the lens.   Not so with an LED white light.

Joe

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White light is POLYchromatic. Look it up. Incandescent bulbs are very inefficient in converting electricity into light. The loss is in the large amount of heat produced. Radiative heat is infrared. Longer wavelength yet than the red end of the spectrum which our eyes can see. Therefore , the color balance of light produced by a hot filament favors the the longer wavelengths (redder) , end of the spectrum. L.E.D.s don't waste power by producing massive amounts of heat. The color balance across the visible spectrum is more even. Lacking the over abundance of "warm" longer wavelength red light , white L.E.D. light appears "cooler" , bluer , to our eyes. Therefore  , for a given level of illumination, far more of the light produced by an incandescent bulb will be concentrated in the red end of the spectrum. When the red lens passes only "monochromatic" red light , the hot filament has concentrated more of its energy in red light for the red filter to pass.

 

Monochromaticity is very fascinating. If we could produce an infrared beam with a FWHM of one hz, we could send signals interstellar distances with realistic power levels. Our technology cannot yet produce such monochromaticity. Perhaps some advanced beings aimed such communications at us 50 years ago. There are some detectors "piggybacked" on astronomical telescopes doing research on relatively nearby very long term stable stars. Just in case ! EXTREMELY LONG ODDS AGAINST THIS , but this seems to be the only way interstellar communication could be achieved. Radio communication might take 150,000 megawatts, AND THAT AIN'T HAPPENING !!! Hmmmmmmmmmm , I wonder what kind of cars they are driving way over yonder ?

 

Dave , Uvira is a vacuum evaporative deposition process of aluminum. It is highly reflective over potentially centuries. You must be extremely gentle cleaning all first surface reflectors. Lampblack and kerosene or turpentine for silver. IIRC  you need to send your reflectors out to be copper plated before sending them on to Uvira. I sure hope to see you soon.  - Carl

Edited by C Carl
Added "Radiative" for clarity & one "oops" (see edit history)
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Carl, nickel plating is the preferred plating before you send reflectors to UVIRA according to the UVIRA owner. This is good as it is much easier to get done than copper. I was very lucky to find some 38 Buick reflectors which by the way have the same part number as the 37 reflectors. A Buick owner and enthusiast for 40 years got ahold of me and thanks to him I have a set in the mail as I type this. Im going to have them polished, they are brass, and then have them nickel plated. According to the owner of UVIRA they have to be nickel plated because the brass tarnishes just like silver and it does not let their process adhere correctly for that reason. The nickel plating allows their process to adhere and stay good almost indefinitely. I also learned that silver and his process reflect about 92% of light when new. Silver loses about 10% the first year and keeps losing some each year after until its cleaned again. UVIRA's process loses nothing each year and it even can be touched with your fingers without hurting it. This is just another fun project and improvement for someone who likes that sort of thing. I like LEARNING about things like this. Until this project I never gave the reflectiveness of light even a thought.

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Carl is correct about white light, I mixed this up in my post above.   Incandescent bulbs give off more heat than light, just not very efficient for lighting purposes.

Joe

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Dave....I guess you found halogen bulbs for both the headlights and for taillights/stoplight ?      Where did you get them ?

 

Jack Worstell            jlwmaster@aol.com

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Jack, I found the halogens at "THE LITTLE BRITISH CAR COMPANY" the taiilight bulbs are not halogen they are regular bulbs with twice the draw and more than twice the candlepower of original 1154 bulbs. I got mine from some company online by searching Google. It might be called Candlepower Bulbs. Bobs Automobile has them also I am told. 

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This has been an interesting project and I have met some very helpful people. Today I dropped off my extra reflectors at the platers to have polished and then nickel plated. There will be before and after pictures along with a whole project report coming. The nickel plating is required before I can send the reflectors to UVIRA. I also installed the brighter tail light bulbs today, that is easy, just remove the old 1154 bulbs and put in the new ones. Tonight Gina and I will take the car for a spin and I'll see if there is a noticeable difference in the brightness of the tail lights.

 

Ok, Gina and I took the car out for a little over a 50 mile spin up into the Lake Mead National Park tonight. Its pitch black up there. I tried all 3 positions of my headlight switch, the headlights are really good and I expect them to be even better as soon as I get the new UVIRA reflectors in stalled. In any case for the first time ever since I've driven the car an oncoming car blinked his lights at me to turn down my hi beams! The taillights are at least twice as bright as before, I would say they are as bright as any 12 volt bulb would be and the brake lights are even brighter. I don't think anyone will rear end us for lack of not seeing our lights. I am now going to replace the stock #55 instrument light bulbs with halogens and see how that works. So far the load on the lighting circuit seems to be fine and the generator charges fine except at an idle, this was always a trait of generators. They don't put out very much at an idle. Big deal, it hurts nothing. The automatic circuit breaker never was triggered even with everything on including the radio. So far all I have done is hand polish my old reflectors which aren't perfect, and add new halogen bulbs to the head lights and high output 1154 bulbs to the taillights. A cheap and easy project so far but one that makes a big improvement if you still have a 6 volt system.

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)

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We received the halogen dash lights today so we put 2 in the instrument panel and one in the clock. Prior to this the dash lights in my car were almost useless. I could not read the clock or the different gauges unless we were on the city streets with light poles and some sort of neon lights or other lights that brightened the street. If we were on a dark unlit road we couldn't read the gauges. I am attaching tonights drive up at the lake again as there are no man made lights anywhere for miles, it was pitch black tonight. I could EASILY read every gauge and the clock. I was trying to steer and take this picture and I was moving so its blurry but you can see that there is plenty of light on the gauges. 

DASH LIGHTS.JPG

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Is that like driving with a hand held device???  Just kidding.  The lights look to work great.  I always hated to have to light a match to see the gauges.

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afternoon Guys

read this topic with interest , lights are pretty bad on my 53 special , still 6v .

wondered if any of the suggestions and solutions above , halogen , led bulbs alternator  change etc

help .

noted this topic in pre war section , but would appear problems much the same just after war

cheers

pilgrim

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 pilgrim, at best they will not be as good as today's cars.  I would start, if not done already, with making certain all connections are clean and tight.  The battery cables should be 00 [ double aught ] or bigger. A six volt alternator will keep the volts up easier than a generator.  A relay is another possibility. It would be wired such that the dimmer switch activated the relay. The relay then supplying voltage directly  from the Bat[tery] post on the regulator to the lights. Less voltage drop this way.

 

  Ben

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