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Headlights for E series 6


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I can't get the headlights apart, and the bulbs have not been changed in 80 or 90 years. Thinking of soaking the housing in vinegar, I think the outer part unscrews but not sure.

 

All I have is a pair of headlights from a 1918 Buick on the kitchen floor, no idea how to get the housing off. Brush a little muriatic in the housing and then soak in vinegar? My biggest fear is breaking something.

 

I want to attach a poll to this post. There are 4 bulbs here, all 80 or 90 or 103 years old. How many of these bulbs do you think are still good? Place your bets, $5 for a bet, 1, 2, 3 or 4, and the winner gets 3 to one odds so if you win you get $15. Place your bets.

 

Results when I get them apart.

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Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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Take a photo of the back side of the headlights.  I would like to see how they attach to the fenders and then I will tell you how to remove the rims from the headlight shells.  There is a little more to this than a person would think.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Morgan, 

     On my 1925 Buick, you have to rotate the bezel about 1" in the counter clockwise direction (looking at them from the front) for removal.   Rotate clockwise to lock.

 

I thought you were going to ask about how many so and so were required to change your light bulbs.     Hugh

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Hugh,

You are giving good advice for the 1925 lights, however, the 1916 - 1920 lights are slightly different.  I will post a photo of my headlight rims, reflectors, and buckets tomorrow.  You will be able to see the difference I am referring to.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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You will need to fasten the headlights back onto the fenders to be able to remove the rims.  There is nothing to hold onto when when the rims are removed - and you are going to need BOTH hands to remove these rims.  Ideally you should have another person help you with this procedure because you are going to have to push the rim onto the bucket while at the same time trying to turn the rim counter-clockwise.  The second person should push against the back of the bucket to keep from bending things.  You have one big thing going against you here and that is the fact that things are rusty.  The headlights on my '16 are in great condition and they were still rather hard to separate the rims off the buckets.  I have been there and done this as the saying goes and I owe a big thank you to the late Del Carpenter for explaining just how to do this.  My suggestion to you at this point would be to drizzle some Marvel Mystery Oil all around where the rim and bucket meet and let it set for awhile.  I could be way off on this, but, you are going to know that you have been somewhere when you are through with getting the rims off.  We wish you the very best and hope that God will bless you.  You are going to need all the help that you can get with this based on what is seen in the photos.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Here is the first of the photos showing the headlight and fork for our '16 D-45.  I am going to have the reflectors restored before the lights go back on the car.  I tried to get the detail in the one photo of the rim clamp and how the rim needs to be pressed down on the bucket to hook under the clamps.

 

Terry Wiegand

Doo Dah America

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After soaking in vinegar overnight, I put it on a bench and started squeezing the glass cover against the bucket in all 3 places where the locking mechanisms were, until they became loose, I squeezed around 10 more times all around, until it was loose enough to just turn the glass covers and remove them. That's how vinegar works, it doesn't remove the rust, it just softens it into a paste that comes off easily. Also, since vinegar got into where the bulbs were and the electrical sockets, it soaked all the corrosion off them as well. Vinegar works better on brass than iron, the corrosion dissolves. 

 

Now the big question.....how many of the 90-year-old bulbs still work? Answer next post, place your bets.

.

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Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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Mr. Wright, we did not know that you were Irish.  You seem to have the darndest luck of the Irish at doing things.  I would have put money on it that you were going to have one whale of a time getting the rims off the buckets.  I guess if it works - hop to it.

 

Terry Wiegand

Out Doo Dah Way

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It WAS hard getting them off, and would have been impossible without vinegar.

 

You MUST use distilled white vinegar, because it leaves nothing behind because it's distilled. If you use cider vinegar or wine vinegar, it would dry and leave some apple or grape residue behind. Who needs that? As it was, after I installed the headlights to the car I tested them with an ohm meter and found all the circuits had a mild short to ground, and cross short between circuits, because vinegar is a conductor and they were still wet. Tomorrow, when everything is dry, I will install the wiring and bulbs.

 

For the reflectors, which are rusty and don't reflect anything, I used this stuff which is just aluminum foil with a sticky backing. Up here in the north we use it to insulate our houses, you people in Texas or Florida or Australia probably never heard of this stuff before. Aluminum foil tape. Get some.

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