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1933 pd lights


Crazyred
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I noticed the head lights on the car are dim when shining on the garage wall and provide no help when driving at night. After reading other discussions i checked the voltage starting before the switch to one of the lights. Before the switch is slightly over 6v. When the switch is on it drops to 5.2 on the output side. Inside the drivers side light assembly the voltage is a constant 4.9. Should this be adequate or should it be higher?

 

Also, inside the light assembly there are 2 bulbs, the large center which is the main light and a small bulb towards the top center. What's the little light because neither side is working. 

 

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Also, does this look like the original switch?

 

 

20201208_193712.thumb.jpg.7e81e8c23740676946e010d07371b9ac.jpg

 

 

As always thanks for any advice!

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Upper little light is the parking light and should come on when the headlight switch is pulled out to the first detent. I have a complete page on getting better light out of this system you can read at https://www.ply33.com/Repair/lights but I can tell you right not that you need a lot more than 4.9 volts at the headlights.

 

Edit: In that page I mention using quartz-halogen bulbs. It seems that the world is moving to LEDs and I am not sure the bulbs I used are still available. I have not had success at getting the LEDs I purchased to work and focus as I'd like so I have no recommendation on that at present.

 

Edit 2: Yes, that looks like the original switch. And from the buckling in the center, it looks like it has been damaged, likely from heat. And the head likely due to corrosion that occurred over the years.

Edited by ply33 (see edit history)
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Hello, Grounds are important.   I find it handy to have a 10 ft 12 Ga jumper wire with a alligator clip at each end.   Clip one clamp to the positive side of the battery.  Turn on the headlights and with a volt meter read between the outside of the headlight bulb socket and the other end of the jumper wire,  If you have a good ground the reading will be close to zero,  However the worse the ground the higher reading.  I have read 2 volts before.  The bad ground keeps this voltage from  passing  through the bulb filament . On my 33 I switched to a 6vt positive ground alternator and was happy with the extra brightness.  Stay Safe,  Don

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ended up purchasing a new switch and cleaning all the connections up to the lights.  I am now getting around 5.5 volts to the bulbs now.  When I have some more time I plan on replacing the butt splice connectors that are inline and chasing down the ground points.  

 

With the new switch the parking lights are now working.  It appears that the original switch was not making contact to that connection point, could have been that area that was bulging in the middle.  All lights are much brighter at this point but I will still work on the headlights to improve those.

 

Ply33, I did contact the place you purchased your lights from and they only offer led lights for our bulbs.  Due to a supply shortage they are currently out of stock on the led lights but should have some in the next couple of months.  I plan to purchase these when in stock and I'll update this with the results.

 

A side question, has anyone installed a discrete brake light (what would be called a 3rd brake light now) that doesn't detract from the original look of the car?  With distracted drivers now, I'm not sure I trust them to see the single rear lamp.  Was thinking it could go in the rear windows or I could attach it to the spare tire cover in some way.

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Interesting the Classic and Vintage Bulbs no longer supplies quartz-halogen replacements.

 

Check the Model A Ford suppliers: I believe most carry a LED brake light assembly that can go in the rear window.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/18/2020 at 11:02 AM, Crazyred said:

I ended up purchasing a new switch and cleaning all the connections up to the lights.  I am now getting around 5.5 volts to the bulbs now.  When I have some more time I plan on replacing the butt splice connectors that are inline and chasing down the ground points.  

 

With the new switch the parking lights are now working.  It appears that the original switch was not making contact to that connection point, could have been that area that was bulging in the middle.  All lights are much brighter at this point but I will still work on the headlights to improve those.

 

Ply33, I did contact the place you purchased your lights from and they only offer led lights for our bulbs.  Due to a supply shortage they are currently out of stock on the led lights but should have some in the next couple of months.  I plan to purchase these when in stock and I'll update this with the results.

 

A side question, has anyone installed a discrete brake light (what would be called a 3rd brake light now) that doesn't detract from the original look of the car?  With distracted drivers now, I'm not sure I trust them to see the single rear lamp.  Was thinking it could go in the rear windows or I could attach it to the spare tire cover in some way.

I mounted a rear / 3rd break light in the rear window , of the 36 I streetrodded,  think it was out of. 80s Cadillac, worked out well paint it dark for less of a “ stick out” factor, but that had 12 volt system also,,,,

 

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