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Old 10-18-2016, 01:33 PM   #1
VFRhugh
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Default 12 volt headlight options

Well I've owned my A for 18 months and am finally ready to do something to the lights. Although I thought I was buying a car mechanically sound, it wasn't. With great mentoring by a couple of Barners it's running great with a counterbalanced crank, IB330 cam, 43# cut down flywheel, balanced pressure plate, new clutch plate, Marvel carburetor, 6.1 HC head, rebuilt the water pump, topping it all off with a Mitchell Overdrive. Now I want to be able to drive safely at night. My A came with an 8 volt alternator and battery setup which is a real stepchild. I will convert to 12 volt negative ground as I have the alternator and battery already. Does anyone have experience with the quartz lamp with reflector kits sold by the suppliers? My existing headlights need everything so I have to spend the money no matter what.
Thanks,
Hugh
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

Hi Hugh. Not really an answer to your question but I use these "Brite Bulbs" from Ron Francis Wiring. https://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=B%2D1125 They fit the stock sockets but are rated at 75//125 CP as opposed to 32/50 CP for the lights the vendors sell.

I have never compared them to Quartz Halogen tho.



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Old 10-18-2016, 04:53 PM   #3
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

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Originally Posted by Y-Blockhead View Post
Hi Hugh. Not really an answer to your question but I use these "Brite Bulbs" from Ron Francis Wiring. https://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=B%2D1125 They fit the stock sockets but are rated at 75//125 CP as opposed to 32/50 CP for the lights the vendors sell.

i have never compared them to Quartz Halogen tho.



I use the bulbs from Ron Francis in my '32, I am very please with them. Be sure to get the REFLECTORS ONLY FROM BRATTON'S.

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Old 10-18-2016, 05:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

The reflectors that come with halogen kits are shaped wrong and are chrome plated, which lights up the whole neighborhood, but does not focus on the road. The new reflectors that Bratton;s is making are correct, and will focus and reflect best. As for bulbs, the other guys have the answers for that.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

We tested the "kits" that come with the reflectors and 2manycars is correct they can't be focused and give you poor lighting. The halogen is what we run you can get them from Hirsch Automotive (973) 642-2404. We have them in a couple of cars, once you focus them they are wonderful. But you need to focus them, they are a little shorter than the original so the focal point is a little different. we did an article on this in the Model A Times a few years ago.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:39 PM   #6
VFRhugh
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

This is exactly what I need to know. The kits seemed to good to be true. I'll have to figure out what parts I need to focus the sockets. What I have now doesn't make any sense.
Thanks again,
Hugh
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

There is a screw at the back of the headlight bucket, that attaches to the headlight socket, there is a spring to keep tension. You just turn the screw to move the socket in or out which ever is necessary to bring in the focus.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

The reflectors from Brattons are the very best. Wayne
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

John,
I just realized what I thought was a mounting screw is also the focus screw. My sockets appear to be newer. I saw in Brattons catalog the sockets description says " foreign and fair quality". Mine look like thes with pig tails. Turning the focus screw spins the whole socket. Am I missing a part? If foreign and fair are the new part options I'm not sure what to do next. Any suggestions welcomed.
Hugh
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

Your best bet for lights. Good wiring, proper ground path for starters.

All original hardware, sockets and such.
Either the correct shaped reproduction or resilvered original reflectors.
A direct replacement halogen light bulb.
Generator at 6 volts.
Properly focus the bulbs.

A test was done in one of the model A magazines. The modern halogen bulb kits were not better then a properly focused bulbs. You see amount of light is not the issue, it is putting where it needs to go. The modern bulbs are great for lighting up everything, but I am pretty sure you do not care about the tops of the trees.

While people do not believe me, a properly set up generator will give you as much or more juice (for a long period of time) then the alternator. Unless you have the alternator set up with a proper sized pulley and proper belt tension, which can not be done with the factory water pump.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

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Originally Posted by VFRhugh View Post
John,
I just realized what I thought was a mounting screw is also the focus screw. My sockets appear to be newer. I saw in Brattons catalog the sockets description says " foreign and fair quality". Mine look like thes with pig tails. Turning the focus screw spins the whole socket. Am I missing a part? If foreign and fair are the new part options I'm not sure what to do next. Any suggestions welcomed.
Hugh
The slot in the reflector keeps the socket from spinning when the tab on the socket is in the slot. The reflector needs to be installed to do that.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #12
VFRhugh
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

I finally studied the holders and realized how there are supposed to work. Mine have different spring lengths but the biggest problem are the contacts shorting to each other��. Had to walk away for the day.
Thanks for the guidance,
Hugh
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

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Originally Posted by VFRhugh View Post
I finally studied the holders and realized how there are supposed to work. Mine have different spring lengths but the biggest problem are the contacts shorting to each other��. Had to walk away for the day.
Thanks for the guidance,
Hugh
I had the same problem with the contacts shorting to each other. I had to put in all new parts. The old ones wear so the contacts in the sockets don't move straight anymore.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

Some of the repro sockets also have terminals that short out.
One fix is to grind the contacts diameter a bit smaller.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

What about the 12Volt sealed beam kits?
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

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What about the 12Volt sealed beam kits?
There are two types of sealed beam kits available. One type places the sealed beam behind the original lens. It looks great (until you turn it on) but the original lens try to focus the already focused light from the sealed beam and you end of light all over. The other type exposes the sealed beam encased in a ring. To me it makes the lights look like the eyes of a bug eyed monster in a late night TV show. My suggestion would be to build the lights back to original using the reflectors from Bratton's and the 12 volt bulbs from Ron Francis Wire Works, https://www.ronfrancis.com, (800) 292-1940.

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Old 11-08-2019, 02:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

As Charlie says.........................
Paul in CT
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

Despite all the negativity toward LED headlights, quite a few guys in our club have used various types of LED lights (including me). In every instance, they are very pleased with the results.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

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Originally Posted by VFRhugh View Post
I finally studied the holders and realized how there are supposed to work. Mine have different spring lengths but the biggest problem are the contacts shorting to each other��. Had to walk away for the day.
Thanks for the guidance,
Hugh

Also, I too had shorting contacts on the passenger side. Took a small strip of gasket material and snaked it between the contacts, followed by a wrap of electrical tape.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: 12 volt headlight options

My car had sealed beams that just did not look right. They looked like bug-eyes and just not original looking. I am running a 6-volt pos. ground alternator and the headlights were halogen. They put out plenty of light, but as I said, they did not look original from the front. I might add that with an alternator and the right lights, a person can get just as much brightness out of 6-volts as 12.

Anyway, I bought the new (correct) reflectors and 6-volt 32/50 candle power bulbs. With the reflectors and proper focusing, I get just about the same amount of brightness as I did from the halogen sealed beam lamps.

To add to the saga, I tried out the new Logo Light LED bulbs and was pretty disappointed with the results. To be fair, the LED bulbs were plenty bright. I would say extremely bright. The problem being that they would not focus in the reflectors. The results were bright and diffuse light that was probably blinding oncoming traffic, even on dim. When I switched to bright, the aim did not change, but rather the diffuse light just got even brighter. I could not see any better with the diffuse light than I could with the focused 32/50 bulbs.

Lastly, the sockets they sell these days are an issue and do need to be modified to avoid shorting out. The tips of the contacts that connect to the base of the bulbs are too fat and can either short against each other or even worse, they can short against the socket itself and result in a short to ground which would blow a fuse.

If you do get sealed beam headlights or the super-duper halogen that need their own reflectors, those will probably come with a socket that does not have the problem described.

I have also heard that the super-duper halogen bulbs with their own reflectors are not the best reflectors and you would probably not get any more light than the 32/50's in a proper reflector.

Lastly, the vendors do sell a 12-volt 32/50 bulb. Here is a link as an example (Bert's Model A Store)

https://modelastore.com/head-lights?product_id=4259
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