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dim lights

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  • dim lights

    my head lights, brake lights and blinkers are really dim, i can hardly see the rear blinkers. could this be a bad ground or just a combination of old lights and lenses?

    slow64
    bd_marks@yahoo.com

  • #2
    I'm new to Studebakers, but on Kaisers the ground and clean, clean connections every where is the route to go. That includes engine to body straps too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Run a Voltage drop test

      Comment


      • #4
        Does your ammeter indicate your car's charging system is charging well?
        On your taillights and front parking lites - take the lenses out, then the bulbs, then stuff a wad of masking tape in the bulb socket and tape off the outer chrome and spray paint the insides of the fixtures with flat white paint. Makes a big differnce in the brightness of the lites. The chrome plating inside (assuming it's even intact anymore) is a piss-poor reflector of light from the bulb. The White tho, reflects ALL the light thru the lens! You'll be amazed at the change.
        This is a good fix on 6volt cars too![:0]

        Miscreant at large.

        1957 Transtar 1/2ton
        1960 Larkvertible V8
        1958 Provincial wagon
        1953 Commander coupe
        1957 President 2-dr
        1955 President State
        1951 Champion Biz cpe
        1963 Daytona project FS
        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

        Comment


        • #5
          my ammeter shows that everything is charging great, i will definatly try repainting them this weekend, and try cleaning up some connections.

          slow64
          bd_marks@yahoo.com

          Comment


          • #6
            [quote]Originally posted by Mr.Biggs
            spray paint the insides of the fixtures with flat white paint. Makes a big differnce in the brightness of the lites. The chrome plating inside (assuming it's even intact anymore) is a piss-poor reflector of light from the bulb. The White tho, reflects ALL the light thru the lens! You'll be amazed at the change.
            This is a good fix on 6volt cars too![:0]

            Bob/Mr.Biggs - I have always used aluminum paint for this purpose. You may have a better idea with the white. I was wondering why you specify "flat white", rather than gloss white. I have tried neither white, but it seems to me that the gloss would reflect more than the flat. I welcome comments/analysis.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              I choose flat white because there was no attempt by the designers of the fixtures to aim the inner surfaces of the fixtures in such a way as to direct the bulbs output towards the lenses. Flat white reflects light WAY better'n what little chrome surface there is in the bodies. Chrome that often isn't even shiney inside the body. The fixtures are basically weather-resistant chambers to protect the bulbs. That and as a mounting means for the trim and lens aspect of the fixtures.
              I guess what I'm trying to say is that the lighting fixtures of the cars were less of a consideration for function than as a necessary evil that had to be dealt with for styling purposes. Unlike the half-lensed rears of today's cars, the puny taillights of our Studes are barely adequate. Heh - try and see a 60 Lark's taillights blink on a full sun day! You can discern them - but JUST.
              Anyway, with gloss white, you directionally aim more of the reflected light than you do with flat white. By "directionally" I mean not necessarily TOWARDS the lens. Not a "scientifically measured" effect that I've established first hand. But I HAVE tried freshly chromed fixtures vs silver painted and white painted (flat and gloss) and the flat white painted ones appear ( to my uncalibrated eye)to be the brightest. Even gloss white would be better than silver. White reflects the whole spectrum of visible light - silver-color paint does not.
              Try it some time. Take two identical fixtures and paint one white inside and the other silver. Replace the lenses and light them at the same time and compare. (Really - I have done this myself)
              I do all my Studes this way. And on the 60 Lark, I masked off the inside of the lens and painted the upper area of the inside with red paint(this so it could be seen from the outside) Then I oversprayed that with flat white as well as the face of the taillight body itself. This serves to sorta "shade" the sun from coming thru the topside of the lens and also accentuate the reflectivity of the fixture as a whole. The only way you can detect what I've done is at night - when you see that no light emits thru the topside of the lens because it's painted from inside.[}]

              Miscreant at large.

              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
              1960 Larkvertible V8
              1958 Provincial wagon
              1953 Commander coupe
              1957 President 2-dr
              1955 President State
              1951 Champion Biz cpe
              1963 Daytona project FS
              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

              Comment


              • #8
                What I've done to brighten lights on my Studes is to clean ALL connections! As Curt said, clean the ground strap connections, and the battery connections. Then remove and clean the connections at the switch,(using a fine emery cloth) and the junction blocks (if any, usually near the radiator). Then remove the small bulbs and clean the inside of the sockets w/emery cloth, and clean the contact points on the bottom of the sockets and bulbs also. The headlights are a little different; I'd unplug the bulbs, clean the contacts on the bulb and clean the ground wire (the 3rd wire from the socket to the body).
                A couple of extra thoughts: are these 12V bulbs in a 6V car? If the switch has corrosion in the contacts, you may need to replace that, or consider a relay for the headlights.
                Also when checking voltage, use a volt meter on the battery when the lights are on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  His car's a 64 so I doubt it's a 6volt system.
                  All of what you suggest is good advice. Now try painting the inside of the fixtures white for a real wow of an improvement.

                  Miscreant at large.

                  1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                  1960 Larkvertible V8
                  1958 Provincial wagon
                  1953 Commander coupe
                  1957 President 2-dr
                  1955 President State
                  1951 Champion Biz cpe
                  1963 Daytona project FS
                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bob - Thanks for your usual complete response. I will take advantage of your experiments and experience and use flat white paint next time.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i am without a doubt trying all these suggestions this weekend. i am just waiting to get pulled over for my blinkers.

                      slow64
                      1964 lark daytona
                      bd_marks@yahoo.com

                      Comment

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