I need the headlight reflectors, bulb sockets and what ever it is that adjusts the lights for my 1930 Mod B. I have some h/light rings that I think I can straighten but that’s all, and I don’t even know what I’m looking for to know it if I happen to see one some place. Other than the rings all I have are gapping open holes in the fenders.
Does anybody have a picture of the pieces or know where some might be?
I do have enough pieces of the pot metal ring that screws to the opening so I can machine new ones of those.
I have never seen them (caveat emptor) and they are chrome plated brass, but Restoration Supply Company lists reflectors and other headlight parts up to 9 1/4″. That may be an option if you can’t find originals. If you are not happy with the chrome, since they are brass, I would think you could strip them and get them silvered if they fit.
What is the diameter of the headlight opening?
If you do go that direction, silver or Uvira the headlight reflectors. Chrome is an awful reflector of light for that application.
John Cislak has a set for a 29 that could be made to fit. If intrested give him a call. My best. Ed
Ok This Aussie will bite—Besides being a town in the Congo
The headlights on the 1930 Model B Pierce Arrows utilized a Twolight lens with reflectors taking twin filament headlight bulbs this having been introduced on the very late 1929 cars.The earlier 1929 reflectors are very deep and take single filament bulb that is dimmed by a resistance coil.Dave Murray has new aluminum reflector rings.The Twolight lens has the same pattern as that used on March 1929 and later Model A Fords but is of larger diameter.There are a couple of headlight parts suppliers who advertise in Hemmings.Silver plating is the correct finish for headlight reflectors.
On the Uvira, yes, you have the reflectors plated nickel first, then send them to that company. It IS an aluminized coating that is very reflective. Cost per reflector for Uvira is $60 to $80 each (exclusive of nickel plating cost), I believe, although it’s been a while since I’ve done some.
Yes, silver plating is correct original plating, but if you drive your car at night at all, it’s very minimal lighting, and Uvira and a good bulb makes a lot more light. All that said, I have yet to do the reflectors on my ’31, and they need it…
David, why is chrome not good as a reflector? I had the reflectors on my 37 Dodge chromed 40 years ago and they still are as bright as Halogens. How were the headlights adjusted? I don’t see any holes for a tool. Jim
Hi Jim, chrome is actually black, it reflects only about 65% . Silver is the best, it reflects around 97%. Aluminum is in the 90’s somewhere.
When I looked into Uvira years ago, Their ads said they silvered the reflectors, then coated them with a clear ceramic, basicly coated with glass. So they would never tarnish.
I used chrome on my reflectors in my first car, and they definitely are not as bright as a worn silver reflector.
There is no adjustment for the focus of the light like there was in the earlier cars. the bulbs are ‘pre focused’ .
The aiming is done by putting a shim or washer under the reflector rim. Unless the fenders had had body work , the aim if the headlights is usually OK, .
I went out and took apart a headlight on my very late ’29 Model 143.
The headlight lenses are Twolite and are 9.25″ across.
The reflectors measure 9.50″ from lip to lip and are about 5″” to the tip of where the bulb socket goes into.
Picture to show depth and the bulb focus assembly.
My reflectors can focus the bulb using a screw that moves the bulb socket in or out of the reflector.
Close up of the bulb focus mechanism.
Focusing assembly taken apart to show teeth that move the socket assembly in and out.
Bulb assembly is 5.0″ deep and has three square holes that mate with the teeth on the focusing assembly.
The socket is a two wire assembly with set screws to retain the wires.
Mine are a little chewed up but they’re original and operate well.
I hope this helps you to find reflectors, sockets and lenses that will fit your car.
I have not put everything back together as I am hoping to figure out a way to add a ground wire that will be completely hidden from view, so if you need any other pictures or measurements please don’t hesitate to ask.
By the way, both the reflectors on my car have jam nuts behind each screw that secures the reflector to the pot metal retainer ring.
Some are spun down the shaft of the screws just a hair and appear to me to be the actual adjusters for aiming the reflectors.
The car is so unmolested that I believe these to be factory.
Note the head of the adjustment rod at the top of the picture.
Greg answered your question, chrome only reflects about 60% of the light that silver does…if it was as good as silver, then that’s what the manufacturer would have done from about 1928 on when chrome was available…but the more expensive silver plate was done from the factory to give better lighting…
Silver gets to about 97% reflected light, so is an excellent choice, but will tarnish and requires occasional polishing. The Uvira coating, glass or whatever it is, is very close to that reflectivity and requires no maintenance whatsoever, and in fact I don’t think you’re supposed to do anything to it as coating is so thin….
Thanks to everybody for the info now I have an idea of what to look for. Especially thanks to Craig for taking your car apart to get pictures at 11:00PM. That’s way more than I would have asked. Jim
Amen to that, well done, Craig, that was above and beyond the call of duty!
I always hate fooling with the headlights, knowing how valuable the glass is and how hard the garage floor is….
Have a very nice set of plastic lenses that I’m considering putting on my car, but see previous sentence as to why I’ve hesitated doing so!