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Author Topic: Restoring headlights  (Read 422 times)

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Offline Chris P

Restoring headlights
« on: May 09, 2020, 01:51:49 PM »
Still working from home so I decided to restore the headlights.

They both seem quite complete although the chrome doors were replaced at some point. I ordered new ones from Walcks.

PO has sprayed paint all over the buckets so after disassembly I had to clean them very thoroughly intially with tiner. Luckily all adjusting screws were there including two of the original screws that hold the rings to the inner bucket.  I also found a vintage bulb socket that could have been the original, with its ground cable.







I washed the housings with dish washing soap, hot water and I used the dishes sponge to scrubbed them. I then prepared a solution with lemon juice, vinagre and water and placed everything in the stove and let it boiled for 20 minutes. With the hard side of the dish sponge I elbow grease for a while and I started to see the shiny aluminum again.









I had the ring mounting units plated.



The retaining ring were it quite good shape and I only had to use some polishing cream to leave them like new.



I did some search online and found some recommendations for the seal beams. I decided to go with Sylvania H6024 and order a set over the weekend.



New rubber grommets installed and the wiring is already presented on the jeep. Please note these are Hall headlights. I read online that these headlight housings use a single mouting ring riveted to the housing. The adjusting screw are plastic. (followig pictures)



Everything is ready to start reassembly but I wanted to check that I was doing right. I call 08000 Rus (actually I PM him) and as usual he was very helpful with detailed photos and very good explanation. I noticed that I don’t have any  gasket so potentially I will order a set.

One mounting door bracket is missing so I will try to make that part. Not easy but let’s see. Will also need new rivets to put the bracket back in place. I also need to get 4 screws for the retaining rings No. 8-32 x 3/8" (as per PM) and all the mounting screws to the radiator guard (Qtty. 8 as per PM. Size No 10 x 3/8" sheet metal)


Will post more pictures once I get the missing screws and install the finish job.





Thanks Rus for your advice. Please feel free to add your detailed pictures.
Regards,
Chris

1943 Ford G.P.W (located in Argentina)
1944 Willys MB (located in Argentina)
1948 Willys CJ2A (located in Mexico)
1956 Willys CJ3B (located in Mexico)
New: 1957 Willys CJ5 (located in Mexico)

Offline Rus Curtis

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 05:50:59 PM »
Wow!  Nothing like clean parts to work with!

I'll bet your kitchen smelled just great after cooking your jeep parts in vinegar.....

The rear buckets, or Housings, may be ferrous.  Check with a magnet.  If it is, you will want to paint them to avoid flash rust.  If the magnet doesn't stick, then aluminum it is!  I polished mine all the way down to bare metal like yours and instead of plating, I painted them with a paint from Eastwood, https://www.eastwood.com/ , that is supposed to look like plating.  I did get the outer trim (Doors) re-plated.

For me the grommet was already on the headlight wires.  But, after installing those grommets, I'm wondering if pushing the wires through and then pushing the grommets into place would be easier. 

Very nice work!
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C

Offline Chris P

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 05:18:23 AM »
Hi Rus! I did the magnet test. It did not stick. Aluminum it is! Will keep them like that and see if rust appears too quickly.

So yesterday I fit the full assembly on the grill. I still need to get the right sheet metal screws and the gaskets. But all in all they look very solid  and shiny!.

No issues to wire the ground cable. It was also easy to push the wiring loom through the grommets.









Cheers
Chris

1943 Ford G.P.W (located in Argentina)
1944 Willys MB (located in Argentina)
1948 Willys CJ2A (located in Mexico)
1956 Willys CJ3B (located in Mexico)
New: 1957 Willys CJ5 (located in Mexico)

Offline Rus Curtis

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 11:31:39 AM »
Hi Rus! I did the magnet test. It did not stick. Aluminum it is! Will keep them like that and see if rust appears too quickly....

That is interesting!  I wonder who else has aluminum housings!  From what I know about aluminum, you won't see any rust.

Nice work!
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C

Offline Chris P

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 12:35:07 PM »
Thanks. Once the lockdown ends and we are able to travel to the US again I will order the gaskets. Where did you get them from? Willys Jeep Parts?
Quick one about the sheet metal screws. The screws in yours are Phillips head?
Regards,
Chris

1943 Ford G.P.W (located in Argentina)
1944 Willys MB (located in Argentina)
1948 Willys CJ2A (located in Mexico)
1956 Willys CJ3B (located in Mexico)
New: 1957 Willys CJ5 (located in Mexico)

Offline Rus Curtis

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 01:11:34 PM »
Chris,
I'll bet most vendors carry the headlight housing gasket.  I got mine from Walck's:  https://walcks4wd.com/search.asp?keyword=642725 .  I'll bet a lot owners don't use them (I couldn't find any evidence I had gaskets on mine).  And as I pointed out the sheet metal on the grill wasn't flat so I had to use sealant to close the gap.

The screws that hold the housing to the Radiator Guard are:

Pan head #10 x 3/8" 

I don't remember but would bet the original screws are sloted.  I used Phillips in most cases when I had to buy new. 
 

'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C

Offline Chris P

Re: Restoring headlights
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2020, 08:52:02 PM »
Pans head slotted sheet metal screws is what I used. So I will keep those. Believe it or not I usually browse Walcks catalog part by part. I've never came across the gaskets. Will definitely order a set shortly.
So I am now quite close to finish restoring the headlights. There is one important piece missing but I will try to do it myself.



Perhaps I can find here an old unusable bucket with this bracket.
Regards,
Chris

1943 Ford G.P.W (located in Argentina)
1944 Willys MB (located in Argentina)
1948 Willys CJ2A (located in Mexico)
1956 Willys CJ3B (located in Mexico)
New: 1957 Willys CJ5 (located in Mexico)