Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-30-2012, 04:05 PM   #1
eystein
Senior Member
 
eystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 432
Default Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Several threads have warned about failures in repro connectors and harness at the headlamp to harness connector.

It is a prfoblem that many cars have had the original wiring ripped out or "repaired" by previous restorers or tinkerers, so that one ( myself included) does not know what it should really look like.

It is possible that anyone who have been looking into this seriously could post some pictures and explanations on where the common repro parts (Brattons Snyders) differ from the originals and tips on any sources for original-like hardware and how to correct the repro parts
eystein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,588
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

This is a direct quote from the Snyder's catalog:
Quote:
NOTE: The way that Ford designed the connection for joining the headlight wires to the main lighting harness wasn't one of their better ideas. If you are not a purist, I would suggest doing away with the plastic headlight plugs, gutting the socket assembly and wiring the wires directly. Quite often shorts develop where the two wires join if the lights are hooked up as Ford did.
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 08-30-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I like the original connectors on my 1928. My camera battery is low and I can't find my charger, so it might be a while before I can take a picture of an original plug.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
ctlikon0712
Senior Member
 
ctlikon0712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cocoa, Florida
Posts: 1,609
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Eystein, I would like to see some pics as well. Thanks for bringing the subject up. Somthing that I have been meaning to do also.
__________________
Wanted: Simmons Super Power Head
Craig Likon 1931 150B
ctlikon0712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 04:36 AM   #5
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware







Here are three pictures showing my 1928 bulb socket and headlamp connection socket. The wires joining the two sockets are rubber coated, not cloth.
The next two pictures show the plug for the end of the headlamp wire harness. Notice the flat head on the two brass screws that secure the wires to the terminals.

I don't have any repro sockets to compare.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
ericr
Senior Member
 
ericr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,383
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
This is a direct quote from the Snyder's catalog:
Carl I have seen that quote and I'm not directing this at you, but the quote seems like a load of baloney to me. So the Company with all assets, research and engineering abilities produced several million cars, over a multi-year period, each of which with two headlights, and kept a fundamentally unreliable design? Wouldn't dealers have complained and essentially forced a change if it was a serious problem?

The quote in reality applies to repro sockets.
ericr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,588
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I only saw that "quote" in Snyder's catalog AFTER I had "fixed" mine. When I bought my truck, these connections had been cobbled together so that there was no way that they could work. My failed attempt to put it back to "original" resulted in my backyard engineering. It was only later that I discovered that what I had done was the way that many others had done it. Then is when I saw the quote in Snyders catalog. I'm with you 100% in that 10 million connectors made that way -- must have done something right. I'm sure that my 2 earlier Model As had the original connectors and they worked fine. Of course that was 50+ years ago.
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
d.j. moordigian
Senior Member
 
d.j. moordigian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fresno, Ca.
Posts: 3,610
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Thanks Tom,

Your photos helped me with my pile of sockets....I see were the problem is
with the repops. My very old repops(best guess) are made as nice as Ford's,
except for the problem..
d.j. moordigian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
700rpm
Senior Member
 
700rpm's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,312
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

My original 1929 sockets work fine and have never been "restored". My repros all had to be reworked to get them to function, but eventually I got them to where they too worked fine. I buy originals whenever I find them at swap meets. I recently bought two of the ugliest light buckets I'd ever seen because they had original '28 sockets (and good fluted lenses) in them. The buckets are good for yard art and not much else. It's always best to keep or use original stuff if you can find it or already have it. Don't replace it just for the sake of a "total restoration", whatever that is.
__________________
Ray Horton, Portland, OR


As you go through life, keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.
700rpm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #10
KGBnut
Senior Member
 
KGBnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southwestern Connecticut
Posts: 819
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

One of the first things I did on my 1930 coupe was rip out the originals and replace them with repops... Nothing but trouble. This was before I found the FordBarn and discovered all this great advice.

I was smart enough to save my originals and would love to restore them, but the insulators that support the spring-loaded connectors are warped and forcing the contacts to touch.

By the way, has anybody really looked at the engineering on these things? It is amazing... Just take a few minutes to check out the TINY, high-precision brass sleeves in those flat insulators. Even if I could find the right material to replace those insulators, I have no idea how I would replace those sleeves. The wires are easy...simply soldered into the spring-loaded contacts.

Until I figure out how to properly restore the originals I simply put some modern female bullet connectors in the headlights. Here is the really good news... those modern connectors are available in .176 diameter. That is within 4 thousandths of the diameter of the ends on the original 3-wire harness (the connectors that go in the little barrel-shaped plug). I didn't have to modify my wiring harness, and haven't had a single problem since.

I still want find good originals, or restore mine, but this is a great temporary solution. (Pop always told me, "if you are going to do something temporary, make sure it is good enough to be permanent...because it probably will be.")
__________________
Style beats speed any day, and with a lot fewer tickets.

Last edited by KGBnut; 06-25-2013 at 08:36 PM.
KGBnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 02:53 PM   #11
Special Coupe Frank
Senior Member
 
Special Coupe Frank's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeast Penna
Posts: 2,108
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Some observations based on my own '28 which came with repro headlamps and repro connectors... and comparison against an complete, original 1930-31 truck headlamp and other original connector bits I have scrounged:

1 ) The metal bits of both the repro bulb sockets and the repro connector sockets are made from much lighter, more flimsy metal than the originals, so that even if made to the original sizing / tolerances, the metal itself flexes and deforms.

2) the insulating material of the original connector plug appears to be hard, precision moulded/ machined heat-resistant baekelite; repros have modern (not fit for this application) thermo-plastic plugs that soften and deform when they get hot, allowing the contact rivets & springs to mush into each other or the outer shell, causing all sorts of electrical Gremlins.

In short (no pun intended) the original Ford plugs were simply made better, and from better material.

Not to say the originals were 100% trouble-free, but the cheapo repros are absolute junk.
Special Coupe Frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
Steve Wastler
Senior Member
 
Steve Wastler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,987
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

From my experiences, I have never had issues with ANY original light connections on mine or others I have worked with. I find no fault with the original design and functuality.
Steve Wastler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 07:56 AM   #13
eystein
Senior Member
 
eystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 432
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I saw a post over at the Swap Meet section from a guy wanting to contact Robert Paul in Colorado to buy headlight parts.

Is Robert Paul really into making reproduction headlight parts in addition to his shock rebuilding service ? - Or is the guy over at the swap meet section mistaken ?
eystein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 10:41 AM   #14
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,588
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff/Illinois View Post
I went with repop sockets, cut the wiring connector ends off, crimped and soldered Bratton's bullet connectors on the wires of the socket and plugged them into Bratton's double barrelled female connectors and they work fine.

Good temporary fix until I get around to doing the permanent repair. Going on about 6 years now
Exactly what I did
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #15
sethkestenbaum
Senior Member
 
sethkestenbaum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 616
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

cut+crimped = HOURS of time saved dealing with short

just my opinion. I felt aweful straying from "Ford's Way", but just couldn't deal with the shorts any more.
__________________
Seth Kestenbaum
www.oldcarroadtrip.com
sethkestenbaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #16
AL in NY
Senior Member
 
AL in NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern Upstate New York
Posts: 928
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I did the same fix as many others by eliminating the 3-wire repro connector. Can someone post pictures(similiar to Tom W's) showing the original 30-31 3 wire connector? Thanks in advance!!
__________________
AL in NY
AL in NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 10:33 AM   #17
BrianBurkert
Senior Member
 
BrianBurkert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fleetwood, PA
Posts: 407
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

The repro sockets have the cardboard insulator inserts. I've had them come loose and cause a short. If I have to use the repros, I reinforce the inserts with epoxy so they don't come loose.
BrianBurkert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
leo
Senior Member
 
leo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 734
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I used reproduction sockets and plugs from Bratton's and did not encounter any problems with them. I did replace the wire terminal ends to the blunt brass type and my headlight conduits, socket ferrules are originals. Is it possible that parts other than reproduction sockets are the cause of connection problems because things don't line up properly.
leo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:00 PM   #19
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I've heard some guys have used heat shrink tubing on the contacts so they fit better (tighter) in the insulator blocks.

If you have any bare wires liquid tape works very well. It costs about $5 a bottle at Fleet Farm.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #20
Special Coupe Frank
Senior Member
 
Special Coupe Frank's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeast Penna
Posts: 2,108
Default Re: Original Headlight socket & connector hardware

I just had another headlight shorting problem with my '28-'29 repros... dead short on low-beams.

Turned-out to be the spring-loaded contacts in the bulb socket shorting against the side barrel, due to the red fibre insulting disc losing one of its little "ears" and going cock-eyed in the barrel.

Am going to find some Original Ford sockets soon...

SC Frank
Special Coupe Frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 PM.