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Old 10-20-2007, 04:33 PM
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1939 Plymouth Headlights; Halogen Replacements and Missing Sockets

I recently acquired a 1939 Plymouth. These cars had headlights that were unique to that year (they are squarish) and many '39s have been modified to use conventional round headlights. There was an aftermarket conversion kit available at one time.

This car has been converted to 12V and an attempt made to upgrade the headlights to halogen lights. Essentially, a sealed-beam halogen bulb was wedged inside the original reflector. The original lens was then installed over this. The diffusion of the light from TWO lenses is so great that the car is unsafe to drive at night. Removing the original lens makes it brighter (the wiring needs some attention), but that solution visually unappealing.

I suppose I could graft on some late-model headlights (like those from a Mini Cooper), but I would like to keep the original look since it is so unique.

I have the original buckets, reflectors and lenses. The original bulb was a 2331 and took a DB-P15D30-1 socket. I am missing the DB-P15D30-1 socket

Halogen bulbs in a 2331 configuration are available from Classic and Vintage Bulbs. This Australian site carries a number of drop-in replacement halogens for older vehicles.

I have only found one place to obtain the sockets: Don's Bulbs, but he is asking $100 apiece for the sockets. Ouch! Other sources?

My reflectors are probably OK with a little polishing. I see that the well-regarded Steve's Auto Restorations offers re-silvering service; it would be at least $125 each for my reflectors. Since they are in good shape, an alternative is available from Caswell, Inc. and their SILVERSMITH or SILVERPLATER products. Anybody have some experience with these products?

Comments and advice are appreciated. For the moment, I'm adding some inexpensive driving lights to augment the existing crummy lighting. Re-wiring the headlights using relays to improve the voltage supplied to the lights will be done no matter what decision I make.
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