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Discussion Starter #1
How do I make the rings and or mounts for recessed headlights ? I want the complete light assy behind the fender, nothing built out in front. Is it possible to do this and still get to the light from in front ? I got a '48 Dodge with flat front fenders. I know I can buy a kit,but that's not in the budget.
 

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Do it the old fashioned way. Weld a headlamp door to the fender after removing the bucket, trimming and reinstalling it from the rear inside the fender. You also have to reverse the adjusting screws in the bucket so you can turn them from the inside. Finish weld the door to the fender, a little filler and voila, real Frenched headlamps, not recessed headlamps(the ones with pieplates around them) or tunnelled headlamps(sunk back inside the fender in a pipe),but genuine Frenched headlamps.
Now, you'll have to find a pair of steel, not stainless, doors(rims) to use from some other car or pickup(40s to mid 50s). I think your Dodge will have stainless doors.
When you're done you'll have a smooth fender opening surrounding a sealed beam with the thin stainless mounting ring around it, just like the pros from Dover in the good old days.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
that's the way I want to do it ! So, how do I fasten the bucket to the back of the ring ? .........do I make some brackets or hangers comming off from the fender..........Can I make the rings,and have some kind of brackets on the back for the buckets ? Or am I all wet here ?
 

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Grasshopper, you are drowning.

Remove the stock Dodge headlamp door(rim or ring). This exposes the headlamp retainer ring, headlamp bulb and bucket to fender flange, which
usually has 4-6 screws holding the assembly to the fender. Unplug the headlamp harness at the fender panel or wherever it comes apart. Pull the wiring through the fender panel and unscrew the assembly from the fender. The flange of the bucket will usually have a raised edge facing out. The hole in the fender will have several tabs inside matching the fastener locations on the flange. Your job is to trim the flange so that it fits flush against the inside of the fender using the same fasteners just from the other side. You will also have to reverse the adjustment screw mechanisms so you can screw them in and out from under the fender.
Once you have the bucket assembly trimmed and fitted from INSIDE the fender screw it in place and fit your headlamp door to the fender making sure it is evenly spaced around the bulb and retainer ring. Tack weld it to the fender in 3-4 places evenly spaced around the door. If every thing looks good, remove the bucket and bulb assembly and finish welding the door in place on the fender using short welds alternately side to side and top to bottom until the entire door is welded around. Reinstall the bucket and bulb assembly and make sure everything is aligned and fits well. Carefully grind or file the welds and use your favorite filler to smooth it off and blend everything together.
Looks good??
OK, now do other side just like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
O K , I understand all ( most ) of that, only question :does the ''lamp door'' cover the tabs on the retainer ring ? OR , is it only big enough to allow you to see the retainer ring ? If the mounting tabs are covered up , that means you (I ) would have to remove the bucket from the inside to change the bulb. which is O K ,. I don't have a problem with that, just want to know if that's what your saying ?
 

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Grasshopper, you're getting there!

Yes, with true Frenched headlamps you have to remove the bucket from the fender to replace the headlamp bulb. AND, you have to adjust the headlamp beam by turning the adjustment screws from under the fender too.
The headlamp door which previously served as a cover for the bucket attaching flange and adjustment screws is now welded to the fender leaving only the headlamp bulb retainer ring and the sealed beam bulb face exposed.
As I said you may have to find a pair of headlamp doors from a 47-54 Chevy truck or 49-52 Chevrolet car to use rather than the stainless steel Dodge ones. I seem to remember the Dodge doors have a big notch in the side where they cover the end of the fender trim strip too, don't they?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
these particular ''doors'' are curved, which wouldn't make for a very good look ( I think ). Also the side chrome, just comes up close to the ring. I've reading on this and other forums, about how others do it, I guess there's about a million ways to do it. I like this version the best. It does help to see what others have done, lets you see what else is posssible,I think unless you do this stuff all the time, it's impossible to think up all the different ways of doing things. I like to take every ones ideas, throw them all in a pile, or throw them away , then make up my own version..... Anyway,......... thanks for the tips............
 

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Discussion Starter #8
one final question, when I make the recess, how far in to the fender should ,or can the light go ? How much of the light bulb itself should be showing? I'm referring to how far in the fender before it effects your night driving ? Should the retainer ring and edge of the bulb be flush with the fender ? or in a little farther so the very front of the bulb is flush with the fender ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It appears to me , that in most of these frenching jobs, the head light glass is flush with the fender, would that be a good starting point ???
 

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In a classic Frenching job of headlamps, the retaining ring and outside edge of the bulb is flush with fender making a smooth transition from sheet metal to bulb.
Later efforts have the edge of the bulb sunken about an inch(see 57 Ford headlamp doors) with a taper slanting down into the bulb.

Any further into the fender and we're talking about tunnelling, not Frenching. Factory example, 49-51 Lincolns.
 

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not to whore the tread or anything but i want to do this on my 50 ford. pasadenahotrod said to look for the metal doors not the stainless doors. anyone know if i could find metal ones? i mean were they and option or do i need to use something of a different car? year?
 
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