Headlight thimble socket

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Bobbbenner
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Headlight thimble socket

Post by Bobbbenner » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:01 am

Any advice on replacement of a headlight thimble socket? One of the contacts is pushed in and not spring loaded. How do I get the thimble socket out to replace?

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DanTreace
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by DanTreace » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:29 am

It’s a sliding fit in the sleeve of the headlamp bucket opening. Remove the rim and lens, then twist away and lift out the reflector. If old may be some rust so penetrating oil can help if the socket sticks in the sleeve.

Now remove the tiny cotter from the long adjusting screw and remove the screw and spring.

Find a wood dowel or a proper sized bushing driver and push the old socket from the sleeve.

Replace new socket in same manner, aligning the lug for the adjusting screw and spring as removed.

Reassemble the head lamp.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Bobbbenner
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Bobbbenner » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:23 am

Thanks Dan.


L.I. Tom
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by L.I. Tom » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:22 pm

Bob when you get that out make sure to shine up the inside hole of the headlight bucket for that is the ground for the socket I may have spares if not new ones can be ordered. A little off topic but do you still have the clunk or did we fix that last week.

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Oldav8tor
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:44 pm

I have to get at my headlight socket as well. Dan, do I understand that the reflector has to be twisted to remove? I'm afraid of damaging the reflector so haven't done anything more than remove the bezel and clear lens. Mine is a 1917 with the two-contact connector originally designed for magneto bulbs.
1917 Touring
1946 Aeronca Champ
1952 Willys M38a1 Jeep
1953 Ford Jubilee Tractor

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DanTreace
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by DanTreace » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:27 pm

Tim

Yes, the reflector must come out to get to the fastener/adjusting screw of that double-ended socket.

The reflector is held by the same rim spring that holds the lens and rim secure. The reflector has off-set tangs, that clear the tabs on the rim of the headlamp bucket. Push in to release tension of the 4- prong spring. Then twist as you have released tension, and align the reflector tangs with the bucket tabs. Pull out and away from the socket.
IMG_2002 (640x584) (560x511) (550x502).jpg
IMG_2002 (640x584) (560x511) (550x502).jpg (136.06 KiB) Viewed 1241 times
A small hook tool helps to pull one edge of the reflector with care, to allow one to grasp it. (If reflector is nice, use clean gloves to keep prints off the silver plate.)
IMG_2008 (640x480).jpg
Aligning the tangs and tabs by rotating the reflector slightly. The tangs must clear the tabs to remove, when you replace rotate again to lock the reflector in place, under tension of the rim spring.
IMG_8894 (520x390) (2).jpg
IMG_8894 (520x390) (2).jpg (89.5 KiB) Viewed 1241 times
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


Wayne Sheldon
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:06 pm

Very nice write-up and pictures Dan T ! Thank you.


Allan
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Allan » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:53 pm

While you are at it, solder a wire to the socket body, and when it is installed in the lamp, solder the other end to one of the rivets which hold the lamp to the post. Then you will have eliminated dodgy earth problems associated with the slide contact between the socket and lamp body.

Allan from down under.

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Oldav8tor
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:12 pm

Thanks Dan - great explanation. Allan, soldering a ground also sounds smart. I'll give it a try tomorrow.
1917 Touring
1946 Aeronca Champ
1952 Willys M38a1 Jeep
1953 Ford Jubilee Tractor


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Bobbbenner
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Bobbbenner » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:29 pm

I got the light apart and after some half hour of persuasion, freed the thimble from its time glue. It took another twenty minutes to release the crushed terminal. Shined up the silver parabola and put it back together. The lights work again! Ordered new thimbles and retaining spring for a rainy days tinkering.

Worked on the rear bed later on.

Thanks to the folks who gave the great advice and pictures. Made the job easier.


Allan
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by Allan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:15 am

Bob, if one of the contacts has lost its 'spring', it should be replaced. The contacts and spring between them all carry the headlight current. If there has been any heat through a short circuit/resistance problem, the spring is likely to have lost its temper, and continued contact will. be compromised.

Allan from down under.


D Stroud
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Re: Headlight thimble socket

Post by D Stroud » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:09 am

What ever you do, if you are working on the headlight sockets, DON'T lose those TINY brass set screws for the wires. As far as I know, they aren't available from any of the vendors. Maybe from another source, I don't know. Just heads up. Dave
1925 mostly original coupe.

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