Tail Light Coversion

Originally a 1926 T had one 6V tail light on the left rear fender. Years ago I added a mirror image light on the right fender using an aftermarket bracket from Lang’s. (item number 8785R) The factory tail light used a single contact bayonet socket that was pressed into the tail light bucket, and an 1129 6V bulb like the one on the right above.

This year I decided to convert the tail lights to 1157, 12V, double contact units, like the other three above, to make it easier to hook up trailer wiring for our camping trailer. The mechanical part of the conversion is actually not that difficult.

I started by removing the assemblies and pressing out the single contact sockets.  I replaced the old sockets with some Model T headlight sockets I had laying around. To make the sockets fit, I ground off the adjustment tab on the side and cut a longer slot in one side to accommodate the index pins on the new lights.  New sockets are available that already have the tab eliminated but you will still need to lengthen the slot for the one index pin. (Lang’s Item # 6495DX) I cut the slot with a small round file. One of the sockets was a little loose in the housing so I firmed it up with JB Weld.

Refitting the tail lights was easy.  Everything that happens before the power gets to the lights is a bit more complicated.  I will talk about that in a different post.

New 1157 SMD* – LEDs were used in place of the stock incandescent lamps. I bought a set of 6 small LEDs on ebay for about $6.00 including shipping.  Just for fun I ordered two more, larger ones, from China for just under $4.00 with shipping.  I ended up using the larger bulbs.

The old glass was replaced with new lenses I bought from Fred Holt at the Red Deer Swap Meet.

* SMD – Surface Mounted Device

right rear tail light

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