WC 51/52/55 Hidden Taillights

Discussion area for - Engine swaps, Drive Train changes, interior, exterior mods, etc.

WC 51/52/55 Hidden Taillights

Postby ng19delta » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:36 am

Having decided not to sell her after all, I went back and started what I consider an important modification- "invisible" taillights for driving use when not at an event etc- something I had been working out in my head for some time. I have seen some bad, and some ugly taillight additions- from bolt on or magnet mount attachments thrown on, to taillamps in place of the rear reflectors, which did not look at all correct... So I decided some proper camouflage was in order.

I started by removing the rear reflectors, and putting a hole centered between the bolt holes. I then enlarged this, and then used a Grenlee punch to take it out to a large enough size to fit the bolt for a large punch...
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Once the hole was opened up, I removed the reflector from the housing, and put it back without the backplate: This left a transparent red reflector in place over the hole. With the reflector in place this way, it looks quite accurate- as it is simply the reflector in place- over a hole...
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With the addition of a flush mount taillight equipped with a clear lens mounted inside the toolbox, the reflector now becomes the colored lens for the taillight assembly. My photo shows the lamp unit temporarily installed using green tape... I will be making a pair of adapter plates, which will mount to the reflector bolts(screws), and will have three screws to mount the lamp unit to. I will also be cutting holes into the reflector retainer backings, and using some silicone sealant to seal the reflector to the body & prevent water ingress.
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With the addition of some power, the lens glows nicely: I think I may grind the reflector prisms down a little, to improve the light transfer, but even so, it seems to have a good glow. I will also be adding some silver reflective paint inside the taillight housing, to additionally improve the light output.

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For the front, I am converting a damaged pair of blackout marker lamps to be turn signals... From the outside, they will look normal, but will be relocated from where the regular ones are: If I work it right, they shouldn't be highly visible until the turn signals are operated.

The lights will all be controlled through a somewhat period self cancelling after market turn signal switch: Given the switch configuration, I can set it up to make the rear auxiliary brake lights operate as either brake lights or turn signals, just like a modern car... For WWII events, I will have the switch on a quick detach mounting, and a quick disconnect wiring harness, so all will appear as original in photos...

I got pics of it in the dark, from about 20 feet, or one car length or so back. Looks good to me! I did regular lamp & brake light...
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Scott
ng19delta
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: WC 51/52/55 Hidden Taillights

Postby ng19delta » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:37 am

Today, other than the wiring, I finished up the hardware install for the hidden taillight mod... Here's a picture of the adapter bracket- simply a piece of sheet steel with the same hole cut in the body & the reflector lens retainer, plus 3 holes for the #10-24 screws which hold the taillamp unit in place, and the two holes for the reflector mounting screws, which hold the plate onto the panel.
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The lens, showing the hole through, from behind-
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Bracket installed-
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Interior of lamp unit painted with chrome paint, to increase reflectivity-
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The taillight units, installed-
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And the end result-
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I'll take a set of pics tomorrow when I have the truck out & can get some better shots... All in all, a nice install, and relatively easy! Can't wait to see how they look when wired!

Scott
ng19delta
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: WC 51/52/55 Hidden Taillights

Postby ng19delta » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:50 pm

Four hours of frustration welding the fuel tank seam(from where I'd cut it so I could repair it...) over to close up the leaks in the weld: And guess what- IT IS JUST AS BAD IF NOT WORSE! How the??? ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Anyway, chucked it in the trunk of the car to take to a shop, but I may clean it & do the POR-15 sealant fix, and then pressurize it to push the sealant into those holes... from the inside, then POR-15 coat the outside of the weld & paint it all... Gonna take some more time.

At least I got a chance to take pics of the taillamps at night-
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And with brake lights on- Image

I'm thinking once this is all wired up, it will be a very useful mod...

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Scott
ng19delta
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: WC 51/52/55 Hidden Taillights

Postby Monkey Man » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:54 pm

This is well thought out and a professional looking product when completed, a good mod and an excellent way to have hidden modernisation, Leds may make for a more rugged product but what you have built is 100% on the money....

MM
Monkey Man
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:28 pm


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