The Stovebolt.com Forums Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Helping out ...


WELCOME

The site has expanded to include the 1973 to 1987 trucks!

Check out the new forum just for them and welcome our newest brothers and sisters with the "Rounded Line" trucks.
Encourage one another! Share what you've learned!

Stovebolt Site Search
 
Old Truck Calendars
Months of truck photos!
Nothing like an old truck calendar

Stovebolt Calendars

Check for details!


Who's Online Now
6 members (WE b OLD, 78buckshot, dunfire, NJC, marzach, 1 invisible), 210 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums58
Topics121,926
Posts983,130
Members44,343
Most Online1,229
Jan 21st, 2020
Image Posting Policy
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
#1338601 Sat Dec 21 2019 06:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 209
S
Shop Shark
Does anyone know the best method to use for restoring a plastic dome light lens? While searching for a good way occupy my time and still watch some College Bowl games in the garage, I decided to remove the interior dome light on my 54. As you can see from the pictures, everything appears to be original and in very good condition except for the exterior of the plastic lens. The inside of the lens is in remarkably good condition. The big blob of black goo connecting the braided wire to the red wire appears to be original as well. If it is not I am sure someone will let me know.

I thought I would start by wet sanding with some 400 then 600 then 1200 grit sandpaper to remove the 65 years of oxidation and then follow up on the buffing wheel with a polishing compound made specifically for plastic. This is a lot so I hope that I will still have something left when I finish. I also have a Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer kit that I may use as well. It has a lens-sealing wipe to use if I am successful.

It is my understanding that the plastic lens was unique to the 54 and 55 1st series ADs and is not readily available or at least not that I could find.

This is my plan but I welcome any helpful suggestions.

Thanks

Attached Files
Dome Light 1.jpg (41.48 KB, 181 downloads)
Dome Light 2.jpg (40.48 KB, 186 downloads)
Dome Light 3.jpg (32.54 KB, 180 downloads)
Dome Light 4.jpg (21.09 KB, 170 downloads)

1954 3100 w/Hydra-Matic

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." and "To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge." - Confucius
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338603 Sat Dec 21 2019 06:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 507
2
Shop Shark
hi SmithLakeChevy,
i have had success restoring damaged headlights and other colored and clear lenses as follows (see the original radio dial in my radio restoration post)
under running water, wet sand with 600 until all damaged plastic is removed, clear plastic should make a milky white residue in the water, not yellow.
again with running water, wet sand with 1000-2000 to smooth the plastic in prep for compounding
use Meguiar's ultimate compound to work the plastic until it's clear, use a shop paper towel or kitchen towel, don't add water for this step

optional - finish with Meguiar's ultimate polish to get it better than original surface

if the plastic part will be in the sun it should get a UV blocking hard clear coat
i highly recommend U-Pol for a long lasting coating, it is used on modern automotive headlights.
if you are applying the U-Pol it is okay to skip the final polishing as the U-Pol will blend the surface anyway

the U-Pol spray can is not like regular spray paint, you will want to wear protective gear and be able to escape the fumes. It is nasty.
also i suggest you test it on an inconspicuous place for material compatibility.
use a metal instrument to put a dot onto the plastic edge, wait 48 hrs and check that it hardened and bonded well.
some plastics might react and go goo-ey and never harden due to negative reactions with the solvents and the cross-linking in the plastic.

hope this helps and best of luck
post photos of your progress
-stan

Attached Files
dial_face_clean.jpg (73 KB, 154 downloads)
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338609 Sat Dec 21 2019 07:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,132
G
Shop Clutterist
My lens had a crack in it. Bought a new one from Chevs of the Forties. The catalog shows complete units only, but I'm sure that I bought the lens only - call them if you are interested in a new one.

https://www.chevsofthe40s.com/detai...ht_Assembly_With_Lens_Like_Original.html


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
Gord&Fran #1338615 Sat Dec 21 2019 08:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,929
Boltergeist
Gord,

It looks like that Chevs of the 40s lens is glass?

47-53 were glass - I think the 54/55st were plastic?


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338618 Sat Dec 21 2019 08:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,132
G
Shop Clutterist
The new one I bought is plastic - just like the original one. It was quite some time ago I bought it so perhaps they are glass now. If interested, give them a call; they might have some available but not shown in the catalog.


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338630 Sat Dec 21 2019 10:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 209
S
Shop Shark
Wow! This site never disappoints. Thanks Stan for the step-by-step detailed instructions. I hope this works and your plan sounds a lot better than what I had envisioned. Like Tim says, the 54 and 55 1st series trucks had plastic lens and I enjoy trying to preserve and save what I can on this old truck.

Gord, I appreciate the advice on the “Chevs of the Forties” site. I did check out that site, but I did not try calling. If this does not work out, I will be giving them and possibly others a call.

I will let everyone know how it turns out.

Thanks


1954 3100 w/Hydra-Matic

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." and "To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge." - Confucius
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338790 Mon Dec 23 2019 04:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 209
S
Shop Shark
I finally finished the Dome Light Lens restoration this afternoon. I spent several hours wet sanding with the finer grits and then I finally had to drop down to a 220 grit wet sandpaper to get the plastic down to something I could live with. (I removed as much of the crazing and yellowing as I could with the 220 grit then I progressively worked my way back up to 400, 500, 1000, then 2000 grit to finish up.) I must admit, the toothpaste on the back of the sink started to look good as did the Old Dutch cleanser on the floor, so I used them as well during this long process. They seemed to help, or maybe it just felt like they helped. Did I mention there are no small projects, just the ones you think are small then take hours to finish. As you can see from the pictures below, I think the lens turned out nice though. It always feels good to preserve something original on this old truck.

Oh yeah, I finished up with the Meguiare’s compound and polish that Stan recommended and they worked out great using a Dremel tool and polishing attachment. I did not use the clear coat since the dome light is in the interior and I do not plan to leave the truck outside much.

As always, I appreciate everyone’s helpful suggestions. Who knows, maybe this will help someone else one day that decides to preserve one of these old plastic lenses.

Thanks

Attached Files
Dome Light 5.jpg (31.94 KB, 118 downloads)
Dome Light 10.jpg (29.18 KB, 120 downloads)
Dome Light 9.jpg (44.16 KB, 119 downloads)
Dome Light 6.jpg (22.43 KB, 120 downloads)
Dome Light 8A.jpg (43.79 KB, 118 downloads)

1954 3100 w/Hydra-Matic

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." and "To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge." - Confucius
Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1338794 Mon Dec 23 2019 04:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 507
2
Shop Shark
that looks awesome, i also enjoy keeping original parts even if they aren't prefect.
i'm happy it turned out usable for you!

keep up the good work, it's only original once smile
-s

Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1343244 Wed Jan 22 2020 06:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 85
D
Awesome Grandpa

Re: 1954 Chevy Dome Light (Plastic Lens)
SmithLakeChevy #1343248 Wed Jan 22 2020 07:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,929
Boltergeist
"It is my understanding that the plastic lens was unique to the 54 and 55 1st series ADs and is not readily available or at least not that I could find."

The 1954 Chevrolet truck dome light had a plastic lens (on all trucks, or, at least on Panel-Body trucks) and, a lower-power bulb (as used in all/some 1954 cars, I think).


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  ndkid275 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4