1956 Chevy Lights

The 1955-1957 combination shop manual and seals and other various parts showed up from Danchuk. The shop manual is very nice and descriptive! I was just reading through the carburetor section and it describes every possible piece of info about how it works, including different ways of talking about vacuum (as a point of low pressure) and on and on. Good stuff.

Since I had the car working perfectly, I took it on the freeway and when I got home I had the oil light on. Trying to find how to test the oil pump. Breona said her dad had a shop for me to take the car to for the engine, so I will probably do that to be safe.

I realized that the headlights already in the car are halogens. They are sealed though, so you have to replace the whole thing, as opposed to just a halogen bulb, and one of them had a chip broken out. It likely got oxidized or maybe just dirty inside the lens. I realized after pulling that headlight that I shouldn’t have messed with the adjustment screws, as you don’t have to. When I get the lights back in, I will have to adjust that.

To get the new, replaceable bulb, headlights in, I have to trim down the piece that attaches to the lights that then attaches to the headlight buckets. So I went looking for a sheet metal nibbler. I have tin snips, and somebody at the hardware store suggested aircraft snips, but both of those cause bad ripples from my experience, so trying to find the nibbler. I think I finally found a place that might have those in town, Graybar, which is a telecommunications wiring supplier. If not, I can order the thing. It’s just a $25 manual one (Klein 76011B, if you are curious).

Replaced the indicator and taillight lenses, which made me realize that I need to get some more replacement bulbs, as their finishes are wearing off. There were also two screws which didn’t want to leave their spots in the metal and snapped off. Trying to figure out a good way to drill those out and then pour something like JB Weld in to re-tap the holes for new screws. I think I need to make a jig and put the whole light assembly under a drill press, but then, of course, some of the screws holding the light assemblies are stuck. Didn’t mess with those yet. I put the new lenses on for now, there are just a couple screws I will have to figure out later. They look much nicer and I’m sure they wlil let through much more light. I’ll have to ask around to see if any friends have had to re-tap holes before. Might mean I need a tap and die kit. I think I need to find some car buddies to share a garage and some tools with.

1956 Chevrolet

3 thoughts on “1956 Chevy Lights

  1. Randy

    Hi Ian,
    I didn’t know you had a blog! Anyway, I have only used one kind of nibbler (a cheapo from Grizzly (http://grizzly.com/products/Super-Nibbler/G4956) but it worked better than tin snips or aircraft snips, as you said. Less warping of the metal and more control over the cuts. The Klein tool you linked to looks better than what I used.
    I have also done some tapping in my days and I guess I have only two suggestions: practice tapping before you work on a critical part, and if you can, make a sleeve to hold the tap upright as you do your cutting. Keeping the tap upright, or perpendicular to the surface, is the hardest part of tapping; using a sleeve or jig with an inside hole just big enough for you tap can help keep everything aligned.

    Good luck!
    Randy

    1. Ian Page-Echols

      So I got the place nibbled where I knew I had to nibble it. The back of the new lights are larger as they have replaceable bulbs. Only problem is that the arc of the bulb seems to be more “full” than the other ones, which I would have to say are “cone shaped”. So the bulbs still don’t fit. Or actually, almost fit. One of them I got fully together, the other is millimeters away from working.

      Should I nibble out a ton more, and chance that they won’t be strong enough to hold the lights over thousands of miles? Make new ones somehow? I’ll have to add photos to make this more clear.

  2. Ian Page-Echols

    Well, it didn’t start that way. It started out because I found myself never updating my web site since I had to hand code everything. And now I guess I find myself posting any old thing. If I were to ever get a following, it would be by mistake, as I have no focus to the thing, and even if I did, I couldn’t keep up any high level of posting on just one topic. Too many things going on to do only one thing. Which is exactly why the documentary is taking so long. Speaking of which, I should work on that today.