Author Topic: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic  (Read 224 times)

fitts07

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Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« on: September 08, 2019, 06:28:00 AM »
Hello everyone,

Does anyone ever worry about getting rear ended because other drivers either are not paying attention and that can be compounded by our low, small, and not so bright tail lights, turn signals and brake lights?



I have disassembled my tail lights and cleaned the inside of the lens in the dishwasher, made sure all the bulbs are working and that the assembly is grounded well, but I still donít feel like the lights on the back of my car are bright enough. I daily drive my 68 230, rain or shine, night or day. I get the most concerned when I am making a turn or stopping during the day when the sun is bright, I feel like itís then when people donít notice my brake lights or turn signals. More than a few times Iíve thought other drivers were not going to stop, or i took a turn way to fast to get out of the lane to avoid getting rear ended.  I havenít tried LED nor have i tried a brighter incandescent bulb (for fear of melting stuff). Iíve also thought about re-painting the metal housing that sits behind the lens with chrome spray paint.

Thoughts?

I found this on the w113 page, some of the reccomendations would work on our cars.
https://www.sl113.org/wiki/Electrical/LightBulbAlternatives-BrighterBulbs
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 06:31:37 AM by fitts07 »
Its what non-car people dont get. They see all cars as just two tons of wires, glass, metal and rubber. That's all they see. People like you or I know, we have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities. You can develop a relationship with a car, and thats just what non-car people don't get.

Scoot

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 08:56:18 AM »
Hi have a 1959 Borgward (which happens to have a 6 volt electrical system) and I was concerned with visibility of brake lights and turn signals.  I went through a rather exhaustive process of finding and sourcing LED bulbs that greatly improved the situation.  I had to go to a digital flasher unit to cause the bulbs to blink at an appropriate rate.  I definitely would NOT consider using brighter incandescent bulbs as you would have expensive melted plastic eventually. 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 09:04:10 AM by Scoot »
1965 300SE Lang
1959 Borgward Isabella Coupť

Scoot

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 09:01:55 AM »
Here's an example.
1965 300SE Lang
1959 Borgward Isabella Coupť

Bob

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 09:25:58 AM »
With some of the MORONS driving out there you could put football stadium lights on the back of your car and they still will run into your arse !!!!
Peeps these days are too pre occupied or just plain stupid and really should not be allowed behind the wheel.
Whether you have lights or not the people behind you should realize your vehicle is stopping or slowing down but they constantly ride your bumper while playing on their phones or texting .
You are taking a chance every time you get out on the road these days.
Maybe it's something in the energy drinks they are gulping down but I see stuff every day that makes me want to get a D-9 with a back hoe attachment  and drive that to my destinations ,wouldn't need any lights plus could dispose of any wrecks that happened front or back !!!!
Of course we should be completely SAFE with the New cars as they will drive themselves with absolutely no problems ever at least that's what they say and They are allways right whoever(whomever ) They are ?

Bidart39

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 01:15:43 PM »
That's exactly what happened to me yesterday. In broad daylight the person behind me plowed in to the back of me after the light turned green. I'm guessing they were texting as there was no way the could have missed me. The car went 55 years without be hit :'( :'(, and I had just done an engine swap. Hopefully a body shop can fix this...

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2019, 04:09:17 PM »
Ugh! This shows the results of a moment of carelessness by an inattentive driver. Such a shame. I hope it gets repaired.
Stop paying for animal enslavement, cruelty, and slaughter. Save your health and the planet. Go vegan! I did 15 years ago. https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 230 Universal Wagon Project
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel 346,000

Bob

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 07:23:48 AM »
Ugh! This shows the results of a moment of carelessness by an inattentive driver. Such a shame. I hope it gets repaired.

IF the tail lights survived the impact it is not that bad of a repair .It is hard to tell in the pix if they made it though.
Make SURE the insurance checks the latest sales prices before they try and tell you it is toast !!!!
Sorry for the loss Bidart 39 and glad you were not hurt .

Bidart39

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 12:05:44 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.
I already stopped by a body and they quoted me 6k$. They also said that another finny owner was hit and the insurance paid up to 9k$ so it I'm hopeful that they won't total the car. The body shop also said it would only be around 700$ extra to paint the rest of the car while it's there, so I may go that route.
I guess this is one of the dangers of driving these cars daily...

fitts07

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 08:29:21 PM »
Bidart39,
I hate that you got re-ended  >:( Hopefully you can get the car put back right and painted at the same time. What insurance do you use? I use USAA and carry full coverage; Iíve shied away from classic car insurance because of the limits on annual mileage but worry about not having enough coverage to fix it if something were to happen.
I daily drive my 1968 230 and getting hit is always in the back of my mind. I've had to do some quick thinking / footwork and backup away from people in parking lots that donít look before they start to back up.

So my plan when i get home and get some time is to remove the tail lights, disassemble the bulb holder and sand blast it. Then ill take some chrome spray paint and paint the inside to give it a bit more reflectiveness and clear coat the trunk side. Iím not a fan on using LED bulbs in these old cars so i did some research on brighter bulbs.
So Iím thinking for the brake/signal bulbs using 3497, the reverse light using 796, and the running lights using 6w ba9s bulbs.
Not sure what bulbs are called for in the manual, I donít have access to mine.
Its what non-car people dont get. They see all cars as just two tons of wires, glass, metal and rubber. That's all they see. People like you or I know, we have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities. You can develop a relationship with a car, and thats just what non-car people don't get.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 01:47:04 AM »
I have found that the bulb holders on fintails NEVER seem to work! No matter how much I've cleaned them and squished them with pliers so the bulbs fit snug, the bulbs only work intermittently. And this is on several different ones. Modifying the bulb holders so LEDs will fit (with glue, I think?) might be a really good thing--not only for brightness, but reliability as well.

Using aluminum tape on the bulb holder housing to increase reflectivity might work even better than paint. I've known people to do this on headlight reflectors, and even polish the tape to make it brighter.
Stop paying for animal enslavement, cruelty, and slaughter. Save your health and the planet. Go vegan! I did 15 years ago. https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 230 Universal Wagon Project
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel 346,000

Bidart39

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 12:30:29 PM »
Yes it's a shame, it was original paint and had never been hit before. Helas, nothing to be done about it now..
I use Geico but in this case it was the other person's fault so their insurance will take care of it. Once the bodywork has been done, I'm going to convert all the tail lights to LED and try to gut the internals of a LED flasher relay and solder them into the original flasher relay housing. It may be that the flasher relay can't be opened. The pagoda forum has an interesting write up about this: https://www.sl113.org/wiki/Electrical/FlasherRelay. If I can't open it up, I'll just solder some wire from the connector to the relay.

Bob

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2019, 04:25:36 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.
I already stopped by a body and they quoted me 6k$. They also said that another finny owner was hit and the insurance paid up to 9k$ so it I'm hopeful that they won't total the car. The body shop also said it would only be around 700$ extra to paint the rest of the car while it's there, so I may go that route.
I guess this is one of the dangers of driving these cars daily...

Honestly I have fixed a lot worse and I just don't see 6k IF the tail lights are not broken . Most of that will straighten and might not even break the paint. 700 dollar paint job would not pay for the primer I use ....just sayin

Good Luck with putting her back in condition.


Bidart39

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Re: Unsafe tail lights in modern traffic
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2019, 10:23:38 AM »
The way my paint is now, I figure it can't be worse so might as well try haha.