Napa 493 Beacon - Final Bulb Update

Discussion in 'Vintage & Collectible' started by Skulldigger, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    For those who were following my previous thread, I went back and picked up the NAPA 493 beacon I had passed up on Thursday. I started a new thread so I could update it as I try to restore it.

    I did not bargain with the old man who owns the antique store, I think he had a fair price on it already. I had not looked at the price on my first visit.

    I got the light home tonight and hooked it to power and nothing happened. No motor action and no lights. He said it works so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. It came from Panama City, Fla, according to him, and so it has been exposed to a lot of salty humid air. I think if I clean up the grounds and replace some of the wiring it will be OK. It looks fine, but dirty and corroded inside. No rust though.

    The Bulbs are T3617

    The closure on the band came off in my hand when I took the dome off. I am sure I can fix that too. Anyone have advice on fixing those? How to re-secure it to the band? The Dome was shot and I knew that from the beginning.

    Here she is:

    DSC_0504 (Small).JPG

    DSC_0505 (Small).JPG

    DSC_0506 (Small).JPG

    And this is what was on the price tag, so i don't feel too bad yet. I am sure with a few minutes of work and cleaning I will have this thing up and running like new.

    DSC_0507 (Small).JPG
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  2. cmb56

    cmb56 Member

    You need some type of rivet to repair the clasp.
    Look on internet for rivets and mounting tools for making scabbards in knife making.
    There should be rivets available in sizes about what you need but probably not identical to the original one.

    Skulldigger likes this.
  3. kerry4951

    kerry4951 Junior Member

    One of those bulbs is worth more then what you paid for the whole light
  4. kerry4951

    kerry4951 Junior Member

    Here's my Dietz 7-05. Definitely the same lights. 100_6078.JPG
    jph2, Skulldigger and OliverD like this.
  5. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    Yep it sure is. It has clips that insert through a fiber board to contact the rotator shaft to power the lights. There are two of them. Going to disassemble today and see if I can get it running. The bulbs test good with continuity so they should burn just fine.

    Any idea on a time period for these lights?
  6. dmathieu

    dmathieu Premium Member

  7. Scoot163

    Scoot163 Site Veteran

    Nice find and a rare light! If anybody can get it going you can!
  8. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    OK Passed my first hurdle. I decided to conquer the broken clasp on the band. The rivets had pulled out and the clasp fell off. I debated several cheap and easy ways to do this and finally decided to try this method and it worked like a charm. I'm going to show the whole process in case someone wants to do it themselves.

    I bought a pack of aluminum round rods 1/8" in diameter by 6" long. They were like $2.50 at Lowes in the hobby items drawer in hardware.

    20170813_184213 (Small).jpg

    I put the rod in my vice with about a quarter inch sticking out. I then hammered it several times to mushroom the end.

    20170813_184456 (Small).jpg

    The slid it up in the vice and cut off about 1/8" of the end.

    20170813_184847 (Small).jpg 20170813_190022 (Small).jpg

    It fit perfectly through the whole in the clasp.
    20170813_185259-zoom (Small).jpg

    I then lightly tapped it onto the band with the pin going into the hole on the band.

    20170813_185351 (Small).jpg

    I then used a punch to mushroom the end of the pin to lock it in place.

    20170813_185416 (Small).jpg 20170813_185457 (Small).jpg

    20170813_185506 (Small).jpg

    Then I took a file and filed off the excess to make it even and smooth.

    20170813_190936 (Small).jpg 20170813_191428 (Small).jpg 20170813_191443 (Small).jpg

    20170813_191433 (Small).jpg 20170813_185259-zoom (Small).jpg 20170813_192104 (Small).jpg

    Now to clean up the band and start working on the light.

    Attached Files:

  9. Mars Light

    Mars Light Member

    Great idea with the aluminium pin.
  10. jph2

    jph2 Senior Member

    Definitely a great find and, yeah, you did very well on the price, especially for such an uncommon light. This is a great thread, with your step-by-step on the restore. Thanks for sharing your fun and success along the way. :)
  11. Stampeed Valkyrie

    Stampeed Valkyrie Senior Member Silver Level Member

    Very nice..
    Hopefully you can find a replacement dome as well.
  12. kerry4951

    kerry4951 Junior Member

    Great job using the aluminum rod for rivets. Thanks for sharing
    OliverD likes this.
  13. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    OK.. I found the problem with the light. This light has an unusual design. It has copper clips that clasp onto the rotator shaft and provide both power and ground to the lights. The positive clip had been pulled off at some point and when they tried to put it back on, it bent. It ran that way for some time and wore away the end of the clip and now it will no longer clasp to the shaft.

    When I tried to straighten it out what was left broke off.


    So I cut a piece of brass I had and shaped it to the missing piece.


    Soldered it in place


    And it allows it to clasp the shaft once again.


    Not perfect looking but it works. Doubt I would find a replacement piece for this light.


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  14. Maxim2Eng

    Maxim2Eng Premium Member Platinum Level Member

    Great fabrication job. You would never know it wasn't supposed to be that way unless you point it out!
  15. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    OK for those of you who have these lights but are afraid to run them due to the rarity of the bulb I am working on a project to help you out. I am trying to build a T3617 bulb from a 20w landscaping bulb.


    Using the base of an 1116 bulb, a copper 3/8 to 1/2" adapter and the bulb, a little soldering and epoxy and I think I can do it. I had a temporary success tonight and actually had it spinning in the light ! After the test run I accidentally broke the pin off to the led and that can't be fixed, but I have learned a lot from this build. Going to pick up another bulb by this weekend and give it another go. Should go smooth on the second try.

    20170816_211354 (Medium).jpg

    It's a 20w halogen and it was brighter in the light than the 35 w T3617 I have in it now. STAY TUNED ! and keep your fingers crossed for me.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017 at 3:32 PM
  16. dmathieu

    dmathieu Premium Member

    I love innovation!
  17. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    OK folks ! Success I have a working bulb. I used a smaller 20w but it is very bright for demonstration purposes. I may try a larger 16par 35w. I just wasn't sure it would fit lengthwise. I have to modify the copper piece to do so. But here it is first working prototype !

    20170818_170343 (Medium).jpg

    20170818_170349 (Medium).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017 at 9:40 PM
    OliverD and CrownVic97 like this.
  18. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    The home made bulb is the smaller one.

  19. kerry4951

    kerry4951 Junior Member

    Super job!! You should of worked for NASA
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  20. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    I made my second bulb today and was doing some testing. Wondering how the bulbs do with heat. I ran the light for 30 minutes with the standard T3617 bulbs and then with the home made ones. The dome heated up to about 130 degrees with the standard bulbs. It only heated up to about 120 with the home made ones so that is good. But the home made ones keep losing a wire at the 20 minute mark. The first one ran for 30 minutes the first time and 20 the second time, the #2 bulb only ran for 20 minutes. I autopsy them after they go out and the bulbs are still good. I am just losing a solder connection. I have added clips to the bulb connections now and see if that helps them hold on. These halogen bulbs do get hot themselves and the copper base holds that heat.

    So, so far, these bulbs are great for demo's and running for about 15 minutes tops but not for constant use. I want to switch to LED's but they are much larger and I have only so much space to work with. I am going to repair the two I have (nice they can be rebuilt easy) and they will be my display/demo bulbs.

    Research and testing continues. By the way, it only costs about $18 per bulb in materials to make. When I switch, if I can switch to LED's it will go up to about $24 a bulb in materials.
  21. Scoot163

    Scoot163 Site Veteran

    You make Macgyver look incompetent! Always marveled at Spock creating a subspace radio from a few spare parts on a barren planet. You're that guy!
    Skulldigger likes this.
  22. Maxim2Eng

    Maxim2Eng Premium Member Platinum Level Member

    Didn't you see him in the movie, "Apollo 13"?
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  23. dmathieu

    dmathieu Premium Member

  24. lotsofbars

    lotsofbars Veteran Member

    Ah, Syracuse FD used a LOT of Dietz products in the 60's, 70's, and 80's due to Dietz having their plant right there in Syracuse. SFD has always had weird (but effective) ways of setting up their trucks.
  25. Maxim2Eng

    Maxim2Eng Premium Member Platinum Level Member

    Typical setup and use for minumpers in urban/suburban areas...didn't have to worry about knocking lights on the roof when responding to a car fire in a parking garage.
  26. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    Would love to see a video of them in action.
  27. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    OK. I think I can now boast success with the light bulbs. I have one that has 1hr 30 minutes burn time and another that has 1 hour burn time on it. I ran them 30 minutes at a time to test. These will be ideal for showing off your lights or short demos. I"m wouldn't recommend them for regular service use as being halogen they do get hot.

    Now to try and start work on some led versions.
    Maxim2Eng likes this.
  28. coop359

    coop359 Member Silver Level Member

    Love the mini pumper. I like the side facing PAR46 reds above the pump panel. Nice Q on the bumper. The lights would dim when you stand on it.

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