New member with his own resto.

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Hello everyone, I'm new to this light bar restoration / collecting game but I thought I'd share my first accusation for restoration.


I recently purchased a retired police car that I plan to restore back to it's original state but that's another story. Anyway this car came with an old beat up light bar that was not correct for my car restoration so I figured I'd just clean it up and sell it or maybe trade it for the correct light that I will be needing. In my search for information about this bar I found this site and have realized I'm not the only crazy person who would like to have a light bar collection and is interested in older bars :lol:


My light is a Federal Signal TwinSonic Model 12X. As I read about this bar on this site I found that there are a couple of members here that know quite a bit about these lights and hope they will chime in with their input. From what I've read, it would appear that someone has added rear flashers to this bar. Not really a bad job with the install but I'm planning to remove them so that I can make this bar correct. As I opened the light up to fish out the power wires I found that this bar has a chain drive, something that has kind of intrigued me so I put power to the bar to see it work. Well after a little playing around with it I finally got it to work. First problem is 3 out of 4 bulbs are blown, not a big deal but just something I will need to get after the holiday. I decided to use some gun oil on the chain to quite things up a little and it helped with the speed not to mention the smoothness of this thing...


It was at that point that I decided that I was going to restore the light and keep it as the first light in my collection. To be honest with y'all I didn't like this light when I first saw it (Same with that retired police car) but after doing a little research and actually seeing this thing operating I've changed my mind :) I've included a pic of this beat up ugly thing for y'all to see.


Thanks


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Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Thanks I've had good luck polishing lenses and headlights in the past using some stuff I used on aluminum wheels called jeweler's rouge and a "cleaning" buffing wheel so I think I'm gonna try that first. I did notice the lens has a ton of hairline (stress?) cracks in it. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about, they aren't real cracks but they are noticeable if the light hits the lens the right way. Is that in the plastic or can I sand them out with 2000 grit?


Yes the bug bit me :lol: It bit a few years ago but I just didn't do anything about it till now. This police car project I've got also opened me up to some other equipment that I have and need to restore and maybe sell / trade for correct equipment, but that too is another story that I may talk about in another thread. Little clue... I have an old GE Powercall that looks to be in real good shape but I haven't tested it YET :D
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
EL1998P71 said:
Why is there a hack saw soo close to your lightbar???? :D
But seriously, do I see a flasher on the left side?
LOL Yea well I needed to open it some how... J/K I just set it there and forgot to move it before I took the pics.. :D


Yea that is a flasher, that is what alternates the "aftermarket" rear flashers that I might add are facing forward :lol:


Lets see if I can figure out how to post more than 1 pic per post...


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6043ron

Member
Jun 3, 2010
48
USA/Pennsylvania
The stress cracks you are talking about is called "crazing". It comes from the lexan being exposed to UV rays from the sun. Crazing is common in older Twinsonic lenses an as far as we all know there is nothing you can do to get rid of them. There used to be a thread about this on the old site but it's gone now. I think it was called the official Twinsonic thread or something like that.


I have several domes that have the crazing effect in them and they are just sitting here on my shelf because they don't look nice when lit up :(
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Ryan: That is a very informative site you put together. I looked at it the other day briefly but I just went through it this morning and I will be in contact soon... I am more of a hands on guy so I'm planning to restore the light myself but I think I'm going to need some parts... ;)


6043ron: I figured most people knew what I was talking about. I guess I'll have to see how things look after I clean / polish the lenses. If they are too bad then i may just have to try and find new lenses.


Just a quick question (keep in mind I'm new to this), what is the white light on your TwinSonic you have pictured? I think I've seen them when I was a kid...
 

ryan

Member
May 20, 2010
2,996
Massillon, Ohio
It signified that the vehicle was a "squad" for lafd and identified it to the helicopters.
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Well just a quick update...


I started cleaning and polishing the endcaps this weekend, they are coming out pretty good. I'll post pics when they are done.


I also went to Napa on Saturday and bought 4 new bulbs for it, well I came home with 2 clear and I will have the 2 red ones tomorrow night or Tuesday. Price was a real shocker... $10 each for the clear bulbs but the red ones, OMFG, $30 EACH! In a way I'm kinda glad I don't have a CTS...


I did try my buffing wheel on a small section of the lens and yea it will work but I think I'm going to do the wet sanding instead as I think they will turn out better that way. I did notice some of the crazing was gone where I used the buffing wheel...


2 of the 1/4 hex bolts snapped when I was removing them so I will need to drill them out and try to save the threads as best as I can or just soak them with some PB and try to work them out but I'm not sure yet.
 

ryan

Member
May 20, 2010
2,996
Massillon, Ohio
Give me a call tomarrow and we can talk about your options on the frame and parts. PM sent.
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Well I guess it's time for yet another update...


As you can see I haven't been doing a whole lot with this, maybe an hour or two per week.


I've started doing more cleaning this weekend, I've started tearing down the drive and am now in search of ball bearings to replace the brass bushings. I have not been able to find a flanged bearing but I have located a non flanged bearing, I'm starting to think I might just make a plate to attach between the gear and the cage so that I can use the non flanged... I also located bigger bearing that is flanged but I need to do some measuring to see if the bigger one will fit, the stock bushing is 1/2" and the new one is 5/8".


I also got the sand paper and some paint to start on the lenses and painting after I finish cleaning. I have most of the de-greasing done.


No pictures yet, maybe by the weekend.


A friend of mine is going to sell me his frame so I don't have to worry about trying to drill out the broken screws so that will be a big help.


Maybe I'll get to the painting by this weekend.
 

fyrboy

Member
May 24, 2010
589
NC
Shadow-D said:
$10 each for the clear bulbs but the red ones, OMFG, $30 EACH!

I've seen offers from board members for various sealed beams for much less than $30. I have some GE original clear 4416's for $5, and some red ones for $15, plus shipping.
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Well I guess I should give you all an update:


I've been doing a little work on this as time permits lately. So far the rotators are cleaned up and new bulbs installed, all but the speaker tray have been cleaned and painted, chains have been de-greased and cleaned, both lenses have been washed and one has been wet sanded and polished, I still might want to do some more to this one as it looks great but I think it could look better.


I still need to clean the mirrors and paint the brackets for them and I still need to figure out what to do with the base due to the 2 broken screws in it. Not sure if I want to try to remove them or just ditch this base and get another one. A friend of mine might have one in great shape so I'm not sure yet. I also need to clean and polish the speaker cover and clean and paint the mount for the speaker.


I will post pics a little later tonight.
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Well I guess I should update again...


I've been working on this thing a lot more lately just trying to keep my mind off things and low and behold I'm just about done with it. Last 2 things I need to do is wet sand and polish 1 dome and clean / polish the speaker cover.


I'm thinking about doing a little more work to the dome I already sanded and polished as the crazing is real bad and very noticeable. Maybe I will think about replacing the domes as time goes on.


Unfortunately I was not as diligent with pictures as I'd have liked to have been but I do have some that I will add. Maybe by the end of the weekend I will have it all finished.


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Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Thanks Ryan :)


As most of can tell I was running the rotators without the lights, reason being my PS doesn't have enough power to turn on the lights. It will power 1 light and the motor but anything more and it shuts down. I'll bring in a battery before I button everything up and be sure everything works.
 

Shadow-D

Member
Jul 3, 2010
946
Adirondacks, NY
Damn time files when there is a lot going on... I haven't had a chance to button this up yet due to all kinds of stuff going on lately. Last couple of things are wet sand and polish the other dome, clean and polish the speaker cover, replace a bad bulb, it was bad out of the box :( and I might want to do a little more work on the first dome...


With everything going on lately and things not going as planned I'm not too sure when I will get it finished. I'm hoping I can finish it up within the next couple of weeks...
 

toon80

Member
May 24, 2010
2,489
Laval, Canada
Keep the fate, my friend, keep the faith! :cool:


I have a few bars I'm SLOOOWLY getting togheter...


It looks great already, your patience will be worth it! :p
 

stansdds

Member
May 25, 2010
3,537
U.S.A., Virginia
rick h. said:
looks good .makes me want to change my red dome twin 12x to clear domes and put red/blue bulbs in it :idea:
You can have it both ways, leave one side with the red dome, put a clear dome and one clear lamp and one red lamp on the other side. Back when Virginia began allowing fire and EMS vehicles to use clear to the sides and rear, I saw several TwinSonics converted to this configuration. The clear dome was always on the driver's side, at least around here.
 

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