Re: '54 Mercury tail-lights, how can I make them brighter?
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Virgil & Sue Klein
One way to get brighter lights and the potential of adding A/C (your other post) is to switch to a 12 volt system. You mentioned that you will not do that. I am curious as to why. Obviously if you want to keep the car original you must keep it 6 volt. There is also the expense of switching. The benefits are many however. The option to add A/C is one, a modern sound system is another, and the brighter lights are another.
As to options for the 6 volt system and brighter bulbs. I am not sure anyone makes a 6 volt LED bulb but maybe you have found them. I’m not sure, but don’t the LED bulbs “plug” into a socket instead of the push and twist style for the stock bulb. To add a filament to the back up lights you will need new pigtails that have a dual contact system like the brake/turn signal bulbs. Don’t know what you might gain and if it is worth the trouble.
Have you thought about using an 8 volt battery to get the bulbs brighter. It will not burn out the bulbs any faster and they will burn brighter. I use an 8 volt battery in my ’55 and it seems to work without trouble. You will not need to change anything in the electrical system and only adjust the voltage reuglator to put out a little higher voltage. The starter loves the extra voltage and will spin the engine that much quicker. NAPA stocks an 8 volt battery that fits fine in my ’55. (Don’t know if you have NAPA in Greece however!).
As to the A/C, I recall, when I was a kid, that we had a swamp cooler for the car that plugged into the lighter socket. It pumped water over a pad and then a fan circulated the air through the pads. It sat on the driveline hump and although it wasn’t dry air like today’s A/C it was a little cooler than ambient air. I think ours had a 12 volt pump and fan but I would think you could use a 6 volt heater motor to run the pump and fan. Just a thought.