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View Full Version : Trim Ring for 1970 Cotington Center/Auxiliary Tunnel Lights?


Nicholas Studer
01-10-2017, 10:53 PM
For main update thread: http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16134

The trim rings for my 1970 C/B-Oldsmobile Cotington 48 were in less than stellar shape, so to the plating shop they go! The four large tunnel lights (2 front, 2 rear) were reasonable and just need some cleaning/plating. For whatever reason, the two center "auxiliary" lights in the middle were far worse. These smaller ones actually hold a parabolic reflector with a glass lens - not a GE 4001R bulb like the others. One had a ton of rust on the inside, but seemed sound and hopefully will clean up. The other - well, let's just say that basically half of the 6 O'clock end is rotted out. It may be possible to patch it, but I'm doubtful.

Is there a current source for these smaller trim rings, or might anyone have a few lying around? It appears to be PAR36 size, with approx. 4" of a central cutout.

Kurt Arends
01-10-2017, 11:03 PM
Will do some digging this weekend when I get home.

Paul Steinberg
01-11-2017, 05:19 AM
I wouldn't just send them to just any plating shop, but one that specializes in metal restoration and repair. It won't be cheap, but it will be done properly. A shop that just does chroming, will attempt to buff out the rust, and in the end, you might get back a part that is in worse condition than when you sent it. I would hate to see your car all finished waiting for you to find a suitable replacement. Chances are that a good replacement is going to be extremely hard to find, since these parts almost always rust the same way on all the cars. I send all my next to impossible to replace parts to QualKrom, in Eire PA. They have never lost a part, and it is always repaired to like new condition. For run of the mill other parts, I use a few other less expensive platers. You are in the final stretch of the cars restoration, and now is not the time to start skimping on quality, where it counts so much and will be so visible.

John ED Renstrom
01-11-2017, 11:52 AM
With out looking on the back side it looks to be the standard unity ring. Is you hand covering the screw hole? Surprising enough most of this stuff has been made recently in the farm implement category. But sadly enough thay are going to the LEDs also. Those lights may be the lenes I'm looking for on my 53. The lens would be around 4&7/8 just under 5 inches in diameter. But there trim ring is split and uses a set screw that pinches it around the housing on the bottom. One can look in the grott line it might be cheaper to buy a new light for the ring then get that one repaired. If it's a unity ring I should have one up here if Kurt can't find one. Flip it over and show the back side. Also how deep is it.

Nicholas Studer
01-11-2017, 07:55 PM
Will do some digging this weekend when I get home.

Thanks!

I wouldn't just send them to just any plating shop, but one that specializes in metal restoration and repair. It won't be cheap, but it will be done properly. A shop that just does chroming, will attempt to buff out the rust, and in the end, you might get back a part that is in worse condition than when you sent it. I would hate to see your car all finished waiting for you to find a suitable replacement. Chances are that a good replacement is going to be extremely hard to find, since these parts almost always rust the same way on all the cars. I send all my next to impossible to replace parts to QualKrom, in Eire PA. They have never lost a part, and it is always repaired to like new condition. For run of the mill other parts, I use a few other less expensive platers. You are in the final stretch of the cars restoration, and now is not the time to start skimping on quality, where it counts so much and will be so visible.

Agree! Won't be skimping on this. The shop I am using is well-known in the area for metal restoration. Have not had them start on the small rings just yet. The large rings are in generally decent shape and mostly just need plating.

With out looking on the back side it looks to be the standard unity ring. Is you hand covering the screw hole? Surprising enough most of this stuff has been made recently in the farm implement category. But sadly enough thay are going to the LEDs also. Those lights may be the lenes I'm looking for on my 53. The lens would be around 4&7/8 just under 5 inches in diameter. But there trim ring is split and uses a set screw that pinches it around the housing on the bottom. One can look in the grott line it might be cheaper to buy a new light for the ring then get that one repaired. If it's a unity ring I should have one up here if Kurt can't find one. Flip it over and show the back side. Also how deep is it.

Yes, there is indeed a screw hole under my thumb. Another photo with the glass shown. I'll get a depth and photo of the back.

John ED Renstrom
01-11-2017, 09:53 PM
These were most likely of from a much older car and placed on it when in service.

Nicholas Studer
01-11-2017, 10:33 PM
These were most likely of from a much older car and placed on it when in service.

I am unclear on why would you think that? Can you explain further? Two or three of these lights are on nearly every 1970 Cotington 48 I have been able to find photos of, to include the one on the cover of the brochure.

Warning equipment isn't listed in the "standard" features list - but it's fascinating how all Cotington 48's were basically identical in setup and paint color.

Kurt Arends
01-11-2017, 11:27 PM
Nick,
Is there a manufacturer's name stamped into the top of the steel cylinder just behind the ring on these?

Nicholas Studer
01-12-2017, 12:36 AM
Nick,
Is there a manufacturer's name stamped into the top of the steel cylinder just behind the ring on these?

Interesting question! That would require a close look at those tunnels - which are not in my possession. I'll check at first opportunity I have - but especially with the corrosion I am not sure it'll be visible if so.

John ED Renstrom
01-12-2017, 01:23 PM
I am unclear on why would you think that? Can you explain further? Two or three of these lights are on nearly every 1970 Cotington 48 I have been able to find photos of, to include the one on the cover of the brochure.

Warning equipment isn't listed in the "standard" features list - but it's fascinating how all Cotington 48's were basically identical in setup and paint color.

That style of light is Older then the car. Had they been put on in the factory they would have used the same sealed beam set up as the front tunnels. It is most likely hen that the service did the add on lights. The aperance would be the same as the flyer but a close exam of different would show that the trim ring on the lights would be the same style.on all 6. It also explains why they are in worse shape. But the only way to say either way would be if all the other 70s have the exact same glass lenses, bulb and reflector light on the front roof and sealed beams front and rear courners. As I don't have one to look at it's a educated guess on my part based on my current experance level. That if it came out of the factory all the par 36 lights would be the same set up. One check is the lens it will have a two digit number cast into it that will be the year of manufacture. If it has a part number it's the last two.

Terry Lange
01-12-2017, 04:05 PM
That style of light is Older then the car. Had they been put on in the factory they would have used the same sealed beam set up as the front tunnels. It is most likely hen that the service did the add on lights. The aperance would be the same as the flyer but a close exam of different would show that the trim ring on the lights would be the same style.on all 6. It also explains why they are in worse shape. But the only way to say either way would be if all the other 70s have the exact same glass lenses, bulb and reflector light on the front roof and sealed beams front and rear courners. As I don't have one to look at it's a educated guess on my part based on my current experance level. That if it came out of the factory all the par 36 lights would be the same set up. One check is the lens it will have a two digit number cast into it that will be the year of manufacture. If it has a part number it's the last two.

These smaller, non-sealed beam lights were found on virtually all C/B high top Oldsmobile ambulances, from pre-'70's right up until the end of production in '75. They were always on the high part of the raised roof. Most had 2, 3, or even 4 of these lights. Definitely these are C/B standard or optional equipment, as I have seen very few cars without them, except for the military models.

Steve Loftin
01-12-2017, 07:31 PM
That style of light is Older then the car. Had they been put on in the factory they would have used the same sealed beam set up as the front tunnels.

These were a VERY common factory option on C/B hightops from '65-'75, on 54" as well as 48" models.

Take a look here:

http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=3683&highlight=merry+oldsmobiles

John ED Renstrom
01-13-2017, 12:06 AM
I stand corrected then iIwould not have though they used any but sealed beams. should be easy enough to find a good replacement one them. so what did they use for a bulb? they most likly use the high watt one that superior did

Kurt Arends
01-13-2017, 02:43 PM
This is all that I have in the way of PAR 36 retainer rings. I have 3 of these, but these would be for sealed beam bulbs. Measurements are the same.

John ED Renstrom
01-13-2017, 09:15 PM
That would be all I have also. Just the unity rings. Nothing thin and flat. The only glass lenses rings I have are a compression clamp style.

Nicholas Studer
01-14-2017, 11:20 PM
This is all that I have in the way of PAR 36 retainer rings. I have 3 of these, but these would be for sealed beam bulbs. Measurements are the same.

Kurt - those look the same as what I have - still need to get them measured.

Check your e-mail! I will post the results here of course.

John ED Renstrom
01-14-2017, 11:42 PM
Yours are thin and flat these are shaped like you front lights

Kurt Arends
01-15-2017, 01:20 AM
As Ed stated, these are definitely for a sealed-beam bulb. These have more roll to them than what you pictured.

Paul Steinberg
01-15-2017, 11:51 AM
As Ed stated, these are definitely for a sealed-beam bulb. These have more roll to them than what you pictured.

Which in a pinch for good trim rings, he could convert from lenses to bulbs, and for the most part, no one would be the wiser.

John ED Renstrom
01-15-2017, 12:43 PM
Probably not as they would take a bigger tunnel. In truth the only CB I have seen with all the lights is John W. 54 and crawling up on the roof and taking one apart to see how it is made is really not the way to make friends. To me it's strange that they used this set up on CBs but not the Miller !ine. Straight sealed beams on them. Must have been one way to separate the lines. Like milling the tops of the door frames on CB and wrapping them in stainless on millers.

Kurt Arends
01-15-2017, 06:00 PM
Just in knowing what a stickler Nick is for keeping things 100% original, I would say that he probably isn't going to want sealed beams.

Nicholas Studer
01-16-2017, 07:21 PM
Gents, the one Kurt posted photos of looks pretty close to me! Maybe I'm just not seeing it.

Visited today and got a photo of the profile, plus the rear view. Crusty indeed - you can see the hole/damage on the left one in particular. Regardless, the guys are convinced they can get it right.

Kurt Arends
01-16-2017, 10:15 PM
Note the way the ring rolls/tapers. Not the depth. If using these, you would have to use sealed beams.