1962 Chevrolet Spotlight Installed

Paul Steinberg

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Yes, it should be there when fitting the spotlight. It is a lot easier to put a socket onto it, then risking a screwdriver scratch. It will eventually be replaced with a 1/4-20 screw once everything is installed for the final time. I have to remove the dash to replace the speedometer, and the spotlight is in the way. Also had to do some additional trimming to get the shaft in place with no tension on it.
 

Dave Lisiecki

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Looks great, Paul, I have L & R kits for my 60 Chrysler, I will at least do the driver's side, with similar locations as yours.
Can you clarify something for us - My vintage spotlight, with the different "hood" that MoPar supplied (and I also found as a separate P/N), has the short, "stubby" version of the ivory handle, but the surface is degrading some. It is shorter than the current 6450 replacement. Do you concur? I have not seen the short version available separately. Do you know when they went to the longer version?
 

Paul Steinberg

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The short or pear shaped handle was started in the late 1950's by all the automakers that used Unity to manufacture their proprietary spotlights. There are a few different incarnations of the handle, with the earliest one have a clamp across the wire where it exits the handle going to the power source. The next version has a bump in the side of the handle that is drilled for the wire to exit, eliminating the clamp. That was used from the mid to late 1960's till the end of the proprietary spotlights. The shaft length is an important factor, and locating the correct measurement is difficult to say the least. It took me a couple of years to learn that the correct measurement for my Chevrolet is 12 5/8" from the back of the head shaft housing to the front of the handle. This is know as "exposed" shaft length. There are also different size head shaft housings, a short and a long. Once again, it is difficult to know exactly what is correct for your car unless you find an original one specifically for your car.
 

Dave Lisiecki

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There are also different size head shaft housings, a short and a long. Once again, it is difficult to know exactly what is correct for your car unless you find an original one specifically for you
If I recall correctly, the spotlight I have is dimensionally and visually correct for my specific application (as are the brackets and template), but I always wondered what the story was on the "pear" shaped handles; thanks for the clarification.
 

Paul Steinberg

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Please post some pictures of your spotlight and mount for a reference for others with the same year and make of your car.
 

Paul Steinberg

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Yes, it should be there when fitting the spotlight. It is a lot easier to put a socket onto it, then risking a screwdriver scratch. It will eventually be replaced with a 1/4-20 screw once everything is installed for the final time. I have to remove the dash to replace the speedometer, and the spotlight is in the way. Also had to do some additional trimming to get the shaft in place with no tension on it.
Getting to the speedometer was a greater task than I thought it would be. Took a couple of hours to drop the steering column, and pull the dash loose. It was a lot easier to do last year, when I removed the whole dash assembly and put it on the workbench to install every part that needed changing, including the padded dash. This time I just dropped the steering column, and pulled the dash out far enough to just get to the bolts that hold the speedometer in place. Changing it wasn't that bad, except that when I was reinstalling the bulb sockets, one bulb popped out of the socket, and landed inside of the speedometer housing. Had to take everything apart a second time to get the bulb out, and start all over again. With the assistance of 2 neighbors, we were finally able to muscle it back into its proper place, and get the retaining screws into the dash. Today, I took it out on the road to check the speedometer for accuracy, only to find that it is reading 6 MPH under actual speed. Having gone through this exercise in the past, I knew that it was the gear tooth count that had to be changed. I used this site ( http://www.stl-vettes.com/65Vette/GearCalc.htm ) to do the calculations of what is needed for the replacement gear. It turns out that I need an 18 tooth gear, which by some stroke of luck, I happened to have in my collection of miscellaneous parts. Tomorrow I get to climb under the car to swap gears. If my calculations are correct, the one in the transmission should be a 19 tooth gear.
If all goes well, the spotlight will go back in permanently. Seems like there is always something to do on an old car, and no matter how much you prepare, there will always be more to do.
 
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