Reproduction Parts for 1916-1964 Chevrolet Passenger Cars & 1918-1987 Chevrolet & GMC Trucks


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#478145 01/26/23 12:13 PM
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Rabaut Offline OP
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Hello,


Does a 6V, 1940 Chevy Pu have one or two tail lights?

Do the tail lights have one or two bulbs?

What number would the bulbs be?

Thanks,

Mike

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Your truck was delivered from the factory with only a drivers side tail/stop lamp. To my knowledge, Chevrolet never offered an accessory, passenger side lamp for your truck. Modern day vendors have stepped up to fill the need and are making them.
Each lamp has two bulbs. I am not sure of the numbers but I think your tail lamp bulb is a number 63 and your stop lamp bulb is a 67.
I might have some original lamps for you, if you are looking for some.

Mike


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Hi Mike and Mike :-)

Like 35Mike, I too believe your truck came with only the left tail light.
By both of my Chev and Maple Leaf truck parts books (1938-1944 and 1938-1946) the same tail light housing was used from 1940 up to at least 1946.
New reproduction housings have a slightly different base the sockets mount to and may have more room for larger bulbs than the originals.

That said...

By my research, BOTH the tail light bulb AND the brake light bulbs were originally equipped as #63's, which are 3 candle power.

I believe #67's are 12 volt, so you won't be using those unless you've converted your system to 12 volts.

You should be able to upgrade to #81's, which are 6 candle power.

If you have an original tail light housing like I do you WILL NOT have room to upgrade your brake light bulb to a #1129 which is 21 candle power, or even to a #87 which is 15 candle power, as it is the upper light in the housing and too close to the glass lens.

You COULD upgrade your tail light bulb to a #87 by bending the socket mount in a little as I tried in the picture I've attached.
The problem with that was that the #87 tail light swamped the #81 in the brake light.
For that reason I settled on #81's in both sockets as I don't drive much at night, and usually under city lights anyway.

When I get around to it, I'll clean up the inside of my housing and make it more reflective as well.

Hope that helps.

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Some of us have improved tail light visibility by painting the interior of the housing gloss white.


Rusty

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My earlier post has a typo error. I thought the original stop lamp bulb might be an 87, not 67 as was mentioned. Both numbers were speculation on my part. I have experience with the 63 bulb in my '35 and '36 Chevys. They are dangerously dim.

Mike


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Thought that might be the case. :-)

Do the '35 and '36 housings have room for the #87 bulb?
As per the above picture, '40 to '46 trucks only have room for 1 larger bulb at the most.


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I never tried the larger bulbs in my lamps so I don't know if they will fit.

Mike


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You can fit the 1129 bulb by slightly bending the socket bracket.


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Hi Tiny

Already did that.
I can get a #1129 or #87 in the lower socket by bending as I mentioned above.
But the UPPER socket won"t take anything bigger than a #81 without a MAJOR rework of the mounting for the sockets with little to no room for wires left behind it.
That means I can have 1 large bulb, but not 2.

Fifteen or 21 candle power as a tail light was great...
but the #81 that was then necessary for the brake light hardly showed any increase in brightness over the big bulb when the brakes were applied, so a driver behind me might not notice my brake lights.
If I switched the wires...
fantastic brake light, but back to a #81 for normal driving without the brakes.

So I settled on 2 #81's as the best solution using an original housing.
Even new reproduction housings don't have room to use TWO larger bulbs.

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I use the 81 for tail light and 1129 for the brake light in the upper socket. I'll post pics when I get to the other computer with my pictures on it. The 81 tail light is brighter than a stock 12v tail light.

Edit: I see by looking at your post above that "upper" is a matter of perspective. The light is the other way around from my car. In your application it would indeed be the "lower" socket with the 1129. Either way gloss white paint on the inside of the housing and using a plastic lens that lets more light through will help. You might try <THIS> in place of the 1129. MUCH brighter.

Last edited by Tiny; 01/29/23 12:52 PM.

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Thanks

I mean to get around to the white paint at some point.
And I guess I should order a plastic lens as well.

We're still stuck with a #81 for the tail light though, right?
Or is there a shorter LED than the one you linked to, as it too looks like it's probably too long to fit the the tight socket (top on my housing)?


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I haven't searched for an LED replacement to the 81 yet. As noted the 81 is twice as bright as a modern 12 bulb. The 1157 and 3157 are both 3cp for the tail light as opposed to the 81's 6cp. I have a picture of my 38 next to my modern pickup at night. The 38's tail light with the 81 is every bit as bright as the pickup. The LED I linked is roughly the same size as the 1129. It fits my socket. The downside is it has no US sellers at this time. It's from a Chinese seller and takes several weeks to get here.

Edit: I just did a quick search and came up with <THIS>. It's 98 lumens while the 81 is ~75 so it should be noticeably brighter.

Last edited by Tiny; 01/29/23 02:13 PM.

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Another alternative for us 6 volters is to convert the inside of the lamp to accept a two filament bulb. I believe 1154 is the 6 volt equivalent to the 12 volt 1157. I did this on my '35 back in the 70s because the light was messed up inside and I did not know where to source a replacement, at that time.

Mike


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Mike:

I actually had considered that, but hated to mess up my original housing.

Tiny:

Thanks for that!
I went looking for the original source and found this:
https://www.aero-lites.com/product-page/AL-81

They ship to Canada, and an even better price!
And you are absolutely right, #81's are about 75 lumens or 6 cp,
and these bulbs are 110 lumens by the above web site or 8 3/4 cp.
That's nearly as big of a step up from the #81's as the #81's were from the #63's... and no changes necessary!

I'm ordering some bulbs!
Thanks guys.


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Another option. Click


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Wow

Looks like they are 360 lumens, or over 28 candle power.
That should light 'er up!

Don't like the source, but I guess nearly everything comes from there these days.

Update:
Ordered some of both kinds of LED's.
Maybe one of the really bright ones as a brake light and the less bright one as a tail light?
I'm sure this will be better than what I have.

Last edited by Stovblt; 01/29/23 04:01 PM.

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Good luck, let us know how they work.


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