Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is an area of restoration I’ve paid little attention to.

My current project, 1020401488, came with what appears to be the original Euro-spec Carello headlights. The lenses are pristine. The silvered reflectors, not so much. I vaguely recall discussions of replacement reflector-buckets-bulb housings, but no idea where to look.

Any tribal knowledge out there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
I posted a thread about Carrillo knock offs a few months back, which led to a discussion of restoring reflectors. If you do s search for my posts it should come up. Fran
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,241 Posts
I posted a thread about Carrillo knock offs a few months back, which led to a discussion of restoring reflectors. If you do s search for my posts it should come up. Fran
That would be this thread, I believe. Unfortunately, the discussion sort of stopped when prices were discussed and everybody thought the prices were insane.

For top-of-the-line, Concours quality restorations (and commensurate pricing), see Vintage Headlamp Restorations in the UK. I've seen some of their work on a 6C 1750 Figoni, and those lights looked spectacular.

The ScheinwerferKlinik (headlight clinic) in Germany seems to have split into 3 companies. One of them sort of kept the same name and seems to deal mostly with glass (see here). Another one, and the one that seems to be most relevant to Don's quest (great topic, Don!), is Reflektorklinik, who seems to charge EUR 59.99 for re-silvering (vapor coating) the reflectors (see "Neuverspiegelung - Reflektor"), plus an additional EUR 10.00 for coating the back of the reflectors with brown paint (see "Neuverspiegelung - braune Rückseite - AUFPREIS!"). They may be able to restore rusty reflectors, but the web site does not explicitly mention that.

In the USA, there's Steve's Auto Restorations (I have no affiliation and/or experience with them). Base price for a 7" brass reflector is about USD 150.00, but note the following advice on their web site: "The prices below are for undamaged, clean brass reflectors ONLY! Steel reflectors are priced on an individual basis which takes into account condition and size and are always higher priced than the brass reflectors. Most steel reflectors will have rust issues which leaves pits in the reflector that have to be plated and sanded and polished to remove them before the application of the silver plating."

I would first talk to the chroming shop of your choice (one you have experience with), and ask them for their advice (Can they do it? If not, who would they recommend?). I would bet they were asked these questions before.
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Franco

Your bucket appears to have a different opening for the bulb, and no features to attach the bulber holder clip.
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I’ve done some study. These Carellos have a steel “bucket”. This is not a good thing, as it means there is significant corrosion beyond the simple delamination of the silver.

The bucket appears to be held onto the lense by a rolled/crimped ring around the edge. I’m guessing there is a gasket of sorts inside.

Thus, one must de-crimp the ring to dismantle the lamp. I’ve found such operations often end..... unsatisfactorily.

There is a Steve’s Auto Restoration that discusses all of this. Steve's Auto Restorations | Headlight Resilvering

My estimate, based upon their comments, is that a full restoration of my lamps could easily run $500 or more.

I’m pondering alternatives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,462 Posts
Hi Don and All,


The reflectors I have are original from AR 1900 seri which use the bakalite bulp holder

Yes, they are not the same as AR 2000 Touring spider

rgds Franco
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The number on the glass is 00 506 700.

There is some writing on the back, such as “circulazione destro”, but no numbers. I just confirmed the lamp fits into the same bucket used on my US spec car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,681 Posts
Too bad Don, Uncle just has a set of NOS Carello headlights in the classified section. Classicalfas jumped on them quicker than a 'duck on a June bug'! Try eBay or post a wanted ad. I bought a NOS set many years ago from Re-Originals and notice that they have a few listings on eBay; maybe Matt and Vickie can help with this need.

Mark
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Mark,

I was chatting with Uncle about his lamps when they sold. He had done some research, and found them listed elsewhere a bit off his price, so was going to relist his lower. Bang, they got bought before he made the change.

I'm in kind of a funny place. The Carello 00.506.700 appears to have been correct for our 2000s, at least in the Italian market, but NOT the US market, where sealed beams would have still been required. Uncle's lamps were a different number, so although they were the right brand, they weren't really the right lamps.

I'm mixed on this. If I can find a very good set of the original 506.700s, I'll probably pick them up. If I'm going to make a change, I'll probably find a better, more modern H4 lamp that'll provide better lighting. I like the Hellas in 00072, and have always been happy with Cibie. This is a decision I can put off a bit, pending the discovery of a NOS set of 506.700s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Saving the Carello

Don,
I have been away for a while and missed your post.

I researched all this for my 2600 and came up with a technique to restore Carellos but it does involve destroying the original reflector. The upside is that you end up with much better H4 lights at a very low cost which have the original Carello lens.

I wrote an article on this for the our Queensland, Australia club magazine and I have attached it here. Let me know if you need any further information.
 

Attachments

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Don,
I have been away for a while and missed your post.

I researched all this for my 2600 and came up with a technique to restore Carellos but it does involve destroying the original reflector. The upside is that you end up with much better H4 lights at a very low cost which have the original Carello lens.

I wrote an article on this for the our Queensland, Australia club magazine and I have attached it here. Let me know if you need any further information.
Thank you! A most worthy option.

Now to visit my local stockist and see what they’ve got.
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
A previously referenced company, “Steve’s”, offers an H4 conversion as part of their restoration service.

I’m trying to respect “originality” in this project, but I’m long known to have impulse control issues. My targeted buyer is someone looking for a near perfect resto, but with a nod to improving the driving experience. Thus, the addition of about 20 more horsepower, and better visibility at night seem acceptable. Anything I do can be reversed without invasive surgery, and in fact, the necessary parts to make those reversals will be supplied. Well, headlamps sort of live in that world of “consumables”, although I accept that an original Carello would be more appealing than a Sylvania sealed beam.

Steve’s repair would still be “not NOS”, so this conversion seems as good, but about $500 less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,241 Posts
I wrote an article on this for the our Queensland, Australia club magazine and I have attached it here. Let me know if you need any further information.
Paul, thanks for posting the article here. This is certainly a way to preserve the looks and lenses of the Carello lights.
However, I would say three areas are of concern, one of them specific to 2600 -- and they are by no means a criticism of you approach, just a couple of things people should consider and/or take into account before taking the steps:


  • The lens pattern (i.e. the ridges in the glass) of the Carello lights were placed with respect to a specific filament orientation and position in the light bulb. Changing the bulb type changes this geometry -- even with new reflectors. So, while the Carello lenses may keep the appearance, the lights, when in use, may not be as effective with respect to the lighting pattern on the road (that is, how far, how wide they shine, where the asymmetric beam splits in the vertical axis, and/or to what degree they may blind oncoming traffic). So, while the suggested conversion presents a good cosmetic approach, the functionality of the light may suffer.

  • The original lights were 45W+40W rating. H4 lights are typically 65W+55W minimum, with some bulbs consuming as much as 130W+100W. Such increased ratings may overload the amperage of the wiring are able to carry and/or what the generator/alternator may produce. There are LED lights available (both as H4 and classic filament replacement, see here for an example -- no direct experience and/or affiliation, etc.) that consume only about 20W per bulb -- which is a much better fit for the classic 1900/2000/2600 wiring. As this company sells a lens upgrade for $80 per pair, it may be worth asking if they could sell the reflector and bulbs only, rather than the complete lights, without warranty, if necessary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
FWIW, the Carrillo 07.850.700 headlight output is limited at best, they do sell H4 type bulbs that fit the original holders, but I don’t know how they relate to the original bilux bulbs originally fitted to the headlamps. Great option to replacing the fragile reflectors found on the originals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
The plot certainly thickens.... Ruedi my instinct tells me the low wattage H4 bulbs would not over load the switch gear or circuit,
however the directional light beam original design may just "scatter". I am inclined to use my later AutoPal lamps and put the vintage Carrello's in a box with the spares for my car. Maybe Paul, could chime in on his findings. The LED seems like another useful approach.
Ric
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
8,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
All good points. My current plan?

A pair of new Hellas are on the way, and will be sacrificed to the cause. After assembly, I’ll mount them in 00072 and observe the pattern in the real world. If they work, they’ll go into 1488. If it’s a dog’s breakfast, a plan B will be created.

I expect the pattern will be ok, and adjustable for any change from original.

I exchanged notes with Patrick Centurion in Oz, who has a 2600 and a set of the same 506.700 lenses as mine. He said his research indicated that these particular lenses are not directional for either RHD or LHD. I’m not an automotive lens historian, but suppose it’s possible the idea of optimization for driving rule had to occur to the engineers at some point, prior to which, they were just forward facing beams.

I’m operating Hellas in 00072 now. No apparent load issues. I’m also using an ND alternator, and previously had a Bosch alternator before experimenting with the ND. Both have nicely covered any load concerns. I’ll admit, the old Alfa technique of running the full load through switches instead of relays is unfortunate, but these are antiquated cars, after all.

FWIW, I still have bushing pairs that will allow the installation of a small ND in place of the Marelli generator. When the generator wrecks its badly-lubed front bearing, it’s a very expensive rebuild. It’s an easy, no-surgery mod to use the ND, and you can keep the Marelli all cleaned up on the shelf for the big concours.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top