Ceramic H4 Socket

Ceramic H4 Socket

When I installed relays and Cibie headlamps in my cars, I used 10 gauge wire. That’s probably larger than I need since I’m using only 60/55 watt H4 bulbs and 55 watt H1 bulbs, but it can’t hurt.

I couldn’t find any good sockets locally that use 10 gauge wire. Most of the connectors were phenolic resin that used 16 gauge wire. I’d read about ceramic sockets for headlamps on the Internets but never looked for them in earnest. When I broke a soldered wired off of one my headlamp sockets while troubleshooting a non-working turn signal, I thought I should find a socket compatible with the rest of the robust wiring.

I found these ceramic sockets on eBay and bought four of them.

They’re OK quality. The cover, which has a plastic hinge, snaps closed after inserting the contacts. I had to trim the tabs that hold the cover closed with an X-Acto knife before it would close completely. I soldered the wire to the connectors before inserting them in the sockets. At least they worked with the 10 gauge wire.

Alfa Romeo Exhaust Headers

I re-coated the two-piece cast iron exhaust headers on my Alfa Romeo with Eastwood Silver High Temp Manifold Coating When I first painted them two years ago, the surface preparation consisted of running a wire wheel on the rusty cast iron. The Eastwood coating lasted well, though small rust spots eventually appeared through the coating. Last week, I cleaned the headers with lacquer thinner and applied another coat.

To keep the headers attached to the head, I used brass M8x1.0 hex nuts, new lock washers and new copper gaskets.

A Brighter 74 Lamp

I was having trouble seeing the turn signal indicator in my 1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce. Though I am relatively old if you’re young, I didn’t want to look that way driving down 101 with my turn signals on.

When the original thermal turn signal flasher gave up, I replaced it with an electronic flasher. With the engine off I can hear it clicking very clearly – I can’t hear it while the engine is running unless the fuse box is open and I stick my head next to it – not a good driving position since the fuse box is just above the floor.

Probably 40 years ago, I made a turn signal amplifier using a 555 integrated circuit and a Mallory Sonalert. It was annoying, sort of like the beepers that some vehicles have when they’re backing up.

I started looking for a brighter lamp for the turn signal indicator that is mounted below the tachometer. The OEM lamp is a 74 Miniature Indicator Lamp – 14 Volt – T1-3/4 Sub Mini Wedge Base. In bright sunlight, it’s difficult to see if the OEM lamp is flashing. I found an LED replacement lamp that is essentially a SMT LED stuck on the end of a plastic tube with a diode and resistor to drop the voltage. It had the necessary wedge base. I had to file the sides down a little so it would fit in the lamp holder, but it was worth the $5.50. It’s bright enough to see in direct sunlight, but not so bright that it’s too annoying at night.

Makita Polisher

Makita Polisher 9227C

When we first got our 1972 BMW Bavaria, the paint was failing. I bought a Makita 9227C 7-Inch Hook and Loop Electronic Polisher/Sander from Amazon to try to save it.

I didn’t know that the paint was already dead. All the Meguiar’s compounds, glazes and waxes couldn’t save it. After hours of work, the paint would look good for a week or two.

Now, with relatively new (single stage) paint on the car, it’s a different story. After washing the car, I’ve been using Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech Wax, Zymol Cleaner Wax or Eagle One’s NanoWax, applied by hand with a foam pad.

1972 BMW Bavaria

Then the Makita polisher, with a wool polishing bonnet or a foam pad, removes the wax easily and leaves the paint nicely polished. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and the paint shines; I’m just trying to protect it. I still dread having to wax the car, but it turns out, with the Makita polisher, it really isn’t a big effort now.