Instead of buying new Sprite lamps, we restored the originals

We couldn’t let old, dirty lamps detract from our restored Bugeye, right? Fortunately, it’s not a difficult job–but, like most things, the results do matter.

We started with the headlights. Unlike most other British cars, the headlight buckets show through the back of the Bugeye’s bonnet so neatness counts.

Our original buckets were pitted, and they still didn’t look great after media blasting and powder coating them. So for less than $30 a side, we ordered new ones from Moss Motors. The gaskets that seal these buckets to the bodywork cost us another few bucks and were readily available. (You might want to also replace the pig tails as they’re not included in the harness.)

Next, the hardware that adjusts and attaches the bucket. Moss Motors refers to this as the adjuster set, and it’s a small collection of springs and hardware.

A chrome ring holds the lamp–in our case, an original Lucas unit that we found at the Carlisle Import swap meet. Small screws secure the ring to the inner bucket.

There is then an outer trim ring that hides the internal workings of the light that screws in through the bottom. We did have to manipulate the edges of the aftermarket headlight bucket to get the new aftermarket ring to clamp down correctly.

The tall lights are restored much like the marker lights.

First clean the chrome base with steel wool. Make sure the terminal connections are in good working order. New rubber gaskets are available to fit between both the light base and the body and the light base and the lens.

New lenses are also available, but the old ones can usually be cleaned with plastic polish if they are not cracked.

Then, as necessary, fit new bulbs–either the original 1157s or, should you want to go brighter, LED replacements.  

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