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Old 09-05-2016, 07:34 PM   #1
Forkliftt's Avatar
City: Biloxi Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Patricia Louise II
Vessel Model: 1983 42' Present Sundeck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,430
OEM cabin and deck light refurbish ~ $10 each

I realize this may not interest everyone on the board, but for the last 11 years I have spent the effort to keep my original issue stamped SS/ cut glass cabin and deck fixtures operable. Initially I was replacing the spring loaded socket with a Cole Hersee M432BX part along with a CH toggle switch as well. As I slowly moved out of incandescent bulbs I had purchased several of the "replacement upgrade" bulbs with the barrel shaped 12 volt warm white. These were around $12 from Amazon as I recall for a pair, so about $6 each. I still was having issues with poor socket connections, even with a new socket installed occasionally. I tried something several months back that solved the problem. I've done 6 already, no failures at all. Today I reworked three more so grabbed a few pics in the event some of you are interested in the process.
•First, I remove the old switch and socket assembly from the base and discarded. On my light base there is a "tab" that the socket fastens to. I bend this slightly closed. I'll explain shortly.
•Next I use a stepped drill bit (HF has them) and I enlarge the hole for the switch enough to accept a 161U toggle switch with wires from Lowes. A little over $3, in the electrical department. Don't mount it yet.
•I slip a short piece of heat sharing over one wire on the switch, route this wire through the hole where the tab is, then solder the end of the wire (leave about 1/4" stripped) onto one of the contacts onto the base of the bulb. Yes- the base of the bulb. Attach a second tinned/ stranded wire about 4" long onto the other contact on the LED bulb. I face both wires the same way. Warm heat shrink on both wires you just installed for wiring protection.
•Now, install the switch and tighten. Then slip the base of the bulb onto the tab, it should hold itself in place it the tab is bent correctly. I use a tie wrap to keep it firmly in place. I follow up by soldering the wires to the original supply wiring and heat shrink. Be sure to test before soldering- it will only work one way.

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1983 Present 42 Sundeck
Twin Lehman 135's

Steve Point Cadet/ Biloxi, Mississippi USA
*Present 42 twin 135 Lehmans
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:47 PM   #2
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City: Miami Florida
Vessel Name: Possum
Vessel Model: Ellis 28
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,860
Nicely done.

Parks Masterson
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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City: Philadelphia, PA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Revel
Vessel Model: 1984 Fu Hwa 39
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 346
Nicely done +1. Identical to ours. 5 of the 6 exterior fixtures were non-functional; the switches had corroded to junk. I bought new waterproof toggle switches from McMaster-Carr and replaced them all. I maintained the lampholders and incandescent lamps. The new toggle switch stems were larger in diameter and the switches were a tad larger. A moment's work with a Dremel and carbide cutter sufficed for assembly. Connections were soldered where they were originally.

Having finished, I'd really like to have dimmers in place of the toggle switches on the two fixtures over the back porch of our sedan. We never, as yet, use the lights under the side overhang of the Europa style flybridge, so the new toggles are fine.

The worst problem was replacing the original 1/2" #4-40 brass machine screws. Easy to buy new stainless steel machine screws from McMaster-Carr, but the originals were variously fine, corroded to dust, broken, missing, or replaced with sheet metal screws. I was able to peen the housing around those with damaged threads and use the new machine screws.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:39 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,908
I have found replacing the switches with a pull chain style is a help in groping in the dark.

Even reading lamps in the "library" are nicer when easy to operate.
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