Need Help Reassembling 1934 Hudson 8 Headlights and Parking Lights

I just got these headlights and parking lights and I'm in the process of cleaning these pieces. I have the oblong lenses for the headlights. I Have a few questions:  1. Is there a source for the seal (looks like it would be some sort of rope seal that seats in the reflector face) for the headlights?  2.  Is there anything other than pressure from the seal and quarter-turned oblong lenses that secures everything in the headlight housings? 3.  On the parking lights, I'm told I'm missing reflectors - am I also missing some sort of seal?  4. Is there a source for these parking light parts? 5. Finally,  What keeps the lenses secured inside the parking lights?  Thanks in advance, Douglas


  • tigermoth
    tigermoth Expert Adviser
    I believe the seal on the headlights was cork. Similar looking tail lights on my ‘35 are a friction just press them in and gently pry out with your fingers..but I am not sure if yours are the same.
    regards, Tom
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    The cork gasket fits in the channel around the perimeter of the reflector (on the shiny side).  You can contact Then & Now Automotive to see if they stock gaskets for your make and model.  OR you can make them yourself by purchasing model train "roadbed" material (which is basically sheet cork) then cut it into strips just wide enough to sit in the reflector channel.  The depth of cork should equal the depth of the channel.  The cork is sort of rubberized, so you can just cut straight strips, and it should be curve-able; you don't have to cut a circle.

    As far as I know, only the headlights use a gasket.  The taillights and fender lights don't have one.

    To access the fender lights or taillights you press downward and inward on the lens.  The top half of the lens will then start to protrude from the rim opening as you push further inward and downwards on the bottom.  (The left and right sides of the lens are not held by the rim, because they are narrower than the opening.)  As soon as the edge of the lens clears the rim opening, snag it with something non-metallic (like a thin piece of wood, or an old credit card) and gently pry it out of the shell.

    (Always place pillows and/or blankets below the light, to catch the lens if it slips through your fingers.  And it will slip through your fingers)

    This is how the taillight lenses (and probably the fender light lenses) work.  The headlights work in a similar manner, but some of them have a screw at the bottom of the shell, to keep the lens from falling out.  You'll see this screw at the 6:00 o'clock position, at the bottom of the lens opening.  Unscrew the screw (you'll see it's quite long).  The screw fits into a hole that's drilled in the bottom clip that's riveted to the reflector.  The reflector (and thus the lens as well) cannot move inward until that screw is either out, or at least unscrewed a long way.  Once the screw's loosened or removed, you can move that lens inward at the bottom, in order to remove it.  When you've replaced the lens, slide it slightly upward (so the bottom of the lens and the reflector move snugly against the back of the lens opening in the shell) and it will be relatively easy to replace the lock screw. 

    Donald Axelrod, of Massachusetts, used to sell complete used headlight (and a few parts) but he has now retired.  You might send out a "wish list" to Hudson vendors who advertise in the WTN, to see if they have parts of complete lights for sale.  Be sure to send a photo and/or sketch with measurements.  They may have the parts but not know they do, because they are not acquainted with 1930's Hudson stuff, so would need to know what to look for.
  • 35 Terraplane
    35 Terraplane Senior Contributor
    Here are pics of a piece left over when I did my 35 reflectors.  I'd purchased it from Donald Axelrod.  It fit snuggly in the groove, I worked it into the groove with a screw driver.  The 0.2615 is the width, the 0.1535 the thickness.  It was slightly proud of the groove once installed.

  • 35 Terraplane
    35 Terraplane Senior Contributor
    PS it appears to be a rubber inserted type cork
  • Exceedingly helpful info. from 35 Terraplane and Jon B.  I sincerely appreciate the help.  Douglas

  • and Tigermoth!

  • 35 Terraplane
    35 Terraplane Senior Contributor
    Forgot to mention. Per Don Axelrod when I purchased the gasket. Install so there is a slight gap at the bottom of the reflector so any condensation that may occur will drain out
  • good idea!

  • bob ward
    bob ward Senior Contributor
    edited June 2022
    I drew circles with a compass and cut 2 headlight gaskets from a sheet of 1/16" rubberised cork.
    Park light housings and internals are all the same for 34/5/6, the bases they mount on may vary.

  • Thanks.  I ended up doing roughly the same with slightly thicker white rubberized sheet.  I polished up the silver reflectors and got everything back together.