2 D cell CODE FOUR help sought

J

jwest

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis Missouri
New member, first post. Greetings to all!

My dad passed a couple years ago, and for a while during his life he was LEO. I found this flashlight of his, and I'm interested in restoring (and actively using) it if possible. It seems to be a little unusual and my googlefu must be pretty weak cause I'm not finding much about it. It definitely has the look & feel of a good old vintage maglite, but not so sure thats what it really is. Several pictures attached.

The butt is stamped "G.T.PRICE PRODUCTS, INC." and "L.A., C.A. 90058".
There is a disk mechanism protruding from the lens (see 2nd pic listed below), pulling and pushing the disk changes the color of the beam from white to red.
One side is stamped "CODE FOUR" and "PATENT 4,151,583".
The other side is stamped with what I'm guessing is a serial number, "311969".
There is a single plunger with two rubber covers (one on each side, directly opposite so one side turns it on and the other side turns it off).
It uses 2 D cells.
Incandescent bulb is marked "K2 JAPAN" (very typical/common looking bulb with flange).

1) I would be very appreciative if any sage wizards here can provide any background on this particular model or company.
2) The light does work, but is quite dim even with fresh batteries. I plan on putting in a modern led bulb if #3 and #4 below can be fixed.
3) One of the rubber switch/plunger covers is in perfect condition. The other looked like something corrosive got on it. Thinking it was just a pull-off-able cover like most maglites, I pulled it out but edges are stuck in. I'm not sure if whats left just needs a dental pick and a maglite cover would work? Or did I destroy it? I don't see an easy way to remove the internal switch mechanism if that is what is needed. Any Advice?
4) All the threaded joints work very smooth and easy, except the first one behind the reflector. It binds, but the threads are ok. Is there a recommended lubricant that I should try?

If there is hope for the rubber switch cover, first thing I will do is get Caig DeOxit on all the contacts and springs. Not sure there is much that can be done for the finish, I'd prefer to keep it original rather than cerakote or similar.

Thanks again for any thoughts. Best,

Jay
 

Attachments

  • JPEG image 2.jpeg
    JPEG image 2.jpeg
    173.4 KB · Views: 32
  • JPEG image 3.jpeg
    JPEG image 3.jpeg
    225.8 KB · Views: 29
  • JPEG image 4.jpeg
    JPEG image 4.jpeg
    259.4 KB · Views: 33
  • JPEG image 5.jpeg
    JPEG image 5.jpeg
    228.2 KB · Views: 30
  • JPEG image 6.jpeg
    JPEG image 6.jpeg
    254.1 KB · Views: 29
  • JPEG image.jpeg
    JPEG image.jpeg
    319.8 KB · Views: 31
Lynx_Arc

Lynx_Arc

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 1, 2004
Messages
11,044
Location
Tulsa,OK

I found more info on Google


Seems like LA Screw was bought by GT price and Later I think Brinkman bought out the design but to be honest I'm not totally sure as it is late here and my concentration is evaporating quickly.
 
Dave D

Dave D

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
1,075
Location
Andalusia, España
bykfixer

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,028
Location
My own little Idaho
Looks like question 1 has been answered.

I'll skip to 3, the idea behind the plunger switch was so the officer/user could easily ID on or off. The thinking at the time was the red for on was easy to spot. But in the dark they "felt" the same. So some ripped the red cover off so they could definitely "feel" the on side. Those reds covers are as rare as an honest politician so keeping it as is is kinda cool anyway.

Now to question 2, once you crack it open you'll likely find there is no bulb fastener. LA Screw did that on purpose saying it saved time changing bulbs in a fire-fight.

Question 4, vasoline will be ok to use to lube the threads.

Go ahead and try to deox-ify the internals but they generally weren't very bright. What you should notice is the beam going from an orange to a nice yellow, but don't expect a lot of difference in output.

LA Screw inovated a few ideas, many that didn't catch on like that plunger switch idea. I am surprised the post GT Price purchase model did not have the clicky but the GT Price clicky was junk so you're really better off to have the less failure prone plunger. They did a trial with toggles but they never made it past trial and error.

That's a nice light. Glad you are preserving it. I only regret to say my contact info for parts source is no longer viable so I have no idea where to find a red switch cover anymore.

Edit: your google-fu is probably fine. Internet searches these days has gotten pretty daunting since the first 100 hits seem to be trying to sell you something. Type in "history of Maglite" and get blasted with 82 places trying to sell you a Maglite. But many folks here type in the letter P and google thinks "oh, member x is looking for a thread at candlepower",
 
Last edited:
J

jwest

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis Missouri

I found more info on Google


Seems like LA Screw was bought by GT price and Later I think Brinkman bought out the design but to be honest I'm not totally sure as it is late here and my concentration is evaporating quickly.
Thanks Lynx_Arc! In the spirit of "teach a man to fish" you have improved my googlefu. I didn't think of a google search for a given site. It revealed some gems, especially this one : https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/code-4.474179/

Really good info, and I'm still digesting it all :D
 
J

jwest

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis Missouri
The below blog may give you some additional info.


Also check out bykfixer's thread.

That is really helpful, thanks Dave!

Does anyone know if the "Ed" mentioned in some of those posts that may have parts available? One fairly recent post mentions the email was "no longer valid". At the least, I need a rubber cap and to figure out how to replace it. More in a moment.
 
J

jwest

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis Missouri
Looks like question 1 has been answered.

I'll skip to 3, the idea behind the plunger switch was so the officer/user could easily ID on or off. The thinking at the time was the red for on was easy to spot. But in the dark they "felt" the same. So some ripped the red cover off so they could definitely "feel" the on side. Those reds covers are as rare as an honest politician so keeping it as is is kinda cool anyway.

Now to question 2, once you crack it open you'll likely find there is no bulb fastener. LA Screw did that on purpose saying it saved time changing bulbs in a fire-fight.

Question 4, vasoline will be ok to use to lube the threads.

Go ahead and try to deox-ify the internals but they generally weren't very bright. What you should notice is the beam going from an orange to a nice yellow, but don't expect a lot of difference in output.

LA Screw inovated a few ideas, many that didn't catch on like that plunger switch idea. I am surprised the post GT Price purchase model did not have the clicky but the GT Price clicky was junk so you're really better off to have the less failure prone plunger. They did a trial with toggles but they never made it past trial and error.

That's a nice light. Glad you are preserving it. I only regret to say my contact info for parts source is no longer viable so I have no idea where to find a red switch cover anymore.
Thanks bykfixer, very much appreciated. The history is pretty fascinating!

Im a vintage (late sixties through late seventies) computer collector/restorer, and you guys are giving me the bug for an additional hobby :D I did search through this site and found the lubrication thread. While filled with great info, I was suprised to see Caig ProGold listed as suggested for thread lubrication. I'm very familiar with their products from my other hobby and ProGold is specifically formulated for gold and gold-plated electrical contacts. Dont use it on flashlights unless they have gold contacts. The companion product that is for the same purpose/effect but on non-gold contacts is DeOxit. Its great for removing oxidation and lubricating electrical contacts but I will go with your (vaseline) or one of the other suggestions there for the threads on the barrel body. Caig DeOxit (and ProGold) are very expensive, but a can will last for quite a few years and is worth every penny. I find it odd that that particular thread set came off and on very smoothly at first but is now scratching and binding.

Noob question - if I replace the bulb with an LED type which run a lot hotter am I in any danger of heat damage to the reflector and the vari-probe (red/white selection system)?

While it would be nice to have a red cover now that I know those were authentic, I'd be happy with another black one. Has anyone found a compatible replacement?

The top cover for the switch assembly came off by itself, and one of the tiny black U-shaped (one leg longer) springs popped out. That seems like it would be easy to replace with needlenose and the other is still in place. I'm not sure how far down they are supposed to sit in that cavity. I guess my main question is - if a rubber cover can be found does the switch assembly need to be removed in order to replace the cover?

Sincere thanks for the introduction to flashlights! I'm still reading a few of the links you all have provided. Much appreciated!

J
 
bykfixer

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,028
Location
My own little Idaho
First off, some of the folks posting stuff in the lube thread have spent hundreds on a flashlight so they are generally not concerned about the cost of the lube

Next, regarding an LED, unless you find a high output LED "bulb" we call drop in or do a high output modification there is no need to be concerned about heat or excess taxing of the switch itself. LA Screw built lights of the same parts that could withstand up to 7 D cells without the light bulb melting anything. If yours has a metal reflector that was an upgrade they did when halogen bulbs began to show up.

The reason your outter edges are sticking on that red cover is they used a "cheap miracle glue" (we now call super glue) to keep it attached. If I recall correctly you do not need to disassemble anything to reattach one.

I do not know of a substitute for the switch cover. But even around here there is not a lot known about the LA Screw flashlight so there may be a viable substitute like a Maglite switch cover that could work. Try a site called zbattery for one of those. Or perhaps flashlight distributor for a Streamlight switch cover.

Hope that helps. You being a tinkerer you should be able to get that spring back in. Again the cheap miracle glue was used to hold the top cover in place.
 
J

jwest

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis Missouri
First off, some of the folks posting stuff in the lube thread have spent hundreds on a flashlight so they are generally not concerned about the cost of the lube

Next, regarding an LED, unless you find a high output LED "bulb" we call drop in or do a high output modification there is no need to be concerned about heat or excess taxing of the switch itself. LA Screw built lights of the same parts that could withstand up to 7 D cells without the light bulb melting anything. If yours has a metal reflector that was an upgrade they did when halogen bulbs began to show up.

The reason your outter edges are sticking on that red cover is they used a "cheap miracle glue" (we now call super glue) to keep it attached. If I recall correctly you do not need to disassemble anything to reattach one.

I do not know of a substitute for the switch cover. But even around here there is not a lot known about the LA Screw flashlight so there may be a viable substitute like a Maglite switch cover that could work. Try a site called zbattery for one of those. Or perhaps flashlight distributor for a Streamlight switch cover.

Hope that helps. You being a tinkerer you should be able to get that spring back in. Again the cheap miracle glue was used to hold the top cover in place.
Apologies, perhaps my cost comment was ill-worded. I wasn't trying to say people wouldn't spend the money for progold. I was trying to say that a can lasts a lot longer than one might think, and the results are fantastic. In other words, worth every penny.

The "bulb" I was going to put in this light was indeed a drop in led of approximately 400+ lumens designed for 2 d-cell lights that use a K2 flange bulb. The red cylinder/collar (plastic) of the vari-probe is almost the same diameter as the bulb, and when engaged it surrounds the glass bulb with 1mm at most of clearance on all sides. That plastic tube may actually rest on the bulb flange, that part I cannot easily measure. I'm familiar with the power efficiency ratings between them but the heat output increase at the led I have seen when switching a maglite from incandescent is substantial, so that was my concern. I'm overthinking it I guess, thanks for the direction!

Your advice/input on the switch cover attachment is exactly what I was curious about, thanks very much. I had already ordered 108-034 from zbattery on a whim, cheap price to see if I can make it fit correctly. I'm more hopeful given what you said above, we'll see when it arrives!

Best,

J
 
bykfixer

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,028
Location
My own little Idaho
I did not consider your words about pricey lubes as ill worded and probably nobody else here did either. My retort meant to imply if somebody paid $350+ for a flashlight then I doubt they would ask "how much?" for the primo lube, afterall "if you have to ask you probably can't afford it" comes into play.

I use Shin Estu myself. I think the tube was $35. But it was for when I was restoring rubberized moldings on a hot rod so what's left I use for flashlights, as a bond breaker on bicycle parts and other stuff like that. My Maglites get vasoline because that's what Maglite reccomends.

For restoring old tired flashlights I use Tarn-X from a bottle I inherited from my mom and when it's gone I'll use de-oxit.

I trust you'll figure out how to adapt the maglite switch cover. If not we can hopefully offer other ideas here at CPF.
 
sween1911

sween1911

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Messages
1,801
Location
Pennsylvania
Sorry about your dad. I have many treasured tools, knives, and lights that were my dad's.

I would say don't get Vaseline on O rings as it will degrade petroleum products. I like to use Silicone grease from the plumbing section at your local hardware store for light lube.
 
Last edited:
W

William 1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
25
Thanks bykfixer, very much appreciated. The history is pretty fascinating!

Im a vintage (late sixties through late seventies) computer collector/restorer, and you guys are giving me the bug for an additional hobby :D I did search through this site and found the lubrication thread. While filled with great info, I was suprised to see Caig ProGold listed as suggested for thread lubrication. I'm very familiar with their products from my other hobby and ProGold is specifically formulated for gold and gold-plated electrical contacts. Dont use it on flashlights unless they have gold contacts. The companion product that is for the same purpose/effect but on non-gold contacts is DeOxit. Its great for removing oxidation and lubricating electrical contacts but I will go with your (vaseline) or one of the other suggestions there for the threads on the barrel body. Caig DeOxit (and ProGold) are very expensive, but a can will last for quite a few years and is worth every penny. I find it odd that that particular thread set came off and on very smoothly at first but is now scratching and binding.

Noob question - if I replace the bulb with an LED type which run a lot hotter am I in any danger of heat damage to the reflector and the vari-probe (red/white selection system)?

While it would be nice to have a red cover now that I know those were authentic, I'd be happy with another black one. Has anyone found a compatible replacement?

The top cover for the switch assembly came off by itself, and one of the tiny black U-shaped (one leg longer) springs popped out. That seems like it would be easy to replace with needlenose and the other is still in place. I'm not sure how far down they are supposed to sit in that cavity. I guess my main question is - if a rubber cover can be found does the switch assembly need to be removed in order to replace the cover?

Sincere thanks for the introduction to flashlights! I'm still reading a few of the links you all have provided. Much appreciated!

J
Hi J. I've got 3 code 4's, 2 new in box 5 cells and a worn 4 cell which I've tried drop ins in. Unlike maglites, which have nice beam patterns with drop ins, the code 4 with a drop in has a big hole in the beam. Not very useable for me. The reflector seems too shallow to do a drop in any justice.
 
sween1911

sween1911

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Messages
1,801
Location
Pennsylvania
The LA Screw lights did not use o'rings but used gaskets sween.
Thanks Mike! Love those old lights.
We used to use a dab of Vasoline on all our Maglite o-rings and threads until I discovered different lubes on here.
 

Similar threads

S
Replies
4
Views
813
Stephen
S
G
Replies
5
Views
2K
this_is_nascar
this_is_nascar
Barney Rubble
Replies
0
Views
400
Barney Rubble
Barney Rubble
Top