4C & 6C Maglite LED mods

G Man

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Jul 5, 2009
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West Virginia
Good evening fellow Flashaholics!

I apologize in advance for my question that I'm sure has been asked ad nauseum. The searches I did were unsuccessful and I'm quite illiterate when it comes to modifying. The most I've done is drop a couple Malkoff units into old Surfires.

I just dug out my old standby lights from decades past, 4 C cell and a 6 C cell incan Maglites. Please give an old dog a bone with some simple drop in parts that will get these old beauties up and running again.

I did find the nifty glass reflectors from Flashlightlens and the lenses and reflectors from Kaidomain. Any advise on those would be appreciated, such as UCL Borofoat vs regular Borofloat vs multilayer AR... and op vs polished reflectors.

Which drop in led would work with these lights and is there a simple tube spacer mod that will allow me to use the 18650 batteries I have and regularly charge for many of my other lights? If not, I can certainly get a box of alkaline C cells to run these.

Thanks in advance for any help. It's been a few years since I visited and I'm sure much has change.
 

alpg88

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Apr 19, 2005
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5,205
For 18650 adapter try 3/4 pvc pipe. As far as drop ins, try https://lumencraft.com/18-led-upgrades-for-maglite. some of them will work with C mag, with adapter ring. However your old Maglites may be old production with larger body, it may still work, but i would contact Matt from lumecraft to make sure if they would work. If they wont, than your other options are either pr drop in which replaces the bulb, or a screw in type that are sold on the site above.
 

Guitar Guy

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Oct 23, 2016
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West Virginia
Upgraded C cell Maglites make for great flashlights. If you have found the glass lenses and kai aluminum reflectors, you're most of the way there. I like the orange peel reflectors better than the mirror finish ones. They make for a nice beam with decent spill. To me, I don't know how detectable the differences in the more expensive glass lenses will be to the naked eye. I usually get the less expensive ones from kai, mostly for the purpose of not melting with the hotter emitter.

I use LEDs similar to these.


I use these NiMH Low Self Drain rechargeable cells. Much better and more economical than alkalines, which will sooner or later leak and ruin your light.


Cells up to C size, as well as your Li-Ion cells can be charged with a charger like this one for around $40, or a 2 bay one can be had for around $20. Considering how many times you can charge the cells, the charger & cells pay for themselves in a short time, especially considering the price & risk of alkaleaks. Your current charger may very well do NiMH C cells. D cells usually require a larger and more expensive charger, like the Maha Powerex.


I've also tried the Malkoff drop-in for a 4D Maglite. It is built like a tank, much more expensive, and no doubt much more durable. It really depends on what you use the light for if the higher cost is worth it to you.

You could also go the 18650 route for your C Mags, but I like the heft & feel of the full sized cells, especially if you want to use the light for self defense. Never know when you may have to fend off a coyote or rabid dog while walking your pup. There are ways to take out the C cell battery rattle, giving the light a nice solid feel.

Good luck.
 

G Man

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Jul 5, 2009
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Thank you all for the great advice!

I have a slew of flashlights (not surprising for anyone who visits this site), so the Maglites will be relegated to a place in my garage or truck.

GG, thanks for all the great info. That's the direction I will probably go. The Tenergy cells would probably be the best option. I have a Gyrfalcon that should accommodate larger cells with the screw on extenders.

Might try some pvc or delrin to accommodate the 18650s but not sure if they will fill the space, what mods may be needed, and whether it will be too much output for the drop in bulb. For now I'll get 10 of the Tenergy C cells you suggested. Battery Junction has always been my go to for my battery addiction. Can't remember how many of their little freebee blue lights have gone dead over the years!

Again, my sincere thanks to everyone who responded!
 

Guitar Guy

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Oct 23, 2016
Messages
580
Location
West Virginia
Can't remember how many of their little freebee blue lights have gone dead over the years!

Again, my sincere thanks to everyone who responded!
You're welcome ... and I have a bunch of those little blue free lights too, haha. They're actually pretty bright.

Here are a few of my 2C lights that I upgraded. I think I figured it up once that I had about $60 into one, if I got a good deal on a used Maglite from ebay, and then a good deal on the LED, and then the kai aluminum reflector & glass lens. Very worth it, to me. I carry one in each vehicle, and keep a few around the house & garage.

If I don't actually use the ones in the vehicles very much, I only charge those Tenergy LSD cells once or twice a year, and could get by with less than that if I wanted to, but I like to keep them topped off.

DSC_3413nx.JPG
 

Falcon9h

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Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
74
Upgraded C cell Maglites make for great flashlights. If you have found the glass lenses and kai aluminum reflectors, you're most of the way there. I like the orange peel reflectors better than the mirror finish ones. They make for a nice beam with decent spill. To me, I don't know how detectable the differences in the more expensive glass lenses will be to the naked eye. I usually get the less expensive ones from kai, mostly for the purpose of not melting with the hotter emitter.

I use LEDs similar to these.


I use these NiMH Low Self Drain rechargeable cells. Much better and more economical than alkalines, which will sooner or later leak and ruin your light.


Cells up to C size, as well as your Li-Ion cells can be charged with a charger like this one for around $40, or a 2 bay one can be had for around $20. Considering how many times you can charge the cells, the charger & cells pay for themselves in a short time, especially considering the price & risk of alkaleaks. Your current charger may very well do NiMH C cells. D cells usually require a larger and more expensive charger, like the Maha Powerex.


I've also tried the Malkoff drop-in for a 4D Maglite. It is built like a tank, much more expensive, and no doubt much more durable. It really depends on what you use the light for if the higher cost is worth it to you.

You could also go the 18650 route for your C Mags, but I like the heft & feel of the full sized cells, especially if you want to use the light for self defense. Never know when you may have to fend off a coyote or rabid dog while walking your pup. There are ways to take out the C cell battery rattle, giving the light a nice solid feel.

Good luck.
Anyone else with batteryjunction? This is all I get:

Screenshot_2023-10-31_035722.jpg
 

Guitar Guy

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Joined
Oct 23, 2016
Messages
580
Location
West Virginia
Anyone else with batteryjunction? This is all I get:
I just opened their site with no problems, and I also clicked on those links to the charger and batteries in my post above, and they opened with no problems.

Maybe you have an anti-virus program running that is somehow seeing it as a bad site? That's all I can think of, because the site isn't down at this time.
 

vicv

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Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
2,730
Location
Southern Ontario
Depending on how much you plan to use these lights, maybe save some money and put AA Ning in a AA to C adaptor. That's what I did. They still perform significantly better than a C alkaline, and you probably already have a bunch of them. And the light will be much lighter
 

G Man

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Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
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Location
West Virginia
Depending on how much you plan to use these lights, maybe save some money and put AA Ning in a AA to C adaptor. That's what I did. They still perform significantly better than a C alkaline, and you probably already have a bunch of them. And the light will be much lighter
That's not a bad idea! I just counted and have plenty of white Eneloops that aren't being used and a half dozen black ones, 4 still in the package, that also could use the exercise. Will need 10 in all for the 2 lights. I guess it depends on how much the adapters cost, but it has to be less than the rechargeable Cs, though I do like buying batteries!
 

G Man

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Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
20
Location
West Virginia
You're welcome ... and I have a bunch of those little blue free lights too, haha. They're actually pretty bright.

Here are a few of my 2C lights that I upgraded. I think I figured it up once that I had about $60 into one, if I got a good deal on a used Maglite from ebay, and then a good deal on the LED, and then the kai aluminum reflector & glass lens. Very worth it, to me. I carry one in each vehicle, and keep a few around the house & garage.

If I don't actually use the ones in the vehicles very much, I only charge those Tenergy LSD cells once or twice a year, and could get by with less than that if I wanted to, but I like to keep them topped off.

View attachment 51615
That's a really nice collection! Strong, practical, and a nod to recycling! Can't go wrong on any of those counts.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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May 18, 2023
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The HEART of the USA.
Depending on how much you plan to use these lights, maybe save some money and put AA Ning in a AA to C adaptor. That's what I did. They still perform significantly better than a C alkaline, and you probably already have a bunch of them. And the light will be much lighter
AA Ning? What are you talking about?
 

vicv

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Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
2,730
Location
Southern Ontario
That's not a bad idea! I just counted and have plenty of white Eneloops that aren't being used and a half dozen black ones, 4 still in the package, that also could use the exercise. Will need 10 in all for the 2 lights. I guess it depends on how much the adapters cost, but it has to be less than the rechargeable Cs, though I do like buying batteries!
Ya I think I paid around $0.50 a piece for mine. Got them on Ali express. Unlike d cells, c is the same length as AA. So you don't have to worry about cheap springs or anything adding resistance. They just need to take up windage
 
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vicv

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Mar 22, 2013
Messages
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Southern Ontario
It took me about five seconds to get this. Lmao. In my case, it's a new phone and hasn't learned to correct the words right. So I did originally spell it right, and it autocorrected it. Badly. So if anything, my pruph reeding skills need to be worked on
 

xxo

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Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,973
Ya I think I paid around $0.50 a piece for mine. Got them on Ali express. Unlike d cells, c is the same length as AA. So you don't have to worry about cheap springs or anything adding resistance. They just need to take up windage
Yeah, AA eneloops in sleeves are a great way to go for C cell Mags, eneloop makes adapters, but you can 3D print your own or make some out of rolled up news paper and some Scotch tape.

BTW - AA cells tend to run about 1/2 mm longer than C cells, so you might find that you need to compress the spring more when you are getting the tail cap screwed on.

Running 2X protected 18650's or 21700's with a 6 cell bulb or LED drop in is another option, but you will need to 3D print or otherwise fabricate your own adapters.
 
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