Maglite 3D (1980's widebody) Restoration

sween1911

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My 1983 widebody 3D Maglite ebay rescue finally bit the dust. The bulb tower cracked and fell apart. Happily the barrel and inside is still fine.
Any leads on a replacement switch? I think I'll have to drill the original switch out, the original metal retaining ring won't rotate.

Question:

If I source a switch, does it have to be from that era? Will a regular switch module fit in there with a spacer or something or are they incompatible?

Thanks!
- Joe
 

bykfixer

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I'm pretty sure the newer style switch would not stay in place. I do not know of an adapter ring that would act as a shim either.

But you can ask Jason here
He's member Liftd4R here but doesn't pop in very often lately.
 

sween1911

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Hey Mike,

I know Jason on here and the body of knowledge in his awesome Maglite website. I was all set to PM him, but I figured I'd check with the masses to see if anyone hit this. I figured I needed at least an original so I created a WTB for one anyway.

Thanks bud!
 

bykfixer

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I look on the interweb and see various part numbers like one ends with 208, another with 272 and thought "man if I only knew the part number"……
No way to salvage the old switch barrel that holds the bulb retainer?
 

sween1911

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Uh... heh... I swapped between an incan bulb and a PR-base drop in. I went to remove the little ring that holds the bulb and it was stuck on. I tried to twist it off with pliers and the whole bulb tower twisted, cracked, and fell off. There was green corrosion inside.
 

DAKELLER7

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Joined
Jun 22, 2006
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My 1983 widebody 3D Maglite ebay rescue finally bit the dust. The bulb tower cracked and fell apart. Happily the barrel and inside is still fine.
Any leads on a replacement switch? I think I'll have to drill the original switch out, the original metal retaining ring won't rotate.

Question:

If I source a switch, does it have to be from that era? Will a regular switch module fit in there with a spacer or something or are they incompatible?

Thanks!
- Joe
 

DAKELLER7

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
3
My 1983 widebody 3D Maglite ebay rescue finally bit the dust. The bulb tower cracked and fell apart. Happily the barrel and inside is still fine.
Any leads on a replacement switch? I think I'll have to drill the original switch out, the original metal retaining ring won't rotate.

Question:

If I source a switch, does it have to be from that era? Will a regular switch module fit in there with a spacer or something or are they incompatible?

Thanks!
- Joe
Joe: The old style Maglite barrels were discontinued in 1992 and the new switch assemblies will not work in the pre 92 barrels. I have an old switch but you would need the proper tools to replace it as long as there is no battery corrosion in the barrel.

Don Keller
 

sween1911

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Joe: The old style Maglite barrels were discontinued in 1992 and the new switch assemblies will not work in the pre 92 barrels. I have an old switch but you would need the proper tools to replace it as long as there is no battery corrosion in the barrel.

Don Keller
Don, that would be FANTASTIC! I do have plenty of tools to get the old switch out. However, I don't think the fitting ring (with the two little spanner holes) will survive. I might have to drill the old one out.

Please let me know what I can do and where to send funds! Thank you so much for the offer!

Private Message outbound.
 
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sween1911

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Okay kids, buckle up. I got a package today. From THE Don Keller. The man who invented the heavy duty police flashlight.

Original Maglite switch hex key...
lNFFvWn.jpg


This was the sight inside the head of my old light before I did the switch replacement. There was some serious hammer and pin-punch action to blow the old switch remnants out the tail of the light...
EVliB3s.jpg


MUCH cutting and judicious hacksaw usage to remove the old ring frozen in place...
Qj0Ko0G.jpg


Got it cleaned out...
MSgQrEQ.jpg


Beautiful new parts from Don. The sharp-eyed Mag Mechanic will notice it's missing the positive battery terminal that touches the top of the first battery. I looked everywhere, I checked the box 50 times, I checked the floor. I had an email teed up to go to Don and I figured "Wait... I'm sure it's all here" and I shook the head. It was stuck inside the little tower under where the bulb goes.
AhNKMA9.jpg


Moment of truth...
d6fdn32.jpg


My number one concern was damaged threads inside the light from getting the old ring out. After careful chasing the threads with some right-angle picks and dental tools and careful cleaning, I threaded the new ring on a bunch of times by itself to test, backing up every couple turns with a good puddle of mineral oil to clean out and chase the threads. To my relief I was able to get it all the way down.

vNJzotB.jpg


Check the head out on this baby... I've never seen a machined "dished" contoured shelf inside the head before....
P9yk7gu.jpg


Okay, go to fire it up and it doesn't work. Hmmmm... no panic, no fear, disassemble, remove ring, remove switch, take it apart, check the spring location and the little ballpoint pen clicky switch, drop the switch on the shop floor, crawl around on hands and knees, reassemble... THE LITTLE HEX SCREW! I put it all back together, tightened the hex screw deep in the center of the switch and KAPOW! THERE WAS LIGHT! AND IT WAS GOOD! (Just for reference, this is a PR-base LED drop-in bulb)

eWMc9n5.jpg


Thanks again to Don for reaching out with the parts and including the hex key and a new rubber button. Proud to have a Mag with parts that have some serious history!


Q9XmjkJ.jpg


RfzmvFU.jpg
 
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