Maglite glass lens choices pros & cons

aznsx

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I've gotta say that my old 80's 2D Maglite seemed brighter with a glass lens. It just seemed to throw a little farther. Once I got above 2cells I really didn't see a difference. Like in a 3D or 4D using alkalines the output through a glass lens seemed about the same. But when it was only tossing out 25 or so lumens, my eyes said "check it out, that looks brighter".
That makes perfect sense to me. First, I'd be shocked if good glass (say, Borofloat) wasn't optically superior (in most respects) to Lexan / polycarbonate. Second, humans are very non-linear animals:), but particularly so where aural / visual senses are concerned. It all makes sense to me. You must have gotten up on the right side of the bed today.
 

bykfixer

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It was an 80's light that was in really nice shape but had a stuck battery. As luck would have it the stuck battery was the top one that had leaked from the bottom. A few whacks with a rubber mallet freed it up. I sanded the coroded area and rebuilt the light using all new parts. So that may have been part of it seeming brighter too.

I get up on the same side of the bed every day btw. 🥴
 

letschat7

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I bought one from Maglite during a large order but haven't used it yet. I'm building up a collection of items for modding Mags and will prob try a bunch of mods over a weeks time. Is glass only for using Halogen?
 

M@elstrom

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It was an 80's light that was in really nice shape but had a stuck battery. As luck would have it the stuck battery was the top one that had leaked from the bottom. A few whacks with a rubber mallet freed it up. I sanded the coroded area and rebuilt the light using all new parts.

Steve Austin.jpeg
 

bykfixer

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I hope it doesn't cost $6 million to rebuild his flashlight!
Probably around $100. The old style oversize switch was probably about $25, a D-ring tail cap about $25, I had the spring and reflector in stock from acquiring a dealer's repair kit (about $35 iirc) and the xenon PR base bulb was probably less than $10. The ultraclear water glass lens probably less than $10.
Around 2016 I could see the writing on the wall for incandecent flashlights so I stocked up on a few items knowing they'd A) become scarce resulting in B) become expensive.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Probably around $100. The old style oversize switch was probably about $25, a D-ring tail cap about $25, I had the spring and reflector in stock from acquiring a dealer's repair kit (about $35 iirc) and the xenon PR base bulb was probably less than $10. The ultraclear water glass lens probably less than $10.
Around 2016 I could see the writing on the wall for incandecent flashlights so I stocked up on a few items knowing they'd A) become scarce resulting in B) become expensive.
How did you acquire the dealer's repair kit? That sounds like a really fantastic acquisition.
 

bykfixer

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How did you acquire the dealer's repair kit? That sounds like a really fantastic acquisition.
At eBay.
The old school dealer kit, now that was quite the acquisition. The one with the oversize switches and o'rings before the barrels were made their current size. The inside track there is Don Keller. He has spent years scouring eBay for old Kel-Lite and Maglite parts. He sells parts at kellite dot com.

The newer kit(s) can still be found from time to time at eBay like letschat said. I actually found one at Amazon a few years back with parts for 12 Maglites. Kits could be had from 3 lights to 100 with 12 being the easiest to find back then.
 

alpg88

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If your mag has no letter D in front of the serial, your options are limited as far as off the shelf components. if you moding skills are high, then it does not matter much.
Actually you maybe in luck, cuz older larger battery tubes may not need any machining done for using 18650 cells side by side.
 

ABTOMAT

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Something to keep in mind is that old Mag-Lites have very little monetary value unless they're some rare model or variant. You can get old lights for almost nothing on eBay, especially if they have condition issues. Rather than paying out the nose for a switch or reflector you might as well just buy a different light and strip it for parts, or use it if it's in better shape than yours.
 

M@elstrom

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I purchased a Maglite combo pack back in the mid 2000's at a local Coles Supermarket for $20, not bad for a 3D, 2AA & batteries, I didn't actually need it and ended up putting it away for the next mod project, bargains do present themselves on occassion 😉
 

bykfixer

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Something to keep in mind is that old Mag-Lites have very little monetary value unless they're some rare model or variant. You can get old lights for almost nothing on eBay, especially if they have condition issues. Rather than paying out the nose for a switch or reflector you might as well just buy a different light and strip it for parts, or use it if it's in better shape than yours.
The big barrel kind are not so easy to spot though. Since most at the bay are from grandpa's attic or from confiscated storage units most sellers don't say enough info to know. The ones that know what they have want too much for them.

My first used big barrel one came from a seller listing it as "1960's 2D Maglite" with a stuck battery. I paid more for shipping than for the light but it turned out the stuck Radio Shack battery was at the top and had only leaked from the bottom. No damage to the switch. Bonus, it popped right out after a few whacks with a rubber mallet. I disassembled the switch and cleaned it up for good measure.

A 52mm glass lens works fine in the big barrel one. The head is the same OD as the now smaller barrel type.
 
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