What were the Mag-Lite design changes in 1990 ?

lightlover

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I know that the design of the D series Mags changed in about 1990.
But the only detail I know for sure is that the barrel outside diameter reduced slightly.

People, do you have any deeper knowledge about this ?

Were there any changes to the C series, or the Mag-Charger ?

(Maybe the 2AA, 2AAA, also) ?

lightlover
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DavidW

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The biggest change that I can see is how the switch housing is secured inside. And the drop of the rainbow of colors offered. You can still have variety in the 2AA, 2AAA and 1AAA sizes. But if you want a red 3C Mag Lite you'll have to search for NOS. I still want a gold 2AA Mini Maglite. Then there's the size of the s/n.
 
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The switch itself was also completely redesigned, and is a real bear to take apart and reassemble. It is a lot easier to simply remove, as you just back out the screw inside the switch button itself, then slide it out of the bbl.

The positive contact was changed from a flat piece of copper, which tended to corrode (a pencil with eraser would quickly fix this problem), to a helical wire arrangement which works a lot better.

You can tell which type you have, as the old type has a larger font (about 3/16") for the serial number, and there is no 'D' beginning the serial number as there is on the new type.

Hope this helps, Walt
 

Clay

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Also the pre-1990 ones did not have the ram's head as part of the logo.

The newer ones are nice as the batteries do not rattle in them so much...
 

Cyclops942

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Clay:
Also the pre-1990 ones did not have the ram's head as part of the logo.

The newer ones are nice as the batteries do not rattle in them so much...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've found that a drinking straw inserted along the side of the barrel along with the batteries takes up just enough extra space to make the batteries not rattle. You have to really try hard to get them back out, but they don't rattle.

owner of a 4-D cell Mag from 1988
 
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A more elegant solution is to use something called foam tape. It is very thin foam rubber with adhesive, used for padding casts. I used this on all my NiCd batteries for my Mag Lights. Of course, if you aren't a doctor, and don't know any friendly cast techs, it may be hard to find.
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Walt
 

lightlover

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Thanks guys - so the internal diameter must have become a little smaller too.

Kris, with the 1988 4D, did the post 1990 head diameter change at all, that is, become slightly smaller, or was it just the barrel that changed ?

I'm sure we're all waiting with great anticipation for such an important detail ......

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Gandalf

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Re: 'And the drop of the rainbow of colors offered. You can still have variety in the 2AA, 2AAA and 1AAA sizes. But if you want a red 3C Mag Lite you'll have to search for NOS.'

I've had no problem finding different colors of 2D cell Maglites; I have (in order of acquisition): 1) Black (D'OH!) 2) Red
3) A dark grass green color 4) A (close to) sky blue color. (quite pretty) 5) A *very* purple color 6) A lime green color (the only one I really think is ugly). 7) Silver. Far and away my favorite color. I like black flashlights, but they are hard to see in the dark! The silver ones glint even by starlight. 8) Pewter; a sort of light greyish/tan color. Strange color, relatively easy to see in the dark, though.

I got many of these lights at the local Target, Walmart, or Fleet Farm. I didn't have to hunt all over for them. Perhaps I am just 'geogaphically fortunate', in this respect.

I want a bright gold 2D cell Maglight. I have 2 of them in 2AAA, and a Soliaire. I think it's a very nice color. But that's just my opinion, of course.
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Velcro

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Do I understand this correctly? Are colored Mag-Lite's (other then black) hard to find in the US? Since when is that?


Greetings,
Velcro
 

DavidW

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Sports Authority you can have any color you want as long as it's black. Wal Mart has a few colors but in AA MiniMaglite, 2D, 3D and 4D. (The 4D seems to be available only in black there.) No AAA or C cell options. I haven't been to Home Depot in a while but last I remember their color options were limited to the 3D/2AA combo pack. Online is a different story. Places like www.action-lights.com still list a lot of color options.

I wouldn't say it's hard to find anything other than black MagLites in the US. But it seems to be heading that way.
 

Velcro

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DavidW:
I wouldn't say it's hard to find anything other than black MagLites in the US. But it seems to be heading that way.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't hope so for you guys. In The Netherlands, Mag-Lite's are becoming a common item in a lot of hardware stores since two years or so. Most of them offer the complete range from the Solitaire to the 6D (and sometimes even the MagCharger) and you can get them in all the different colors and sizes. They also offer a lot of the accessories such as the clamps, belt holders and traffic wands (got one of those).

Coincidentally, most of the hardware stores that sell the Mag-Lite's have also started selling multi-tools from Leatherman, Gerber, Victorinox and some other brands since one or two years. Some have also started to sell Photon's, Pelicans and Sure-Fire's.

As for the colors, I think of black as the standard, traditional flashlight color. The blue and silver ones look pretty nice. Don't have any in those colors yet, Mag's are pretty expensive over here. I will get them when I find a nice price. I think I will eventually also buy the 6D (in black), just for the coolness factor.
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Greetings,
Velcro
 

lightlover

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Walt Welch:
The switch itself ......... is a real bear to take apart and reassemble. It is a lot easier to simply remove, as you just back out the screw inside the switch button itself, then slide it out of the bbl.

.............................

Hope this helps, Walt
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Walt, I've seen references on websites to the possibility of Mag-Lite switch unit removal.

However, the Mag-Lites with a screw inside the switch button do not seem to be sold in the UK. Even my 2 most recent Mag 3D's don't have this feature. One of them is the recently introduced Silver 3D, (a very beautiful colour) so it can't be a question of the UK getting old stock.

All the D Mag-Lites I've ever had have an Impossible to remove "internal expanding circlip" at the lamp end of the switch unit.

I did once see a site offering for sale a "Switch Remover", which looked like a car *spark-plug removal socket*. Will this do the job of D cell size "circlip" removal ?

Can you confirm this, and if so, does anyone
have a link to a sales outlet for this item ?

Sincerely,
lightlover
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Chris M.

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However, the Mag-Lites with a screw inside the switch button do not seem to be sold in the UK. Even my 2 most recent Mag 3D's don't have this feature.

Are you sure? I just checked my 3D Mag that I bought very recently from a place in Cardiff and it has that screw right at the back of the hole in the middle of the switch. But, it`s not a normal screw, it`s a screw that requires a very thin hexagonal Allen-key to operate. Smaller than I have nearby to try removing it myself. I used to have one but it got lost in the chaos here.

The expanding clip in the head puzzled me too before I knew about the switch screw. The one main thing that killed my old 4D after it committed suicide out of an upstairs window, was internal damage to the switch. That, and a big dent in the head! I must have tried for ages to get that clip out, before realising it was time to give up, and just beat the crap out of it instead. Well it was no good anyway, it was all beat up from years of prior abuse, and the barell was dented a bit too with the batteries stuck in- it landed awkwardly and bounced into some steps. Finally the switch assembly came out (in a few bits) and I spotted the screw that held it in, stopping it from coming out the correct way- through the barrel and out of the tail cap not up through the head.

anyway, should your swich break, or you feel the desire to convert it to LED and need more space to fit that fancy-pants electronical regulator thingy in, find yourself a set of really tiny Allen keys and poke each one into that switch hole until one fits and turns the screw- loosen it off a bit then it should pop out easilly through the barrel.


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lightlover

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris M.:
However, the Mag-Lites with a screw inside the switch button do not seem to be sold in the UK. Even my 2 most recent Mag 3D's don't have this feature.

my .... Mag 3D ........... and it has that screw right at the back of the hole in the middle of the switch. But, it`s not a normal screw, it`s a screw that requires a very thin hexagonal Allen-key to operate. Smaller than I have nearby to try removing it myself.

........ really tiny Allen keys and poke each one into that switch hole until one fits and turns the screw- loosen it off a bit then it should pop out easilly through the barrel.
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<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Chris !

I'd tried the Allen key method before, but didn't realise that it needed quite a push to locate the socket.

For the first time, I am the proud posessor of a fully stripped down Mag-Lite ......

Now, how do I put it back together again ?!

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