: So...About These Opera Lights...



The-Dullahan
06-01-10, 02:50 PM
Okay, so time for some uploading of photos.

Okay, so these opera lights HERE, between the doors on each side:

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff29/The-Dullahan/opera1.jpg?t=1275418073

Are supposed to light up using an 110v AC inverter found in the trunk of a typical Brougham, seen here:

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff29/The-Dullahan/inverter.jpg?t=1275418130

Am I correct so far?

Okay, so basically no opera lights out there function as Ultraviolet exposure has destroyed them and now they just hang out on the sides of the cars and look fancy, but do nothing whatsoever.

Correct?

So, here's the question.

Whether or not I am right about those opera lights between the doors and whether or not they are powered by that inverter or whatnot, the basic question is this.

does anybody know how to REMOVE them?:hmm:

Ian6
06-01-10, 03:10 PM
you're wanting to know how to remove them so you can see if there's a way to put some other type of lighting inside right?

The-Dullahan
06-01-10, 03:21 PM
you're wanting to know how to remove them so you can see if there's a way to put some other type of lighting inside right?

Most likely some LED's. I can wire them fine, so long as somebody can tell me how to get inside them.

Sounded like a fun project, since it has been plaguing the forum since The Dawn of Time.

Ian6
06-01-10, 04:48 PM
alright well when you figure out how to take them off make sure to take pics and explain the process of wiring it up. you think maybe they are held on by nuts on the inside of the pillar?

water walkin warrior
06-01-10, 06:13 PM
I just tried to take off the vinyl side post holding the lights on mine last weekend. I took out the four screws on the sides and the top wanted to come loose, but the bottom didn't come loose. It looked like it was stuck on the car from being there for so long, I stopped so I wouldn't ruin it. I also tried gently prying the middle of it off and it seemed like it was stuck there or that the opera lights may be either bolted or screwed in holding the vinyl post there too. I tried to gently pry off the light by itself, but stopped because I didn't want to ruin the way it looked.

Then I started taking the screws out of the inner interior to see if I could get to the lights through the inside. I figured I was getting a little too far the daylight I had left and didn't want to tear it apart just yet so I stopped and put everything back the way it was. I may look for the AC inverter to try changing that before tearing up the side of the car or inside. I'm open to ideas too.

The-Dullahan
06-02-10, 12:03 AM
Well, the Inverter is in the back of your trunk area (I don't have a trunk, so mine is just above the rear wheel well, beneath the panels I have there) but I wouldn't think it was the inverter as to why they don't light up. From what I have heard, it is the device inside the light itself that goes out, do to sun damage. What I figured is that if this device has wires running to it from the inverter, all I need to do is clip them off and I will have two free wires, for running some good, old fashioned, DC voltage to, thus lighting them with LED's or whatever else I choose.

As for getting at them from the inside, the different styling of my Brougham effects this too, as I have next-to-no access to that part of the car, due to there being a wall between the seats and the bier...but where there's a will, there is a way and I will find this out. Too bad the only Junkyard that has a Brougham around here as far away as it is, or I'd just smash that open and find out what's inside. Should have though of that while I was there.

Warren_R
06-02-10, 06:29 AM
Hi Dullahan,
You're right about the location & function of all the above :)
Here's a copy verbatim from an earlier post by someone (cfgm I think) who actually got the @*%% things off ...
<q>
Opera Lamp R/R Made Easy :-)
Quote from author: Beaming with Pride (and LEDs)
________________________________________
Well, my friends, it's actually pretty easy! Here's what you'll need:

Wire cutters/stripper
Wire caps (those twisty things you put on top of wires to twist them together, while covering the exposed wires)
Flashlight, maybe
Electrical tape
Phillips head screwdriver, flathead screwdriver
"Goof-Off" or equiv. - glue, gum, tar remover
Socket set
"GOOP" or similar sealant -- black, tarry stuff that retains it's flexibility

First off, disconnect the battery.

Okay, let's start to work on the driver's side. Remove the interior molding over the center pillar. Use the PH screwdriver to remove three screws from the front (steering wheel) side and three from the rear.

Step two: gently pry the molding away from the frame. It's flexible but will scratch if not careful. Maneuver the molding toward the back seat. Be careful of the little plastic and metal clip holding the upper molding to the lower molding. I don't recommend removing it because the tiny metal clip is very brittle. If possible, simply push the molding to the rear of the car until the pillar is mostly exposed. Careful of the seatbelt. Gently remove the insulation that is attached to the pillar. The glue may still hold it in place but it won't require much effort to pry it loose. Once out of the way, you'll see the seat-belt retainer. See photo (Exposed pillar.jpg):

Step three: remove the screw holding the white seat-belt retainer. Don't drop the screw, just in case it goes somewhere you can't reach. Lift up slightly until the retainer slips out of its slot and let it slide down the belt and out of the way. You'll now have access to the goodies inside!

INSIDE the pillar you'll find those famous wires we've all been dying to see. They are twisted and wrapped in a black and yellow tape marked "Caution: 110V" or something to that effect. They are connected to a plug which is, you guessed it, plugged into the light. Pull the plug and bring the wires out into the glorious sunshine (or garage light, or what have you). See photo (Plug.jpg)

Now here's a bit of fun for you: using a socket set (I don't remember if it was 9/16) you'll have to remove the "nuts" inside the pillar. Now, you can't use your run of the mill ratchet. There's not enough room, as you can see. You need a socket set with the screwdriver type handle, on which you'd fit the appropriate socket. This is the fun part because, as has been mentioned before, these nuts can fall into the pillar and most likely cannot be retrieved. You may use whatever technique you wish to prevent that from happening. I used a telescoping magnet and STILL lost one of them. There are two on each light. Use the flashlight to peek inside to see where they are.
After the nuts have been removed, use a flathead screwdriver to very carefully pry the lights off of your roof. If you have a padded roof, this is a little easier, because you're not running the risk of scratching anything. I have no idea what it would be like with a painted, flat roof. I can't give you any advice there. It'll take a little doing, because these lights are on there pretty tight, but don't worry. Eventually you'll pry the light free and you'll see three holes: two smaller ones where the pins of the lamp fit through, and a larger one to accommodate the plug. See photo (No turning back now.jpg)

Use the wire cutters to snip off the plug at the end of the wires inside. Unwrap your new lights (LEDs or any +12V lamp you want) and feed the wires through one of the holes. The hole you choose will depend upon the lights you use and how they are to be attached to the car. In My case, I chose the top-most hole. You will have a positive and negative wire coming from you light (most of you know this, but just in case...) and fish them both through and then out the SAME hole through which you've pulled the blue, white and brown wires from before.

If necessary, strip the ends of the wires from your new lamps. Then strip the following, on the driver's side: SOLID BROWN, WHITE, BROWN with WHITE STRIPE. IGNORE the blue wire. Be sure your battery is disconnected or at the very least that your headlights are off. Take one of the wire caps and twist the SOLID BROWN, the BROWN with WHITE STRIPE and the power wire from your new lamp together. Wire cap the white wire to the ground wire of your new lamp. See photo (Twist the night away.jpg):

Repeat all the above steps on the opposite side, EXCEPT: Strip the SOLID BROWN and WHITE wires only. Wire cap the SOLID BROWN wire to the power wire of your new lamp. Wire cap the WHITE wire to your lamp's ground wire.

Tape off all other wires but don't be overly concerned because they will no longer carry any current after the next and most important step. Don't bother to reassemble things at this point but don't accidentally close the door and crush your new lights.

This next step is very important but much simpler than I thought it would be. Open your trunk and on the driver's side, remove the gray carpet from around the base of the spring and pull it toward the back. To do this, there is a black fastener you have to carefully pry out of its hole. Just go slowly and you won't have any trouble. Once pulled back, you'll see that familiar black and yellow tape wrapped around some blue and white wires. They feed to the inverter, which is very conveniently placed about midway between the spring and the tail light on the drivers side, tucked neatly up and underneath. See photo (Lip service):

You'll see in that photo that I've already removed the inverter and unplugged it. The inverter is about the size of a relay or child's building block. There are two plugs: one has blue and white wires, the other is a single solid brown wire. To be honest, I just yanked the thing out, breaking the plastic pin which held the inverter in place. I don't need it anymore, anyway, although I'm saving it just in case. Pull away the black tape and cut off both plugs. Strip the WHITE wires and the BLACK wire. Ignore the blue wires and the brown one.

Wire cap the two WHITE wires to the BLACK wire. Tape everything off and secure it; pay attention to that extra brown wire. It doesn't carry any current but just in case, make sure it's taped securely. You may replace the carpeting now, if you wish.

Now, at this point, everything should be connected properly. I offer NO promise that these instructions will work for your car; it is up to you to determine if your model has the same wiring. I recommend using a voltmeter to be SURE of which wire is carrying what current. All I know is that this setup worked for me and my car. If you feel comfortable with the work you've done and believe my instructions were accurate, reconnect the battery and/or turn on your headlights to see if the lamps work. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

That being said, there's some more work to do. You'll see that where you've removed the old lights, the padding has some glue left on it. Goof-Off is a great product and I use it all the time but any gum, glue or tar remover will probably work. BE VERY CAREFUL with this stuff because it WILL take off paint. If you have a painted roof, be especially aware of this! It is up to you to determine the best way to mount and secure your new lights so from here on out, these instructions apply to my own experience.

Rub away the glue residue until the entire pillar is clean. A paper towel works just fine. I suggest wiping it down again with water and allowing it to dry completely before mounting your new lamps.

Using GOOP or a similar tarry sealant, fill in the holes in the pillar, even around the wires. Let that set however long it needs to and under appropriate conditions.

My lights came with a padded adhesive backing and since I wasn't prepared, I used that. The lamps I bought JUST fit in between the moldings on the doors. HOWEVER! Because the roof was designed to accommodate the original lamps, they were recessed slightly. This means that my lamps, well...they stick out at the top a bit because they are longer and don't fit directly into the space provided. This is something I will correct at another time. See photo (Easy does it.jpg):

Assuming you're more or less happy with everything, it's time to make sure everything is taped up and tucked away. Reassemble the interior moldings but don't over-tighten any screws. I'd suggest keeping all the plugs, the inverter and the nuts in case you ever want to change back for some reason.

Now, again, the lights I bought are not exactly what I'd have picked if we had some huge selection. They're a bit large but once I figure a better way to mount them to the pillars, I'll be most happy. These give off a semi-ultraviolet white light. See photo (Let there be light.jpg, Light 2.jpg):

That's pretty much all there is to it! The wiring diagram was more complicated than the actual thing. Once I stared at it long enough I saw that I didn't need to wire anything special in the trunk, other than the white ground wires. If any of you have questions or need clarification, PM or post to this thread, unless a mod has a better idea. I'll try my best to help whenever possible. Good luck and have fun!

<cq>

Wish I'd added name of original poster, he also uploaded some photos. I'll look around some more & see if I can find the original post.

Warren_R
06-02-10, 06:43 AM
Woho, I found the original post! :-)

Here it is, about halfway down the page (least if you're using a 17" CRT like I am)

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/36743-how-retrofit-your-opera-lights-2.html

The-Dullahan
06-02-10, 03:25 PM
Groovy. I will tear into my lights first to see if I can save the shell of the original lights to mount the LED's inside of. If not, I will search for another method. There will be a few days before I get the chance to try that, but I'll make sure to steal somebody's camera to get some photos.

tbcaddy18
06-02-10, 07:10 PM
Great idea! I would like to retro fit my originals with led, rather than put on an aftermarket housing. But the aftermarket housing is my last choice if I cant save the original housings.

The-Dullahan
06-02-10, 11:47 PM
Great idea! I would like to retro fit my originals with led, rather than put on an aftermarket housing. But the aftermarket housing is my last choice if I cant save the original housings.

Exactly! I will look at the current housing and determine what I can do. From there, I will purchase the LED's or whatever else I need. If I just need bulbs, the Scottish chick at the PC store who kept flirting with me when I needed those fans and heatsinks will probably be more than happy to let me grab some of her bare bulbs. Get your mind out of the gutter, I didn't mean for that to sound as dirty as it did.
...Why isn't there a blushing emoticon?

Oh well, this is the official blushing emoticon from now on. I hereby decree.
:aj:

tbcaddy18
06-03-10, 12:48 AM
..just a bit too hot for "blushing"..but it'll do. lmao.

The-Dullahan
06-06-10, 06:45 PM
Okay, so after a bit of work (took a total of less than 5 minutes) I got the opera light out. Most of that time was spent trying to find out which socket I needed to unbolt it.

Anyhow, in short, you undo six screws, pop off the time behind the seat belt and undo the two [7/16] bolts that are on the other side of the two lower holes in the frame. From there, you can take the opera light off in one of two ways. Take a screwdriver and pop it off from the outside, but why risk scratching paint? (Not that I HAVE paint there, but still) The second technique is to take the ratchet you used to unscrew them and rest the handle against the screws from the inside and just tap the other end with a hammer and loosen it up, then just remove it altogether from the outside.

From there, there is a 4-prong wire harness that you must disconnect and VIOLA. You have a free opera light, ready for modification or replacement.

Okay, so below are some photos for those of you wondering what these little bastards look like from the inside. I need to find a way to get INSIDE of them. From there, I can rig some LED's and wire them back. The lens does NOT pop off, don't try, because when you crack your lens, I will just laugh at you.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff29/The-Dullahan/operaout2.jpg?t=1275864303

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff29/The-Dullahan/operaout1.jpg?t=1275864310

tbcaddy18
06-06-10, 08:50 PM
Wow, I wasn't expecting them to be so thin.

Thanks for the pics/write-up.

The-Dullahan
06-06-10, 11:33 PM
The only issue with these lights is that the savvy Cadillac people wanted them to have a solid glow, so they used that electric tape crap, even at the cost of adding the inverter. The problem therein is that the sunlight destroys them and makes them very difficult to try to modify. The next step I will probably have to do is take a dremel and try to hollow them out from the backside, without damaging the lens or the two screws for mounting them (Though even if I damage those, I can install it with some JB-Weld) so Updates to come in a week-or-so, as I need access to said dremel.

water walkin warrior
06-07-10, 04:15 PM
I found an OEM GM Site that sells the opera lights for '79-'85 Eldorado for $75. They stick out a little more, but they might fit. I don't know if I wanna pay that much or if they would wire right, but I thought it was worth taking a look at.

http://www.oem-surplus.com/gmwp/cadillac.html - Half way down the page.

These are the pictures of the Opera Lamps

http://www.oem-surplus.com/sarah/lightcad3907a.jpg
http://www.oem-surplus.com/sarah/lightcad3907c.jpg
http://www.oem-surplus.com/sarah/lightcad3907d.jpg
http://www.oem-surplus.com/sarah/lightcad3907b.jpg

The-Dullahan
06-07-10, 11:29 PM
I would rather retrofit the old ones, even as difficult/impossible as it is. If not, I will THEN look into other styles. Thanks for the info though, that's really actually very good to know.

greencadillacmatt
06-08-10, 02:18 AM
Hmm. What if you ran fiber-optic strands under the lense, and put an LED at each end to light the strands? That way you get the smooth lighting with modern internals. Something to consider maybe? :hmm:

The-Dullahan
06-08-10, 02:44 AM
Hmm. What if you ran fiber-optic strands under the lense, and put an LED at each end to light the strands? That way you get the smooth lighting with modern internals. Something to consider maybe? :hmm:

Similar to what I had in mind, and the lens may need to be "fogged" with a thin strip of plastic to make it translucent, rather than completely clear. If not that, I need two of those REALLY TINY flexible neon tubes.

Right now, the main issue is getting inside, as I have to do this from the BACKSIDE, so until I have access to the proper tools to facilitate this strategic assault on the plastic casing, there will be a brief detention from fiddling with it.

On a lighter note, my car looks SO AWESOME driving around without one of the opera lights on and the wire harness hanging out the side.

Pepsi2185
06-08-10, 03:20 AM
Keeping the details . . . . love it. Keep up the good work guys.

Stingroo
06-08-10, 12:07 PM
No man, you don't need to bother with neon. They sell LED lights in small thin strips that would be more than adequate for what you want. You'd probably need to fog the lens for LEDs, like you said, because they're ungodly bright. But a strip of 5 placed in the center of the lens would probably light the whole cavity and then some.

mjs182004
06-08-10, 01:16 PM
I found this site that deals with Limos, and found some Electra Luminescent Opera Light Panels that they sell. Maybe they can be retro fitted into the Cadillac's Opera lights.

http://www.mtgparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=mtg&Product_Code=CN-PANEL-DR&Category_Code=LOL

The-Dullahan
06-08-10, 02:52 PM
I found this site that deals with Limos, and found some Electra Luminescent Opera Light Panels that they sell. Maybe they can be retro fitted into the Cadillac's Opera lights.

http://www.mtgparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=mtg&Product_Code=CN-PANEL-DR&Category_Code=LOL

yes I looked into that. a number of sites sell them. MTG is actually a company I am quite familiar with (And one of the only companies to acquire chrome rocker panels or stainless trunk guards from) but tragically, almost all they carry any more are parts for Lincolns. Still, if I owned a Town Car...

mjs182004
06-08-10, 09:30 PM
darn, oh well

The-Dullahan
06-09-10, 12:28 AM
darn, oh well

Those lights would be a great choice, but I am uncertain if they will suffer what the stock ones did and Florida has far too much sunlight.:hide:

This is why I am trying to steer towards DC voltage.

Also...Updates tomorrow!
(and hopefully photos if I can pilfer a camera...:lildevil:)

greencadillacmatt
06-09-10, 01:54 AM
Also...Updates tomorrow!
(and hopefully photos if I can pilfer a camera...:lildevil:)

Yay updates!

And you'll find a camera. You seem to be pretty good at "acquiring" things. :thumbsup:

The-Dullahan
06-09-10, 05:53 PM
Okay, that doesn't work.

Given the construction of these, the only way to fit your Brougham with OEM looking originals would be to find a set of WORKING originals. Given the construction of these, there is no true way to get inside there (short of just randomly chopping into them, thus destroying them) so my quest shall have to continue and thus, if I want WORKING Opera lamps, I must either find a functional set (That GARNETT fellow, or whatever he's named has a set for sale on Ebay, if you buy them with the whole car) or find a set of NEW ones that will fit my application.

GOOD TIMES...

MudAnt
06-09-10, 07:28 PM
If we can't fit a new light source into the OEM lights, the only solution is to find a different opera light that looks decent on the car.
Maybe one of us might find a working NOS set, but even then they'll just get wrecked by UV again in about 10 years, even if the car is garage-kept.

Stingroo
06-09-10, 07:41 PM
There has to be a way to cut the back of the lens out and fit a new piece of plastic behind there. It makes no sense.

The-Dullahan
06-09-10, 07:50 PM
There has to be a way to cut the back of the lens out and fit a new piece of plastic behind there. It makes no sense.

While I am certain that there IS a way, the piece itself is basically made in a fashion that the entire body is one solid piece of plastic, with the electroluminescent tape sandwiched on top, with a lens glued over it. The lens cannot be removed without cracking it and digging the back out would require precision tools with depth measurements as even a fraction of an inch too deep would destroy the lens. If they made the lens removable it would not only have made retrofitting more easy, but it would have made it more cost effective for Cadillac's employees to fix broken Opera Lamps, as they could simply remove the lens and replace the electroluminescent strip inside. Also, the two plastic bolts that are designated for holding the lamp onto the car would have to be dug out with the rest of the piece, as they are all one piece. Of course, had I a way of hollowing the piece out and keeping the lens, I would just fabricate a backside and put two STEEL bolts in it's place.

This has to be one of the most poorly designed things I have ever seen.:banghead:

Aside from being shoddy and subject to malfunction by ultraviolet light, they are not made to be able to separated in any way.:annoyed: Exactly WHY they were designed this way is beyond me. How long did they last on the cars to begin with? If there were some going bad within a few years, you would think the company would alter the design of them.

77CDV
06-09-10, 09:28 PM
Could you not cut a small hole in the back, just large enough to extract the EL strip, then route whatever replacement light source you want through that?

Stingroo
06-09-10, 09:30 PM
^ Exactly.

mjs182004
06-09-10, 11:04 PM
If the light is 2 pieces glued together, maybe putting them in the oven for 15 minutes (maybe longer) at 350º, you will be able to separate the plastic? any thoughts?

The-Dullahan
06-09-10, 11:09 PM
No, that would not work, because it is all sandwiched together into one piece. I figured it would have some sort of hollow area inside, but that is not the case. The best I can describe it is with this diagram: (MS Paint FOR THE WIN)

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff29/The-Dullahan/opera1-1.jpg?t=1276138952

The dark grey at the front of the image (right side) represents the lens while-as the yellow strip represents the electroluminescent tape and the lighter grey represents the entire housing. It is all one piece, no hollow area, no gap, nothing. It is as if they poured molten plastic inside and filled every last gap. My first test was just that, to cut a hole in the back and pull it the tape out. I did that with a drill as soon as I first popped it out. That doesn't work, because though it is a separate object from the housing, it is all one piece. I think the plastic is molded around it and glued, so there is not even the tiniest hollow inside. The only way to possibly even separate the two would be to crack the lens off and cut it apart, more than likely destroying the tape and the housing together, not to mention the lens you would surely have shattered just trying to get it off. The only real option I am left with would be to just hollow out the entire thing, which would require finding a new lens someplace, which would not work if I had to get one off of another Cadillac, because as I said, they do not just come off and then running the lights inside of the housing (which would just be the four chrome sides now) and making a lens to cover the rest, gluing it on and attaching it back onto the chassis. I may experiment into that if I can find an appropriate piece of material (plexiglass?) to make a lens from.

The-Dullahan
06-09-10, 11:11 PM
ALso, my "diagram" doesn't do justice to just how thin this thing is. It is REALLY, REALLY THIN. Most of the width is the lens.

mjs182004
06-09-10, 11:13 PM
This has to be one of the most poorly designed things I have ever seen.:banghead:

I agree, Didn't realize how crappy GM designed these.

Stingroo
06-09-10, 11:17 PM
Plexiglas would be good to re-lens it. Maybe acquire a set of lights to experiment with from a junkyard so you can leave your intact at least (albeit not working) then if you master it, work with yours.

Just think, if you could figure out a solution to the opera light issues, I bet you could make some cash.

The-Dullahan
06-10-10, 01:13 AM
Too bad there are no Junkyards near here...there was that ONE that had that ONE Brougham...I didn't pay attention to if it had opera lights, it was barely even a "car" anymore and I was too distracted by the roof, the back seats and that "trunk" thing.

Well, I have more than enough experience modifying things with plexiglass and LED's (From a hobby that I should turn into a profitable occupation, Xbox/PS3/Wii anyone?) and can certainly find a way to solve this DISASTER that GM hath wrought upon My People.
(uh...that's you guys)

MudAnt
06-10-10, 01:59 AM
If you make a somewhat stock-looking solution, sign me up for one!

water walkin warrior
07-27-10, 11:01 AM
I actually saw a Caddie with working lights in my city. The rest of the car looked beat up, but the opera lights on the side worked. lol I about snapped my neck trying to see them. lol

Ruud
07-27-10, 03:45 PM
hmm..my opera lights are still working as well. Although mine are on the rear and not on the B-pillar. Maybe different design :hmm:

The-Dullahan
07-27-10, 06:28 PM
hmm..my opera lights are still working as well. Although mine are on the rear and not on the B-pillar. Maybe different design :hmm:

HEY! I remember this thread.

Coupe Devilles have Bulbs, so they don't just die in the sunlight like the EL strip ones do.

I am elaborating solutions for the ones on my own car. Fiber Optics are nice, but mostly project the light from one end of the strand to the other, rather than through the sides, but at the same time, that is not my only potential solution and certainly not my most cunning or devious.

sven914
07-27-10, 06:45 PM
Would it be possible to fit a one of the bulbs from the courtesy lamps in there.

http://info.rockauto.com/getimage/getimage.php?imageurl=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.rockauto.c om%2FWagnerLighting%2FLMP044.jpg&imagekey=319121-0&width=450

The bulbs aren't that wide, but may be long enough to give an adequate glow. You would probably have to modify the opera lamp housing by removing the back to give the bulb more room.

The-Dullahan
07-28-10, 12:15 PM
Precisely. Festoon bulbs such as those have a lot more depth to them than the opera lamps have and thusly, you would have to cut out the backside of the opera lamp. Cutting the backside out however, implicates removal of both bolts that are in fact holding the opera lamp ONTO the car. Another thing about them having more depth than the opera lamps is that the lamps sit flush on the sides of the car, so in order to put a lens over the lamp, one would have to modify the mounting point on the car with a sawzall or dremel, mount the bulb and epoxy the frame and lens back over the bulb, as you would lost rhe plastic mounting points and possibly the holes that they correlate to. For that much effort I would just install a small, white neon tube, slap the frame and lens over it and be done with it...which is actually a nearly-feasible solution that I may experiment with.

JamesC
10-24-10, 11:56 PM
Soooo JUST tonight I discovered something... and not to brag or anything :p

Even though I have owned my Cadillac for almost a year in a half now it was until tonight... just tonight... I noticed my opera lights actually do work. I can't believe I never noticed them until now, strange. Haha. I got a kick out of it nevertheless.

creeker
10-25-10, 12:16 AM
Soooo JUST tonight I discovered something... and not to brag or anything :p

Even though I have owned my Cadillac for almost a year in a half now it was until tonight... just tonight... I noticed my opera lights actually do work. I can't believe I never noticed them until now, strange. Haha. I got a kick out of it nevertheless.

Ditto, I just went out and tried my 80 cdv, and they work, I've never looked before either.

ga_etc
10-25-10, 05:05 PM
I'm going to steal Roo's line for a moment...

JamesC and creeker, PICS!!!! Please...

The-Dullahan
10-25-10, 07:17 PM
I thought the opera lamps on all '80 Coupe's still worked. Aren't they just regular light bulbs?

Too busy with Samhain, driving to North Carolina and back in less than 24 hours and a suspicious katar lately, but Opera Lamp mod soon. Need an extra set...

JamesC
10-26-10, 02:54 PM
Little pics of my opera lights? Sure, I'll be happy to post 'em up. Once it gets dark here, I'll head out and snap a few.

ga_etc
10-26-10, 04:28 PM
I've always wondered how bright they are when they actually work.

creeker
10-26-10, 06:10 PM
I'm going to steal Roo's line for a moment...

JamesC and creeker, PICS!!!! Please...


Sorry , I'm not geared up for taking and sending pics.

The-Dullahan
10-26-10, 08:14 PM
A while back, Matt Garret (However he's spelling it these days) sold a Brougham that was basically brand new with I think 4,000 (Right?) miles on it. The opera lights worked perfectly.

Creeker, Aren't the opera lamps on the CDV just lightbulbs?

sven914
10-26-10, 08:21 PM
^Yes on the Coupe de Ville, there is a bulb behind the lens (something they should have done on the (Fleetwood) Brougham).

JamesC
10-26-10, 10:00 PM
No I didn't forget... haha granted I almost did, sorry! But I have a few here. They are not the brightest, but cool I think, heh.

Sorry the quality is not greatest. There was just a bit more light than I thought out in the parking lot where I live, so yeah... I could have drove somewhere more dark *shrugs* Hope you enjoy anyway!

http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv305/mycaddy/DSC00417-1.jpg

http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv305/mycaddy/DSC00420-1.jpg

creeker
10-26-10, 11:34 PM
A while back, Matt Garret (However he's spelling it these days) sold a Brougham that was basically brand new with I think 4,000 (Right?) miles on it. The opera lights worked perfectly.

Creeker, Aren't the opera lamps on the CDV just lightbulbs?

I've never taken mine apart, I looked up for lights on rock auto, and they are bulbs, when mine are on , they look like they would be bulbs as the actual light is stronger in one area , rather than an overall glow, I wonder why their different from other models?.

creeker
10-26-10, 11:49 PM
Actually I think were talking about two different things, the lights on a brougham sedan are not any thing like the lights on a cdv., the lights on a cdv. are on the side of the rear pillar and are an ornamental style, like a mini sconse fixture, the lights on the sedan I think might be called side marker lights, and not opera.

The-Dullahan
10-29-10, 11:22 AM
Precisely. The bulbs on the CDV are just that -bulbs- the ones on the Brougham in the pillar are El tape. They are however, Opera Lamps all the same.

creeker
10-29-10, 04:10 PM
Precisely. The bulbs on the CDV are just that -bulbs- the ones on the Brougham in the pillar are El tape. They are however, Opera Lamps all the same.

Good to know, I wonder what the side markers are then?.

creeker
10-29-10, 04:15 PM
Good to know, I wonder what the side markers are then?.


I just looked up side marker light on rock auto, the socket looks like an ordinary light bulb holder.

brougham
10-29-10, 06:08 PM
Side marker lights are the lights on the side of the car at the front and the back

YourMainParadox
11-01-10, 02:53 PM
You can buy EL strips made to fit anything you want or need. http://electroluminescence-inc.com/ is one of many sites that will do it.

The-Dullahan
11-02-10, 07:39 PM
The design of the Opera lamps is such that you cannot simply pull the old ones out. I want to retrofit some, but need a spare set to do it on, as I refuse to leave my car lampless for even a moment.

YourMainParadox
11-02-10, 07:43 PM
Didn't you find extra ones? I could take a look if I ever meet ya.

Stingroo
11-03-10, 07:29 AM
^ This should have occurred during the quest for the V. Shame it didn't.

And damn, I was in your neck of the woods last week for job training, Paradox. I forgot.

The-Dullahan
11-04-10, 12:22 AM
Well, Sting. I tried during the Quest For The V...REALLY. I did (story at bottom)

I do NOT have an extra set, because Broughams are considered medieval in this part of the state, so why would one be left a junkyard? I kid, I kid...they are at junkyards...thy are about 4'Lx3'Hx4'W...Crushed into blocks. Sad, truly sad...

Due to the construction of them, replacing the EL tape with basically ANYTHING is possible if you completely remove the back side (the part that touches the car) but with that, you lose both of the plastic "bolt" parts, though adhesive would work wonders on a car.

Now then, The Quest. I TRIED visiting people during said quest, but Josiah was at work, as Sting told me, Paradox was in Orlando, which we technically passed through and got stuck in traffic in for an hour, because some dumbass somehow got into a collision at less than 20 mph in a construction bypass zone and then ANOTHER dumbass somehow got into ANOTHER collision while traffic was less than 5mph...Damn, Floridians...

As for Sting, once it became apparent that only one of our visits was in Jacksonville, Lupin, who was currently piloting the newly acquired V had decided that since he was tired (No idea what this "tired" is. Superior genetics allowed me to drive to NC overnight while I hadn't slept in 24 hours to begin with, remain awake for the entire trip back, get three hours of rest the next morning before installing a sound system mod in the V and they proceed to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios that evening and remain out until 2Am-ish. How many hours is that total? 70-something?)

Anyhow, as only one of our Cadillac Buddies was available, Lupin decided that is Sting didn't respond before we hit his exit, we would not turn back, as he was tired and thusly, we did not visit.

Personally, I propose all of us Florida people have a meet someplace. If I ever DO go to Jacksonville, I will have to stop by and see this Hearse I hear so much about, for it has been asleep in someone's yard for months now, due to exhaust manifolds and an owner too stubborn to let a shop (with better tools) handle the job. Someone coordinate a meet. My two weeks of vacation ended on the first, but I can always get time off if it is to my knowledge in advance. Hell, I have MONTHS of sick days saved up too and I'm usually sickly-looking enough to get a note from ANY doctor in the state.

YourMainParadox
11-04-10, 06:57 PM
Haha I would let a shop do it in a heartbeat if I had money for that :P

dill
11-05-10, 12:46 PM
dill
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cheap opera light fix
OPERA LIGHT REPAIR

I have a1987 Brougham and am in the process of having my vinyl roof replaced. What a good time to repair my opera lights.
Hear is how I repaired mine. The diagram for opera lights is in the Service Information Manual Initial Edition, 8a page 110-6. I found a fix for my opera lights, very reasonable. They come in red, green, and blue; I chose blue, www.dvhardware.netreview19_sunbeamelstrip.html
To remove the plastic lens, it is best to do it before you take it off the car. Use a very thin screwdriver and a blow dryer or heat gun, take it easy don’t rush or you will break it. The wires and the two nuts can be removed from inside after you remove the molding and seat belt anchor. Once they are off the car you can remove the pins that the wire connected to. Then cut a slot as wide as the strip, where the pins come out, this will allow you to feed the strip through.
Cutting the strip to fit, practice on a 12” piece first. The tape can be cut the same width as the old element you took out, there is very little you have to cut off. On the back there is a small conductor and a wide conductor I cut a small strip off “the wide side conductor”. If you cut it off the wrong side it may not light, that is why it is a good idea to practice on the far end first. Do not cut the first 4” to 5” of the EL STRIP or the strip won’t work, you may be cutting of the power to the rest of the strip. Feed the new strip in through the slot you cut in the casting, peal off the back and stick it in place. Replace the reflector and the lens. Use a plastic to plastic glue around the lens this will hold it in and seal it from the weather.

WIRING
Start by removing the ground from the battery. Remove the inverter from the trunk, use a jumper wire to connect the black and two white wires together. This will give you a ground wire at both center posts where the lights are located. In side the right post you will find two brown wires, one white, and one blue; the blue is not used, join the two brown wires with a short piece of red wire, this will be the power or + positive the white will be the ground or - negative. On the left post you will find two brown, one blue, and one white; the blue is not used. Put the negative on the battery post long enough to take a 12 volt reading to determine which brown wire is live this is the power supply 12 volts, this is the one you will use as + put a short red wire on it the white will be the – negative.

The strips are 12v supply with an inverter, the inverter can be connected directly to the 12v supply red and white in each post. Each post will have it’s own inverter. Don’t forget to solder all connections and tape them.
Good luck DILL

sven914
11-05-10, 09:57 PM
^Thank you...

The-Dullahan
11-07-10, 10:14 PM
^That's about as far as I made it, minus the heating the lens part. I found a different solution involving long fingernails. Still want extra pair, because I need a non-cracked lens and I want a set to experiment with, as I had a few other ideas I wanted to try. Should probably get a service manual someday, but every time something on my car breaks, I replace it with something identical or better, so it would eventually become useless to me.

sven914
11-07-10, 10:41 PM
When I get around to finding an extra set and repairing them to make mine work, I really want to wire them the turn signals.

Stingroo
11-07-10, 10:55 PM
^ That would be bitchin'.

The-Dullahan
11-08-10, 09:41 PM
I considered that. If I do LED, I can even make the turn signals act as a different colour. I have a lot of difficulty changing lanes, because there's always the douchebag in a German "luxury" vehicle next to me snapping photos and as much as I speed up or slow down, he matches pace, completely blissfully unaware that I am trying to change lanes and that I could run his pathetic Volkscedes MW off the road like a little ant. A fine example happened late last month after the car show. I started flipping the signal on and off, hoping the dumbasses in the car would at least see the spotlight on the side and realize, but neither that, nor having my passenger repeatedly gesture that I was trying to move or for him to just pass me yielded any results. The end result was me hitting th brakes, quickly coming to a dead stop on US 192 and quickly ducking behind the ******* and riding right on his tail for the next two miles with my wig-wags flashing and serenading him with my seven horns. In my opinion, he got off easy. I was hoping he'd pull over and get all bitey.

Random story, I know. Also, some professional-camera toting individual was supposed to email me all the photos he took of my car AT the show, but I am still waiting on those. My car was mentioned on the Old Town webpage thingy, but only briefly, because I was about a mile away when they came around to ask questions, so they just spoke with the women I left in my place (both of which made it onto the webpage in photographs)

sven914
11-09-10, 12:12 AM
^In your case, people would probably think the flashing (LED) opera lamps was just another sideshow attraction for their entertainment.

YourMainParadox
11-09-10, 07:50 PM
haha I don't have a place to put the side indicators :( I just move over slowly and they are too afraid to damage their 50k car