Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham - Page 2
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Originally Posted by David Biarritz OK. On my 1983 Fleetwood Brougham coupe, I removed the inside side trims with the ...
  1. #16
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Biarritz
    OK. On my 1983 Fleetwood Brougham coupe, I removed the inside side trims with the reading lights attached and unscrewed & removed the inside opera window cover. You will see three holes inside of the opera light, the middle hole will have two wires fed into it. The top and bottom holes will access the two mounting nuts. these nuts cut a thread onto plastic lugs, part of the opera light. You will need a long reach 11 mm socket with an extension bar but don't forget to put some sticky blue tack on the end of the socket or you will loose the nuts for good.
    I can't seem to separate the electrical plug at this stage and I only broke a lug trying to remove the lens, so I'm stumped now.
    Can anyone help me?
    If you can get the other nut off, you should be able to get the light off the body a couple inches from the outside and disconnect the plug.

  2. #17
    SafariOne is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    There is a company called ADAFRUIT INDUSTRIES that makes the electroluminescent tape. What I did on my 81 Fleet was to take the plastic opera lites out and I found an older model of opera light that was chrome and had the bulb style lite in it. The opera lights for EL have a 110v and a 12v line coming to them, you just use the 12v line for the new opera lite. The problem with some of the EL lites could also be the inverter which is tucked way up in the trunk under the deck.

  3. #18
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    57eldoking is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    There's a pretty detailed guide on how to rebuild these lights here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Rebuild-Your-Cars-EL-electroluminescent-Lights/

    A
    lso these lights are 110 Volt, there's a small inverter (usually green) on the inside of the left rear fender in the trunk. These also go bad so make sure to check that its still functional.
    I have yet to figure out how to remove the lights on my 82 Fleetwood sedan, I've tried a couple of junkyard cars but have always ended up with the lights in a thousand pieces. Input on this will is appreciated!

  4. #19
    David Biarritz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    Thanks for your advice, I did actualy get the other nut off but it's the plug that I couldn't separate.
    I have put it all back together again for now and ordered two EL panel tapes with 12v drivers off ebay.
    I will let you all know how I go.

    ----------

    I can't find any inverter under the deck, but both opera wires feedback into the LH side back of the boot I mean trunk. The two lots of wires plug together before they go back to a small black box and then back to another connection of wires.
    I put a volt meter onto the plug were the wires paired up. It's showing 12 volts.

  5. #20
    David Biarritz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    I have now brought a pair of EL tape 10mm with 12V drivers from ebay.
    I removed the opera lights again and yes I did separate the connecting plug.
    I found that I was getting 12V up to the opera lights. So this means the inverters are inside the opera light bases.
    I drilled out the plastic welds at the back of the light base and separated the silver base.
    Separated the clear lens from the white base with a box knife and removed the old EL tape.
    Now with a small screwdriver, dug out and removed the old driver from the white base and hack-sawed off only the lower end of the white base to allow the new wire connector through.
    And I ran the wire from the new EL tape through the shaft, bending the tape over and cut it to length.
    I bedded it down with white silicone, holding it temporally with a few clothes pegs and filling the bottom end with the white silicone where the wires come out.
    Didn't take long to dry, then I lightly siliconed the clear lens on, holding with a clamp to dry and then two small dabs of silicone for the silver base.
    Bolted it back into the car, connected the new 12v driver and taped some foam around them to prevent any rattles.
    Cut off the old opera plug and connected the two wires to the new driver wires.
    They work and look very good now.

  6. #21
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    That's awesome.

    How about some pictures and maybe a link to the ebay item so we can see?

    Thanks!

  7. #22
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    Vladillac Khrougham is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    try Adafruit Industries I have ordered stuff from them before like the VFD clock kit that uses a NOS Soviet VFD tube (I am thinking of making a Tach with one and her driver unit and chips (the company owner is an MIT grad and she provides great sometimes personal support on the message board, been on the covered of Wired magazine due to her promotion of DIY electronics, the products are designed to be hacked (modified). I origionally wanted a 89 or earlier Brougham with red display lighting and make digital speedometer using nixie tubes . But according to them you can cut the El Panel to fit any shape as long as it is contiguous, and if like the el wire I ordered from them come with a very small inverter that uses 2 double AA batteries, but could obviously be hacked to use 12 volts. Lucky for me the one on my drivers side still works. I have a few inverters from 89-earlier broughams I havent tested.

  8. #23
    David Biarritz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    Sorry but I didn't take photos. It all looks stock original now.
    The opera lights work perfectly now with a bright white look.
    Compared to the headlights and other lights that look yellowish, this makes the opera lights look slightly blue looking. But this is probably how the car looked new.
    I have seen the EL lights come on eBay a few times but they come and go. They come from China so go to eBay and type in ( EL tape 100mm 12v driver ) or ( EL tape ) until you find one.
    Make sure they come with the 12V driver, they are very easy and tidy to use.

  9. #24
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    Vladillac Khrougham is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opera Light fix - 1986 Fleetwood Brougham

    My driver's side opera light still works (1992 Brougham) and has a yellowish hue, I am thinking of ordering a pair of these which are white and maybe using some yellow cellophane as a filter or maybe the lens is already filtered, I have never fiddled with 91-92 (self inverted) opera lights. Actually there is maybe a 1% chance that hopefully the passenger side light may just be shorted, but more likely either the car was parked with the passenger side getting more exposure to direct sunlight or most likely my driver's side opera lamp is just living on borrowed time and I should just be happy that it is functioning on a car with over 170k miles.

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