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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

There was some discussion a while back; concerning use of EL material to restore nonfunctional opera lamps. Has anyone (DopeStar, et.al.) managed to repair them by doing that? I have a pair of limo lights that run on 12v, but I'd prefer the original look if at all possible. Curious minds are wondering :hmm:
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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I have a concept design going in my head to restore the opera lights to perfect working order using the original parts and some unnoticable modification. Check back for my results.......
 

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I didn't know she was out of circulation, here's crossing fingers all goes well & soon :cool2:
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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Yeah, unfortunately in a hurry last Wednesday I backed into my Fleetwood with my Taurus and put a huge dent in the rear fender. Hopefully she'll be back by this Wednesday......
 

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That sounds familiar, for some reason. It might have something to do with backing my Fleetwood into the corner of a large truck. About $400 worth of repair work to fix a major dent. Ouch.
 

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From what I see of recent posts, that newfangled idea of yours could become extremely popular on this website :D
... er um you're not going to sell the info for a major fee, are you? :suspense:
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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If any manufacturer started remaking the lights they would make a lot of money. Lincoln, Mercury, Buick, and Oldsmobile all used similar things and they are all hard to find.
 

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That's a great idea for a niche in aftermarket parts, really :)
... there must be a lot of people who'd love to have working opera lamps! :2thumbs::banana:
I don't think the technology is at all complex, more a matter of getting the parts for them manufactured for a low enough price. Can't imagine DIY kits costing that much if enough were made at once. Estimating the startup & operating expenses could be an interesting project :bouncy:
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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What ho?! Is that a lit OEM opera light?! But they're unheard of in this day and age!! Looks like my little plan worked.....


(C) DopeStar Industries 2009

This is my first prototype and as you can see it works, minus a couple screw ups like some glue got into the light and has now formed a black spot inside but isn't noticable when the light is lit. I sent a good three opera lights to their graves while trying to do this but as you can plainly see their deaths weren't in vain......

I'll make photo documentation and instructions of the passenger side lamp when I get more lights. Now that I know what I'm doing and all trial and error have been eliminated I'd say the entire thing takes like 15 minutes and costs somewhere in the $30 range per lamp. I'll be making a new thread containing the instructions.....

"Gather 'round my children and witness the light, of the Amazing DopeStar Brothers!"
-Slightly modified quote from the intro track on Insane Clown Posse's Amazing Jeckyl Brothers album. Hahaha......
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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They look good but are too bright IMO. The factory lamps had a very soft glow to them and were evenly lit. Whatever, its better than nothing. I have posted these pics a thousand times but here is what a brand new OEM light looks like. Unfortunately my inverter took a dump and they once again are not working. If anyone finds an inverter at a local junk yard I will pay you for it. I need the little green one that goes in the trunk.

I like the pile of personal effects in the background. :2thumbs:




 

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Discussion Starter #13
For a historic event, there's nothing like witnessing the emergence of a fledgling industry! Henry Leland must be smiling somewhere above :angel:
 

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1984 Coupe Deville, 1991 Brougham d'elegance, 1996 Deville
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I actually found something that might work and look original. I ordered 2 white electroluminescent strips from this company http://www.glowhut.com/12-x-125-inch-el-paneltapebacklight-with-lead-wire-and-conn12125.htmlthat someone on the forums had mentioned a while back in the FWD section to me. It can be cut and wired in on my 1990 Coupe Deville, thank God my 84 has bulbs, but it should work on the Broughams as well. I was wondering what should I use on the strip to protect it from being burned out again from the UV rays? I will post some pictures when I have them done.
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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They look good but are too bright IMO. The factory lamps had a very soft glow to them and were evenly lit. Whatever, its better than nothing. I have posted these pics a thousand times but here is what a brand new OEM light looks like. Unfortunately my inverter took a dump and they once again are not working. If anyone finds an inverter at a local junk yard I will pay you for it. I need the little green one that goes in the trunk.

I like the pile of personal effects in the background. :2thumbs:
Haha I think in the picture you can see my jewelry I wasn't wearing at the time, my HDTV, PlayStation 3, keys to my Taurus, my Fleetwood's new registration and I think my cellphone's in that pic too. My desk is constantly cluttered among other things in my room......

I agree that they're not OE looking but I used LEDs mostly for longivity and durability. The kind I used are these sticky strips of LEDs made by Pilot that on the box were shown illuminating a gauge cluster. In order for these to work on the car I'd have to bypass that inverterer in the trunk so the opera lights were getting 12V rather than 110V.

If someone can get those EL strips to work, go for it and let's see how well it does. I still find it hard to believe that in this day and age with the growing popularity and collectors value of the 80's Cadillacs that NO ONE HAS MADE AFTERMARKET OPERA LAMPS!!!! :rant2:
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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Dope, how about adding a piece of translucent plastic over the LEDs to act as a diffuser?
Ah ha! A question I asked myself during the "developmental stage" of this whole thing. An 80's EL opera lamp is 4 main pieces which are the housing, EL strip, plastic diffuser strip, and the lens. In my design I used the entire opera light except the EL strip which I threw out so what you see includes the factory diffuser strip. While conceptualizing I held it over the LEDs and found out that it effectively blurrs the LEDs to look like one strip when it's like an inch away which would require thickening the construction of the OE lamp. My design has the housing, LED strip, diffuser strip right on top of the LEDs, and the lens glued back on. I tried other diffusers including wax paper, aluminum foil with holes poked in it to reveal the LEDs, (mocking the construction of a headlight) and wrapping the LEDs in scotch tape but none made a noticable difference in diffusion. What you see in my picture is as diffused as it gets without serious modification of the OE lamp or using an LED strip where they're closer together.....
 

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1989 Brougham d'Elegance, 1985 Fleetwood Brougham *Coupe*
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What about, instead of using white LED's, using a strip of yellow?

Yellow doesn't give off that much of a harsh glow and might closer match the OE look.



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