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Thread: 1936-38 Tail Light Lens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default 1936-38 Tail Light Lens

    taillight lens.jpgtaillight lens 2.jpg


    Just removed a NOS 5054-20 lens from an original unopened box. I purchased a supposedly WW II surplus lens 20 years ago from a vendor in Davenport with the plan of finding a "correct" lens for my 1937 EL someday. Well, I passed on a lot of lenses over the years because I was under the impression that all genuine HD lenses were marked as Palmer's book describes. So I was a little surprised when the lens I removed from the box was unmarked. Here is what I can attest to: The original lens which is on the left in both images has a different shape from my other lens (WLA/repro.), it has more of a convex curve shape that comes to a sharper point than the other lens. The original lens is darker red maybe because the glass is a little thicker. Both lenses have ringed steps (4) on the inside, but the inside top of the NOS lens is larger in diameter and concave whereas my other lens is flat. The rims of both lens bases are yellow colored, but the original lens has more orange color to it. So, is my NOS lens the correct one for my 1937 EL? Is the other lens surplus WLA or reproduction? Palmer says the Hummer lenses are marked 125 HD. Thanks

  2. #2

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    That flat lense is a 1920-1934 lens..the pointy one is the later one

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    Default

    The lens changed shape when the dual filament bulbs were put into use.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    Default

    The 1920-33 tail light lens is much flatter. As Chris says, the deeper domed lens was introduced in 1934 when the brake light became an option, and ran to 1938 when the new tail light was introduced. As the later lens fitted the earlier tail lights, Harley continued using the old part number, even though today we would call them 5054-20 and 5054-34. Your nos lens is a 5054-34 and hence spot on for your '37, nice piece. The comparison shows either that casting dies were changed over time, or the repro lens makers didn't quite get it right.

  5. #5

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    I agree with Steve ,the earlier lense is much flatter than either of these

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    Northeastern Colorado
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by duffeycycles View Post
    I agree with Steve ,the earlier lense is much flatter than either of these
    Thanks everyone for the responses. I may not have been clear about the flat spot description. The NOS lens has a concave (curved) spot at the inside apex of the lens that the end of your finger fits into. The other lens has a flat spot there. Both lens are 1935 and later style. So, what I'm hearing is not all 1935-38 lenses were marked LLCO 2-60.

  7. #7
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    Default

    For the later dual filament lens I have never see a number on them. I have seen the 125 on the point for the post war 125cc bikes.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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