Headlights and Taillights

SVA

I’ll try to summarise the SVA requirements in time, but for now i’d say read the SVA manual carefully – lights aren’t that easy to move once the car has been painted!

A further word of warning – I’ve not been through the SVA test yet, so what you read here is un-tested!

Headlights

These are pretty easy really, just make sure you have bought the correct ones for RHD vehicles and install them the right way up! Take time to line them up nicely, then remove the front lens and reflector to just leave the black plastic back bowl. Mark and drill out the fixing holes remembering to drill small enough holes for the self tapping screws to still have some fibre-glass to get hold of. You will also need to drill a couple of larger locator holes as there are a couple of projections from the back of the back bowl.

The front indicators are again pretty simple. I used a plumb line to centrally align them with the headlights (just make sure your car is level first!). Then drill out a hole in the middle to allow for the lamp seat and connector to pass through. I then used the black rubber gasket as a template to mark the fixing holes – but beware, it does stretch slightly when on the light, so its not a perfect template!

For SVA compliance I believe a lower section of the light needs to be taped off.

I have PL700 tripod headlights at the moment, so these will need to be changed pre-SVA as they don’t have the beam pattern on the lens.

Rear Lights

I spent hours measuring and mocking up the position of the rear clusters, it turns out the mould on the AK isn’t quite symmetrical at the rear, so you’ll never get it right by measurement (difficult concept to grasp as an engineer!). So in the end I positioned them by eye. There’s not a huge amount of variation in position available though due to the moulding (unless you want to start building up the body – I did not!).

For the rear lights you’ll need:

  1. Two amber indicators
  2. Two twin lamp brake/sidelights
  3. One clear reverse light
  4. One red fog light

I chose Lucas 691 replicas (from S-V-C.co.uk) purely for the aesthetic. When fitting these you need to tighten up the screws holding the plastic lenses on in order to draw the brass elements into the fitting slightly so they don’t protrude out of the back and prevent the gasket from sealing properly. Also be careful when pushing the fixing bolts through the holes in the body, they are a little delicate and can come away from the light base.

I wanted the reverse light and fog light to be integrated into the body and not look like a bolt-on (I’ve had a few jap-imports in the past and always hated that rectangular fog light stuck on the rear bumper!). So I took a few queues from the Morgan and decided to mount them on cylindrical sections through the body. Having measured the diameter of the Lucas replica lights I then searched eBay and found a perfect match in the form of clear perspex tubing. To install:

  1. Mark out the centre points for each light then check these look about right by eye (nothing is symmetrical back there!).
  2. Then carefully cut and open up the two holes in the body work (remember these will be elliptical as the cylinder is at an angle to the body). I carefully opened them up with the dremel, it doesnt need to be spot on as you can fill any gaps later.
  3. Once happy with the fit, I roughed up the perspex cylinder and drilled some holes in the concealed section to provide something for the P40 to key into.
  4. Then its a pretty simple case of sticking them in using P40 from underneath the car, before they set, make sure they are straight and level, you won’t get them out later!
  5. Make two wooden end caps to mount the lights onto, I recessed them into the cylinder so they sat flush with the end. Cut a hole for the lamp, cable and fixings.
  6. P40 the end pieces into the cylinder, I also put a thin layer over the front of the wood to give a bit of extra weathering protection.
  7. Fill any gaps between the body and cylinder with P40/P38 and then sand to a nice chamfered finish.
  8. Fit lights! This is a little trickier than normal, as it’s not that easy to get to the nuts, this could be easier if your cylinder isn’t as long as mine. Either way, it’s not impossible.

Connectors

For the connections I used multi-pin water-proof connectors from eBay, 3-pin for headlights and brake lights, 2-pin for indicators, fog and reverse lights.

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