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120 Headlight Trim Rings

120 Headlight Trim Rings

My XK120 came with 7" Marchal headlights - I expect it had 7" sealed beams before that - the so-called sealed beam adaptor rings were also fitted. I have managed to find a good pair of 7 7/8" PF770 tribar headlamps which do not, of course, fit the old inner rings. I have found one inner ring for the PF770, but it seems to be a rather loose fit with the outer rings I have.

The question: was it just the inner headlight ring that was particular to the 7" North American sealed beam arrangement, or was the outer ring different too? - Nick Saltarelli 1954 XK120SE OTS 1968 E-type OTS

Nick, the outer Chrome rims were the same. For U.S. market there were adaptor rings, to reduce the diameter down to 7". All you need are the original inner rims. There should not be a too big gap between inner and outer chrome rims, iffff the outer ones are the right ones. Do you need the diameters? I can dig for my old rims and measure them. Arno Wahl

The 770 headlamp setup for the 120 had three components, all different from the 7 inch sealed beam setup. To convert either way, you would need all three, I think. - Simon S. Johnson

On the headlamp rims, yes, I would be grateful if you can measure yours back and front for diameter and I will cross-check with my own. - Nick Saltarelli

Simon's comment made me curious, so I looked them up. According to the MkV parts book (same headlight situation as 120) the three differing parts are: - the headlamp itself - the inner rim 552686 for home/ 553614 for US,Canada - the adaptor (twist-connect spring contact adaptor for home/ three prong for US & CDN, 3 pin for France)

Yet I see in the 120 OTS and DHC parts book electrical sections, both give the following differences: - the headlamp itself - the ring fixing rims 552704 home/ 553614 US,CDN - the rubber sealing ring 552688 home/ 553615 US,CDN - same 3 different adaptors as listed for MkV inner chrome rim for 7 inch sealed beam not mentioned at all

Notice there is a discrepancy in what the 553614 really is. MkV says its an inner rim and 120 says its a fixing ring.

MkV and 120 agree that 552704 is a fixing ring. MkV does not list 553615 as a rubber ring or anything else.

Clearly there is misinformation in the 120 books in that the 7 inch inner chrome rim is missing or misidentified, but the MkV book may also not be giving us the full story. I wonder if there is any more knowledge to be gained from a Mk7 book?

Fixing Rings- My 120 has the original fixing rings from when it once had French spec 770 headlights, and my MkV has the originals from US spec sealed beams, so I compared them. There is a difference in the fixing rings, the vertical angle adjuster screw on top. For the 7.7 inch light the fixing ring has a riveted tapped plate for the screw and a short compression spring, and also there is an extension spring hanging from it that is not present with 7 inch lights. The fixing ring for 7 inch lights has a longer compression spring in a spot welded socket which is tapped at the bottom for the screw. The socket spring looks to me like an improvement over the short spring, so the one may have superceded the other. If you drill a hole to add the hanging spring, either one can be used in place of the other.

I see no reason why there would be two different rubber sealing rings.

To answer Nick's original question, I think the 7 inch and the 7.7 inch inner chrome rims should both fit in the outer chrome rim the same. Only one outer rim is listed. - Rob Reilly

Our mutual good friend Arno provided me with the dimensions of his XK120 outer chromed rims, which I compared with those I have. Mine appear to be 1/8" wider on the inside dimension than Arno's. I have concluded, therefore, that the outside rims are indeed different - unless it all comes down to a question of slack tolerances in manufacture. One thing is clear - the original 7" inner adapter rings fit the outside rings I have perfectly; the 7 7/8" inner ring that I bought with the PF770 headlamps appears to be a sloppy (read that as "loose") fit. - Nick Saltarelli 1954 XK120SE OTS 1968 E-type OTS

Update 16 June 98

Can anybody tell me if MK VII outer headlamp surrounds are the same as XK120, and if the headlamp motiff is the same. - Thanks, Gary Corino

Gary, I think the Mk II and 120 lights are generally the same, but check one against the other to be sure. - Regards, John Elmgreen

Gary Corino - I have a headlight rim from a MKVII which measures 9" at its largest diameter. The headlamp pods on my '53 XK120 measure 8 1/2" at the opening. The motif and attachment for the screw are the same. - Gary Fitch

Gary, This may not be relevant but aren't US and UK headlamps different and could this account for the difference in outer rim sizes. UK 120s have PF770 that have a 7 3/4 " diameter while US cars are 7". From memory I think the outer rims are also slightly different as well. I could be wrong though. - Roger Learmonth

PF 770 lights: the Lucas number 770 indicates the diameter - 7.7 inches. Ditto for say 700. - Regards, John Elmgreen

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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