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1966-1967 HCS

Old 02/11/2007, 06:32 PM   #1
rvrtrash's Avatar
So many cars, so little time!

Location: Spirit Lake, Id.
Joined: Apr 03
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Tail light wiring resto.

This will detail how I would/did go about restoring the tail light wiring harnesses. I'm assuming all the basic checks (bulbs, fuses, etc.) have been looked at and you've come to the conclusion that either your sockets or the bucket harnesses are bad. Begin by removing the tail light lenses and covers. Unplug the wiring harnesses. Remove the rear bumper and gas cap. Remove the tail light panel, then the tail light buckets. Inspect the individual sockets for corrosion or damage. Make sure the contact springs are in good shape and the contacts move freely in the socket. If the socket needs cleaned, use an aerosol electrical contact cleaner, followed by light rubbing with 4/0 steel wool until the contact heads and socket body are shiny. (You can do the cleaning with the panel still on the car but be sure not to get any cleaner on your paint). If the socket needs replaced due to damage or excessive corrosion to the body, you will have to find a similar socket to replace it. Aftermarket sockets seem to have a slightly smaller outside diameter, so to keep the socket tight in the tail light bucket and provide a proper ground, you will have to scuff the outside base of the new socket with sandpaper and apply a thin layer of solder. If you build the base of the socket up a little, you can file the solder down gradually until the socket fits snuggly into the bucket. If the contacts or contact springs are damaged but the socket body is fine, find a new socket with the correct type of contacts (I used NAPA #LS6228), remove the new contacts, springs and wire leads from the new socket and install them into your old socket. Whether you are replacing the entire socket or just the contacts, you will have to cut the wiring harness and splice in the new leads. I recommend soldering and using a waterproof heat shrink tubing but you can get good results from other methods. If soldering, I like to put the wires end to end and push them together, making a kind of braid where the individual strands are meshed with each other. Another method would be to lay one wire end on top of the other and twist them together, but either way, the wire should look slightly larger diameter when you are done, without anything sticking out at a 90 deg. angle. Put a small amount of solder on the iron, lay on top of your splice and let the solder flow onto the wire. Once the solder flows onto the wire, move the soldering iron to the bottom of the splice, and touch your solder to the top of the splice. Hold until the solder melts and flows through the splice. Let cool and slide your heat shrink tubing over the splice, and heat it with a heat gun. A match can be used but make sure you don't burn the insulation. If you don't have heat shrink tubing, you can wrap a few turns of plastic electrical tape around the splice and then melt it with the soldering iron tip or a match, again being careful not to get carried away. If using regular heat shrink tubing or elec. tape, smear a very thin layer of silicone sealer over the joint to make it waterproof. If you absolutely have to make the splice with a crimp connector, seal it with silicone so the wires don't oxidize. You would repair any breaks in the wires using the same soldering techniques. If you have a bare wire, I prefer to wrap it with elec. tape, melt the tape and seal with silicone. When you are all finished, check each of your contacts with a digital volt meter or ohm meter. You should have no more than .3 ohms of resistance between the contacts and the corresponding terminal in the plug. Finally, remove the screw holding the ground wire to the tail light bucket, and scuff the terminal lug and mounting surface of the bucket with steel wool or sandpaper to remove oxidation. Replace the ground wire and screw and then check for .3 ohms or less between each socket body and the ground terminal in the six prong plug. If all sockets are higher, check the ground wire and it's connection to the bucket. If only one/some of the sockets are higher, you need to remove those sockets, clean the mounting surfaces and try again. When you are sure all readings are correct, make sure the bulbs will fit snugly in the sockets and measure between the ground term. of the six prong plug and the other terminals. All reading should be the same as measuring just the bulb itself. Once you are sure everything is correct, reassemble the tail light panel in the reverse order and you are done.


The wannabe formerly known as an owner.
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Old 12/18/2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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Napa has a new chinese supplier for the lLS6228 they are very cheaply made but still high priced most cetainly not of the quality required for my car.Thanks
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Old 12/18/2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Location: Franklin, NC
Joined: Mar 07
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Is it/was it your plan to use the complete socket assembly, or just the piece parts of it as Steve described?

franklinair is offline Forums > GT/CS and HCS Forums > Restoration Reference Archives > Electrical

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