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Author Topic: How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets  (Read 1294 times)

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« on: September 17, 2010, 06:56:15 PM »

If Lucas was the prince of darkness,Chrysler was the king of shorts and bad grounds.
 
The majority of the bulb sockets  in taillights,turn signals,and cornering lamp assemblies are permanently stamped or pressed into white metal,potmetal or aluminum housings.
As the housings corrode,they become poor ground for the bulbs.
Old rotten gaskets,or broken lenses invite moisture and the socket is no good.
Some owners search high and low for complete housings just to replace a bad socket.
With our cars approaching 30,40,or 50 years old,it is getting tougher to find  housings  in good working shape,and 95% are not even available in reproduction.
Some housings for certain cars command a premium price that most of us cannot justify spending.
So,you have a bad socket on your taillight or front turn signal
So,what's a poor guy to do?
I will share a proven inexpensive repair I have done  that works and you can still use your crusty old housing..
All you need is your own hands,some tools,a cheap plastic twist-loc bulb socket,and some wiring supplies.
I butchered a couple different housings for clarity.
 
CBarge2010-09-18 01:01:22
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Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 06:59:56 PM »

Here is a front housing from my NYer.
It may not look too bad but there is enough corrosion that caused  feedback into the brake light system and pop fuses.

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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 07:05:50 PM »

OK,no turning back now.
Place the housing in a vice,and cut the bulb socket out,leaving the flat part in the housing
[color=#ff0000 size=3]Avoid cutting the housing!![/color]


CBarge2010-09-18 00:47:57
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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 07:09:23 PM »

Using a cutting wheel or small cutting disc on a dremel,cut up the remains of the socket.
I put slots into it to make it easier to break up.
[color=#ffff00 size=4]Again,do not cut into the housing[/color].

CBarge2010-09-18 00:43:43
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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 07:10:58 PM »

Using a hammer with a chisel or old flathead screwdriver remove the remains of the old socket.

 
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1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 07:12:47 PM »

It is not uncommon to see how thin or rotten the housing can be once the socket is removed. This is usually where corrosion can be found creating a high resistance which can result in a bad ground.

CBarge2010-09-18 00:46:09
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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2010, 07:17:48 PM »

You can buy an el cheapo twist-loc bulb socket anywhere.
Typically they do have an extra wire that is used for ground.
This will be the new socket and the housing will get modified to make it fit.

Scribe the shape of the new socket onto the housing...

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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2010, 07:22:33 PM »

Using a dremel with various sizes of stones,notch the housing to match the tabs of the new socket.
Also the hole in the housing may need to be enlargened to fit.
[color=#66ff00 size=3]ALWAYS TEST FIT OFTEN AND TAKE LITTLE STEPS WHEN MAKING THE HOLE[/color]
Too big and the housing is junk.


CBarge2010-09-18 00:47:25
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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2010, 07:25:41 PM »

Socket should snap in,and with a twist,ready for a new bulb.
In some applications,you can make your own foam or cork gasket for a tight seal,if needed.

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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Stan Paralikis

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2010, 07:26:33 PM »




Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2010, 07:34:22 PM »

Cut and splice the new socket wiring into the car's wiring.I always solder connections and use shrink tube where the wires are exposed to the elements.
The extra wire in the new socket for the ground wire can be connected anywhere you can get a good ground with meat on it--inner tail panel,inner fender,bumper bracket--you get the idea.

Add as much wire as needed,put on a wire end and use a self tapping screw,or an existing bolt or screw.
 
 

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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2010, 07:41:18 PM »

In conclusion,this repair makes life easier since most bulb replacements now  no longer require removal of the lense--or disassemble of the housing.
Just reach in and twist.
The extra ground wire (since the new socket is plastic) eliminates the use of the housing as a source for ground.This makes our cars more reliable and more enjoyable to drive.
No more headaches or middle fingers from other drivers getting "signals crossed" LOL
CBarge2010-09-18 00:57:59
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1968 Newport Custom project BOAB
1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Steve

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2010, 07:53:44 PM »

I made this a sticky Lea
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Leaburn Patey

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2010, 08:06:25 PM »

Quote from: POLARACO
I made this a sticky Lea
Thanks!!
Hey,maybe you can send this to the E booger Ehrenberg.
That would be nice.
 
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1973 Satelitte wagon
1983 Dodge 400
2006 300C HEMI!!

Robert Rottman

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How to fix unrepairable bulb sockets
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 09:29:28 AM »

Lea...I just love these "tutorial threads" in which you teach us such valuable information...with so many great photos too. You are da man  Thanks!
 
Bob
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