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48stud
06-11-2007, 07:29 AM
I had recently replaced my trunk light in my 48 champion after using up all my resources i found a brand new one i put it in and it still didnt work i took the old one apart and found there was a mercury switch built in didnt think they did that back then so my guess is that the new one is dryed up too does anyone have any ideas how to make it work or any other ideas

John Kirchhoff
06-11-2007, 12:29 PM
Since the mercury is inside a glass vial, it shouldn't "dry up". First make sure the location of the light allows the mercury to flow over the terminals inside the vial. You should be able to see this without too much trouble. If that's ok, make sure you have electricity going to the light. If you don't have any kind of tester, disconnect the wire from the light and using a dome, instrument, tail, direction, etc light bulb, hold the end of the wire to the side of the brass portion while you touch the tit on the end of the bulb to a metal body part of the car. You may have to scrape it back and forth to make sure you're getting a connection. If it lights up, the problem is in the ground of the trunk light. You will need to clean the metal connections where the trunk light grounds to the body. If the bulb doesn't light up, first look at the filament to make sure it isn't burned out and if not, it would seem you're aren't getting electricity to the light. Then it's a matter of tracking down where the existing wire runs and checking its connections or making sure it isn't cut. If you aren't into all that, you can run another wire to the light from the terminal on the starter solenoid that has the cable from the battery attached.

53k
06-11-2007, 03:04 PM
quote:Originally posted by 48stud

I had recently replaced my trunk light in my 48 champion after using up all my resources i found a brand new one i put it in and it still didnt work i took the old one apart and found there was a mercury switch built in didnt think they did that back then so my guess is that the new one is dryed up too does anyone have any ideas how to make it work or any other ideas

I think in those days the trunk lights were wired into the tail light circuit- only work when the lights are on. My '53 backup lights were that way. I guess Studebaker's reasoning was, if it isn't dark, you don't need them.


[img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine

kurtruk
06-11-2007, 07:48 PM
Should be on the license-lamp circuit.

KURTRUK
(read it backwards;))

kemprop
06-12-2007, 02:28 PM
The trunk lite is on the tail lite circuit and it has a built in vial containing mercury. when you lift the trunk lid the mercury tilts and makes the contact. The mercury is not in a glass vial, it's in a metal tube with an insulated contact. The ends of the tube are covered with a metal cap that doesn't seal out atmosphere very well and ultimately, the mercury inside developes a coating of dirt and/or oxide preventing a good contact to ground. You can carefully with some effort take the cap off the capsule, dump out the mercury onto a paper towel, spray a little carb cleaner on it, blot with the towel and re assemble. I used some epoxy to seal rhe cap after re- assembly to keep the air out. Worked for me, don't know how long it will last Wish there were replacement vials out there but with the bad rap mercury has with the environmentalists don't think that will ever happen.

48stud
06-14-2007, 07:19 AM
quote:Originally posted by kemprop

The trunk lite is on the tail lite circuit and it has a built in vial containing mercury. when you lift the trunk lid the mercury tilts and makes the contact. The mercury is not in a glass vial, it's in a metal tube with an insulated contact. The ends of the tube are covered with a metal cap that doesn't seal out atmosphere very well and ultimately, the mercury inside developes a coating of dirt and/or oxide preventing a good contact to ground. You can carefully with some effort take the cap off the capsule, dump out the mercury onto a paper towel, spray a little carb cleaner on it, blot with the towel and re assemble. I used some epoxy to seal rhe cap after re- assembly to keep the air out. Worked for me, don't know how long it will last Wish there were replacement vials out there but with the bad rap mercury has with the environmentalists don't think that will ever happen.

48stud
06-14-2007, 07:21 AM
quote:Originally posted by kemprop

The trunk lite is on the tail lite circuit and it has a built in vial containing mercury. when you lift the trunk lid the mercury tilts and makes the contact. The mercury is not in a glass vial, it's in a metal tube with an insulated contact. The ends of the tube are covered with a metal cap that doesn't seal out atmosphere very well and ultimately, the mercury inside developes a coating of dirt and/or oxide preventing a good contact to ground. You can carefully with some effort take the cap off the capsule, dump out the mercury onto a paper towel, spray a little carb cleaner on it, blot with the towel and re assemble. I used some epoxy to seal rhe cap after re- assembly to keep the air out. Worked for me, don't know how long it will last Wish there were replacement vials out there but with the bad rap mercury has with the environmentalists don't think that will ever happen.
you are exactely right this is just what ive found i will try this thanks much