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Anyone know where the ground is?

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  • #16
    If the socket is not making electrical contact with the housing anymore or the housing won't make contact with the car body, just solder a wire onto the outside of the socket and put a ring terminal on the other end. Then, drill a pilot hole in the body somewhere out of sight like under the fender along the bottom of the trunk floor or behind the bumper end and attach the wire with a self-tapping screw. You can put a small star washer on it for extra bite. I put a glob of silicone RTV over the screw to prevent corrosion. Don't use the type that smells like vinegar though! That actually is vinegar and it will turn the wire green.

    The socket itself is cad or zinc plated steel and might be a little rusty too. You can solder that but you can't expect to solder onto the pot metal. It is possible to do with the right solder and so on but I wouldn't try it (and I'll try just about any repair) unless you have scrap pcs to practice on. The pot metal melts at a low temp so its EASY to turn your part into a droopy mess. The folks that repair and replate pot metal have lots of practice at it and they can ruin stuff too. I've a tail lamp housing in my spares that someone attempted to solder around the socket and melted out the whole center of the casting! The only fix then was to drill some holes around the outside of the damaged area and rivet a plate in to hold the socket. Fortunately, the visible part of the housing was unscathed so its still useable but the inside is ugly.

    Jeff in ND

    '53 Champion Hardtop

    Jeff in ND

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    • #17
      Hey It light's up. I drilled a hole for the ground wire . I have to apply some aquarium glue like you suggested. Now I did a continuity test on the flasher ,and that needs replacing, so I'm off to the auto parts store.

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      • #18
        Now about the headlight , I tried a test light on socket and no power. I tried that buss bar on the radiatior shroud , and no power. That was without the key , just the headlight switch flipped up. I did a continuity test to the bulb , just touching two leads, and the audible from the continuity test tells me the light doesn't work either. Looking at the filament ,it looks like it's all together. Mike There's no power at the headlight wires either! Any ideas???

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        • #19
          A couple of thoughts on the headlights: if there is no power at either the headlight socket or the multi-terminal connector on the fan shrowd when the headlignts are turned on -- and if there is power at the tail lights, then check out the rectangular circuit breaker under the dash where the flasher unit is. Mine went out on my '53 once while driving at night - not a fun experience.


          Gene Nagle
          1963 Hawk R1
          Gene Nagle
          1963 Hawk R1
          1985 Avanti

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          • #20
            If the taillights work and the headlights do not you might check the dimmer switch. Once upon a time in 1969 the headlights quit in my '63 Lark. I was following a car that did have headlights and I had taillights, but the Pennsylvania State Police took a pretty dim view of that and I had nice chats with several troopers on the turnpike between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. It drove me crazy until a real old-time mechanic knew to check the well where the dimmer switch sits and it was full of water. How could water get there in that well-sealed Lark you ask? Being able to sit in the driver's seat and look straight down at the road was a clue.

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            • #21
              I "ll try under the dash with the test light. And maybe I"ll replace the dimmer switch. I could try a continuity test on the dimmer switch , I never thought of that. some great ideas.

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