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Bulletnose taillight problems

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  • Bulletnose taillight problems

    Some friends with a 50 Studebaker are having problems with taillights, sometimes there,sometimes dim, sometimes not on at all. This car has been repainted, new, stainless steel bolts throughout, new wiring harness etc; They need the lights to work so it can be inspected by the State Patrol to be issued a title and plates. Help electrical wizards!!! A friend and I will look at it soon,but need suggestions on what could the problem be and order of items to check. Thanks in advance!! Lou Cote [8D]

  • #2
    Try clipping test leads between the light housings and a known good ground. Often doing too good a job painting can cause ground problems! Had the same issue when I redid the bed on my dad's old pickup truck; too much paint and undercoating electrically isolated the bed from the frame.


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      You, or your friend, might need a bond wire, screwed to the tail light housing and the frame.

      Tom Bredehoft
      '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
      '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
      ....On the road, again....
      '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
      All Indiana built cars


      • #4
        I would also check to insure you had good grounds between the engine and the chassis, and between the engine/chassis and the body. These groundwires are sometimes overlooked when installing new wiring.

        Jeff Jones
        Tucson Arizona
        1947 M-5


        • #5
          We are still struggling with a 51. Ran a separate ground from the bulb housing to the frame, and that helped. Then drafted in another bulb holder just above the original, with reflective tape on the background. It is now twice as bright as it was. Still not very bright compared to a modern tailight. I think the problem is that the lense lets too much outside light in. I think that possibly that is why the 52's had sort of a 'top' on them. I have toyed with taking a third or so of an aluminum pop can, and making a sort of reflector with a top for the inside, but hav'nt tried it yet. Also considering putting on a higher brake light, maybe in the back window , to put light higher, as the tailights are not that far off the ground.. Any other ideas? David


          • #6
            Well after a few hours work, the problem is solved Clouseau would say. Powder coated tail light housings more paint on inside fenders than the factory applied. We cleaned up housings, scratched away some of powder coat around 2 screws on backside, one problem down one to go. Park lights in front would come on with headlights and taillights would go out. It turns out that the wire for the front park lights got switched with the rear lights at the light switch. When it was finished we fired up the restored radio for a few minutes. Yahoo!! Lou Cote [8D]