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Worn out light socket

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  • Electrical: Worn out light socket

    My 62 Gt has a worn out front turn signal light socket that. If I slide a piece of gasket material beside the base of the light bulb, the turn signal light works. After a while, the bulb loosens, and it doesn't work. I was wondering, has anyone tried to add some solder to the contacts inside the light socket, or is that counter-productive? Any better ideas on how to make this thing work better?

  • #2
    New pig tails for your socket can be purchased at most auto parts stores.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


    • #3
      The spring that pushes the contacts out sometimes gets week.I have stretched some and got them to work for a while but replacing the springs is better.


      • #4
        41Frank said it all. Had the same trouble with my 63 Valiant, bought replacement sockets, spliced them in, and "Let there be Light!"(Oh, did the same to my 57 Champion, almost forgot!)
        1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

        "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein


        • #5
          I had a similar problem on some 59 Lark tail lights. Ended up replacing the entire socket, attached it with JB weld. Still working after 10 years.

          34 Studebaker Street Rod (completed)
          55 Speedster (in work)
          63 Lark R2 (completed, 63K miles)
          64 Daytona CNV (completed, 63K miles)
          64 Avanti R2 (completed)
          85 Avanti(blackout trim, 10K miles)
          89 Avanti CNV (19K miles)


          • #6
            JB weld.....forgot all about that stuff. Have purchased new sockets from NAPA, and will try out the JB weld.


            • #7
              Just be certain you have metal to metal ground before you glue them in.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              '33 Rockne 10,
              '51 Commander Starlight,
              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
              '56 Sky Hawk


              • #8
                Will do. Thanks.


                • #9
                  A new pigtail, which comes with a new spring, will almost invariably fix this, unless rust has eaten out the inside of the socket to the point it won't grip the bayonet lugs on the bulb base.

                  Often, a combination of dirt and rust causes the insulator disc to bind in the retracted position. If you spray some penetrating oil in the socket, then follow up by pushing and rocking the insulator disc with a dowel, you can often free it up so that it works again.

                  If the socket is rusty, a quick hit from a spot sandblaster works wonders. Use an air hose to blow out the leftover sand, and do the dowel + penetrating oil thing, and the socket will be like new, unless the spring has rusted away.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                  • #10
                    If I'm envisioning the OP's problem correctly, the socket has "spread" somewhat so a new insert may not fix it. However just as a general comment, I do have a part number on the list on my web site for a socket insert that is pretty darn close to identical to the ones originally used, so repair in that case is fairly easy. Also, in addition to Gord's suggestion to use a sandblaster, I have used one of those brushes used for cleaning up copper plumbing pipes before soldering to clean various light sockets - works like a champ. I also smear the bulb bases with silicone grease before installing to prevent future corrosion.

                    Unfortunately, my memory (not perfect on this issue) says that the parking light assembly on a '62 GT has the socket crimped to the metal piece that forms the reflector, so likely the easiest fix for this is to locate a NOS assembly and install that. If you can remove the old socket without destroying the reflector, you might be able to find a universal socket that will work in the hole at your FLAPS. If you do that you may want to solder a short ground wire between the socket and the reflector (or possibly solder the socket in place, if you have a real beefy soldering iron that can accomplish that)

                    55 Commander Starlight