Rear light sockets or full wiring harness? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Rear light sockets or full wiring harness?

Hello. We are working on the gremlins in the 67 impala's lights. We have some pretty corroded light sockets and they seem to be keeping the reverse lights to work. One worked until I took the light out. It was so corroded that the glass was coming out of the metal base.

I put a test light in the socket and get a signal from the edge of the flat metal part at the bottom but not at the point where the light makes contact. And one does not hold the light tightly.

Are the sockets available to buy or am I looking at getting a rear harness? Other than ebay, who sells the whole harness?

Thanks in advance.

Dain
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 08:15 PM
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Yes you can buy just the socket and a short length of wire coming out of it but in your case the socket is crimped into the reflector so a bare socket isn't going to help much. You may be able to swap the guts out of the pig tail (the name the auto industry gives to a socket and wire) and place it inside the brass shell of the factory lamp assembly. Inside the pig tail is a ceramic (glass) circle with the wire terminated with a large lead solder ball for a contact. The ceramic disk is held above the base by a spring that usually rusts away, and it is prevented from popping out by the shell being crimped in to hold it. Ground is through the shell so it has to be cleaned up to promote a good electrical contact.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Sounds like a harness is in order.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:29 PM
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Napa has just the pigtails could he not just replace them??
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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I got the tail lights working. The contact points in the pigtails were rusty and flattened. Sanded down and raised the contacts. But now the reverse lights are acting up. But I don't think it is the pigtails as I was getting power to the contact plates at the base of the sockets at one point and now not. I am going to trace wires back to see where I am losing the power. Probably at the neutral safety switch.

I am also gonna have to work on the high beams. Probably bad grounds. A lot of corrosion in the connections.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8dain View Post
I got the tail lights working. The contact points in the pigtails were rusty and flattened. Sanded down and raised the contacts. But now the reverse lights are acting up. But I don't think it is the pigtails as I was getting power to the contact plates at the base of the sockets at one point and now not. I am going to trace wires back to see where I am losing the power. Probably at the neutral safety switch.

I am also gonna have to work on the high beams. Probably bad grounds. A lot of corrosion in the connections.

Same applies to the tail lights. They ground through the brass shell that is crimped into the aluminum light bucket that is bolted to the light fixture that is bolted to the trunk deck or rear valence that is spot welded to the rest of the spot welded pieces of formed steel sheet metal which makes up the body going back to the battery cable bolted to the block (which may have had the ground straps removed if the motor was ever out of the car) going back to the corroded battery terminal which at any point can build up enough corrosion to make for a bad ground.


I had a 1958 Corvette that I bought as a basket case, all the trim and interior was there but no wiring. I learned to provide a wire to supply the power path and a second wire to return as a ground path for every part in the car that was electrically connected. It was the only way I could get everything to work (learned after the fact that the factory used the frame as a common ground)

Big Dave
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave. I have had a bunch of ground issues with my 84 Jeep with a fiberglass body. Not fun. I have a lot of dedicated grounds in that Jeep. And a cable running from the battery to the frame so that the frame is a good ground as well.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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We got the tail lights working correctly (along with the headlights and high beams). So we are making good progress.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Success. Got all of the lights working. Reverse is now working as I used a pigtail from the old harness I found in the pile of parts the PO had in the trunk.

Next up is the wiper motor.
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